NRC OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute

National Resource Center

for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes Newsletter

March  2013
In This Issue
Greetings from Kali
OLLIs -- Toot Your Horns!
OLLI at UNLV Produces "I Am OLLI" Video
Northwest Earth Institute Teaches Sustainability
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Greetings from Kali 

It is my great pleasure to announce the addition of two new lifelong learning programs to the Osher Institute network: The Encore Center for Lifelong Enrichment at North Carolina State University and the ILEAD group at Dartmouth College (ILEAD stands for Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth). Some of you will remember meeting Trisha Inlow Hatcher, Director at NC State, at OLLI National Conferences - she led a breakout session for us on working with volunteers a couple of years ago and attended our recent gathering in Colorado Springs. Both NC State and Dartmouth have been in correspondence with the Osher Foundation for many years and the timing now seemed right to bring these two outstanding programs into the consortium. The Osher Foundation has no plans to further expand the Osher Institute network at this juncture.

Happy Spring!

OLLI National Conference Planned for Spring 2014
The National Resource Center is pleased to announce that the Bernard Osher Foundation has approved funding for a 2014 OLLI National Conference. We are researching locations and dates and will let you know as soon as specifics are available. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Fran Myers at 207-228-8256 or by email.

OLLIs Invited to Create Dawn Choruses
Photo of Bealtaine Festival Dawn Chorus

We received an email from an organization in Ireland announcing the Dawn Chorus project. This looks like it would be really fun for you to do as an OLLI event, whether or not you already have a singing group in place.
Dawn Chorus is a singing project in which older people and choirs learn songs together and sing them at dawn on the last Sunday in May. It's part of the Bealtaine (pronounced BEE-owl-ti-ah) Festival, the largest collaborative arts festival in Ireland and involves more than 100,000 participants and 700 organizations. Dawn Chorus started in 2009 and is one of the core events of the Bealtaine Festival. This year, to mark Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the festival organizers are inviting people from all over the world to have their own Dawn Chorus and join the choral event.

The best place to have a Dawn Chorus is outdoors, in an inspiring scenic location, perhaps near water--a lake, a pond, a river, the ocean. It is not a professional concert, but is about celebrating, being part of something and joining in just for the joy of it. You will find information about how to organize a Dawn Chorus in this pdf. If your OLLI decides to try it, please let us know and please take pictures!  Perhaps this can become an event that the national OLLI network does "together" with our friends in Ireland! (Note to late sleepers: while this is a morning event, it does not have to be held at dawn!)

OLLIs -- Toot Your Horns!
colorful drawing of a trumpet
Toot your horn! Does your OLLI have news that you are proud of and would like to share with the network? The NRC newsletter is looking for articles about those special happenings that you know will inspire and excite others. So, keep the network newsletter in mind as a place to "toot your horn!"

If you have a story to share, please send it (with photos if possible) to Fran or Anne at the National Resource Center.

OLLI at University of Arkansas Seeks New Director
The OLLI at the University of Arkansas is seeking a new Director, and you may view and download a pdf of the full position announcement.The deadline for submitting completed applications is April 5.

We send many thanks and best wishes to departing Director Kathleen Dorn for her years of dedicated service to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U Arkansas.

-submitted by Craig Edmonston, Assistant Dean, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas
Pillars of Renewal in Hattiesburg, Home to OLLI at U of Southern Mississippi
Photo of Ogletree Alumni House, U of So Miss, after the Feb 10, 2013, tornado
The Ogletree Alumni House at the University of Southern Mississippi after the February 10 tornado.
(Photo by Kelly Dunn, provided courtesy of
University of Southern Mississippi Photo Services Department)
Indian folklore of the South Mississippi Pine Belt holds that there would be no tornadoes in the town of Hattiesburg because it sits in the fork of two rivers. That folk story which held true for 100 years was blown away, literally, on February 10 when an EF4 tornado roared through the community. And I do mean roared!

You have probably heard that if you are in the path of a tornado it sounds like a locomotive. Well, it does. This one whipped through our city mostly following the main east-west thoroughfare. The tornado bounced up and down indiscriminately all the way across town. It leveled homes in upscale neighborhoods as well as in the oldest part of town where stately trees and modest homes stood. It uprooted, or snapped in two, approximately ninety 100-year-old trees that had shaded the University of Southern Mississippi students from the often hot summer sun. It struck a severe blow to the University Performing Arts Center, Jazz Studio, and beloved Ogletree Alumni House. Yet, OLLI's Peck House, Asbury Annex, and beautiful gardens were virtually unscathed. And, remarkably, there were no deaths. Read more about this amazing story of destruction, resiliency, and renewal.

