Two SUNY Oswego professors, a former mayor of Oswego and a Central Square teacher are among presenters ready to offer their wisdom this July to learners ages 50 and over in Lifelong Learning courses in mass media, creative writing, American politics, digital photography, painting and drawing, and mind, body and health.

SUNY Oswego's Lifelong Learning program will launch as a pilot this summer on campus in a pair of Monday-through-Thursday sessions, coordinated by the college's Office of Business and Community Relations (OBCR).

"It's never too late for older adults to participate on campus," said Erin Dorsey, project support specialist with OBCR. "Studies show that engaging in learning activities has positive emotional, mental and physical benefits."

Session 1, July 22 to 25, will feature three choices for lifetime learners: "Mind, Body and Health," "American Politics" and "Digital Photography." The choices for Session 2, July 29 to Aug. 1, are "Creative Writing," "Mass Media" and "Painting & Drawing." Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, with 1.5 hours for the included lunch, starting each noon.

For participants from out of town, housing is available in Sheldon Hall for each of those sessions starting Sunday, July 21, and Sunday, July 28, respectively.

Early-bird pricing -- $150 per course -- ends June 1; the price is $199 thereafter. There may be an extra cost for materials, and participants in "Digital Photography" must have their own camera. Registration is available online.

Classes will meet in buildings across campus, and opportunities for discussion and projects outdoors should be plentiful, Dorsey said.

Accomplished presenters

* John T. Sullivan Jr., an attorney, columnist, author and former mayor of Oswego, will present "American Politics" (Session 1). The graduate of SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University College of Law formerly served as co-chair of the state Democratic Committee and as an assistant state attorney general.

"American Politics" will include an overview of national government, the political party system and how to change and adapt to change; New York government and politics, and how Albany affects residents' daily lives; local politics and how it works and doesn't work, leadership do's and don'ts, and how to make a difference at the local level; as well as how social media has changed the game.

* Eileen Gilligan, associate professor of communication studies at SUNY Oswego, "Mass Media and Politics" (Session 2). A faculty member in the journalism program since 2005, Gilligan was political and statehouse reporter in Delaware before earning her doctorate at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies community journalism, the sociology of news and how audiences process media.

The course will study and discuss how media organizations operate, how they cover politics at the national and local levels, and what effects media may have on politics, voters and society. The course also will feature guest speakers from both media and politics.

* Lorelei Lacey, a high school art teacher in Central Square for 20 years, will present "Digital Photography" (Session 1) and "Painting and Drawing" (Session 2). Lacey is versatile in those disciplines, as well as in digital arts, metal-smithing and ceramics.

"Digital Photography" will cover how to get the most out of the photos people take every day, including tips and tricks to strengthen composition, using natural light to the fullest, inspiring ways to capture memories and using a photo editing program.

"Painting & Drawing" will explore a variety of two-dimensional media in studying nature and topics of each student's choosing. Participants will try their hand at charcoal, pastels, printmaking and paint as they learn about color mixing and composition -- leaving the week with several pieces of art ready for framing.

* Linda Loomis, who has taught creative writing courses at SUNY Oswego since retiring as an associate professor of communication studies at the college, will present "Creative Writing" (Session 2). A published essayist and poet in literary journals, she writes about the arts for Post-Standard and continues conversations about the writing craft by facilitating workshops through the Syracuse Downtown Writers Center and in other settings. 

"Creative Writing" will address how to narrow a topic, organize material, revise and present memories, focusing on gems of personal experiences to pass on to others. Readings will include brief published memoirs and poetry.

* Mind, Body & Health" (Session 1; presenter to be announced) will offer a variety of mentally and physically enriching classes. As with other Lifelong Learning courses, this is an opportunity for older adults to engage in activities that will stimulate the brain, enhance the quality of life and promote overall health and wellness.

Participants are asked to register as soon as possible on the Lifelong Learning website. For more information, call the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations at 315-312-3492 or email