Sandy's Story - OLLI at Florida State University
Gold Fever on the Miracle Mile - OLLI at Casper College
A Tour of the National Civil War Naval Museum - OLLI at Kennesaw State University
Alaskan Travel Programs for all OLLIs - OLLI at University of Alaska Fairbanks
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Greetings from the NRC    Oct 2016 15
Osher Institutes are actively in session across the country. Not unlike the undergraduates, spirits are high as members return or as some OLLI "freshman" begin their first semesters. The NRC mailbox has brimmed with catalogs during the past few months. We see new and creative curriculum offerings from nearly every program in the network. The catalogs seem to be a little larger! It appears that capacity is building along with growing memberships.
A reminder to Osher directors and volunteer leaders involved in fundraising at their OLLI: now is the time to plan end-of-year fundraising efforts. With time for thought, you can urge members to increase year-end contributions; you can create more meaningful appeals that catch the eyes and warm the hearts of supporters; you can focus on the stories of how members find purpose, camaraderie and fun alongside the intellectual stimulation of their Osher courses.  We know that fees and endowment income rarely cover full program operations. Taking year-end opportunities to fundraise helps cover current needs and importantly, builds long-term sustainability for Institutes. As we see some members recruit their children into OLLI, we can see how building programs for coming generations will enrich their lives.  Help fortify your local culture of giving for the future of your Osher Institute.
From the Osher NRC team, we send best wishes for a terrific fall semester,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Florida State University
Sandy's Story
While Alzheimer's can have a devastating effect on families, Debra Herman, director of the Osher Institute at Florida State University, shares a story of inspiration and perseverance. One of their OLLI members, Sandy Halperin, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, has been the subject of a CNN News feature series on Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent at CNN News, followed Sandy, his wife Gail and their family for three years. Their particular attention has been Sandy's personal struggles with memory loss - and covering his public advocacy - dedicated towards raising awareness - (maybe a treatment can be found) - ending stigma; helping patients and caregivers; and encouraging fundraising for research toward a cure.  You'll see him in his every-day family life and you'll see that an enriched life can still be led, at times, during an early stage of cognitive loss. This subject is not just about Sandy. Dementia can touch any of us at any time.  

According to the 2015 World Alzheimer's Report, more than 46 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. That number is expected to rise to 131.5 million by 2050. More than 5 million people reside in the United States, but only half are formally diagnosed. The idea of losing the ability to think and recall is so universally terrifying that many people live for years in a state of denial (LaMotte & Smith, 2016).
Sandy continues to remain active and social and has become a fervent activist, lobbying Congress and has a Linkedin network of Alzheimer's patients, advocates and physicians numbering nearly 10,000 "My focus is to help break the thinking that the patient that has Alzheimer's is sitting in a nursing home," he says, the passion building in his voice.

Recently, Sandy was nominated for a great honor. He is the sixth gala honoree for the Great Minds Gala (March 14), founded 10 years ago by Ellen Proxmire to elevate awareness of the need for improved care for people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. The last five honorees have been Jeanne Phillips ("Dear Abby"); musical superstar Glen Campbell and family; documentary filmmaker, Mark Kennedy Shriver; first lady Rosalynn Carter, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Submitted by : Debra Herman, director, OLLI at Florida State University

LaMotte, S. & Smith, S. (2016). Sandy's Story: Fighting Alzheimer's. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/12/health/alzheimers-sandys-story/index.html

OLLI at Casper College
Gold Fever on the Miracle Mile
"We've got color!" shouts Rick, OLLI instructor and Wyoming state president of the Gold Panning Association of America (GPAA). It is a beautiful fall day on the banks of the North Platte River. Two hours west of Casper, Wyoming, this stretch of the river is known as the Miracle Mile. It is home to some of the finest trout fishing in the country. The craggy Pedro Mountains that form the backdrop of the Miracle Mile are teeming with elk, antelope, deer, and bighorn sheep making it some of the best hunting in the state. In a landscape of superlatives there is one more to add to the list - gold!

OLLI members set their prospecting equipment down and slosh over to where their classmate, Mark, stands wearing irrigation boots in ankle deep water. They hover around him as he hunches over a shallow green bowl. He carefully tilts the bowl this way and that. Tiny gold flecks sparkle in the sunshine against the green background of the bowl. Rick skillfully sucks the gold flecks up with a sniffler. They will later be transferred to a small glass vial that Mark gets to keep.