-submitted by Sue Pace, Interim Director, OLLI at the University of Southern Mississippi


Gnocchi-making at OLLI at the University of Hawaii Manoa
Gnocchi-making at OLLI at U Hawaii Manoa
International visitor and OLLI member Dirce Carmi works with Tom Sheeran to demonstrate how to make the Italian potato pasta, gnocchi, in an OLLI class in Honolulu. (Photo by Mary Flynn)
During the last week of February, OLLI participants at the University of Hawaii at Manoa enjoyed a gnocchi-making demonstration. Everyone had an opportunity to dive into some flour and learn how to make delicate potato pasta gems as well as find out about the history, chemistry, and variations of Italy's beloved gnocchi (pronounced nyohkee). Our Italian guide and chef was longtime OLLI-UHM member Dirce Carmi, who spends half the year at her home in Torino, Italy, and the other half here in Honolulu working with OLLI and the local Slow Food Movement. How does gnocchi taste? "They are like little clouds; they melt in your mouth," Dirce said. The OLLI gnocchi demonstration and lunch was part of OLLI-UHM's ongoing series on the many cultures of noodle-making around the world.

-submitted by Rebecca Goodman, Director, OLLI at the University of Hawaii Manoa

OLLI @ Furman and Greenville Chautauqua Bring Benedict Arnold to Town
Photo of Benedict Arnold re-enactment at OLLI at Furman U
Ken Johnson as Benedict Arnold at the OLLI at Furman University
Benedict Arnold recently visited OLLI @ Furman through a partnership between OLLI and the local Chautauqua group. For years OLLI members have been ardent supporters of the Greenville, South Carolina, Chautauqua organization that brings history alive through historic interpreters in costume portraying key figures throughout history. When the offer came (because the Director of Greenville Chautauqua is an OLLI member!) to bring Benedict Arnold to OLLI we jumped at the chance. Read more about this event.


-submitted by Lucy Woodhouse, Director, OLLI at Furman University.


Casper College OLLI Members Flip For Fashing Class!
OLLI 4071 - Fashing: A German Celebration of Lent
OLLI 4071 - Fashing: A German Celebration of Lent
Casper College OLLI members recently had fun re-enacting Fashing, the Shrove Tuesday pancake races that are a part of the German observance of Lent. In addition to running while flipping pancakes, the students sampled a variety of German Lenten foods. They also learned about how Lent is celebrated in Germany as well as in instructor Pam Jones's hometown of Hastings, Kansas, which has a large German-American community.

 -submitted by Vicki Pollock, Lifelong Learning Specialist, OLLI at Casper College.
OLLI at Auburn Members Meet With AU Sustainability Staff
Photo from OLLI at Auburn U
Pictured from left to right are Kirk Swiss, OLLI member; Matt Williams, AU Office of Sustainability Program Manager; and Virginia O'Leary, OLLI Board Member.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University (OLLI at Auburn) recently hosted a Brown Bag lunch featuring Matt Williams, program manager for Auburn University's Office of Sustainability. Williams' topic was "Creating a Sustainable Future." He discussed the many programs that Auburn University is implementing to help save resources and costs. Williams gave a summary of what the Office of Sustainability has been currently involved with regarding campus operations and academics. He also explained how "living within the limits of nature, and being conservative and efficient with earth's renewable and nonrenewable resources" is possible. Pictured with Williams, center, are Kirk Swiss, OLLI member, and Virginia O'Leary, OLLI Board member.

-submitted by Linda Shook, Coordinator, OLLI at Auburn University
OLLI at Bradley Presents Science for Lunch: Beyond 1st Generation Biofuels
photo of Dr. Mike Cotta and Dr. Terry Isbell
L to R: Dr. Terry Isbell and OLLI at Bradley University member Sally Yocum, his third-grade teacher.
OLLI at Bradley University is pleased to announce its collaboration with the USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization and the development of "Science for Lunch," a special lunchtime seminar.

