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Basic Spanish students celebrate their last class of the spring term with a fiesta hosted by instructor Ligia Glass (front row center)
--photo by Joan Lundsford

April 18, 2014

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

A fashion show featuring OLLI members as models will be held Tue, May 20. For details, including location and time, click here.

There will be a candidate forum at UCP in Reston on Mon, Apr 21 at 11:50. To read the bios for the candidates for the Board of Directors, click here. Voting will take place May 2-15.

Murder at the Bellagio, a murder mystery, takes place at COGS on Wed, June 4. Sign up on the OLLI web page registration site for Special Event # 991. The cost of $25 per person benefits OLLI membership and includes a catered brunch plus plenty of mayhem and surprises! 

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Notes from the Teacher Appreciation and Scholarship Awards Ceremony 

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate; Photos by Paul Howard

Over 100 teachers, students, Mason dignitaries and OLLI members gathered at George Mason University Center for the Arts Apr 9 for an afternoon of accolades and awards as OLLI-Mason celebrated its annual “Teacher Appreciation Reception and Student Scholarship Ceremony.”
Since its establishment in 1991, OLLI-Mason has recognized the George Mason University faculty, OLLI members and outside experts who dedicate precious time and talent to teach classes at OLLI. This year, OLLI recognized 20 outstanding Mason students who will share $16,000 in scholarship monies provided through donations from members of OLLI.
George Mason University President Angel Cabrera, the keynote speaker, said “I can’t be more grateful to OLLI” for the money it awards Mason students each year to boost access to quality education, a primary goal of his administration. Mason Provost Peter Stearns extolled the strong bonds between OLLI and Mason as consistent with the University’s 2014-24 Strategic Plan to increase the university’s community engagement
Stearns, a long-standing supporter and frequent OLLI-Mason instructor, was awarded an honorary lifelong OLLI membership at the event, a tribute to all he has done for the Institute. He commended university professors for teaching at OLLI because it “benefits us as an institution,” not only in terms of scholarship monies coming back to Mason students, but also as a platform for “alternative and stimulating” teaching opportunities. Dr. Brian Platt, chair of Mason’s Department of History and Art History agreed, describing OLLI teaching experience as “terrific” where classrooms are “packed with extremely attentive students with many thoughtful and stimulating questions.” 
A highlight of the afternoon was hearing from Mason scholarship winners about their aspirations and plans for spending award monies. Tanisha Paige, a 31-year-old undergraduate in the College of Health and Human Services, looks forward to taking a sign language immersion course this summer that she could not afford without the award. Paige expressed her “wholehearted appreciation” to OLLI for helping her reach her educational goals. Jamaican-born Karelle Samuda will use her award to help defer the cost of Mason tuition. She is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Policy financing her tuition as a graduate research assistant.   
OLLI Executive Director Jennifer Disano summed up the event best, stating “this is the best of the Mason nation: two campuses coming together for their mutual benefit. Mason teachers enriching OLLI students with classes; OLLI students generously giving to Mason scholarships. At OLLI we like to say, ‘Giving is the OLLI way!’"

Special thanks are given to Burke Florist for generously donating flowers and loaning plants and votives for the reception. 
Tallwood Trio Plays April 24
OLLI’s own Tallwood Trio will perform on Thu, Apr 24, at 2:15 as part of the Meet the Artists concert series at the Reston Community Center in Hunters Woods. Alan Wenberg, Eric Henderson and David Hirsch will play their jazzy versions of the Great American Songbook. The trio will also feature singer and OLLI member Nancy Riley. Find driving directions in your OLLI spring catalog.
The Meet the Artists musical performances, coordinated by Rosemary McDonald, are open to any OLLI member as well as to the public free of charge through a partnership between OLLI and the Reston Community Center’s Center Stage. If you missed hearing the trio at the Super Salad Social today, this is another chance to hear this popular group.
Humanities/Social Sciences Planning Group to Meet

By Richard Melanson, HSS Planning Group Co-chair

Co-chairs Abbie Edwards and Richard Melanson invite all interested OLLI members to participate in the next meeting of the Humanities/Social Sciences Planning Group. This important gathering will take place on Fri, May 9 at 10:00 at the Hunters Woods Community Center in Reston. We will finalize course offerings for the fall 2014 term and begin planning our courses for winter 2015. This is a great opportunity for you to shape the OLLI-Mason curriculum.

