Who serves on Osher@Mizzou’s advisory council?

Gloria Crull, Chair

Tom Bender, Vice Chair

Jack Wax, Past Chair

Kathy Green, Secretary

Cokie Blake

Sarah Bowman

Mark Dickinson

Carolyn Dye

Jeanne Dzurick

Ava Fajen

Frank Green

Nancy Griggs

Barbara Montgomery

Marilou Oliver

Barbara Schneider

Evan Smith

Mike Trial

Lynn Tushaus

Clarence Wolfshohl

Officers Committee

Gloria Crull, Advisory Council Chair

Gloria Crull

I have lived my life in Missouri, having been born and raised in Independence. I moved to Columbia in 1965 with my former husband to attend MU. I have loved living in this vibrant, progressive small city for the last 56 years. My family includes two married children, seven adult grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

I returned to school as an adult to complete my education in Health Science (1985), Public Administration (1989) and Health Administration (1992). I retired from employment as the CEO of Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center, with medical, dental and mental health service sites located in central and north central Missouri.

My introduction to Osher came through a former neighbor and friend, and I attended my first class in the Fall of 2017, upon retirement from employment. I currently serve as co-chair of the Development Committee and vice chair of the Advisory Council of Osher. I look forward to the new program offerings each semester and frequently encourage friends and associates to give Osher a try.

In addition to Osher, I serve on the advisory councils of the Health Management and Informatics Program at MU and the Missouri Foundation for Health. I am an active member of the Community of Christ church, belong to a local book club, play Mah Jongg, love both domestic and international travel, MU Tigers football and basketball, nature, music and the arts.

Tom Bender, Advisory Council Vice Chair & Development Committee Chair

Tom Bender

I was born, raised and schooled in Nebraska at a time when the Tigers and the Huskers regularly had some great gridiron, Big 8 battles. Never during that time did I believe that my golden years would be spent in Columbia attending Osher classes. Sometimes life just gives you an unexpected and very welcome surprise.

My other bit of good fortune relates to my family. Barbara and I have two great sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and two of the finest grandchildren one could hope to find. My final bit of fortune relates to the fact that I had an interesting and challenging career as a labor attorney and then general counsel of a Wisconsin company. I won’t say every day was a joy, cause...well it wasn’t but I can’t imagine having done or enjoyed any career more!

Upon moving to Columbia, an old friend told me to immediately get involved with Osher. I did and have been privileged to work within the organization on the Outreach committee, social events and the Advisory Council. I know this comment will date this writing, but I can’t wait to get back to face-to-face classes and meetings. I really miss the interaction with all Osher students.

Jack Wax, Advisory Council Past Chair

Jack Wax

I am originally from suburban St. Louis (University City) and migrated to Columbia after spending my undergraduate years here. We raised our kids here and have lived in the area for the last 40 or so years.

I have worked in three different fields, but the majority of my working years were spent at The Missouri Bar, where I was the organization’s media relations director. Before that, I had been an outside salesperson for several companies. I also enjoyed working as a child development specialist at Mid-Mo Mental Health Center. I’ve done a variety of freelance writing over the years and still have a few publications for which I write.

I took my first Osher class about seven years ago but became hooked on Osher after taking Kit and Cathy Salter’s class on Missouri wines. I realize I’ve probably learned more at Osher than I did during my undergrad years at MU. I have a bachelor’s in English education, a master’s in child development from the HES department and a master’s in journalism — all from MU.

I enjoy reading fiction, mostly, with some science. My other pastimes include gardening, bike riding, and, of course, Osher.

Kathy Green, Advisory Council Secretary

Kathy Green

My husband Frank and I moved to Columbia from Pennsylvania in September 2015. Our daughter had attended Mizzou and, as the story happens so often, she had met her husband here and he worked for Extension. As a matter of fact, my son-in-law is the one who told us about Osher. We moved here two weeks before our first grandchild was born. The third grandchild was just born on April first of 2021.

I had two careers before my retirement. I majored in Secondary Education Social Studies at West Chester University. When I graduated in 1973, the only people who were hired were men who could coach a sport. I began a career in retail sales management, working for Sears for 14 years. I then moved to a men’s store chain called Today’s Man — similar to Men’s Warehouse.

In 1997, I had my mid-life crisis and started over by finally getting a teaching position. In addition, I had to go back to school for my master’s plus credits for permanent certification. I was always the oldest person in my classes with recent graduates. I taught in an Alternative Education School. My students had fallen far behind in credits or had been incarcerated or were girls who had babies and had missed a lot of school. To say that I enjoy a challenge is an understatement.

