Note

Download a brochure and enrollment form (PDF)

All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email Osher@Mizzou.edu or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Wednesday courses

Memoir Writing: Turning Memories into Stories [8 sessions]

Time
9–11 a.m.

Location
Hillcrest C

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1

Description
A memoir is a work of narrative built from the memory of its writer. Learn to dig out the memories, turn them into stories and then write a memoir.

Instructor
Writing 70 sibling stories for her sister's 70th birthday spurred Sheila Bailey to write her memoirs with support from two local writing groups. Previously, she taught reading and writing to English language learners for 19 years with the Columbia Public Schools and English to graduate students for three years with the Asian Affairs Center at the University of Missouri.

Our Future As a Species: Where is Modern Science Taking Us? [8 sessions]

Time
9:30–11 a.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1

Description
Developments are happening so quickly in many fields that it is often difficult to anticipate what's next. This course will look at scientific advances in various fields and probable outcomes for humankind, including:

  • We are modifying the DNA of animals and plants; will this lead to designer babies?
  • What are major nations doing about population control? Will solutions include the development of new artificial foods?
  • What are the advances in medicine that will affect the health of us all?
  • What do the integration of artificial body parts and computers into our bodies and brains mean? Will we all become cyborgs?
  • What will our homes be like in 2050? Will appliances respond to our mental images? Will people still learn how to cook?
  • How will we modernize and protect the lives of the 80 percent of the world's population that lacks modern facilities and tools?
  • What's the impact of advanced technology on the human brain?
  • What is the future of drones beyond their use as weapons and spy devices?

Instructor
Wayne Anderson, PhD, has spent 60 years as a psychologist observing marked changes in our attitudes about people's capabilities. As a student in Road Scholar programs throughout the United States and world, he has learned about the impact of science on humankind. He retired as an MU professor in 1995 but taught an honors course in human sexuality until 2014 and crisis intervention for law enforcement until 2011. He also worked in international trauma zones from 1995 until 2010. He writes a weekly travel column for the Columbia Tribune.

The American Presidents III [8 sessions]

Time
10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Location
Moss B

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1

Description
This series examines the lives and careers of each man who has served as president in an attempt to develop a framework to assess the likelihood of success of future presidential candidates. This course considers presidents through the Gilded Age and Progressive Era from James Garfield through Calvin Coolidge. Participants will explore the family history, education and life experiences prior to each man's time in office, assessing the impact of those experiences on a president's achievements or lack thereof. We will evaluate each president's effectiveness and develop our own presidential ranking.

Instructor
Jay Ward was born in Springfield, Mo., and raised in Lexington, Mo. He was an undergraduate at Northwestern University and received a medical degree from the University of Missouri. Retiring from medicine after 30 years, he received a master's degree and doctorate in United States history from MU.

Exploring Current Issues Related to Climate Change [8 sessions]

Time
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1

Description
This course will explore climate change from a variety of perspectives. The current status of climate change worldwide will be discussed. Public confusion and disagreement over the existence, causes and urgency of addressing climate change will be explored. We will discuss the scientific method and how science is used to explore and understand climate change. Climate change and its effect on human health and global security will be discussed. We will look into the economics of ignoring or addressing climate change in various ways. Finally, instructors will lead a class discussion on how our lives both at home and in the workplace might change if we implement various practices and policies to reduce the impacts of climate change on our world.

Instructors
Don Day worked for MU Extension as a Natural Resource Engineer and as an Extension Associate in Energy. He has taught classes on energy use, energy conservation and on climate change. He has taught classes on renewable energy and using biomass for energy. He started his career in extension in 1967 as a farm management agent. Day and his wife, Fran, have lived in Columbia since 1975. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Dr. Johann Bruhn, Emeritus Research Associate Professor at Mizzou, feels compelled to explain the urgency of dealing with human-caused climate change. Johann wants to help pass along a human-friendly planet to his two wonderful daughters and any children they may decide to have. As far back as 1969, Bruhn's plant ecology professor told him that he'd recognize effects of climate change over the course of his career, and he was right! Bruhn joined the Osher climate change courses taught by Don Day and Turk Storvick in the spring of 2014.

