OLLI Flash Mob! - OLLI at California State University Fullerton
New I.D. Program - OLLI at Carnegie Mellon University
Where the Journey has Taken Me - OLLI at the University of Cincinnati
More than Just a Recipe: Food for the Soul - OLLI at Vanderbilt University
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Greetings from the NRC    Dec 2015 15
'Tis the season...of annual appeals! My mailbox, and increasingly my email inbox are filled with fundraising requests from non-profit organizations near and far. Generosity swells in the holiday season - and organizations know that many of us are looking for ways to be generous these weeks. Most of the reminders I'm getting are from my perennial favorite organizations. They know they can count on me to send them something this time of year. And it leads me to think this might be a good time to remind Osher Institute members to consider contributing to their OLLI when making their own holiday giving list.

What better way is there to recognize a volunteer, discussion leader, teacher or staff member than by making a gift to the OLLI fund in their honor? What about considering a membership as a gift to someone you know who would love getting involved with OLLI? Or how about funding a known need at your own Osher Institute as a gift to yourself? 
In the generous spirit of The Bernard Osher Foundation, our host universities/colleges and tireless volunteers who give so much to our local OLLI programs, it is time to join the gratitude bandwagon with a gift of any size. 

And to you nearly 2,200 folks who subscribe to this OLLI Newsletter, we send our warmest H-OLLI-day wishes for a safe and happy season.
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director
NRC for Osher Institutes 

OLLI at California State University, Fullerton
OLLI Flash Mob!
For the second year, members of the Osher Institute at California State University, Fullerton have taken to the Quad on campus to perform a flash mob dance. To reduce performance day jitters, OLLI offers a special flash mob class leading up to the occasion. As can be seen in the photos, this is a popular event and a good time is had by all.
Last year's flash mob was to the tune of "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, while this year OLLI members performed to the 1980's hit "Footloose". A video of the 2014 event can be viewed online  for those wanting to pick up some moves that they can share with their fellow Osher Institute members.


OLLI at Carnegie Mellon University
New I.D. Program

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA has created a new program identity logo for use in both promoting awareness of its program on campus and in creating a lapel pin to identify the 2,200+ individual members in the program as they mingle with the students while going to and from their Osher classes at CMU.
From the POP art screen-print style inspired by CMU alumnus, Andy Warhol (Carnegie Tech at the time), this Image represents the teaching, learning & socialization opportunities developed by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Close inspection will reveal the images of their benefactors - Andrew Carnegie and Bernard Osher.
The design is based upon original art/photography done by Joseph Shirk at Osher@CMU. Joe's only educational exposure in art and photography classes came from Osher classes on the subjects. Joe took his first water color classes at 70 years of age - he then took Osher classes in both photography and Photoshop. After another five years of practice, Joe developed the courage to create the new image from photographs he had taken using Photoshop to transform the images to the current design. The very first print made of the new design was presented to Bernard Osher at the 2015 National Conference in Charlotte, NC in October 2015.

Submitted by: Joe Shirk, Member,  OLLI at Carnegie Mellon University  

OLLI at the University of Cincinnati
Where the Journey Has Taken Me  
I am overwhelmed by where the journey with OLLI has taken me.
Last summer, as I sat on the couch in Canteen volunteer Lloyd Synovec's living room in North Platte, Nebraska I began to reflect on the journey.
A friend told me about a book she had read about the North Platte Canteen "Once Upon a Town" (by Bob Greene). The story seemed hard to believe so I bought the book. As I read it I said to myself, "This is the most amazing story I've never heard of" and "Why isn't someone telling their story?" I decided to tell it. Although I had never created and developed a presentation on my own, I had created many PowerPoints for my husband, Bill.
I scheduled the 90-minute talk for February 29, 2012 for the OLLI at the University of Cincinnati. It's hard to describe how terrified I was that day. I had spoken many times in public introducing other people, never "owning" my own creation. I kept saying to myself "If I live til 2:00 pm . . ." I stood up and did it. It was an empowering experience.
I started receiving many requests to tell the story of how 12,000 women in North Platte Nebraska and surrounding communities managed a Canteen during World War II 24/7 for four years feeding six million soldiers all for free.
Since that February day I have given the presentation 33 times to over 1,900 people in five states. I secretly told myself my dream presentation would be to be asked to give it at the WWII Museum in New Orleans. In early 2015 while planning a Veterans Day program for OLLI I called the Museum for some contact information. I was transferred to the President's Office and began a delightful conversation with his assistant. She asked what my connection to WWII was and I explained North Platte. She immediately said, "Please come down here and give our members your presentation." On November 4 I did just that. Despite having given the presentation to all those 1,900 people, I was again as scared as I was the first day.
OLLI gave me the first opportunity and the drive to create and tell this wonderful story. In the process, I have met numerous veterans who were served at the Canteen as they passed through North Platte and several Canteen volunteers in North Platte.
I accomplished what I could not in 40 years of professional work. This second vocation has unleashed creativity that had been waiting for years to be released. Since North Platte I have created and given presentations on Jerrie Mock, the first woman to solo around the world, and the Goodness of Gander on September 11th. I'm now working on presentations about the Children's Holocaust Memorial in Whitwell Tennessee and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Wilma Mankiller, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, said "The most fulfilled people are the ones who get up every morning and stand for something larger than themselves."
Don't let the idea you have lay dormant; OLLI will give you the platform to nourish it and allow it to grow. OLLI offers the opportunity for you to launch your own journey, one that will take you to new people, to new places and the pleasures of unleashing your creativity.

