Two Important Staff Updates
Welcome to Julie Brown 

OLLI is so happy to welcome new staff member Julie Brown as OLLI's administrative assistant. Julie shares:

I am very excited to be a part of OLLI! Previously, I was a middle school English teacher, specializing in ESL, and have worked for The Henry Ford in many capacities over the years. Additionally, I am an author and very active in the Players Guild of Dearborn. I look forward to working with this wonderful program and to meeting all of you in the future. 
You can reach Julie at or at 734-998-9351

We Wish You Well…We’ll Miss You, Ben!
OLLI is so grateful for the contributions Ben has made to make us a stronger and better program. He will be missed by everyone.

Hello OLLI-UM Volunteers,

It is with sadness that I write to formally notify you that I am resigning from my position as Assistant Director for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan. My last day of employment will be January 29.

While I have enjoyed working for OLLI-UM, several pressing personal issues demand that I resign my position to focus on my health and family environment.

I have greatly appreciated the opportunities I have been given at OLLI-UM; especially being able to work such a dynamic and collaborative group of staff and volunteers. In my final days, I’ll be sure to work with the OLLI staff and volunteers to ensure a smooth transition.

Kind Regards,

The Equal Opportunity Registration Period for Study and Shared Interests Groups has closed. Winter/Spring 2020-21 registration continues for courses that are not oversubscribed. 
Click the image below to view the PDF of the OLLI Winter/Spring catalog to register. 
Finding Zoom Meeting IDs and Links: 
  • Zoom information is sent out in e-mail a few days before the event takes place.
  • Zoom information is also available in OLLI's online Course Catalog for events for which you have registered as well as for events that are free or do not require registration. The Zoom information is added to the Course Catalog a few days before the event takes place. To view the information in the Course Catalog (i) sign in using your OLLI account and password, (ii) go to the Course Catalog, (iii) locate your event and click on it to see the event's details, (iv) you'll find the Zoom information under Location toward the bottom of the page (you may need to scroll down to find it, if the event's description is long).
  • If you are signed in you can also see Zoom information on the payment History web page. 
  • If you can't find the information you need to connect using Zoom or you have any other questions about using Zoom, send e-mail to OLLI at or call 734-998-9351

    Important OLLI Web Resources –
    Click on the links below to connect you!

    OLLI Website 
    Donate to OLLI
    OLLI Video Catalog  
    OLLI Calendar
    All Things 2020 Kickoff
    OLLI Commons Calendar

While OLLI continues to meet online, a reminder that OLLI-UM through The UM Geriatrics Center strongly advises members do not meet in their homes for any OLLI volunteer work or discussions due to the current risk of COVID 19 in our community. The OLLI office is happy to direct you to The Commons, a free OLLI online meeting space to schedule any gatherings online. 

Thursday, January 28th, 10:00 am - 11:30 am. Online. $10

OLLI’s Third Thursday Morning Lecture Series - Advances in Science                           
Answered and Unanswered Questions in Particle Physics
We will review the basic building blocks of matter as we understand them, as encapsulated in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. The last piece of the Standard Model, the Higgs Boson, was discovered in 2012. However, this Standard Model leaves many fundamental questions unanswered. We will review some of these questions and present a couple of leading candidates for their solution.

Prof. Pierce joined U-M in 2006 and has served as director of the Leinweber
Center for Theoretical Physics from 2013-2020. He is a recipient of the Henry
Russel Award, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a Simons Foundation Fellow. He is married to his wife of 18 years, a nurse practitioner, and has two sons with whom he enjoys biking and reading The Hobbit. 

The Lunch Bunch invites you to participate in guided discussions and personal reflections following each of the lectures in the Thursday Morning Lecture Series: Advances in Science 

These guided discussion and personal reflection sessions are free--no registration is required.

Each session will be facilitated by a member of the Lectures' subcommittee that created the series. Dick Chase will facilitate the January 28 12noon – 1pm discussion and reflection session on Answered and Unanswered Questions in Particle Physics.

