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Shepherd’s Café Society offers a semester of dialogue

ISSUED: 27 August 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University students and members of the community are encouraged to participate in weekly discussions sponsored by the Lifelong Learning Program during this semester’s Café Society, which begins September 9 in the Student Center.

The discussions, which are facilitated by Mike Austin and Art Wineburg, provide a venue for students to talk with members of the Shepherdstown community. Each week Austin and Wineburg will lead a discussion about a contemporary social or political issue, with a goal of maintaining open dialogue and a thorough understanding of that issue.

Austin said another objective of the Café Society is to give college students, as they embark on their careers, the opportunity to network with community members. Austin, for example, is a retired naval officer who also served as international disaster coordinator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We have experience in our own profession we think could help them at least look at a wider range of options,” he said. “In my case I was a naval officer but I was working in the diplomatic area and I think we underplay the opportunities for students from smaller universities to go into foreign affairs.”

The Café Society discussion group is one of many courses by Lifelong Learning, a volunteer member-driven program offered at both the Shepherdstown and Martinsburg campuses.

The Café Society discussions are free and open to the public. They will take place in the Rumsey Room in the Student Center every Tuesday from 8:30-10 a.m. for eight weeks, beginning on September 9.

The first discussion topic will be “What can we do to ameliorate and responsibly deal with obesity? How can our local, state and national governments and members of our community contribute to the eradication of the obesity epidemic?”

For more information about the Café Society and the Lifelong Learning Program visit or contact Karen Rice at 304-876-5135 or at

Audio is available HERE.

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