At the first seminar in February, Dr. Terry Isbell, Research Chemist and Biomass Research Development Initiative Project Director, and Dr. Mike Cotta, Research Microbiologist and Research Leader for the NCAUR Bioenergy Unit, discussed the exciting promises and challenges held by energy crops and second generation biofuels and how scientists in Peoria are unraveling those challenges and opening new doors for a biofuel future.

More than 60 OLLI members braved a late winter snowstorm to attend the seminar at the USDA NCAUR laboratory, located just a few blocks from Bradley University.  The program held special significance
for OLLI member Sally Yocum, who was able to reunite with her former third-grade student Dr. Isbell after his presentation.

Pictures and a summary of the seminar can be found on the OLLI at Bradley University blog.

-submitted by Michelle L. Riggio, Program Director, OLLI at Bradley University


Book Review: The Alchemy of Teaching by Jerry Conway
 Book Review - March 
There are some real gems lurking on the OLLI Authors pages on the OLLI national website. A recent addition, that will be very popular amongst OLLI members and instructors, is 'The Alchemy of Teaching' by Jerry Conway. The book has the simple premise of telling stories about teaching philosophy to undergrads. Each chapter describes a particular philosophy class taught by the author. Jerry provides warm human insights into the philosophical texts employed and couples these with the rich mini dramas of a classroom. 'The Alchemy of Teaching' is extremely accessible and engaging and you will find that you literally cannot put the book down! There are times in the storytelling where you urgently want to know how students and instructor navigate their way through both the texts and the accompanying beautifully described moral and academic dilemmas. This is a book that addresses the importance of imagination in learning and is relevant to all educators and learners whatever their age.

Jerry Conway is a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Maine and has delivered a number of lectures in the very successful SAGE lecture series at USM.


The 2013 Midwest Lifelong Learning Conference
Register now for the Midwest Lifelong Learning Conference to be held in Chicago from April 10-12. The mission of the conference is to examine, through research and shared expertise, new ways to enhance and develop lifelong learning programs. Meet colleagues who provide programming and enrichment opportunities for a diverse aging society to expand concepts with neighboring programs around the Midwest. John Holton, Ph.D., Director of the Illinois Department of Aging, will provide the welcome at the opening session. Nancy Merz Nordstrom, M.Ed, of Road Scholar Elderhostel Institute Network, will present the keynote address. David Slowik, Account Executive on Google's Education team will discuss using Google technologies to enhance lifelong learning programs.
The 2013 Northeast Lifelong Learning Conference
There is still time to register for the 2013 Northeast Lifelong Learning conference -- the deadline is April 1. The conference will be hosted by The Second Half Lifelong Learning Institute in New Bedford, MA, from April 19-20.

The theme, Live, Learn, Connect, is the heart of the lifelong learning movement. Workshop topics range from the theoretical to the practical, including the history of the lifelong learning movement, resources for healthy aging, and tools for success in quality LLI programming. Exhibitors and presentations from LLIs throughout the Northeast will provide additional background and networking opportunities. And, OLLI National Resource Center Executive Director Kali Lightfoot will be presenting a workshop, "50 Years and Counting: A National Perspective on the Past, Present, and Future of Lifelong Learning Institutes."

You may view the conference brochure online, and additional information about attending the conference is available at this link.

The Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest

Intergeneration fun in nature The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Generations United, the Dance Exchange, Rachel Carson Council, Inc., the Legacy Project and the National Center for Creative Aging announce the 7th Annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest. Poetry, essay, photo, dance, and songwriting are this year's categories for entries.  


Entries must be from an intergenerational team of two or more people who are not the same age--a young person and an older person.The contest sponsors request that your team share its love for nature through a creative project that tells a story about the earth. Capture what you hear, see, feel, and taste as you explore and study natural beauty. 


Let Rachel Carson's words inspire you. In her book The Sense of Wonder, Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of its wonder. The deadline for entries is Monday, June 10, 2013, and you can find criteria for judging and a downloadable entry form at the EPA website.


Jottings heading
News From Here and There . . .
  • Next Avenue is a PBS system website for people 50 and older, and is a resource to help you shape your "second act." Next Avenue offers a free weekly e-newsletter with its latest articles, blogs, slideshows, and videos that address a wide range of financial, caregiving, health and lifestyle topics.