The Book Exchange - OLLI at Yavapai College
Happy OLLI Day! - OLLIs at The University of Alabama, Auburn University & University of Alabama in Huntsville
OLLI as a Gateway to Passions - OLLIs at University of California Davis & California State University Fullerton
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Greetings from the NRC    Sep 202015
In typical years, this is the season of pleasing anticipation for upcoming fall courses and events at Osher Institutes. Directors juggle with registration, instructors refine course content, and members pour over catalogs, hurrying to submit registrations so they can get into coveted courses. But in all ways, 2020 is far from typical.

As our NRC team talks to multiple OLLIs daily, we're seeing different sorts of anticipation - most still positive and hopeful - some understandably fearful. Everyone is concerned about maintaining health, both mental and physical. We are right to be concerned about maintaining social engagement and human connection. And optimists and realists alike understand how fortunate we are to live in this digital era, with technology to help us keep up some level of human connection.

As the pandemic lumbers along, more of us are honing our technology skills. Technology is our tool and lifeline right now. Sometimes it can also be a source of joy. By necessity and through our special role in lifelong learning, OLLIs are perfectly positioned to help older adults develop their technology skills with lessons, coaching, and practice - all with the benefits of intellectual and social connection to friends.

We all know people who are resistant to technology. Each of us has our own technology limits and know that deep learning taxes our brains. But as lifelong learners we prove that we can grow and learn each day. It is what we do and who we are. At the same time, we can advocate and encourage each other to use and grow our technology skills. We can do it remotely and kindly. So, I encourage you to focus on helping a few others to learn and grow in these ways - for their benefit first, and for the benefit of your soul, too.

Enjoy our collection of articles this month that collectively show how Osher Institutes are thriving despite the pandemic - celebrating, serving, and learning together. And, keep that healthy and pleasing anticipation alive!
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Yavapai College
Despite the pandemic, OLLI at Yavapai College was able to serve members and have some fun this past spring by adding a weekly outdoor "Book Exchange" event. While local public libraries were closed and interlibrary loans halted, resources for members became scarce or expensive. In the parking lot adjacent to the OLLI offices in Prescott, Arizona, Yavapai College administration allowed the event with the careful precautions recommended by the CDC and the American Library Association: all donations sat in isolation for a minimum of 3 days; masks, (which OLLI had in abundance from a crafty member) were required; and, social distancing was practiced. The one-hour, weekly event was managed by OLLI staff.
The exchange included books, DVDs, games, and puzzles in an effort to keep members intellectually engaged. OLLI staff and volunteers wheeled out about 15 tables each week, which became covered with donated resources. Everything was free. Members were invited to bring things back when they were done, but there was no keeping track. There was no shortage of new donations each week. The book exchange proved to be a great way to safely allow some social interchange between members. The events even included free rides on a "trishaw", provided by " Cycling Without Age" - a local chapter of a worldwide movement to keep older adults experiencing the "joy of riding with the wind in their hair" even when they can't physically cycle themselves.
OLLI Prescott Campus Director Tricia Berlowe noted, "The book exchange was a highlight of the week for both members and staff - it provided a glimmer of normalcy, and a chance to interact with each other."

Submitted by: Tricia Berlowe, Director, Prescott Campus OLLI at Yavapai College

OLLIs at The University of Alabama, Auburn University & University of Alabama in Huntsville
Happy OLLI Day!
In August, three Osher Institutes joined together to celebrate their OLLIs, their members, and lifelong learning! The OLLI Day celebration will now be an annual tradition in Alabama for the OLLIs at The University of Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Auburn University. 2020 marks August 20th as officially OLLI Day for the State of Alabama. As Jennifer Anderson, Director of OLLI at The University of Alabama stated, "We are proud to be the first State to have a day proclaimed as OLLI Day."
Although the pandemic has caused many gatherings to be cancelled, it didn't stop OLLI Day. In fact, it made congregating easier. This year's celebration was on Zoom, where members from across the state joined to mark the occasion. The event was filled with inspirational and congratulatory speeches from members and directors, but also university administration, including: Dr. Royrickers Cook, Associate Provost and Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University, Dr. Karen Clanton, Dean, Professional Studies at The University of Alabama Huntsville, and Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben, Dean of Continuing Studies at The University of Alabama. Three notable presenters from outside the Universities included Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, Bernard Osher, Founder of the Osher Foundation, and Mary Bitterman, President of the Osher Foundation.
Even though it was a celebration, the current events were very much on the minds of the members and staff. As Ale Pacheco, Program Manager for OLLI at University of Alabama in Huntsville stated, "We hope this day helped our members be proud of OLLI and also be confident that even during tough times, they feel supported and a sense of belonging in our community of lifelong learners." In addition, to support the Alabama OLLI community
, Scott Bishop, Director of OLLI at Auburn University, announced the launch 
of a new project, OLLI Alabama Shares, a program for sharing virtual classes among the three Alabama campuses.
The power of OLLI Day was best summed up in the closing remarks of the governor's speech, "...When I retire one day, I may just join OLLI too!" 

