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Wilmington Institute for Lifelong Learning


With W.I.L.L., Wilmington College began a new outreach to the community in the spring of 2010. We are dedicated to providing challenging seminars for those 40 and older in the greater Wilmington area. Our objective is to lead all who wish to join us to new ideas, possibly to new experiences, and to pleasure in the pursuit of continued, shared learning.

W.I.L.L. Seminars 

The seminars meet once a week for 1 to 2 hours. Some meet for two weeks, some for four weeks, some for six weeks, and some for eight weeks as each instructor wishes. There are no educational requirements, no tests and no grades for the seminars. Topics vary from the arts to the sciences to use of computers, quilting, film, and photography. Our objective is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas to promote the joy of learning. Participants are encouraged to keep up with any assigned readings and to contribute to seminar discussions.

Register Online 2019 Course Catalog

Margaret Guentert

Wilmington College remembers Margaret Guentert, founding director of the WILL program, who died unexpectedly in May 2019. A member of the English faculty beginning in 1997 and the director of the Honors Program for several years, she retired as an assistant professor of English in 2009. Less than a year later, she established the Wilmington Institute for Lifelong Learning, in which she coordinated the offering of 20 or so adult seminars in both the fall and spring terms through fall 2018. Margaret is fondly remembered for her passion for education and belief that learning is a lifelong endeavor.

Fall 2019 Course Offerings

  • Behind the Headlines
  • Computer Literacy for Beginners
  • Drawing 1
  • English Gardens
  • Essentrics Classical Stretch: Apprentice Class
  • Furniture Restoration
  • Genealogy
  • How to Talk to Your Doctor About Planning for the Unknown
  • International Home Cooking
  • Introduction to Equine & Horsemanship
  • Knitting Basics
  • Mankind’s Destructive Alteration of our Environment
  • Memory Flower Bead Making
  • Personal Financial Strategy
  • Quilt Tops 101
  • Stained Glass
  • Tai Chi
  • The Delights of Grammar, Punctuation and Usage
  • Upholstery 101
  • Weight Lifting & Strength Training
  • Wine Tasting

Course Information

Behind the Headlines | Thursdays, 10/17 – 11/7 | 2-3 p.m.

Center for Science & Agriculture, Room 316

A behind the scenes look at voting in the 2020 midterm elections, explore issues, subjects and controversies drawn from the daily news. Explore how political agendas, self-interest and vendettas impact what we are told by our elected leaders and the mainstream media. Prepare for lively conversations about how these unseen forces shape the laws under which we live and work. Class size limit – 30

Instructor: Sam Stratman

Sam will be teaching Behind the Headlines. Sam has been a Wilmington College adjunct professor for many years teaching classes on Public Policy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Cincinnati and his Masters of Education from Wilmington College in 2010. Sam lived and worked in Washington D.C. for more than 25 years where he worked for the House of Representatives. He retired from that position in 2012.

Computer Literacy for Beginners | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Robinson Communication Center, Computer Lab 101A

Participants in this course will gain a basic understanding of desktop and laptop computers. The class will be structured in a way that someone with very little to no understanding of computers can begin to become more comfortable with them. Topics covered will include identifying the components of the computer, powering on and off, navigating the operating system, programs and applications, accessing the internet and using email. Class size limit – 15

Instructor: Ashleigh Wellman

Ashleigh is the associate director of digital marketing for Wilmington College. She is fluent in both Windows and Macintosh and uses both every day for both work and fun. She is from eastern Kentucky and graduated from Morehead State University in 2010 (BA in Art) and 2013 (Master of Public Administration). Ashleigh has seven cats and four dogs and lives in Wilmington with her husband whom she calls “Wellman”.

Drawing 1 | Wednesdays, 9/18 – 11/6 | 1-4 p.m.

Wilmington College Department of Art (1594 Fife Avenue, Wilmington)

The drawing seminar is a studio class. Participants will explore drawing with line, values, and texture through observation skills. Students will increase their knowledge of compositions and drawing techniques. Class size limit – 15

Participants are asked to bring drawing pencils (#2, 2B, and 4B), an extra fine Sharpie black marker, a stump (blending tool), an eraser, a kneaded eraser, and a sketch pad. All of these materials can be purchased in the college bookstore.

Instructor: Linda Stanforth

Linda has been a practicing artist for many years. She has had the pleasure of teaching art in kindergarten through high school, as well as at the college level. She loves to share her passion for art with others.