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Five of the Top 10 Reasons You Should Attend the Fashion Show and Luncheon

By Norma Jean Reck

Proceeds from the OLLI Fashion Show and Luncheon will go to the Friends of OLLI (FOLLI) fund. Register at your OLLI office to attend this event of the year, which will be held on Tue, May 20 at the Country Club of Fairfax from 10:30 to 2:30. The all-inclusive ticket—entertainment, lunch, fashion show, free ticket for chance to win door prizes—is $55, part of which may be tax deductible.

Five of the 10 top reasons you should attend this fabulous fundraiser are:
  1. FOLLI funds scholarships. This year 20 deserving George Mason University students received financial aid.
  2. FOLLI supports our annual teacher appreciation day to thank those Mason professors who have donated their time and talent to teaching at OLLI.
  3. FOLLI funds help purchase equipment, including the new video conference system used to hold classes simultaneously at all three OLLI-Mason campuses, a technology many of us have enjoyed.
  4. FOLLI helps support the Fall for the Book program, which many of us have attended.
  5. FOLLI funds pay for the publication of OLLI Ink. So, if you have enjoyed reading or have written for OLLI Ink, we'd like to see you at the show.
For more information or to volunteer to help at the show, please e-mail

If you would like to volunteer for the event, please join us for our first organizational meeting on Fri, Apr 25 from 10 to 11:30 in TA1 at Tallwood. 
Thank You from the GMU Social Work Student Project on Older Adults and Hunger
We sincerely thank you for participating in our survey and providing us with feedback on the survey questions. Many members of OLLI were willing to take the time to help us under very tight time constraints, and we cannot thank you enough. The feedback that was provided was valuable for our team as we made our final revisions to the survey that we will be submitting to our community partner, the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP). Each participant’s response was reviewed and carefully considered as we move closer to completion of the project. The results that we received will be used to improve the process of collecting and analyzing data to better serve individuals in the community.
It is our expectation that with this information, the CKP will be one step closer to possessing a clear and concise method of identifying areas of food insecurity among older adults. Again, it is with our utmost gratitude that we thank the participants for aiding in our study. We could not have done it without you!
GMU Social Work (SOCW 417) Students


Reflections on Serving on the Board of Directors

By retiring director, Gordon Canyock
About 20% of OLLI members are active volunteers in the organization, which is fairly common for non-profits, but we certainly could use more. Less than 3% of members serve on the Board as directors or as committee chairs, which are the heart of OLLI’s management structure. The directors set overall organizational and governing policies to be implemented by the executive director, supported by a small part-time staff and our vitally important committees. The Board Handbook records the policies approved by past Boards and serves as an important set of guiding principles for the executive director and current Board members in their deliberations. 
All directors start with a feeling that they have gained much from their OLLI experience and want to give back. New directors, uncertain of the rules and procedures, may find their first Board meetings a bit confusing and be reluctant to express opinions until they learn how the Board works and get to know their fellow directors. As they become more and more involved in committees, program planning and task forces — and make many new friends in the process, they gradually understand how OLLI is managed and governed, and which issues are important, particularly the difficult mid- to long-range ones related to growth and increasingly inadequate facilities. 
In days of yore, the Board could become contentious over serious issues of growth, expansion, and, especially during the transition, to having a professional executive director manage the Institute instead of the Board. That dynamic has gradually disappeared, and the Board is now collegial, well aware of its role vis-a-vis the ED, and focused on today’s issues.
This year we have nine well-qualified candidates running for six seats on the Board. Five have no prior Board experience and can bring fresh ideas and energy to the Board. Four of the candidates have served before and can provide important historical knowledge of what has worked or not worked in the past. As I leave the Board after completing my third three-year term, I am confident that the progress made during the past decade will continue despite the challenges we face, and I applaud my fellow directors and all the candidates for volunteering their time and effort to make OLLI-Mason the best LLI in the country.  

Photo of the Month

The April Photo of the Month theme was “Showers.” We selected Rita Leake Gustin's photo “Photographing in April,” which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the Club's website.
-- By Ed Parker, Photography Club 

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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


Morning and twenty minutes

into the Potomac trail walk

and the calmness

that started to settle in vanishes.

The woodpecker's staccato,

unexpected, deafening, harsh,

as penetrating as an African drum.



The unopened palm font

thrusting straight up,

a stiletto from

West Side Story.

Thin, long, sharp,

puncturing Jamaican blueness

indifferent to the

Island's strong winds.


a so small yellow bird,

lighter than the wind,

lighter even than magic,

lights on its razor edge

as indifferent to me


As the staccato

in the woods.

