SPRING SEMESTER 2024 - COURSES


The 8-week semester begins on Monday, February 26, 2024
Registration opens on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 9:00 a.m.

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

The Evaluation (anonymous) form for the first session of 4-week OLLI courses can be found HERE.


Browse courses by subject:


  • THE ARTS
  • CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
  • FILM STUDIES
  • HISTORY
  • LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY & RELIGIOUS STUDIES
  • SCIENCE & MEDICINE
  • WELLNESS

  • About OLLI Spring Courses:

    OLLI courses meet for either four or eight weeks. Spring 2024 courses will be offered in three formats: in-person, hybrid, and zoom only. 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. The online component of the hybrid courses will be offered via Zoom.

    In-person courses will have capacity limits, and so interested students are encouraged to register early. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled on February 12, 2024. Early registrations will help avoid cancellations!

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

     

     THE ARTS

    Broadway Divas
    Sam & Candy Caponegro
    Mondays, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    February 26 through March 18 (4 weeks, Session I)
    Zoom only

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

    What is a Broadway Diva? There are many attributes that define “Diva,” and we will discuss them all with clips of the multi-talented, larger-than-life divas of Broadway. Join us on Zoom as we watch and dissect some of the performances of Al Jolson, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Zero Mostel, Patti Lupone and many more. You’ll be, “Ready for your close-up,” at the end of the course.

    Instructors: Sam and Candy Caponegro have worked in all aspects of theater for over 40 years. They hope to keep the Classic Movie Musical and the Golden Age of Broadway alive though their courses and lectures. These instructors are new to OLLI at Illinois.


    Creating a Role: How Performances are Made
    Tom Mitchell
    Wednesdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 28 through April 17
    In-person: Osher Classroom

    This course will explore how actors prepare performances for theatre, film and television so that audience members might have a deeper understanding of what goes into the works they see on stage and screen. Each session will include background information by Tom Mitchell and Joi Hoffsommer, demonstration of techniques and discussion of concepts, and in-class reading performances with local actors.

    Instructor: Tom Mitchell is U of I Emeritus Associate Professor of Theatre where he taught and chaired the acting program. He has directed countless productions at the Krannert Center for both Theatre and Lyric Theatre. Tom is scholar-in-residence for the Tennessee Williams Festival St Louis and has created adaptations of several works by Williams for festivals around the country. Joi Hoffsommer is retired as director of theatre at Parkland College, where she taught acting and directed several productions. Most recently she performed onstage in The Men from the Polar Star in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Suddenly Last Summer in Bloomington-Normal, and was seen in the film Final Summer. This is Tom's second OLLI course. His first one received stellar reviews.

     

    History of the Art of India, Part I: Origins to Mughals
    Bernard Cesarone
    Mondays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    February 26 through April 15
    Hybrid: Orange Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course surveys the art of the Indian subcontinent from its origins in the second millennium BCE through early Mughal art (16th century). The survey covers Buddhist, Brahmanical, and Jain architecture, sculpture, and painting. Artistic styles are exemplified by significant monuments. Topics treated include Buddhist chaityas, stupas (e.g., Sanchi), and rock-cut and painted caves (e.g., Ajanta); Hindu temples, both northern (e.g., Konarak, Khajuraho) and southern (e.g., Madurai) style; and Islamic architecture (e.g., Fatehpur Sikri) and painted manuscripts in the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar.

    Instructor: Bernard Cesarone retired in 2015 after a career working on information and data projects in the UI’s College of Education. During this time, he pursued his decades-long interest in art, receiving a doctorate in art history, with a specialization in Spanish colonial art, though his interests range widely, to the art of India and elsewhere. He has owned and operated a gallery showing folk art from India and Latin America, and he has curated exhibitions of folk art at KAM and at the Tarble Arts Center at EIU. He has taught art history courses at EIU and previously at OLLI.

     

    Jazz From Around the World
    Jenelle Orcherton
    Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 29 through April 18
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Meeting


    Jazz is considered by many to be an American art form, but its ethos and energy has reached across the globe creating vibrant scenes all over! We will look at the connection and evolution of jazz as it has travelled and developed in several different countries.

    Instructor: Jenelle Orcherton is a jazz performer and educator, with training in Education and a Masters' in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois. She is the Artistic Director and Founder of the annual Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival, with it’s 10th anniversary in 2024(!) She has served on many jazz and community organizations including Music Defying Boundaries and the Urbana Public Arts Commission. Jenelle has over fifteen years of education experience and is passionate about giving all audiences the opportunity to engage with jazz. She teaches regularly at OLLI and receives excellent reviews by both in-person and online attendees.

    Launching the Imagination Through Contemporary Art
    Lisa Costello
    Tuesdays, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    February 27 through April 16
    ZOOM only


    This course will explore the visual elements of art and how it is applied, in tandem with design principles, to shed light on contemporary art and the language that connects artists to their audience. The discussions will include various artworks and expose multiple tools to create building blocks for interpreting contemporary works of art.

