If you’ve never tried the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, this winter is a great time to start. Courses are designed for people over 50 who like to engage with others in an atmosphere of curiosity and fun. They meet at the Mountaineer Mall, and the Winter 2020 term starts next Tuesday, January 21. Here are five of the most popular.

Have you wondered whether a woman was considered among the faces to be memorialized on Mt. Rushmore? What engineering and political challenges did the project pose? Consider these questions in “Mt. Rushmore: Preserving History or Perpetuating Myths?” with retired WVU historian Jack Hammersmith.  

West Virginia still ranks near the top for tobacco use, and vaping has become a national health issue. In “What’s the Fire?” WVU clinical pharmacy specialist Megan Adelman will cover tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and tobacco cessation methods.

Explore your spiritual life in “Spiritual Autobiography Writing Exercises” with Andrew Rorabaugh of Populore Publishing Company. All faiths welcome—no writing experience required. 

Discover the role of the railroad in 19th and 20th century westward migration. “Baltimore and Ohio Railroad” instructor Keith DeVault is a member of the  Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society. 

Expand your awareness—learn about deaf culture in “Intro to American Sign Language” with Mariana Shank, a  Communication Sciences and Disorders student who was raised with deaf parents.

There’s something at OLLI to help anyone beat the winter blahs. Browse the catalog of dozens more courses at olliatwvu.org.


written by Pam Kasey
photograph courtesy of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.