Thursday Seminars

Related Links


Was he hero or villain? Was he a military genius or just lucky in the poor quality of his opponents? This seminar will explore the life of this fascinating man from his youth in Corsica to his death on St. Helena. His contributions to military strategy, his long term political effect on the nations of Europe and his complicated relationship with his family and several women will be addressed in this seminar.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Mark Cannon is a retired scientist with a lifelong interest in history. He has moderated UDOLLI seminars on the Civil War, WWI, WWII, A traveler’s History of England and How Britain Lost her American Colonies.

Explore New Zealand

Tour the North and South Islands of New Zealand including sightseeing of islands (Waiheke and Bay of Islands), the Southern Alps, Fiordland, volcanos, glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, geysers, mud pots, hobbits, wineries, farmers markets, adventure travel, and bird viewing. The course includes an overview of New Zealand geography, climate, history, political and economic systems, and sports. Excerpts of music and movies made in New Zealand will be shown. Essential information for travelers will be provided. Spectacular photos and videos will be shown from boat trips, rail trips, hikes, and car touring.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Barbara Denison taught information systems in the Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State for 35 years. She has a B.S. in math from Denison University, M.B.A. from UD, and M.S. from Wright State. Carl Denison worked in Customer and Support Education and Professional Services at NCR. He has a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics from SUNY Albany. Carl is a lifelong photographer, studying at UD and Wright State, and is providing photos for the seminar. Carl and Barbara are avid travelers especially to visit their son and family in New Zealand.

British History Through British Mysteries - NEW

Starting with six British mysteries with different historic settings, we will explore various topics that provide their backgrounds. The books include:  The Devil’s Novice by Ellis Peters, Murder in Grub Street by Bruce Alexander, The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch, Invitation to a Dynamite Party by Peter Lovesey, Anthem for Doomed Youth by Carola Dunn and Out of the Blackout by Robert Barnard. We will explore many historical topics, including the war between Stephen and Maud, Monasticism, the Bow Street Runners, Bedlam, the history of Parliament, Irish rebellion, Scotland Yard, the impact of World War I and England during World War II.

6 Thursdays, September 28 – November 2 (Note: later start date)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus
Although I suggest that participants read the above books, it is not essential. All are currently in print and have been around long enough to be available used. Most can be found in the public library.
Advanced preparation: Read The Devil’s Novice

Rita Dushman Rich is a Speech/Language Pathologist, currently enjoying a state of semi-retirement. She has taught one previous course for UDOLLI on the history of the English language. Over the years, she has taught various professional seminars and classes on aspects of Judaism at Temple Israel. She loves British mysteries and British history.

Learning From Others: The Power of Public Deliberation

Using the National Issues Forums process, interactive deliberation and participatory classroom discussion will be guided by experienced moderators on the following issues:
Sept. 21 Orientation
Sept. 28 Land of Plenty: How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need?
Oct. 5  Alcohol in America: What Can We Do about Excessive Drinking?
Oct. 12  End of Life: What Should We Do for Those Who Are Dying?
Oct. 19  Where Have All the Voters Gone?
Oct. 26  The Immigration Dilemma: How Should We Fix the System?

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
9:30–11:30 a.m. at River Campus
Seminar Limit: 15
Required text:  The issue books will be supplied prior to the first seminar session.

Carol Farquhar Nugent is president of the National Issues Forums Institute. She is a former Executive Director of Grantmakers In Aging, with extensive experience in philanthropy. David Vomacka recently retired from a career that involved creating and leading discussion and deliberation between the most directly affected publics and decision makers on controversial development projects. He has actively participated in NIFI forums at UDOLLI for more than five years.

Visit with the Sports Media

Bucky Albers will invite several sports writers and broadcasters to discuss sports and their roles in communicating with the public. Bring your questions about sports and the media.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
9:30–11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Bucky Albers is a retired Dayton sports writer whose beats included the Reds, Browns, Bengals, Ohio State, auto racing, golf, and for 19 years, the UD basketball and football teams. He covered eight Super Bowls, 15 Masters Golf Tournaments, and many World Series, including six involving the Reds.

Exploring MetroParks

Join us for a tour of 7 of the wonderfully exciting metroparks in the Dayton area—we’ll visit 2 in one of the sessions. We’ll go to a different park each week and learn about its history and what makes it special in the system. Whether you’re a regular visitor to the parks, only go to a few, or have never been at all, this is a great time to get to know these beautiful spaces so close to home. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. You’ll be glad you came!

