The 8-week semester begins on Monday, January 30, 2023
Registration opens on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

The schedule of class meeting times can be found HERE with additional information included in each listing below.

The Spring 2023 Course Evaluations Survery can be found HERE.

Browse courses by subject


  • About OLLI Spring Courses:

    All courses meet for 8 weeks unless noted in the course descriptions. Spring semester 2023 courses will be offered in three different formats: in-person, online via Zoom, or hybrid. For our hybrid courses, members will register to participate either in person or online. Members should register for the in-person format if they expect to attend the majority of classes in person.

    Our online-only courses will be offered in the Zoom Meeting format. The Zoom Meeting format is the one with which most people are familiar: students are seen on camera in tiles across the screen, and they can control their microphones so they can interact with the instructor and each other. The instructor can share materials with the class.

    The online component of the hybrid courses will be offered in the Zoom Webinar format. In Zoom Webinar, students will see the instructor and their materials on the screen, but the students will not be on camera, and their microphones will be muted. The Webinar format offers increased security, fewer accidental interruptions, and larger capacity for registrations (which means no wait lists for courses in the Webinar format). Facilitators will assist online participants with questions for the instructor.

    In order to attend OLLI classes in person, members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html) or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to participating in a class (in accordance with updated UIUC guidelines). By registering for the in-person format, you are affirming that you accept and will abide by these conditions.

    Wearing masks in classroom spaces is strongly encouraged by the University of Illinois.

    Online-only and in-person courses will have capacity limits, so interested students are encouraged to register early. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled on January 17, 2023. Early registrations will help avoid cancellations!

    We are pleased to present these descriptions of our Spring courses, arranged by subject area.




    War in the Twenty-First Century
    Richard Tempest
    Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    January 31 through March 21
    Hybrid: OLLI Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    Today’s global environment is shaped by a major land war in Europe, rising tensions between China and the United States, and a Sunni vs. Shia feud that has split the Muslim world. We live in an age of mass migration and climate change, quantum computing and 3D printing, populist movements and social atomization. Yet the traditional divide between kinetic (armed) and nonkinetic (diplomacy, sanctions) action remains. So does the distinction between the tactical, operational, and strategic; the need for inspired leadership in combat; and the value of battlefield courage and comradeship. These are the topics we shall explore in our course.

    Instructor: Richard Tempest is a Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was educated at the University of Oxford and is a former director of the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center at Illinois. His interests include Russian and world history and culture, military history, and the political science of the body. Tempest is the author of Overwriting Chaos: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Fictive Worlds (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019) as well as a campus cum fantasy novel, Golden Bone (Zolotaia kost’), which he wrote in Russian and published under the penname Roland Harrington (Moscow: NLO, 2004). Tempest is currently researching a monograph on charismatic politics in the twenty-first century. His numerous OLLI courses and lectures have had extremely strong reviews for his deep knowledge of the subject and engaging presentation style.

    From Guatemala to Champaign-Urbana: A Global History of the Local Community
    Janice Jayes
    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    February 1 through March 22
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom & Zoom Webinar

    The Champaign-Urbana area has many residents with international origins, but one of the largest local communities is from Guatemala. This class examines the intersecting histories of the United States and Guatemala to learn more about the dynamics of this relationship. We will spend some time looking at the pre-colonial and colonial history of Guatemala, the involvement of the US in Guatemalan 20th c. politics, and the 21st century dilemmas involved in regulating environmental damage, global corporations, commercial agriculture and corruption. Examining the Guatemala-CU connection provides us with one way of examining the global connections that are reshaping our world.

    Instructor: Janice Jayes, Ph.D. teaches in the history department at Illinois State University. While she primarily teaches on the Middle East now, she wrote her dissertation on U.S.-Mexican relations and formerly lived in Mexico and Argentina. She is also a board member of Immigration Services of Champaign-Urbana and has written for the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC). In July 2022 she traveled with the GHRC on a fact-finding mission to Guatemala to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation.


    Watershed Citizenship: Responsible and Responsive Rootedness along the Champaign County Watersheds


    Eileen Gebbie
    Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 2 through March 23 (class will not meet on February 16)
    Location: Orange Classroom

    Citizenship in the United States is a matter of birth (which confers automatic protections, rights, and responsibilities) and application (which does the same but also requires an oath of allegiance). But what if we open ourselves to the possibility that the U. S. is not the only nation on this land? Following the writing of Potawatomi biologist Robin Wall Kimmerer and the Maple Nation movement, we will explore the five watersheds within the state of Illinois and what it might mean to claim this layer of citizenship in ways rooted, responsive, and responsible to them and alongside their other more-than-human inhabitants.