Carolyn Amparan is a Climate Leader with the Climate Reality Project, a founding member of the Columbia Chapter of Citizen's Climate Lobby, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Osage Group of the Sierra Club and Vice Chair of the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club. Carolyn has taken coursework on the science of climate change and has invested the past 4 years in educating others about the risks and the solutions. Carolyn is active in the climate action movement. Prior to this she enjoyed a career in information technology in various technical, sales and marketing positions with AT&T and IBM.

iPhones and iPads [6 sessions]

Time
1–2:30 p.m.

Location
Hillcrest C

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18

Description
These workshop sessions help participants gain greater proficiency in the use of iPads and iPhones in an easygoing environment with ample time for questions. Students must bring their own devices and already have some experience and familiarity with their use. Instruction is limited to Apple iPhones and iPads, with iOS8 or iOS9 installed. Those using earlier operating systems will not benefit as much because classes are tailored to iOS8 or 9. This course does not cover laptops, Windows phones or tablets, Blackberry phones or Android devices.

Instructor
Sue Worsowicz has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and has always had a passion for electronics and gadgets. She has always been involved in helping others learn and now combines these two interests, offering private lessons for iPhones and iPads, too.

Women, War and Change [4 sessions]

Time
1:30–3 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4

  • Sept. 13
    Women Novelists

    It takes a certain passion and strength to write and publish books. Studies of women who have done so reveal fascinating insights into the motivations that have inspired women to write.
    Discussion leaders
    Wayne Anderson, Yolanda Ciolli, Mike Trial
    Reference text
    To be decided.
  • Sept. 20
    A Missouri Author in 1917 Russia

    Olive Gilbreath, from La Plata, Mo., struck out on her own in 1917, crossing China and Russia as a foreign correspondent for magazines such as the Yale Review and Harper's. She was in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) when the Russian revolution swept away Czarist Russia. Later she moved to China and lived through the Japanese invasion and occupation before returning to Missouri in 1946.
    Discussion leaders
    Martha Rhein, Yolanda Ciolli, Mike Trial
    Reference text
    "Miss Amerikanka" by Olive Gilbreath.
  • Sept. 27
    A Missouri Author in 1935 China

    Agnes Smedley, born in Missouri's Sullivan County, left her hardscrabble existence to go alone to Europe, then China, where she stayed 20 years through revolution, invasion and the final Communist victory. When she returned to the United States in the 1950s she was branded a Communist and made to suffer for it.
    Discussion leaders
    Marlene Lee, Yolanda Ciolli, Mike Trial
    Reference text
    "No Certain Home" by Marlene Lee.
  • Oct. 4
    A Missouri Author Growing Up in 1939 China

    Leta Hodge, of Mexico, Mo., was born of American parents in Tianjin (Tientsien), China in 1934. Through a child's eyes, she saw the last days of a China about to disappear in a firestorm of revolution and invasion. Her parents sent Hodge back to the United States until the war ended, but in 1946 she returned and found China changed almost beyond recognition.
    Discussion leaders
    Libby Hodge, Yolanda Ciolli, Mike Trial
    Reference text
    "Ricksha Days" by Leta Hodge.

Instructor
Mike Trial is a retired civil engineer now managing his family tree farm.

African-American Culture Series [4 sessions]

Time
1:30–3 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1

Description
This series of lectures, discussions and "in-class practice sessions" promises to be an interesting excursion into the history and experiences of selected topics in the rich landscape of African-American culture. This is a "must experience" series for everyone interested in history.

Coordinator
Valerie Shaw

  • Oct. 11
    Restorative Justice In The City of Columbia

    On April 28, 1923, a week after his arrest in Columbia, Mo., James T. Scott was charged with the assault of Regina Almstedt. That night, a mob of 500 men broke into his cell, took him to the Stewart Street Bridge and lynched him. Scott was buried immediately in the segregated black section of the Columbia Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Although the circumstances of his tragic death were well documented, little was known about his life until 2010 when a group of citizens formed the James T. Scott Monument Committee to coordinate a grassroots initiative to place a headstone on his grave. The efforts of this group — supported by city officials, historians, genealogists and community activists — provided a historic opportunity for Columbia to renew its commitment to reconciliation, justice and peace as the truth of his life story was revealed.
    Instructor
    Clyde Ruffin was appointed to the University of Missouri faculty in 1982 and was named professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Theatre in 2015. A recipient of the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the Chancellor's Award for Research and Creativity, he is also a Kellogg National Fellow and a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Iowa. In 2004 he was awarded the Martin Luther King Community Service Award and the Columbia Values Diversity Award. Most recently, he was named the 2012 recipient of the President's Award for Community Engagement. He also serves as the senior pastor of Columbia's historic Second Baptist Church. He is also Columbia City Council's First Ward representative and was recently selected to serve as mayor pro tem.
  • Oct. 18
    The Buffalo Soldiers