The group left Casper early in the morning to make the long drive and have plenty of time to prospect for gold. The first task upon arriving was to drive to a nearby rock face and gully to collect buckets of the soil they would sift through in search of gold. Before they boarded the van back in Casper, Rick told everyone to look for the telltale veins of quartz in the rocky outcrop where they were going to dig. They disembarked from the van, picked up their buckets, shouldered their shovels, and resolutely headed off up the gully. Half an hour later each person returned with one or two buckets of soil.

Down at the river, Rick and co-instructor George had set up two "high bankers". These are battery powered machines that are used for sifting soil. Before using the high bankers, OLLI members received instructions about how to "classify" their soil samples by filling a pan that has a screened bottom with a scoop of soil while holding it over a bucket. Water is poured over the soil in the pan and the finer particles fall through into the bucket below. Larger pieces of soil and rock are trapped in the screened bottom of the bowl. The prospector pokes through these looking for "pickers", a piece of gold large enough to be picked out by hand. Any gold that washes through the mesh in the pan will sink to the bottom of the water filled bucket below.

Once all the prospector's soil is classified, the water in the bucket where the finer soil particles landed is mostly poured out. Then the prospector scoops up a small shovel full of this soil and pours it into the high banker. A steady stream of water flows across the angled surface of the high banker where a thin piece of carpet with a wire mesh on top, called a "Hungarian Riffle", will hopefully trap some gold flakes. The final step is for the prospector to take the soil trapped by the Hungarian Riffle carpet and slosh it around in a bucket then transfer it to a ridged panning bowl to seek out the finest particles.

Throughout the day, friendships are forming, everyone has learned new skills, and everyone agrees this was a terrific class. Someone paraphrases an old saying, "even the worst day panning for gold is better than the best day in the office". 

Submitted by: Vicki Pollock, lifelong learning specialist,   OLLI at Casper College  

OLLI at Kennesaw State University
A Tour of the National Civil War Naval Museum 
On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Kennesaw State University's College of Continuing and Professional Education, through their OLLI Program, sponsored a trip to the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia. Civil War historian and instructor Michael K. Shaffer suggested the tour as a capstone to the recently completed course on Civil War naval operations. Twenty-five students, along with others from the Atlanta area participated, and museum curator Jeff Seymour provided an excellent overview of the museum.
Osher students enjoyed learning about the Civil War navies, the ships, sailors, and sacrifices made while in service. Seeing actual flags from various vessels, uniforms, and parts from recovered ships proved a real treat. However, the highlight of the visit occurred when the museum's curator brought out a very rare ship's journal, one not on public display, and allowed each participant to peruse the entries from over 150 years ago!

Submitted by: Pat Walker, program manager, OLLI at Kennesaw State University

  OLLI at University of Alaska Fairbanks 
Alaskan Travel Programs for all OLLIs
The Osher Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks would like to welcome OLLI groups from all over the country for an eleven day Alaskan educational adventure. OLLI programs from the University of Minnesota, Duke University, University of Alabama Huntsville and the University of Vermont have previously enjoyed this travel study program that begins in Fairbanks, moves on to Denali National Park, heads south to Anchorage and on to the coastal community of Seward before returning to Anchorage for their flight home.  One highlight of the trip is to share a dinner one evening in the home of one of the local OLLI members.  This hands-on travel program focuses on the natural, cultural, and political histories of Alaska.  The reaction by all the past OLLI group participants has been highly positive. Osher members have thoroughly enjoyed themselves on this trip of a lifetime.  
This Alaska travel program is built on a model where almost all expenses are included in the program fee: rooms with private baths, three meals a day, all entrance fees, educational programs, and transportation within the program, including all tips. Transportation to and from Alaska is not included because participants often want to expand their travel plans or take advantage of frequent flyer miles they may have. There are only three expenses the individual is responsible for during the program:  laundry, liquor, and luxuries (souvenirs). While in Alaska, OLLI members travel by a Princess Tours motor coach and train.
If you would like to arrange a travel program to Alaska for your OLLI group, please contact Michelle Bartlett, Director, UAF Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning at michelle.bartlett@alaska.edu or call toll-free 866-404-7021.
Submitted by : Michelle Bartlett, OLLI at University of Alaska Fairbanks

Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next webinar on October 19, 2016 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.

