This Week at OLLI – January 29, 2024

RHODY OUTPOST– We are sad to report that our collection bin was empty last week. Approximately 90 students visit the pantry every week and depend on our donations! The students are back on campus and we need your help! Donations can be dropped off in the OLLI office. Click here to view the updated Winter wish list. High demand items include Raisins and dried fruit, nuts and seeds, crackers, and cookies.

CLASS SPOTLIGHTRegister online or call 401-874-4197

Food: Ordinary, Amazing, Surprising, 3 Sessions on Zoom with Stephenie Slahor, starting February 26. 3:00PM-4:30PM

We must eat to survive, but food represents much more to us. As we discuss food groups and varieties we like, love, savor (and even hate!), we’ll explore the world of food and food safety, food quality, and controversies and questions such as to microwave or not?, rock salt vs. sea salt?, herbs, and much more, including a section about what’s best for pets.

Stephenie Slahor holds a Ph.D. in administration and J.D. from Western State University College of Law. Retired from a law practice and university teaching, she now creates courses in the natural sciences, unique and interesting places in the world, and educational general interest topics that are informational and enjoyable for OLLI members around the country.


DIY Notecards, 1 Session with Kara Marziali on Wednesday, January 31, from 10:00AM-12:00PM Click to register or call 401-874-4197. 

Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as an artist or painter, Kara Marziali will help you create six note cards for all occasions. Participants will paint three different designs on blank cards so a personal message can be written inside. Your friends and family will love the handmade touch and the cards suitable for framing! All materials will be supplied, and students will receive a kit designed especially for this class. $10 to be paid to the instructor the day of class.

Kara Marziali holds a B.F.A. in theater arts from Emerson College and is a certified Ageless Grace® educator. As a dedicated patron of the arts, she is involved in many creative endeavors including writing, painting, crafting, and performing. Kara’s children’s book, Kara Koala and Her Kaleidoscope of Feelings, published in 2020, is now accompanied by an activity book and journal. For the OLLI at URI, Kara’s most recent offering was From Tom to Tennessee: Autobiographical Elements in The Glass Menagerie and DIY Watercolor Notecards.


There are 5 openings in the Grenache: The Unlikely Hero in the Wine World class. The class meets at the Coast Guard House on Thursday, Feb 22, at 3:00PM. Click here for all the details and to register or call the office at 401-874-4197. 

New Zealand may have put new world sauvignon blanc on the map, but there is more to offer from this isolated region. The region is producing, fuller bodied red wines, light to fuller bodied white wines, and sparkling wines. We will discuss and taste some of these wines and how New Zealand is able to produce a range of styles.

Elisa Wybraniec is a graduate of URI with a B.S. in finance. She holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, is a certified sommelier, and belongs to the Society of Wine Educators. She has served as adjunct faculty at Johnson & Wales and contributes occasionally to the Rhode Island Beverage Journal. Elisa also worked in Napa Valley for the talented winemaker Alan Viader of Viader Winery in 2018, as well as boutique winery Kosta Browne in Sonoma in 2019. She is now full-time wine director/sommelier at the Coast Guard House Restaurant in Narragansett. For the OLLI at URI she has given presentations about wines from all over the world.



  • 1:00PM Building a Resilient Brain as We Age
  • 1:00PM Native People of the Southeast


  • 10:00AM Healthy Eating Made Simple
  • 11:30AM Three Chords & the Truth (1st Session)
  • 1:00PM Rhode Island Towns and Villages
  • 1:30PM Film Noir II


  • 10:00AM DIY Watercolor Notecards
  • 10:00AM Democracy (1st Session)
  • 11:00AM Fabulous Fingers (URI Keyboard Lab)
  • 12:30PM Bowling
  • 1:00PM Hiking Group
  • 1:00PM The Historic Armories of Rhode Island
  • 3:00Pm Button Up: Get Your Personal Affairs in Order (Zoom)


  • 9:00AM Let’s Skate @ Boss Arena
  • 10:00AM Democracy- (2nd Session)
  • 10:00AM Tech Committee (Zoom)
  • 10:00AM Pirates, Privateers & Buccaneers of RI (rescheduled)
  • 11:00AM Current Events Group
  • 1:00PM Mahjong
  • 1:00PM What Lies Beyond the Olive Tree?
  • 3:00PM World in an Uproar


  • 10:00AM Photo Friday (Zoom)
  • 1:00PM Writers Group (Zoom)
  • 1:00PM Take a Breath

CYBER SENIORS IS BACK! We have two new students joining us this week! Stop by and welcome both Paul and Flora. (Click names to view a short intro video). The students will be in the lobby during the following days/times. OLLI members can stop by and get help with all of their technology needs. 

