Distance Learning with the Smithsonian American Art Museum - OLLI at West Virginia University
Surpassing Fundraising Goal, Giving Back to the University - OLLI at Bradley University
Virginia Commonwealth Council on Aging - OLLI at George Mason University
Make a Difference - OLLI at Brandeis University
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Greetings from the NRC    Aug 2018 15
As we transition into August, many Osher Institutes are balancing some much deserved relaxation with preparations for the upcoming fall terms. Maybe your summer reading is combined with preparations for leading an upcoming course? Perhaps you are perusing the OLLI catalog to register for fall? Hopefully you still have time to savor the summer, maybe visit a farmer's market, hit the beach or pool, or spend time with family and friends from afar.
Here in downtown Chicago, the NRC team has the benefit of a Farmer's Market across the street, free Jazz concerts within earshot, and two Lake Michigan Beaches within sight of our building. The bounty of various sounds, sights and tastes are real treats of summer for us.
This month's newsletter has a summer bounty of articles to inform and delight you, too. Celebrate successes and innovations with OLLIs at the University of West Virginia, Bradley University, Brandeis University, and George Mason University, right here and now. Don't be shy if you see an idea you would like to adapt for your OLLI. And don't be shy about sharing your own successes and innovations with us for future Osher Institute Newsletters.
Here's wishing you a fun and relaxing August,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at West Virginia University
Distance Learning with the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has offered interactive distance learning opportunities to OLLIs since 2013.  Each June, for the past two years, OLLI at WVU has taken advantage of SAAM's offer and hosted a four-part videoconference with study group leaders from the Museum.
Twenty-seven OLLI members attended the class, entitled Beyond the Frame: American History through Artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Drawing from a collection of more than 7,000 artists, the study group leaders chose representative works of art for discussions on the language of art, choices made by artists (Seeing Is Thinking), and contrasting art produced in three eras of America history; Early America, Wars At Home and Abroad, and Contemporary Life. Participants were encouraged to share their thoughts on what they saw and how they felt when looking at a work of art, including how the work was organized. Other discussions delved into what viewers believed to be the message of the artist in a particular piece and how artists communicate with their audience through subject, media, and presentation.
Although some OLLI members who participated had visited SAAM in the past, many others had not. Participants were introduced to art and artists that they did not know and were encouraged to see familiar works in a new light.  The class was well-received, inspiring some members to plan a trip to see the actual works at the Smithsonian.
Submitted by : Jascenna Haislet, director, OLLI at West Virginia University

OLLI at Bradley University
Surpassing Fundraising Goal, Giving Back to  the University
For six consecutive years, thanks to the generosity of its members, OLLI at Bradley University has exceeded its annual giving campaign goals.  In a recent communication to members, the learning community announced it had raised more than $78,000 during the past year.  Highlights of the giving campaign included:
  • A total of 411 donors represented OLLI at Bradley's second-highest donor rate of 37% of membership; 
  • A generous, anonymous OLLI member matched $25,000 of the gifts;
  • The third annual Trivia Night Fundraiser raised over $9,000 from 156 participants;
  • The $78,618 raised will be used to develop new programming in 2019 as recommended by the Executive Committee, provide ongoing maintenance for two shuttle buses, sponsor cinema and lecture programming, award student volunteer scholarships, and invest 5% for future needs.
Along with the good news about the past year's fundraising success, OLLI at Bradley announced the completion of a project made possible by funds raised in the two previous years.  In 2016 and 2017, OLLI members raised more than $100,000 to completely overhaul the audio-visual equipment and to build a soundproof wall in the Michel Student Center ballrooms. Bradley's Continuing Education division added the final funds to complete the wall project.
The soundproof, retractable wall, plus the purchase of new projectors, screens, audio systems, and digital control panels, will make OLLI experiences (as well as everyone else on campus using the space) even more enjoyable beginning this fall.  
OLLI at Bradley's seventh year of annual giving officially begins with the OLLI Trivia Night Fundraiser on Friday, August 24 at the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center. This year's fundraising goal is $55,000 aimed toward  purchasing new audio-visual equipment for the Marty Theatre at Bradley University and funding shuttle maintenance, program sponsorship, and student awards.
Submitted by : Michelle Riggio, associate director continuing education and professional development, OLLI at Bradley University

