Sustainable House Design Competition - OLLI at Northwestern University
Three Generations of Lifelong Learners - OLLI at California State University Channel Islands
Total "SOLLI Eclipse" Coming August 21st! - Osher NRC
Technology Class has a Drone Experience - OLLI at University of Delaware
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Greetings from the NRC    Aug 2017 15
How can it possibly be August already? This remarkable acceleration of summer must be another result of global warming. Or, could it be the impact of being intensely engaged in the Osher Network? 

While our Osher NRC team feels like it has been just minutes since our last newsletter, we have many interesting things to share since hitting the send button in early July.
This month we have articles that span historic natural phenomena, multiple generations of OLLI members, technological innovations, and architectural designs with sustainability in mind. You'll find them fascinating and perhaps, they'll offer ideas for your own OLLI programming.
As the popularity of Osher Institutes has grown, we've observed an increase in summer programming of courses, lectures, and special events. We love to share your stories and successes right here in this newsletter. Tell your Osher friends to subscribe to the email version of the newsletter. It will appear in their personal email box near the first of each month. There's an easy button to click just to the left of this column to join our mailing list.
All our best wishes throughout these fast moving days of summer,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Northwestern University
Sustainable House Design Competition 
When Northwestern undergraduate students began designing their sustainable home entry for the 2017 Department of Energy's "Solar Decathlon" competition, they turned to OLLI members to help them understand the needs and preferences of their entry's target baby-boomer couples. The competition pits 12 collegiate design and construction teams from throughout the country against each other, building full-sized, solar-powered homes. When completed, it will be disassembled and shipped to Denver to compete against the other entries. Later, it will return to Evanston, Illinois for display and eventual sale.

The home was designed for aging-in-place through the team's extensive learning collaborations with community members, particularly the dozen OLLI members who were involved throughout the design phase. The two-bedroom, two-bath, single story unit will include ultra-efficient heating and cooling. And it will be net-positive in energy production achieved through passive design solar panels that will power and store energy for all kinds of household use - including powering a battery-powered vehicle.

Vivien Ng is a 19- year-old Manufacturing and Design Engineering student at Northwestern and the chief  interior designer for the house. "Since last fall, I have led focus groups on campus with seniors who are members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), listening, asking them questions and synthesizing all of the information they gave me into a plan of action," she noted. "The people of OLLI were so very much alive with ideas for how they see their future. They are all living life and trying to enjoy it to the fullest."
Osher member David Paul recalled, "The experience of having both undergraduates and OLLI members working together on a common project was very rewarding. OLLI members have the advantage of a lifetime of experience to draw on while undergraduates have the energy and enthusiasm to drive a project to completion. The end result of working together was far better than what could be achieved by either group working separately."

Submitted by: Kirsty Montgomery, director, OLLI at Northwestern University

OLLI at California State University Channel Islands
Three Generations of Lifelong Learners
While 74-year-old Geri Gretan has attended Osher classes in Ventura County, California since its formation 13 years ago, her mother, 102 year-old Gerri Cowardin has only been a member since 2015. Gerri takes advantage of a special benefit that OLLI at CSUCI offers - members over the age of 100 do not pay class fees. As daughter Geri notes, "it's a real incentive to stay healthy, both mentally and physically." The mother-daughter duo, both retired nurses, regularly take classes and find their inter-generational learning enjoyable and engaging. But their alliance to CSUCI extends to great-niece and granddaughter (respectively) Hannah Ruotsala, as well. Hannah is an undergraduate nursing student preparing for a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner.  The love of
learning isn't only modeled by the women in this family. Geri's husband, retired physician Dr. Fred Gretan also attends OLLI classes.

Read more about this family that proves it's never too late to learn something new.

