Brattleboro Lecture Series

Fall 2015 Lectures: Beginning October 5, 2015
The Biology of the Insects & The Movies and Ourselves


Exploring Modern Africa
Presented by Tom Toleno

The series of lectures will examine Africa today, focusing on Malawi as a case study. Malawi is the poorest democracy in the world. It has an unusual history of colonization (by the Scots) and exhibits the common, and complex, issues around politics, economics, and health. The lectures will weave different cultural examples into each presentation.

Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to Noon

  • October 5: An introduction: visiting and living in Africa; with the case of Malawi.
  • October 12: Working in Africa: what you need to know.
  • October 19: Post-colonial Africa.
  • October 26: Religion, Literature, and Culture: how they are integrated into African life.
  • November 2: Music and music teaching in Africa (to be led by music teacher Andrea Matthews).
  • November 9: The changing face of education in Africa, and the lecturer’s work at Mzuzu University.

Tom Toleno has been teaching pyschology and education at Marlboro College since 1972. In 2002 he received a Fullbright grant to work in Malawi, where he became acting head of the education department at Mzuzu University, returning for another year on another Fullbright grant, and contuinung to serve as acting head through 2008. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, and his graduate training at Cornell.


Water and the World

Clean and plentiful water is, beyond doubt, a fundamental requirement of life on Earth, and securing it for human use is a global imperative. In this series of six lectures, six presenters with expertise in different disciplines examine aspects of our use of this essential resource.

Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • October 5: Madeline Gotkowitz provides an overview of fresh-water resources across the globe, with a focus on North America. Madeline has been a research hydrogeologist at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey since 1999.
  • October 12: David Deen on Water law in Vermont and other states, beginning with the Public Trust Doctrine as it applies to water in Vermont. David is a River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council and has served in the Vermont legislature for 27 years.
  • October 19: Bob Engel on the chemistry of water. How does the water molecule take on such various identities as floating ice, evaporative cooling, hurricanes—and Life itself? Bob taught biology at Marlboro College from 1975 to 2013. He earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • October 26: Kim Nace discusses the enormous potential for water and energy savings in separating urine from the waste stream with new sanitary technologies. Kim is a co-director of the Rich Earth Institute. Since 2012 she has been conducting field demonstration trials for urine nutrient reclamation in the first community-scale pilot project in the US.
  • November 2: Carolyn Meub discusses clean water as medicine. She will examine the global water crisis, concentrating on means of eliminating waterborne diseases in rural communities in developing countries. Carolyn is the executive director of Pure Water for the World, Inc., an established nongovernmental organization working in Haiti and Central America.
  • November 9: Joe DeFelice reflects on how the kinetic quality of moving water makes it an ideal subject for the film maker. A founder and director of Riverbank Media, in Dorset, Vermont, he will discuss ways in which the blending of rivers with film can make for a powerful way to relate environmental messages.


Membership Information

Payment of $50 membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all twelve OLLI sessions during spring 2015. Couples are welcome to join as full members at a discounted rate of $80.

Please note our additional level of membership: Payment of $30 partial membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all six OLLI sessions during either the morning or the afternoon. Couples are welcome to join at a discounted rate of $50. Lectures are also open to nonmembers for a fee of $6 per lecture.

Light refreshments will be served at all lectures.

To download your membership form click here.

For membership, complete the form above and send with your $50/$80 full membership fee or $30/$50 partial membership fee (payable to “The University of Vermont”) to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
322 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

For information on cancellations and rescheduling, please listen to WTSA radio (96.7 FM); call (802) 257-8600 or toll-free (866) 889-0042; consult; or call the organizers at (802) 387-5387 or (802) 257-7623. For general information on the Brattleboro OLLI chapter, use the first two numbers above.


The Learning Collaborative is located just north of Brattleboro on Route 5 between Vermont Exits 3 and 4 of Interstate 91. We are 1.8 miles north of the rotary at Exit 3 (Brattleboro) and 4.1 miles south of Exit 4 (Putney). Look for a single-story brick building on the west side of the road. Parking and entry are at the back of the building. Handicapped-accessible parking, ramp, and door are available on the north side of the building.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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As a member-run program, OLLI at UVM relies on the talents, skills, and time of members to support its activities and to keep membership costs affordable.
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This Spring!

Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts
Pompeii Exhibit
& Atwater Market Tour
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
8 am - 5 pm