Continuing and Professional Education

OLLI-UO Program Schedule

Current OLLI-UO program offerings are listed below. Select each title to see a full description.

Program offerings take place via Zoom and are open to all members at all program sites, unless otherwise indicated in the listing. Zoom links are emailed to all members the day before the start date, unless otherwise indicated.


Offered as series or stand-alone sessions, these dynamic presentations are typically taught by university faculty, community experts, and OLLI-UO members. The lecture format consists of a presentation followed by lively discussion. Registration not required unless indicated in listing. Zoom links are emailed to all members the day before the start date, unless otherwise indicated.

International Relations

First and Third Wednesdays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

This lecture series focuses on international affairs, history, current global developments and U.S. foreign policy. Participants learn through guest and facilitator presentations and discussions on topics connected with geo-politics, international business, global cultures, trade, the environment, and America’s place in the world.

International Relations is a quarterly lecture series planned and facilitated by Eugene/Springfield members Howard Schuman and Susan Walcott.


Gary Shaye of Save the Children will be our presenter on Wednesday September 2nd. Gary will share his experience with an organization that grew from a six million-dollar annual budget in 1975 (when he started) to over $835 million in FY 2019.

Gary will share some examples which will illustrate the opportunities and challenges that organizations similar to Save the Children face in their operations in the US and around the world. These include the organization, financing, delivery, and obstacles of providing aid to those most in need.

About The Speaker

Gary Shaye has devoted 45 years to Save the Children’s work with children, families, and communities around the world. In 2017, Gary led the organization’s post-Hurricane Irma relief response in Florida in an emergency capacity, and, in 2018, he served as Team Leader in Puerto Rico for the response to Hurricane Maria. In April and May of 2019, he served as Team Leader in Colombia for the response to the Venezuelan crisis.

Among his many other assignments, he previously spent six years in Nepal where he established Save the Children’s country operations there and assisted in starting up programs in neighboring Bhutan. Gary has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cuzco, Peru.

Gary received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his master’s degree from the School for International Training in Vermont.


Ethiopia is unique among countries in Africa in many ways. Former UO Provost John Moseley will briefly describe the country's history and unusual characteristics, followed by a description of a health crisis in the birth defects of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A small non-profit, Reach Another Foundation, based in Bend, Oregon, has over the past ten years led Ethiopia in addressing this scourge, and is on the verge of assisting in reducing these birth defects to levels similar to those in Western countries.

About The Speaker

John Moseley is a Physics Professor Emeritus at UO, and served as Vice President for Research (1984-1994) and then as Senior Vice President and Provost (1994-2006). He received his BS (1964), MS (1966) and PhD (1969) from Georgia Tech and then moved west to Palo Alto, CA to work as a research scientist at Stanford Research Institute. In 1979 he came to UO.


If we take Churchill's maxim on Russia, and apply it to Israel/Palestine, it still rings true: It's..." a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

Two long-time Eugene residents with links to the region will take a look at this riddle with a focus on visioning what does justice look like in Israel/Palestine. We'll have a chance to listen to several points of view, including ending of the occupation, ceasing of confiscating land, and human rights for all from Ibrahim Hamide, born and raised in Bethlehem. And we'll also hear from Jonas Israel from a healthcare and psychological point of view, based on his religious and educational background.

Both will look at how can we heal the divide.

About The Speaker

Ibrahim Hamide came to study at the UO in 1969 and has stayed ever since. Most of his family still live in Bethlehem. A long time student of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, Ibrahim co-founded three local organizations dealing with that issue including the Inter- religious Committee for Peace in the Middle East with Rabbi Myron Kinberg and Don Clark. Ibrahim is currently a human rights commissioner for the city of Eugene. He is also owner of Cafe Soriah on West 13th St. in Eugene.

Jonas Israel is a Registered Nurse with a background in psychology. He also holds an MA in Theater Arts from the Drama Studio London/Berkeley. His interest in Israel and the Palestinian peoples derives from many areas. He attended a Lubavither (ultra-Orthodox) Yeshiva and several other yeshivas in Israel. He approaches Israel from a religious perspective, as well as the fact that ninety percent of his family live there. They span the vast reaches of Israeli society, with several being in the government. Jonas asks, "What is Justice and what would it look like to be inclusive of both the Israeli and Palestinian interests?"


The Americans (and the French) renewed the Greek concept of citizenship in the late eighteenth-century. Even though citizenship remains more aspiration than reality, most Americans have regarded it as a progressive and benign idea. We have insisted at home and abroad that citizenship is the defining characteristic of all regimes of representative democracy and constitutional rights. This talk reconsiders that perspective by examining the relationship of citizenship to the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas, the Holocaust, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi, and the so-called “auto-genocide” in Cambodia. These comparisons may lead us to think of the idea of citizenship in another way: not as the essential prop of national liberation and inclusion but rather as the ideological foundation of the very state oppression and exclusion that the French and American Revolutions claimed to overthrow.

