Free Webinar: Alzheimer’s Research

Belmont Village Senior Living is the presenting sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Research Webinar Lecture Series. This series features presentations by outstanding thinkers and researchers, all previously sponsored by the Aging Mind Foundation. We hope you will register for these free and informative webinar lectures with moderated Q&A to learn more about current Alzheimer’s research, findings and what experts think the future looks like in regards to Alzheimer’s and dementia advancements.

To see all of the presentations and to register, please go here.

Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding

Please join The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for an Open Mind program with Daniel Lieberman, Ph.D., author of the best-selling, myth-busting new book Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. , evolutionary biologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and a cardiologist in the Division of Cardiology at UCLA, will join Dr. Lieberman in conversation.

In his new book, Dr. Lieberman, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, discusses the relationship between moderate and vigorous physical activity and human brain size and makes the argument that humans’ exceptionally large brains are in part the result of our ability to engage in endurance physical activities such as long-distance running. He also discusses why physical activity is important for maintaining brain health and that humans evolved to engage in moderate lifelong physical activity when it was necessary and rewarding, but otherwise conserve limited calories. As a result, we never evolved to exercise or do physical activity just for the sake of health and fitness. However, the absence of regular, lifelong physical activity fails to activate important repair and maintenance mechanisms that are important for neural health. As a result, habitual physical inactivity increases our vulnerability to a range of diseases.

Dr. Daniel Lieberman received degrees from Harvard and Cambridge University, and taught at Rutgers University and George Washington University before joining the Harvard Faculty in 2001. He studies and teaches how and why the human body is the way it is, and how our evolutionary history affects health and disease. He is best known for his research on the evolution of the head and on the evolution of running and walking, which he studies by combining experimental biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology, both in the lab and in the field. He has conducted research in Africa for almost 30 years, and now also works in Mexico. He loves teaching and has published well over 150 peer-reviewed papers, many in journals such as Nature, Science, and PNAS, as well as three popular books, The Evolution of the Human Head (2011), The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease (2013), and Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding (2021). In his spare time, he enjoys running.

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz’s research focuses on the natural world as a source of insights into human pathology and developmental challenges. Her New York Times bestseller, Zoobiquity, co-written with Kathryn Bowers, was a finalist in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Excellence in Science Books Award, a Smithsonian Top Book of 2012 and a Discover Magazine Best Book of the Year. It has been translated into seven languages and has been chosen as Common Read at universities across the country. She is also the co-author with Kathryn Bower, of Wildhood – the Astounding Connections Between Humans and Animal Adolescents. Both books were featured at past Open Mind programs.

Tuesday, May 25
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PDT

Registration is required for this free
live private Zoom event.

To register, click here.

Free Webinar: A Guide to a Healthy Brain and Successful Aging

Belmont Village (Senior Living) is offering a free webinar, A Guide to a Healthy Brain and Successful Aging, on Thursday, May 20, at 10am PT.

A Guide to a Healthy Brain and Successful Aging
THURSDAY • MAY 20, 2021
10 AM PT | 12 PM CT | 1 PM ET

SPEAKER: James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Galvin is currently a professor of Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is Founding Director of the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, Director and Principal Investigator of the Lewy Body Dementia Research Center of Excellence, and Chief of Cognitive Neurology for Palm Beach and Broward County leading brain health and neurodegenerative disease research and clinical programs. He has authored numerous scientific publications on healthy brain aging, cognitive health, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, and related disorders.

Join us for an educational webinar on strategies to improve brain health through physical activity, nutrition, mindfulness and more. Dr. James Galvin will discuss the latest research on interventions that combine changes in lifestyle, reducing risks, health promotion, and management of multiple illnesses by using precision medicine. We’ll also learn about a driving factor in Alzheimer’s and dementia research: the search for new ways to develop alternate ways to measure neurodegenerative diseases and preserve brain health.
For questions, contact Stephanie Zeverino at or 954-524-8500.

How To Register Online
On a desktop computer or mobile device, click this link. Register with the online form to receive the meeting information. You will receive an email with event link, meeting ID and password. For help in setting up Zoom or registering, please contact Stephanie Zeverino at

The Hammer Channel at UCLA

On May 5, 2021, The Hammer Museum at UCLA launched a new website, Hammer Channel, offering more than a thousand conversations with artists, writers, filmmakers, scholars, scientists, activists and more. New programs will be added weekly as part of the Hammer’s decades-long commitment to presenting programs on topics ranging from politics and current events to literary readings to film screenings and artist talks.

