Rutland Lecture Series

Fall 2016

The Rutland Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute exists to promote continuing education for area residents aged fifty and over. Started in 2003 as an affiliate of the University of Vermont with a startup grant from the Osher Foundation, we are an all–volunteer, nonprofit organization.

We are grateful to the Rutland Recreation and Parks Department and to the volunteers who make this program possible.

Time and Place
Each of the twelve presentations in this Fall 2016 term will be from 1:30 to 3:00 PM on a Friday afternoon at the Godnick Adult Center, 1 Deer Street (off Woodstock Avenue) in Rutland. For directions to the Godnick Center or for program information, call 446-2041or 492-2300.

What If It Snows?
In the event of a severe winter storm or storm warning, we will follow the lead of the Rutland High School.  If RHS closes for the day (not simply a delayed opening), we will cancel our program for that day.  RHS closings are announced on local radio and TV and

This Political Season

September 2
Civility in Politics
James H. Douglas, former Governor of Vermont and currently Executive in Residence at Middlebury College, will look at the decline in civil discourse, which he attributes to a rise in political polarization. The fighting between parties has devolved into the fighting within parties. Is there any hope?

The speaker will offer his perspective based on his decades in public service.

September 9
Dirty Tricks: Media Manipulation During Elections
Traci Griffith, Chair, Associate Professor at St. Michael’s College in the Department of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts, will take on the controversial topic of election “dirty tricks”.  She will explore the secret techniques employed by campaigns to sway voters and influence opinions. As a member of the national and Vermont American Civil Liberties Union, she brings her views on this topic to our audience.

September 16
The Roots of the American Political System
Lars Nielsen, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History at Norwich University, will address how the founders struggled with many of the same issues as present leaders and voters. He will look at the transformation of the republic through seminal events and the crucible of social struggle, which he hopes will lead to the political literacy required for a healthy and dynamic republic.

September 23
Vermont Politics: 2016
Eric L. Davis is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Middlebury College and has lectured extensively on political developments to audiences all over Vermont. He will discuss the campaigns for the major state offices, the impact of the national presidential scene on Vermont, and the issues that will face the new governor and legislature in 2017, including state finances, economic development and health care.


Topics of the Day

September 30
The Challenge of Combining Work and Family
Both parents are in the workforce in some 70% of Vermont families.  The shortage of childcare, the lack of paid family leave, and a livable income are among the issues that have been on Gov. Madeleine Kunin’s agenda throughout and following her political career.  She will speak about the progress made to improve the quality of life for these working families.

October 7
Customs and Borders: Protecting Our Homeland 24/7
Elizabeth A. Carter serves as the Assistant Director, Trusted Traveler Vetting Center of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security, in Williston, VT.  She will speak on the CBP’s role of protecting the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror, and enforcing US laws while fostering our nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel.

October 14
We Are One Rutland
Rutland’s Dr. Alis Headlam is an influential and compassionate promoter of racial unity and the oneness of humankind, believing that until we come together to understand the dynamics of our differences and to recognize our common traits, we will remain a divided community and world.  She will share stories and photos of a book project about Rutland’s rich diversity.

October 21
Rutland’s Police Force at Work
Meet Rutland’s Chief of Police, Brian A. Kilcullen.  He has spent 22 years in law enforcement with the Schenectady Police Dept., its chief from 2013 to 2015.  Besides crime and traffic safety, he will explain his department’s progress in dealing with heroin, a major issue which drives a significant amount of property crime, as well as its Fair and Impartial Policing Policy to address racial profiling, the importance of transparency, and building community partnerships and confidence.


October 28
Trekking to the Top of the World
A personal account of the journey to Mount Everest base camp just prior to the 2015 Nepal earthquake, with Remarkably Human Radio host Roderick Russell.  Learn about the people, history and reality of trekking in the region through Mr. Russell’s personal tales of joy, beauty, hardship and triumph, with plenty of stunning pictures to illustrate.  A high-altitude adventure to remember.

November 4
WOOF! Dog Communication in the Human World
Is a yawn always just a yawn?  Can a growl actually be a good thing?  Is a tail wag always a friendly invitation?  This fun, interactive multi-media presentation given by Deb Helfrich, founder of Gold Star Dog Training and a therapy dog handler for 20 years, will reveal some common dog-human misunderstandings, demystify dog communication, and explore how we can all live safely and happily together.

November 11
Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense
Alfred Hitchcock’s career spanned forty years and many film eras.  Through twelve film clips, including Rebecca, Notorious, and Rear Window, film historian Rick Winston (formerly with the Savoy Theatre in Montpelier)will speak of the evolution of Hitchcock’s craft, an exploration of his favorite themes and motifs, and his work with collaborators.

November 18
Vermont’s Musical Ladies
Linda Radtke (in full period dress), Counterpoint singer and host of VPR’s Choral Hour, with accompanist Arthur Zorn, will present a program of sheet music from Barre’s Vermont History Center.  These songs, composed by Vermont women, reflect the traditions of parlor songs, women’s club music contests, patriotism, temperance, abolition, and other social reform efforts.

Membership Information

Purchase of a $40 membership card entitles you to attend all twelve sessions during the Fall 2016 term.

Members also may attend (at no additional charge) Elder Education Enrichment programs in South Burlington;  Osher programs at any of seven other Vermont sites: Brattleboro, Central Vermont (Montpelier/Barre), Lamoille Valley (Stowe), Newport/Derby/Stanstead,Springfield, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury; and (at a discounted price) the new Osher programs on the UVM campus.

Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 at the door. Reservations are NOT required.

Memberships may be purchased at the door or by mail. Please arrive early so our program can start on time.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure and mail with your $40 check (made out to UVM) to:

     UVM OLLI Registration Office

     460 South Prospect Street

     Burlington, VT 05401

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





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