This Lunch Bunch session follows the conclusion of the lecture and the Q&A. Log on prior to 12noon at

Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 95574902503

Open Study Groups Available for Registration!

Chinese 1
Mondays, 10-12:00pm, January 25 - May 10. Online. $50
This course places emphasis on basic and fundamental Chinese. By using analytical and systematic ways to introduce Chinese characters, sentences, structures, patterns and templates, etc. At the end students should be able to replace subject, verb and object to make sentences they would like to say or carry on conversation. 
Instructor: Yang Angela
To Register: Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog. Sign in at

The Science of Positivity -  A BOOK READING
Wednesdays, 10-11:30am, February 3 - March 10.  Online.  $40
POSITIVITY: WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW. Some people seem to understand the gifts of positivity better than the rest of us. We call those people resilient. They are the ones who smile in the face of adversity, reframe bad events as opportunities, and adopt a wait-and-see attitude about future threats. This doesn’t mean they never feel bad. Yet, because they they also find ways to cultivate good feelings- even in the midst of crises, their bad feelings don’t last as long. They rebound. We can all become resilient. Positivity is your birthright. Resilience is not just for the chosen few. It’s for the masses. It’s ordinary magic. Our book is POSITIVITY, by Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD.
Instructor:  Mike Murray
To Register:  Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog.  Sign in at

Comparing Transitions to Democracy in 18th Century France and 20th Century South Africa
Tuesdays, 1-2:00pm, February 23 - April 13.  Online.  $45
In comparing transitions to democracy in late 18th century France and late 20th century South Africa, this study group will explore some of the fundamental factors that may determine the viability of democracy in a given society. Why were black and white South Africans able to cobble together the relatively peaceful resolution of their political conflicts that consistently eluded supposedly enlightened 18th century Frenchmen? Why was a process of negotiation successful in South Africa but largely absent from the French Revolution? What role did political leadership, in particular that of Nelson Mandela, play in shaping these distinct outcomes? 
Instructor:  Barry Shapiro is Professor Emeritus of History, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, and is a specialist in the study of the French Revolution.
To Register:  Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog.  Sign in at


Monday, February 1st, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Online. $10
OLLI Special Projects Presents – OLLI @ Home Series
                       Chaad Thomas Wine Director

Italian Cooking Demo and Wine Pairings with Paesano’s
Travel to Italy for an afternoon culinary with Paesano’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Cook with Sous Chef Wade Grysban and discuss wine pairings with Michael Roddy, proprietor and wine enthusiast. Participants will be provided with a recipe and ingredients list and are invited to “cook along” with the chef.

Alternatively, participants may order dinner and or the red or white wine pairing for easy pop in and pickup directly from the restaurant. 
Paesano, founded in 1984 by Michael and Bridget Roddy, specializes in rustic, homey, heart healthy, Italian grandmother comfort food featuring locally
grown seasonal products. Michael and Bridget have created a unique, family friendly and wine friendly space engaging the community with special food and wine dinners, tastings, Italian language classes, summer outdoor Italian movies and participating in many charity events.

Paesano is a great friend of OLLI, hosting many of our after-lecture lunches and treating our speakers to their luncheon meal.

Sous Chef Wade Grysban, who has 15 years of experience, has worked in the Paesano kitchen since 2016. He colleagues think of him “as a force to be reckoned with” – he has worked his way up to sous chef after working every station in the kitchen. Chef Wade takes great pride in working in a “scratch kitchen” and has been responsible for the addition of a number of vegan items to the menu.

Chaad Thomas, Wine Director was born and raised in Ann Arbor. Though he attended college at Michigan State University he returned to make his home here in Ann Arbor and currently resides here with his wife Susan and two children. Chaad has more than 35 years experience in the restaurant and wine Industry. He worked for several local restaurants such as Bella Ciao, Shalimar and Zanzibar. He was formerly the head of the wine department at World Market. Chaad was the former wine director here at Paesano. His wine knowledge helped Paesano win serveral wine list awards. Chaad went on to partner for many years with US Wine Imports. Because of his extensive travel and wine knowledge, Paesano Restaurant and Wine Bar often calls on him to guest host some of our private wine events.