    Instructor: Lisa Costello, Director of Giertz Gallery at Parkland College, earned two B.F.A. degrees in art history and metalsmithing at the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She recently completed a Museum Studies Certificate from Northwestern Illinois University. Costello aims to foster a better understanding of contemporary art and art history in our community. She facilitates visiting artist lectures, curates exhibitions, and gives gallery tours. She has taught metalsmithing, design, sculpture, and art history at several institutions, including Parkland College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois. She enjoys traveling and visiting museums. This love of museums and interest in architecture and art led her to organize and lead bus trips through Parkland Community Education. When not in the Giertz Gallery, she can be found taking groups of amazing people on trips all over the Midwest.


    COURSE CANCELED

    Soldier's Heart to Shell Shock to PTSD: War Trauma in the Arts
    Barbara Jones
    Mondays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    February 26 through April 15
    Hybrid: Orange Classroom and Zoom


    Students will receive an introductory history of the PTSD diagnosis as it has evolved. Each week will be a summary of the poetry, drama, fiction, photography, journalism, and other arts from the U.S. Civil War to the Iraq War. The last week will summarize common themes from the arts of all the above wars. Reading not required but encouraged.

    Instructor: Barbara Jones has a MAT (teaching of English) from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities. Her dissertation is "PTSD in the Vietnam War: A Legal History of the Diagnosis." As a result, she has read extensively, and continues to read, in the area of the literature of war trauma. Barbara has facilitated a number of study groups that receive excellent reviews. This will be her first OLLI course.


     CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

     

    The "Trials" of Trump
    Brant Houston
    Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 27 through April 23 (Class does not meet March 12.)
    Hybrid: OLLI Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    While this course will keep up with the actual court trials of Trump in 2024 and the news coverage of those trials, it will focus equally on the details of the journey of Trump from Queens to the White House- and his ongoing attempted comeback. And it will look at the media's role in Trump's rise, both in aiding him and in combating his false narratives throughout his career.

    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.

     

     FILM STUDIES

    Crime Films
    Sandy Camargo
    Mondays, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    February 26 through March 18 (4 Weeks, Session I)
    OLLI Osher Classroom
    In-person only

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

    Crime has figured as an element in moral education and as a social problem from the earliest days. In the 1840s, however, crime became bracketed to mass entertainment. From the turn of the 20th century, crime films became one of the major film genres, and we will explore this genre’s conventions and tropes in the representations of crimes. We will look at agents of disorder (e.g., gangsters) and agents of order (e.g., amateur and professional detectives and the police). These films will also allow us to discuss the role that violence has played in Hollywood filmmaking.

    Instructor: Sandy Camargo retired as a Senior Lecturer in English and Adjunct Professor of Cinema Studies at UI in 2021, 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.


    Films of the Anti-Nazi Resistance in World War II
    Frank Chadwick
    Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    February 28 through April 17
    OLLI Osher Classroom
    In-person only

    The course will examine the reality of the anti-Nazi resistance in France, Poland, Norway, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Germany, through introductory lectures on these resistance movements and eight films portraying them. The films are a mix of work made in the United States (four films) and in the countries studied (four films). In most cases the foreign films were made by surviving members of those resistance movements, and so provide some unique insights into the actual experiences of those movements.

    Instructor: Frank Chadwick is a game designer, novelist, and military historian who specializes in the Second World War. He has been an OLLI member and instructor for over a decade. His previous OLLI courses on World War Two, The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Greek-Persian Wars, the Plains Indian Wars, and others have been well received.


    The Human Face of Classical Music in 1940s Films
    John Frayne
    Fridays, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    March 1 through April 19
    OLLI Osher Classroom
    In-person only

    Classical music has an elitist reputation. But a large number of 1940s movies succeeded in giving a human face to this art form. In these films, conductors struggle with jealousy (Rex Harrison in “Unfaithfully Yours”), a pianist, through hypnosis, achieves victory over an abusive teacher (Ann Todd and James Mason in “The Seventh Veil”), and a poor boy rises to the heights of fame (John Garfield in “Humoresque”). The approach in these films may be romantic, but they succeeded in harnessing the emotive power of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff into an accessible media.

    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.


    Silent Film Classics
    Chuck Koplinski
    Wednesdays, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    February 28 through April 17
    OLLI Osher Classroom
    In-person only

    75% of silent films have been lost and with every transition to a newer home video format, fewer and fewer of those that remain are being preserved. This course will examine the production history of eight silent films as well as their impact when released and influence on the medium. Among the films to be screened will be “Flesh and the Devil” (1926), “The Freshman” (1925), “Hell's Hinges” (1916), “It” (1927), “Pandora's Box” (1929), “Show People” (1928), “Sunrise” (1927) and “West of Zanzibar” (1928).

    Instructor:Chuck Koplinski has been a film critic for over 25 years, writing for various independent newspapers in the community. He currently reviews films for The News-Gazette, The Illinois Times, and WCIA TV. Chuck is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Chicago Film Critics Association. This is his 16th offering at OLLI.


