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A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a group of subject matter experts, staff, and members interested in a specific topic. SIGs do not take the place of courses, but rather complement them with an ongoing experience run by the members themselves. This experience is more informal, self-directed, and often involves experts and activists from outside the university. The vitality of the group depends mainly upon the active participation and commitment of its members.


SIGs are formed with a statement of purpose, benefits, and audience for those they intend to involve from WISE and the outside community. Initially, a statement is developed collaboratively with a representative from the Council for SIGs along with 15+ charter members of the SIG in its first meetings.  Typically, there are four types of role to foster a culture of teamwork, respect, acknowledgement, and participation.

  1. Facilitator: A subject matter expert in the field with overall responsibility.  S/he prepares or arranges the presentations and any materials to be given at meetings.

  2. Assistant:  A person to handle communications, room reservations, resource requests, announcements, and distribution of materials to members before meetings.

  3. Advisors: A small group of members with relevant expertise (say, 1-4 people) to help the Leader select topics, identify presenters, and plan.

  4. Members:  All interested from the WISE community.


SIGs meet on a defined schedule, typically monthly (or eight times per year), according to the needs of the group. While some SIGs may meet only on campus, others may gather elsewhere at times to pursue an opportunity.

WISE supports SIG as needed with meeting rooms, presentation equipment, a web page on WISE website, email lists, a file share, calendaring, photocopying, & announcements in newsletters.


No. Lead Term Started Term Expires SIG
1 Michael Fishbein 2019 2021 Coordinator
2 Pete Murphy 2019 2021

Energy & the Environment


3 Jack Ross 2018 2021

Supreme Court


4 Monica Gow Director, Ex Officio

Meeting Schedule

As needed

Document History

Version Approved Notes
1.0 Council: November 13, 2019
 1.0.1  Converted to HTML

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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