Owner Michael Roddy, Chef Wade Grysban and Wine Director Chaad Thomas (yes, two a's) will participate in the Italian cooking demo. Chef Wade will be featured in a video demonstrating "Paesano OLLI Oxtail Ragu". The dinner is available for dine in or pick up curbside. It will be on their menu from 4 pm Friday January 29 through dinner service Thursday February 4. Paesano's recommends ordering and reserving the meal a couple days in advance. Other items and wine can also be ordered frothier menu. Orders should be placed by telephone only: 734-971-0484. 

The dinner priced at $26 is served with gnocchi, choice of soup or house salad and bread. Two wine pairings are offered at $22/bottle. 

Red: Indigenous Barbera 

White: Casa della Sala Chardonnay Bramito 
Buon Appetito! 

Click Here to View "Paesano OLLI Oxtail Ragu" Recipe

Thursday, February 4th, 10:00 am - 11:30 am. Online. $10

OLLI’s Third Thursday Morning Lecture Series - Advances in Science
Formation of Habitable Worlds and the Search for Life
Prof. Bergin will outline current knowledge and observations of planet formation and how worlds like our own are constructed. Today, we are on the cusp of searching for the presence of life elsewhere. Prof. Bergin will also discuss how we will search for Earth-like worlds and begin asking “are we alone in the Universe”?

Edwin (Ted) Bergin is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan. Bergin received his B.S. from Villanova University in 1989, and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1995. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Henry Russel Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University of Michigan for junior faculty.

In 2019 he was awarded the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics by the American
Astronomical Society and the American Institute of Physics 

OLLI’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and OLLI Reads are Co-hosting two panels related to Alice Randall’s appearance for OLLI Reads on February 8, 2021 featuring her book Black Bottom Saints


OLLI members can register in the online catalog at under DEI offerings, or contact the OLLI office to be added:

Panel #1: Detroit's Black Bottom and Paradise Valley Neighborhoods: The Settings for Alice Randall's Black Bottom Saints
Monday, February 1 10-11:30 am online
Or Telephone:
Dial 1 312 626 6799 
Webinar ID: 987 7493 7129

Moderator: Craig Ramsay
Jamon Jordan, educator, historian and founder of Black Scroll Network & Tours in Detroit. See more at 
Lars Bjorn, retired Professor of Sociology, U of M Dearborn; co-author of Before Motown: The History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-1960, which includes detailed coverage of many of the clubs and other venues, including The Flame Show Bar where Alice Randall's narrator, Ziggy Johnson, was master of ceremonies in the heyday of these neighborhoods; many of which are mentioned in Randall's book. Lars is also President of the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association.
Jim Gallert, co-author of Before Motown: The History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-1960, produced and hosted jazz programs on WEMU-FM and WDET-FM for over twenty-five years. See more at the website,, where Jim and Lars Bjorn present a blog where articles are posted, along with other information about Detroit's jazz history. His vast collection of photographs on Detroit jazz and blues music appeared in Before Motown. Jim has also written biographies of several Detroit jazz musicians.
Panel #2:  The Demolition and Redevelopment of Detroit's Black Bottom and Paradise Valley Neighborhoods and Its Impact on the City
Monday, February 15  10-11:30 am online
Or Telephone:
Dial 1 312 626 6799 
Webinar ID: 987 7493 7129

Moderator: Craig Ramsay
June Manning Thomas, Professor Emerita of Urban Planning, Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan. Author of articles and books on city planning efforts, including the redevelopment of parts of Detroit after WWII, including Black Bottom. See her book, Redevelopment and Race: Planning A Finer City in Postwar Detroit, and her contributions as co-editor of the volume, Mapping Detroit: Land, Community and Shaping a City.
Marsha Battle Philpot (aka Marsha Music), self-described primordial Detroiter and Detroitist; author of The Detroitist: An Anthology About Detroit, activist and daughter of Joe Von Battle, owner of Joe's Record Shop on Hastings Street in Black Bottom and on 12th Street after urban renewal forced him to move. Marsha also has lived in Lafayette Park, designed by famous architect, Mies van der Rohe, and the centerpiece of the residential redevelopment of Black Bottom in the 1950s. See more at her website:
If you would like more information about Michigan Medicine resources during this challenging time, please reach out to OLLI Director Lisa Barton at 734-998-9356 or She will be happy to connect you.