     HISTORY

     

    The Archaeology of Pets and Other Animals
    Sarah Wisseman
    Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 26 through April 16 (4-weeks, session II)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    Man’s historical relationship with animals goes far beyond using animal parts for food, clothing, and ornaments. This class will begin with trusted pets (e.g. dogs, cats, and birds). Later we will consider relationships with animals who serve specific functions (e.g. plowing, milking, transport, war) and odd companions (e.g. snakes, geese). When were animals first domesticated? Which animals ate and slept with their humans? Which animals achieved sacred status, either as gods or as symbols of transformation and the afterlife? Types of evidence will include pet cemeteries around the world, stables and other enclosures, bone and coprolite analyses, art, and literature.

    Instructor: Sarah Wisseman, PhD, 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.



    Cold War and Popular Culture
    Chris Butler
    Fridays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 1 through April 19
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course will pick up with post-war terror in Stalinist Russia and McCarthyism in America and follow through on the post-Stalinist Cold War in the 1950s. Other topics covered will be the Beats, the birth of rock and roll, the pop culture cycle, nuclear war strategies and scenarios, the Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile Crisis, fragmentation and counter-culture in the 1960s, the Vietnam War, and a brief look at the 1970s.

    Instructor: Chris Butler taught history at University High School in Urbana for 42 years. He was awarded numerous teaching awards, notably the Beveridge Family Award, the only teaching award given to K-12 teachers by the American Historical Association. Since his retirement, he has become a regular instructor at OLLI.



    The Golan Heights in Archaeology and History
    Fred Christensen
    Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    March 27 through April 17 (4 weeks, Session II)
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom

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

    When the sun rises over the Sea of Galilee, it appears over the towering bluffs of the Golan Heights. That basaltic plateau, smaller than Champaign County, has a remarkable past. This class will examine its geology and natural history, its archaeological record from prehistory to the present, and its dramatic history resulting from its location on the main route from Damascus to Jerusalem. Instructor-made films will show the sites of ancient cities, Hellenistic battlefields, Judaean fortresses, Crusader castles, and twentieth-century conflicts.

    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. Fred is the current president of the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society. He has taught OLLI courses regularly since 2008.



    Mexico Between Independence and Revolution, 1821-1910
    Janice Jayes
    Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    February 27 through April 23 (Class does not meet March 12.)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    Mexico had a tumultuous 19th century. It was twice governed by emperors, yet enacted a radically liberal constitution mid- century. Mexico abolished slavery decades before the US and elected a full blooded Zapotec Indian as President, but these actions only spurred foreign intervention from the French, Spanish and the US. This class will explore Mexican history from Independence in 1821 through to the eve of the Revolution of 1910.

    Instructor: Janice Jayes teaches in the History Department at Illinois State University. She wrote her dissertation on US-Mexican cultural relations during the late 19th and early 20th century and looks forward to discussing the fascinating history of Mexico's first century of independence.



    Napoleon in the Holy Land, 1799
    Fred Christensen
    Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    February 28 through March 20 (4 weeks, Session I)
    Hybrid: ILlinois Classroom and Zoom
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    In 1798 young General Bonaparte commanded a French army sent to conquer Egypt, and the next year he led his troops into Syria/Palestine, challenging the Ottoman forces there. This class will examine these dramatic events, emphasizing the social, cultural and military conditions that determined their outcome. Instructor-made films will depict the sieges of Jaffa and Acre and the battles of Nazareth and Mount Tabor. Themes important for later history make their appearance here: cultural differences between east and west, the changing nature of military and naval warfare, and the character, strengths and weaknesses of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    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. Fred is the current president of the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society. He has taught OLLI courses regularly since 2008.



    The Pacific War, Part II
    John McCord
    Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    February 27 through April 16
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This is a continuation of the course offered in the fall term of 2023. It will also cover events in Southeast Aisa and China from 1941 through 1945 as well as the postwar occupation and reconstruction of Japan. Students do not need to have taken Part I to enroll.

    Instructor: John McCord has taught four previous OLLI courses. He is a former Naval Officer who served in cruisers and destroyers before serving as a war planner for a Theater Command and later an instructor at Officer Candidate School. He has been studying military and naval history from his time as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy to present, and applied that learning while serving in the Navy. Among other accomplishments, e developed plans for the transfer of naval properties to Panama in accordance with the Panama Canal Treaties which became the basis for the overall plans.



    Russia and Black America
    Richard Tempest
    Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    February 27 through April 16
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course explores the Russian-sourced cultural transfers that influenced the Black American experience, and examines the impact of that experience on Russia and its people. Who were the Black artists, activists and adventurers who traveled there, and what did they discover? A New York bellhop, the son of slaves, becomes a millionaire in tsarist Moscow; a Detroit car worker spends decades as a captive of the communist regime; a biracial child actor joins the Soviet navy and wins fame as a poet; and a young female writer chronicles the decline of the Soviet Union.

