ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute lecture

Conference offers insight into living an abundant life

By

Heather Beshears

What are the secrets to not only living a long life, but living an abundant life? Six leading scholars will share their insights at “Abundant Aging and Longevity,” an event that features fast-paced, 20-minute presentations on the latest health and well-being topics important to seniors and their families.

Hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), part of ASU's College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the event will be held at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, Feb. 7.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to witness the great minds of ASU scientists and OLLI members who are working together to discover the keys to abundant living and human longevity," says Richard Knopf, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.

“It is a don’t-miss event,” says institute member Bonnie Murphy, who attended the inaugural longevity event last year.

“The presenters were knowledgeable, interesting and clear communicators,” she says. “Personally, I learned more about blood pressure, why certain populations live longer lives than others, and how the body and mind function when mentally or emotionally stressed.”

New member Danielle Broelinckx echoes that sentiment: "The longevity event last year was my first venture in downtown Phoenix, and also my first contact with the OLLI community. Attending the event opened a door of unending learning possibilities in my life. I was hooked.”

This year, Arizona Poet Laureate and ASU Regents’ Professor Alberto Rios will keynote the event.

Other presentations include “The Fish Story” with Carol Johnston, associate director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. Johnston will discuss how both a fish-based and a meat-based diet might protect the aging brain. Karen Anderson, associate professor in the Biodesign Institute, will talk about advances in the detection and treatment of cancer.

Julie Fleury, a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Nelma Shearer, director of the Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence, are partnering to present “Empowering Your Potential for Abundant Living,” an examination of the power of promoting strengths to enhance well-being.

Professor of communications studies Vincent Waldron will also look at promoting physical and mental well-being in his talk, “Forgiveness: A key to health and wellness in later life.”

Waldron, who founded the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute ten years ago, says, “OLLI has become a vibrant community of lifelong learners."

“We are pleased that Dr. Waldron is joining us to celebrate OLLI's ten-year anniversary,” says Knopf. “In addition to the rich history of the program and the many scholars that have shared their expertise with our members, we celebrate the deep sense of community that has developed among our members.”

“Abundant Aging and Longevity” is the institute’s signature annual event complimenting year-round opportunities for older adults to connect with the intellectual, cultural and social resources of ASU. This spring, the institute is offering over 90 classes in a diverse array of areas, including history, art, religion, current events and more.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is part of ASU’s Partnership for Community Development in the School of Community Resources and Development.

“Abundant Aging and Longevity” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 7, at the Nursing and Health Innovation Building II, Auditorium (room 110), 550 N. Third St. in downtown Phoenix. The event costs $10 to attend and requires membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute ($15), which offers low-cost classes and lectures throughout the year. Register online at lifelonglearning.asu.edu or call 602-543-6440.