The Ever Scholar program is a series of free courses designed to engage and connect lifelong learners in the greater Kingston community and beyond by providing an enriching and accessible learning experience.
Developed by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with subject-matter experts, the interactive courses are taught by qualified instructors who care deeply about sharing their knowledge and expertise with the community. Designed as a lifelong-learning program for all ages, Ever Scholar provides opportunities to explore topics in art, science, and the humanities.
While there is no cost to attend Ever Scholar programs, a voluntary donation to the Ever Scholar Fund is strongly encouraged in lieu of payment. With your support, we can continue to enrich our community by ensuring this program remains free and accessible to lifelong learners.
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Spring 2024 Programs
Learning the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
April 3, 10, 17, 24
5 - 7 pm
This course is designed to provide a foundation and introductory understanding of The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals cover a wide range of sustainability issues; highlighting local, national, and international priority areas to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, make cities more sustainable and combat climate change.
With over 17 years as an educator, Sarrah Beemer (she/her) is the K-12+ Equity and Inclusion Lead for the Upper Grand District School Board. Sarrah is also a contract teaching faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University and an Additional Qualifications Instructor with Queen’s University. Prior to these roles, Sarrah worked at a rural high school teaching Special Education, English, and Indigenous Studies.
Her focus is on integrating inclusivity into the curriculum, by utilizing her background by incorporating diverse perspectives. Much of her classroom experience was influenced by time spent as the department head of Special Education. She believes that the holistic wellness of each student is integral to learning and a life well-lived. For that reason, she also supports student mental health with her social work training and models a healthy lifestyle, fostering a love of fitness, yoga, and meditation for her own wellness.
Sarrah is an avid traveler and enjoys spending time with her husband, her two dogs, and the rest of her family. Sarrah loves being active and is a keen reader. She has a lifelong passion for leading educational change.
An Introduction to Architecture
April 9, 16, 23, 30
5 - 7 pm
This survey course is designed to provide participants with a general overview of architecture as a blend of artistic expression infused into purposeful design and construction. Using photographic visuals and informative details, this engaging series will explore the fundamental concepts and purposes of architecture, the various types of architecture across the ages, and features some of the most acclaimed architects of our times. Presentations will also include opportunities for discussions and collaborative learning.
A former travel professional and current school administrator, Paolo Fietta (he/him) is a self-taught architectural aficionado who is passionate about architectural history, travel, and photography. He is particularly fascinated by the role that architecture plays in society and in our individual lives, and how architecture impacts us as a formidable blend of practical building techniques, spatial organization, and aesthetic presentation. He looks forward to the sharing of images, concepts, and experiences that make an appreciation of architecture such an engaging pursuit.
The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement
April 22, 29, May 6, 13
5 - 7 pm
Recent advances in biomedical knowledge and innovation- such as sequencing of the human genome, gene therapy and genome editing, the biology of aging, behavioural genetics, etc.- raise the prospect that science could be utilized to “enhance” our biology rather than simply search for treatments for specific diseases. In his book Beyond Humanity? (Oxford University Press, 2011) the philosopher Allen Buchanan defines biomedical enhancement as “a deliberate intervention, applying biomedical science, which aims to improve an existing capacity that most or all normal human beings typically have, or to create a new capacity, by acting directly on the body or brain”. This course will introduce students to both the science and ethics of biomedical enhancement, covering a range of topics like eugenics, genetics, the therapy/enhancement distinction, procreative liberty, aging, and memory modification.
Colin Farrelly (he/him) is the Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and is cross appointed with Philosophy. He has held academic appointments at universities in England, Scotland, the United States, Türkiye, and Canada. Recent publications include two books on the ethics of the genetic revolution and a series of journal articles on the science of aging in venues like the British Medical Journal, The Journals of Gerontology, Aging Cell, Royal Society Open Science, and the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Colin is also the organizer of the local Philosophy Meetup (Kingston), which brings local residents into pubs and parks to discuss philosophical topics in ethics, science, politics, and psychology.