OLLI at George Mason University
Virginia Commonwealth Council on Aging
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has appointed OLLI at George Mason University Executive Director Jennifer Disano to serve on the Commonwealth Council on Aging.  Disano joins a notable panel of 24 experts that advise the Governor on policy matters relating to aging in Virginia.
Disano was chosen because of her wealth of experience directing OLLI Mason as well as her participation since 2014 on the Long Term Care Coordinating Council of Fairfax. At the helm of OLLI Mason, Disano has updated the organization to meet the needs of a wave of Baby Boomer retirements in Northern Virginia, doubling OLLI course offerings and increasing collaborations and intergenerational opportunities with George Mason University. 
According to Disano, "understanding the needs, concerns and expectations of older adults is critical to making decisions and policy recommendations for the Commonwealth, and it is my honor to share with the Council my insights and experiences serving as the Executive Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Mason to better the lives of fellow Virginians."
The Council is tasked with providing the Governor and General Assembly recommendations on best practices to address the needs of older residents and their caregivers, including improvements to nutritional health for the elderly.  Council members will work with the Commonwealth's Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to help develop strategies and goals to improve services that help the elderly live with more dignity and independence.  The Council also assists the Commonwealth in developing and reviewing the Virginia Respite Care Grant Program.  Since older adults represent Virginia's largest growing demographic, this is a task of enormous significance to the Commonwealth.
Visit the council website for more information about the Council and DARS.
Submitted by : Alice Slayton Clark, communications associate/registrar, OLLI at George Mason University

  OLLI at Brandeis University 
Make a Difference
"Make a Difference" is an affinity group that evolved naturally at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis University. It is led by two long-term members, Elaine Dohan and Eleanor Jaffe who have been participating for many years with classmates in discussion groups as well as in history and current event classes. For example, Eleanor taught a course called "Resistance and Resilience in Politics and Life" in which current issues, as well as law and history were discussed. In addition, every semester OLLI hosts a variety of speakers who stimulate discourse from their unique positions. 
Inviting colleagues to join with Elaine and Eleanor to form a group for civic action seemed an obvious next step. As seniors, their particular experience and perspective gives them a unique vantage point from which to view today's political climate and current events.  They also believe they have a responsibility to their grandchildren to set an example of the importance of citizen participation in civic discourse and action, both through voting and by speaking out. 
Currently, the group is focusing their attention on issues concerning children. These include topics such as immigration, school shootings, voter registration and juvenile justice.  They meet regularly and reach consensus on current critical issues. Actions include writing postcards and calling editors of newspapers, members of Congress, and executives of corporations to urge action on behalf of these important issues.  They then follow up and write "thank you notes" to those individuals and groups who are providing positive leadership in these areas. 
Submitted by : Elaine Dohan, volunteer leader, OLLI at Brandeis University

A Comprehensive National Lifelong Learning Institute Directory
The Osher NRC recently embarked on a collaborative project with The National Association for Area Agencies on Aging(n4a). This project, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, is responsible for creating materials for use by the large community of service providers within their aging network. The Osher NRC is contributing to this undertaking as a representative of lifelong learning. As part of this effort, the NRC developed a comprehensive national lifelong learning institute directory. This directory of Lifelong Learning Institutes - both Osher Institutes and other independent programs - is available on the General Resources page of the Osher NRC website. The directory is organized by state and city, and includes more than 400 known Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) programs throughout the US.
But as we know, LLIs are constantly changing. More are being formed and a few close each year. On viewing the directory, if you find a college or university affiliated lifelong learning program that is not listed, please let us know by sending an email to OsherNRC@Northwestern.edu for future updates.

  Scottsdale, AZ - October 2018
Our aim is to provide well-balanced, nutritious meals and snacks during the conference, as well as enough variety to accommodate attendees with particular eating preferences. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know in June by filling out the appropriate area on your registration form.
For those attendees who need to leave the conference early on Wednesday, October 24th due to flight departure times, a boxed lunch will be available to you. Please try to schedule your flights so that you can stay until 1:30pm for the table topics and lunch.
Conference dress is business casual. Dress in layers so that you are comfortable in both the air-conditioned meeting rooms as well as outdoors where it may be warmer. Monday night's dinner is planned at an outside venue so please plan to wear your school colors and logo-wear to show your institutional pride.  There will also be opportunities for outdoor walks so consider bringing comfortable shoes and warmer clothing for cooler weather in the mornings. We strongly suggest that you check the weather forecast before leaving for the conference and pack appropriately.
Scottsdale is located in central Arizona just outside of Phoenix. October is a coveted time of year by the locals, with a break from the summer heat. Weather in the fall is typically comfortable with highs in the mid-80's and lows in the 60's.  It is rare for it to rain in October, but it can happen and it is best to come prepared with an umbrella or light raincoat.

