Christine Catanzarite, Director

Christine Catanzarite has been Director of OLLI at Illinois since January 2012 and has been at the U. of I. since 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in American Culture Studies and M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University, and her B.A. in Film Studies, English Literature, and Theater from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds an appointment in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Media. From 1992 to 1995, she was Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Illinois State University.

Her priorities at OLLI include curriculum and program development, campus collaborations, and cultivating a vibrant and inclusive community of active learners and engaged partners.

Chris has taught numerous film and theater courses at OLLI since 2009, in addition to facilitating multiple study groups. This experience with OLLI – before becoming Director and in the years since – provided a window into the energy and excitement that OLLI members bring to the classroom, and helped to set the foundation for the plans that she is fortunate to make as the program’s director.



Read the Letter from the Director


Janet Summers, Outreach Specialist

Janet Summers has been with OLLI since its inception in October of 2006. Janet’s duties include coordinating OLLI study groups and lectures as well as membership and outreach events.

Janet received a degree in Social Work from Illinois State University in 1980 and worked in child welfare for 15 years. She worked in numerous child welfare agencies where she trained foster care providers and worked in the area of child abuse and neglect. She co-owned Milo’s Restaurant in Urbana from 1997 – 2007.

Janet is inspired to “age well” by her involvement with OLLI. Members are continually engaged in numerous activities through OLLI, the university, and the community. Janet is amazed at how OLLI membership has grown and programs have expanded over the years and believes OLLI is a wonderful place for members to meet new people and become involved in meaningful social and learning experiences.


Kathy Runck, Office Manager

Kathy Runck joined the OLLI staff in March 2019 in the position of Office Manager. In this role, she provides enrollment and orientation assistant to members, develops and implements information systems, and provides support to OLLI’s many programs and activities.

She has worked in numerous University departments since 1988, including McKinley Health Center and the College of Applied Health Sciences – and most recently in the Department of Computer Science, where she served as Office Manager since 2008, providing administrative support to multiple academic programs.

Kathy welcomes the opportunity to make a contribution to OLLI’s operations, and she is eager to get to know the members. Students have always been her favorite part of any job on campus and OLLI members will be no different. She finds joy in assisting people and knows that a smile can be contagious.