Hammer Channel offers innovative tools to search, clip, and share not only the programs themselves but precise moments within. Support for Hammer Channel is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Organized much like a streaming service, Hammer Channel offers a wide variety of video content organized by categories including art, social justice, film, books, politics, the environment and more. Hammer Channel’s powerful search allows users not only to search by topic or title, but within transcripts of the videos themselves. A search for a person or topic will include results in which that term is discussed during a program — and will bring users to the very moment within that video when the term was used. Full transcripts are included with every video, allowing for greater accessibility and searchability. Additionally, Hammer Channel’s unique clipping tool allows users to create and share clips of their favorite moments within a program. Hammer Channel was developed in collaboration with digital agency Cogapp.

As part of the Mellon-funded project, the underlying source code and technical documentation is available on the open-source platform GitHub. The complexity and cost of developing digital tools and systems can be a major barrier for museums and other nonprofit organizations; by providing documentation of the Hammer Channel to open-source communities, other institutions worldwide may adopt, adapt, and advance their own initiatives.

The Hammer Museum has been broadcasting its programs online since 2014. As the global COVID-19 pandemic forced museums to close in 2020, the Hammer quickly shifted its programs fully online, presenting tours, conversations, screenings and more every week. Since April 2020, the Hammer has presented more than 140 programs online, viewed live by more than 45,000 people worldwide, plus tens of thousands more views after the fact. Hammer Channel offers a convenient and comprehensive site for viewers to experience the Hammer Museum’s variety of offerings, whether catching up with the most recent program or taking a deep dive into a particular subject.

Artists featured on Hammer Channel include Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, rafa esparza, Charles Gaines, Theaster Gates, Lauren Halsey, Sarah Lucas, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, Pedro Reyes, Ed Ruscha and Kara Walker. Past programs on topics such as the environment, immigration, anti-racism, and other current events include panelists such as Vice President Al Gore, Congressman Ted Lieu, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Anita Hill, Ibram X. Kendi, Naomi Klein and others. Hammer Channel also includes conversations and readings by writers such as Joan Didion, Roxane Gay, Joy Harjo, Sadiya Hartman, Stan Lee, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Tara Westover. Conversations with Academy Award-winning actors and filmmakers include Bong Joon-Ho, Werner Herzog, Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o, Jordan Peele, Quentin Tarantino, Olivia Wilde and more.

Remembering Michael Williams

Sunrise: March 22, 1946 – Sunset: December 13, 2020

We are saddened to share that our dear friend Michael Williams passed away in December of 2020.

The story of Mike Williams’ long career and service at UCLA is one of friendship, inspiration, work ethic, support of athletics, and enrichment of the UCLA Extension work experience. Everybody knew Mike. His presence was large at UCLA just like his heart. Mike always offered kindness, friendship, camaraderie, and passion.

Sometimes you would see him at Stan’s Donuts before work. You might bump into him in the hallway of the Extension building. He became an iconic member of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a daily presence in the lounge, in the hallways of the UCLA Extension building, and in OLLI courses.

From participating in class discussions to spontaneously providing expert IT/AV support services if needed, he found joy both as a student and instructor in the program. It was not unusual to see him share a meal with Osher colleagues or former UCLA Extension workmates who continued to seek out his company. Mike touched us all at UCLA.

His time at UCLA Extension spanned decades – from the sixties to the present. He not only touched UCLA Extension, but he also reached thousands at athletic events when, as a volunteer, he provided countless years of support for John Wooden at Bruin basketball games. From employee to retiree, Mike continued to touch colleagues and friends.

He was admired for his dedication and care for his family and community. His honesty and frankness were exemplary and an inspiration. He was always giving back and his heart guided him to help others.

It is not often we get to experience such a dedicated and inspirational colleague and we are humbled that he was part of our UCLA family.

The OLLI at UCLA scholarship program, which was launched in summer 2019, has been renamed The Michael Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund. Help us reach new audiences and increase our program’s diversity. We encourage you to share this scholarship opportunity with those who are not familiar with OLLI or with those who have been unable to participate due to financial limitations. To contribute to the Michael Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund, click here.



Two years ago, Mike asked me to create and develop a Black cinema course with him. I hesitated because I had little knowledge about that particular area of film, but he persuaded me, and thus began a partnership. For two years – and two courses – we crafted a cinema series for Black History month that sought to educate Osher members about important African-American films and their impact on and relevance to U.S. society. Mike enthusiastically recruited students for the courses and provided the class with unique insights to each of the movies viewed. He brought richness and depth to the courses, and I will miss working with him. – Maria Siciliano, OLLI Instructor