    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 fantasy adventure novel, Golden Bone (Moscow: NLO, 2004), which he wrote in Russian and published under the penname Roland Harrington. His numerous OLLI courses and lectures have had extremely strong reviews for his deep knowledge of the subject and engaging presentation style.



     LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY & RELIGIOUS STUDIES

     

    Dimensions of Love
    Martin Srajek
    Fridays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 1 through April 19
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Meeting

    Through reflection and conversation we will explore psychological, spiritual and emotional aspects of love in the context of human attachment, help/care, addiction, friendship and death.

    Instructor: Martin Srajek is a native of Germany. He attended seminary in Germany before coming to the US in 1985 to study world religions and philosophy at Temple University. After earning a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in 1992 in modern Jewish thought and French Postmodernism, Martin taught as a visiting assistant professor at various institutions on the East Coast. In 1996 Martin returned to a dual degree graduate program at the University of Illinois to earn a Master’s Degree in Human and Community Development and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Martin became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2000. He opened his private psychological practice that same year and has worked as psychotherapist since then. Martin delivered a well-received OLLI lecture recently on Authority without Power. This is his first OLLI course.



    Jhumpa Lahiri's Short Stories as a Window into the Indian Immigrant Experience
    Umeeta Sadarangani
    Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 27 through April 17 (4 weeks, Session II)
    In-person only: Orange Classroom

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

    This course will introduce the short fiction of Jhumpa Lahiri through her Pulitzer Prize-winning first book, Interpreter of Maladies. The class will focus on one short story each week, focusing on literary elements as well as cultural contexts. Participants will have an enhanced experience if they read the stories ahead of the discussions, but reading is not required in order to learn about Lahiri’s career, to get a taste of her fiction, and to appreciate the insights the stories provide on the Indian-immigrant experience in the United States in the twentieth century.

    Instructor: Umeeta Sadarangani retired as Professor of English from Parkland College, where she developed and taught a Humanities course on South Asian cultures and various literature courses including Women in Literature and Non-Western Literatures. She has given talks and published articles on Indian literature and on the Indian-immigrant experience. Dr. Sadarangani is also a creative writer and a visual artist. This is her first OLLI course.



    Teen Spirit: The Catcher in the Rye and Housekeeping
    Parley Ann Boswell
    Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    February 29 through April 18
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Meeting

    We will read two novels in which the narrators tell us about their teen years: J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951) and Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping (1980). Although Salinger’s most famous novel has come under renewed scrutiny recently, we will gauge for ourselves how Holden Caulfield’s story holds up in 2024. Then we will travel from New York City to Fingerbone, Idaho for Robinson’s award-winning tale narrated by Ruthie who, along with her sister Lucille, must negotiate their way through their teen years as orphans among their eccentric and complicated relatives. Ah, teenagers . . . we might learn something from you.

    Instructor: Parley Ann Boswell graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just months after Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece "The Godfather Part II" was released. Now Professor Emerita of English, at EIU she taught Film Studies and American Literature—from colonial through early 20th century—for thirty years. She has been teaching OLLI courses at U of I since 2018 to excellent reviews from both in-person and online attendees.



    Why the Bible Began
    Norman Klein
    Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    February 28 through April 17
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Meeting

    We shall explore Jacob L. Wright’s new book “Why the Bible began: An Alternative History of Scripture and Its Origins (2023).” For Jacob Wright, the Bible is not only a testimony of survival, and an unparalleled achievement in human history. Forged after Babylon's devastation of Jerusalem, it makes not victory but total humiliation the foundation of a new idea of belonging. Wright’s text helps us explore some of the latest advances in the study of biblical history which illustrate new approaches in both textual study and archeology. More than just religious scripture, the Bible began as a trailblazing blueprint for a new form of political community. Its response to catastrophe offers a powerful message of hope and restoration that is unique in the Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman worlds. Wright's Bible is thus a social, political, and even economic roadmap from catastrophe to helping shape the world's destiny.

    Instructor: Norman Mark Klein, M.A.H.L., D.D., is retired as the emeritus rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign. After retirement at Sinai he served as Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth Orr, Coral Springs, FL, Temple Israel, Ottawa, Canada, and at Temple Beth Torah in Wellington, FL, 2013-2017. Before becoming Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple, Champaign, IL, he served as rabbi from 1995-2013. Rabbi Klein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985. He was rabbi of Temple Ohav Shalom, Allison Park, PA, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh from 1985 to 1991, and the rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom, Waco, Texas, from 1991 to 1995. Rabbi Klein also studied 5 years in the Ph. D. program in the English Dept. at Indiana University with a minor in Film Production. He also taught there and elsewhere. Rabbi Klein has facilitated many study groups and taught many courses at OLLI.



     SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

     

    Cosmology: Chaos or Cosmos? A History
    Andrew Jones
    Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 29 through April 18
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course will survey the various theories of the history of cosmology and the people who developed and tested those theories, revolutions in our view of the solar system and universe, and the discoveries and theories that color our current thinking. Finally, we will explore some seemingly crazy theories and their implications for cosmology.

    Instructor: Andrew Jones has been an astronomer, eclipse chaser, and cosmologist – without portfolio – since graduate school. Almost everything he learned in his undergraduate and graduate studies has been repudiated in the past forty years, so he is keen on watching developments and tracking current theories from his perch outside academia. For many years he has specialized in bringing new software, network infrastructure, and medical technology to market. He has taught undergraduate, graduate and off-campus seminars on information systems, marketing, and technology commercialization at the University of Illinois. He also taught courses in astronomy, physics, math, and programming at the University of Alabama and Stillman College. He holds a PhD from the University of Alabama in physics and an MBA from the University of Illinois. He served in Vietnam in 1968 with the U.S. Marine Corps.


    An Ear for Music: Exploring How our Hearing Mechanisms Constrain Musicality
    David Tracy
    Fridays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    March 1 through April 19
    Hybrid: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    Following up on a previous course, The Sound of Music, this course will further explore the ways in which the physical properties of sound, together with the idiosyncratic workings of our ears and associated neurons, have determined the development of music and our perception of it. We will cover the key aspects of human hearing and vocalization, the evolution of tonal scales and musical notation, musical instruments, and especially the underlying nature of harmonies. Many aural demonstrations will be used to explore the nature of musical sounds and students’ musical perception. No scientific background or knowledge is required, and the course is suitable both for those with and without musical expertise.

    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, largely 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 ninth OLLI course.


    Examining Climate Change and Its Concerning Impacts in Illinois
    Jim Angel
    Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 26 through March 18 (4 weeks, Session I)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

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

    Climate change is a major challenge that is likely to affect many aspects of life in Illinois, ranging from human health to the economy. Illinois is already experiencing societal impacts from the changing climate and, as climate change progresses and temperatures continue to rise, these impacts are expected to increase over time. This course will explore climate change and its impacts on Illinois. After an overview of the current and future trends in the state, we will closely explore the impacts of climate change on agriculture, water resources, and human health. Efforts to mitigate and adapt will be discussed.

    Instructor: Jim Angel has worked at the Illinois State Water Survey since 1984 and became the State Climatologist in 1997. In that role, Dr. Angel conducted research on many climate issues in Illinois, including drought, extreme rainfall, heatwaves, winter storms, past, and future climate change, etc., as well as monitoring current conditions in the state. He is also a leading author of the Midwest Chapter of the 2018 National Climate Assessment and the 2021 Illinois Climate Assessment. He has worked closely with Federal, State, and Local officials, as well as the private sector on climate issues in Illinois. As a result, he has given numerous talks across the state and was a regular voice in the news media. While pseudo-retired, he remains active in the field and currently serves on the Science Advisory Committee for The Nature Conservancy of Illinois. This is Dr. Angel's first OLLI course.


    Latest News from the Early Universe and the Solar System
    Cathrine Blom
    Mondays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
    April 1 through April 22 (4 weeks, Session II. This course begins one week later than other Session II courses.)
    In-person only: Osher Classroom

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

    New windows have opened on the Universe in recent years. In this course I will discuss how the new James Webb Space Telescope is expanding our understanding of the early Universe, how studies of the mysterious dark matter teach us about the expansion of the Universe, how gravitational radiation is giving us unexpected views of colliding black holes and the creation of heavy elements throughout the Universe, and how missions to bring back material from asteroids are shedding light on the formation of the Solar System.

    Instructor: Cathrine Blom earned her Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Illinois, where she also earned a B.A. in psychology with a minor in music. She also has a working background in physics, participating in Norway on analysis of CERN experiments prior to coming to the U.S. At Illinois, she co-taught the primary introductory music classes for majors several times, and received an honorary mention for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Her OLLI courses on both music and science topics are highly regarded; one recent student noted, “She made a very difficult topic much easier to understand.”


    COURSE CANCELED

    Making a Difference: Individual to National Action on Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability
    Paul Debevec
    Mondays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 26 through April 15
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    The transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to an economy based on renewable energy has begun. However slowly, coal, oil, and natural gas are being replaced in transportation, buildings, industry, residences, and electricity generation. Each of these efforts can be advanced by individuals and households, communities and our nation. The technologies are sometimes complicated, and the choices are often also not straightforward. The more we know and understand, the more we can make these choices.

    Instructor: Paul Debevec is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois. His research career has been in experimental particle and nuclear physics. In 2010-2011, with University of Illinois Professors John Abelson and Clifford Singer, he developed and taught the core course for the Masters of Engineering in Energy Systems curriculum, ENG571 Theory of Energy and Sustainability Engineering. He has continued to lecture in the course after his retirement in 2008. He has given five courses at OLLI and public lectures and academic colloquia on energy topics.


