Special deal for Retired Faculty Association members, and guests

Retired Faculty (and guests) may sign up for a two-part Spring 2018 OLLI course being held over breakfast at the Mason Club (in the Pilot House), next to the Rappahanock Parking deck.  The only cost for part 1 or part 2 (3 sessions each) is that for the three breakfasts ($33).  Come and have your breakfast at 9:00 AM before the lectures begin at 9:30.  In order to sign up,  Mail a check to the OLLI registrar Shannon Morrow together with a completed registration form (below),  no later than a week before each part begins  — but they may fill up!  OLLI can supply a parking pass if you do not have one.  The description of each part of the course can be found at the end of this registration form.

Registration form for F90X Mason Faculty Club Series

Name: _________________________ E-mail: _________________________ Tel: _________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________________

Emergency contact: ________________________ Phone________________ Relation: _________

Part 1 ____      Part 2 ____    Both parts ____  Need parking pass ____

Enclose a check for $33 or $66 made out to OLLI at George Mason University, and mail it with the above completed form to:  OLLI at GMU, 4210 Roberts Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032-1028.  If you have any questions contact Sharon Morrow at smorrow4@gmu.edu or 703-503-3384


Part 1: Mon, 9:30-11:00, March 26, April 2, April 9

March 26, I Survived: My Name Is Yitzkhak , Harry A. Butowsky

When the Second World War began in 1939, more than 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland. By 1945, 90 percent of them would be dead.  I Survived: My Name Is Yitzkhak presents the remarkable story of one man who made it out alive.  Born in 1912, Yitzkhak (Isadore) Neiman began life as a handyman’s son in the rural village of Czuczewicze, on the eastern border of Poland. The town’s Jewish community and gentile farmers lived together in relative harmony until the war came to them in 1941. One year later, almost every member of the Neiman family would be dead, and only Yitzkhak’s conscription into the Russian Army would save his life.  Interviewed by Dr. Harry Butowsky in the 1970s, Mr. Neiman narrates his service in two armies, imprisonment in a Soviet work camp, and escape to the United States in stunning, heartbreaking detail. At every turn Mr. Neiman’s memories reveal the struggles, ingenuities, and small kindnesses of everyday life under total war as he crisscrosses borders, battles hunger, and escapes violence.  I Survived represents a unique and invaluable addition to the oral history of World War II and to the great wealth of stories that let us know and honor the grit, determination, and intelligence of regular people in extraordinary circumstances.

Harry A. Butowsky retired in 2012 from the National Park Service in Washington D.C. where he worked as an historian and manager for the National Park Service History e-Library web site. He is the author of World War II in the Pacific National Historic Landmark Study, six other Landmark Studies as well as sixty articles on military, labor, science and constitutional history. Dr. Butowsky teaches History of World War I and World War II at George Mason University. His Ph.D. is from Univ. of Illinois.

April 2, The Economic and Social Effects of the Black Death, Noel Johnson

Between 1347 and 1352, approximately 40% of the population of Europe was killed by the bacterial epidemic known as the Black Death. This shock had profound effects on the economy and political and social institutions more generally. This course will focus on two of these impacts: the massive scapegoating and persecution of Jews that accompanied the Black Death and the long-run effects of the demographic shock on the urban network.

Noel Johnson is an economic historian in the Economics Department at George Mason University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center and a faculty member in the Center for the Study of Public Choice. His research focuses on the historical origins of development in Late Medieval and Early-Modern Europe. Most recently, he has been writing on the economic and social impacts of the Black Death (1347-1352). He also just finished a book manuscript with Mark Koyama on “Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom” to be published by Cambridge University Press in Summer 2018.

April 9, Facing the Dragon: Learning about Aging from Beowulf, Joyce P. Johnson

He was young, handsome, charismatic. Then he was mature, successful, respected. And then one day, he wasn’t. With his life goals accomplished, there was no future to build towards. People thought he had retired or even died, his accomplishments fading into the past. Young people stopped listening to him. His family died or disappeared. All alone, he faced an evil dragon and with it, the specter of pain, disability, and tortured death—the embodiment of the ignominious fate that every aging person dreads. Across 2,000 years, this intense poem dramatizes the major issues confronting senior citizens in any era. Each dilemma leaps into sharp relief until the reader longs to know how Beowulf—and we, his audience–will overcome his fate even as he inevitably meets it.  IMPORTANT NOTE: No knowledge of Anglo-Saxon or the poem is required for this session. Seamus Heaney’s acclaimed translation, vivid photos and an avid instructor combine to provide all that is needed.

Joyce Johnston was trained as a Medievalist who reads Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse and Medieval French. While the English Department at George Mason does not have such a position available, the love lives on. These days, she specializes in online civility, digital intellectual property and advanced researched writing, but has never ceased to marvel at the intensity and excitement of early epics.

F90X Mason Faculty Club Series, Part 2: Mon, 9:30-11:00, April 23, Apr 30, May 7


April 23, The Rise of the Internet of Things, Christine Pommerening

Unmanned drones and autonomous vehicles, smart meters and artificial intelligence: the next generation of so-called cyber-physical systems has arrived, and many expect it will change the way we live and work in the 21st century just as fundamentally as computers did in the 20th century. This seminar will look at the application and implication of these systems for health care, energy, transportation, and communication.

Christine Pommerening has taught at George Mason University since 2004. Her areas of expertise include infrastructure and cyber-physical systems security, risk management and resilience, as well as national and international governance. She was a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Infrastructure Protection at the George Mason University School of Law, focusing on public and private sector responses to industrial accidents, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. She is currently a Managing Director at novaturient, a consultancy specializing in organizational change and risk management. Christine Pommerening holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University.

April 30, Cameras We Cannot Picture, Ravi Athale

We live a life that is defined by and captured in photographs and videos. The technologies for capturing photographs and videos have undergone a profound revolution in the past 20 years. Every significant event in our personal and public life is recorded and instantly shared around the world with profound consequences. In this lecture, I will trace the history of imaging technology over past 1,000 years, outlining various landmark events. Then, I will describe the recent developments that led to the current explosion. Finally, I will speculate what the future will bring.

Ravi Athale holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, San Diego, who has taught from high school to graduate school, and performed research and program management in photonics and imaging. He has worked in government, industrial, and academic institutions. In addition to publishing over 60 research papers, he has co-authored a textbook for high school engineering students, and is co-founder of a company that manufactures novelty products based on holograms. He is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

May 7 Culture and Psychology, Sadia Saleem

Psychology is embedded in a cultural context in which an individual lives. Some things are universal but the way they are arranged and manifested may be due to a combination of factors such as culture, tradition, religion, language and socio-political identity. This presentation highlights the cultural influence in the organization of family and its differential effect on psycho-social and emotional functioning of an individual. This talk will provide a comparative view of individualistic and collectivistic cultures on family functioning and parental practices. It will be based on findings from Pakistan with a comparison with the West.

Sadia Saleem is a Fulbright scholar at George Mason University. She has more than 13 years of teaching and research experience. She has carried out a series of studies on the assessment and measurement of different domains of mental health functioning of school children in Pakistani cultural context including, parent-child relationship, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, resilience,