Dr. Mary Hrenchir to present Sept. 28 Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sept. 24, 2010) — Dr. Mary Hrenchir, associate professor of history at Bemidji State University, will discuss wealth,  poverty and class structures in Latin American countries as part of the University’s Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture series.

The lecture, one of eight sponsored by the University’s Optivation venture, will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 10-11:30 a.m. at Optivation’s 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. facility.

While poverty in Latin America is widespread, most nations there have seen slow, but small, improvements in overall quality of life in recent years. Even with recent progress, there remains a sizeable gap between the Latin American states which reflect strong, middle-class economies, high literacy rates, professional working classes and stable governments, and those that do not.

The region has typically attracted more foreign investment than Africa or Asia but this has tended to make countries reliant on unstable short-term North American speculative foreign investment. Combined with expensive, high interest rate aid loans, escaping poverty has been difficult for many Latin American governments.

Hrenchir’s lecture will explore the discrepancies between rich and poor, both within and among the various Latin American states.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning was formerly known as the Academy of Lifelong Learning. The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously over the summer to transition the branding of the organization away from a formal classroom experience to reflect a less intimidating adult learning style.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning is organized exclusively to provide opportunities for continuing education in the Bemidji area. The program intends to help participants improve critical thinking skills and to appreciate the diversity of human experience through varied and lively discussions.

Fall 2010 Adventures in Lifelong Learning upcoming schedule:
Sept. 28: “An Introduction to Latin America: Wealth, Poverty, Class,” Dr. M.J. Hrenchir, professor of history, Bemidji State University.
Oct. 5: “Providers Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment: Filling a Gap in the End of Life Care for Patients and Health Care Professionals,” Dr. Bill Dicks, Sanford Clinic, and Mark Papke-Larson, chaplain, North Country Health Services.
Oct. 12: “Glacial Geology of North-Central Minnesota,” Bob Melchoir, professor emeritus of geology, Bemidji State University.
Oct. 14-15: Adventures in Lifelong Learning Fall Conference.
Oct. 19: “Nature Photography: An Excuse to Travel,” Cal Rice, owner, Rice Photography.
Oct. 26: “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Preserving Our Heritage,” Wanda Hoyum, executive director, Beltrami County Historical Society.
Nov. 2: “How Scary Are Dragons: China’s Reemergence as a World Power,” Robert Ley, professor of economics, Bemidji State University.
Nov. 9: “Coming Home: Veterans in History,” J. Thomas Murphy, professor of history, Bemidji State University.

For more information, contact Optivation at (218) 755-4900 or optivation@bemidjistate.edu.

About Optivation

Optivation is an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College designed to increase collaboration between the University, the college, and the business and technology sectors of the northwest Minnesota region. Staffed by veteran business and entrepreneurial professionals, Optivation delivers targeted training and education systems to help organizations succeed in a changing world. Through its affiliations with the University and the technical college, Optivation is able to tap into an unparalleled network of people and technology across the state of Minnesota.

For more information, visit Optivation at http://www.optivation.org.