Members at large

Cokie Blake

Cokie Blake

I was born and raised in Durham, N.C., and graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 1967 with a degree in math and a teaching certificate. Two days after our June wedding, my high school sweetheart Robin and I flew (a totally new experience for one who had never been more than 200 miles from Durham) to St. Louis, where he was to start medical school in the fall. We each had summer jobs, and I had a teaching position at Central High School in St. Louis City. After one year of teaching, I worked at MacDonnell Douglas as a computer programmer for two years until our first son Kevin was born.

Robin’s medical training and practice took us to Chapel Hill, Hot Springs, and Hillsborough, N.C., over the next eight years. While in Hot Springs (pop. 600), about an hour from Asheville, I helped establish a sheltered workshop which is still in operation today. Our son Russell was born in 1974.

My volunteering activities began when Kevin started kindergarten. Teachers and parents in Hot Springs were unhappy because there were not enough teachers for each grade to be separate, so I volunteered to help in some way. My duties were varied: teaching library use to 4th graders, a self-awareness program to kindergarteners and discussions with older students about respecting other people. Often, I had Russell in my arms as I “taught.”

We moved to Columbia in 1978, and I continued to volunteer at the nearby elementary school. Gradually, I took on small jobs in the office; this became permanent half-time work for 23 years. One of my favorite activities was conducting the Geography Bee, which I continued for several years after retirement. Then I began to work one-on-one with students who needed extra help. My 42 years of involvement with students at Shepard Boulevard Elementary School ended (hopefully temporarily) with the onset of the pandemic.

From 1981 to 1985 I worked for an epidemiologist on a project involving death rates around the Savannah River nuclear plant.

For several years, I assisted a Bosnian woman as she improved her English.

Robin and I are avid readers and members of book clubs. Our neighborhood club has not met since the pandemic started, but the “Book Guys” and the “Femmes” each continued, using Zoom. We are now meeting in person. Solving puzzles — words, Sudoku, and jigsaw — provides entertainment and, I hope, brain protection. Knitting baby caps for preemies and teddy bears for new babies is another activity. In the past, I’ve been physically active with swimming and yoga, and currently I walk in the neighborhood regularly and in city parks on occasion.

Robin and I have been involved with Osher for 20 years, taking several classes each session. Now we work together as he teaches classes. We appreciate the variety of subjects, and we look forward to a time when we can take full advantage of the opportunities to socialize and learn in person.

Sarah Bowman, City of Columbia

Bio and photo to come!

Mark Dickinson, Finance Committee Chair

Mark Dickinson

I grew up in Cincinnati and lived primarily in California and Kansas most of my adult, married life, where my wife, Sue, and I raised our son. I’m retired from the U.S. Air Force. Much of my career was spent flying around the world as a navigator in a KC-135. My second career involved technical writing and engineering support with Boeing in Wichita, Kansas.

In 2016, Sue and I selected Columbia as a good place to retire, and it wasn’t long after that we started participating in Osher. We’ve found the wide variety of classes stimulating and enjoyed the friendship of other members.

My interests include reading (science, history, philosophy, fiction...everything!), biking (love the trails here), working outside, art, and, of course, friends.

Carolyn Dye

Carolyn Dye

I was born in Kansas City, and my parents and I moved to Fulton, Mo., just in time for Churchill’s visit. I am blessed to have two daughters, a son and a grandson who live near me in Columbia.

My B.S. in Elementary Education and M.ED. in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction are from the University of Missouri, Columbia. I taught first grade at Lee Elementary in Columbia for 32½ years. For four years following that, I supervised MU Early Childhood students in their literacy block.

During my teaching career I was very involved in leadership roles:

  • Helped create and implement the Expressive Arts Program at Lee, the use of literature study/discussion groups in early elementary classrooms, conflict resolution with primary age students, the first elementary curriculum for the planetarium when it opened, the first Emergency Response Team for the district and served on the district and building team and a Jazz in the Elementary Schools curriculum.
  • Served on the district’s Professional Development Committee Executive Board from its inception until I retired (served as secretary and then as chairman), on the district salary and career ladder committees.
  • Served as rep from Lee for CTA/ MSTA, district language arts committee and Partner in Education Committee
  • Hosted education students from MU, Stephens and Central Methodist as aides and observers in my classroom.
  • Hosted staff from the New York Scholastic office who had been pen pals with my students for a year and collaborated on a book of terms that English Language Learners needed to know to function in the classroom.

