University of Oregon

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Continuing and Professional Education

Shared Interest Groups

Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way for OLLI-UO members to continue lifelong learning beyond the classroom! These groups provide new opportunities to form friendships with other members around shared interests. They are independent and self-directed, with members deciding where and when to meet and how the group will function.

Have an idea for a SIG? Complete a Proposal Form online.

Below is a list of current SIGs. Feel free to contact a facilitator to join in or for more information. Member contact information can be found in your member directory. A directory can be requested by phone at 541-346-0697 or by visiting the CPE Office in Room 110 of the Baker Downtown Center.

Art and Art History

This SIG will use Great Courses DVDs and other resources to study, discuss and enjoy art and art history.

Facilitator: Ray Staton

Dining with Friends

Dining with Friends combines the enjoyment of cooking and sharing a social evening with old and new friends. This is not intended to be a gourmet meal group, but home-prepared dishes are the expectation, whenever possible. Many long-term friendships have been forged through participation in this group. Dining with Friends is open to both couples and individuals. Couples are expected to host four times a year and singles two times a year.

Facilitators: Linda Gordon and Rosemarie Smith

Knowing the World Through Mathematics

Mathematics is about patterns; it is a language that helps people make sense of and find beauty in the world. This SIG generally meets monthly and runs like a conversational mathematics group, so some background in mathematics (particularly algebra) is desirable. We take up topics of mutual interest that have practical applications and/or that provide (often profound) insights into the natural, physical, mathematical and social sciences; technology; engineering and the arts. We use a variety of YouTube, DVD, PowerPoint, spreadsheet, and informal presentations.

Facilitator: Mike Rose

Ornamental Plants and Landscape Design

This SIG will visit each other’s yards to ooh/aah and kibbitz, share information on favorite plants and nurseries, and will occasionally take road trips to more distant nurseries, such as Rare Plant Research, etc.

Facilitator: Jane Souzon


This SIG is about developing the inner photographer in each of us. We will cultivate our ability to see life clearly and unfiltered. We will learn about and apply elements of composition and aesthetics using equipment ranging from a smart phone to more complex cameras. We will alternate field trips collecting images with review sessions to discuss and critique. The latter will be held in members’ homes, limiting group size to 10.

Facilitator: Thomas Walker


The Pickleball SIG provides an opportunity to experience the fastest growing sport in America! Participants play with other beginning to intermediate players and typically meet at the YMCA, Willamalane/Bob Keefer Indoor Sports Center (32nd and Main St.), Westmoreland Park (20th and Polk), or Meadow Park (Pioneer Pkwy and G St.). The weather determines which courts we use but often, all three sites are in use throughout the week. Limited basic instruction is available along with a weekly drill and skills group. For more information, please contact the facilitator.

Facilitator: Jeff Seldon

Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing)

We are all familiar with how a quiet walk in the woods can calm us down, expand our horizons and intensify our connection to nature. Since 1982, Japanese researchers have been studying the health benefits of planned walking in the forest, using all of our senses to become more aware of what lives around us. This immersion in nature is called forest therapy, forest healing, or in a literal translation of Shinrin-Yoku, forest bathing. This is not exercise, or hiking or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Studies have revealed that forest bathing has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. The forest healing movement has spread to Korea, Europe and America, including OLLI-UO. This SIG explores this method by taking two hour walks once a month in wooded settings in the Eugene-Springfield area.

Facilitators: Mona Meeker and Kate Nelson

Writing for Memoir and Autobiography

This small group meets bi-weekly to share personal stories and reflections in a safe, supportive environment. We share our work aloud and welcome constructive feedback. Our group is limited to eight members and is currently full. We maintain a waiting list and fill the group as space becomes available.

Facilitator: Linda Rockey


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon