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Professor Brings Grandparents University to
UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 5, 2009

Grandparents UniversityEAU CLAIRE — For five years Dr. Jeanie Geurink has enjoyed learning alongside her young granddaughter through Grandparents University at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This year, Geurink, an assistant professor of communication and journalism at UW-Eau Claire, is helping to bring the intergenerational learning experience to her own campus.

In June UW-Eau Claire's Grandparents University will offer classes for grandparents and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 12. The grandparents and grandchildren will together attend classes taught by university faculty.

Classes will run from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. June 20 at UW-Eau Claire.

"Grandparents University is a bonding experience for grandparents and grandchildren," Geurink said of the program's value. "It's something my granddaughter and I talk about all year. I just had to bring it here for UW-Eau Claire alumni to enjoy."

While the university hopes that many UW-Eau Claire alumni will participate in the program, Grandparents University will be open to all seniors and children in the community.

While the learning opportunity is being supported by the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association and UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education, students also have played an important part in organizing the event.

Geurink decided this would be an opportunity for students to learn about meeting and events planning so she designed a three-credit events planning course. Students in the class have helped plan the Grandparents University event, Geurink said, noting that students in the fall class planned for the Chippewa Valley School Press Conference.

As part of the class, students had to apply for one of 30 planning roles for the event, Geurink said. They had to do a class presentation and be hired by the other members of the class for their job, she said. The jobs have included designing promotional materials, a logo, T-shirts and posters; arranging for publicity and media coverage; and helping recruit and assist faculty and staff to teach the classes.

"The students continually amaze me with the work they are doing on this," Geurink said. "It's consistently outstanding."

For more information about the events planning class or Grandparents University, contact Dr. Jeanie Geurink, assistant professor of communication and journalism, at 715-836-5608 or e-mail jgeurink@uwec.edu.

To register for Grandparents University, call 715-836-3636 or 866-839-2423. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Marilyn Kanne for accommodations at 715-836-5811 or 800-582-5182, e-mail ce@uwec.edu, or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711).

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KH

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