Course Description

Symposia is an established OLLI favorite, and the fall term promises to live up to the tradition. Once again, we bring you a broad array of professionals from a variety of interesting fields. This is your opportunity to learn about their work. Join us. | Lecture + Q&A; Viewing videos.


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Section Title
Symposia: Excursions & Diversions
Online - Zoom
1:30PM to 2:45PM
Sep 15, 2020 to Nov 17, 2020
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Please note: We are pleased to announce these lectures for the Fall 2020 term, but bear in mind that the program is subject to change due to unanticipated changes in the presenters’ schedules.

Sept 15: Jerry Sander, LCSW, with clients nationwide, will be talking with us about “gray divorce” and why it happens, even though it might be expected that people our age would treasure and need each other. Facilitated by Mike Smith.

Sept 22: Dr. Clinton Boyd Jr., postdoctoral associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, Duke University, will present “Durham’s Black Wall Street: Finding Freedom through Entrepreneurship.” Facilitated by Jim Hollowood.

Sept 29: Dr. Cynthia Powell, MD, medical geneticist and professor of pediatrics and genetics at UNC, will give a talk titled “Babies and Genomic Screening.” In 2014, the director of the US National Institutes of Health predicted that all newborns would have their genomes sequenced at birth, setting the stage for a lifetime of medical care and self-directed preventive actions utilizing personalized medicine. We are now at a time when this is possible, but should we be doing it? The benefits and risks will be discussed in this presentation. Facilitated by Diane McGrath.

Oct 6: Kathleen Cody, executive director of American Bone Health; Margaret Chesson, PT; and Paul Moore, PhD, RD, will talk about the importance of physical exercise, nutrition, and sleep as we age. Facilitated by Mike Smith.

Oct 13: William Sandifer, RDU Airport Authority’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, will brief us on how the airport is coping with the challenges facing it today and the changes expected in the next few years. People who write strategic plans talk about their plans being “overtaken by events,” and that happened at RDU. The demands on RDU grew much faster than planned for, only to have the airport suffer a serious decline in services and income due to the pandemic. Facilitated by Mike Smith.

Oct 20: Dan Reichart, professor of astronomy at UNC-Chapel Hill, will be taking us on a tour of the outer planets of the sun. Professor Reichart was a speaker in Symposia’s first semester in 2006, and he’s been a favorite ever since. Facilitated by Mike Smith.

Oct 27: Janet Shaffer, licensed acupuncturist at Duke Integrative Medicine, will discuss the emerging role of acupuncture in our health care system. Facilitated by Mike Smith.

Nov 3: On Election Day, Jim Hollowood, a Symposia coordinator, will examine four presidential voting systems, including the one currently used. Suggested homework will be e-mailed prior to the session. The participants will be asked to vote using Zoom during the session.

Nov 10: Joshua Vasquez is a licensed massage therapist at UNC Wellness Center in Cary. This presentation will explore massage therapy as a healing modality, highlighting benefits, applications, and some techniques that may be used without a therapist. He will discuss some misunderstandings to help bring clarity to this alternative medicine, and some of the best practices to begin a massage regime. He will make sure you have all the information necessary to set about integrating this healing art into your life. Facilitated by Diane McGrath.

Nov 17: Dr. Deondra Rose, assistant professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke, will present analysis and comment on how women candidates performed in the 2020 elections. Her talk will depend on the electoral results, and she may be assisted by others who study election activities. Facilitated by Jim Hollowood.