Academy for Learning in Retirement continues Zoom presentations in September


New Mexico State University’s Academy for Learning in Retirement (ALR) returns in September with Zoom presentations – continuing through December – on the impacts of social media and cybersecurity, immigration, New Mexico architectural styles and literacy production in New Mexico and the region.

ALR began programming in 1992, and until the onset of the pandemic, its speakers gave live presentations at Good Samaritan Society auditorium.

“ALR hopes to return to that method after the pandemic is over,” said Jeffrey Brown, a member of the academy’s advisory board and chair of the ALR curriculum committee. Brown also is one of this fall’s presenters.

ALR shifted to Zoom presentations beginning last fall, Brown said, and has enjoyed success with the format. So, it plans to continue programming via Zoom through May 2022. 

The registration fee for fall 2021 is $5 for an individual presentation or $48 for all 16 presentations. 

For each of the presentations, audience members may log in at 10 a.m. to chat with their friends. The presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m. and usually conclude at noon, Brown said.

Here is the ALR programming for September-December 2021:

  • Monday and Wednesday mornings, Sept. 13, 15, 20 and 22: NMSU Department of Computer Science professor Satyajayant (Jay) Misra, Ph.D., will discuss computing issues that involve the impacts of social media, cybersecurity for everyone, cryptocurrencies and bitchains and the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Monday and Wednesday mornings, Oct. 11, 13, 18 and 20: Four speakers will make presentations about the history and impacts of immigration to the United States: Jeffrey Brown, Ph.D. an NMSU emeritus faculty member; Neal Harvey, Ph.D. and Christa Slaton, Ph.D., both professors in the NMSU Government Department; and Nancy Oretskin, a professor in the NMSU Finance Department. The four will discuss the history of immigration to the United States, the forces that drive immigration from southern Mexico and Central America, immigration laws and policies that include asylum and the contemporary impact of immigration upon United States politics and the rise of white nationalism.
  • Monday and Wednesday mornings, Nov. 8, 10, 15 and 17: Jon Hunner, Ph.D., NMSU professor emeritus, who will discuss the development of New Mexico architectural styles and what they can teach us about New Mexico’s history and cultures. These presentations will discuss the building styles that developed during the Native American, Nuevo Mexican, Territorial and contemporary eras.
  • Monday and Wednesday mornings, Nov. 29, Dec. 1, 6 and 8: R. Joyce Zamora Lausch Garay, Ph.D., an associate professor of Latina/o and African American literature at NMSU; and Spencer Herrera, Ph.D., an associate professor of Spanish in the NMSU Department of Languages and Linguistics. They will explore the history of literary production in New Mexico and the Borderlands, and discuss contemporary and emerging film and written cultural productions in New Mexico. Garay will interview six writers and poets about the roles that Borderlands cultures play in writing about this region.  These Monday and Wednesday presentations will begin on November 29 and conclude on December 8.

ALR will provide two free sessions for registrants Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 8-9, to can answer questions about Zoom and provide an overview of the fall programming.

To register and for the times of the free informational sessions and other information, visit

ALR is a nonprofit started in 1992 by former NMSU President Gerald Thomas, along with retired deans Thomas Gale, Virginia Higbie, Flavia McCormick and others, including former professor and teacher Clarence Fielder.