    Instructor: Eileen Gebbie is a Christian priest now working in private practice as a spiritual director and forest therapy guide. She previously worked in community organizing and non-profit leadership. With all of that experience and master’s degrees in sociology and divinity from the University of Illinois and Chicago Theological Seminary, Eileen brings both an academic and applied tools to the study of our individual, communal, and ecological lives. This is the second OLLI course for Eileen. In Fall 2022 she taught Trail of Death, Pioneer Cemetery, and the “Haunted Histories” of Our Lives.


    Navigating the National Archives
    Brant Houston
    Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 1 through March 29 (4-week, session II)

    Please note change in schedule: NO CLASS on March 15.

    Hybrid: OLLI Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    The public often hears about the National Archives when a government official tries to walk away with some collection of the archives. But the National Archives has provided the basis for investigations by journalists and historians and has many online sources that do not get the attention they deserve. This course will have a brief history of the archives (including thefts or attempted thefts), an overview of its structure, examples of how the collections have been researched for articles and books, and reviews of sections of the archives that can be particularly useful for anyone. In addition, there will be references to other useful archives in the U.S.

    Instructor: Brant Houston is a professor and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. He is the author of The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook and Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide. He served as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, an association of 5,000 members, for more than a decade and was an award-winning journalist at daily newspapers and more recently at nonprofit newsrooms. He is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, which has more than 180 nonprofit newsrooms as members. He has taught numerous well-received courses at OLLI, with students noting the wealth of journalistic resources he includes in his exceptional presentations.




    Uncommon Animation and the Artists and Techniques that Create It
    Richard Leskosky
    Mondays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    January 30 through March 20
    Hyrbid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    Most popular animated films have historically relied on classic cel animation or computer-generated images. This course will focus on animation employing different technologies and different materials and discuss briefly some of the major artists who have created works of these types. Several of these techniques, even though they have been practiced for decades, would still be considered experimental, given their theoretical underpinnings, the difficulty inherent in their use, and their consequent rarity. Each class will screen short films employing the techniques discussed and offer suggestions to students for further outside viewings.

    Instructor: Richard Leskosky is a former president of the Society for Animation Studies and a former Director of the Unit for Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois. He has organized an international conference and curated two film programs for the Society for Animation Studies. Though retired from the University, he continues to present conference papers and write scholarly articles on a range of cinema and animation topics, including Japanese animation, genres in film and animation, and 19th century motion picture devices. He has been writing film reviews and essays on film topics for the News-Gazette for over forty years.


    Hollywood Xenophobia
    Sandy Camargo
    Fridays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    February 3 through March 24
    Location: Illinois Classroom

    Xenophobia is defined as the fear of strangers. American policy in relation to immigration has historically been marked by xenophobia, and popular culture - including Hollywood films - has reflected that attitude. In this course, we will explore how mainstream Hollywood films have represented a range of Others—European immigrants, the Chinese, and Arabs—from the 1930s to the 2000s. The films we will screen and discuss reference issues such as race science, restrictive immigration policies, assimilation, whitewashed casting, and cultural appropriation. All of the films were widely released and capable of influencing a large audience.

    Instructor: Sandy Camargo retired in June 2021 from UI as a Senior Lecturer in English and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at UI, after 18 years of teaching film studies at UI (plus 13 years before that at the University of Missouri). She has taught courses on film analysis; film style; genre theory; crime films; teenpics; film in Australia, Britain, Canada, and Ireland; countercultures in the movies; the films of 1999; and American film since the 1950s. She hopes to be able to share versions of these courses (and others) with OLLI students.


    Film Portraits of Ancient Rome in “ I, Claudius” and Tragedies of Shakespeare
    John Frayne
    Fridays, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
    February 3 through March 24
    OLLI Osher Classroom

    The history of Rome from Augustus to Nero was vividly portrayed in Robert Grave's "I, Claudius," and "Claudius the God." In 1976, the B.B.C. memorably turned Grave's account into a vivid TV series. Through showings of this series, this course will examine Rome's change from republic to empire. Other works, dealing with Roman history, such as Shakespeare's plays "Julius Caesar" and "Anthony and Cleopatra" will be discussed as time allows.