    COURSE CANCELED

    Milk and Its Alternatives- Friends or Foes for Human Health?
    Walter Hurley
    Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 29 through March 21 (4-week, Session I)
    Hybrid: Orange Classroom and Zoom Webinar

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

    Milk has been a ubiquitous part of our food culture throughout our lives. It is universally recognized as an important source of nutrition. Various health benefits are ascribed to consumption of milk and milk components. Nevertheless, there are many who cannot consume milk or milk products because of lactose intolerance, milk allergy or other conditions. Plant-based beverages have been developed to provide alternatives to cow milk. This course provides an overview of milk components, the bioactive factors in milk, and their recognized and potential impacts on human health. Plant-based alternatives are assessed as potential substitutes for milk.

    Instructor: Walt Hurley is a Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. He served on the faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences for over 35 years. His area of research was lactation biology and mammary gland biology, particularly with respect to dairy cattle and swine. He taught a number of undergraduate courses, including his long-running Reporting provided by Web Services at Public Affairs | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Page 30 course on the biology of lactation. Students in that course were led on a journey of exploration that introduced them to the mammary gland, lactation physiology, milk, and how those topics related to various mammals, as well as to themselves. He has previously taught OLLI courses on the broad topic of milk (Fall 2019) and on the basics of the biology of lactation (Fall 2021).


    Molecular Inventions and the Tree of Life
    Claudia Reich
    Fridays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    March 29 through April 19 (4-week, session II)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

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

    Soon after the Earth was formed, 4.5 billion years ago, life arose. And by 3.8 billion years ago, microbial life was abundant enough to leave a permanent record in the form of fossilized microbial mats. Since then, organisms have proliferated and evolved, diversifying, increasing their complexity and colonizing environments. In this course, we will look at the major biochemical inventions that enabled the expansion and diversification of life on Earth. These innovations allowed the settling of new niches, impacting the environment and transforming the Earth itself. From harnessing the energy of the sun, to developing more sophisticated ways of storing information and ensuring faithful transmission to the progeny, these inventions dramatically changed and expanded the tree of life, leading to the complex extant biome.

    Instructor: Claudia Reich holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the U of I, she has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biochemistry, and Research Assistant Professor and Senior Scientist in Microbiology and the Institute for Genomic Research. Her research has been on molecular biology and genomics of microorganisms. Claudia has taught a number of OLLI courses and facilitated Study Groups, all of them to excellent reviews.


    Our Dynamic Planet: Earthquakes and Volcanoes
    Stephen Marshak
    Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 27 through March 19 (4 weeks, session I)
    Hybrid: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

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

    The course will introduce participants to the nature and behavior of earthquakes and volcanoes, and the sometimes disastrous ways in which their activity impacts society. We will begin by reviewing plate tectonics, the grand unifying theory of geoscience, and will consider how the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes relates to plate tectonics. Then we look at the specific phenomena that trigger earthquakes and eruptions, ways of measuring and describing these events, and the destruction that such events have caused through history. We will also address efforts used to forecast these events, as well as actions that individuals and communities can take to avoid devastating consequences.

    Instructor: Stephen Marshak received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and then became a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he remained for 35 years. During that time, he also served as Department Head of Geology, and as Director of the School of Earth, Society, & Environment. Since transferring to emeritus status in 2018, Steve remains actively involved in research projects concerning structural geology and tectonics, and continues to write college textbooks in geosciences. He also produced a MOOC (massive open online course) called "Planet Earth . . . and You!" available through Coursera. Steve teaches OLLI courses regularly and received excellent reviews.


    Plagues, Pestilences, Poxes and Pandemics, Version 2.0
    Nestor Ramirez
    Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    February 27 through April 16
    In-person only: Orange Classroom

    During the Fall 2020 semester, Nestor gave an OLLI course with the same title. Spring 2024, “Version 2.0” provides updated information about the Plague, its origin and distribution; the COVID Pandemic, its morbidity and mortality with special emphasis on the vaccines, and recent information about syphilis, malaria, polio and other illnesses. One of the initial slides in the course states the Purpose and Plan of this Program: Provide a peripatetic, panoramic perusal of the particulars of the past, present and potential plagues, pestilences, poxes and pandemics that produce pervasive panic and persistently put peoples’ permanence on this planet at prolonged peril, plus also presenting possible positive principles of prevention. The main focus will be on the human effects and repercussions of the diseases, without neglecting the scientific aspects of causality, epidemiology, prevention and treatment.

    Instructor: Born in Bogota, Colombia. Medical School and Internship in Bogota. Rural physician in the jungle area of southeast Colombia for 7 years. MPH in The National School of Public Health in Medellin, Colombia. General Pediatrics Residency at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, and a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of Tennessee Regional Medical Center all in Memphis, Tennessee. Started as a neonatologist in 1986, first in Champaign, then in Springfield and later in Chicago, until 2016. Was a physician reviewer for Blue Cross/Blue Shield until October 2017. Retired from active practice, but remain involved in organized medicine at the county, state and national levels. Was President of the Illinois State Medical Society (2017-20.18), President of the Champaign County Medical Society (2019). President of the Champaign West Rotary Club (2021-2022). He has taught several 4- and 8-week courses and given individual lectures at OLLI since 2019.