I also collaborated with professors in the colleges of education from MU, Stephens and Central Methodist:

  • Pen pal project between reading and language arts classes and my class to help the education students understand the literacy development of young children and to provide my students real life reasons to read and write for an audience.
  • Hosted visiting professors from across the U.S. to observe the use of literature study/discussion groups with primary students and to learn about the use of conflict resolution in primary classrooms.
  • Hosted two doctoral students for their research and served as a lay person on the doctoral committee of a student whose research was on reading strategies of first graders.
  • Tapes were made of the workings of my classroom and used on a National Teleconference and in MU classes.
  • Collaborated with MU professors on articles for Language Arts.
  • Participated in a group at MU that reviewed new children’s books.

When I retired, I wanted to have a focus for what I would become involved in. My priority was to support my grandson in his educational and personal endeavors and spend as much time as I could with him and my grown children. I decided my retirement motto would be “do some good each day, learn something new and have a little fun.” These three things have guided my choice of volunteer service activities.

I am a member of the General Federation of Women’s Club International (GFWC), Mississippi Valley, Mo., District 4, and the Tuesday Club of Columbia. It is an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Missouri (Osher@Mizzou) is a program of MU Extension and the Bernard Osher Foundation to provide lifelong learning for mid Missouri residents 50 and over. Currently I serve as a member of the advisory council, chair of the program committee and member of the outreach committee.

I volunteer usher for the Missouri Symphony Society at the Hot Summer Nights concerts and for the University Concert Series, September through May.

In my spare time I like to read and belong to a reading sorority through GFWC and a book club with women I taught with. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.

Jeanne Dzurick

Jeanne Dzurick

I’m officially Olivia Jeanne Dzurick, but Jeanne seems to be the name that everyone prefers. I have spent almost all my life in Missouri, having been born in Sedalia, spending my early years at Lake of the Ozarks, and my teens in KC and central Missouri. It’s pretty amazing, having attended three different high schools and having several different careers that I still persist in enduring our Missouri climate! I graduated from the University of Missouri—Columbia with a B.S. in education with graduate work in counseling and psychology. I also attended the University of Missouri—KC for additional business and education graduate work and the Longview Community College just because I got really interested in technology and they have a great program there.

In Kansas City I worked at and eventually retired from BMA, a midsized annuity, life and insurance company as vice president of product development and technical services and moved with my husband on acreage outside the Ashland area. I became a Series 6, 63, 65 and 7 Financial Advisor working with Waddell and Reed. Due to consistent referrals from local divorce attorneys, I eventually started my own business, Divorce Consultants, being certified as a divorce financial analyst and trained as a mediator at SLU.

I have been a volunteer in several different organizations, holding almost every office. I am still a member of the Greater Kansas City Altrusa Club. As president of the Columbia Women’s Club, Lucille Salerno attended one of our meetings and talked about Osher. I thought at the time, “I’m going to do that when I finally actually retire.” When my husband passed away in 2013, I moved to Columbia and one of the first things I did was join Osher, but I hadn’t yet retiredI haven’t looked back, attending classes and being part of the Osher experience helps satisfy my lifelong learning “yearning.”

I am deeply indebted to John Parker. I was the secretary at the University Extension Office in Fulton, Mo., and John was our education specialist. On one of his visits, he told me that I should go to college and explained I could take the CLEP test and perhaps test out of freshman classes. I took him up on that, gained 21 hours of credit, quit that job and went to school, graduating as a Magna cum Laude in two and a half years. He (and education) changed my life.

Ava Fajen

Ava Fajen

Although I was born in Miami, Florida, before I celebrated my first birthday my folks had moved to Columbia, Mo., and I have lived here ever since. I am a Hickman alum and studied biology at both Stephens and MU. I worked at MU in several research labs doing both inorganic chemistry and molecular biology, which led me to get my master’s degree studying the evolution of color patterns in Trinidad guppies, using mitochondrial DNA sequencing. I next worked in Jeff City with the Department of Higher Education, running a federal grant program for math and science education and working on performance-related budget recommendations for state public higher education institutions. While working there I also completed my PhD in higher ed policy. In my third work life, I worked for my husband’s business, managing the office and doing the books.

