Osher Lifelong Learning Institute



Courses & Events

We will explore this heavily regulated river from beginning to end. From raging rapids to diversion dams for irrigation ditches, to dry streambeds, and finally barge traffic, we will examine the impact this wild, elusive, and embattled river has had on cities, towns and adjacent farmland, starting with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 through to the present day.

Instructor Bio: Hannes Zacharias is the Robert A. Kipp Professor of Practice for the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration following a 35-year career in local city and county government administration. He has served as City Manager of Boonville, Mo., Hays, Kan. and County Manager for Johnson County, Kan.

June 12-26, 2024, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging In Person

Join us as we delve into medicine from the past to learn how far we've come. We'll study modern medicine to learn how we got to this point in treatment of certain conditions such as: congestive heart failure; atherosclerotic coronary, carotid, and peripheral arteries, and valvular heart disease. We'll also explore the advances in congenital heart disease.

Instructor Bio: Alan Forker received bachelor's & doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Kansas. After 12 years in private practice of Cardiology, he spent 32 years in academic medicine, and the last 26 at UMKC. He published 82 articles in medical literature and co-edited 2 books. He was elected Master of the American College of Physicians.

June 24, 2024 to July 8, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Come learn about the latest developments in Alzheimer's, including advances in how the disease is diagnosed. We'll explore new medications to treat the disease and study how lifestyle modifications may help with prevention. Hear how groundbreaking medical advances may enable early detection prior to the emergence of memory symptoms, paving the way for the application of novel preventative therapies.

Instructor Bio: Jeffrey M. Burns, M.D., M.S. is the co-director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Dr. Burns completed medical school at the University of Kansas Medical Center, neurology residency at the University of Virginia, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Alzheimer's at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2004 he returned to his hometown of Kansas City to start the Alzheimer's program to stimulate research locally while pursuing research investigating how lifestyle factors influence brain aging and Alzheimer's.

Thursday, June 13, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Join us to study the physical and chemical features of oceans (e.g., tides and salinities) and learn about the estuarine animal and plant communities. We'll examine ecology of rocky intertidal habitats (e.g., U.S. West Coast) and discuss sandy shore communities. Finally, we'll delve into offshore habitats, to include coral reefs and shallow and deep-water organisms.

Instructor Bio: James (Jim) Thorp is an aquatic ecologist who retired at the end of 2023 from the University of Kansas and is now an emeritus professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and is also associated with the Kansas Biological Survey and Center for Ecological Research. He has published over 150 journal articles and 11 books on aquatic subjects.

June 24, 2024 to July 8, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

From the first novel "Casino Royale" in 1953 to the 25th "authorized" film "No Time to Die," many of us keep coming back to the exotic locales, the Bond women, the latest devices from Q Branch, the supervillains with plans to conquer the world and their formidable enforcers. We'll look at the changes to Bond over the years, his cultural impact, and his continuing appeal.

Instructor Bio: Karl Menninger is retired from a legal career in federal and state government, mostly dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities. He teaches courses on disabilities and the law and insanity defense at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.

July 26, 2024 to August 9, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person

Climate change is real and impacts from climate change are emerging. Despite the many efforts under way, we are not winning the battle to save the planet. Our way of life is threatened and the choices we make now are important. The class will highlight current and potential future impacts to thwart climate change, discuss alternative actions we might take, and what might happen.

Instructor Bio: Charles "Chick" Keller is a retired senior executive and retired professor. He worked 15 years each at Sprint, and Black and Veatch in strategic planning and strategic marketing rising to VP level both times. In 2000, he began a career as a professor in KU's engineering management program where he taught finance and strategic planning.

Friday, June 14, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
To deepen any relationship requires us to increase our emotional intelligence. Yet it is remarkable how some people get entangled in each other's emotions. This course offers personal insights into your own emotional intelligence and the emotional intelligence of others. Come learn how to recognize emotions and understand what triggers them. 

Instructor: Don Booz is widely recognized for his coaching expertise in the Kansas City area and his ability to help people increase their emotional intelligence. He is a professionally certified coach who teaches people how to develop their emotional intelligence with increased self-awareness. He has mentored and coached CEOs, presidents, directors, managers and staff in a variety of academic and healthcare settings. Don coaches individuals on how to make a difference in this somewhat contentious time. He is a trainer, keynote speaker, workshop presenter and author.

July 16-30, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Energy has been an essential need of mankind from ancient times to the present, from the use of peat to nuclear power. However, we must deal with the fact that sources are where nature put them. Each type of energy has its positives and negatives and its use as economic and political impact worldwide. Many of these facts are inseparable. We will discuss each type from past or present in their ramifications.

Instructor Bio: Ernest Angino is a retired professor of geology and civil engineering at the University of Kansas. He has spent more than 45 years studying energy resources and Antarctic geochemistry. Among his honors is the Angino Buttress, a mountain range in Antarctic. He has also worked in radiation science that led to the development of the Lithium Fluoride Dosimeter.

Thursday, July 11, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

This class looks at the emergence and transformation of the American health care system as it faced challenges such as shifts in the nature of disease, unequal access to medicine, and escalating medical costs. We'll examine medical and scientific discoveries of the 19th century and study the challenges to organized medicine that began in the 1960s as well as discuss contemporary health care issues.

Instructor Bio: Shirley Hill holds a doctorate degree in sociology and was a professor at the University of Kansas until she retired in 2017. She has written several books and has taught classes in medical sociology, social inequality, and families.

June 5-19, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

While government structures are designed to separate the arenas of politics and administration, nothing substantial gets done without connecting what is politically acceptable and operationally sustainable. In contemporary environments bridging this gap is becoming increasingly challenging. Being aware that politics revolves around four conflicting democratic values and that politics and administration are different mindsets facilitates working the gap.

Instructor Bio: John Nalbandian, professor emeritus, served for eight years on the Lawrence city commission including two terms as mayor. He is former director of the nationally recognized public administration program at KU and has received numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service.

Friday, June 21, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

Kansas is home to Monarch Watch, an education, conservation, and research organization at the University of Kansas. Join us for a conversation with Monarch Watch's new director, Kristen Baum. She will provide an overview of Monarch Watch programs that support the monarch butterfly and share ways to get involved.

Instructor Bio: Kristen Baum is the director of Monarch Watch and senior scientist and professor at the University of Kansas. She has worked with pollinators for more than thirty years. Her research interests focus on the effects of land use and management practices on monarchs and other pollinators.

Thursday, June 27, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person
With the help of an inexpensive app, we can shoot and edit film-quality videos with our smartphones, easily up to the standards of social media, commercial and brand video work, and documentary and narrative film work. Gain the control and capabilities of professional cinematographers and design the look, color, lighting and framing of every single shot in a smartphone film. This course is suitable for aspiring filmmakers, entrepreneurs, video storytellers, social media content creators and content producers. Note: Students will be required to purchase and install the Filmic Pro app on their phones. You can purchase it directly through your mobile device or on your home computer, through either the Google Play Store (Android) or through the App Store (iPhone). 

Instructor: Stephen Knifton is an Emmy-award winning TV news producer, credited for creating and producing engaging and highly rated news programming. Steve moved onto the digital content world and created work for museums, engineers, architects, designers, hospitality + tourism and business development clients. For the past few years, Steve has (remotely) taught video storytelling and smartphone filmmaking at a number of colleges. Steve lived and worked in both New York and Toronto and teaches in both Canada and the U.S.

July 16-30, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions