OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
March 2011
OLLI in Lafayette
Annual Fund
Faculty Profile: Natalia Caporale
Tahéima Program
Symposium: Silk Road Nexux
Spring Lecture Series
OLLI Faculty News
OLLI Community
The Lunch Bunch
Member Benefits
2011 Academic Calendar
Join Our Mailing List!
OLLI Website

Donate to OLLI

Find OLLI on Facebook
OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Aileen Kim

Program Assistants
RJ Bruno
Satya Levine

OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax  510.642.2202


OLLI Announcements

Course evaluations were sent out at the beginning of this week with the subject "Course Evaluation for [class name]". If you are taking courses this term, thank you for taking a few minutes to send us your candid feedback. We read every evaluation!

OLLI @Berkeley Spring 2011 Open House
March 15, 2011, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Freight and Salvage Coffee House
2020 Addison St., Berkeley

More info | Reserve a place

The course description "Digital Photography Applications" with David Casuto has been revised from the brochure version to reflect the course that he will teach this term. This course will focus on tools for manipulating, sharing, and publishing digital photographs that you have already taken, not techniques for using a digital camera. Please see the course page for more details.

Lafayette Library Lecture Series
OLLI @Berkeley will present another lecture series at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center's Community Hall. Admission $5. More info.

Thursday, March 17, 2011
1:30-3:00 pm
"Finding" Mark Twain's Autobiography
Robert Hirst, Director, Mark Twain Project, UC Berkeley
Reserve a place

Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Lectures for May and June will be announced shortly.

2010-11 Annual Fund

The Annual Fund campaign for Winter 2011 goes through the end of March to reach another 200 contributors and our goal of $75,000. 



Your contribution supports venue rental fees, classroom staff, and work-study students--all of which keep the OLLI classrooms running effectively. The Annual Fund does not support programs such as Tahéima, which is a revenue-generating program that covers its own expenses.

Thanks to contributions from the Annual Fund Committee and others this week, we are more than half way there. View last year's donors online.

You can contribute online via our secure online donations page or by mail. If you have questions, call us at 510.642.9934 or send us an email






Faculty Profile: Natalia Caporale

by Mary Bergan


Natalia Caporale loves science, and she loves teaching.


A native of Argentina, with roots in Spain and Italy, Natalia is the child of chemists, and has always been a serious student of science. By the time she left high school, she knew she wanted to focus on physiology, in particular the nervous system. She began her studies at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in medicine and biology, but soon determined that she wanted to expand her scope to include not just humans but also a broader spectrum of animals and behaviors.


In Argentina's higher education system, a six-year course of study leads to a degree. While at UBA, she was teaching assistant in molecular physiology. She also attended undergraduate summer research programs in neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory at the tip of Long Island and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Natalia says she chose to come to the U.S. for her doctorate to become exposed to research and education in different environments. "I am fascinated by how different countries educate their young and old, and wanted to learn more." Accepted at fifteen top universities, she picked Berkeley because she was attracted to its fledgling Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute with its small, flexible program and "amazing" support staff. Berkeley also offered the advantages of an urban area in a city with a "smaller town feeling" reminiscent of life at home in Argentina.


While pursuing her doctorate and related research, Natalia also made a mark as a graduate student instructor (GSI). She was noted for pizza-fueled, late-night study sessions--garnering awards as Outstanding GSI in 2003 and Unsung Hero GSI in 2005.  She also mentored over fifteen undergraduates.


There was time for romance, though it appears Natalia didn't have to look far to find it. One of her four housemates in her first home in Berkeley became her husband; they met when she got off the plane from Buenos Aires. A native Midwesterner, he now puts his degrees in molecular cell biology to work in a biotech firm.


Natalia's research and teaching focus on the biological and physiological bases of behavior. Among her many related interests are social behaviors in humans and animals, risk behaviors in adolescents, and the learning of new tasks and skills by adults. She currently teaches courses at San Francisco State University, UC Extension, and OLLI, and relishes working with students who bring with them a range of interests and life experiences.


With new scientific discoveries being reported every day and science playing an ever more important role in our lives, Natalia believes it is important that people have solid information about science to inform both civic and personal decision-making. She finds OLLI students eager to learn new knowledge and skills, and with a wealth of experience to build on and share. She likes that OLLI students can learn a lot through well-presented classes that don't require formal matriculation and sequencing.


"I love to teach," Natalia told me."Teaching is a privilege and a pleasure."  Her enthusiasm for both her subject and her craft was evident in our brief conversation. She wants "to continue to work in adult science education, and to help develop programs that will provide opportunities for people of different backgrounds, ages, and interests to learn about biology and science (and hopefully in that way about themselves)."


Despite our tendency to anthropomorphize animals, especially those with which we share our spaces, Natalia reminds us that animals are different from humans. "Many fascinating behaviors don't exist in humans." I predict that Natalia will make exploring the differences and the similarities a fascinating way to start our Monday mornings at OLLI.


Natalia Caporale's class this spring is Animal Behavior: Getting to Know Those We Share the Planet With (Mondays, April 4-May 16 with no class on April 18, 9:30-11:30 am).


Tahéima Program

Visit our and see pictures from the December trip to in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. While you're there, show your support for OLLI by "liking" our page.