6 Thursdays, September 21 – November 2 (No seminar on October 26)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Various Parks

Thursday, September 21 Possum Creek MetroPark, Education Building, 4790 Frytown Road, Dayton, OH 45417. This meeting will include an overview of MetroParks and its history.
Thursday, September 28 Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, Main Building entrance,  1301 E. Siebenthaler Avenue, Dayton, OH 45414
Thursday, October 5, Cox Arboretum MetroPark, Visitor Center, 6733 Fallboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449
Thursday, October 12, Eastwood MetroPark, Main parking lot, 1385 Harshman Rd, Dayton, OH 45431
Thursday, October 19, 2nd Street Market, RiverScape MetroPark. Meet at Market, 600 E. 2nd Street, Dayton, OH  45402. We’ll walk to RiverScape.
Thursday, October 26, NO SEMINAR
Thursday, November 2, Hills and Dales MetroPark, Paw Paw Shelter, 100 Deep Hollow Road, Kettering, OH 45409

Betty Hoevel is a Five Rivers MetroParks Education Coordinator. She creates, supervises, and presents programs on horticulture for adults throughout the park system, and creates and manages nature engagement programs for children in the Wegerzyn Children’s Discovery Garden. She is a 20-year veteran of the nursery industry, as well as, an unabashed tree hugger and nature lover.

Physical Activity and Nutrition for Successful Aging - NEW

Learn the components of fitness and nutrition requirements necessary to keep functioning in your active life. We will explore movement and the application of exercise for core strengths, mobility, endurance, strength, and balance. We will learn how important the digestive system is to good health and apply guidelines for daily nutritional needs for adults.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
12:30–2:30 p.m. at Personally Fit, 3578 Kettering Blvd., Suite 300
Seminar Limit: 15

Becky Cobb is co-owner and president of Personally Fit, a Dayton-based personal training and wellness center that has been in the fitness business for more than 25 years. She is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. She also holds certification in the Functional Movement Screen.

The Dayton Soldiers’ Home / Dayton VA

History is coming alive at the Dayton VA Center. Starting with the original Dayton Soldiers’ Home, many firsts have occurred there, including the first Catholic chapel built by government, nationally recognized integrated rehabilitation programs for Civil War vets, and the beginnings of our current Veterans Administration. The OSU Master Gardener Volunteers, in conjunction with the VA and The American Veterans Heritage Center, are restoring 12 of 25 acres at the historic Grotto, uncovering 150-year-old brick walkways and performing many of the same tasks performed by Civil War veterans’ years ago.

Sept. 21 The legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his role in starting the Dayton Soldiers’ Home. Dayton VA in its heyday — why it was the spot to be.
Sept. 28  Restoration of the VA, including the updates to the Grotto. Presentation at the Protestant Chapel — where it was and where it is, and then a walking tour in the gardens.
Oct. 5  The men and women through history that have left their mark on the Dayton VA and how the VA has left its mark on Dayton. What is next at the Dayton VA?
Oct. 12  A bus tour of the grounds and the AVHC museum and video.
12:30–1:20 p.m. Group 1 bus – Group 2 museum
1:30–2:20 p.m. Group 2 bus – Group 1 museum

4 Thursdays, September 21 – October 12
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus or Dayton VA
Seminar limit: 30

Sue Howorth retired in 2010 from NCR, where she held a number of positions, many of which involved doing customer presentations. She holds a B.S. from Miami University in mathematics and a Master of Computer Science from the University of Dayton. She became a certified OSU Master Gardener Volunteer in 2011 and has been involved in the Grotto project from the beginning.

Dr. Charles W. Dickerson received his bachelor’s degree and Doctorate in Dentistry from The Ohio State University. He is a Lt. in the U.S. Navy Reserve Dental Corps from 1958 to 1964 (Active duty in 1961 to 1964). He had a private general dentist practice from 1964 to 2004 when he retired. He is an active volunteer with the City of Dayton from 1972 to present. He volunteered with an after school program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Kettering students from 2008 to 2012. He became a certified OSU Master Gardener Volunteer in 2013 and a Dayton VA Volunteer and has been involved in the Grotto-Gardens Restoration project from the beginning.

Beginners Guitar: A Workshop

Dust off that guitar that’s been in the back of your closet since 1965. Show the grandkids you’ve still got the moves! This six-week seminar is designed to be a jump start into playing basic chords, in standard tuning, to accompany singing. We will not be touching on music theory or in-depth fingerings although you may find yourself inspired to search into these things in the future.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – November 2 (No seminar on October 5)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus
Special equipment: Acoustic guitar and tuner
Seminar Limit: 15

Marsha O’Connor has been playing guitar for 35 years. She has enjoyed playing several instruments with the Hithergreen Strummers for the past 15 years.

The Evolution of Citizens’ Rights from 1776 to the Present

The growth in citizens’ rights from 1776 to the present will be discussed. These rights are found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, certain federal laws, and Supreme Court cases interpreting them. Typical topics include rights dealing with voting, education, criminal activity, marriage, Indians, property, speech, religion, arms, women’s, civil, and others.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – November 2 (No seminar on October 5)
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Alan A. Biegel is a 1963 graduate of the University of Dayton and a 1967 graduate of the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has practiced law in Montgomery County for 45 years and has previously moderated seminars for UDOLLI.