    Instructor: John Frayne was from 1965 to 1997 Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Film Studies at UIUC, and is now an Emeritus Professor. He specialized in Modern British Literature and Film Studies. From 1985 to present, he has been radio host on Saturdays (formerly also on Sundays) at radio station WILL-FM, where he hosts “Classics of the Phonograph,” and Opera Broadcasts. Since 2000, he has been classical music critic for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. In recent years, he has volunteered at the Champaign Public Library's FriendShop, serving on the Board and the FriendShop committee.




    The Archaeology of Health and Disease
    Sarah Wisseman
    Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 1 through February 22 (4-week, session I)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    People of the past generally lived shorter lives than we do today due to malnutrition, disease, trauma, and lack of modern medical care. What does archaeology reveal about health and disease from buried bodies and ancient medicine bottles? How do ancient texts inform us about early medical theory and treatments? Which diseases of the past reappear in the present? This four-week class explores the world of ancient health and disease using archaeology, paleopathology, and chemistry. Topics include diet and nutrition, remedies from cough syrups to insect repellents, dental and heart diseases, public health, and medical devices from probes to crutches.

    Instructor: Sarah Wisseman, Ph.D, is the retired Director of the UI Program on Ancient Technologies and Archaeological Materials (Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Prairie Research Institute). She received her degrees in Anthropology (Harvard University) and Classical and Near Eastern archaeology (Bryn Mawr College) after spending two years in Israel studying Biblical archaeology. Her primary research areas are the science of Egyptian mummies, ceramic technology, experimental archaeology, and archaeometry. Sarah has taught numerous well-received classes at OLLI. She also writes archaeological mysteries.


    The Santa Fe Trail and the Civil War in New Mexico
    Fred Christensen
    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    February 1 through March 22
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This class will examine the first great route connecting the cultures and peoples of the United States to the Hispanic world of the Southwest. From its creation in 1821 to the coming of the railroad in 1880, the Trail served as a path for commerce and cultural exchange. Instructor-made videos will encourage discussion of the peoples, events and motives of travelers on the Trail. Two class periods will be devoted to the events of the Civil War in this most remote theater of conflict, including the battles of Valverde and Glorieta Pass. This is an updated version of the class given in 2012 which provided background for the OLLI tour of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment,” the following year.

    Instructor: Fred Christensen is a former history instructor at the University of Kentucky and assistant professor of military science at the University of Illinois. He teaches noncredit classes for OLLI and other venues, in five areas of history and archaeology: Britain, Germany, early America, Israel/the Holy Land, and military history in general. This is his 31st OLLI course since 2008.


    "A Good Day to Die" — Indian Wars in the West, 1865-1890
    Frank Chadwick
    Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    February 2 through March 23
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    The course — which takes its title from a Lakota battle cry — explores the wars between the U.S. Army and the Natives of the American West, the main part of which took place in the twenty-five year span from the end of the Civil War through 1890. It will cover the background to the wars, the cultural differences (and some surprising similarities) which triggered the hostilities, the way in which each side approached warfare, the changing goals of the two sides as the wars progressed, and the actual course of the major campaigns that decided the issue.

    Instructor: Frank Chadwick designed historical and contemporary military simulations professionally for almost fifty years -- designing over seventy published military simulations in that time. He has authored nineteen history articles in various periodicals, over 250 military history columns, and fourteen military history books, of which the Desert Shield Fact Book reached number one on the New York Times best seller list. He is currently working on a trilogy of historical novels set in the ancient Persian Empire. Chadwick has previously taught OLLI courses on Writing the Novel, the 1973 Arab Israeli War, and World War Two, as well as study groups on writing, films, music, and history.


    World War and Cold War (1939-1970)
    Chris Butler
    Fridays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 3 through March 24
    Hybrid: OLLI Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course picks up where the Fall 2022 course on the Thirty Years War of the 20th century (1914-45) left off, with a very brief review of the early part of the century. Primary focus will be on the start of the Cold War, early crises in Berlin and Korea, Stalinist terror and Red fear, and the issue and strategies of nuclear war.

