News Briefs

Osher Winter Lecture Series begins Friday, Jan. 5

By Gerrie Russell

The Osher Life Long Learning Institute in Rutland exists to promote continuing education for area residents age 50 and older. It operates under the auspices of the University of Vermont and is run by a volunteer board of directors comprised of local people who work year round to provide topics of interest. The board recently announced the January lectures under the theme “Here’s to Your Health.”

Dr. Robert Hamill, M.D., FAAN, FANA, professor of neurological sciences, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, will begin the series on Friday, Jan. 5, and talk about neuroplasticity, the ability of the nervous system to change and modify as needed.

Genomic Medicine will be the topic on Friday, Jan. 12. Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., PhD, and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Vermont, will explain this emerging medical discipline. In the near future genomic testing for diagnosis and therapy may be common place.

Do you wake up refreshed, ready to face the day, or do you wake up thinking, “How can it possibly be morning”? Deb Brown and Kimberly Dyer from the Rutland Center for Sleep will share the secrets to successfully enjoying a good night’s sleep on Friday, Jan. 19.

The final lecture in this series will address substance addiction including alcohol, opiate, cocaine and marijuana. Addiction is a serious problem in all groups of people and there are several types of treatment groups and intake assessments. Jeremy Ashton, MS, LADC, who is associated with Evergreen Abuse Services in Rutland, will give an overview of how we are exposed and how we treat the addiction that follows.

Fridays in February will focus on Vermont and our ever-changing status. Paul Bierman, UVM Professor, tells how the Interstate Highway System profoundly changed our landscape. Jill Mudgett, a historian, will talk about the relationship between humans and nature throughout the history of Vermont.

“Freaks, Radicals and Hippies: Counterculture in 1970s Vermont” is Amanda Gustin’s specialty. She is the Public Program manager at the Vermont Historical Society and will talk about this decade in Vermont. The last lecture in February will focus on the story of Vermont’s changing political landscape and how we came from being the most Republican state to having a Democratic majority.

March will be devoted to culture and draw from our famous museums. We will learn about Claude Monet from Joan Hoffman. Stephanie Glickman will talk about Rembrandt’s unusual style. The Fleming Museum of Art draws many visitors. Christina Fearon, curator of education and public programs, will take us on a tour. Finally we will learn of the 12 paintings of Andrew Wyeth, selected for the United States Postal Service’s 2017 Forever Stamp series from Katie Wood Kirchhoff.

The OSHER series is presented on Fridays in January, February and March at the Godnick Adult Center, 1 Deer St., Rutland, from 1:3-3 p.m. Admission is $5 for one lecture or $40 for a membership that entitles admission to other Vermont Osher programs such as Brattleboro, Montpelier/ Barre, Stowe, Springfield, St. Albans and St. Johnsbury.

For more information, visit or call 802-422-2921.

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