OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
December 2011
OLLI Announcements
Fourth Age Salons
Faculty Interview: Ronelle Alexander
Annual Fund
Call for Class Assistants
Cuba Travel Program
Notices about Email
Change to Course Handout Distribution
Interest Circles
The Lunch Bunch
Member Benefits and Partner News
2011-12 Academic Calendar
Gift Certificates
Join Our Mailing List!
Donate to OLLI

Find OLLI on Facebook

OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman
Program Coordinator
Aileen Kim
Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine
Classroom Coordinator
Rosina "RJ" Bruno
Research Assistant
Sandra von Doetinchem
Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi, Camille Enriquez, Justin Jackson, Tamar Lee, Katherine Van Zalen, Suna Wilkerson
OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax. 510.642.2202


Winter Registration and Brochures
Winter 2012 registration is in full swing, with one class already filled and others on their way to reaching capacity. If you're thinking of registering for the winter, we encourage you to register early to ensure your place. Complete course descriptions are posted on our website, and many courses also have syllabi available on their course page.

The brochure is currently available in PDF version on our website. Download the brochure. For those on the mailing list, brochures will be arriving in the mail in the coming days. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, call 510.642.9934 or email berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu.

We need volunteers for brochure distribution. If you are a member of a group, club, church, synagogue, etc., or frequent doctors' offices, libraries, or other locales where OLLI brochures could be put on display, please contact Satya (satyalevine@berkeley.edu) to arrange to pick-up brochures from the office. 

OLLI Announcements


OFFICE CLOSURE ~ Dec 19-Jan 1 

The OLLI office will be closed from December 19, 2011-January 1, 2012. It will still be possible to register for the Winter 2012 term online during that period.


WINTER 2012 OPEN HOUSE ~ Jan 17 

January 17, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Doors open at 9:30 am
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free | Reserve a place 



San Francisco film critic Michael Fox will discuss his picks for upcoming Bay Area film festivals.  


Thursday, January 19, 1:00-3:00 pm
Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
Free | Reserve a place  


Fourth Age Salon ~ Dec 5
OLLI @Berkeley invites community members age 80 and up to our next Fourth Age Salon which will take place on Monday, December 5, from 3:00-4:30 pm, in Room 41B University Hall (2199 Addison St, Berkeley.)

This month, we will focus on options for those who are experiencing hearing loss or challenges, with a presentation by hearing expert Peggy Kelly followed by a Q&A. The session will be captioned and displayed on the classroom screens.

Please contact research assistant Sandra von Doetinchem at sandra.doetinchem@berkeley.edu if you have any questions.
Faculty Interview: Claudia Belshaw
by Don Queen 


No doubt you have heard or read about California's costly, overcrowded and inhumane prison system. It is in the news almost every day. While California once led the nation in prison reform with indeterminate sentencing, diminished capacity and rehabilitative services, the courts, the voters, and the legislature have substituted fixed sentencing, outlawed diminished capacity as a defense, and initiated the controversial Three Strikes Law.


For a better understanding of these issues, OLLI is offering a class this winter called "Punishment and Crime: The California Prison System" with Claudia Belshaw, B.A., and M.P.A. in Justice Administration.


She has taught classes for OLLI at SFSU and Dominican University.


As a retired associate warden at San Quentin State Prison with over thirty years experience, she has an insider knowledge and understanding of the situation.


When asked how she got into the corrections field, she said that on the advice of a friend, she applied for a job in corrections and she was hired as a correctional officer at Soledad Prison in 1978. However, it proved to be a greater challenge than she had anticipated. As it happened, Soledad, a men's institution, had just begun to introduce women into its staff as part of a systemwide gender integration of employees. "I was one of three or four females who worked inside Soledad." Neither the inmates, staff, or administration were used to seeing women on the premises. "The harassment was huge" and it was a harrowing time especially as "I was born and raised in Berkeley and a UC Berkeley graduate who had studied Women's Studies." I dealt with it the best I could. She transferred to San Quentin in 1981 working as a corrections officer, followed by a variety of positions in several institutions and eventually as manager of the San Quentin Reception Center. She says that it still was twenty years before women were accepted into management positions.


Claudia Belshaw's insider's background will provide the class with the opportunity to examine the historic and philosophic as well as demographic background behind punishment and crime in California. She will visit its hidden financial and social costs utilizing little-known financial and statistical documents of the Department of Corrections. The class will review the impact of the courts, voter initiative, the legislature, and the Correctional Peace Officers Association on the day-to-day operations of a prison, sentencing, overcrowding, and health care. California's death penalty dilemma will be presented by the former warden of San Quentin, Jeanne Woodford, who is current Director of Death Penalty Focus. The segment on prison culture on the inside and out--the link between prison and street crime--will examine some of the controversies from George Jackson to the super-max prison at Pelican Bay.