    Instructor: Chris Butler taught world history for 42 years (1979-2021) at University High School in Urbana, in the course of which he developed a system of 250 cross-referenced flowcharts on world history from prehistory to 2000. He further developed this into a 1760-page pdf of his lectures into an illustrated and hyperlinked text for his students. He won numerous teaching awards, most notably the Beveridge Family Teaching Award in 2000, the only K-12 teaching award given by the American Historical Association. This is his second time teaching an OLLI course.




    Gallery Brawls: Outrage and the Arts, 1830 to the Present
    Bruce Michelson
    Mondays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    January 30 through March 20
    OLLI Osher Classroom

    Paris, London, Dublin, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere: we’ll look at moments when action in the arts has triggered catcalls and dust-ups in respectable theatres, skirmishes in cafés, and even fights in the streets. After reviewing headlines from the time about such outbreaks, we’ll think about contexts: cultural, political, economic, and geographic realities that might help us understand better what happened, and why. Along the way, we’ll also be discussing American public response to the arts in our own moment – and ‘brawl,’ perhaps, about if and how such response might matter to our cultural well-being.

    Instructor: Director of the University of Illinois Campus Honors Program for nineteen years, Bruce Michelson is Professor Emeritus of American Literature, a member of the Graduate College, and a Fulbright Scholar Ambassador. Author of four books and numerous articles, Bruce has been President of both the American Humor Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America. He has won several awards for teaching and academic advising, and he was selected as a University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher-Scholar in 2007. His most recent work includes four one-act comedies about Mark Twain and his family, and a translation of Georges Clemenceau’s writings on the arts. With OLLI, Bruce taught “Mind Science and Modern Cultural Response” as an eight-week in-person class in the Spring of 2022.

    Philosophical and Religious Implications of The Dawn of Everything
    Rabbi Norman Klein
    Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
    January 31 through March 21
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom & Zoom Meeting

    The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow, is a blockbuster book in size, scope, and potential impact. It attempts to transform the way we look at ancient history and prehistory, and in the process give humanity a new perspective on our possibilities as a species, and with our civilizations. I propose to examine the philosophical bases on which the authors attempt all this, exploring their stated philosophical starting points, the works of Rousseau, Hobbes, the Huron-Wendat thinker Kandiaronk, other Native American Thinkers, and the archeological and anthropological record worldwide. In the process we shall also examine some foundations of religious beliefs about human relationships.

    Instructor: Norman Mark Klein is retired as the emeritus rabbi (which literally means "my teacher") at Sinai Temple in Champaign after serving as the interim rabbi at temples in Canada and Florida. Before becoming Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple, Champaign, IL, he served as rabbi from 1995 to 2013. Rabbi Klein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985 and was rabbi at temples in Pennsylvania and Texas between 1985 and 1995. Rabbi Klein came to rabbinic school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with an interest in literature, having done graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington (A.B.D. in the Ph.D. program of the English Department, with a minor in film production), his thesis work on the subject of the interaction of character and place in contemporary novels set in exotic places. His rabbinic thesis focused on a contemporary Israeli novel. Rabbi Klein has a special interest in comparative religion, philosophy, literature, and the hard and social sciences.


    Tennessee Williams in St. Louis of the 1930s
    Tom Mitchell
    Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    February 1 through March 22
    Location: Osher Classroom

    Playwright Tennessee Williams is thought of as a southern writer, but from twenty years in St. Louis he left behind many stories, plays and poems set in Missouri (and some in Illinois) that are only now coming to light. This course will introduce these works, expanding the appreciation of the writer and the Depression Era in St. Louis. Each session will include a presentation of background information by Tom Mitchell, a class discussion of short selections, and an in-class reading performance by participants led by Joi Hoffsommer.

    Instructor: Tom Mitchell is U of I Emeritus Associate Professor of Theatre where he taught and directed for over 30 years. He has directed all the early plays of Tennessee Williams and is scholar-in-residence for the Tennessee Williams Festival St Louis. Joi Hoffsommer is retired as director of theatre at Parkland College but continues to act in productions around the area. Most recently she performed in “Suddenly Last Summer” in Bloomington-Normal, and in “Amor Perdido/Lost Love” at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans.




