LIFELONG LEARNING ACADEMY’S Fall 2015 Einstein’s Circle Series At USF Sarasota-Manatee; These open forums, moderated by knowledgeable experts on a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information

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Fall 2015 Einsteins Circle Series

At USF Sarasota-Manatee

These open forums, moderated by knowledgeable experts on a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information.


October 28:

Our Town: Nice town, Ya Know What I Mean?

November 4:

When the Cheering Ends: Contact Sports, Concussions and Consequences

November 18:

America’s Foreign Policy: What Now?


(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Lifelong Learning Academy (LLA) announces its fall session of Einstein’s Circle forums, held in October and November, 2:30-4 p.m., in Selby Auditorium at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Cost is $5 per session for LLA members or $6 for non-members. Seating is limited to 160 participants. Register online at or by calling 941-359-4296. For additional information on the Lifelong Learning Academy, including weekly updates of Einsteins Circle, visit or call 941-359-4296.

            According to Bev Harms, coordinator of the Einstein’s Circle forums, these open forums, moderated by knowledgeable experts in a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information.

“Our objective is to keep Einstein’s Circle topics as current and timely as possible, and to explore the local, national and international issues that everyone wants to talk about,” says Harms. She adds that admission fees have been reduced significantly, bringing the cost down to only $5 per session for Lifelong Learning Academy members and $6 for non-members.

Our Town: “Nice Town, Ya’ Know What I Mean?” (Wednesday, October 28): New high-rises are springing up everywhere in downtown Sarasota, with seemingly no end in sight to the construction. Is it contributing to Sarasota’s urban vitality or denigrating Sarasota’s small town charm? Guest moderators Courtney Mendez, senior planner with the City of Sarasota and Norman Gollub, economic development coordinator for downtown Sarasota, will speak about the thinking behind what sometimes seems to be an overly aggressive plan for downtown development. They’ll provide an insider’s perspective on the current and planned construction that could draw as many as 13,000 new residents to downtown Sarasota. They’ll also touch on homelessness and on traffic and how those issues are factored into city planning, as well as the importance of Sarasota’s designation as an “age-friendly city.” Courtney Mendez is a professional planner with 14 years of experience in both the private and public sector and has been a senior planner for the city of Sarasota since 2008. Norman Gollub has over 15 years experience providing consulting services to both the public and private sectors. He also spent six years as economic development manager for the city of Greenville, S.C.

When the Cheering Ends: Contact Sports, Concussions and Consequences:  (Wednesday, November 4): Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine recently published a groundbreaking report on studies they performed on 85 donated brains, the majority of them from former athletes, including football players, wrestlers, hockey players, and boxers. They found that frequent blows to the head really hurt not only at the moment of contact, but also long into the future. Their findings are impacting the sports world and causing concern amongst athletes and the parents of children who want to participate in sports. Neurologist Alan Grindal will talk about ongoing research and findings on the consequences of a brain traumatized by repeated blows to the head and the potentially life-altering effects on these athletes when the cheering ends, and the worry begins. Grindal is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. He was in private practice in Sarasota for nearly 30 years and is currently a part of the clinical faculty of Florida State University. He also works with the Memory Disorder Clinic at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

America’s Foreign Policy: What Now? (Wednesday, November 18): As stated in the Foreign Policy Agenda of the U.S Department of State, the goal of American foreign policy is “to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” Sounds good, but what does it mean? How can we effectively spread and support democratic institutions? How is security best achieved? How is prosperity best achieved? And what do we do when principles of democracy, security, and prosperity conflict with one another? Professor Frank Alcock leads a discussion on the tensions and fault lines that characterize American foreign policy with a view on the major issues that will likely be debated during the 2016 election cycle. Alcock is an associate professor of political science at New College of Florida. He has held positions as a senior U.S. Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand and a Belfer Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Lifelong Learning Academy offers four course terms per year on the USFSM campus, at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, and at State College of Florida at Lakewood Ranch, 7131 Professional Pkwy. E., Sarasota. Most courses last six to eight weeks and classes meet for one hour and 20 minutes each week. For more information about the Lifelong Learning Academy, call 941-359-4296 or visit  


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