Thursday Courses

Thank You for Another Great Semester!

We’re thankful you joined us this past spring. These classes or events have already been held, but are kept here to offer you a glimpse of the programming we offer. Each semester’s offerings will vary, so check back soon for next semester’s content.

Microscopy: Learning About Life by Magnifying

Scientists have been exploring our world with microscopes for centuries. Why? What have we learned? We will explore this area of science by teaching you how to use a microscope, how to identify many different species of microorganisms, and finally how electron microscopy works and expands our knowledge.

Instructors: Ben Mattox is a retired high school biology/science teacher who spent most of his career at Talawanda High School. His special interests are birds, plants, microbes, and evolution. Karl Mattox is retired from Miami University where he served in both the Botany Department and as the Dean of the College of Arts and Science. His research interest was the evolution of green algae, and he still has a keen interest in relationships between organisms.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: In person
Location: Oxford, Upham Hall, Hefner Museum, Room 100

Excellence in Photography

We will use the building blocks necessary to create outstanding images, starting with proper settings and framing in camera. You will gain knowledge of how light, color, and composition work together to form an impactful image. See the picture on the screen of your mind, then capture it with your camera.

Instructor: Ernie Martin has enjoyed photography for over 20 years, especially when helping others learn how to improve their work. He favors outdoor photography, wildlife, nature, scenic landscapes, and some still-life subjects. Ernie is a longtime active member of the West Chester Photo Club and is certified as a judge by the Photographic Society of America.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Room 100

Intro to Yoga*

Whether you are new to yoga, semi-experienced, or a dedicated yoga practitioner, this course will suit all who seek to deepen their understanding of the physical, mental, and spiritual practices of yoga. Students will be offered a foundation in yoga postures, breathing techniques, ethics, mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation. Each week explores key concepts to help introduce the student to the practice of yoga in a structured and safe way. The history and benefits of yoga will be shared throughout, allowing students to finish the course feeling confident and uplifted in the understanding of their own yoga practice.

Instructor: Jessica Lohrey is a certified Yoga Therapist and owner of Oxford Community Yoga. She shares yoga as a lifestyle for maintaining physical and emotional balance in our busy modern society.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: In person
Location: Oxford Community Yoga

Genealogy Series

Learn how to trace your family’s history through examining records from the past. Class topics will include an introduction to genealogy; census and vital records genealogy; finding the mother country; cemetery research; and libraries, museums, and archives.

Instructor: Brad Spurlock is the Manager of the Smith Library and Cummins Room for the Lane Libraries. As part of his position, he manages archival collections and conducts history and genealogy research and programming.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: In person
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room

History of 20th Century Folk Music

One of the many charms of this class is that it’s held “old school.” The 45s will be spinning on a record player—remember those? We will start by discussing Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter family. Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and the Weavers will follow. We will continue our walk down music history lane to the early 50s and 60s and discuss the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, and many more.

Instructor: Gary Ruff has enjoyed teaching many classes for ILR and over 50 seminars for OLLI at the University of Dayton. Gary has a collection of over 5,000 records and has seen many of his favorite artists live.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Room 100

An Assortment of Sciences

Science is all around us. See how it’s used today in a variety of ways.

March 30Scientific Discovery for Human FlourishingGregory Crawford, Ph.D., is the 22nd president of Miami University. Crawford began his research career at Xerox PARC and has launched two startup biotechnology companies based on his university research discoveries. He holds 16 U.S. patents and is co-founder of Corum Medical and Myomics. In 2021, President Crawford was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

April 6Symphony of SwitchesDr. Renate Crawford has served as Miami University Ambassador and as a faculty member in the Department of Physics since she and President Crawford joined Miami University in 2016. Renate’s academic career includes leadership roles at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Saint Mary’s College, and the University of Notre Dame. She has nearly 30 scientific and teaching publications and is co-inventor on three U.S. patents.

April 13Modeling the Future: The National Weather Service and the Evolution of Atmospheric ModelingKristen Cassady has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, for eight years. Before joining the NWS, she studied meteorology at St. Louis University and at the University of Oklahoma.

April 20Gravitation: From Galileo to EinsteinChristopher Beer was an engineer with Clarke Detroit Diesel and is now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at Miami University. He likes to restore classic American cars.

April 27Laureates: Nobel Prizes in Medicine and PhysiologyMuriel Blaisdell retired from Miami University where she taught interdisciplinary studies and history. She has taught many courses for ILR on the history of science.

Coordinator: Jerry Riesenberg retired from Procter & Gamble after 35 years in analytical chemistry and information technology.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Oxford, Boyd Hall, Room 228

Arthritis: What Is It? Do I Have It? What Can I Do?

Arthritis is often thought to be the pain that develops in our hands and legs as we grow older and our joints wear down. However, it can be a little more complicated than that. Over 50 million people in the U.S. are affected by arthritis, which can take more than 100 forms. Presented by a representative from the Arthritis Foundation, this class will cover several of the more common forms of arthritis, where to go for help, and what the Arthritis Foundation is currently working on in Ohio. All participants will receive a tip sheet to help them find resources and more information through the Arthritis Foundation and other resources.

