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The Center for Continuing Education at UW-Superior has coordinated the Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Reminiscence and Life Review since it was founded by center program manager, John Kunz, in 1995. Kunz died in 2011. This year, over 60 professionals from eight countries participated in the conference held in New Orleans, Nov. 18-19.
Members of the Institute include educators, researchers, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, art therapists, personal historians, and others.
"These folks are leaders in the field of reminiscence and life review," said Esther Gieschen, program manager for UW-Superior's Center for Continuing Education, and one of the conference organizers. "It's exciting when they get together to share their work. Many have made significant contributions to further defining and developing this interdisciplinary field and its applications across the lifespan."
Highlights of this year's conference included a keynote presentation by Perri Chinalai, senior coordinator for StoryCorps Legacy; awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments in the field; and the release of the first edition of the peer-reviewed online International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review.
In addition to conference coordinators Donna Sislo and Esther Gieschen, UW-Superior attendees included Dr. RaLynn Schmalzried Schmidt, assistant professor of psychology; Carl Huber, coordinator, Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center; Ryan Matara, director, Center for Continuing Education.
Award recipients were:
Special recognition was given to Dr. James E. Birren for his recent selection by the Center for Optimal Adult Development as a 2013 Honorary Lifetime Associate Award winner. Birren received the first Exemplary Practice Award at the International Reminiscence and Life Review Conference, 2005. The award was then named after him.
Dr. Philippe Cappeliez, professor, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, was elected to a two-year term as president of the Institute.
Story by: Mary Zimmerman
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