Cyber Senior Drop in Hours for our Winter and spring semesters:

  • Mondays, 9:30AM-11:30AM
  • Tuesdays, 9:30AM-11:30AM
  • Thursdays, 2:00PM-4:00PM
  • Fridays, 9:30AM-11:30AM

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Proposals for summer semester are due by January 30. Please fill out a course proposal online. The Curriculum committee will review all proposals on February 8. If you have any questions, please contact Beth Desrosiers (401-874-4197).


The American Band will present a concert on February 4th at 3pm in The Fine Arts Center Recital Hall of the University of Rhode Island. The band, led by Dr. Brian Cardany, will play pieces in celebration of Black History Month. Composers featured include Katahj Copley, Joseph Bologne, William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Dwayne Milburn, James Reese Europe, George Walker, Florence Price, Omar Thomas, and Scott Joplin & Louis Chauvin. Senior tickets are $10 each. Click for more information and to register. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour before the concert begins.

TECH TALK, Thursday, Feb 22, on Zoom- At the February Tech Talk we will be discussing Accessibility Features on Your phone or tablet. Discover what your device can do for you! You can use these helpful tools to help you in the areas of vision, audio and mobility. Join us on Zoom and find out about the features that can assist you. Register online or call the office at 40-874-4197.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SPEAKER SERIES, Thursday, February 8, 2023  at 12:00 p.m. ET via Zoom Featuring Elaine Meyer, M.A.’87, Ph.D.’90, Senior Attending Psychologist, Boston Children’s Hospital; Faculty, Center for Bioethics, Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School Click to read more and to register.


In March, OLLI at Berkshire Community College is running a series on 21st Century Medicine on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET with a different speaker each week – Click the link for more information.

Also, Steve Vladeck from UT Law is giving a free talk on his book on the Supreme Court Shadow Docket, and more info is here: (Monday, February 5, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern)

READING ACROSS RI 2024– Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s One Book, One State community is encouraging Rhode Islanders to read Solito, by Javier Zamora. In his memoir, the young, acclaimed poet tells the inspiring story of his migration at the age of nine from El Salvador to the United States. Named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, NPR, and other literary publications, Solito is a story about bravery, hope, and family. Reading Across Rhode Island will kick off a year of reading and discussing Solito at the Rhode Island State House on February 3, from 2:00pm to 4:00 pm. All are welcome, but everyone must register. Reading Across RI’s  Honorary Chair Teddi Jallow, Education Chair Maureen Nagle, and Chair Amy VanderWeele will provide an engaging introduction to the book.

You can register for the event at The author, Javier Zamora, is coming to Rhode Island on April 11. Registration for this event will open in March at the same website.

NEW YEAR, NEW HOBBIES FOR BRAIN HEALTH AND HAPPINESS  As you’re setting out your goals for 2024, consider what you can add to that list to support your brain health, as well as your overall health. While resolutions can sometimes feel daunting or even futile, adopting a discovery mindset can make all the difference.  You can find free online classes, workshops, and other resources to help you discover new interests, hobbies, and healthy habits on the “Get Set Up” website, courtesy of the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging. The site covers everything from fitness and cooking to art, technology, travel, and more. Check it out and start discovering your next great interest at

CONNECTING IN THE GARDEN, GROWING TOGETHER AGAIN This year’s Rhode Island Garden Symposium, the first since the pandemic, will feature prolific garden writers, expert speakers, educational exhibitors, and a vendor marketplace. Hosted by the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program and designed for gardeners of all abilities, the event aims to inspire gardeners to take their gardens to the next level or start one for the very first time. Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Road, Kingston R.I. Click to read all the details and to register.