I’m sure the fact that I’ve always lived in the same town is one reason I love to travel! My father was a biologist and naturalist and when I was a kid he took the family on car camping trips each summer, usually to the Southwest US. Camping, anywhere — but especially in the Southwest states — is something I still enjoy doing whenever I get the chance. I also had the good fortune, while doing my master’s in biology, to go on field trips in Mexico, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico. I’ve had the opportunity to accompany my husband Scott Christianson on several study abroad trips with his students, visiting Germany, Spain, Italy, and New Zealand. We also have taken special trips with our nieces and nephews to the UK, Costa Rica, and Hawaii.
I enjoy gardening, cooking, genealogy, biking, kayaking, observing birds, and hiking. I belong to the Fortnightly Club, the Museum Associates, the League of Women Voters, the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO), the Mizzou Alumni Association, and several book clubs. I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction books.

I love being a part of Osher! I started taking Osher classes in 2011, was recruited to the Osher Advisory Council in 2022, and I’m also happy to serve on the Program Committee.

Frank Green, Volunteer Committee Co-chair

Frank Green

Frank Green moved to Columbia in Fall 2015 after living in Pennsylvania for over 60 years. Since then, he has become involved with Osher, The Newman Center at MU, the MU Med School and a now-defunct nonprofit organization.

He taught both elementary school and high school during his working career, retiring in 2014. His interests today include watching many of The History Channel programs on TV, reading books from an eclectic list and anything and everything about the sport of baseball.

Nancy Griggs, Program Committee Co-Chair

Nancy Griggs

Nancy Griggs heard of Osher Lifelong Learning from a friend who thought Osher was for MU retirees only! Nancy was pleased to discover that was not the case and has been enjoying a multitude of Osher classes since 2012, saving a great deal of money by being a Premium member!

Nancy is a Mizzou Tiger. Due to persuasive, outstanding MU faculty, she selected econ/statistics for her undergrad and social work as her master’s degree. Working neither as an economist nor social worker, Nancy’s career was in the Misouri Courts ystem, starting with the Circuit Court in Boone (Columbia) and Callaway (Fulton) Counties and spending her last 17 years in the Office of State Courts Administrator. She enjoyed working with the judges and court clerks throughout the state, particularly on implementation of the Statewide Court Automation project.

De and Nancy, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary during the Covid shutdown, love to entertain at their lake property, travel the world, be active in the Columbia and University communities and relax in their Lenoir Woods “little house.”

Barbara Montgomery

Barbara Montgomery

I was born and raised in central Kansas and moved to Missouri in 1978. My husband and I found Columbia to be an ideal place to raise our two daughters and now to help raise our three wonderful grandchildren.

I studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute and received a BFA from the University of Missouri in 1981. Later I studied accounting at MU and received an MBA from William Woods University. I began working at MU in 1985 and retired from the School of Medicine in 2017. Having grown up in a very small, rural community, I loved the opportunity to meet and work with students, faculty and staff from around the world.

Following retirement, I became a docent at the MU Museum of Art and Archeology. This feeds my love of learning and lifelong interest in art and art history. I enjoy giving tours and participating in the programming sponsored by the museum. In addition to making and learning about art, my other interests include genealogy, travel, quilt making and other fiber arts, volunteering, playing mahjong and reading.

My first experience with Osher@Mizzou came from a fellow docent who invited us to share his art history lecture. I was hooked. I appreciate the opportunity Osher provides to learn about a broad spectrum of topics. Through the pandemic, participating in Osher via zoom was a lifesaver.

Marilou Oliver, Outreach Committee Chair

Marilou Oliver

A native of the St. Louis suburbs, I attended K-12 and college all within just three miles of my childhood home. Expanding my horizons, I resided in New Mexico and Texas for 20 years. My husband and I were fortunate enough to move back to Missouri 15 years ago, making Columbia our home.

My education at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and Barnes Hospital School of Nursing prepared me for a career in nursing practice with an emphasis on hospital safety and quality of care. In Columbia I worked for Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center and Primaris prior to retiring in 2016.

Recognizing that my husband would continue to work for several years after my retirement, I began searching for activities that would keep my mind stimulated. An Osher course catalogue in a physician’s waiting room caught my eye and I realized the classes could be the answer to my quest. With my very first class, Memoir Writing, I was hooked. I estimate that over the past five years I have taken 50 classes - just don’t ask me to name them all!

My hobbies include cycling, gardening, traveling and of course memoir writing. I am thankful for the opportunity to meet other people with the desire to continue learning, and strongly encourage my fellow Osherites to become more involved by serving on a committee.

