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WKU Professor Anton Recognized for Supporting Continuing Education Through Unique Intergenerational Classroom

A WKU professor was recently selected to receive the Continuing Education Faculty Award at the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) South Region Conference in Richmond, Va.

Dr. Audrey Anton, assistant professor of philosophy, received the award on October 12 for her class, “Living Like a Stoic.” She developed the course to allow philosophy students to study alongside members of the Society for Lifelong Learning at WKU (SLL) – an organization that offers a wide range of high quality, intellectually stimulating, non-credit educational programs and experiences for those 50 and over.

The course allowed both groups of students to learn together, resulting in lively discussions from varying perspectives, regardless of age.

“I believe an intergenerational learning community amplifies lessons learned from any subject, but this is especially so with philosophy,” Anton said.

“‘Philosophy’ means love of wisdom, and life lessons are certainly part of wisdom. Through intergenerational exchange, students from every stage in life can benefit from hearing from others — whether it be reflecting back or looking forward.”

Associate Vice President of Extended Learning Dr. Elizabeth Laves is a member of UPCEA and also attended the conference. She stated said that Anton’s enthusiastic, innovative approach to teaching encourages students to be engaged learners.

She was a natural choice for this award,” said Laves. 

“Through her Stoicism course, she developed a unique, intergenerational classroom environment that created conversation, learning and engagement between very diverse groups of individuals,” said Laves.

Nominations for the faculty award are submitted by UPCEA South member institutions. According to the organization’s award requirements, nominees must “have assisted in the field of continuing education in a worthy and exemplary manner.” Nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Served as an excellent teacher to continuing education learners
  • Developed and/or coordinated model continuing education programs
  • Facilitated new programming areas through continuing education
  • Opened new avenues for the advancement of continuing education learners

WKU Lifelong Learning Program Manager Dr. Cindy Ehresman nominated Dr. Anton for the award, which included written recommendations from SLL Advisory Board members Valerie C. Brown and Kenneth W. Kuehn, as well as SLL Curriculum Chair Barbara Johnston.

“Dr. Anton is an outstanding teacher whose enthusiasm, creativity and highly-innovative teaching methods encourage her students to be engaged learners,” said Dr. Ehresman.

“We were honored to nominate her for this prestigious award.”

For more information about the Society for Lifelong Learning at WKU, visit wku.edu/sll.

Founded in 2014, the Society for Lifelong Learning is a member-driven organization dedicated to offering a wide range of high quality, intellectually stimulating, non-credit educational programs and experiences for ages 50 and over who have a love for learning.

# # #

Society for Lifelong Learning Contact
Dr. Cindy Ehresman
Program Manager, WKU Lifelong Learning
Western Kentucky University Division of Extended Learning and Outreach
270-745-1910
cindy.ehresman@wku.edu

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 Last Modified 5/2/17