The Volunteer Cycle
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Osher Institutes. Their expertise and hard work are crucial to operating an OLLI and they help keep member fees lower. Managing a team of engaged volunteers is both an art and science. There are effective practices at each point in "The Volunteer Cycle" that can bring added success to the program and the volunteer alike.

In this two-part webinar series, Osher directors Ann Nikolai from California State University, Chico, Jeanette Toohey from University of North Florida, and Megan Whilden from Berkshire Community College, along with key volunteers at their programs, share their Institutes' work in volunteer recruitment, strategy and development. They will outline the structure and effective processes they have established in working with volunteers. They will also share the lessons they have and continue to learn along the way.

Please note: The second webinar in the series will be on November 16, 2016. Both webinars will focus exclusively on the roles of committee and leadership volunteers, not on the distinctly different roles of volunteer instructors or volunteer discussion leaders. 

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,
I've heard some OLLI directors talk about resources that are available in the " Secure Login " section of Osher.net but am embarrassed to say, I've lost my director login information. How can I get that info resent to me and why exactly are certain things posted in this section?

Dear Embarrassed,
Don't be! The NRC just wants you to know about and use the growing resources that are protected in the "Secure" area of the network website. One of the reasons this section exists is that private information is posted under the "Directory" tab. Director's email addresses, phone numbers and other information about your program is there for you to compare and contact your Osher Institute peers if needed. It includes your membership count, price structure and online registration vendor information as cited in your last Annual Report. Beyond these, there are video recordings of the monthly Webinars produced in 2016, video or audio recordings of most sessions from the 2015 National Conference, and varied general and curriculum development resources that could come in handy.

You can email Stacey Hart (stacey.hart@northwestern.edu) to be reminded of your login information.

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

Educational Travel Ideas from In and Outside the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at Cal State San Bernardino
Old World Prague & the Blue Danube
Join us for this very special sailing with members from several OLLIs around the country. This cruise showcases several historic European river port cities and includes tours of Austria's renowned Melk Abbey, charming Durnstein, dramatic Bratislava, and the scenic capitals of Prague, Vienna and Budapest. The tour includes a home-hosted visit with a local family in Bratislava, a fun cooking demonstration, a visit to a local school, and on-board lectures on the local culture and economy. Don't miss this incredible opportunity offered in partnership with Grand Circle!  Learn more about this European trip.
Dates: April 23-May 5, 2017
OLLI at University of Nebraska Lincoln
Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade 2017
Learn the history of the parade, talk with a past Rose queen, help decorate one of the floats, watch the competition of award-winning bands. Spend one day at the Getty Center, one of the world's largest arts organizations. Celebrate New Year's Eve with a special dinner. And more! Learn more about this trip to Pasadena.
Dates: December 29- January 3, 2017

OLLI at Boise State University
Enchanting Ireland: Town and Country
The spirit of Ireland is as stirring as a fiddle reel, as hearty as a pub breakfast and as complex as Finnegans Wake. Experience it as you explore Ireland's cities, villages, farms and natural environments and interact with her people on this journey from the rural West to cosmopolitan Dublin in the East. Along the way, enjoy plenty of free time to make your own discoveries. This program is offered in partnership with Road Scholar. Learn more about this Ireland trip.
Dates: May 13-23, 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Branded Thanks
If your institute provides gift cards as tokens of thanks for the special efforts of volunteers or instructors, consider branding those cards. The recipient will clearly remember who gave them this gift. For nominal fees it extends the marketing of your Institute with your established logo and graphics.
See www.awards2go.net for details from one vendor who offers these cards. 

The Osher Institute at the George Mason University has a great example of these cards and the words of thanks that they express with them:

" We're resorting to rhyme
To thank you for giving so much of your time
Your expertise, talent, your vigor and zest
To bring your students your absolute best
We hope that this card will be useful to you
To show we appreciate all that you do!"

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Research Assistant III, OLLI

Office Assistant for OLLI
Texas Tech University

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator, OLLI

Tech Support and Administrative Assistant, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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