The Case of the Real Perry Mason - NEW

A look at the creator, Erle Stanley Gardner, of one of the most popular mystery series and the force behind the long running TV show. A look at six Perry Mason TV shows,  all with a story behind them. A biographical look at cast and the many character actors who worked on the series, discussions of how the books and TV show were created, and a look at the movie Perry Masons. Answers to why the Mason movies failed and the TV show didn’t. Some of our discussion will cover the “Case of the Moth Eaten Mink” and the “Case of the Restless Red Head”.

6 Thursday, September 21 – October 26
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Terry Martin is retired from Coca-Cola USA. He majored in history and is a book collector and seller of used books.

Fred’s Easy Pop Music Explosion - NEW

Between the end of the big band era and the birth of rock and roll, there was a time when music was . . . pretty. And lots of fun. Relive this all-too-brief decade of easy pop, when artists with wonderful voices dominated the music business. Learn about the great groups and soloists and sing along to dozens of the most popular tunes of the day. Relive some of your favorite (and often very dance-able) instrumental numbers. Join us for a pleasant walk down memory lane as we embark on what may be the ultimate nostalgia trip!

6 Thursday, September 21 – October 26
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus
No required text, but Daniel Niemeyer’s book Remembering 1950s Easy-Pop Songs and Singers is a lot of fun. It sells for about $20 on Amazon.

Fred Oliver is a retired base engineer and lifelong music fan. He’s been a UDOLLI student for the last six years. His previous seminars on film noir, science fiction movies, and big bands of the swing era got good reviews. This will be his tenth seminar.

Late Life /Afterlife: May Sarton and Kurt Vonnegut - NEW

Let the conversations begin! May Sarton’s musings will start us off, accompanied by pertinent poetry and prose that will be provided in the seminar. Then Kurt Vonnegut’s irreverent and reverent interviews will take us to the great beyond (and probably the not-so-great beyond), with forays into other Vonnegut writings that will be provided in seminar. What a study in comparison and contrast this will be.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
3:00–5:00 p.m. at River Campus
Required text: At Seventy: A Journal, by May Sarton ( $3.48+, Kindle $9.99, $5.00+)   God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian ( $3.48+, Kindle, $5.00+)

Anne and Joe Pici have thoroughly enjoyed team-teaching many seminars for UDOLLI. Joe is starting his 51st year teaching literature and creative writing at UD (but who’s counting?). Anne is retired after 30+ years teaching rhetoric and composition at UD, but still works as a freelance editor.

Great Science Fiction Movies - NEW

We will take a look at the history of special effects in movies with a concentration on science-fiction films. We will also watch several key SF movies and discuss their use of visual and other special effects. Among the movies we will watch are Melies’s Le Voyage Dans la Lune, Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey, Wachowski Brothers’ The Matrix, and, of course, Lucas’s Star Wars (A New Hope). Please note that some of these films are over 2 hours in length and will take more than one seminar period to watch. Discussion will follow each film. Other films will be shown as time permits.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
3:00–5:00 p.m. at River Campus

Janet Hess received her Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and her Master’s degree from Wright State University. She taught junior and senior high school for 36 years ending her career at Oakwood City Schools. She is leader of Syzygy Science Fiction Book Club and is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honorary society for women educators.

Financial Success in Retirement

Many retirees are searching for strategies to help maximize income and minimize the risk of running out of money after their working years. Join us for informative discussions on topics including finding yield in the current low interest rate environment, the value of dividends in retirement, protecting assets through proper estate planning, maximizing Social Security retirement benefits, and establishing a spending policy that balances your desired lifestyle with preserving assets for a retirement that could last over 30 years.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
3:00–5:00 p.m. at River Campus
Seminar limit: 25

Dan Johnson serves as Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with the McDonald Rubins Johnson Group at Merrill Lynch & Co located at Austin Landing. He focuses on partnering with individuals and their families to implement successful retirement strategies. Dan is a Business Finance graduate of the University of Florida and has obtained the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.

Story of Christianity, Part One

Most of us are somewhat familiar with Christian teachings, but very unfamiliar with the beginnings of Christianity and how these teachings developed. This course will survey the major persons {both male and female}, events and movements in the life of the church as well as Monasticism and the Crusades in the final session. Participants are encouraged to choose a book from their own tradition as a supplement to the history presented (suggested titles will be provided at the first session). NO book is required for this course; you may just listen and learn. It is hoped that you will ask questions and offer information that you may have as the course proceeds. This 6-week course will cover the first THIRD of Christian history. The remaining two courses will be offered in subsequent quarters.

6 Thursdays, September 21 – October 26
3:00–5:00 p.m. at River Campus

CarolAnn Cannon has been involved in adult faith formation in the Dayton area for more than 35 years and here at UD since 1996. She received a Master of Arts in theological studies from UD in 1986 and is certified as both a catechist and a catechetical leader by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In addition to Christian History, her seminars have included:  the Old Testament, the New Testament, Christology, The Crusades, The Barbarians and the So-called Dark Ages, and The Papacy and the Bishops of Rome.