Mark your calendars for the Spring 2021 term of the Lifelong Learning Institute, with online classes to begin on March 15!

Courses are taught by volunteers, including professors, practitioners and others in a non-competitive environment, with each class meeting for approximately two hours. Join the community of lifelong learners 55 and older for the exciting classes presented below.

Registration for the Spring 2021 term has closed.  Please check back for information on the Fall 2021 term and be sure to join our email list to be kept up-to-date.

We look forward to seeing you this spring!

The Long Road to Health Care Reform

Becky Cornett, Ph.D., community volunteer leader and former health care administrator, The Ohio State University

Mondays (March 15, 22, 29, April 5) from 1-3 p.m. 

This 4-part course will be a consumer-oriented introduction and overview of health care reform. The need for health care reform is described well by the National Institute of Health Policy: “Healthcare reform refers to a process of changing the system and how it works to make it better for all Americans. Healthcare reform is not something that can happen overnight or that will be easy.” Quality, cost, accessibility, and waste are pressing issues that are important for all of us to understand. Session topics are: Why We Need Health Care Reform: An Overview; What is Value in Health Care?; Patient-Centered Care: The Consumer Movement; and Trends and Issues: Health and Health Care in 2030 and Beyond.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Delaware County Master Gardeners

Tuesdays (March 16, 23, 30, April 6) from 10 a.m. - noon 

Looking for ideas, information and inspiration for spring gardening? Delaware County Master Gardeners will offer a series of gardening topics that include native plants, weed identification, herbs, and bees and other pollinators. The sessions are designed for ‘green thumb’ beginners to seasoned gardeners.

  • Gardening with Native Plants by Terri Litchfield, Delaware County Master Gardener
    Tuesday, March 16
    Many gardeners are utilizing native plants because of their importance in creating and maintaining healthy local ecosystems, and because they are reliable and resilient. Native plants are generally considered to be those which occurred in a region prior to European settlement. The plants that evolved in a location are an integral part of a habitat which supports a wide array of wildlife, including native insects and birds. This session focuses on the value of gardening with native plants, the amazing diversity of habitats present in Ohio, and the importance of wildlife corridors.  Resources for home gardeners and an example of a home landscape conversion to mostly native plants will equip and inspire.
  • Garden of Weedin’ by Nancy Reynolds, Delaware County Master Gardener
    Tuesday, March 23
    The sun comes out, the snow melts and you take that first stroll through the yard.  WHAT?!  Where did all these weeds come from?!  And, what’s a gardener to do?  This program will cover the most prominent early spring weeds and a battle plan for fighting back.
  • Herbs by Susan Liechty, Delaware County Master Gardener
    Tuesday, March 30
    Herbs have many benefits in all our lives through medicinal, crafting, garden design and of course culinary.  Discover the top 12 herbs, how to grow, how to use and the many benefits they offer.  Learn about herbs just in time for spring planting.
  • Bees and Other Pollinators by Randy Litchfield, President, Delaware County Master Gardener Association
    Tuesday, April 6
    Plants rely on many partners in the task of moving pollen around to propagate themselves. We may often think of industrious honey bees, which are non-native, doing this job. However, pollinators include our native solitary bees, wasps, flies, moths, butterflies, ants, and birds. The food chain and life itself on Earth relies on the partnership of plants and pollinators. This class will describe plant pollination strategies, a diversity of Ohio pollinators, and ways to support pollinators in our gardens and landscapes.

Become a Citizen Scientist!

Caroline Nickerson, Program Manager, SciStarter

Wednesdays (March 17, April 14) from 10 a.m. - noon

Join other curious and concerned citizens in exploring a topic of interest while advancing scientific research.  Organized by SciStarter, a non-profit organization that directs connections between thousands of scientists/project leaders and millions of potential citizen scientists, participants will join in collaboration with scientists on identified projects.  Activities can include, depending on your selected project, collecting data by taking photos of clouds or streams, documenting changes in nature, using smartphone sensors to help scientists monitor water and air quality or playing games to help advance health and medical research – with many activities done from home. The two sessions include an introduction to citizen science, celebration of Citizen Science Month 2021 in April, selection of projects and follow-up to discuss experiences with the chosen projects.  In the weeks the class doesn’t formally meet, participants will be involved with their selected project. For most, the citizen scientist will receive a project update from the relevant scientist/project leader. 

LLI Potpourri

A variety of topics are offered to explore.

