wcu gpu

Courses and Instructors

Grandparents University
June 26-28, 2017

Here, you can find a course description for each of the courses being offered this 2017 program. We have also provided the professors’ names as well as brief biographies for each. All of our courses are built to inspire and every instructor has a background in fun!

Communicating Confidently

Class Description: Shine during your next book report presentation! Approach “just saying a few words” with confidence. In this fun and interactive public speaking class, students will learn to quiet public speaking nerves, practice delivery techniques and write and present a short ceremonial speech.

Professor: Eryn Travis

Bio: Communicating Confidently is led by Eryn Travis, a public speaking instructor in WCU’s Communication Studies department. Professor Travis is a former public relations professional with experience working on Capitol Hill and in trade associations.

Create Your Own News Cast

Class Description: Ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of the 5:00 news or Sports Center? Always wanted to say, “Live from West Chester, it’s…”? Well, here’s your chance to be part of the news team. You’ll get to look through the camera, read from the teleprompter, play director, and much more in this crash course on creating the news. See how the pros do it in this introductory news production course.

Professor: Michael Boyle

Bio: Originally hailing from Delaware County, PA, Mike has been a member of the WCU faculty for 10 years and has taught the newscast course at GPU four times. He brings a background in television to his teaching at WCU where he teaches courses in video production, research methods, and mass communication. He enjoys watching (and making) movies, spending time with his family, and playing board games.

Fun with Dance

Class Description: We will be looking at dance as a community event, as it has been used in various cultures and times. This course will be taught through a movement session of folk, social and line dance. No dance experience necessary. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, enjoy!

Professor: Gretchen Studlien-Webb

Bio: Gretchen Studlien-Webb is the coordinator for the dance program in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the director/advisor for the University Dance Company. She enjoys teaching movement to students of all ages and experience levels. She has been on faculty at WCU for many years along with teaching in the public schools, dance studios and senior centers.

The DNA project

Class Description: In this session Grandparents and grandkids share information about their family history. We explore what scientists have learned about the human trek across the globe and link it to participants’ family stories. Will look at physical and cultural characteristics that are carried from generation to generation and share what they hope to take forward. Kids who are adopted can talk about what they have received from both biological and adoptive families and the gift of inheritance. As part of the session grandparents and kids will develop a heritage box with items including a map of the human migration that they fill in with their family information and several small takeaway items as remembrances.

Professor: Anita Foeman

Bio: Anita Foeman is a Professor of Communication Studies at West Chester University. She received her PhD from Temple University in 1982 in Communication with a concentration in Organizational Communication. Dr. Foeman’s scholarly work explores various aspects of a diverse society including technology and diversity and multicultural families and people. For the past decade her work as examined identity based on new ancestry DNA data. The most current iteration begins to explore the health implications of ancestry awareness. She has extensive publications, presentations, and professional trainings to her credit. Dr. Foeman provides consulting for organizations related to organizational leadership, conflict, and diversity.

Flight!

Class Description: In this course, we will learn how fixed wing (airplanes) and rotary wing (helicopters) fly. The concepts of lift, drag and thrust will be discussed. The mechanisms that are used to control the flight of each type of aircraft will be reviewed. We will learn what they are, how they work why we need them, and best of all, we will each build and fly a couple of glider type aircraft and a hand powered “helicopter” like aircraft.

Professor: Raymond Drago

Bio:Raymond J. Drago is Chief Engineer of Drive Systems Technology, Inc. (DST), a mechanical power transmission consulting organization that he founded in 1976. Prior to this, Mr. Drago worked for the Boeing Company – Helicopters Division until his retirement after 37 years of service. Currently Mr. Drago is involved in the analysis, design, manufacture, assembly, and testing of many gear systems. In his role with DST, Mr. Drago is active in all areas of mechanical power transmission, including the design and analysis of drive systems in a very diverse field of application from heart pumps to very large mining & mill gears. He has also prepared and delivered more than 150 seminars dealing with various aspects of gear design and analysis.

Radio 101

Class Description: The Radio course is designed to give students a hands-on experience of what it is like to operate in a professional radio environment. Students will be given an overview of how to use the equipment while also being able to participate in a live WCUR show. Their radio show will be recorded and copies will be available as a keepsake.

Professor: Mike Murphey

Bio: Mike Murphy is a media specialist at West Chester University. Throughout his college tenure he has held numerous media positions but most notably he has emerged as the General Manager of WCUR after holding the sports director position for three semesters. Mike has hosted a sports talk show for the past four years. Not only is it the longest running in WCUR history but it has been graced by analysts from ESPN, Comcast Sportsnet, and former professional athletes. Mike will be a graduated at the end of this year with four media based internships to his credit along with a communications major and a journalism minor.

Robotics

Class Description: In this course, we will be introduced to the science of Robotics. A robot is a machine designed to execute one or more tasks automatically with speed and precision. There are as many different types of robots as there are tasks for them to perform. We will learn what they are, how they work why we need them, and best of all, we will each build a real, operating mini scale robot!

Professor: Raymond Drago

Bio:Raymond J. Drago is Chief Engineer of Drive Systems Technology, Inc. (DST), a mechanical power transmission consulting organization that he founded in 1976. Prior to this, Mr. Drago worked for the Boeing Company – Helicopters Division until his retirement after 37 years of service. Currently Mr. Drago is involved in the analysis, design, manufacture, assembly, and testing of many gear systems. In his role with DST, Mr. Drago is active in all areas of mechanical power transmission, including the design and analysis of drive systems in a very diverse field of application from heart pumps to very large mining & mill gears. He has also prepared and delivered more than 150 seminars dealing with various aspects of gear design and analysis.

Smart Smartphone Photography

Class Description: Learn how kids and grandparents can keep connected through great smartphone pictures of anything from daily activities to your next vacation—pictures so great they provide more than a momentary smile. They command to be put on the refrigerator.

Professor: Wally Judd

Bio: Smart Smartphone Photography is led by Wally Judd, a former public relations professional, Grandparents University alum and long-time photography aficionado.

Team Challenge I

Class Description:This unique class incorporates adventure-based activities where participants work together to solve a series of fun, physical challenges. The intent is to foster both intra and interpersonal development in such areas as communication, problem solving and trust. Be prepared for fun times and new friends. (This course may utilize West Chester University’s ropes course)

Team Challenge II (must have taken Team Challenge I)

Class Description:Like Team Challenge I, this class promotes personal and interpersonal growth but this time uses high elements involving a climber. All individuals are welcome and anyone not interested in climbing can act as a belayer or supporter.

Professor: Matthew Cummiskey

Bio: Dr. Cummiskey is the co-director of the WCU Adventure Program and teaches or has taught the two adventure-based classes offered at WCU. In addition, Dr. Cummiskey facilitates at multiple ropes courses in the West Chester area. He has been with GPU since its first summer.