What is
Lunch & Learn?
12:00 Noon to 1:00pm

WNMU, ABC Room (First Floor) of the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center (GRC)
12th Street, Silver City.
(unless otherwise noted)

FREE and Open-to-the-Public

Lunch and Learn is potpourri of learning experiences that demonstrates the "diversity university" WILL has become.

Bring a friend, a "brown bag" lunch and an inquisitive mind. Be ready to enjoy a new learning experience every week.
LUNCH & LEARN - 2015        print this page
WNMU, Global Resource Center, ABC Room (first floor)
(unless otherwise noted in the event description)
WEDNESDAYS, 12 NOON to 1:00 p.m.

FREE and Open-to-the-Public.


Jane Papin is a practitioner of Reconnective Healing. This modality interacts directly with the healing frequencies of the body, a practice that allows her to help others tap directly into the energy of their source. Jane grew up loving, caring for and showing horses, from her youth into her thirties; here she first sensed her connection with the natural world and the energies of life. In the mid-1970s she learned Transcendental Meditation and moved to the Fairfield TM Community in Iowa. Her involvement in this unique community, which has included the likes of John Hagelin (noted American theoretical physicist), eventually led her to study shamanism. For many years Jane traveled to Peru, training in the shamanic traditions of the Andes and the Amazon.

Aileen Shepherd is nationally certified by the National Certified Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in both acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and is board licensed by the state of New Mexico as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. In 1994 she graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in both English and French Literature. She then completed a four-year Master's Degree program in Oriental Medicine from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe, NM. Aileen runs a private practice in Silver City, treating a variety of conditions through acupuncture, manual therapy and herbs.

Matthew Sommerville teaches Svastha yoga and practices yoga therapy in Silver City. He has been studying and practicing yoga for the past ten years. His involvement with Svastha yoga turned his avid interest in yoga into a lifelong and dedicated personal practice, and then to offering his services as a therapist and teacher. He completed his 200-hour Svastha Yoga Therapy certification three years ago in Taos, NM with Monique Parker, and is currently finishing the 500-hour course with Ganesh Mohan. He is affiliated with the Svastha Yoga Institute.

Russell Dobkins practices Nutritional Therapy. He earned a BS degree at WNMU in 1999, majoring in biology, and then did graduate work at New Mexico State in toxicology, endocrinology, the anatomy and physiology of farm animals, and other fields. In 2003 he studied Wholistic Kinesiology with Dr. J Dunn in Albuquerque, and has continued other related studies on his own. He realized that nutritional deficiencies of certain minerals in common foods, and excessive toxic elements, could cause serious health problems. Russell learned how to do precise chemical tests on plants, animals, soil, and humans to identify and treat those problems nutritionally. On his small farm in the Gila River valley he grows most of his own foods, testing them for mineral content and potential toxicity. His yields are good and the flavor and quality of the produce is excellent. He has found that eating such foods has measurably improved his own health.
Presenters: Jane Papin, Aileen Shepherd, Matthew Sommerville, Russell Dobkins
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room
Good history teachers, like good artists, help people learn what it means to be human. They bring their own personality and their own spirit into their work, and there's no single right way to do their work well. They help students learn to dream and wonder, to see the world in a different way. Good history teachers can change people's lives. Good history teachers are vital to the growth of our children and the success of our community.

Jim Smith is a former high school history teacher who has been recognized as the New Mexico Teacher of the Year and as a finalist for the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He now works as an educational consultant, writer, publisher, and teacher in lifelong learning programs. He has made presentations and trained teachers throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. He has written numerous articles and three books, Catherine's Son, Skipper Hall, and Ideas That Shape a Nation, a US history textbook that has been endorsed by many teachers and scholars, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians. In the fall of 2014, Jim taught a Massive Open Online Course for Rice University that trained over 6,500 teachers from 148 countries in the art of teaching history.
Presenter: Jim Smith
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room
The two talks this week and the presentation by Liz Mikols next week are to observe the fiftieth anniversary, this spring, of Lyndon Johnson's major escalations of the Vietnam War.

Rick Sherman is a retired career diplomat who spent nearly four decades in US State Department assignments in various parts of the world. His career (1966-2003) covered a period of American history in which our foreign policies shifted from the post-World War II predominance through dramatic changes in world power structures: the disastrous Asian land war, the opening of China, violent wars in the Middle East, and the fall of the USSR and international communism. Rick has also worked as editor-in-chief of an American publication on African politics, and as a wine consultant. Rick and Sue Sherman settled in Silver City in 2003, where he has taught several WILL courses on domestic and international politics.