Mike Williams was a gentle-man. A kind, caring individual who possessed extraordinary “people-skills” that made him a treasure to know. After he completed military service, he found his way to UCLA. He became a full-time employee of the Audio-Visual department. He had not had the opportunity or the resources to go to college but he found much of what he was looking for at UCLA. He consumed class after class either as a student or later as a volunteer providing support and guidance to (often challenged) Extension instructors – like myself – operating A-V equipment and later dealing with The Land of Zoom. It was in this Godfather role that I first met Mike. He had the patience of Job quietly and always calmly moving me slowly along the path of basic technical competence. My courses in Extension cover Jazz Appreciation and History…a subject that Mike loved and led to a number of concert events and dinners shared with his wife Armerilyn and daughter, Jamie. Being able to call Mike a friend was special… very special. Call it Mike’s good karma or just my extremely good fortune. He deserves to be remembered. – Pat Collins, OLLI Instructor


There were so many times in my classes–many of which he audited–he’d save the day either through by fixing technical malfunctions of tired equipment, or my technical ineptitude, not to mention his sweet, kind congeniality, his enthusiastic, up-beat enthusiasm about OLLI and UCLA generally, and his readiness to help. – Carlo Coppola, OLLI Instructor


OLLI Instructor Beverly Olevin Writes Play for Zoom

OLLI Instructor Beverly Olevin Writes Play for Zoom

Live theater has gone quiet since the beginning of the pandemic. For now, audiences cannot sit together and enjoy the unique intimate experience that theater offers. Beverly Olevin, a playwright and theatrical director, who has been teaching The Play’s The Thing for OLLI @ UCLA for 15 years, has been challenged to bring the world of theater to Osher members via Zoom. Prior to the pandemic, she brought professional actors into the classroom to perform scenes. To see what could be done to engage an audience virtually, Beverly wrote a ten-minute play designed for Zoom. Take a look!

Marc and Beverly Olevin on Zoom

Beverly and Marc Olevin are honored to be be instructors for the OLLI program. Beverly’s area of expertise is theater and the arts, while Marc’s expertise is the history of science. Though their fields are different, they have a shared desire to present stimulating ideas that inspire reflection and interesting conversation. This coming winter 2021, Beverly will teach The Plays the Thing, featuring local actors doing live performances on Zoom as well as filmed versions of stage productions. Marc will teach Evolution of Science, Part 3.

OLLI Instructor Roy Meals Publishes Book on Bones

Orthopedic surgeon, Roy A. Meals, is an OLLI instructor who teaches the annual course, All About Bone. Early in his career, he developed a deep respect for human bone, especially for “its amazing constitution and the way it grows and heals.” So when he proposed his OLLI course in June 2017, he said teaching about bone would be a way to help him write a book about bone, a project he said he had been drafting in his head for more than 40 years.

We are happy to announce that his long-awaited book, Bones: Inside and Out, will be published this October. The book, like his course, details bone maladies and treatments as well as the second life of bones and how paleontologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists use bone to interpret Earth’s history.

In the book’s first section, Bone Concealed, Dr. Meals demystifies how bones grow, break, and heal and compares the particulars of human bone to variations throughout the animal kingdom. He illustrates common bone diseases, like osteoporosis and arthritis, and their treatments. Along the way, he highlights the medical innovations—from the first X-rays to advanced operative techniques—that enhance our lives and introduces the giants of orthopedic surgery who developed them.

In the book’s second section, Bone Revealed, he describes how bone influences paleontology, anthropology, religion, art, and popular culture. Examples range from Adam’s rib to Hamlet’s skull, and he uncovers their enduring presence as fossils, technological tools, and musical instruments ranging from the Tibetan thighbone kangling trumpet to everyday drumsticks.

Dr. Meals confirmed that writing his book while preparing his course helped him look at the organization and content of both from different perspectives:

For instance, the two forms differ in length and supplemental images. I found that working on one improved the logic and clarity of the other. The OLLI members’ questions and insights were particularly helpful in those regards. Most importantly, finishing the book became much easier after teaching the OLLI course because I had that audience in mind as I mentally continued our conversation.

I asked Dr. Meals what inspired him to research and write about the second life of bones. He said his inspiration began at an early age while growing up in Shawnee Mission, Kansas:

While on grade school and Cub Scout trips to the nearby Methodist Indian mission, I learned about the culture of the Plains Indians and saw how they repurposed bone for hunting, plant propagation, food preparation, adornment, and entertainment. In recent years, I have thoroughly enjoyed renewing and intensifying my interest in indigenous cultures and understanding their novel and myriad ways of crafting bone.

Remarkable discoveries have turned up not only at anthropology and natural history museums but also in public and private collections including those devoted to musical instruments, medicine, fine art, and the whaling industry. For example, the Channel Islands Maritime Museum has a collection of exquisitely crafted, highly detailed ship models that French prisoners made from soup bones during the Napoleonic Wars. As a result of so many serendipitous finds, I have become a museum fanatic. I try to visit as many as I can wherever I go, and it is rare that I cannot not find something of interest related to bones. I guess that should not surprise me since bone is so durable and ubiquitous. Nonetheless, I’m always excited to add facts to my collection.

