Good Ideas Conference - 38th Annual
Tuesday-Thursday | January 10-12, 2023
UWSP Wausau Campus and Live Online!
Additional Interests, Adult Fine Arts, Lectures, Live Training and Classes, Retirement Learning, See Stevens Point Offerings, See Wausau Offerings
Tuesday-Thursday | January 10-12, 2023
UWSP Wausau Campus in-person or online!
You choose how to attend!


A University Experience for Adults! Join a group of adult lifelong learners for an enriching three-day conference.  A January thaw for your mind and spirit. 

Registration to open in the fall.

Recorded Classes

All class sessions will be recorded and available to view for one month after the date of posting. The recordings will be posted within 2 weeks of the end of the conference and will be accessible by anyone who registered for Good Ideas. This provides an opportunity for you to view all programs, so if there is more than one morning or afternoon class you are interested in, no need to worry! This is also a great opportunity for those who cannot attend the conference live due to prior commitments!

Zoom Basic Training Assistance

Join us for Zoom Basics Training where we will go over all the basic functionalities of Zoom and answer any questions you may have!

To get started, click here for our Zoom Tutorial Help page! For additional help, email

​Registration Information

​LIFE Membership Registration

​Program Information

 Daily Schedule

Conference Schedule for 2022

8:30-8:45 a.m.
​Coffee and Chat (Terrace Room)
​8:45-9 a.m.
Welcome and Announcements (Room 233)
​9-10 a.m.
​General Sessions (Room 233)
10-10:30 a.m.
Morning Break
10:30 a.m.-Noon
Morning Class (See "Morning Classes" Below)
​Noon-1 p.m.
​1-2:30 p.m.
​Afternoon Class (See "Afternoon Classes" Below)
​2:45-3:45 p.m.
General Sessions (Room 233)

 Good Ideas: Morning General Sessions | 9-10 a.m.

Tuesday, January 11

Chair and Face Yoga (Room 233) -Rebecca Bauer

 What better way to start off Good Ideas than with chair and face yoga? 

Rebecca Bauer has been instructing group fitness classes on and off for over 10 years including yoga, body sculpting, aerobics, youth dance and gymnastics and more. 

Wednesday, January 12


The Growing Power of the Asian American Vote: Understanding Political Participation and Policy Attitudes of Asian Americans (Room 233) -Saeymi Park, Ph.D.

Asian Americans have been the fastest-growing racial group in the United States since 2010 and are projected to grow 101% between 2016 and 2060, followed by Hispanics. As a result, this group's political impact is growing. Nonetheless, insufficient attention has been made to examine Asian Americans as an important voting bloc. This talk will provide the contours of Asian American political behavior, policy attitudes, and voting choices in contemporary American politics.

Saemyi Park, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Political Science at UW-Stevens Point. She earned her doctoral degree in Political Science from UW-Madison. Park also has two masters' degrees International Communication (American University, Washington, D.C.) and in International Relations (Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, South Korea). She teaches courses in American Politics and is interested in finding similarities and differences in political behaviors of racial and ethnic minority groups. 

Thursday, January 13


Keeping Things Green- How to Keep Things Green in the Midst of Winter (Room 233) -Marissa Ashbeck, Horticulture and Grounds Manager-Monk Botanical Gardens

Winters can get quite gloomy, so why not incorporate green practices in your homes? We will be exploring different indoor growing options to keep those green thumbs busy during the dead of winter. This session will cover anything from hydroponics, micro greens, mushroom kits, indoor plant care, and more. Your homes will be bursting with life after Keeping Things Green.

Marissa has her degree in Horticulture-Landscape Design and Management from the University of WI-River Falls. She manages the gardens at Monk Botanical Gardens in Wausau, WI. Her passion is plants and she wants to spread the love of all green things!

 Morning Classes | 10:30 a.m.-Noon (choose one)

​1. In the Zen: Mixed Media Meditations on Paper (Room 238)

Nancy Laliberte, BFA, Magna Cum Laude, UW-Oshkosh

Enjoy relaxing and tapping into your inner creative self while playfully exploring mixed media art techniques in unique ways. No art experience necessary, just a willingness to be curious and have fun along the way.

​2. Reading Poetry, Making Poetry (Room 220)

Ross K. Tangedal, Assistant Professor of English / Director & Publisher, Cornerstone Press

Read poems from a wide variety of American poets, including Robert Frost, Mary Oliver, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and others. Together, we will come to understand the craft and conscience of poetry through reading, and then making, poetry together. Whether you enjoy reading, writing, or something in between, this class will spark the poet (and maker) in everyone.

3. Dietary Supplements: Using Reliable Sources to Bypass the Marketing and Find Real Information (Room 233)

Annie Wetter, Professor of Nutrition

Participants will learn about how dietary supplements are regulated so they understand the liberty dietary supplements have in creating their products and claims and what that means for the consumer.  Participants will learn where to go for accurate information on the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements.  Participants will use these reliable resources to investigate a dietary supplement of their choice.

4. Musical Storytelling through Art Song; the magical ingredients (Room 240)

Mara Prausa, Outreach Program Manager

Art song is the perfect marriage of poetry and music.  Explore what art song is and the musical elements in the voice and piano parts that bring the poetry and storytelling to life. Compare musical settings of the same poem set by different composers. Achieve a new level of listening and appreciation for the musical masters of art song!

