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OLLI Café Presentations

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OLLI Cafe Fall 2017 Semester Presentations – Fridays from 12:15 to 1:30, Rooms 113-116


September 8 – Laughter Yoga

Elaine Hobart and Leslie Cotton

Laughter promotes physical health and energy by strengthening the immune system and increasing oxygen to the brain. It supports mental health and increases socialization. Studies have shown that laughter and deep breathing promote positive attitudes. As we age, we laugh less – and let’s face it, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

September 15 – A Symphony of Sound: Intro to Classical Music

Dr. Vincent de Luise

What is classical music? Can everyone enjoy it? When did it begin? Who are the famous composers? What is baroque music? How does Johann Sebastian Bach differ from Beethoven? What is romanticism? Serialism? “Modern” music? Is opera classical music? What’s new at the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra? Where is classical music headed? Listen as Dr. de Luise shares his passion and knowledge of music.

September 22 – 3 Women, 3 Roads

Nancy Palmento Schuler

3 Women, 3 Roads is a play that includes three monologues about three different women who moved to the Waterbury area during different times in history for different reasons. Theresa, an Italian immigrant came to Waterbury in 1905; Ruth, a black woman from the South came to Waterbury in 1958; and Junie, a 90-year-old, privileged woman from New York settled in Middlebury. Schuler tells the stories of these brave women, how they faced heartaches, and how they managed to handle them.

September 29 – Heart Healthy Living

Sharon Maxwell and Laurie Figliola

Laurie Figliola and Sharon Maxwell, dieticians who share many years of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics, will talk about how you can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke by following a healthy diet to help control weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Laurie and Sharon will also discuss the importance of stress reduction and physical activity to support “heart healthy living.”

October 6 – Photography and Its Impact to His Life

Timothy Padgett

Padgett’s interest in photography started at the age of 7 when his father bought him a box brownie camera. By the age of 14, he was not only taking photographs but also developing his own photographs. He is now a photography instructor as well as a fashion/model photographer. Come listen to his experiences as a self-taught photographer and how those experiences changed his life.

October 13 – Healthy Living

Doris Hanley

Please join us to learn about the power of whole foods, the pillars of Healthy Living, and whole foods vs. vitamins. Additionally, come learn about growing your own produce — and how this can be easy and fun using modern technology, like hydroponic and aeroponic gardens.

October 20 – Chocolate 101

Carmen Romeo/Fascia’s Chocolate

Chocolate 101 will focus on the science and business of chocolate — from bean to bar and bar to box. The discussion will explain the amazing complexities of this sweet product including its origins, health benefits, and how it turned into a consumer confection. Carmen will share the history of Fascia’s Chocolates with a video tour of the manufacturing techniques.

October 27 – Kelly’s Kids

Kelly Cronin

Kelly’s Kids Inc. is a non-profit youth development program located in Prospect, Connecticut. It is an after school program that stresses respect for others, lessons for life, and appropriate behavior. Using farm animals as a tool, the program helps young people learn empathy, compassion, and responsibility.

November 3 – Exploring Patagonia and Easter Island

Dr. Ira Mickenberg

In January 2017 Ira and his wife Pat toured one of the more exotic areas of the planet, Patagonia, and Easter Island. Come learn about the fascinating details, culture, and historical context of the “gateway to Antarctica,” and the most isolated island in the Pacific. The talk may also include a brief discussion of how the democracies of Argentina and Chile were controlled by populist dictators in our lifetime.

November 10 – Adulthood and Aging

Dr. Laura Donorfio

For the third year in a row, Dr. Laura Donorfio (Associate Professor – Human Development and Family Studies) has teamed up with OLLI in leading a one-of-a-kind intergenerational service learning opportunity. Throughout the semester, nearly 40 UConn undergraduate students will be actively engaged, in various capacities, with OLLI members. Come join us for a fascinating presentation, featuring students’ findings and reflections on their involvement with OLLI!


Bring your lunch and we will provide coffee and tea! OLLI Cafe presentations are open to all OLLI members. These are not courses, and cost no additional charge – OLLI Cafe is one of the benefits of your annual membership. Pre-registration IS required. The weekly event features a guest speaker followed by a short Q&A session.