English Gardens | 9/20 OR 10/4 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

6599 Old US Route 35 East, Jamestown (participants will meet at the Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, 840 Timber Glen Drive, at 9 a.m. for pick up and will be transported to and from the session)

What is an English Garden? Why are they considered to be the quintessential gardens? Can you grow an English Garden in Ohio? Join us to learn about these gardens. This seminar will include a lecture as well as a tour through the gardens. Lunch will follow the tour and is included in the cost. Class size limit – 12

For more information about the Gardens please visit This website will also provide you with a map and directions if needed.

Instructor: Craig Jaynes

Craig is the gardener at English Garden Farm outside of Jamestown. He began the garden over a decade ago. He has led four different garden tours to England and he established the first English-style garden open to the public in Columbus at Christ Church, Anglican prior to the Ameriflora International Garden Show 1992.

Essentrics Classical Stretch: Apprentice Class | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 5:15-6:30 p.m.

Robinson Communication Center, Student Success Lounge (Room 114)

A dynamic, full-body workout suitable for all fitness levels that simultaneously combines stretching and strengthening with some zero impact aerobics. The class will increase flexibility and mobility for a healthy, toned, and pain-free body. Unlock joints, improve posture, and rebalance your body. Comfortable clothes for stretching recommended, yoga mat and towel optional. We will exercise in bare feet. Class size limit – 10

Instructor: Michele Beery

Michele will be teaching two classes for the W.I.L.L. program this session: Essentrics Classical Stretch: Apprentice Class and Memory Flower Bead Making. Michele is an early childhood educator (kindergarten/preschool teacher), Wilmington College Emeritus faculty member and granny. She is a crafter whose best projects are “something from nothing”. She is a lifelong learner and attributes this thankfully to the loving encouragement of her husband, Fred. Michele has been a fan of Classical Stretch on PBS for the past two decades and accredits this with pulling her from the brink of immobilizing arthritis – twice. Michele is now training to become an Essentrics instructor to share the good news that we are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Furniture Restoration | Tuesdays, 9/17 – 10/29 | 4-5 p.m.

71 Rita Place, Wilmington

These classes will offer the opportunity to explore the art of reworking and refinishing a piece of furniture to its original condition, as well as being usable again. The first session will be an introduction showing examples from the instructors own refinishing endeavors. This will allow participants to get ideas of what they can accomplish during the course of the class. Class size limit – 5

After the second session, participants will be asked to bring an item they wish to work on with them to class. Due to the cost of the materials, participants will be required to pay an additional $20 beyond the WILL program fee. Fees will be payable to Lee Silverstrim.

Instructor: Lee Silverstrim

Lee is a retired P&G manager who has been reworking furniture since he was ten. He calls his works “Resurrection Works” because of his ability to see possibilities in pieces of furniture that would likely be in the burn pile. He loves to help others see the possibilities for new life and function to these pieces.

Genealogy | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Clinton County History Center (149 E. Locust Street, Wilmington) (parking in rear)

Proper documentation and sources using records available is important in any geological search. Many avenues are available to the researcher, but proper documentation is key. Participants in this seminar will examine resources/records available in Clinton County, determine where records are located, how to access them and the kinds of information to be found. Techniques learned in this seminar will apply in other countries and states. Forms relevant to the class of the day will be provided. Use of the internet is increasingly important to researchers. Digital records will be emphasized and information for accessing them will be provided. If you have a laptop computer, please bring it to class on the days we are using computers. Class size limit – 8

Instructor 1: Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth is a Wilmington College Alum. She is a retired history teacher who for 40 years has extensively researched her own family genealogy and has assisted others in their research of records. She has transcribed and published several types of records of Clinton County and has made them more user friendly. Presently she is a part-time researcher for the Genealogy Society and continues as a volunteer to transcribe more records.

Instructor 2: Leslie Holmes

Leslie is a graduate of Hanover College in Indiana. She is a retired teacher and history and genealogy have always been her passion. Leslie had successfully completed all three courses of DAR, Genealogy Educational Program. She is currently a past Registrar for the George Clinton Chapter of the DAR. She also compiles and publishes the newsletter for our Genealogy Society.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Planning for the Unknown | 9/27 OR 10/11 | 3-5 p.m.

Center for Science & Agriculture, Room 315

This seminar is taught as a one day session. It is intended to be a practical guide on how to have conversations with medical personnel.

Part one will equip participants with the basic knowledge required to intelligently communicate with their physician and other medical professionals without feeling inferior. Of primary importance will be a focus on what questions to ask and how to determine if the provider is actually listening to you. A brief survey on medical research and how to read research conclusions and determine content validity as well as how to use the internet will be included.