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
I know you've answered this question before, but we could use a little more clarification.  Our members would like to change the language we use to speak and write about our Institute. They want to shift from using OLLI to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Is this allowable, are we supposed to use one or the other?
~Name Changer

Dear Name Changer,
Hearing the word "OLLI" might lead a Swedish listener to translate it as wool sweater (thank you, Mrs. Osher!); a French listener to translate it as skateboard; or a Turkish listener to translate it as hooray. But here in the United States, many O sher L ifelong L earning I nstitutes made the decision to be known by the acronym of OLLI, while others decided they would be known strictly by the more formal Osher Institute. Either form is acceptable and commonly used in our Network. Some Institutes welcome the acronym in addition to their formal name for purposes of memorability or in conversation. When an Institute shows preference for either naming convention, it is friendly to honor that preference.

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

Educational Travel Ideas from the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at California State University, Channel Islands
Cultural Treasures of Japan
OLLI at CSU Channel Islands is excited to announce their first international trip! Through Collette, this trip will immerse OLLI members in Japanese culture - ancient and modern. Enjoy a sushi lunch in Tokyo's famous fish market, sake tasting at a local brewery, and a traditional kaiseki dinner with a Geisha show in Kyoto. Explore the famous Yanaka Ginza district and the hot springs of Hakone on the shores of Lake Ashi. Travel by famous Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima. Take in magnificent views of Mt. Fuji and visit multiple UNESCO sites included the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine and Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Learn more about this trip to Japan.
Dates: March 10 - March 23, 2019

OLLI at Penn State, University Park
The Canadian Maritimes: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island
The rich maritime heritage and notably friendly locals of the Eastern provinces of Canada give this region its distinct appeal.  Experience the scenery and cultures of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.  Tour Halifax, Saint John, St. Andrews, Charlottetown, and Baddeck, among other enticing destinations.  This trip is offered through Grand Circle Travel. Learn more about this trip to Canada.
Dates : September 13 - 26, 2019

OLLI at University of Vermont
Spain and Portugal: A Historical and Cultural Immersion
Follow a gastronomic trail of tapas, innovative art, architectural wonders and centuries-old culture on this incredible tour through Spain and Portugal. Visit cosmopolitan metropolises, sleepy seaside villages, quaint towns set amid rolling green hills and atmospheric medieval citadels along the way. Admire the masterpieces of Picasso, Dali and Gaudi, experience the passion of flamenco, taste some of the best port in the world and be graced by the style and sophistication of Madrilenos and Lisboetas. This history and culture packed adventure flaunts the very best of Spain and Portugal. Learn more about this trip to Spain and Portugal.
Dates: September 22 - October 2, 2018

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowFive Tips to "Keep it Simple" with PowerPoint Presentations
When presenting information with PowerPoint, effective communication is the key to audience comprehension. How you create your PowerPoint presentations can vastly affect how viewers respond to your content. The first rule in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation is "Keep It Simple".
To help you keep it simple, here are 5 quick tips:
  1. Limit Your Text: Your text should be short, simple, and highlight the main points of your information. It should not be the text of your speech.
  2. Use Images: Images reinforce your information and provide visual interests. Keep your images simple (avoid using too many on a single slide) and relevant to the text.
  3. Don't Use All the "Bells and Whistles": PowerPoint has animation, sound, and other options. Although these are great tools that can add value to your presentations, you don't need to use them all (especially on a single slide).
  4. Limit Your Text Options: There are numerous fonts, colors, and sizes to choose from in PowerPoint, and they can add visual variety. However, a good rule of thumb is to limit your choices; typically, two colors, fonts, and sizes (for the total presentation) can provide variety while maintaining consistency.
  5. Don't Distract, Complement: Overall, the idea behind "Keep It Simple" is to avoid distracting the audience. Your PowerPoint visuals should complement your verbal presentation not replace it.
These tips were provided by Kevin Connaughton, Manager of Adult Learning at the Osher NRC.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Program Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Associate Director, OLLI

Administrative Support Assistant II-Admin, OLLI

Office Specialist, Senior

Program Assistant, OLLI

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