Wednesdays (March 24, 31, April 7, 21) from 10 a.m. - noon

  • Solar Power in Ohio and Renewable Energy Issues by David Carpenter, Solar Advocate, 20-Year Solar Home Owner, former physics educator, research engineer, and 2016-2017 Delaware County Solar Co-op Local Coordinator
    Wednesday, March 24
    What are the current opportunities and obstacles for renewable energy in Ohio? Are there benefits to having lots of small “distributed” power generators instead of large utility-scale generators? When are solar panels right for an Ohio home or business?
  • Cityscape/Landscape Exhibit Tour at the Ross Art Museum by Erin Fletcher, Director, Ross Art Museum
    Wednesday, March 31
    Join Director Erin Fletcher on a tour of the two current exhibits at the Ross Art Museum. PatternDrift: Cityscape is a mid-career retrospective by distinguished alumni artist Amze Emmons '96, where the city forms the background and context for the works. Landscape through the Lens: Responses to William Henry Jackson brings four contemporary photographers—Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, Zig Jackson, and Martina Lopez--into conversation with the work of 19th-century landscape photographer William Henry Jackson. Through this lens, it examines the legacy of photography in relation to the development of the American West.
  • The Ohio Literary Trail by Betty Weibel, Ohioana Library Board of Trustees, and Morgan Peters, Ohioana Library Program Coordinator
    Wednesday, April 7
    Discover the state’s rich literary landscape through landmark destinations, historical markers that recognize literary achievements and book festivals dedicated to readers and writers. Organized by the state’s five geographic regions, join us for a virtual tour of the Ohio Literary Trail. You may even be inspired to plan your own self-guided road trip and discover literary treasures throughout Ohio. The Ohio Literary Trail, presented by the Ohioana Library Association, shines a spotlight on Ohio’s role in shaping culture and literature worldwide.
  • Pet Tales by Jana Cassidy, Executive Director, Humane Society of Delaware County and LLI audience (your animals are invited!)
    Wednesday, April 21
    We love our animals with several of them making appearances during our online LLI classes.  This session will explore pet adoption, finding the right pet for you, common pet issues, and programs and volunteer opportunities available through the Humane Society of Delaware County.  Your stories about current, childhood, and unusual pets are welcome and not limited to only cats and dogs.  Pets are invited to attend!

Strangers in a Strange Land: Immigrants and Refugees

Van Young, historian, President of Griswold History Study Group, Worthington; Bob Gitter, Professor of Economics, Ohio Wesleyan University; Richelle Schrock, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Ohio Wesleyan University; and Jeff Stewart, Director, Immigrant Workers Project – Ohio

Wednesdays (March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21) from 1-3:30 p.m. 

With the topic of immigration frequently in the news, this course will address many related aspects including an historical overview; U.S. government statutes and practices such as quotas, naturalization, and green cards; and research on immigration patterns on the local and regional level as well as offer observations and experiences of recent immigrants in Ohio.

The Role of the First Lady

Lisa Meade, Park Ranger, First Ladies National Historic Site

Thursdays (March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22) from 10 a.m. - noon 

What is this uniquely American role of “First Lady” and how did it gain all the responsibilities and expectations it has today? From the very first first ladies who had to make decisions on their roles without previous examples, to progressive first ladies, model wives and secret politicians, this course will explore the multiple and evolving roles of first ladies including emerging expectations and pushing the limits. Ohio’s first ladies will be highlighted including Lucy Webb Hayes, Helen Taft and Florence Harding. A fun fact – Lucy Webb Hayes was Ohio Wesleyan’s first female student.

Healthy U: Chronic Pain Self-Management

Laura Smith, Assistant Administrator, SourcePoint Enrichment Center

Thursdays (March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22) from 1-3:30 p.m.

This interactive, online, six-week workshop provides tools to set your own goals and make step-by-step plans to improve your health, regaining control of the things that matter to you!

Healthy U is for you if you:

  • Have long-term pain or care for someone living with chronic pain.
  • Are looking for better ways to manage pain symptoms.
  • Feel limited in your daily activities.
  • Feel tired, alone, or fearful because of your health or the health of your loved one.

Topics include setting and achieving personal goals; strategies to deal with pain, stress, fatigue, and depression; using physical activity to maintain and improve strength, flexibility, and endurance; how to use medications safely and appropriately; and better ways to talk with your doctor and your family about your pain.

Note: Enrollment is limited to 18 participants.

How to Be an Antiracist – Part 2: Theory into Practice

Jim Mendenhall, OWU ’73, Retired Development Director; Clare Decker, Community Education and Initiatives Manager, SourcePoint; and Community Members

Fridays (March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16) from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

This class looks to build on this past fall’s book discussion of How to Be an Antiracist with further exploration of next steps in addressing racism. Each week will focus on community approaches, drawing in part on current initiatives with attendees encouraged to develop their own action plan. This class welcomes those who attended the fall class as well as those who are joining the class for the first time.  New participants will be provided the syllabus from last fall and are asked to read the chapters identified in the syllabus from How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram Kendi.

Note: Registrants new to the class can acquire a copy of the book either through the Delaware County District Library or a bookstore.

Lifelong Learning Institute Contact Information


Ohio Wesleyan University
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015


Email or call Debbie Lewis at 740-368-3078.