     WELLNESS


    Art Journaling
    Patty Pyrz
    Wednesdays, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
    February 28 through March 27 (4 weeks, Session I)(Class does not meet March 13)
    In-person only: Blue Classroom

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

    Express yourself and create your own unique art journal entries using various mediums in this fun and relaxing class. An art journal can be a container for deep expression and can hold the thoughts and reflections that are most intimate to us. We can use them to record our personal stories, feelings and experiences and connect to ourselves. Learn certain techniques using different mediums to apply to your journal as well as prompts to create without self-judgement. Make marks through expressive art practices and begin to create your own visual language to inform other work you’ll create by arranging color, words, images and various ephemera. Explore and dive deeper into your creativity and embrace your inner critic, while we create from a place of centeredness and intention. Learn easy art and mindful activities to unwind at home as well as creative art practices for self-care.

    Instructor: Patty Pyrz is an artist, outdoor enthusiast, wellness practitioner, and passionate teacher with twenty years of experience instructing students from ages six to sixty. She loves to create with adults, kids, and her own family. She has been doodling, drawing, painting, and collaging since she was a child. She believes in the process of healing through creative expression, art journaling, and zentangle as a form of artistic meditation. She holds a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology/Wellness and has taught at St. John’s Lutheran School, Savoy Rec Center, Springer Cultural Center, Parkland Community College, and UIUC’s Campus Well-being Services as well as OLLI. This is Patty's second OLLI course. Her first course received excellent reviews.


    Build Your Strength with Vivo
    Kevin Snodgrass
    Two Sessions: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
    February 28 and 29 through April 17 and 18
    Zoom only

    Please note: Vivo is a private company that develops exercise programs for older adults with scientific advisors from Duke University and Emory University. OLLI at Illinois is joining with other OLLIs to offer Vivo's Strength-Building online exercise program to our members. Students will be invited to continue with Vivo's program at the end of this OLLI course. There is, however, no obligation for students to continue with Vivo at the end of the 8 weeks. Vivo presented an information session for all OLLI at Illinois members on January 5, 2024. If you were unable to attend and would like to view a recording of that session, please contact OLLI.

    Muscle strength and balance are critical to maintaining health and independence as we age. Without additional strength training, most older adults will suffer a loss of muscle mass and strength that can negatively impact their balance and mobility. Vivo, a live, online, interactive strength-building course customized to your fitness level, helps you attain physical fitness. Vivo exercise sessions consist of cognitive, balance and strength exercises informed by the latest science and research on exercise for older adults. Vivo is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study its science-based training strategy and personalized online small-group format for older adults. Classes are small and instruction is individualized. Certified personal trainers, skilled in working with older adults, provide modified exercises to meet each student's fitness needs. Classes meet once a week for 45 minutes. Whether you are new to exercise or exercise regularly, Vivo will help you build your strength and improve your fitness and mobility.

    Instructor: Kevin Snodgrass NASM - CPT, CES, FNS, SFS, ACE - CES. Head trainer for Vivo “I got into fitness late in life and immediately saw the positive impact it had on my mental and physical health. It’s why I particularly enjoy working with latecomers to fitness who discover the same results.” With more than a decade’s experience as a fitness professional and particular expertise in teaching virtual classes and working with older clients and those with chronic conditions and acute injuries, Kevin Snodgrass is a perfect fit as Head Trainer for Vivo, the digital health and fitness program built on strength training for people 55+. A certified fitness professional for 12 years, Kevin has spent a decade working as a corrective exercise specialist helping individuals with chronic health issues and injuries improve their strength and mobility, with the goal of returning to their normal activities. He has also worked in mental health programs integrating exercise, nutrition and meditation as supporting interventions for individuals undergoing therapy and medication.


    How to Eat, Move, and Groove to Boost Lifelong Health and Well-Being
    Susie Kundrat
    Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    March 25 through April 15 (4 weeks, Session II)
    Hybrid: Orange Classroom and Zoom

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

    Confusion abounds when it comes to what, how much, when, and why to eat and move for lifelong health and well-being. In this course, Registered Dietitian and well-being expert Susie Kundrat uses her “Science to Simple” approach to provide a simple, positive, practical, and accessible method for maximizing longevity based on her upcoming book, Eat, Move, and Find Your Groove. Grounded in science and practical application from the team of Eat Move Groove experts, participants will come away with a flexible framework for implementing a lifelong eat, move, and groove (supporting your personal well-being) plan to carry with them daily.