About The Speaker

Douglas Greenberg is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Rutgers University, where he was also Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Trained as an historian of the United States at Rutgers and Cornell, he taught at Lawrence, Princeton, USC, and Rutgers. In addition to his work as a scholar and teacher, he has served as the CEO of the Chicago History Museum and the Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.


The U.S. media present an image of Europe and Israel as beacons of pluralism and democracy with the Arab world best summarized as, well, ISIS. Ken Dorph has spent a good deal of his life in the Arab countries, from Morocco to Iraq, and has lived the breathtaking diversity of the region. Ken will explore the surprising historical tolerance of the Arabs which has been deeply and negatively impacted by Western intervention and the conflicts with Israel. Ken will look at the position of minorities to examine the changing and complex environment, with a focus on two that he knows well, the Jewish and LBGT communities.

About The Speaker

Ken Dorph is a leading financial sector consultant with particular expertise in the Middle East. Staff at the World Bank have called him their 'go to guy' for banks and financial systems in the Arab world. Ken has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, including a Fulbright in Damascus, and an MBA from the Wharton School. He is fluent in Arabic, Spanish, and French and conversant in several other languages. Ken has a separate career as an advocate for understanding the Middle East and has lectured or led panels at the University of California at Berkeley, the Wharton School, the University of Michigan, the New School, Georgetown University, and the World Bank.


NOTE SPECIAL TIME: 3:00–5:00 p.m.


The UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 states that by 2030, nations should ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, modest progress towards the holistic development of young children (their health, nutrition, cognitive development, and protection) had been made in most countries of Asia.  This progress is being tracked in relation to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 – progress which has been seriously halted, and even reversed, by the pandemic. Appropriate practices and policies must now be implemented by families, governments, and the international community to help ensure that young children, especially those most disadvantaged and excluded, are raised in a nurturing environment and are able to develop to their fullest potential.

About The Speaker

Sheldon Shaeffer has a B.A., M.A. (anthropology), and Ph.D. (international development education). He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Asia-Pacific Regional Network on Early childhood (ARNEC). He was formerly Chief of UNICEF's global education programme in New York and Director of UNESCO's Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education. He has taught, done research, and worked in development programmes in Southeast Asia for over 50 years. His interests now focus on early childhood development and inclusion in education and learning.


The final meeting of 2020 will continue the tradition of an annual International Relations "Brainstorming Session" to spark discussion of past sessions and elicit suggestions for future topics and speakers. We will break into small groups to mull over topics we particularly enjoyed and those that members would like to see addressed next year. IR continues to benefit from long as well as short-distance presenters, both pre- and post-Covid, so "the sky’s the limit" to our continuing international reach.

Earth Science and the Environment

Fourth Thursdays, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

For some of us, concern for the Earth's environment is front and center in our lives. We were in college at a time when environmental activism was born in the U.S. and now, the love of our planet and humanity is as strong as ever. Studies of the Earth’s environment have made major strides in the past few decades due to new sensors, new data, and better models.

The Earth Science and the Environment lecture series began as a discussion group. The format has evolved to feature guest presenters, followed by a discussion and Q&A session. Content for each lecture is drawn from recent events or developments in Earth science, climate change, and the environment. Key components for each session are 1) advocacy and 2) learning.

November 19: Sustainability Efforts And Achievements In Bend And Eugene
Description for City of Bend

The City of Bend recognizes the importance of sustaining the natural environment surrounding its community and is committed to climate action and environmental stewardship to ensure Bend remains a great place to live for generations to come. While the city of Bend’s commitment to the environment has been strong for decades, over the last few years, Bend has been taking stronger steps to commit to addressing climate change. Bend adopted climate action goals in 2016 and recently adopted its first Community Climate Action Plan.

The Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) is a roadmap, co-created with the community, for how the city and its partners will reduce greenhouse gas emissions community-wide to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. The CCAP includes 20 high level strategies and 42 specific actions that the city will take over the next five years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put the community on the path to a sustainable future.

About the Speaker

Cassie Lacy is a Senior Management Analyst in the City Manager’s Office at the City of Bend and leads the City’s environmental and natural resource initiatives. Originally hired in 2018 to lead the development of the Community Climate Action Plan, Cassie now oversees the City’s climate action work and focuses on integrating the City’s climate action goals across the organization. Prior to joining the City, Cassie worked at the University of Washington as the Sustainability Coordinator. She received her masters degree in sustainability from Arizona State University and her bachelors degree in environmental studies and ecology from the University of Colorado. In her spare time, she enjoys all the outdoor activities Bend has to offer.

Description for City of Eugene

Eugene, Oregon, enjoys a long history of innovation, vision, and commitment to sustainability. We take a comprehensive approach that places equal importance on advancing social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental health.

The Eugene City Council approved Eugene’s Community Climate Action Plan 2.0 on July 29, 2020. The planning process was data-driven and built Eugene’s community capacity to address climate change by bringing new voices to the table in innovative ways, including through an Equity Panel and by forming the Eugene Climate Collaborative. The Plan includes 115 actions from the Eugene Climate Collaborative, 25 State and Federal Actions, and 41 Equity Recommendations.