    Buffalo Soldiers were members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on Sept. 21, 1866, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The nickname was given to the "Negro Cavalry" by the Native American tribes they fought in the Indian Wars. The term eventually became synonymous with all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866, the first Negro regulars in peacetime.
    Instructors
    Elizabeth Briscoe Wilson, a retired Lincoln University librarian, has a Bachelor of Science from Lincoln University and a Master of Library Science from Alabama A&M University. She is also a storyteller, author and researcher of African-American history and African-American women in history. She was born and raised in Kansas — a descendent of "Exodusters," primarily her great-great-grandmother Harriet Mathews, born a slave in North Carolina; her great-grandmother, Laura Coleman, who became a teacher after graduating from the eighth grade in Covington, Tenn.; and her grandmother Hattie, who came to Kansas from Tennessee at age 19. Wilson's mother, Geraldine, was the first in the family to be born in Kansas in 1920. Wilson's African-American female ancestors empowered her to be the first female to complete college, a master's at MU and 40 post-graduate hours toward a doctorate. She worked, raised funds and in 1997 assisted in the planning of an $11 million information mall/library at Lincoln University.
    Sehon Williams was born in Columbia, Mo., in July of 1922, went to Douglas High School and attended Lincoln University. During his sophomore year at Lincoln, Williams was drafted into the U.S. Army and is one of the last living Buffalo Soldiers. Upon leaving the Army, Sehon worked at Dorn Coney Laundry and at the United States Post Office. Since retiring in 1988, Williams has driven for Meals on Wheels and is a member of St. Paul AME Church and of the Paula J. Carter Foundation at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.
  • Oct. 25
    Outstanding Missouri Women

    Missouri has been the home of many outstanding African-American women. Lincoln University of Missouri has a unique history in that four of these women were associated with this school.
    Instructors
    Josephine Silone Yates, was the first female African-American teacher at Lincoln Institute in 1879 and one of the — if not the — first black women to head a college science department. Yvonne Wilson, Rita Days and Maida Coleman served in the Missouri House and Senate together after graduating from Lincoln. They accomplished many other worthy distinctions as they served in many other capacities. They made a difference.
    Elizabeth Briscoe Wilson. See bio on the left.
  • Nov. 1
    NAACP: The Importance of Civil and Social Advocacy

    This course explores how the Columbia NAACP builds social and community empowerment —  the seed that must grow to help the community progress as we want it to. The Columbia NAACP promotes empowerment through training opportunities, ban the box legislation and workplace negotiations. Criminal justice is often tied directly to social injustice. It is the responsibility of the NAACP to ensure and advocate for the civil and social justice for all citizens in their workplace, family setting, community and country. Course participants will also discuss reactions to the NAACP's March from Ferguson in the fall of 2014 and the 134-mile trek on foot from Ferguson, Mo., to Jefferson City.
    Instructors
    Mary Ratliff is a graduate of the Columbia School of Nursing and studied at Harvard Business School. Mary worked as an operating room instructor at Boone Hospital Center and also helped open the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital operating room, later serving as a patient representative in the hospital director's office until retiring. Since 1980, Ratliff has been president of the Columbia NAACP and served on the NAACP National Board of Directors for 12 years, receiving many awards for her service to the organization and community. She also co-led the march from Ferguson to the state Capitol in Jefferson City in Nov. 2014 to protest the killing of Michael Brown.
    A life-long Columbian, Pamela Hardin is first vice president of the Columbia NAACP, planning successful voter registration campaigns. She is a recipient of the NAACP Roy Wilkins Award for Outstanding Community Service. Hardin also has worked for the Missouri Division of Youth Services as a youth specialist for 14- to 17-year-old offenders and in the Department of Mental Health. She attended Stephens College, majoring in fashion design and merchandising, with a minor in business. She also attended Central Missouri State University in business administration. Hardin also is a master barber and stylist who owns her own business and is a part-time water aerobics instructor for the City of Columbia.