Noontime Knowledge (formerly Brown Bag Lunches) are open to the public.
Trinity Presbyterian Church
12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Spring 2020


February 4: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
People Helping People
Leeanne Shepherd, Executive Director of PHP

People Helping People is an ecumenical crisis ministry of churches and faith communities serving Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Come learn about the mission of this program and the important services it provides to the community.

Leeanne Shepherd has served as Executive Director of People Helping People for the past five years.


February 18: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
From Arrest to Conviction – How Does It Work?
Marsha L. Garst, Commonwealth Attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg

Rockingham County has recently experienced several murder cases that have resulted in convictions for Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst. Have you ever wondered what really happens during a criminal investigation? How does the prosecution assemble the pieces of evidence to build a case? How does a jury arrive at a verdict? Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at criminal investigation and prosecution.

Marsha Garst has served as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County for over 20 years. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is a four year elected position established by the Virginia Constitution. The person elected to this position acts as the chief law enforcement officer for each jurisdiction in Virginia. Their primary duty is to prosecute all felonies and misdemeanors charged under Virginia laws that occur within the confines of our county and city.


March 3: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
Restorative Justice
Wonshé, Restorative Justice Practitioner and Circle Keeper

Learn about the fundamental principles and philosophy of restorative justice through a historical context examining where we, as a community, intersect with this history today. Our speaker will share about their experience as a Circle Keeper, restorative justice practitioner, and Restorative Justice Liaison for the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Wonshé is a Restorative Justice (RJ) practitioner and Circle Keeper, having worked in the field of restorative justice for the last 16 years. She first received restorative justice teachings in oral tradition from First Nation elders, then later earned a master's degree in Conflict Transformation and Restorative Justice. Currently, she is the Liaison for the Harrisonburg Police Department’s Restorative Justice Program, provides RJ training to HPD officers and teaches the fundamentals of restorative justice throughout the community. 


March 11: Wine & Wisdom: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Brix & Columns Vineyard | Free and Open to Members
Good Bug, Bad Bug: Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
Keala Timko, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener

STOP! Before you squish that bug, consider how it might be beneficial to your garden or flower bed. Come learn the importance of attracting beneficial bugs, how to encourage more visits to your garden, and how to identify them during their various life stages.

Keala Timko is an 11-year Cooperative Extension Master Gardener who has been recognized as a Harrison Fellow of the Historic Landscape Institute of Monticello and UVA. Keala enjoys sharing horticulture knowledge and gardening experiences with others.


March 17: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
Section-Hiking Virginia’s Appalachian Trail after Retirement
Dave Pruett, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at JMU

Most of his life, Dave Pruett lived within a half-hour’s drive of the Appalachian Trail and long dreamed of hiking its entire 2,200 miles. Retirement provided the time, but age created its own problems: bad knees and reduced stamina. After a couple of false starts, he settled on a viable strategy for tackling the 550 miles of trail within Virginia, hiking 25-mile sections at a time. In August 2019, Dave completed Virginia’s Appalachian Trail. Come share the adventure and scenic wonders of this beautiful part of our state.

Dave Pruett is Professor Emeritus of applied mathematics at JMU, a former NASA researcher, and author of Reason and Wonder: A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit. He retired in 2012 and frequently serves as an LLI instructor.


March 25: Wine & Wisdom: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Brix & Columns Vineyard | Free and Open to Members
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Philip Bigler, Former National Cemetery Historian

For over a century, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been America's most cherished and revered military shrine. Philip Bigler will chronicle the Tomb's history from its inception after WWI, its symbolism, and continual cultural importance including the internment of WWII, Korean and Vietnam Unknowns.

Philip Bigler (’74; ‘76) received a B.A. in History and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education/History from Madison College. During his 23-year teaching career he was honored as the 1998-1999 National Teacher of the Year and was selected for the Milken Education Award. He has served as the Historian for the Arlington National Cemetery and is an accomplished author and keynote speaker, who has appeared on several television programs, including Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, and Nightline.


March 31: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
The Remnants of War | Noontime Knowledge
Dr. Ken Rutherford, Co-Founder of the Landmine Survivors Network

Landmines have killed and maimed more people than biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons combined. Precursors of the weapon are said to have first been used in the American Civil War in the 1800s. During the Cold War, many states laid long stretches of landmines along borders. Antipersonnel mines are indiscriminate weapons that injure and kill civilians in every corner of the globe, every day. Lying in wait for their victims, they don't recognize ceasefires, and continue to kill and maim long after the end of conflicts. They instill fear in communities and are a lethal barrier to development. There are dozens of reasons why all states should get on board the Mine Ban Treaty, and why full implementation of this lifesaving treaty must be ensured. Some of the moral, humanitarian, socio-economic, and diplomatic arguments will be given during this presentation along with photographs highlighting survivor stories.  