The Writing Retreat (March 19-26, 2011) at Tahéima Wellness Resort and Spa is a week of relaxation, massages, and spa treatments as well as engagement with our blockbuster line up of writing faculty: Tamim Ansary, Elizabeth Rosner, and Gail Sheehy. Visit the OLLI website to see the daily schedule for the retreat. To give you a sense of place, food, and adventures, check out the OLLI Tahéima Facebook page, which has photos from the December program. To find the lowest airfares, go to vayama.com. Fares are around $715 on up. 


What people are saying about the December trip:


"The program was magical, offering a combination of relaxation, intellectual stimulation, good companionship, and wonderful food."


"The wellness week at Tahéima was luxury bargain! I can't wait to go again."





Symposium: Silk Road Nexus
A panel discussion exploring musical connections worldwide. Envisioned by Silk Road Ensemble founder cellist Yo-Yo Ma: "When we enlarge our view of the world, we deepen our understanding of our own lives," speakers include composer Gabriela Lena Frank, Silk Road scholar Sanjyot Mehendele, and others to be announced. Presented in conjunction with Cal Performances and in association with UC Berkeley's Institute of East Asian Studies, Buddhist Studies, and the Department of Music and also San Francisco Performances.

Wednesday, April 6, 3:30-5:30 pm
Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St, Berkeley, CA
Open to the general public
More info

Spring 2011 Lecture Series

Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00 pm
Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
$10 general admission
$5 if accompanied by an OLLI member
Free for OLLI members

April 20
Stormy Monday: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Leon Litwack, Professor Emeritus of History, UC Berkeley

April 27

The Invisible Women of Tahrir Square, Pearl Square, and Beyond 

Shahnaz Taplin Chinoy, Co-founder, Muslim Women's Fund, writer, and social activist


OLLI Faculty News
Tamim Ansary, OLLI-Tahéima Writing Retreat faculty member, has been recognized by the Northern California Book Association with the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lonnie Barbach, a guest expert in Gail Sheehy's course "Discovering the Passages of the Third Age," is the author of a dozen books on the subjects of sexuality, erotica, menopause, and relationships. Dr. Barbach is at work on a new book and is soliciting questions, comments, or tips on the subject of "Sex after 50." To contribute, please contact Dr. Barbach. Your anonymity will be protected.





Topher Delaney is being recognized as 2011 UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design Distinguished Alumni. See http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/events/circus2011 for more details. Her solo exhibit runs March 3-April 16 at the Don Soker Gallery (80 Sutter St, San Francisco).


Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly will be speaking at Berkeley Arts and Letters on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30 pm. The talk is titled "All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age." For more on discounts for OLLI members at Berkeley Arts and Letters, see "Member Benefits" below.

Writer and OLLI instructor Lynne Kaufman leads the Cal Discoveries theatre travel program to London, July 10-23, 2011. For more information, see:

Katherine Rinne
, who taught "Waters of Rome" in the Fall term, has just published an article in The New York Times titled Independent Scholars: A Nomadic Lot.

OLLI Community

Hosted by the OLLI Membership Committee, brown bag lunches are an opportunity to gather informally and get to know fellow OLLI members. Look for the "OLLI @Berkeley Lunch Zone" sign.

12:00-1:00 pm
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
at Freight and Salvage

Consider stopping by the School of Public Health Library to take a break between classes. The library is located on the north end of University Hall on the ground floor, near the OLLI classrooms. For library hours, see http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/hours.html.

The Lunch Bunch
by Lucille Poskanzer



2132 Center Street, between Oxford and Shattuck, Berkeley.




This is a newly-opened place, not too far from the OLLI classrooms. While the atmosphere is that of a sports bar, the food is really good, and the portions very generous. The delicious panini can easily feed two people. Lots of other choices too--pizzas, salads, pastas, and good appetizers. There's draft beer as well as many other drink choices and espressos. Prices are moderate.


Member Benefits

50% Discount at Berkeley Arts and Letters

Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members. Visit http://berkeleyarts.org for more information.

5% Discount at Andronico's

OLLI member and OUTLOOK Lunch Bunch columnist Lucille Poskanzer reports that Andronico's Market offers a 5% student and educator discount every day--show your OLLI student card to qualify.

Jazz Cafe: 10% Discount for OLLI members

Ongoing through the Winter and Spring terms, show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages. The Jazz Cafe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffee House.


2011-12 Academic Calendar
FALL 2011
Open House: Tuesday, September 13
Term dates: September 26-November 4

Open House: Tuesday, January 17
Term dates: January 30-march 12
Holiday (no classes): February 20

Open House: Tuesday, March 20
Term dates: April 2-May 11

SPEAR - Summer Program for 6th graders

SPEAR is a unique six-week summer program specifically designed for students entering 6th grade. The program will focus on developing students' critical reading and writing skills, honing their conceptual understanding of mathematics, and building effective study strategies. SPEAR will provide a supportive and engaging learning environment where students can discover their love for learning, sharpen their skill sets, and make a successful transition into middle school. For more information, see http://summer.berkeley.edu/spear.  


Gift Certificates Available
Encourage a family member or friend to experience OLLI. Gift certificates are available for OLLI memberships, courses, and workshops. Download the order form or contact the OLLI office (510.642.9934) to purchase a gift certificate.