Last winter many OLLI members benefited from a compelling series of presentations on climate change. Our attention since then has, understandably, been diverted by the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the climate crisis continues to advance. These 5 videos, Climate Emergency:
Feedback Loops , which were recently released clearly demonstrate the ongoing dangers that we are facing:

For added security, all Commons events going forward will be locked ten minutes after they begin, so thanks for arriving promptly!

In the Commons January 25 – 29

Monday January 25    1 – 2pm   New Member Exchange

The New Member Exchange provides new and potential members with the opportunity to talk with an active volunteer.   All questions welcome!  Ask about programs, the culture of volunteerism, OLLI committees, how OLLI communicates with its membership, pricing and registration, zoom experience, OLLI’s relationship with the University of Michigan --- and any others!

Each month’s gathering will feature a different guest host or co-hosts.  Come more than once and get the full range of OLLI experiences from persons who have made OLLI their primary source for learning and volunteering and remaining socially active in retirement. Lynn Boyer, Chairperson of the Social Interaction Committee will host the New Member Exchange on January 25 from 1 – 2pm.
Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 955 7490 2503.  

Tuesday January 26   1 – 2pm   Book Beat  
Facilitated by Marjorie Oliver and Laurie Barnett, Chairpersons of OLLI Reads!

The monthly Book Beat is an informal gathering of OLLI’s book lovers who are always looking for the next good book to read. 

We have two suggestions for this month.  Think about bringing your book clubs to Book Beat and/or come prepared to talk about the books you received as holiday presents (and you can talk about them even if you haven’t yet read them)!
Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 955 7490 2503. 

Wednesday January 27   1 – 2pm   The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age   
Facilitator:  Hank Greenspan, Ph.D.  Psychologist, essayist, oral historian, playwright, and lifelong committed schmoozer 

The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age is a facilitated conversation in which participants are invited to share stories and reflections about aging, generations, hopes, and related topics in “uncertain times.” The specific issues and themes are less important than the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and insights in these times—and perhaps in any times.  That is, the goal is to have the best possible schmooze about things that matter.
Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 955 7490 2503

Thursday January 28    12noon – 1pm   Lunch Bunch                                     
Dick Chase
will facilitate the discussion following the January 28 lecture on Answered and Unanswered Questions in Particle Physics.

The Lunch Bunch follows the conclusion of the lecture and Q&A.  Log on prior to 12noon at   Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 955 7490 2503

These guided discussion and personal reflection sessions are free--no registration is required.

One Time Only – Thursday January 28   4:00 – 5:30pm

What’s the Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done?     
Join Breeda Miller, Artistic Director of the Big Hearted Stories and well known teller of stories.  
Bravery and courage can be as different as jumping out of an airplane to stepping outside your front door. Everyone has different experiences, fears, and challenges. Our session today will be led by Breeda Miller, Artistic Director of the Big Hearted Stories event and well-known teller of stories.  Breeda's own story of courage has more to do with her reasons for accepting a physical challenge than actually accomplishing it. Her story of walking the Camino de Santiago at age 60 despite years of resistance to most any type of physical activity proved to her that she (and we) are capable of far more than we can ever imagine. There will be a discussion and you will be encouraged to share your moment of courage with the group. Join us for an inspiring and engaging afternoon where we will learn more about the many faces of bravery.  