    Information Overload and Adaptive Minds
    Jessie Chin
    Mondays, 1:30 -3:00 p.m.
    January 30 through February 20
    Format: Zoom Meeting

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    Given the rapid changes in technologies, we are facing information overload in our daily lives. There is a need to understand how to adapt the limited resources in our brains to these complex information environments. This course will discuss current theories of human behavior in adapting how we select, search, make sense, and learn; how certain information gains evolutionary advantages; how technology makes us behave in certain ways; and how humans can take advantage of technologies to manage everyday behavior. We will discuss these behaviors from a lifespan perspective.

    Instructor: Dr. Chin is an assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research programs aim at (1) advancing knowledge in cognitive sciences regarding evolving human interaction with the contemporary information technologies, and (2) translating theories in social and behavioral sciences to the design of sociotechnical solutions and interaction experience to promote health communication and behavior across the lifespan. As a translational cognitive scientist, she conducts both use-inspired basic and applied research to examine the interaction between human minds and complex information environments in both individual and collective levels.

    'Whadja Say?’ An Introduction to the System and Sounds of Spoken Language
    Sue Ingels
    Mondays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    February 27 through March 20 (4-week, session II)
    Hybrid: OLLI Orange Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    Learning one’s first language(s) seems to occur with little effort. So why does it often feel so challenging to pick up additional languages later in life? In this four-week class we will address current theories about how languages are learned, focusing particularly on the sound system of languages. Topics include a definition of language, components of a language’s sound system, approaches for learning to hear and produce a different language’s sounds, language accent and dialects, and communicating cross-culturally.

    Instructor: Sue Ingels recently retired from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught for UIUC’s Intensive English Institute and the Linguistics Department and coordinated oral English proficiency testing for international graduate students. She completed a master’s in teaching ESL and a PhD in educational psychology, both at UIUC. Her research interests include how second language sound systems are learned and how to teach and assess second oral skills. Prior to her academic career, Sue worked in educational publishing.

    Battlefield Medicine
    Nestor Ramirez
    Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    January 31 through March 21
    Location: Illinois Classroom

    A survey of the interrelationship of war and medicine and how they have changed each other through time. We will look at how medical care was provided to those engaged in wars, and how those providers changed their perspectives, goals and understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology, in the processes of recovery and repair from injury. We will explore antiquity, modern and recent warfare and try to peek into future warfare and the medical care associated with it.

    Instructor: Néstor A. Ramírez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, completed his medical studies and internship in Bogotá, and later spent seven years in the jungle area of southeast Colombia as a general practice physician with the Territorial Health Service. He came to the U.S. and did a General Pediatrics residency at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, both in Memphis, Tennessee. Afterwards, he held a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the Regional Medical Center of the University of Tennessee. He came to Illinois in 1986 and started working as a neonatologist, first in Champaign, then in Springfield, and later in Chicago, until 2016. He worked as a physician reviewer for Blue Cross/Blue Shield until October 2017. He retired from active practice, but has continued his involvement in organized medicine at the county, state, and national levels. He was President of the Illinois State Medical Society in 2017-2018 and President of the Champaign County has been elected to be the Trustee for ISMS Region 5 (21 counties in Central and South-Central Illinois) for three years (2019-2021). His recent OLLI courses and lectures on medical topics have received positive reviews for his engaging presentation style and the useful information he provides.

    What's in My Blood? Genomics Testing and You
    Brian Cunningham
    Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    February 1 through March 22
    Location: OLLI Osher Classroom

    Genomics-based tests are increasingly becoming integral parts of our daily lives. From detecting and identifying viral pathogens in our saliva, identifying early signs of cancer, and discovering our ancestry, the information stored in the DNA of ourselves and the world around us can help us stay healthy, assist police in solving crimes, and understand how we are unique individuals that share a great deal in common with all humans. This course will describe how the information in genomes is decoded and applied by technologies that can accurately determine our genetic sequence and look for the presence of specific genes in body fluids, foods, and crime scenes.

    Instructor: Professor Brian T. Cunningham (Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering) serves as the Theme Leader of the Center for Genomic Diagnostics at the Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and as the Program Leader of the Cancer Measurements Technology and Data Science program at the Cancer Center at Illinois. Prof. Cunningham has been on the Illinois faculty since 2004 after a 15 year career in industry, including as founder and CTO of a company that sold biodetection systems to the pharmaceutical industry. Other faculty that will lecture during this course are Andrew Smith, Xing Wang, Yang Zhao, and Hong Jin.