Barbara Schneider, Liaison for MU Retirees Association and Program Committee Co-Chair

Barbara Schneider

I retired in 2016 after 20 years working in admissions and student services for graduate MBA students in the MU College of Business. I loved the students and met many international students whom I promised to visit when I retired. So far, I have visited one in Amsterdam, but my trips to visit several more in Vietnam, Canada and Japan were "postponed" due to Covid.

On my last Friday of work Osher had a special ragtime music program so I took time in the middle of the day to attend. The next Monday I started the Osher Summer Session and also joined Silver Sneakers at the ARC to be sure to start my retirement right. I have continued both for almost five years, along with the MU Retirees Association, and they have all kept me healthy and happy during this past year of the pandemic.

I love Columbia, a wonderful college town full of interesting people and a wide variety of cultural and educational activities. I’ve lived here 35 years and raised two boys here, but I grew up in northern Virginia and lived in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia during the first half of my adult life.

I love to meet new people, learn about the world and explore new places. I’ve taken three long cruises — two across the Atlantic Ocean and one up the western coast of South America and through the Panama Canal, where I lived the first two years of my life. In my early life, I was a social worker (Psychology degree at U of Dayton) and a lawyer (Indiana University), but I eventually landed as an administrator in higher education, which blended many of my talents, skills and interests. Now I am grateful for the opportunity and the freedom to design days to my own liking.

Evan Smith

Evan Smith

I grew up in Kansas, the son of an archaeologist and an artist. I traveled a lot as a kid and a little as an adult. I hold a doctorate in linguistics and a double bachelors in linguistics and anthropology. I have been teaching, recruiting instructors, coordinating curriculum, and researching at Midwestern universities, including MU.

Even as a retiree, I am still interested in language studies, professional jargon, and history, including the American Civil War. I love adult education and the ability it provides for growth. I enjoy my engagement with Osher @ Mizzou because I can further dedicate myself to learning and general life progress.

Mike Trial

Mike Trial

I was born in Kansas City but spent part of my childhood overseas, where my father worked for an oil company. We came back to the States in time for me to attend a one-room school here in Boone County. Some years later I graduated from the University of Missouri, and after a couple of years in the army, took up a career with the Corps of Engineers doing construction contract management. I lived and worked in various locations around the U.S. and overseas for 30 years then retired in 2003. Since then, I’ve been managing our family tree farm — 50 acres of black walnut trees.

Lately my interests include technology, especially the space program, late 18th century and early 19th century English literature, opera (especially Wagner), and of course, tree farming. We are members of the Jane Austen society, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, several tree farm committees, and several charitable and alumni organizations. Always busy, but never too busy for Osher@Mizzou.

Lynn Tushaus (pronounced Tuss-house)

Lynn Tushaus

I became aware of Osher in 2016; I don’t remember how. I started taking courses and teaching courses in 2017. I’ve enjoyed every course I’ve taken and every presentation I’ve made and look forward to more. This is my first year as a member of Osher. I moved to Columbia from the Saint Joseph area in September of last year.

I am a retired secondary science teacher. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Missouri in Agronomy/Soil Science from the College of Agriculture. I completed my master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Iowa. I taught students from grades 6 through 12. Most of my classes were focused on earth science and physical science. I have always promoted teaching through inquiry and have shared that with other teachers through various professional development opportunities.

I enjoy traveling and nature. I am a member of the Missouri Master Naturalists and have just started getting involved in volunteer activities at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. I enjoy hiking and kayaking. Just before the Covid-lockdown started, I took a month-long, solo, camping trip out west with memorable stops in Glacier National Park and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

I have traveled to 49 of the 50 states. I must admit that I enjoy a good, old-fashioned road trip to just about anywhere! I have not traveled as much as I did before Covid, so I am anxious to get back into the travel mode. My most challenging overseas travel experience was a six month stay in Varanasi, India. One of the most beautiful places that I have visited is Barcelona, Spain.

I have two grown children. One lives here in Columbia and the other lives near Madison, Wisc. I enjoy cooking and baking (just in case we ever need treats for a meeting)!

Clarence Wolfshohl

Clarence Wolfshohl

Clarence Wolfshohl taught in Idaho, New Mexico, West Virginia and Texas before moving to Missouri, where he taught for the last 25 years of his career at William Woods University. He is professor emeritus in English at William Woods. During that time, he founded and operated a small private press, publishing over 100 handcrafted books. He wrote and published poetry and nonfiction, both creative and scholarly. He continues to write and to print at his home in rural Callaway County, where he has lived since 1981. And he continues to teach and take classes at Osher, which he has done since 2012.