The Thursday, Jan. 20 program of the Institute for Retired Professionals will feature Walt Shepperd, former editor of the City Eagle, 35-year veteran of the Syracuse New Times, and founder of The Media Unit. IRP, which takes place from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Syracuse, 5833 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, is free and open to the public. Meetings are held the first and third Thursday of each month.

Shepperd will talk about Central New York’s national award-winning teen performance and production troupe. Members of The Media Unit, which tackles issues that affect teens, will also perform a segment from their newest show, “Facts of Life.”

Shepperd received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University. He is past president of the Syracuse Press Club, past president and board member of the Onondaga County Cultural Resources Council, member of the advisory board of the New York State Fair and the Mayor’s Cable Television Advisory Committee. He has received numerous awards, including New York State Press Association Writer of the Year, Council on Alcohol Award for reporting on addiction and treatment, Impartial Citizen Award for reporting on race relations and the Golden Apple Award for reporting on education.

In addition to serving as founder and executive producer of The Media Unit and senior editor of the Syracuse New Times, Shepperd has taught in the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Educational Opportunity Center, Colgate University and several area prisons.

The IRP, established by University College of Syracuse University, provides opportunities for retired people to stay intellectually active, to expand interests and make new acquaintances. Presentations are made by SU faculty and specialists within the community.

For more information on this program, call (315) 443-4846.