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May 5, 2015

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May 5, 2015
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – Retired family physician and humour expert, Dr. Ken Shonk, will offer his insight and expertise on the many health benefits associated with humour, laughter and happiness during his lecture to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning (LALL). The lecture takes place May 19 in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

Shonk’s lecture, “Jest for the Health of It,” will discuss the healing benefits of humour and its application in stress management, relationships, parenting, and to the aging process.

In 1988, Shonk noticed the impact of humour in coping with health issues after being diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

“When I developed my own health problems I found myself using a lot of humour to get me over the rough spots,” said Shonk. “I then found myself using humour with my patients and quickly learned that it was a very short leap from humour to compassion.”

Recently retired from his family practice, Shonk continues to be an advocate for humour. He has attended international conferences on Laughter and Play and has participated in over 900 speaking engagements about the health benefits of humour in the past 20 years.

“I am delighted to present at the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning’s anniversary lecture,” said Shonk. “My wife is a big fan of the program and I see the importance of lifelong learning as my own career in medicine has involved continuous education.”

Shonk’s lecture promises to include a “Chuckle Checkup” that will focus on information about the physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, classification and uses of humour, all liberally sprinkled with jokes and anecdotal stories.

“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Shonk to Laurier,” said Lisa Fanjoy, manager: Online Learning and Continuing Studies. “His lifelong approach to using humour to deal with all aspects of life makes him the perfect speaker for our lifelong learners.”

The Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning is a nonprofit organization supported by Laurier’s Office of Continuing Studies that provides a unique learning option for adults, offering six-week courses intended for personal interest or self-education.

The May 19 lecture will be held in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo Campus and is open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the lecture scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event can be purchased from the Office of Continuing Studies (202 Regina St. N., Waterloo) or at the door for $10. For more information about the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning Anniversary visit

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Rebecca Kieswetter
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence

T: 519.884.0710 x3902


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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