—Tony Rounds

Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, Apr18 to Apr 28

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either CFA or Hylton, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue's box office. For more information see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Mahler's Fifth Symphony
Sat, Apr 26, 8:00
Admission: $60, $45, $25
Center for the Arts Concert Hall
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Mistresses and Masterpieces
Sun, Apr 27, 7:00
The program features works by Brahms, Schumann, and Liszt.
Admission: $38, $30, $19
Center for the Arts Concert Hall

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances

At the Fairfax Campus:

Ten-Minute Play Festival
Fri, Apr 25, 8:00
Sat, Apr 26, 2:00 and 8:00
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10
Jazz Combos Concert
Wed, Apr 23, 8:00
Admission: Free
de Laski - Room 3001
Saxophone Ensemble Concert
Sun, Apr 27 3:00
Admission: Free
Harris Theatre
Mason Jazz Vocal Night
Sun, Apr 27 7:00
Admission: Free
Harris Theatre
There are also numerous free individual student recitals around campus.  Visit for details.
At the Manassas Campus:

Mason’s School of Music: Chorale Broadway Showcase
Sat, Apr 26, 3:00 and 7:00
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $5
Merchant Hall
Mason’s School of Music: Symphonic Band Concert
Sat, Apr 26, 5:00
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $5
Merchant Hall
At the Hylton Center

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. with vocalists from The Temptations, Drifters, and Platters, with Swing Machine
Sun, Apr 27, 4:00
Presented by Capital Jazz Preservation
Admission: $40
Merchant Hall
Intersections of Art and Life by William Woodward and Becky Parrish
Tue, Apr 15 through Sat, May 24
Gallery Reception: Thu, Apr 24, 6:30
The Gallery Reception is free and open to the public. To attend, RSVP to
Admission: Free
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery

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For further details on any of the above events, please see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar

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Mason Highlights

Other Mason events, next two weeks

By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
Vision Series: Mason professor of education Elavie Ndura will discuss “Educating for Social Justice and Peace.” Grounded in the belief that every person can contribute to peacebuilding, this discussion calls for the re-framing of educational policies and practices to raise new critical questions and engineer new partnerships across ideological orientations and academic disciplines. The discussion highlights practical strategies for infusing multicultural education principles across the curriculum to guide the transformative journey that underlies efforts to educate for social justice and peace. Mon, Apr 21, 7:00. Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Free.
Vision Series: Mason associate professor and director of Mason’s Cochrane Collaboration Policy College Catherine Gallagher discuses “Protecting Your Health and Money in the New Era of Medical Decision-Making”. Gallagher asks: "Have you ever been told to undergo a medical test or treatment procedure without any knowledge of what it costs and how much you will be paying? What it will lead to in health procedures later? Or what the costs will be to your life if you do not get the test?" The answer for most people is a resounding “yes.” Patients and their care givers belong directly in the center of all decisions, yet are often not provided access to the right information about their options, the costs, or the consequences of a medical procedure. This discussion uses real cases to illustrate tension points in decision processes to bring to life the costs and consequences of how you participate in your care. Mon, Apr 28, 7:15. Arlington Campus, Founders Hall Auditorium.  Free.
Film. A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times. This movie is a fascinating documentary that explores power and ethics, corporate and office politics, race politics, representation, and accountability in the mainstream media. With intricate, not-always-straightforward interviews with multiple players, including Jayson Blair, the documentary traces the shocking story of the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked the New York Times and the entire world of journalism. A Skype Q&A with journalist and filmmaker Samantha Grant will follow. Wed, Apr 30, 4:30 to 7:00. Johnson Center, Cinema. Free.

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, Kickoff Coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat Apr 19 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Apr 22 10:00am
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Strategic Planning Committee–Annex
Wed Apr 23   1:45pm Bridge Club–TA-3
Fri Apr 25  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Travel Club–Cottage
Classic Fiction Book Club–Loudoun Rm205
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
Photography Club–TA-1
Sat Apr 26 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Apr 29 10:00am
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Reston Program Planning Meeting–UCP-113
Wed Apr 30   1:45pm Bridge Club–TA-3
Fri May 2 10:00am Annual Meeting–TA-1

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About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Current Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor:
Weekly Editorial Team: Paul Van Hemel,
Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Proofreaders:  John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel
Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger

Submissions. Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles and photos. 
Submit material to:
Deadline – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week's issue (6:00 pm Monday for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words.
Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by "" without the quotes.

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