About the Speaker

Chelsea Clinton joined the Sustainability Team at the City of Eugene in 2017 and is currently the Sustainability Manager. Her work focuses on implementing the City of Eugene’s Climate Recovery Ordinance with a strong emphasis on incorporating all aspects of the triple bottom line (social equity, environmental health, and economic prosperity) into her projects. Prior to joining the City, Chelsea worked for the Oregon Department of Education where she did research focused on equitable outcomes for students. Chelsea has masters degrees in economics and public administration from the University of Oregon. Most of her free time is spent with her husband, Patrick, and sons Benjamin (age 4) and Oliver (age 1.5).


Suzanne Butterfield and Ron Polidan

What's Going On With Our Weather and Climate?

Thursday, October 29, 10:00 a.m.–noon (part 1)
Tuesday, November 17, noon–1:30 p.m. (part 2)

Unprecedented changes are occurring today in the earth’s climate system. The Pacific Northwest has warmed nearly 1.5°F over the past 100 years, along with the warming of the entire earth’s atmosphere and the global ocean over the same period. While these changes may seem relatively small, they are having enormous impacts on earth’s ecosystems, our physical environment, and global society. The growing recognition of the problem has led to a field of research called geoengineering, the study of strategies to mitigate CO2 increase and global warming. Regardless of the outcome of these efforts, global societies will have to adapt to the new reality of a warmer planet.


Dr. Richard H. Johnson is professor emeritus in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU), where he has been a faculty member since 1980. He served as Department Head from 2007 to 2011. His research interests are in the areas of atmospheric convection, tropical and monsoon dynamics, mesoscale processes, and the atmospheric boundary layer. Johnson received his PhD in 1975 from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences the University of Washington, an MS from the Department of Geophysical Sciences the University of Chicago in 1969, and a BS in Physics from Oregon State University in 1967.

History of Western Music: Baroque and Classic Periods

Tuesdays, November 3–December 15, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

This seven-part series is the second of three modules of a survey of the western music tradition and covers the Baroque (1600-1750) and Classic (1750-1800) periods. Instructor Barbara Myrick will cover the early, middle, and late eras of the Baroque period; pre-Classic period transitions and sonata form; instrumental sonata, symphony, and concerto; developments in opera; and the transition into the Romantic period. Composers discussed and examined during the series include: Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven—to name a few! The series features live piano and harpsichord demonstration-performances.


Barbara Myrick is a retired member of the music faculty at Lane Community College, where she taught Music History and Sight-Reading/Ear Training II. She continues as a substitute instructor at LCC and also advises her own music students. She has performed in countless LCC productions and coordinated many faculty concerts.

Barbara received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Montana State University, after which she taught at Wilsall, Montana. In 1970, she came to the UO, from which she obtained her Master of Music in Piano Performance and her Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education, Piano and Flute performance. She joined the music faculty at LCC in 1973. In 1981-1983 she took a break and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she earned another Master's degree in Musicology, specializing in Performance Practice.

1945–The Year that Shaped the New Germany

Tuesday, November 10, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

This year’s 75th anniversary of the end of World War II presents us with a valuable opportunity to look back at the events that took place in 1945, a year pivotal for the transformation of Germany from a brutal belligerent dictatorship to a flourishing and pacifist democracy. Join German Historian Anette Isaacs for a fascinating discussion of how key events like the bombing of Dresden, the Potsdam Conference, and the beginning of the Nuremberg trials played a crucial role in this remarkable process.


Anette Isaacs, MA, is a German Hhstorian and public educator who has been presenting hundreds of programs on more than 30 different topics relating to her native country’s history, politics, and culture. Ms.Isaacs holds Masters Degrees in American Studies, Political Science, and History and is an adjunct faculty member at the lifelong learning departments of Oakton College, the College of Lake County, Harper College, the College of DuPage, and McHenry County College, all located in Illinois. She is also a popular instructor at Florida Atlantic University’s OLLI in Boca Raton and recently was invited to present her programs on Germany at the Lifelong Learning Departments of Ivy League’s Dartmouth College and "Public Ivy's" William and Mary in early 2021.

The History of Polio: Vaccines, Global Polio Eradication Today, and One Family’s Challenges in the Pre-ADA Era

Wednesday, November 11, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Author and OLLI-UO member Susan Wyatt will present on the history of polio and why it took so long to develop vaccines—with a few comparisons to today's coronavirus. She will discuss the development of current global efforts to eradicate polio.

In her presentation, Susan will provide additional context by relating her family’s polio challenges in the pre-ADA era—especially the obstacles her father, who was left a polio paraplegic in 1909, had to overcome as a disabled person. She will share first-hand experience with the poliovirus: her own case of non-paralytic polio in the 1952 epidemic and subsequent post-polio syndrome. Susan’s recent book, A "Polio" Finds His Way: My Father's Remarkable Journey is featured in the presentation.