Ken Rutherford is Professor in the Department of Political Science at James Madison University. His career includes many notable honors, including earning a Fulbright Fellowship, co-founding the Landmine Survivors Network, and serving as a prominent leader in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. In August 1997, he escorted Princess Diana on her last humanitarian mission to visit landmine survivors in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Rutherford has received several recognitions and humanitarian awards for his international work and has presented in more than 35 countries. He has also testified before U.S. Congress and the U.N. in Geneva, New York and Vienna and appeared on several national media programs, including Dateline, Nightline, The View, and NPR’s All Things Considered. His personal story of recovery as a landmine survivor has been profiled by The Oprah Winfrey Show, Reader’s Digest and the BBC. In 2013, he was included among the "one hundred most influential people in armed violence reduction" by the London-based organization Action on Armed Violence.


April 7: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
Injury Prevention and Wellness for the GeriActive Individual
Dr. Bill Johnson, Senior Therapist and Area Director of Drayer Physical Therapy

Dr. Bill Johnson will present on the importance of mobility, flexibility, posture and strength for injury prevention, fall prevention and balance for the GeriActive individual. This interactive presentation will provide instruction for participants about exercises and activities to enhance daily life and longevity.

Dr. Bill Johnson is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy (OCS) and certified Advanced Golf Fitness Instructor. He has been practicing physical therapy for 26 years and currently sees patients and clients in Harrisonburg, his home community. Dr. Johnson received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Bridgewater College in 1991, a Master of Physical Therapy in 1994 and Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2005 from Shenandoah University. In addition to his current practice, he teaches numerous continuing education courses throughout the country.


April 21: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
From Hillbillies to Hippies: The Evolution of Rock and Roll in the Shenandoah Valley
J. Steve Stronsnider, Author of “Tales from the Bandstand”

The 1960s were a time of change in almost every facet of American Culture. In the Shenandoah Valley, Country Music gave way to a new genre of music called Rock and Roll. Live music became ubiquitous and dance halls, clubs, and teen centers became the mechanisms by which novice musicians honed their craft. This presentation will explore the dynamics of this decade and how music evolved during this time of civil unrest. Stronsnider will also share interesting and humorous stories specific to local musicians and venues.

J. Steve Stronsnider is a musician, author, and semi-retired professional counselor from Woodstock, VA who now resides in Roanoke. His book, “Tales from the Bandstand”, chronicles the evolution of rock and roll music amid a backdrop of civil unrest and conservative ethics in the Shenandoah Valley. The book draws upon personal stories to capture the essence of this era for teenage musicians, who came of age in the 1960s.


April 29: Wine & Wisdom: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Brix & Columns Vineyard | Free and Open to Members
Let’s Talk About Sex! Sexual Health Among Older Adults
Dr. Dayna Henry, JMU Faculty Member, Health Sciences

Join us for an engaging discussion about sexuality and relationships for older adults. Topics will include the benefits of sexual activity for your physical and mental health, tips for keeping intimacy alive, and considerations for sexual health as we age. Participants will have the opportunity to submit anonymous questions before and during the session to Dr. Dayna Henry, who is a sex educator, researcher, and former sex, couple, and family therapist. Dr. Henry has been researching and teaching about sexuality for over 15 years to audiences of all ages.

Dr. Dayna Henry is a faculty member in the department of Health Sciences at James Madison University. She is a sex educator, researcher and former sex, couple, and family therapist. She has been researching and teaching about sexuality for over 15 years to a wide variety of audiences, including older adults and those with specific health concerns impacting their sexuality.


May 19: Noontime Knowledge: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church | Free and Open to Public
Bad Moon Rising: The Prom Night Murders Memoir | Noontime Knowledge
Ed Morrison, Author

Ed Morrison's brother, Michael, and his date, Debra Means, never made it home from the Mascoutah Community High School Prom held on May 3, 1969. In this true crime memoir, Ed Morrison chronicles his quest to discover the truth behind what happened that fateful night.

Gathering insight from interviews with former classmates and police investigators, attorneys, judges, and prison personnel, Morrison eventually identifies the perpetrator of the prom night murders, who died while imprisoned without ever being convicted of these crimes. Morrison will share his 50-year journey in search of closure and what he learned about family, forgiveness, and the judicial system along the way.

Ed Morrison was born in Newfoundland. He, his wife, Mindy, and their two sons also lived in Germany for 7 years and toured much of Europe. Upon retirement, their family relocated and resettled in the Shenandoah Valley.

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