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Flagler College’s Lifelong Learning Course Topics Include Current Events

Aug 29, 2022
by Amanda Bentham

Flagler College’s non-degree seeking Lifelong Learning Courses provide the greater St. Augustine community with a dynamic and engaging environment where they can learn and grow together. Spanning important global and local topics, these courses are designed to be intriguing and stimulating for adult learners.

Adjunct professor of history, Dr. Alex Cummins taught a special course “Russia & Ukraine” this past summer.  Cummins focused on Vladimir Putin’s justification for the invasion of Ukraine that occurred on Feb. 21, 2022 and explored why Ukrainians tend to be more oriented toward Europe than Russia.

“Putin used history to justify his actions,” Cummins said. “He claimed that Ukraine had always been an integral part of Russia, even emphasizing that the Russians laid the foundations of the Kievan Rus state in the ninth century. As they called themselves, the Great Russians, only learned about their link to Kievan Rus in the sixteenth century, using this knowledge to justify warfare against Poland.”

Cummins also covers content on the occupation and control of Ukrainian lands by the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom from the 14th through 18th centuries. He further explained that Prussia, Austria, and Russia partitioned the Polish state. While Austria assumed control of Western Ukraine, Russia controlled Eastern Ukraine.Ukraine Russia Lifelong Learning Class

“In an age of conspiracy theories, propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation, this course enables educated adults to ascertain accurate facts and substantive interpretations,” Cummins said. Educated adults can achieve their goals in an adult-learning environment in a limited amount of time, namely, six weekly sessions at 90-minutes each.”

While this course was only available in the summer, it represents the various Lifelong Learning courses Flagler is developing with local and community experts. This course aims to raise awareness of what’s happening in current events and allows the community to better understand each topic.

“Dr. Cummins’ Russia and Ukraine course generated so much interest that we added a second section in Summer B,” said Dr. Jeanette Vigliotti, associate director of lifelong learning and contract training. I think the Russia and Ukraine course demonstrates our commitment to offering courses relevant to current events.”

Lifelong Learning courses are available to members of St. Augustine and surrounding communities to immerse themselves in educational sessions. Those interested in gaining a new skill or attaining advanced knowledge on recent world events will have ample opportunity to learn from passionate instructors eager to share their expertise.

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