OLLI-UO member Susan Clough Wyatt has always loved to write and document family stories. History came alive for her when she began as a teenager helping her father trace family genealogy. She has researched her family's roots in southeast England and Wales, in Virginia, Georgia, Texas, and New Mexico, and in various libraries and historical museums.

Wyatt grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. She holds a B.A. in political science from Whittier College, an M.A. in international relations from the University of Michigan, and an M.A.T. from Antioch-Putney Graduate School of Education. She obtained a remote-learning Ph.D. in 1992 in human resource development and counseling that incorporated courses taken at North Carolina State University to complete her North Carolina counseling credentials.

In retirement, Wyatt has so far put her research and story collecting into three books. Her most recent book is A "Polio" Finds His Way: My Father's Remarkable Journey, published in April 2020.

Black Cultural Heritage and the Politics of Diversity in Colombia

Thursday, November 19, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Why has the recognition of Afro-descendants' "cultural heritage" further marginalized Black communities in Colombia? In 2005 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the cultural practices of the Afro-Colombian town of San Basilio de Palenque as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” Though this declaration was widely celebrated as an avenue for Afro-descendants’ political inclusion and an engine for local sustainable development, it also created a series of paradoxical effects. Today, the Palenquero community is more visible than ever before, yet Palenqueros feel more vulnerable now than ever.

In this talk, Dr. Maria Fernanda Escallón will examine the situation of a group of Palenqueras working as fruit vendors on the streets of Cartagena. These women felt exploited by the heritage recognition process, which popularized their image as an icon of heritage tourism, without providing any tangible financial benefit. The disconnect that exists between Palenqueras' public image and their lived experience in an effort to trace how their characterization as Afro-descendant living heritage became both an opportunity for and an obstacle to their socio-economic mobility. While the heritage recognition made Palenqueras hyper-visible as touristic icons, it also hid the precarity of their situation as street vendors.


Maria Fernanda Escallón is an assistant professor in the UO Department of Anthropology. Dr. Escallón is a socio-cultural anthropologist and archaeologist interested in cultural heritage, race, diversity politics, ethnicity, and inequality in Latin America.

Prior to joining the Anthropology Department at the UO, she was a 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work examines the consequences of cultural heritage declarations and draws attention to the political and economic marginalization of minority groups that occurs as a result of recognition.

Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in Colombia, her current book project examines the consequences of cultural public policy on marginalized communities and minority groups. Specifically, her research traces how the declaration of cultural practices of Afro-Latino communities as “heritage of humanity” may further marginalize already vulnerable community members and leave structural racial inequities intact. She is particularly interested in understanding how and why certain multicultural policies that are ostensibly inclusive, can end up replicating, rather than dismantling, inequality and segregation across Latin America.

The Situation Of Young Children In Asia: Their Growth And Development (Pre- And Post-Covid-19) And How U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 Can Be Achieved

Wednesday, December 2, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

Note: This Internatonal Relations lecture series offering is scheduled at a special time to accommodate the speaker, who will present to OLLI-UO from Thailand.


The UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 states that by 2030, nations should ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, modest progress towards the holistic development of young children (their health, nutrition, cognitive development, and protection) had been made in most countries of Asia. This progress is being tracked in relation to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4.2–progress which has been seriously halted, and even reversed, by the pandemic. Appropriate practices and policies must now be implemented by families, governments, and the international community to help ensure that young children, especially those most disadvantaged and excluded, are raised in a nurturing environment and are able to develop to their fullest potential.


Sheldon Shaeffer has a B.A., M.A. (anthropology), and Ph.D. (international development education). He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Asia-Pacific Regional Network on Early childhood (ARNEC). He was formerly Chief of UNICEF's global education programme in New York and Director of UNESCO's Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education. He has taught, done research, and worked in development programmes in Southeast Asia for over 50 years. His interests now focus on early childhood development and inclusion in education and learning.

To Know One OLLI Is . . . To Know ONE OLLI

Thursday, December 3, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

This presentation will provide an overview of the nationwide Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network and OLLI-UO’s place within it. The session features Steve Thaxton, Osher National Resource Center (NRC) Executive Director, and Sandra Gladney, OLLI-UO Director. Steve will discuss the nationwide OLLI network, functions of the NRC, and the support and guidance it provides to individual OLLIs. Sandra will connect that information to on-the-ground experiences in Eugene/Springfield, Central Oregon, and beyond! A 30-minute Q&A session will follow the 45-minute presentation to provide an opportunity for a deeper dive into issues that matter most to OLLI-UO members.


As Executive Director, Steve Thaxton manages the overall National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, collaborating with The Bernard Osher Foundation, interfacing with Northwestern University School of Professional Studies colleagues and working closely with the small but mighty NRC staff. His role includes consulting and connecting with OLLI units all across the country to help them continually improve their unique local programs.