Submitted By: Rosemary Deitzer, Former Board Member & Active Volunteer, OLLI at University of Cincinnati

OLLI at Vanderbilt University 
More than Just a Recipe: Food for the Soul
The Osher Institute at Vanderbilt University was fortunate to get mother/daughter duo Caroline and Alice Randall to teach a course on their new cookbook "Soul Food Love" that offers much more than just recipes. The cookbook is a product of history and their family heritage and incorporates stories passed down from the time of slavery that are woven into each recipe. OLLI members participating in the course were able to learn about both the compelling tales of slaves on the middle passage and how food evolved for African's upon arrival in the United States. An added bonus, the opportunity to learn how to make some of the dishes shaped by history and found in the cookbook.
The Tennesean writer, Jim Myers describes the book as an encapsulation of "their lives and the powerful bloodlines of the women who came before them. It's as much a treatise on the evolution of soul food in this country as it is a hopeful paean for the healing power of these re-imagined recipes in the face of the current obesity crisis." 
This combination cooking and history course makes for a well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience. Read the full story from The Tennessean online here.

NRC Updates

  Charlotte, NC - October 2015
conferenceNational Conference Photos
Don't forget to check out photos from the 2015 Osher Institutes National Conference on the NRC Facebook page!

 basecamp Media Coverage Opportunities
Spreading the word about OLLI is a joyful thing for most members and staff. Folks love to explain how experiences with their OLLI have been an enriching part of their lives.  But when a news coverage opportunity is presented, it changes the dynamic. There is pressure to be succinct but still convey the warmth and camaraderie of an Osher Institute. You want to be positive but get those points across, quickly. With broadcast media, the clock is fast and fleeting. Getting all your points made isn't easy in the very few minutes you are allotted on the air. With print media, making sure a reporter or photographer leaves with a clear picture of your OLLI in the short amount of time they are able to spend with you is often challenging. You soon realize that there is more to being a media-savvy spokesperson than meets the eye. 
Local media coverage is often tied to a special event, kickoff of the semester or milestone. It is often the "news hook" that catches the attention of a reporter or editor. Yet sometimes their interest is in simply covering an overview of an OLLI program for general awareness. Knowing the editorial purpose, having important points top of mind and getting your comments or anecdotes organized takes preparation. One of the best ways to prepare for an interview or news segment is to listen to and read coverage from other OLLIs. That research will help you notice some of the techniques and approaches that are successful. Preparation is the key. Like any other performance, having spent time thinking about and practicing what you will say and the way you will present it dramatically increases your chances of success.
To help that process, listen and read some of these examples of media that have been collected from OLLIs around the country. You will notice that the volunteers and staff members who are quoted are relaxed and well spoken. They come off sincerely and extemporaneously. But behind the scenes, they've likely spent a good amount of time to be ready for that interview, quote or sound-bite.
OLLI at University of North Carolina Wilmington 
OLLI at the University of Pittsburgh 
OLLI at Humboldt State University
OLLI at the University of Cincinnati 
OLLI at the University of Washington 
OLLI at the University of Delaware 
OLLI at University of Nebraska Lincoln   

OLLI at University of Minnesota
Knowledge Quest - Page 32

OLLI at Emory University
Classes for Ages 50+ 

OLLI at University of Nebraska Lincoln 

The OLLI Insider

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
Our curriculum committee recently approved a course for an upcoming semester that has the potential to attract some heated debate. What thoughts can you provide to help us prepare for what could be divisive?
Sincerely, Getting Ready for a Storm

