UD’s OLLI Program Offers a Diverse Course Lineup for Fall | Way of life






UD’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program is planning nearly 300 classes this fall in Delaware and online, with volunteer OLLI instructors including, from left, Cezarina Cornejo Alzona, Ralph Begleiter and Joan Mansperger.



This fall, UD’s Lifelong Learning Program for those 50 or older is planning nearly 300 online and in-person classes, with registration starting August 3 and open house events scheduled for August 8. to August 10 in Dover, Lewes, Ocean View and Wilmington.

When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program in the spring of 2020, program members had to make a difficult decision: forgo attending classes and participating. activities or continue by entering a brave new online world. OLI programming. By choosing to stay engaged with friends and instructors through online learning, UD OLLI members have unexpectedly created the largest online OLLI program in the nation.

As a volunteer-led learning cooperative for adults 50 or older, UD’s OLLI program has nearly 2,000 active members and offers approximately 300 courses through virtual classrooms and through their in-person locations. in Dover, Lewes, Ocean View and Wilmington. With volunteer instructors at the heart of the program, the expertise of their professional careers, educational backgrounds, hobbies and passions are the source of the breadth and depth of OLLI’s course offerings.

This fall, classes will be offered in art, literature, history, film appreciation, languages, finance and investing, science, wellness (yoga, tai chi, dementia caregiver support group), dance (country dance English, Pacific Islands, folk), music ensembles (rock band, choir, orchestra, Native American flute) and more.

Featured instructors include Pacific Islander dance teacher Cezarina Cornejo Alzona, retired CNN journalist Ralph Begleiter and OLLI instructor Joan Mansperger, who presents a lesson on her early career experience as a controller of Navy air traffic.

Volunteer instructor teaching Pacific Island dance at Ocean View

OLLI volunteer instructor Alzona, a Frankford resident, first learned Pacific Island dances at age 5 from her mother and later performed with a semi-professional Island dance group of the South Seas for many years. She taught her children, grandchildren, and students at her church-based Filipino/Asian cultural weekend school, and now she leads a new Pacific Island dance class for the OLLI program at Ocean View Community Center at Ocean View.

The OLLI course covers the culture and heritage of the Pacific Islands and features dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand and the Philippines. The class is for beginners and will emphasize having fun while exercising, Alzona said.

A retired CNN reporter focuses on news and media

Begleiter, an Ocean View resident, is a former CNN reporter and founding director of the UD Center for Political Communication who regularly teaches classes online and at OLLI locations in Lewes and Ocean View, attracting hundreds of attendees. This semester, Begleiter is presenting “Media and Public Opinion in the 2022 Election” online, and at the OLLI classroom in Lewes and at the Bayside Clubhouse near Selbyville.

Begleiter’s courses have included “Media and Public Opinion in the 2020 Election,” as well as “Propaganda and Public Diplomacy” and “The Future of U.S. Political Parties.” Also available during OLLI’s fall semester is an on-demand online offering of Begleiter’s popular course “Adventures of a Global Journalist,” chronicling the experiences of his career as a journalist.

Instructor Shares His Experiences as a Navy Air Traffic Controller at ‘Top Gun’

With a background in the life sciences, volunteer instructor Joan Mansperger of Lewes has taught OLLI courses on green living, sea level rise, tree identification, weather and beachcombing. But this is the first time she’s presented an OLLI class from her time as an air traffic controller at Naval Air Station Miramar in California, home to the “Top Gun” naval fighter weapons school.

“Imagine being a young, new to the military trying to learn a complex new job in a hectic and challenging environment,” Mansperger said. “It was quite a concert, with great stories to share!”

Mansperger will present the class at Lewes’ OLLI site, with an online option also available.

Course offerings reflect instructor expertise, member interest

Since volunteer instructors develop and teach OLLI courses each semester, offerings reflect a wide variety of interests and expertise.

Topics offered on the Dover OLLI site this fall include Broadway Songs, Genealogy, Computer Workshop, American Revolution, Hemingway, Helen Keller and more.

At Lewes, offerings include woodworking, forensics, Robert Frost, geology, and an ocean-centric alternative energy course led by graduate students from UD’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment.

Civil War history, Pacific Island dancing and watercolor initiation are some of the classes offered at OLLI’s Ocean View location.

In Wilmington, the many offerings include archaeology, aviation history, international folk dancing, desktop publishing, banned books, Tom Hanks movies, and a directed art appreciation class. by two OLLI instructors who are lead guides at the Delaware Art Museum.

Online courses include African American art history, photography, ukulele, electric vehicles, Thomas Jefferson, memoir writing, smartphone apps, and investing topics.

Open house scheduled for August 8-10, featuring UDairy Creamery ice cream

The community is invited to learn more about OLLI at open house events scheduled for August 8 (Lewes), August 9 (Wilmington and Dover) and August 10 (Ocean View). Open houses are from 10 a.m. to noon, except for the Wilmington event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visitors can tour OLLI classrooms, meet volunteers and other participants, and pick up a catalog of programs. In-person registration assistance will be available.

The events will feature free ice cream provided by UD’s UDairy Creamery.

Open days are held in OLLI’s main classrooms:

• Dover — Church of Wyoming, 216 Wyoming Mill Road, Dover;

• Lewes — Trinity Faith Education Building, 15516 New Road, Lewes;

• Ocean View — Ocean View Community Center, 32 West Ave., Ocean View;

• Wilmington — Arsht Hall, 2700 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington.

Fall classes start September 6

For Fall 2022, OLLI offerings include over 300 in-person or online classes, including many examples of hybrid or combined offerings, allowing for flexible attendance options.

Classes begin September 6 in 13-week, 11-week and five-week sessions, with a second five-week session beginning October 18.

Registration for the fall semester begins August 3. For more details, including a full list of courses, visit the OLLI homepage at https://www.olli.udel.edu/.

OLLI’s recently revised membership structure consists of a flat fee of $250 for the semester, after which members enroll in unlimited classes and activities at all UD OLLI locations and online. Partial financial aid based on need is available; for details, contact the OLLI office at (302) 573-4417.

UD’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes are volunteer-based learning cooperatives that allow adults 50 or older to take and teach courses without grades, exams, or educational prerequisites. OLLI programs are located throughout Delaware. In Delaware and nationwide, OLLI is affiliated with and receives partial support from the Bernard Osher Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on higher education, lifelong learning, and the arts.

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