Sandra Gladney is the executive director of UO Continuing and Professional Education—OLLI-UO's home/department—and the director of OLLI-UO. She leads a team-oriented unit at CPE that serves a broad range of outreach and engagement programs. This includes organizational strategic planning and investments, supervision of programs and operations staff, participation in multiple university committees, and oversight of remote programs in Portland and Bend.

Healthy Aging Design Project

Monday, December 14, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Susan Sokolowski, associate professor at the UO School of Art + Design and director of the UO’s Sports Product Design master’s program, visits OLLI-UO to present the grant-sponsored work her graduate class recently completed (with input from a half-dozen OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield members!) on healthy design proposals for senior citizens. Projects ranged from household items to clothing and landscaping options with practical applications.


Susan Sokolowski, PhD, has over 25 years of performance sporting goods experience, working cross-functionally between footwear, apparel and equipment in creative and strategic roles. Her work is holistic in nature, where consideration of the athlete’s body form, performance, psychology, sport, materials, and styling are addressed to develop game-changing innovation solutions. She is specifically focused on issues surrounding design of products for special populations, including women, children, and disabled athletes.

Susan has been recognized internationally for her achievements in design and innovation, including over 35 utility and design patents, awards from the United States Olympic Committee and Volvo, and featured product design at the Design Museum London.


Courses cover topics in-depth from four to twelve weeks and may require additional reading or preparation. Registration may be required. Zoom links are emailed to all members the day before the start date, unless otherwise indicated.

Turning Points in American History, parts 2 and 3

Tuesdays, September 15–November 24, 10:00 a.m.–noon
Registration is not required.

Join course manager Terry Schwab and fellow OLLI-UO Central Oregon members for Parts II and III of Turning Points in American History. We relive the most powerful and groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story of the United States of America.

These Great Courses lectures, delivered by Professor Edward T. O'Donnell of College of the Holy Cross, offer a different perspective on the sweeping narrative of U. S. history. Spanning the arrival of the first English colonists to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, this course is a captivating and comprehensive tour of those particular moments in the story of America, after which the nation would never be the same again. The topics are covered more from a "cultural history" or "sociology" perspective than traditional (dates, Great Men, etc.).

Whether they took the form of

  • groundbreaking political and philosophical concepts,
  • dramatic military victories and defeats,
  • nationwide social and religious movements, or
  • technological and scientific innovations,

these and other turning points forever changed the character of America politically, socially, culturally, and economically. Sometimes the changes brought about by these events were obvious; sometimes they were more subtle. Sometimes the effects of these turning points were immediate; other times, their aftershocks reverberated for decades.

Regardless, these great historical turning points demand to be understood. Knowing what these events are, how they came about, and their dramatic effects is essential to grasping the full story of this great world power. It may even offer you vital clues as to where America is headed in the coming years and decades.


September 15: 1886 The First Red Scare – Haymarket; 1898 The End of Isolation – War with Spain. Facilitator: Joe Jezukewicz

September 22: 1900 The Promised Land – The Great Migration; 1901 That Damned Cowboy! Theodore Roosevelt. Facilitator: Judy Hurlburt

September 29: 1903 The Second Transportation Revolution; 1909 The Scourge of the South-Hookworm. Facilitator: Maggi Machala


October 6: 1917 Votes for Women! The 19th Amendment; 1919 Strikes & Bombs – The Year of Upheaval. Facilitator: Judy Hurlburt

October 13: 1933 Bold Experimentation – The New Deal; 1939 Einstein’s Letter – The Manhattan Project. Facilitator: Tom Petullo

October 20: 1942 Surprise – The Battle of Midway; 1945 the Land of Lawns – Suburbanization. Facilitator: Keith Sime

October 27: 1948 The Berlin Airlift & The Cold War; 1950 Tuning In – The Birth of Television. Facilitator: Joe Jezukewicz

November 3: 1960 The Power to Choose – The Pill; 1963 Showdown in Birmingham – Civil Rights. Facilitator: Terry Schwab

November 10: Losing Vietnam – The Tet Offensive; 1969 Disaster – The Birth of Environmentalism. Facilitator: Bonnie Campbell

November 17: 1974 An Age of Crisis – Watergate; 1975 The Digital Age – The Personal Computer. Facilitator: Tom Machala

November 24: 1989 Collapse – The End of the Cold War; 2001 The Age of Terror – The 9/11 Attacks. Facilitator: Terry Schwab


Terry Schwab

Geography of East Asia

Tuesdays, September 15–October 27, noon–1:30 p.m.
Registration is closed.

This course examines dynamic political-economic and sociocultural changes in East Asia by looking at the physical and human roots influencing rapid modernization within an ancient cultural framework. The format of the course is a combination of lecture and discussion.

Reading assignments in the full syllabus should be completed before the class period in order to participate in class discussion and benefit from the material presented.


