Course Description

IN PERSON: Symposia returns with in-person presentations by people in our community who are making a positive impact. Each week, a different speaker will offer you valuable new insights into an important subject that may not have caught your attention otherwise. Presentation dates may change. Registrants will receive regular updates on these details from the facilitators. The opportunity to pose questions to these experts is a key feature of Symposia. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 200.

Location: Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway, Durham NC 27705

Course Schedule

Sept 12. Gina Upchurch, Pharm.D. Senior PharmAssist and Medicare - Now and Later
Gina Upchurch is the founding executive director of Senior PharmAssist in Durham. The agency promotes healthier living for older adults in Durham by helping them obtain and better manage needed medications. In addition, it provides tailored health education, Medicare insurance counseling, community referrals and advocacy. Her presentation will help attendees decipher health insurance concepts and terminology, make Medicare coverage decisions and understand medication access policies in Durham and beyond.

Sept 19.  Lauren Smith Hong.  A Virtual Walk Through Duke Gardens: Past, Present and Future
Sarah P. Duke Gardens is widely recognized as a premier public garden, providing extraordinary visitor experiences, horticultural artistry, leadership in conservation and innovative programs. It plays a vital role in the life and values of the Duke community and is a respite from the ordinary in a welcoming and beautiful setting. Lauren Smith Hong is the annual fund and membership officer at Duke Gardens. She will take us on a virtual tour of the property, describing its history and evolution through the years since its founding more than 80 years ago, and discuss plans for the future.

Sept 26. Edwin Cox, M.D. The Skinny on the New Diet Drugs 
Edwin Cox researches the health aspects of diet and related issues, such as obesity. He will review the impressive results of the new generation of drugs, such as Wegovy, that help people shed excess fat, and will discuss the personal and social implications of their use.

Oct 3. David Stein, M.C.P. The Fast-Paced Evolution of AI: Google's Bard
David Stein is the Duke libraries' education partnership technology coordinator. When he previously spoke to Symposia, he introduced us to ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence apps that the public can now "test drive" using their own computers. He will update us on the latest developments in this rapidly changing field.

Oct 10. Tony Rice. The Deep Space Network: Recent James Webb Discoveries 
Tony Rice is a volunteer in NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Solar System Ambassador program. He spends lots of time in classrooms and museums talking with students about space exploration. He will update us on recent discoveries from the far reaches of the universe made possible by the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched in 2021.

Oct 17.  TBD.

Oct 24. Claudia Koonz, Ph.D. Harnessing Virtue in the Service of Cruelty: Belief, Delusion and Race in Jim Crow America and Nazi Germany 
Claudia Koonz is an American historian of Nazi Germany. She is the Peabody Family Professor emerita in the history department at Duke. She will explore the laws, habits of thinking and traditions in the United States and the Third Reich that commanded Aryans and white people to, in effect, love only thy neighbor who is like thyself. Her work draws parallels between the antisemitism and racism in Depression-era American fomented by popular radio priest Father Coughlin and that of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, which used Jim Crow America as their model. 

Oct 31. Daniel Parker, M.D. Enhancing Healthy Brain Aging
Daniel Parker is a geriatrician, memory disorders specialist and physician scientist at Duke. He diagnoses and manages the care of patients with cognitive impairments at the multispecialty Duke Memory Disorders Clinic. He will review the latest research on healthy brain aging and practical steps that you can take today to keep your brain working at its best. He will discuss the importance of hearing and vision health, and the heart-brain connection, and will review the evidence for and against common supplements.

Nov 7. Philip Carl, Ph.D. The Past, Present and Future of the Genetic Code
Philip Carl is a biophysicist and long-time OLLI instructor and science curriculum chair. Much of his career as well as his ongoing efforts after retirement have been spent trying to understand some of the gnarlier and more arcane aspects of the genetic code. He will share his insights on the current understanding of DNA's significance and what remains to be discovered.

Nov 14. Sharon Ellison, Pharm.D. IRB-Reviewed Human Research in the Duke Health System
Sharon Ellison is the executive director of the Institutional Review Board for the Duke University Health System. This vital organization works to ensure the protection of human research subjects by conducting scientific and ethical reviews of research studies while providing leadership and education to the research community. She will introduce us to the process by which this board carries out its function and how it informs and protects people participating in Duke research programs.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Symposia: Mind-Expanding Excursions and Diversions
Classroom - In Person
1:30PM to 3:00PM
Sep 12, 2023 to Nov 14, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Durham
Delivery Options
Classroom - In Person  
Course Fees
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