Submitted by: Courtney Gross, OLLI analyst, OLLI at California State University Channel Islands

National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Total "SOLLI Eclipse" Coming August 21st!  
There are many interesting maps and resources available from NASA on the much-anticipated total eclipse of the sun, hereby dubbed the "SOLLI Eclipse" due to its identified path which crosses so many Osher Institute locations.
The resource at the link above provides exact start and end times along with the longitude and latitude of a location for maximum viewing effect. There are 13 Osher Institute locations in the "path of totality", a 70-mile wide band. Additionally, there are many more OLLIs that are nearby for partial but impactful viewing. The maximum time period points of the eclipse will be between approximately 1 - 4pm Eastern Standard Time, with the first continental point of contact in Oregon at approximately 9am Pacific Standard Time. These maximums last a relatively short period of time, so paying close attention to viewing time is important to optimize the experience. Some OLLIs have created special programming surrounding the event. For example, OLLI at Casper College is perfectly positioned to enjoy the moon-shadowing experience and has offered a course, "Eclipse 101" leading up to the big event.  OLLI at University of Missouri has held a full schedule of "Year of the Eclipse" activities preparing members to understand its significance.

While it is the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918, if you miss this rare celestial event, keep April 2024 in mind. According to NASA, the next total solar eclipse, " will be on April 8, 2024 which will make a track northeast from Texas to Maine and cross the path of the 2017 eclipse near Carbondale, Illinois. Since 1503, there have been 15 total solar eclipse paths that have crossed the path of the August 2017 eclipse. Calculations show that it will take about 1,000 years for every geographic location in the Lower-48 to view a total solar eclipse."
Submitted by: Steve Thaxton, executive director, Osher NRC

  OLLI at University of Delaware 
Technology Class has a Drone Experience
Drones, the monosyllabic catch-all word for remote controlled unmanned aircraft, have captured the attention of almost everyone in the past decade. But the history of drones goes back more than a century.

The members of Paul Collins' Trends in Computing and Technology class at OLLI at the University of Delaware in Lewes/Ocean View, recently welcomed guest speaker T.J. Redefer, a licensed drone pilot with a lifetime passion for photography.

Redefer was an early adopter of drone technology and uses his drone to take pictures of the properties his real estate firm represents. He also takes photos and videos with his drone that have been used in local advertising.  Redefer showed OLLI members how much this technology has advanced in a very short time and highlighted some fun and interesting things you can do with drones. He also discussed some of the problems, rules, and regulations that drone pilots-both hobbyists and professionals-need to consider.   

Submitted by: Anna Moshier, manager, OLLI at University of Delaware, Lewes/Ocean View

Osher NRC 2017-18 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next NRC webinar on August 16, 2017 beginning at 2:00pm Eastern/1:00pm Central/noon Mountain/11:00am Pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 8:00am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Creating Osher Institute Commemorative Publications
Many OLLIs create commemorative publications showcasing their Institute member's creative writing, art or photographic work. Whether filled with life stories, poetry, painting, and pictures or honoring the Institute's history, these publications become mementos and points of pride. Sometimes, these books are associated with specific courses, ongoing special interest groups or Institute milestones. In this webinar, learn from three Osher leaders about their diverse approaches to their own commemorative publications; what worked and didn't work for them; and about the lessons learned on the nuts and bolts of producing these valued keepsakes.
Terry Aaronson, Program Coordinator
OLLI @ Florida State University
Jenny Crowley, OLLI Member
OLLI @ Florida State University
Jennifer Disano, Executive Director
OLLI @ George Mason University
Connie Shoemaker, OLLI Member
OLLI @ University of Denver

If you have interest in being a presenter or have ideas for other topics, please contact Diane Venzera ( diane.venzera@northwestern.edu ). 

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
My friends and I have been talking and we'd really like for our Osher Institute to offer travel opportunities for its members. There seems to be enough interest, but where would we even start to get a travel program up and running?
Dear Wanderlust,
Traveling with your colleagues can be a really rewarding experience, but it can also be a very time consuming process to initiate this type of programming at an Institute. If you and your volunteer friends are willing to take on the heavy workload, it is best to start with an approach to the staff leader at your Institute to check on any policy or legal restrictions your host University may have on travel. You also may want to start small with local trips and then branch out to domestic and eventually international trips once interest is proven at your Institute. There are many travel vendors who currently work with Osher Institutes, specializing in group travel for "seasoned" adult learners. They could be a great aid in your planning and even offer incentives for your OLLI travel program.