Week 1: Geographic Basics – East Asia as a Physical and Cultural Region

Week 2: China – Historical Roots

Week 3: China – Revolutions, Industrialization, and Urbanization

Week 4: China’s Periphery – Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Xinjiang

Week 5: Japan – Tradition to Transition, Meiji to Modern

Week 6: Four Tigers – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Week 7: Culture – Food, Film, and Summary

About the Instructor

OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield member Susan Walcott is a Professor of Geography Emerita at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and formerly at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Walcott’s research interests concern regional economic development, particularly in rapidly transitioning areas throughout Asia. Books, chapters and articles focus on high technology parks and industry clusters (life science, furniture, tea) across the U.S. and China, modernization in Bhutan, and immigrant entrepreneurs.

Study and Discussion Groups

Study and discussion groups are designed as an informal exchange of ideas in a considerate atmosphere. Group topics are well-defined and explored in-depth. Zoom links are emailed to all members the day before the start date, unless otherwise indicated.

Central Oregon Writers' Bloc

Mondays, 10:00 a.m.–noon

A casual gathering for writers at all levels to share in a supportive environment. Creative experimentation with styles and genres encouraged.

At this time, this group is only open to Central Oregon members as it gets back up to speed for fall 2020.


Bruce Sharp

Meditation and Mindfulness

Mondays, noon–1:00 p.m.

This group utilizes what is known as Vipassana (or breath or insight) meditation, focusing on the sensation of breathing. Insight meditation utilizes the five senses to get us to awareness and being present.

The first 10 or 15 minutes of class is spent in a guided grounding meditation. The next 15-20 minutes of class are spent listening to an Internet mindfulness/meditation teacher on a variety of subjects. The last 20 minutes are spent in silent meditation.

There are many different levels of meditation being practiced by the group: some are beginners, some are returning to the practice through this group, and some are advanced meditators who are here to experience the benefits of group meditation and a sense of community (sangha).


Janice Friend

Philosophy Salon

First and Third Mondays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

A peer-led exploration of philosophers and philosophy. Each session features either a presentation by a group member or a recorded lecture, followed by discussion.


September 7: No meeting; Labor Day holiday

September 21: What is (Western) Philosophy? (Part 1) with Milt Janetos

In this two-part program, we will discuss what Western philosophy is and how it should be done – if at all. These sessions will be facilitated by Milt Janetos and will include some short texts that can be read online. (A handout for the sessions will be available that has links to the reading material.) These initial meetings will be the first in a series investigating the major questions dealt with by philosophers in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. Additionally, there will be future sessions on political philosophy, the philosophy of religion and Eastern philosophy. Along with short and easily accessible readings for all sessions, specific Great Courses lectures that lend themselves to the topic at hand will also be presented. However, we will not concentrate on any specific Great Course series.

October 5: What is (Western) Philosophy? (Part 2) with Milt Janetos

October 19: Thinking for Oneself Amid the Winds of Rhetoric (Part 1) with David Kolb

As the months go on the swirl of political rhetoric and emotional appeal becomes almost overwhelming. We need to find ways to preserve our ability to think for ourselves and to judge coolly and intelligently. David Kolb will lead three sessions with the philosophy salon on the topic" thinking for oneself amid the winds of rhetoric". The texts to be discussed will be excerpts from Plato's dialogue Gorgias about the nature of rhetoric, and a short essay by Kant on "what is Enlightenment". We will discuss the dimensions and force of rhetoric, Socratic questioning, and how to enlighten oneself and take responsibility for one's own opinions.

November 2: Thinking for Oneself Amid the Winds of Rhetoric (Part 2) with David Kolb

November 16: Thinking for Oneself Amid the Winds of Rhetoric (Part 3) with David Kolb

December 7: Camus's The Plague' (book discussion) with Jeffrey Allen

A book discussion of Albert Camus' The Plague will be the focus of this session. Jeffrey Allen will give a brief biographical sketch of Camus and his philosophical views, followed by an introduction to the novel and its themes. An open discussion will ensue. The Plague is timely reading, as it relates the events of a deadly pandemic that sweeps through the coastal town of Oran, Algeria in the mid 20th century. The responses of the townspeople, the local governmental and religious authorities, and the doctors who fight to contain it offer insight into the human condition, "the absurd," living "in exile," and recognizing and accepting mortality.

December 21: TBD


Jeffrey Allen, Milton Janetos, and Henry Sholar

Nonfiction Book Group

First and Third Mondays, 10:15 a.m.–noon

Participation limited but space available; email to be added to the contact list.


The nonfiction book group meets twice per month to discuss a nonfiction book that the group has selected. The books range from political history to the history of science, to biography, exploration, and natural history. We learn a lot about different topics and have a great conversation.


August 31 and September 21: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill... by Erik Larson. Facilitators: Tom Carroll and Joyce Pickersgill

October 5 and 19: Mudlark: In Search of London's Past along the River Thames by Lara Maiklem. Facilitator: Terry Schwab

November 2 and 16: The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina. Facilitator: Gary Whiteaker

November 30 and December 7: Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame by Michael Kodas. Facilitator: Steve Hussey


Joyce Pickersgill

Page Turners Fiction Book Group

Second Mondays, 10:15 a.m.–noon

Participation limited but space available; email to be added to the contact list.


