The spring session of GOLD College at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall will kick off at 2:15 p.m. March 14, 2018 in Charter Hall 201 on campus. The program will feature SMSU undergraduate students presenting their research projects on a variety of topics. Registration will be held from 2:15-3 p.m.

GOLD College participants will have the opportunity to pick up class schedules and parking permits while enjoying refreshments. The program will begin at 3 p.m. with an overview of the GOLD College spring session, followed by the research presentations and an opportunity to meet study group leaders. GOLD is an acronym for growth, opportunity, learning and development.

GOLD College offers non-credit classes with a variety of topics. Each class is held one day per week for two hours. There are no tests or grades, and it is for people of all educational levels. Study groups are planned for six weeks, from March 19 through April 27.

Contact the GOLD College office for registration materials and more information by calling ( 507) 537-7164, or by sending an e-mail to GoldCollege

Senior classes this session include:


• Ellis Island and Beyond, 9-11 a.m., Dr. Mary Jones, instructor. More than 23 million immigrants came to America between 1881 and the mid-1920s. Revisit the story of the Ellis Island immigrants, their journeys, their dreams and their tears. Learn how eerily similar their lives were to the Victorian England people at that time. The class will also explore the extraordinary stories and circumstances from both sides of the ocean that created the tenements of New York and London.

• Basic Spanish, 9-11 a.m., Mary Toland, instructor. Learn basic Spanish expressions. Using game-like lessons, videos and fun exercises participants will be able to manage very simple conversations, introduce themselves, talk about where they are from, order their favorite meal or ask for directions to the nearest bathroom or airport.

• Line Dancing, 10-11 a.m., Eunice Herrick, instructor. Exercise your body and mind by dancing to lively, upbeat music. Line dancing is a fun way to dance without a dance partner at one’s own pace. No previous dance experience necessary. Only requirement in line dancing is to have fun.

• A Matter of Balance, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Susie Sammons and Jackie Esping, instructors. Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. This class is an award-winning, evidence-based program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. Attendees will be setting goals for increasing activity, making changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercising to increase strength and balance.

• Basic iPad, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Beth Westra, instructor. This class covers all the basic operations and functions of Apple’s tablet, the iPad. Participants will learn how to browse the Internet, take pictures, change settings, download apps and more. If you don’t have an iPad, we’ll look at how to find one that’s right for you too. For students with iPads, bring them to class. 

• Live, Laugh, Love, 2-4 p.m., Portia Mortenson, instructor. Learn how attitude and communication are the path to a cheerier life. Enjoy meaningful stories, activities and humorous dialogue that makes this class the best part of your day. Expect lots of laughter.


• ‘Rule, Britannia’ to Brexit: The British Empire’s Rise and Fall, 9-11 a.m., Dr. Jim Zarzana, instructor. England from the 1690s to present through history, literature and art. We will examine several major periods of the British Empire starting with its rise to world dominance through its pinnacle in the early 20th Century and continuing through its decline. Areas of importance: the colonization of India, Romanticism and the rise of modern democracy, Victoria and her empire, the World Wars and post-war decline.

• American Revolution, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Dr. Joan Gittens, instructor. The American Revolution will cover the time period from 1763 to 1789, the crucial decade leading up to the Revolution, the war itself, the establishment of the new republic and finally, the writing and ratification of the American Constitution.

• A Gardening Pot Pourri, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sue Morton and Leo Langer, instructors. Gardening tips for the beginner and the expert. This class will cover a variety of topics including seed starting, weeds, fruit trees, lawns, fertilizers, Zone 4, watering, pests, garden myths, vegetables, perennials and herbs. In addition, participants may also request a topic.

• Marshall: Who Were We? Who are we Becoming?, 2-4 p.m., Harry Weilage, instructor. Various community and regional leaders (Mayor Byrnes, Cal Brink, Marshall High School Superintendent Scott Monson and others) will present an inside-out look at Marshall's plan to sustain our quality of life. Rural leadership, community partnerships and a focus on regionalism will highlight this seminar on rural issues. The new gold standard for which communities are judged is their appeal to young families. What does it take to attract them? What happens if a community doesn't?