Have a question for Olli? Please send it in care of Stacey Hart at the NRC:Stacey.Hart@Northwestern.edu  

Educational Travel Ideas from the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at University of Alaska Fairbanks
Scotland: People, Power & Politics
Our journey begins in the city of Glasgow, then continues on to Stirling where we'll walk in the footsteps of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Onwards to Fort William to enjoy a Ben Nevis hike and cross Harry Potter's viaduct on The Jacobite, a steam train. Then it's 'over the sea to Skye' to discover magical fairy glens and learn some of the Gaelic language. Visit Inverness and travel through ancient pine forests to Perth, stopping en-route for a 'wee dram'. Explore Scone Palace and meet the students of St Andrews University. Our journey ends in Edinburgh where we will visit Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament. Learn about the recent battle for independence and discuss the implications of 'Brexit' with members of the Scottish Parliament and local young people. Read more about this trip to Scotland.
Dates : Sep 18 - Oct 4, 2017

OLLI at University of Nebraska Lincoln
Branson Holiday
Get an early start celebrating the holidays with the best of Branson holiday shows. This trip has been scheduled for the week prior to Thanksgiving to avoid the December rush. Seven great shows are featured with Branson's most talented entertainers. PLUS, enjoy your stay at the Chateau on the Lake, Branson's premier hotel. Travel to Branson will be via deluxe motor coach. There should be time to unpack at the Chateau before your included dinner and the first show. Learn more about this trip to Branson, MO.
Dates: Nov 15-18, 2017

OLLI at University of Massachusetts Boston
France (
Bordeaux, Dordogne, Toulouse, Carcassonne, & Albi)
Begin in Bordeaux, a UNESCO world heritage site before cruising on a Garonne river boat to explore the salt/fresh water bay and its seafood industry. St. Emilion is a beautiful old town with vintage wines - which we will sample. Then, move up into the Dordogne valley, with a stop at the Rouffignac cave paintings, before arriving in Sarlat. With a culinary guide, you will explore and taste the products and produce at the Sarlat Saturday Market. Optional canoe/kayak trip on the river in late afternoon. In Beynac, enjoy a boat ride on an authentic Gabarre river boat. After a stop at Les Eyzies Museum, visit Lascaux IV (opened Dec., 2016), the newest and best reproduction of the famous prehistoric caves. Moving south we discover more small medieval villages dating back to the 13th - 16th centuries before arriving in Toulouse, the "pink" city. From here, explore remarkable Carcassonne and Albi, home of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, and taste wines of the AOC Gaillac vineyards, first planted by the Romans. Learn more about this trip to France.
Dates : Oct 10-20, 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Conduct Member Satisfaction Surveys
As OLLI programs grow, it is valuable to conduct regular surveys to make sure that your Institute is meeting the needs of it's members. The Osher Institute at Johns Hopkins University has a program site in Columbia, Maryland which has grown steadily to approximately 300 members. To gain a clearer picture of how well the program was meeting members' needs and expectations, the Advisory Board distributed a focused member survey. The Board and staff agreed on three simple questions, addressing the comfort and convenience of the facilities, the interest and value of the social outings, and the perception of the overall program. The responses could be very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. Members were encouraged to provide additional comments and suggestions. Responses were overwhelmingly positive and the comments offered a wealth of ideas for tweaking or enhancing in all three of the areas queried. Results were published in the member newsletter and a list was created for follow-up items for the Board and staff.  Contact Bob Stiefel at rhsbiomedical@hotmail.com with questions.  

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Program Assistant - OLLI

Director, Office of Life Long Learning

Program Coordinator - OLLI

Program Manager, OLLI-UA

Is there a staff opening at your Osher Institute? Please send it to us at  oshernrc@northwestern.edu