We are a lively and very welcoming group of fiction lovers who choose a novel to read and critique as a group every month. Over the course of the year, each member selects and facilitates the spirited discussion of a contemporary or classic novel of less than 400 pages. We have a great time!


September 14: The Overstory by Richard Powers, facilitated by Karen Jacques

October 12: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, facilitated by Kathryn Cullen

November 9: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, facilitated by Terry Schwab

December 14: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, facilitated by Ginny Donahue

January 11: Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, facilitated by Joyce Pickersgill


Deb Hollens


Second and Fourth Mondays, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.

Participation limited but space available; email to be added to the contact list


Focusing on some of the most critical problems in the world, this group takes the next step through study and discussion to identify and propose possible solutions to the problems.

Generally, each session begins with 15–20 minutes of Internet videos introducing the topic while generating questions and talking points for discussion. The topic for each session is emailed a few days in advance of that meeting so participants can familiarize themselves with the topic.


July 27: Alternative Medicines

August 10: Education Reform and How can we re-open schools safely?

August 24: Undocumented immigration and legal immigration during the pandemic

September 14: Reducing hunger and malnutrition

September 28: What questions should be asked at the Presidential debates?

October 12: Infrastructure: Green New Deal?

October 26: Nuclear Power: Thorium or Uranium?

November 9: Homelessness

November 23: Volcanic Winter

December 14: TBD

December 28: No meeting; OLLI-UO Winter Break


Jerry Brule

French Language I

Mondays, 3:00–3:50 p.m.

French Language I is for those whose listening and speaking skills are a bit rusty. It is not for true beginners. In our 50-minute meetings, we spend the first half of the session encouraging participants to use the French they know to converse with each other about things of interest in their daily lives. We give each other constructive feedback in regards to vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar and help each other when we get stuck. In the second half of the session, if there is time, we read and discuss short texts and listen to native French speakers online, checking to make sure that everyone understands.


Thomas Walker

French Language II

Mondays, 4:00–4:50 p.m.

French Language II is for those who are at the intermediate or advanced level. The 50-minute sessions have no set format, but generally give all participants ample opportunity to speak. One person may do a “show and tell.” At other times, we have lively discussions of current events or share information about cultural events. Participants are fluent enough to keep up with the conversations. Time permitting, we may read and listen to native speakers using online resources such as “News in Slow French” so that we can practice listening to authentic French spoken at normal speed by native speakers.


Thomas Walker

Tuesday Afternoon Science

November 3, 12, and 23, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

We have an enthusiastic group of science-minded people who enjoy presenting various topics in from all areas of science. They explore theories, research, and discuss related ideas and information among group members.

Please note the change in schedule above. We will finish out the current Mysteries of the Microscopic World in the month of November to combine science offerings starting December 1, 2020. We will coincide with the "Understanding Science" class (listed below).


Thursday, November 12: Mysteries of the Microscopic World: Pandora’s Box and Old World to New

Monday, November 23: Mysteries of the Microscopic World: Close Encounters of the Microbial Kind and Microbes as Friends


Elizabeth Polidan

Understanding Science

First, Third, and Fifth Tuesdays, noon–1:30 p.m.

Understanding Science presents outstanding introductory college-level prerecorded science lectures on a common theme or topic. After a lecture, the group discusses it, offers related ideas, and shares information.

No specialized knowledge is required to appreciate these excellent lectures. The lectures are only mildly cumulative in nature, and if you are occasionally unable to attend, this fact should not impede your enjoyment of a single lecture. Emphasis is placed on the natural and the formal sciences, but consideration is also given to a broader perspective that includes the philosophy of science, and the social, behavioral, and applied sciences.


September 15: Continuing with What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution series: Lecture 15 - Imperfect Nature: Ad Hoc Body Designs and Lecture 16 - The Sterile Worker Paradox

September 29: What Darwin Didn't Know: Lecture 17 - Coevolution: Peace Accords and Arms Races and Lecture 18 - Microbiomes: Evolution with Small Partners

October 6: What Darwin Didn't Know: Lecture 19 - The Evolution of Brains and Behavior and Lecture 20 - The Evolution of Sex and Parenting

October 20: What Darwin Didn't Know: Lecture 21 - The Evolution of Aging and Death and Lecture 22 - Evolutionary Machine

November 3: What Darwin Didn't Know: Lecture 23 - Gene Editing and Directed Evolution and Lecture 24 - The Future of Human Evolution

November 17: What's Going on With Our Weather and Climate with Professor Richard Johnson

December 1: Anthropology and the Study of Humanity: Lecture 1–Why Anthropology Matters and Lecture 2–Science, Darwin, and Anthropology

December 15: Anthropology and the Study of Humanity: Lecture 3–Our Primate Family Tree and Lecture 4–Paleoanthropology and the Hominin Family

December 29: No meeting


Barbara Nagai and Elizabeth Polidan

Interpretive Play Reading

First and Third Wednesdays, 3:30–5:00 p.m.