OLLIs at University of California Davis and 
California State University Fullerton
OLLI as a Gateway to Passions
Adapted from articles by Caleb Hampton, Lew Livingston, and Elaine Mitchell
After postponing its classes in the winter, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Davis recently expanded its online course offerings and launched a series of special interest groups. These groups meet every weekday and discuss a wide range of topics, from American Literature to Meditation and Yoga, to Recent Developments in Science. These courses allow community members to continue their studies, despite the fact that, "Older adults are among those considered most vulnerable to the virus. Their need to isolate is, perhaps, greater than the population at large," a newspaper article on OLLI at UC Davis states. "But that hasn't eliminated their desire for mental stimulation."
A current OLLI at California State University Fullerton member, Lew Livingston is one such individual on the quest for mental stimulation. A former engineer, Livingston was afforded the opportunity to live and work in Japan in 1975, which sparked his interest in the Japanese language. When Livingston returned home, he began taking courses in introductory Japanese through a UCLA extension program. However, the trials of daily life and an eventual job change stymied his progress, and he eventually stopped studying the subject. Fast-forward to 2013, Livingston was a recent retiree seeking intellectual stimulation. His wife Maureen introduced him to OLLI at Cal State Fullerton, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Livingston has been able to audit CSUF Japanese language and literature courses through his OLLI program, and despite not earning official academic credit, Livingston was awarded a special Certificate of Recognition in Japanese by the university for his tireless pursuit of knowledge in Japanese language and culture. Today, Livingston continues his education on Zoom, while simultaneously benefitting from having Maureen as an at-home classmate.
With the in-person aspect of courses eliminated during the pandemic, students such as Livingston and those in the UC Davis special interest groups have embraced the transition to Zoom learning with the keen understanding that education does not end in the classroom. Dan Porter of OLLI at UC Davis explains that the social aspects of OLLI courses are tantamount to academic pursuits, "Zoom classes allow me to participate and maintain contact with those I have met and continue to meet through OLLI." Fellow OLLI at UC Davis learner Tony Fanning concurs, explaining that "I find that talking to and listening to very intelligent people with their own ideas more than makes up for missing the in-person sessions."
Until in-person coursework resumes, OLLI members across the country are shifting gears and making the most of online learning. Whether the goal be pursuing a dream thought to be lost or engaging in scholarly discourse, the lifelong learners of the OLLI Network are embracing Zoom and other online platforms as they do with each course in which they enroll: with the intention to broaden horizons.

Submitted by: Chris Shaw, ChroniCLE Editor, OLLI at Cal State Fullerton and Lisa Smith-Youngs, Director, OLLI at University of California Davis

2020 Virtual Osher Institutes 
National Conference
The National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes is pleased to announce the 2020 Virtual Osher Institutes National Conference, October 19-28, 2020!

The Osher NRC has been working diligently during the summer months to design and develop an exciting variety of learning and networking sessions as shown in the agenda below. As with past conferences, two representatives from each Osher Institute are invited to attend to make it possible for delegates to meet each other, network, and have substantive discussions and interactions. However, the new virtual environment will allow for expanded participation in selected plenary sessions!

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
Given these current times, we want to make sure our OLLI is meeting the needs of our members with our adjusted programing and operations. What is a good way to do this?
~Osher Institute Director
Dear Osher Institute Director,
With the current remote working and learning environment, the best way to reach your members and get feedback is through an online survey. An online survey will collect the data and provide reporting, and your members are on the computer much more anyway. In other words, they are more likely to see the email with the survey and respond. Many Institutes use this method and find it a useful tool in their planning, processes, and programming. To help get you started, there are many online survey applications out there, but here are three of the most popular and easiest to use: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Qualtrics. Also, here's a few tips to remember when creating your survey: keep it simple, no one likes to take a long survey; carefully craft your questions and response choices, any confusion in the reader's comprehension can skew the results; finally, have fun with it!  

Have a question for Olli? Please send it in care of Kevin Connaughton (kevin.connaughton@northwestern.edu). 

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Marketing to University Employees
With the flexibility of a work-from-home schedule, many adults are finding they have a bit more time on their hands. OLLI at Vanderbilt University (VU) has been marketing Osher Institute membership to Vanderbilt University employees over the age of 50 and are finding success in recruiting these new members. They even sweetened the deal a bit, offering a one-time 50% discount to VU employees signing up for OLLI this term.

 Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
OLLI Design & Production Associate

Program Assistant II - Academic Affairs - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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