Part two will introduce the Ohio approved documents of Living Wills and Power of Attorney for Health Care. You will also learn about making advance directive decisions and how to be sure that the patient’s wishes are honored.

Please note: this class will NOT answer patient-specific medical questions and it will NOT deal with personal estate planning. Legal advice is not offered but assistance in filling out documents will be provided as needed.

Class size limit – 15

Instructor: Craig Jaynes

Craig is an RN and Certified Hospice/Palliative Care Nurse. He has previously held positions at Miami Valley Hospital (Cardiac Care) and Greene Memorial Hospital (general medical/surgical care). Craig is exceptionally well versed on communicating with medical professionals.

International Home Cooking | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 2-5 p.m.

Center for Science & Agriculture, Room 302

This cooking seminar will be a demonstration session with each of the eight weeks focusing on a different country. Participants will go home each week with the recipes that have been presented in the class. Class size limit – 10

Due to the cost of ingredients, participants will be asked to pay an additional $20 beyond the WILL fee. This fee can be paid to the course instructor during the first class.

Instructor: Norma Duran

Norma is originally from Bolivia. Before coming to Wilmington, she lived on four different continents and traveled extensively. Norma is an excellent cook and has been teaching International Home Cooking for the W.I.L.L program for many years.

Introduction to Equine & Horsemanship | Wednesdays, 9/18 – 11/6 | 3-5 p.m.

Equine Center (1535 Fife Avenue, Wilmington)

The first part of the course (Intro to Equine) introduces students to the basics of equine care, handling, behavior and management with an emphasis on safety. Basic equine health, identification and equine anatomy will also be covered. Discussion and application of handling (haltering, catching, leading and holding horses), behavior, management practices, anatomy and identification will occur in both the classroom and laboratory settings.

The second part of the course (Intro to Horsemanship)begins October 16 and introduces the beginner/non-rider to the basics of horsemanship and safety around horses. The student will learn to handle the horse on the ground, saddle, groom, bridle, mount/dismount, walk, jog/trot, stop, back and turn a horse. Additionally the student will learn to identify gaits of the horse, tack and horse anatomy as it applies to riding. Application of all elements will occur in a “hands on” setting. This course will take place at the Equine Center for all meeting times. Class size limit – 8

An additional fee of $100 is charged for this class enabling us to have the horses and tack available at the Equine Center that will be used by the class participants.

Instructor: Katie Finkes-Turner

Katie Finkes-Turner joined Wilmington College in 2017, as the Equine Center Manager and Riding Instructor/IHSA Team Coach. Katie has lived locally for the majority of her life, helping manage her family farm (Finch Creek Farm of Xenia, OH), working in and managing local equine facilities, and most recently teaching Agriculture and Equine Science and Managing the Equine Program at Greene County Career Center along with being an FFA Advisor there. Katie attended Morehead State University where she studied Agriculture and Equine Science and rode on the IHSA riding team, Antioch University Midwest where she received her Bachelor’s in Business Management and the Ohio State University where she completed masters’ coursework for her Educational Licensure.

Before entering the educational realm of the Agriculture and Equine worlds, Katie gained considerable experience working in a variety of horse barns ranging for Thoroughbred racehorses, to World Champion Friesians. She has managed traveling show barns, been a professional groom, and has shown and trained in a variety of disciplines. In having such a broad and diverse industry education, Katie brings a wealth of both practical equine knowledge and training/coaching techniques to her classes and riding team at Wilmington College.

Knitting Basics | Fridays, 9/120 – 11/8 | 4-5:30 p.m.

Kelly Center, Room 10

Participants will learn the basics of knitting, hands-on. The project you will be undertaking could easily be completed within the first six weeks of the class – after your initial project is complete you can continue in the class for the remainder of sessions and begin another project. Class size limit – 10

Required Materials:

1 set of Size 8, 16” Circular Needles (we will be making a hat as your first project)

2 skeins of worsted weight yarn (please purchase something that feels good to your touch)

Instructor: Peggy Irwin-Eades

Peggy is a lifelong resident of Clinton County. She is the proud mother of Katherine, Jacob, Paris and Tristen and wife of Ray Eades. Peggy picked up a set of knitting needles in September of 2005 and she has been knitting ever since. Peggy writes patterns, and designs and creates custom original pieces for individuals and small farms. Peggy owns seven looms; she spins yarn, does wet and needle felt. Peggy has been teaching knitting to children and adults for many years.

Mankind’s Destructive Alteration of our Environment | Wednesdays, 10/2 – 10/30 | 1-2 p.m.