 Afternoon Classes | 1-2:30 p.m. (choose one)

​5. Basics of Unconscious Bias: What It Is and How to Manage It - CANCELLED

Lindsay Bernhagen, Director, Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning

This program has been cancelled by presenter request and will be rescheduled for Good Ideas 2023. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If this was one of your selections, please contact the Continuing Education Front Desk at 715-346-383to pick a new afternoon class.

​6. Is God Dead? (Room 220)

Ryan O'Leary, Ph.D., Lecturer in Philosophy and Religious Studies, UW-Stevens Point

In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche famously declared, “God is dead.  God remains dead.  And we have killed him.”  In the 1940s and 1950s, Albert Camus explored the possibility of a world without God though the lens of absurdity and rebellion.  And in the 1950s and 1960s, Paul Tillich developed an existentialist theology that took Nietzsche's philosophy seriously.  We will think about what Nietzsche meant, and how both Camus and Tillich worked the death of God into their existentialist philosophies.

7. What is "Midwestern History"? (Room 233)

Brett Barker, Professor of History, UW-Stevens Point

For several generations, historians have specialized in the history of New England, the South, or the West. But what of the portion in-between? In recent years, a small group of historians has begun to rethink and reinvigorate the field of Midwestern history.  Does the Midwest have a unique regional identity? What has characterized the history of the region that has been thought of as the Middle West, the heartland, and the flyover. Professor Barker will explore these questions in these three sessions.

8. The Art of Film (Room 240)

Roger Bullis, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Mass Communication and Digital Media, UW-Stevens Point

Why film narratives matter, some of the greatest directors and examples of their film artistry, and the importance of genre stories and filmic illustrations of some of the significant societal themes they present.

 Good Ideas: Afternoon General Sessions

Tuesday, January 11

When North American and Asia Were One (Room 233) -Keith Montgomery, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography and Geology.

After Europeans first came upon the Americas, and even as the terms “America” and “New World” came to be applied to North America (and not just South America), through much of the Sixteenth Century there was a persistent reaction against thinking of North America as an entirely “new world,” standing apart from the old. This talk will review the reasons behind this thinking and its manifestation in maps of the period. 

Keith was the Dean of the former UW Marathon County and a long-time member and Professor of the Department of Geography and Geology. His interest in European mapping of the Americas arises from his work in the history of science.

Wednesday, January 12

Is Congress, the First Branch of Government, Crumbling? (Room 233) -Ed Miller, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (

Abraham Lincoln said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within."  This  presentation will examine the dysfunction of the contemporary Congress as the primary branch of government as created by the Founders. 

Taught Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for close to five decades and was the co-founder and currently co-director of the Center for the Small City. He is a political science analyst for the educational division of the Wall Street Journal. Having received a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh,  Miller worked for the U.S. House Commerce Committee as a staff assistant and has extensively published in areas of legislatures, urban politics, health policy, state government, public policy analysis, and education policy. 
Thursday, January 13

Insect Apocalypse (Room 233) -Paul Whitaker

 Learn about the "insect apocalypse,” the abrupt global decline in insect diversity and abundance.  

Paul Whitaker is a Professor of Biological Sciences at UW Stevens Point in Wausau, with graduate degrees in entomology and a plant sciences minor from UW-Madison.  He has taught botany, ecology, animal biology, entomology, environmental resources, and an interdisciplinary course on organic agriculture.  He has made numerous presentations for master gardeners, community gardeners, garden clubs, and at organic farming conferences.  In addition, he has served on the board of the Monk Botanical Gardens in Wausau since 2004.   In the summer, he can often be found in his vegetable garden, admiring the incredible survival and reproductive strategies of weeds and insects before deciding to dispatch them or, in some cases, let them live.

​​ ​

Lunch for 2022​

There is an optional $43.50 lunch fee which will cover lunch provided by "A Taste of Jamaica" for all three days of the conference. There is no option to purchase lunch for individual days.

Lunch Schedule:

Tuesday – Roast Beef Sandwich, Vegetable Soup, Chips, and a Beverage

Wednesday  – Ham Sandwich, Chicken Noodle Soup, Chips, and a Beverage

Thursday – Turkey Sandwich, Beef Soup, Chips, and a Beverage

​Zoom Conferencing

Registrants are responsible for ensuring they have the minimum computer standards for participating in the virtual Continuing Education and Outreach program via Zoom.

Sign up for a free Zoom account by clicking here. Zoom works best with Chrome or Firefox.

UW-Stevens Point is not responsible for registrant technological issues, including but not limited to, inadequate bandwidth and/or registrant equipment malfunction. 

Parking Information

Attendees can park in Lot G.

Do not park in Lot B. That is the Faculty Lot, and you may be ticketed if you park there.

​Contact Information

For additional information or assistance with registration, please email Customer Service at or call 715-346-3838.

​Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be granted if the Continuing Education and Outreach office is contacted at least seven (7) days before the start of a class. No refunds will be given with less than seven (7) days notice. Program that involve pre-ordering of materials and/or travel will not qualify for a refund unless your space can be filled from a waiting list. We reserve the right to cancel a course due to low enrollment, severe weather, or instructor illness. A full refund will be issued under these circumstances. BE SURE to provide your email address and phone number when registering so we can contact you if a class is cancelled for any reason. Email Continuing Education Customer Service at to cancel your registration.


We would like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsor for this event, TDS Fiber!


Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two week in advance. Please contact Continuing Education Customer Service at 715-346-3838 or