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Seniors' Alumni Learning for Life Program - Spring 2016 Sessions

March 10, 2016
Facing Death: How Do We Confront Life’s Final and Inevitable Challenge?
Dr. Harvey Chochinov OC, OM [MD/83, PhD/98]
Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, and Director, Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba

Challenges and uncertainties burden individuals nearing the end of life. The Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit has studied these issues extensively to better understand the struggles of terminally ill patients and their families, and how best to provide palliative care. This session will discuss the issues, data, and insights that can guide patients, families, and clinicians confronting life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

March 17, 2016
Do We Need to Take Vitamin Supplements? Exploring the Need for Supplementation As We Age.
Dr. James House
Professor and Head, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba

Canadians regularly receive messages advocating dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds proclaiming beneficial effects. This session will explore contemporary issues relating to the use of supplements, with a focus on current evidence.

March 24, 2016
Covering the Globe in Artificial Light: What Happens When All the Dark Places Are Gone?
Ms. Jennifer West [BSc (Hons)/01, MSc/03]
Instructor and PhD student, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba

The real, destructive consequences of light pollution are not often recognized. All living creatures rely on the Earth’s regular rhythm of day and night to regulate internal cycles. Many use the protection of darkness to safely forage and mate. By lighting up the Earth, we are shifting this delicate balance and losing our connection to the night sky and the universe beyond. This presentation will discuss the ramifications of covering our globe in artificial light, and easy, economically sensible ways to combat this growing problem.

Please note there will not be a session on March 31, 2016 – see you in two weeks.

April 7, 2016
Do We Need to ‘Get Tough’ on Crime? How Should We Frame Crime Issues in Order to Realize Meaningful Change?
Dr. Elizabeth Comack
Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba

Crime and violence are frequent topics of discussion in Winnipeg. How our leaders frame these social issues governs their responses. This session will examine the impact of a “tough on crime” approach and consider how we might reframe these problems to produce meaningful change. We will look at research on police encounters with Indigenous people in inner-city Winnipeg, as well as research on Indigenous street gangs.

April 14, 2016
Left Wing, Right Wing and In Between – What Can Political Theory Tell Us About Today’s Electoral Promises?
Dr. Steven Lecce
Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba

Some politicians promise to cut taxes, impose stiffer prison sentences, reinforce traditional family values, and limit state involvement in the economy; others promise tax hikes, decriminalization of prostitution and recreational drugs, and heightened oversight in the market. Why? Are there genuinely different philosophical ideals at work here, different interpretations of the same basic facts, or both? And how should voters interpret and respond to this confusing barrage of competing messages? This session will discuss how political theory can help us understand politicians and their promises.

April 21, 2016
Shutting Up: With So Many World Languages in Decline, What is the Future of Language?
Dr. Karen E. Smith [BFA/77, CertEd/79, PhD/01]
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

An appalling number of world languages are disappearing. This session will present data on the various influences and discuss the future of language.

April 28, 2016
Going, Going, Gone? Can the World Survive the Death of the Honey Bee?
Dr. Robert Currie [BSc/80, MSc/82, PhD/86]
Professor and Head, Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba

Honey bees are critical beneficial insects, perhaps most widely known for the delicious honey they produce. More importantly, they play an essential role in pollinating many important crops, contributing to about one third of the food we eat. Globally, bee colonies are dying at high and fairly persistent levels over the winter, due to an unprecedented assault from multiple stressors. This seminar will examine the causes of honey bee colony loss, the impact on what we eat, and possible solutions.


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