Bones: Inside and Out launches October 20, 2020 and is available at these stores:


Mary Ann Wilson, Program Coordinator

Osher Members Try their Hand at Writing a Libretto

For those who are not opera aficionados, an opera’s words are called its libretto. Osher instructor Gordon Williams is not only a writer and speaker on music, but an opera librettist. He wrote the libretto for Journey to Horseshoe Bend, a dramatic-cantata composed by Andrew Schultz and presented at Sydney Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2003. He also devised new dialogue for the Sydney Symphony’s first performance in 160 years of Don John of Austria, and produced Darwin Theatre Group’s ensemble-piece Dust-Off Vietnam, for which he was also a playwright and actor.

Gordon wanted to facilitate a discussion group that would reveal how librettos help a composer composes. So in the spring of 2020, he taught the course, The Libretto: The Unsung Hero of Opera. His students examined Salvadore Cammarano’s libretto for Lucia di Lammermoor, Piave’s libretto for Rigoletto, as well as Illica and Giacosa’s libretti for La Boheme and Tosca. They also looked at operas derived from preexisting plays, such as Oscar Wilde’s Salomé and Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as the instructor’s libretto for Journey to Horseshoe Bend, which was derived from a novel.

But the real treat for his students was the opportunity to create their own libretto from current events. One student, Audrey Kopp, wrote text expressing frustration that comes with social distancing and the strange times we’re living in currently. When listening to the piece, you’ll notice that it has a Bach-like sound. According to Mr. Williams, this decision was inspired by a suggestion that a fellow student made that the coronavirus opera use some of Bach’s music.

Gordon’s hope was that “class members would gain an understanding of the libretto of an opera as being much more important than people realize; that they’d see the extent to which it’s an engine. So, I figured that rather than just examining how Piave or Boito worked with Verdi or Hofmannsthal with Strauss, the class could write a libretto.”

We’ve included “No more living in fear” for you to enjoy.


2020 Election Preview Podcast

Bob Stern with guest speaker, Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program, The 2020 Election Preview: From Presidential Candidates to California’s Ballot Measure Elections, led by Robert Stern, JD, former President of the Center for Governmental Studies, explores the impact of the upcoming 2020 election cycle.

With the California primary date moved from June to March—on Super Tuesday, March 3, California now gets a slice of early-state action. The course delves into the fast-approaching 2020 California March primary as well as the November 2020 election choices.

Listen to the six podcasts featuring guests speakers from politics, media, public interest, as they share their insights on the upcoming 2020 election –

Week One: Kathay Feng, Common Cause National Redistricting Director

Week Two: Alex Padilla, CA Secretary of State

Week Three: Rober Naylor, former CA Republican Legislative Leader

Week Four: Conan Nolan, political reporter for over 30 years with NBC4 News

Week Five: Barry Fadem is President of National Popular Vote and a member of the Board of Directors.

Shakari Byerly is a Partner and Principal Researcher at EVITARUS a public opinion research organization

Free Event: Author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life

Dr. Suzuki, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at NYU, will talk about her international bestselling book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life that tells her story of her own transformation through exercise and offers practical and fascinating ways to improve memory, engage the brain more deeply, and create a way of living that is good for the body and the brain.

Dr. Suzuki will also discuss the groundbreaking work of her mentor, Professor Marian Diamond, who was the first to demonstrate that the adult brain can grow and change, now referred to as brain plasticity. Dr. Suzuki will use excerpts from the multiple award-winning and 2018 Emmy award-nominated documentary film My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond (that will also be shown in its entirety after her talk) to illustrate some of her points. She will then describe how she leveraged that foundational work from Professor Diamond to study other forms of brain plasticity including memory formation, and most recently how physical activity can change and improve a range of cognitive functions in the brain, the core topic in Healthy Brain, Happy Life..

Catherine Ryan, Director and Producer of My Love Affair With The Brain, and Dr. Peter Whybrow, Director of the Semel Institute will join Dr. Suzuki in a post-screening discussion.

Friday, November 1, 2019
6:30 PM Check-in | 7:00 PM Program
James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Parking is available for $8 in Structure 3
235 Charles E Young Drive West Los Angeles, CA 90095
From Eastbound Sunset Blvd: Turn right on Hilgard Avenue and make an immediate right on Charing Cross Road. Go straight at the stop sign to enter the Pay-by-Plate area using the North entrance of the structure. Park on level 1, 2, or 3 in any designated pay-by-plate space and use the pay-station (located on each level) to purchase parking. After paying for parking, proceed to Level 1 and walk through the tunnel. Melnitz Hall is the first building on your left.

Admission is free but registration is required. Register HERE.


Do you want to have a healthy brain and a happy life? If yes, then join UCLA’s Friends of the Semel institute for an Open Mind presentation by world-renowned neuroscientist and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life, Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D.