• Wood Carving, 9-11 a.m., Don Fischer, instructor. This session we will be carving a small version of an old world Santa. It could easily be adapted into a wizard or whatever a participant can conjure up. The finished carving will be about five inches tall. A carving knife and safety glove will be needed. Cost of the cut-out basswood carving blank will be $10. This class is for all skill levels.

• Spice Up Your Life, 9-11 a.m., Rachelle Deutz – registered dietitian, instructor. Learn how to boost your flavor and increase the nutritional value in your meals. Learn about the many different spices and herbs used around the world. In this class, we will explore fun and interesting spice combinations, learn about the variety of health benefits herbs and spices offer, and prepare a different dish of 4-6 servings each week to take home and enjoy (Mexican, Asian, Italian, etc.). Cost is $60.

• The American West, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Dr. Lloyd Petersen, instructor. We will examine the western frontier from the Pony Express to the gunslingers, from the settlers to the cowboys. We will talk about the bank robbing outlaws and buckaroos. This is a class where we can learn together, so put on your 10-gallon hat and your cowboy boots and join us for a trip back to the days of the old west. SS 235.

• Exploring Color Through Glazing (Acrylic), 2-4 p.m., Allen Ness, instructor. Students will paint two versions of the same picture, one using a limited palette of color and the other done in earth tones. Painters will gain a newfound confidence in their abilities to mix colors, intimate familiarity with the color wheel and knowledge of the Renaissance methods of glazing. Materials required: two mats, student's set of acrylic paint, acrylic gel medium (matte is recommended), assorted brushes and a palette or suitable platform for mixing paints, available at Walmart.


• Current Events, 9-11 a.m., Gary Grabau, instructor. A thoughtful and provocative discussion to those interested in world, national and regional events. Each session will begin with an analysis of events and issues followed by a robust exploration of all sides of the subject.

• Topics in Music: A Brief History of Art Song, 9-11 a.m., Anna DeGraff, instructor. Opera may grab the headlines with its high drama, glitz and glamour, but over the last few centuries, your favorite composers have used the powerful intimacy of art song to set the words of inspiring poets. This course will examine some of the most famous arts songs (16th C. to the present) through both historical and interpretive lenses through lecture, discussion and active listening.

• ‘Cut the Clutter’ – Organizing Made Fun, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Angela Fahl, instructor. Tackling your de-cluttering and organizing dilemmas will help simplify your life and reduce stress. Learn how to get rid of the stuff you ‘just don’t need’ and make your home spaces work best for you.

• The Greatest Trials, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., multiple instructors. Enjoy a diverse and interesting presentation of the “Greatest Trials.” Each week you will hear from a different SMSU professor, and look at the historical context and lasting impact of some of the greatest trials in Western History. Maureen Sanders – Trial of Socrates; Tony Amato – Galileo; Tom Williford – Dreyfus Trial; Brett Gaul – Leopold and Loeb and Joan Gittens – Salem Witch Trials and the Emmett Till case.

• Cultural Intelligence, 2-4 p.m., Michael Kurowski, instructor. Learn about ‘Cultural Intelligence’ and expand your cultural knowledge. Meet some of the SMSU international students, learn the differences between our socially accepted behaviors and expand your respect for their cultures. Have you ever met someone from another country and wondered what is different about them? Have you ever wondered why when you waved at people or nodded your head, they looked at you as if you were crazy? What other cross-cultural differences are there?

• Our World – Intro to Geography, 2-4 p.m., Tony Amato, instructor. We will view how the earth tolerates modern man. Study the interrelationship of natural and human phenomena on the earth’s surface. Recognize the global patterns of interactions among population, climate, landforms, environmental changes and economic shifts.