Participation limited, but space available; email to be added to the contact list.


The interpretive reading of plays, usually accompanied by some discussion of a play’s merits, information about its author, or other related matters. Members of the group take turns selecting plays to be read. The person making the selection becomes the "director" and casts it from members present. Character changes are made as necessary to make sure that all present get a chance to read.


Donna Bennett, Jack Bennett, and Kate Nelson

Spanish Conversation

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m.

Our meetings are quite freewheeling and informal. We hope that everyone who wishes has an opportunity to speak. At least they can listen. We "shoot the breeze" (one dictionary translates this as "charlar amable y casualmente"), but we have a little structure: the leaders see to it that we take turns around the table saying in Spanish 1) what's on our minds or new in our lives - we call these "noticias" - and 2) reading and translating from Spanish to English. Occasionally we take up a matter of grammar, when doubt arises. Mind, we have no authority, no teacher. Ultimately, we lift ourselves up by our bootstraps while we have a good time.

Some of us speak Español rather well; others are rusty, but get more fluent as they keep trying, week by week. If you once had a year of Spanish in high school or college, join us for a month or two and see if the language comes back to you!


Stan Cook and Carolin Keutzer

News and Views

Second and Fourth Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.–noon

Participation limited, but space available; email to be added to the contact list.


Learning through a lively exchange of views on recent local, national, and world news. A team of volunteers suggest about dozen recent news stories for discussion, in the areas of international, domestic and local. The group and moderators work together to determine what will be discussed. Participants are diverse in their experiences and interests, and they read and watch a wide range of news sources. No additional preparation is necessary. It's OK to disagree with the views of the other participants—but not to be disagreeable.


Roger Galka and Stephen Koller

News and Views: Open Forum

First, Third, and Fifth Fridays 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Join regular attendees of the popular News and Views discussion group (during off-weeks) for an informal "open forum" continuation of discussion of issues of local, state, national, and international importance. Attendees raise topics for discussion and engage with member-facilitators to ensure a free flow of opinions and analysis of that week's biggest news stories.


Jerry Brule and Larry Kikuta

Creative Writing Critique

Second and Fourth Fridays,10:00 a.m.–noon

If you love to write, are a would-be author, or simply seeking a new outlet for your creativity, you are cordially invited to join OLLI-UO's Creative Writing group. We are columnists, essayists, poets, writers of memoirs, and authors of all genres of fiction and non-fiction. Our levels of experience range from those with multiple publication credits to anyone just wanting to try his/her hand.

We meet to encourage creativity-in-common and exchange ideas and information, but our main focus is the sharing of our work. This includes both reading our own and listening to other’s projects-of-choice at any stage from rough draft to completed masterpiece... and offering and accepting ideas, suggestions and gentle, objective, constructive critiques. Everyone is welcome.


Livvie Taylor-Young

Special Events

Join us for periodic social events that supplement our lectures, courses, and groups.

Central Oregon First Thursday Social Hour

First Thursdays, 3:00–4:00 p.m.

We member-leaders miss seeing you! We are all doing what we must to stay safe during this pandemic, but it is difficult not being together. Through our offerings of Zoom classes and meetings, we have found that people are showing up to the meeting early to chat with each other. We realized we don't need a meeting or a class to do this! Starting in August, we will be holding monthly OLLI-UO in Central Oregon virtual social hours. Mark your calendars for the first Thursdays of the month. Bring your beverage of choice and join us!

It really makes a surprising difference in our outlook just to see each other on the computer and talk. We hope to see you there!


Elizabeth Polidan, Central Oregon Membership Chair

Kathryn Cullen, Central Oregon Governing Council President

Eugene/Springfield Fourth Friday Meet and Greet

Fourth Fridays, 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Get together with your fellow members at our monthly OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield Meet and Greet, now on Zoom!

We plan to run the event like this: once the Zoom meeting opens and folks have settled in, organizers will provide a welcome and short overview of the format. Then, we will launch breakout rooms for small-group conversation. Between two to four randomly-selected participants will go into a breakout room and chat for ten to fifteen minutes. Participants need not do anything to set up a breakout room; this will be done by the meeting host.

At the one-minute mark of the breakout, a room will receive an alert and a countdown clock will appear. Then, you will be automatically returned to the full meeting. If you already know each other, you will surely have something to talk about, and if you haven’t met before, get to know a new friend! We will repeat the breakouts once or twice in a session and come together as a group at the end of the session.

Please stop in and visit for a while! This is designed as a drop-in event. You need not join exactly at the meeting start—feel free to stay for as long or as little as you like. We always have a nice, fun group of people at our Meet & Greets who enjoy a strictly social OLLI-UO event. Remember, making friends and building community is essential for our mental health!


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon