2020 Vision
Maine Senior College Network Conference

Saturday, October 31
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Maine Senior College Network logoUMaine Hutchinson Center logoSenior College Belfast logo

The Hutchinson Center and Senior College at Belfast have partnered with Anne Cardale (Maine Senior College Network Program Director) and Dr. Lenard Kaye (UMaine Center on Aging Director) to bring together members from seventeen Senior College chapters across the state of Maine for an energizing day-long conference. A variety of lectures, workshops, and breakout sessions will be available. Senior college members and board members are encouraged to attend. The conference will begin with a keynote session by Director of the University of Maine Center on Aging, Lenard Kaye. A continental breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of the conference.

Senior College participants engaged in the classroom

Explore the 2020 Vision Maine Senior College Network program!


photograph of Dr. Lenard Kaye

Lenard Kaye (Director, University of Maine Center on Aging) – Staying Engaged as We Age: Living the Life of an Empowered Older Mainer

The opportunities for Maine’s older citizens to live active, empowered and satisfying lives have never been greater. Our state serves as a superb example of the unprecedented convergence of a series of local, state and national trends that ensure aging Mainers have the opportunity to not only benefit from but dramatically influence the shape and form of policies and programs that impact their lives.


Featuring star instructors from Senior College at Belfast

Session I:
Sandy Cirillo – Confessions of an Art Teacher

Presented by Sandi Cirillo, one of our art instructors, this class will be an interactive “hands-on” program focusing on how the visual arts are offered at Senior College at Belfast. Participants will be actively engaged in several small group activities that will enable them to learn about how Senior College at Belfast functions, how we interact with our community, as well as being able to express their own creativity visually. This is not a lecture class, to be sure! Be prepared to participate and learn how the arts can enrich your senior college curriculum and your own lives. 

Session 2:
Pete Reilly – Using Audio/Visual Technology for Senior College (Musical Hamilton Showcase Lecture)

A/V technology is quickly becoming almost a requirement for presenting and teaching an interesting course. The fact that many of our instructors grew up without the benefits of technology is no excuse for not utilizing it today. It’s easy to learn and for the participating students, it can provide a totally enhanced experience. This lecture will showcase how A/V enhanced a course on the musical Hamilton which was taught at the Senior College at Belfast.  

Session 3:
Neil Harkness – How technological and social changes influence music

How have technological and social changes influenced music? Learn about how vocal styles changed as a result of the development of effective microphones and how transistor radios were an important component to the rise of rock and roll.


Breakout Session I: 

  • Moving Beyond the Ivory Tower: How Older Adults Can Contribute to and Shape Research in Maine (with Jennifer Crittenden, PhD, Associate Director, UMaine Center on Aging and Lenard Kaye, DSW, PhD, Director, UMaine Center on Aging
    Older adults throughout Maine have played an important role in supporting research and product development work carried out at the University of Maine System. This session will provide an overview of some new and exciting research conducted at UMaine where older adults have served as research participants and advisors. These projects have ranged from the development of a hip protection product, a sleep pad designed to measure sleep quality, a falls prevention program, to the development and testing of an activity sensor device, and even testing a new music program. The session will also include information on the Maine Older Adult Research Registry and how you can join the registry.
  • Sustaining & Growing Your Membership
    Panelists representing different sized senior colleges will share their strategies for retaining members. They will also present a range of creative and successful approaches for recruiting new members.

Breakout Session 2: 

  • Independent 501c3 status: To be, or not to be?
    Does it make sense for your senior college to adopt 501(c)3 status? This workshop, led by Tom Leonhardt, provides a straightforward guide to the steps you would need to take plus tips on where to get advice and support.
  • What you have always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about Zoom online classes!
    Face to face classes are not going away! But, what happens when you can’t get to classes anymore? MSCN is exploring online learning with a social connection. Hear about the success of small Zoom classes. See a live Zoom demonstration, and hear from panelists who are experimenting with online learning and sharing instructors!


  1. Transitioning and Sustaining SC Boards
    Don’t let all your dedicated board work go to waste! Pass along resources to new board members, so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
  2. Online Registration – The Pros and Cons, plus some Tips!
    This table discussion will be useful whether you already have online registration, or you are simply considering adopting it.
  3. Building Community Partnerships
    Consider this discussion if you want to build or refresh relationships with other organizations in your local community. Swap notes, share ideas, and pick up some inspiration from other senior colleges.
  4. Curriculum Challenges
    Curriculum Challenges is an opportunity to address some of the knotty issues faced by curriculum planners and board chairs when topics or teachers may be controversial, divisive, or have conflicts of interest.
  5. Recruiting Instructors
    How do you recruit new instructors at your senior college? How do you persuade a member to become an instructor? Are you venturing beyond your senior college to recruit speakers? Hear ideas and share some of your successes.
  6. Finding New Venues
    Need new classroom space? Perhaps you can recommend potential community partners? Pick up suggestions for different venue ideas. Find out what to keep in mind. E.g. Is there adequate parking? Are there stairs?
  7. Organizing Special Events Open to the General Public
    Setting up events that you share with the public are one way to spread the word about senior college classes. They can also be a way to provide valuable health and safety information to the local community. Hear about some different strategies adopted by some of the senior colleges.
  8. Special Interest Groups
    Thinking of launching Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at your senior college? Hear why members enjoy their SIGs. Share thoughts on what has worked at your senior college and pick up some ideas from this table discussion.


To register online for the conference, click here. For more information, to request an accommodation or scholarship application, contact Michelle Patten, 338. 8002; michelle.patten@maine.edu.