Dear Getting Ready,
One of the hallmarks of Osher Institutes is open and respectful discourse - on many issues. Whether the context is politics, religion or social issues, many OLLIs have experienced strong and opposing views expressed in their classrooms. In fact, many curriculum committees invite just that sort of debate. The key to success is in developing and nurturing a culture of respect - both between individuals and through the spectrum of their viewpoints. Some institutes address this in their organizational policies, by-laws and codes of conduct by reiterating the themes of tolerance and respect. Usually, individual OLLIs work in concert with their host colleges to incorporate the standards and language of the overall university. And there is often thoughtful collaboration between institute volunteer advisory leaders in shaping official statements to meet the needs of their colleagues and members. Finally, a prelude to a course or discussion group that centers on controversial content is a good practice. That prelude might take the form of an OLLI leader or staff person making initial remarks that remind the group of the policy of individual respect that their OLLI collectively holds. It is always good to remind members that an Osher Institute is a safe and welcoming place for honest and courteous discussion.

Have a question for Olli? Please send it to: OsherNRC@northwestern.edu

Educational Travel Ideas from In and Outside the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at the University of Nebraska Lincoln
Trip to China
China is a country of long ancient civilization and rich cultural heritage. It has been one of the hottest international tourists' destinations for many years. To help you to understand and experience this country with your own eyes, OLLI and UNL Confucius Institute (UNLCI) will work together to organize this 11 day trip to China in May 2016. This trip will cover three representative cities in China: Beijing, the nation's political and cultural center; Xi'an, an ancient city which served as capital for 13 dynasties in Chinese history; and Shanghai, a modern and thriving metropolis. In order to better prepare for the trip, a course of Chinese Culture and Language will be offered in Term 3 to look briefly at the areas of Chinese language, food, education, marriage and family.  
Dates: May 9-19, 2016

OLLI at Saginaw Valley State University
Costa Rica: A World of Nature
On this OLLI trip you will experience the beautiful and diverse areas of Costa Rica. Highlights include Tortuguero National Park where you will be surrounded by wildlife. You'll visit a pineapple plantation, learn about bats, and enjoy a rafting adventure on the Sarapiqui River. Near the majestic Arenal Volcano, you may opt to take a "hanging bridges" tour or soak away your worries in the luxurious soothing waters of one of the region's famous hot springs. Other trip highlights include Manuel Antonio National Park, a coffee plantation tour, and jungle crocodile safari. This trip is arranged through Collette Vacations.   Click here for more information.
Dates: Jan 28 - Feb 8, 2016

OLLI at the University of Vermont
Cuba: The People, Arts and Culture
Join OLLI Program Planner Krista Hamel and Kurt Mehta, of the Cuban American Friendship Society in Burlington, for an exciting journey to Cuba! Take advantage of this special moment in history to explore a place that has remained isolated for decades. For those who want to experience Cuba before the inevitable changes that increased tourism and foreign involvement are bound to bring, there is simply no better time than NOW. Explore the true essence of Cuba as you delve into the daily lives of naturalists, historians, and artists while seeing this nation through the eyes of its people. Journey through the history-infused, cobblestone streets of Old Havana. There you will spend time in the Museum of the Revolution, the headquarters of the Cuban government for 40 years. In Havana you will also have the opportunity to visit the Fine Arts Museum of Cuba containing Cuban art collections from the colonial times up to contemporary generations. Visit Ernest Hemingway's home in Cuba where he wrote some of his most famous books. Spend time with musicians in the colonial city of Cienfuegos. Explore Trinadad, a UNESCO world heritage city with amazing colonial architecture. There you will spend time at the Nicho Waterfall. Tour a tobacco plantation for a taste of iconic Cuban culture. On our way back to Havana, visit the Che Guevara Museum and Mausoleum. Enjoy your Cuban transport by private air-conditioned bus. Click here for more information.
Dates: January 9-16, 2016

Interesting Facts to Know and Talk About
didyouknowDid You Know...?
  • A recent study found that people were happiest in youth and then again in their 70s and early 80s.   
  • Older Americans are more educated than ever. Almost 78 percent of older adults have completed high school or higher education.  
  • More than one in four adults age 55+ volunteers in their community.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
OLLI at Duke University
Staff Specialist

OLLI at Texas Tech University

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