Breeda Miller is familiar to OLLI members from her presentation at the 2020 Winter Open House and the Big Hearts for Seniors storytelling event July 2020. Join her for this one-time only opportunity to explore what makes us brave at certain times in our lives and to share and explore the bravest thing you’ve ever done.   Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 955 7490 2503

Want to schedule a meeting, recurring meet-up group, or family event in the Commons?
Email with 1 or 2 sentences about your plan and your phone number.  Lisa Barton or a representative of the Social Interaction Committee will be in touch with you to schedule the Commons event and put it on the Commons calendar.

Check the Commons Calendar regularly at
On the calendar you’ll find opportunities to connect through informal groups moderated by OLLI volunteers, demonstrations, discussions that follow OLLI events and more.  
Access to events in the Commons is always
free, and no registration is required.
Bookmark or save the link below – it’s the only one you’ll ever need!
Audio only dial: 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 95574902503
OLLI is Always Looking for Volunteers for Committees
There are a multitude of volunteer opportunities at OLLI - We need you! Please contact OLLI Director on more ways to get involved:  Lisa Barton  734-998-9356.
 U of M Ford School of Public Policy and the Office of Government Relations presents…

JANUARY 25, 12:00 PM

Kamala Harris and the Reframing of the Vice Presidency: A Conversation on History, Identity and Politics in Honor of the 2021 Inauguration

Join us for an interdisciplinary group of U-M experts in conversation on our new Vice-President, Kamala Harris. This discussion, one of the final events of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, marks the historic results of the 2020 election season. As the Theme Semester concludes, a new administration will take office under extraordinary circumstances. While this election season has wrought charges of voter suppression, claims of irregularities, and violence in the service of vastly unproven assertions of fraud, for this event we place our primary focus on Kamala Harris, who will make history on Inauguration Day, January 20th. She has broken barriers in American politics and will serve in office during a moment marked by a global pandemic and economic hardship, as well as by an upswing in nativist sentiments, racism, and a politics of exclusion. Harris brings a wealth of experience — as a former US Senator and state's attorney general — and a cluster of identities — as a Black woman and a woman of South-Asian descent, a daughter of immigrants, a graduate of a historically Black university, a mother within a blended family — to a role that she will inevitably reframe in the years to come. With an introduction by Provost Susan Collins, Edward M. Gramlich Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, professor of economics, and former dean of the Ford School (2007-17), the panel will feature: Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Editor of the Global Black History section of Public Books; Ian Shin, Assistant Professor of History and American Culture (Asian/Pacfic Islander Studies); Angela X. Ocampo, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies and Latina/o Studies; and Michelle May-Curry, PhD Candidate, American Culture. Ruby C. Tapia, Department Chair of Women's and Gender Studies and Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and English Language and Literature, will moderate. This session promises a rich discussion of this landmark moment in United States history.

JANUARY 29, 8:00 PM

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Eric Foner In Conversation Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Pausing for a moment of post inaugural reflection, following one of our nation’s most contentious presidential elections, this conversation brings together filmmaker, scholar, journalist and cultural critic, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with prominent historian Eric Foner to contemplate how a divided nation comes together. The two will discuss Reconstruction, the all-too-brief period following the Civil War when the United States made its first effort to become an interracial democracy. The period saw the Constitution rewritten to incorporate the ideal of racial equality, but ended as a result of a violent backlash that erased many of the gains that had been made, with consequences we still confront as a nation. The program will also preview Gates most recent project, The Black Church, which will premiere on PBS in February. This event is part of the Democracy & Debate theme semester with support from Wallace House and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It is also part of the 2021 U-M Reverend Martin Luther King Junior Symposium.
If you would like more information about Michigan Medicine resources during this challenging time, please reach out to OLLI Director Lisa Barton at 734-998-9356 or She will be happy to connect you.

COVID-19 Resources and Services in Washtenaw County
Washtenaw Community Health Department:
Michigan Medicine:

COVID-19 Help and Services Washtenaw County - Google Docs
Grocery Store, Pharmacy & Fresh Food Hours for Ann Arbor Seniors

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