Holyoke Senior Center Launches “Lifelong Learning” Education Program Text Size

What do “CSI: Holyoke,” “World Religions,” “Foreign Policy” and the “History of Holyoke” have in common?

Each is a component of a new Lifelong Learning education program developed by the Holyoke Council on Aging in collaboration with Loomis Communities and set to launch Oct. 8 at the Holyoke Senior Center, 291 Pine St.

 “These are quality courses taught by experts in their field,” said Kathy Bowler, executive director of the Council on Aging. “Each of the speakers will be sharing their knowledge and experience – and their love of Holyoke.”

A $25 registration fee, payable in cash or by check, covers all four courses. Space is limited to the first 20 to sign up at the Senior Center, with the exception of “History of Holyoke.” There is no limit to the number of participants for the history classes, which will be offered on a semester basis.

In the future, classes will be offered on a Spring/Fall semester basis.

 “Learning is a lifelong story of discovery, offering each of us an opportunity to expand our understanding of the world we live in,” Bowler said. “We look forward to the public’s reaction to this new program and their suggestions for future courses as we develop our Spring 2014 semester.”

Following is a brief description of the Fall 2013 semester classes and their presenters.


CSI: Holyoke

            Three sessions 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays beginning Nov. 5

            Presented by Capt. Denise Duguay

Class will explore the history of criminal investigations and the role of forensics in solving crimes. Class will learn about collecting physical evidence and will solve a crime using forensic evidence.

Capt. Denise Duguay is commander of the Holyoke Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau. The bureau oversees narcotics and vice, detectives, and criminal investigations. Duguay also is the lead legal updates instructor for the HPD. She earned a Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England University and has studied at the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Academy in Connecticut. She has taught more than 20 criminal justice classes at Western New England University, Bay Path College, Springfield College and the Massachusetts Municipal Police Academy-Western division.

Course limited to 20.


World Religions

            Seven sessions 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 9

            Presented by the Rev. Richard Riendeau

This survey course explores the major faith traditions worldwide including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism and Judaism. Class will include lecture, discussion and video with optional visits to local houses of worship.

The Rev. Richard Riendeau is a retired Catholic priest of the diocese of Springfield. He has served in several; local parishes and has been a teacher at Cathedral High School, Holyoke Catholic High School and St. Mary’s High School in Westfield. He has taught at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut. He has been active in adult education and children’s theatrics. He has presented a series of Shakespeare at Senior Centers in Holyoke and South Hadley and at the Edwards Library in Southampton.

Course limited to 20.


My Career as a Foreign Service Officer 1970-2010

            Four sessions 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays beginning Oct. 8

            Presented by John Champagne

A personal journey spanning 40 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the Agency for International Development (USAID) – from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. The course will begin with an overview of the USAID organization, its mission, funding and staffing, and discuss how agency operations have changed over the years.

Holyoke native John Champagne served with the U.S. Army Special Forces (1964-67) and later spent 24 years with USAID, including tours in Thailand and Panama where he helped design and implement rural development, counter-drug and counter-insurgency programs. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he served with the Department of Defense, Department of State and USAID in helping integrate U.S. civilian/military crisis response strategies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from American University.

Course limited to 20.


History of Holyoke

            Seven sessions 2:30 to 4 p.m. Thursdays beginning Oct. 10

Oct. 10 — “Native Americans in the Region,” presented by George Ashley

Oct. 17 — “Overview of the River,” presented by Ted Belsky

Oct. 24 — “Industrial Development,” presented by Penni Martorell, city historian

Oct. 31 — “Workers and the Labor Unions,” presented by Dr. Mara Dodge

Nov. 7 — “Holyoke Street Railway,” presented by Jeremy Smith

Nov. 14 — “CCC, Putting People to Work,” presented by Win Lavallee

Nov. 21 — Capstone Panel


The Loomis Communities provides full-service continuing care residential retirement services at four locations: Applewood, Loomis House, Loomis Village and Reeds Landing. Further information is available online at Loomis Communities website.

For more information, please contact Kathy Bowler, executive director of the Holyoke Senior Center at or (413) 322-5625

Posted on September 10, 2013 by