    Instructor: Susie Kundrat is the founder of Eat Move Groove, LLC (www.eatmovegroove.com), offering simple, positive well-being programs. Her new book Eat, Move, and Find Your Groove is coming out in 2024. She has 30+ years of teaching experience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (clinical professor emeritus), UIUC (adjunct lecturer), and Walla Walla Community College(lecturer). The focus of Susie’s work is on health and well-being, sports nutrition, nutrition security, and nutrition education. In 1993, Susie was the sports nutritionist and director of the SportWell Center at UIUC, and later, the monthly nutrition expert on Celeste Quinn’s WILL-AM show for 10+ years.


    Mindful Movement in a Chair for Good Health
    Robin Goettel
    Fridays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    March 29 through April 19 (4 weeks, Session II)
    In-person only: Blue Classroom

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

    Science has shown that older adults who participate in movement activity will improve their flexibility, balance and emotional well-being. Robin will lead OLLI members in careful seated movements to enhance flexibility in all joints, from neck to toe. Movements, while on a chair, are derived from various practices including yoga, tapping (Chinese acupressure), breathwork, sound healing, and simple chair-based dances to great American standards. Students will notice more energy, increased strength, and also learn simple methods to relax their nervous system. Join Robin to just feel good!

    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 YogaTM teacher. She has received additional training by participating in a National Yoga Alliance conference, Sound Healing Summit, and numerous online presentations focusing on many healing modalities. She has taught chair yoga classes, which incorporate breathwork, tapping acupressure, and chair-based dances since 2014 at five senior facilities/fitness centers in C-U and via Zoom for OLLI and Parkland College. Students in OLLI Chair Yoga classes over the past 9 years have noted that the postures and breathing techniques they learn have created a sense of calm, happiness, and balance to carry into their daily lives.


    Pilates for Lifelong Mobility
    Barbara Babcock
    Mondays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    March 25 through April 15 (4 weeks, Session II)
    In-person only: Illinois Classroom

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

    Pilates is a way of moving that incorporates balance, strengthening, and muscular control that everyone needs throughout their lifespan. In this course, we will focus on learning how to improve on 4 key behaviors to maintain health: breathing, posture, stability, and balance.

    Instructor: Barbara Babcock was a special education teacher for a decade before changing careers in 2020. She completed her Pilates Certification in August 2021 and has been teaching Pilates at Living Legacy Pilates in Champaign for over 2 years. With her background in special education, she gravitates toward being more student-centered and focused on cognitive learning. Barbara loves learning and sharing new things with students. The work of Pilates is as much mental as it is physical because it requires focus to physically complete the exercises correctly. This is Barbara's first OLLI course.


    Slow Flow Yoga-the Philosophy and Practice
    Jan Erkert
    Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    February 26 through April 15
    In-person only: Illinois 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 is Professor Emerita and former Head of the Department of Dance at University of Illinois. 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 (500 Hour RYT) her classes emphasize efficient movement practices, movement flow, and our collective capacity for joy. Jan has taught three courses at OLLI and received excellent evaluations in all of them.


    Yoga for Better Balance & Mobility
    Kim Green
    Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    February 27 through April 16
    In-person only: Illinois Classroom

    Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 14 million, or more than one out of four, older American adults report falling every year, and the rate is increasing. Using yoga, self-myofascial release, and other movement skills, you will be guided on how to sit, stand, and move better in your body with less strain, stress, or fatigue; bring more fluid to the tissues for greater comfort and ease of movement; and strengthen the major muscle groups that move your body. Better posture, balance, flexibility, and mobility help us to catch ourselves if we trip or lose our balance, thereby preventing injury and falls.

    Instructor: Kim Green has been practicing yoga and meditation since the 1990s. She has studied yoga for bone health and aging extensively and enjoys teaching a variety of yoga styles, self-myofascial release, and meditation. She has a particular interest in teaching yoga for strength, balance, and healthy connective tissues (including the bones). Kim teaches group yoga and self-myofascial release classes, workshops, and themed courses, and works individually with private clients. She is a Certified Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200; currently pursuing RYT-500), as well as a Certified Level II Reiki practitioner. Her first OLLI course in fall 2023 received excellent reviews.


    Yoga for Bone Health
    Kim Green
    Saturdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    March 2 through April 20
    In-person only: Illinois Classroom

    Whether you have osteoporosis, osteopenia, or want to prevent these diseases from developing altogether, this course gradually introduces all of the necessary elements for a complete yoga practice that helps holistically to build bone and muscle strength. This progressive series has the primary objectives of accelerating increases in bone mineral density; increasing integrated muscle engagement for strength; and protecting the joints, ligaments, and tendons while stimulating the bones.

    Instructor: Kim Green has been practicing yoga and meditation since the 1990s. She has studied yoga for bone health and aging extensively and enjoys teaching a variety of yoga styles, self-myofascial release, and meditation. She has a particular interest in teaching yoga for strength, balance, and healthy connective tissues (including the bones). Kim teaches group yoga and self-myofascial release classes, workshops, and themed courses, and works individually with private clients. She is a Certified Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200; currently pursuing RYT-500), as well as a Certified Level II Reiki practitioner. Her first OLLI course in fall 2023 received excellent reviews.