175 Cape May Drive, Wilmington

The earth’s climate for some time is becoming more unstable and warmer, resulting in serious and destructive disasters that threaten human life, as well as civilization itself. Consequently understanding of these phenomena is becoming more imperative to all of humankind. Class size limit – 15

Instructor: Dr. James Ramsey

James is an Emeritus professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Dayton. James has published numerous research papers from his research laboratory, he has also written a medical textbook on stress and disease in 1982.

Memory Flower Bead Making | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 3-4 p.m.

Kelly Center, Room 10

Participants will learn how to preserve memories by drying and incorporating crushed flower petals into polymer clay beads. This will be suitable for wedding flowers and any other special occasion, but especially popular for funeral flowers. Participants will be making at least one bracelet. Class size limit – 10

Please bring with you a few dried flowers to first class if you have them. (Food dehydrator is best but flowers hung upside down to dry work too.) Plan to spend around $10 for supplies between the first and second classes: clay, clay sealer, filler beads, elastic thread, etc.

Instructor: Michele Beery

Michele will be teaching two classes for the W.I.L.L. program this session: Essentrics Classical Stretch: Apprentice Class and Memory Flower Bead Making. Michele is an early childhood educator (kindergarten/preschool teacher), Wilmington College Emeritus faculty member and granny. She is a crafter whose best projects are “something from nothing”. She is a lifelong learner and attributes this thankfully to the loving encouragement of her husband, Fred. Michele has been a fan of Classical Stretch on PBS for the past two decades and accredits this with pulling her from the brink of immobilizing arthritis – twice. Michele is now training to become an Essentrics instructor to share the good news that we are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Personal Financial Strategy | Tuesdays, 9/17 – 11/5 | 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Center for Science & Agriculture, Room 316

This course will study the foundations of personal financial management, learning how to develop a personal financial plan and manage money for retirement. Topics include budgeting, debt, credit scores, banking, major purchases (such as a car or a house), insurance, retirement planning, taxes, and asset building. The primary goal will be to learn how to save money in an effective manner. Class size limit – 15

Instructor: Tim Burgoyne

Tim, Assistant Professor of Management, regularly teaches Introduction to Management and Human Resource Management but he has also taught more than twenty different courses on business-related topics for various colleges starting in 2007. Tim’s professional work experience consists primarily of six years’ experience as a business manager/analyst in international logistics for American Standard. In this capacity, he was responsible for strategic development, contract management/negotiations and analytics of global trade lanes. Additionally, Tim spent four years in management at Staples in the New York City Area. Over the past 10 years, Tim has taught financial seminars, public speaking events on money management, credit classes for various colleges in financial literacy/personal economics, and has taught the Dave Ramsey Cash Management program.

Quilt Tops 101 | Thursdays, 9/19 – 11/7 | 5-8 p.m.

Kelly Center, Room 10

Participants will learn hands-on how to piece a quilt top as well as tips on how to work with no-pattern-needed quilt tops. Each participant will complete a project to their own desired size. Class size limit – 10

Materials you will need for this class include a sewing machine (portable is best), fabric, thread, bobbins, cutting mat, rotary cutter, and a ruler.

Instructor: Rita Cioppettini

Rita is a ten-year member and officer of the Clinton County Quilt Association. The guild welcomes this opportunity to introduce others to the local community of quilters.

Stained Glass | Fridays, 9/20 – 10/11 | 2-5 p.m.

The South Street Gallery (39 N. South Street, Wilmington)

Explore the ancient and beautiful art form of stained glass as you create your own masterpiece. This one-on-one training is hands-on and incorporates both traditional and modern techniques. You will learn to cut the glass safely and successfully while learning methods of construction including Tiffany, Lead and Zinc Came. Class size limit – 6

Due to the cost of the materials, participants will be asked to pay an additional $100 beyond the WILL fee. This fee can be paid to the course instructor on the first day of class.

Instructor: John W. Schum

John owns the South Street Gallery and is the Director of the Wilmington Community Arts Collaborative. He serves the City of Wilmington as a member of the Design Review Board. The stained-glass bug bit John almost 30 years ago. He loves the way light looks coming through stained glass at church. In his retirement, he gets to show people how to make stained glass.

Tai Chi | Wednesdays 9/18 – 11/6 OR Fridays 9/20 – 11/8 | 11 a.m. – Noon

Main Street Yoga (33 N. South Street, Wilmington)

Learn the internal benefits of Tai Chi, an ancient, slow meditative practice that creates tremendous health benefits. Tai Chi helps to improve your balance, reduce stress and increase your vitality. Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong develops and stimulates internal energy centers while helping to improve mobility and flexibility. Anyone can learn Tai Chi regardless of age, level of fitness, or flexibility. Class size limit – 15

Be sure to wear comfortable workout clothing and socks for each class.