Finally, a section entitled "Prison Realignment: The Ins and Outs of SB 109, Public Safety Nightmare or Restoration of Justice" will be a discussion of a new law which shifts non-violent inmates of state prisons to the counties. A possible solution? Come join us on Thursday afternoons and make up your own mind.


Claudia Belshaw will be teaching "Punishment and Crime: The California Prison System" on Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm, beginning February 2. 


2011-12 Annual Fund
Thanks to all those who have already donated to the OLLI 2011-12 Annual Fund--we have raised just over $10,000 toward our goal of $65,000! If you have not yet donated, consider making your gift before the end of the year to qualify for a 2011 tax deduction.

Donations can be made online via secure server or by check (payable to "UC Regents"), mailed to 1925 Walnut St #1570, Berkeley 94720-1570.

Call for Class Assistants
Class Assistants are an important part of the OLLI program and are needed every term to help with check in and closing up classrooms. If you would like to help out by volunteering or would like to know more about what a Class Assistant does, please contact the OLLI office at berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu. OLLI volunteer Cheryl Brewster will follow up with scheduling based on your class selections.

Cuba Travel Program: Deadline Extended!
A few places remain for the Cuba travel program and the deadline to reserve has been extended to December 7, 2011. To reserve a place, contact Frania Monarski at frania.monarski@roadscholar.org or toll free at 1.877.209.4634.

Cuba Today: People and Society
March 15-23, 2012

A special offer from the Elderhostel Institute Network for members of
OLLI @Berkeley, spouses, partners, and friends.

Delve into the rich history and heritage of Cuba. In the heart of Havana and Cienfuegos, meet members of the local communities to discuss their faith, lives and, cultural traditions. Meet face-to-face with community leaders, local residents, artists and intellectuals to discuss Cuba today, and explore local landmarks that are significant to Cuba's cultural heritage. This program will be joined by Professor Alex Saragoza, who will teach "Contemporary Cuba" at OLLI on Thursdays, 10:00 am-12:00 noon starting February 2.

More information

Notices about Email
The UC Berkeley campus email system, CalMail, is experiencing ongoing performance issues which impact email for the entire campus community, including OLLI. Campus authorities are working diligently to resolve the issues as quickly as possible, however, for the time being please be advised that OLLI's email response time may be delayed.

We have noticed that Comcast often classifies emails sent from RegOnline, OLLI's course registration system, as spam and blocks delivery. This means that if you have a "comcast.net" email address, you may not receive your confirmation email or important announcements about your courses, such as reading material, classroom changes, and other course-specific updates.

If you have a comcast.net address, here's what you can do to help ensure you receive these updates:
  • Add "events@regonline.com" to your email address book or "white list"  
  • If you have an alternate, non-comcast.net email (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), contact the OLLI office at 510.642.9934 or berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu to update your address
Change to Course Handout Distribution
This winter, OLLI will begin distributing course handouts via the web for all except those without iInternet access. If you are registered for the Winter 2012 term, you will receive an email with detailed instructions before the beginning of the term.

Interest Circles

Are you interested in continuing to explore a class topic with other members? Consider forming an Interest Circle or joining one of the proposed groups. See details on the Interest Circles webpage. Members will set up the group's schedule at the first meeting. Interest Circles started meeting on Tuesday, November 15, and will continue until January 12, 2012. You must be a current member to participate. Contact Allyn Saroyan at allynsar@comcast.net or the the OLLI office if you have questions


The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer


Namaste Madras Cuisine

2323 Shattuck Ave, between Bancroft Way and Durant Ave 




In a large, beautifully refurbished space that used to house the Fidelity Savings Bank, you will find this new Indian restaurant which features Madras cuisine in addition to more familiar dishes. The location is a few blocks away, but certainly within walking distance from the OLLI classrooms.


The atmosphere is quiet, service solicitous, and they have beer and wine too. There's a lunch buffet, but also some low cost special lunch deals. This would be a good place for a large group.


Member Benefits and Partner News

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.

Jazz Cafe: 10% Discount for OLLI members
Ongoing through the Spring term, 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 Coffeehouse.


2011-12 Academic Calendar
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

Gift Certificates Available
Encourage a family member or friend to experience OLLI. Gift certificates are available for OLLI memberships, courses, and workshops.

Download an order form or contact the OLLI office (510.642.9934) to purchase a gift certificate.