The Graduate School of The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus calls its upcoming first-time lecture series the “Mini- School for the Humanities,” but there’s nothing “mini” about it.

The CU Denver Mini-School offers huge learning opportunities, with weekly talks on eight diverse humanities topics. In addition to university students, faculty and staff, the series is open to the public and learners of all ages. Even better, it’s FREE.

The Mini-School will be held eight straight Wednesdays, starting Oct. 2 and continuing through Nov. 20 in the North Classroom building on the Auraria Campus. Topics include “Getting Past the Illusion of Self-Made Success,” “Spanglish and Shifting Borders in the U.S.,” and “Storytelling: Finding Fiction and Writing from Real Life.”

Learners of all ages invited

Inge Wefes, PhD, associate dean of the CU Denver | Anschutz Graduate School, is the Mini-School’s organizer. Because of the diverse audience that’s expected to attend, and based on the potential impact the Mini-School will have, she describes the lecture series as a Graduate School service.

“The Mini-School for the Humanities will provide a unique opportunity for high school and even middle school students as well as undergraduates and adults in the community to learn about various disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” Wefes said. “Audience members will meet University of Colorado Denver world-class faculty who are experts in the humanities.”

Beyond Mini-STEM School

Wefes also was instrumental in organizing last winter’s highly-successful inaugural Mini-STEM school, which spanned eight weeks and focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

At a time when STEM is being stressed in education, Wefes says it’s important to understand and embrace the humanities and social sciences as an essential part of a well-rounded education.

“Take ‘nature’ for example,” she explained, “it can be studied just as intensely in the humanities as in STEM disciplines, and everyone will benefit from looking at things from a different angle. Our complex world requires decisions be made on technical, artistic, inter-relational, political and ethical grounds.”

Earn a certificate

This series is an attempt to address that complex world, to expand minds, entertain and to educate community members. Pick one session or attend all eight. Everyone who attends at least six of the eight sessions will receive a Certificate of Participation. The talks are free, but space in limited. Attendees are encouraged to register online.

And if you’re already planning for your winter learning opportunities, the Mini-STEM School will be back. Those eight high-powered educational weeks begin on Jan. 29, 2014.

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