Instructor: Bob Baylor

Bob has been studying Tai Chi for the last eleven years, which has enabled him to achieve higher levels of health and spiritual awareness. As he continues his journey of personal discovery and growth, he enjoys sharing his knowledge with others to help them improve their spirit, mind and body.

The Delights of Grammar, Punctuation and Usage | Wednesdays, 9/18 – 11/6 | 2-3:30 p.m.

Boyd Cultural Arts Center, Room 121

No Matter what you write, the quality of your work depends on the quality of your sentences. Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief of Random House, spends his life making other people’s sentences all they can be. We will study Dreyer’s (very entertaining) recent bestselling book, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, and apply his advice in writing exercises and to your works-in-progress. Class size limit – 15

Participants are asked to purchase a copy of Dreyer’s book before the first session. The book is available at bookstores or throughout our local independent online bookseller,

Instructor: Mary Thomas Watts

Mary is a resident of Wilmington. She was a writer for The Gary Burbank Show, 700 WLM-AM Cincinnati, until Gary’s retirement. A veteran journalist, her opinion pieces, articles, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, Including The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), The Dayton Daily News, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tn.) and The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)

Upholstery 101 | Thursdays 9/19 – 10/31 | 6-7:30

Kelly Center, Room 11

Learn the basics of upholstering furniture with Bradley Meddock. Class participants will bring a small piece of furniture (i.e. foot stool, ottoman, side chair, piano bench etc.) . This course is hands on – you will learn to remove the upholstery currently on the item, prepare your piece for the new upholstery, fabric folding techniques, stapling processes. Please wear comfortable work clothes. Class size limit – 8

Class participants are encouraged to bring the following:

Staple Lifter

Nail Lifter (claw hammer, small pry tool)

Needle Nose Pliers

You will need to transport your tools to and from class each week. The instructor will have an air compressor and pneumatic staple gun available for use. Your furniture project can remain in the locked classroom for the duration of the class. It is suggested that your project be a small piece of furniture, due to restricted space.

Class participants should expect to pay a SUPPLY fee directly to the instructor during the course of the class for: staples, Dacron, upholstery foam, cotton batting etc. This supply fee will be based on need and size of your project.

Instructor: Bradley Meddock

Bradley will be teaching basic upholstery techniques. Bradley is an elementary teacher with the Lynchburg Clay Local School District. Bradley is an alumnus of Wilmington College having received both his Bachelor degree and his Master’s degree in Education. Bradley has a year and a half of experience in upholstering furniture. He approaches the process with a creative eye and enjoys seeing the transformations new fabrics bring to old furniture.

Weight Lifting & Strength Training | Fridays 9/20 – 11/8 | 10-11 a.m.

Quaker Recreation Center, Group Fitness Room

This class is designed to help participants build strength, endurance and flexibility with the use of weights and various body weight exercises. Lifelong ailments can be accommodated through modifications. Class size limit – 10

Instructor: Paula Stewart

Paula is the Director of Wellness and Assistant Swimming Coach at Wilmington College. She holds certifications as a Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Spinning Instructor, Yoga through CEUs and is currently enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training course this summer (2019). Paula is a two-time Ironman finisher; she has been a previously sponsored athlete on SoBe Cannondale Mountain Bike Team, has summited Pikes Peak on three separate occasions and has also summited Mt. Evans (the highest paved road in the United States) by bicycle. Paula hopes to help you find an activity that you can enjoy while getting fit!

Wine Tasting | Thursdays 9/19 – 11/7 | 6-7 p.m.

The Wine Cellar (64 W. Main Street, Wilmington)

Participants will learn wine tasting techniques to enhance any future wine tasting experience. Each week participants will explore a glass of wine from a wide selection of international, national, or regional wines and learn how geography, soil, and climate affect each wine. Participants will learn to pair wines with foods in a relaxed atmosphere with a glass of wine and light paring during each weekly tasting. Class size limit – 10

The class will cost an additional $50 beyond the WILL fee. This fee will cover wine and parings throughout the course and is payable to the instructor on the first evening of class.

Instructor: Shari Rolston

Shari is a Clinton County native, former Administrative Assistant and is currently a Murphy Theatre Board member, City of Wilmington Design Review member, wine enthusiast, wine educator, hobby wine maker, art instructor and owner of South Street Wine Cellar.