Rick has never set foot in Vietnam, nor did his State Department responsibilities directly cover that part of the world. As an undergraduate in the early 1960s, he studied the situation in Vietnam and watched American policies try to accommodate the varied interests in Southeast Asia, as American student movements on campus become increasingly active on the subject. As a junior Foreign Service officer, Rick and his colleagues tried to influence US policy from within the government. Years later Rick served on the traveling staff of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the hyperactive mid-1970s period of diplomacy focused, inter alia, on ending the war.

Julian Lee was drafted into the Army in 1968. After refusing an order in basic training, he received a general court martial and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. He served the first part of his sentence in the stockade at Ft. Lewis in Washington, and the remainder in the US Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

Born in San Antonio, Julian grew up in Bloomington, Indiana and San Francisco. He studied biology at UC-Davis, took a master's at San Diego State, and his PhD at the University of Kansas, and then taught biology at the University of Miami for thirty years. He wrote two books on the amphibians and reptiles of the Yucatan Peninsula, both published by Cornell. With Lynn Haugen, his fellow biologist, Julian moved to Silver City in 2006. In recent years he has taught several WILL courses and has given three Lunch and Learn talks.
Presenters: Rick Sherman and Julian Lee
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room
"I've always been an enthusiastic and (somewhat) fearless traveler," Liz Mikols says. A friend's teaching position at the American University in Phnom Penh let Liz travel to Cambodia last summer. She tacked on a trip to Vietnam when another friend urged her to visit Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and stay with yet another friend. "I distinctly remember when Nixon bombed Cambodia," Liz says. "And 'The American War,' as it's known in Vietnam. And the movie 'The Killing Fields.' So I entered this part of the world with a bit of trepidation." Liz will recount her impressions of Cambodia and Vietnam, fifty years later. Temples, temples, temples. Smiling strangers. Hand-hewn monuments to kings, devas and monsters. Singing songs on a bus with 45 Vietnamese twenty-somethings. Reverence for people who endured unspeakable hardships and wars. Strange fruits and vegetables. And stranger meals. Memorials and museums, told from the viewpoint of the victor (hint: not the US). Join Liz for what she promises won't be your father's vacation slides.

After retiring from the corporate world, Liz and her husband, Joe Schindler, moved to Silver City in 2008. She had taken a BA in biology at UC-Berkeley and a MFS at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In the Southwest she has discovered her true metier as an historian; four years ago she gave a Lunch and Learn talk on the distinguished madams of Silver City. A two-decades member of the Historical Society of New Mexico, Liz undertakes projects at the Silver City Museum. In perhaps the supreme intellectual achievement of her career, she is a member of the legendary "Sum of the Parts" trivia team on Wednesday nights.
Presenter: Liz Mikols
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room
Revolution and renaissance! In the exploding world of citizen science, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are monitoring climate change, tracking bird migrations, and following their bliss counting stardust for NASA or excavating mastodons. The sheer number of citizen scientists, combined with new technology, is beginning to shape how research gets done. Sharman Apt Russell will discuss the diversity of local citizen science projects and the writing of her new book on this subject. She spent the field seasons of 2011 and 2012 studying the elegant and fierce Western red-bellied tiger beetle along the banks of the Gila River. Collector's net in hand, she negotiated the realities of global warming, philosophized on this and that, and celebrated the beauty of our rural landscape.

Science and nature writer Sharman Apt Russell teaches writing at Western New Mexico University and Antioch University in Los Angeles. Her ten books include Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World (Oregon State University Press, 2014), Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist (Perseus Books, 2008), and Hunger: An Unnatural History (Perseus Books, 2005). Sharman's work has been widely anthologized and translated into a dozen languages. Her awards include a Rockefeller Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, and the Writers at Work Award.
Presenter: Sharman Russell
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room
About 150 years ago, a large iron meteorite was discovered in the ruins of Paquimé, a major pre-Columbian archeological site located near Casas Grandes in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The find was reported by European and American visitors to the site, and then was removed and exported to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Over the next century, the meteorite was examined, described, dissected, scientifically documented, referenced, and cited by mineralogists, folklorists, and anthropologists. But the archeological context seems to have been overlooked, such as where and when it fell; whether it affected the people of Paquime'; and how it came to be in the city. Though it was discovered in one of the most complex archeological sites in the Southwest, the neglect of these issues suggests that the Casas Grandes meteorite has been unjustly forgotten.

George Ruebelmann is a career archeologist who has worked throughout most of the western US, including the Great Basin, California, the Northern and Southern Plains, and the Southwest. He has a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Idaho. He retired from the Bureau of Land Management twenty years ago and went on to consulting and contracting for various private and public organizations. Currently he is a member of the board of trustees of the Archeological Society of New Mexico.
Presenter: George Ruebelmann
Location: WNMU Global Resource Center, ABC Room