Alliance for Continued Learning to offer spring classes

East Tennessee State University’s Alliance for Continued Learning (ACL) will offer a wide range of seminars and activities during the spring program beginning Tuesday, March 20, and ending Wednesday, April 25. 

Sessions begin at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday. All classes will be held at Watauga Avenue Presbyterian Church, 610 E. Watauga Ave., in Johnson City.

To give new members an opportunity to become acquainted with the group, the ACL will welcome participants at a continental breakfast on Tuesday, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland will offer welcoming remarks.

The spring lineup will include the story of early ETSU faculty member Christine Burleson, “Rest, Rest Perturbed Spirit,” by Dr. Robert Sawyer of the ETSU Department of Literature and Language; “The Origin and History of Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music” by musician and ETSU faculty member Dr. Lee Bidgood; and “Housing Solutions for Northeast Tennessee” presented by Retha Patton and Jeff Keeling of the Eastern Eight Community Development Corp.  

Among other sessions are artist Peter Paulin speaking about art history; Dawn and Jackie Peters explaining photo restoration and cemetery recording; Dr. John King of the ETSU Department of Communication outlining the way public relations is framed by world-wide news media; and Patricia Willard, who was educated at the Columbia Theological Seminary, presenting the two biblical stories of creation.  

Among the additional options are Dr. Jim Wilson, chair of the Watauga Association of Genealogy, who will teach how to “find your roots”; lawyer Randall Sermons outlining advance directives; and Dr. Marc Fagelson of the ETSU Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology discussing the effects of age on hearing.    

Field trips are planned to the Chester Inn in Jonesborough and ETSU’s Slocumb and Tipton galleries.  

Sponsored by the ETSU Office of Professional Development, the ACL is “member-powered, member-driven and member-governed.” Participants decide the study groups, forums, classes and other activities to be held, find leaders for the sessions, and elect officers. No educational pre-requisites, examinations or grades are involved in the courses. A $40 fee allows participants to attend any or all sessions.

For more information or a schedule of classes, visit or call the ETSU Office of Professional Development at (423) 439-8084. Persons who require special assistance or who wish to arrange for a sign language interpreter should contact the same number.


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