    Natural Disasters, Part 2: Danger from Heat, Fire, Flood, and Unstable Ground
    Stephen Marshak
    Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    February 2 through February 23 (4-week, session I)
    Location: Illinois Osher Classroom

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    This course will discuss several hazards of our dynamic planet that are commonly in the news: Heat waves, drought, water scarcity, wildfire, floods, land subsidence, soil loss, and landslides. The instructor will discuss the causes and consequences of the various hazard types and will provide extensive illustrations. The format will be similar to that used in ND Part 1, which Marshak taught in January 2022. The disasters to be discussed in the course are different from the ones covered in the 2022 offering (which focused on weather and space), but Part 1 is not a prerequisite to Part 2, so everyone is welcome to participate. A textbook will be made available to participants, but is not required.

    Instructor: Stephen Marshak was a faculty member of the Department of Geology at UIUC from 1983 - 2018. For eight years, he was Head of the Department of Geology, and for ten years, he was Director of the School of Earth, Society, & Environment. He received several teaching awards at the College and Campus level and was listed on the "List of Outstanding Teachers" almost every semester. His research has taken him to field sites around the world. Steve also writes college textbooks that are used worldwide. His most recent book is Natural Disasters: Hazards of a Dynamic Planet (W.W. Norton & Co., New York). He has previously taught five OLLI courses and has given noon-hour lectures and walking tours.

    Computer Security: Health Care Systems, Democracies, and Social Networks
    Roy Campbell
    Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
    February 3 through February 24
    Location: Illinois Classroom

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    The benefits of today’s information and computing systems, artificial intelligence, data science, and networks are overwhelming, yet what safeguards protect society from misuse of this technology? Using a variety of examples, the course overviews current practices and problems of cybersecurity. The primary focus of this course is on broader systemic issues of computer security, rather than individual best practices. Topics include Information Assurance, Cybersecurity, Cybercrime, Cyberwarfare, Cyberterrorism, and Disinformation studied through the contexts of health systems, democracies, and social networks.

    Instructor: Roy H. Campbell is the Abbasi Professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Illinois. He joined the faculty in 1976 and led the Systems Research Group until his retirement in 2019. He worked on Vosaic, an early video streaming system. He made contributions in operating systems, parallel computing, distributed systems, security, and the internet of things. He served as the director of the Assured Cloud Computing University Center of Excellence at UIUC and authored the textbook Assured Cloud Computing. He was Associate Dean of Information Technology for the Engineering College (2016-2019) and chaired the Senate Executive committee (2013-2015.)

    NanoMachines: The Tiny Biological Gadgets that Animate Life
    David Tracy
    Fridays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    March 3 through March 24 (4-week, session II)
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    Inside all the cells in our bodies, as well as those in bacteria, buttercups and beluga whales, a surprising variety of microscopic macromolecular machines toil away 24/7 keeping life processes humming. Quite a bit is now known about how some of these remarkable mechanisms work, but much remains to be teased out. These devices carry out a wide range of functions, including energy production, manufacturing, motion, pumping, data processing, communication, sensing and others. We will investigate the construction and operation of many of the nanomachines, comparing them with familiar man-made machines carrying out similar activities. No scientific background or knowledge is required, just a lively curiosity.

    Instructor: Dave Tracy earned his B.S in physics at the University of Florida. After a 2.5-year stint in the Peace Corps teaching high school math and physics in Malaysia, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. Following postdocs at Imperial College in London and at UW, he switched gears and entered industry, working over 20 years developing semiconductor processing equipment and analytical instruments for chemistry and biochemistry, mostly involving optics. He retired from Perkin Elmer as VP, Science and Technology in 2000. Since then, until 2018, he consulted in instrumentation and optical design for startups, research institutes, and large corporations, in the US and abroad. He has accumulated about 50 patents. This is his eighth OLLI course.



    An Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong Fundamentals
    Mike Reed
    Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    January 31 through March 21
    Location: Blue Classroom

    Tai Chi Form - a series of movements performed slowly and in sequence. We will learn an 8- movement form which mirrors common everyday movements and was designed to reinforce healthy body mechanics and to promote clear mind/body connection. 2) Moving Qigong - the word qigong translates roughly as "energy exercise." This group of basic movements has developed over millennia to improve general health and well being. Their relative simplicity helps beginners to develop an inward focus connecting mind and body. Exercises specifically for balance are included in this category. 3) Static Qigong - This practice would more easily be recognized by Western audiences as meditation or mindfulness. This exercise will be practiced in both sitting and standing positions. Learning to relax and sit or stand quietly is the foundation of the first two practices. This course has been a popular mainstay of OLLI’s wellness curriculum for more than a decade. It is intended both for students who are new to tai chi and those who have taken it at OLLI or elsewhere in the past.