Instructor: David Rhoad is a longtime healthcare marketing professional who joined the Arthritis Foundation with a passion for helping connect those suffering with arthritis to available resources.

1 Thursday: March 30; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, Chesterwood Village, Brain and Body Shop Wellness Room

E.A.R.N. the Right to a Healthier Lifestyle

As mature adults, how do we honor our bodies while countering the effects of aging? Doug Dunlap provides practical steps and strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Instructor: Doug Dunlap is the Chaplain and Wellness Director at Chesterwood Village. He is also a medical exercise instructor at the East Butler YMCA. Doug is a certified Medical Exercise Specialist and is also certified in the areas of arthritis, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease exercise programming.

1 Thursday: April 6; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, Chesterwood Village, Brain and Body Shop Wellness Room

Prevalent Pernicious Pestilences: HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

We will discuss HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, three diseases that have been causing problems throughout the world for many years and are poised to continue to impact our society.

Instructor: John Stevenson, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, retired from Miami University in 2015 after 41 years of teaching and research focused on immunology and infectious diseases.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Art Walks*

There’s plenty of art in Oxford available for everyone to enjoy. We will take five walking routes to various sites where we will look at public art, outdoor sculpture, current exhibitions, and art in buildings that are open to the public. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for one-mile walks outdoors as we may be standing on uneven or hilly terrain when viewing art. For our first session, we will meet at Oxford Community Arts Center, where the locations of the following sessions will be revealed.

Instructor: Edna Carter Southard is the Emerita Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum (formerly Miami University Art Museum) and served on Oxford’s City Council for eight years. She is the City’s sponsoring founder and member of the Public Arts Commission of Oxford (PACO) which brings art to Oxford’s public spaces. She is an art historian and museum professional who publishes and lectures widely.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 12:30–1:45 pm
Format: In person
Location: Oxford Community Arts Center

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles’s novel about Alexander Rostov, formerly a Count, now a “former person,” has touched the hearts of many readers. How does Sasha create a new family in house arrest and live a life of fulfillment? We will read a part each week and discuss what we learn, finding answers to questions we have as we go along. Read the front matter and Book One before the first class meeting.

Class text: Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow, Penguin Random House, 2019, ISBN-13: 978-0143110439

Instructor: Ken Grabach is a retired librarian from Miami University. As a lifelong reader, he enjoys exploring the world through books.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Egypt in the Eyes of Its Lovers III

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt? Did you dream of visiting Egypt as a child? Your dream will come true as we virtually explore the ancient land of Egypt and learn its geography, history, culture, and people. We will travel through nearly 5000 years to the settlement of the Nile, the creation of the first state, and the middle and late pharaonic kingdoms. We will study Egypt’s interactions with Africa and the Middle East, the Hellenic and Roman times, the Christian Era, Islamic times, and how these eras have shaped modern Egypt. NOTE: This class is a continuation of Parts I and II, offered last year, but those classes are not a prerequisite for this one.

Instructor: Noha Eyada graduated as a medical doctor in Egypt specializing in oncology and hematology, and she currently works at Hoxworth Blood Donation Centers through the University of Cincinnati.

5 Thursdays: April 6–May 4; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Room 128
NOTE: Late start date

A Hankering for Tom

Tom Hanks is one of the most popular and versatile actors in Hollywood, excelling both in drama and comedy. In our three-hour class, we will watch five of Hanks’s movies from earliest to latest and then discuss their themes, characterizations, direction, acting, set design, and cinematography. Films include Big; Joe Versus the Volcano; Saving Mr. Banks; The Road to Perdition; and News of the World. These films also feature great actors such as Meg Ryan, Paul Newman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Perkins, and Jude Law.

Instructor: Doug Iden is an avid theatergoer and movie buff with an extensive collection of films and original Broadway musical scores. He also is a critic for the League of Cincinnati Theaters (LCT).

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 2:15–5:15 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, Chesterwood Village, Monarch Theatre

Seniors Travel the World

Join us for five weeks of travel memories. Richard Daniels reprises his “A Senior Cruises the Western Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean Seas” with stories about many lesser-known sites as well as some of the more famous. Paul Allen takes us on a trip around the “Emerald Isle,” and Pat Sidley guides us through the WWII history of Europe and highlights of Australia.

Instructors: Rich Daniels served as President/CEO of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital for over 28 years before retirement in 2008. Paul Allen is a member of the ILR Board of Directors, Curriculum Committee, and Tech Team. He is a retired U.S. Navy officer and Ohio civil servant who remains actively engaged in public and political issues. Pat Sidley is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital Foundation, a docent at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, and a past President of the Oxford Rotary Club. He is the treasurer of ILR’s Board and a member of other Miami advisory boards.

5 Thursdays: March 30–April 27; 4–5:15 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: Oxford, Boyd Hall, Room 228