    Instructor: Mike Reed has been studying and practicing Tai Chi and Qigong since 1998. He has shared his experience and understanding of these practices as follows: classes at OLLI since its inception, initiated a program at Savoy Recreation Center, and instructed senior research participants at a UIUC Department of Kinesiology study.

    Popular Ballroom Dances


    Alex Tecza
    Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    January 31 through March 21
    Location: Blue Classroom

    With growing popularity of ballroom dancing and more exposure on TV, new studies have been conducted to test the benefits of this activity. The multidimensional benefits of dancing include all areas of health - physical, mental, social, and emotional. In this course, you will learn the basics of popular ballroom dances and how to create your own patterns so you can have fun improvising. No partner required. Dances taught in this session will include Foxtrot, Tango, East Coast Swing, and Mambo.

    Instructor: Alex Tecza is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher. His achievements include titles of North American champion, professional national and world finalist, Dancers Cup Tour Professional Couple of the Year award two years in a row, and several wins in professional Standard, Smooth, Rhythm, and Showdance divisions. Aside from ballroom dancing, Alex is also an AmSAT (American Society for the Alexander Technique) certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Locally, he has taught master classes and workshops for Dance Department at UIUC and Regent Ballroom, choreographed and performed in productions at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and has coached Illini Dancesport team. Alex teaches students of all ages and levels. He taught his first OLLI course in the fall 2017.

    Uplifting Chair Yoga for Strength, Balance, and Emotional Wellness
    Robin Goettel
    Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    March 2 through March 23 (4-week, Session II)
    Location: Blue Classroom

    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    Chair Yoga integrates body, mind, and spirit for those unable to do yoga on the mat. Practicing yoga helps improve flexibility, balance and strength, along with concentration and patience. Students will experience a calming atmosphere to help them de-stress and gain increased self-confidence. This course creates a safe environment by: 1) teaching proper ways to do a pose, based on individual challenges; 2) expanding student awareness that every “body” is different; 3) adapting to varied levels of flexibility; and 4) offering modifications based on participants’ needs.

    Instructor: For 45 years, Robin Goettel has practiced many yoga styles and continues to glean the latest research from the Yoga Alliance and International Association of Yoga Therapists. Since retiring, she became more involved in promoting wellness as a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga(TM) teacher. She has received additional training by participating in a National Yoga Alliance conference. Goettel has taught chair yoga classes since 2014 at five senior facilities/fitness centers in C-U and via Zoom for OLLI and Parkland College Continuing Ed. Through her OLLI Chair Yoga classes over the past 8 years, her students noted that the postures and breathing techniques they learn have created a sense of calm, happiness, and balance to carry into their daily lives.

    Slo-Flow Yoga – The Philosophy and Practice
    Jan Erkert
    Saturdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
    February 4 through March 25
    Location: Blue Classroom

    This course is an introduction to yoga history, philosophy, and practice of the eight limbs of yoga, rooted in the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Participants will learn the postures (asanas), meditation practices, and breathing techniques (pranayama) as a springboard for playful explorations of stability and ease, breath and flow, and joy and limitations. These embodied activities build strength and flexibility as well as cultivate increased concentration, focus and mindfulness. Participants who prefer to practice on a mat should bring a yoga mat. For those preferring not to practice on a mat, modifications on a chair will be provided.

    Instructor: Jan Erkert is an embodied practitioner, educator, author/writer, and choreographer. She was Professor and Head of the Department of Dance at University of Illinois from 2006- 2022, and as Artistic Director of Jan Erkert & Dancers, she created over 70 works that garnered national and international awards. Throughout her career, she has researched and taught dance, vinyasa yoga, kinesiology, and somatic practices, receiving an Excellence in Teaching Award from Columbia College, and a Leadership Award from University of Illinois. Certified by Yoga Alliance, her classes emphasize efficient movement practices, movement flow, and our collective capacity for joy.