West Chester Courses

These classes have been completed. Fall 2018 content will be updated when registration opens.

Tuesday Classes

Hobby Sampler: Creativity to Career

We tinker, we toil, but these lucky few combined both to discover that their creative hobby could become a lucrative career.

April 3Ambigrams! 
Beth Gully is a graphic designer who turned her designs upside down to discover her unique ambigram talent.

April 10Stained Glassworks 
Celeste Stark, a student of stained glass and glass fusion, along with Linda Moorman, co-owner of Beauverre Riordan Studios, will discuss the process while showing pieces designed in the studio.

April 17From the Ground Up: Rooted Grounds Coffee 
Kris Chari is an entrepreneur with experience in the adult beverage business.

April 24Bows & Baskets, Part 1 
Sandy Beardslee, Cathy Howard, and Shannon Bryant of Hillandale Family of Communities will demonstrate how to make beautiful gift bows and create unique gift baskets.

May 1Bows & Baskets, Part 2 
More complex bows and gift baskets from the trio above, coordinated by Jane Gegner, Marketing & Communications Director, Hillandale Family of Communities.


Shelly Abrams serves on the ILR Publicity Committee and is the ILR Voice of America Learning Center Site Coordinator.

Cindi Remm has taught adult learning classes at Miami University and University of Dayton, primarily in the arts.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 9:00–10:15am
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

World War I and Its Causes

We will explore the causes of World War I—nationalism, militarism, alliances, imperialism, and economics—and the war itself. Major battles to be discussed will be the Battles of the Marne, Jutland, and Tannenberg, as well as the second Battle of the Marne. We will also explore changes to military technology. The course will conclude with a discussion of the Treaty of Versailles.


Ken Schneider taught history in high school for 41 years and has presented at Advanced Placement workshops since 1997.

Dates and Location

6 Tuesdays: April 3–May 8; 9:00–10:15am
Room 111, Voice of America Learning Center

The Golden Age of Broadway

The landmark musical Oklahoma! opened in 1943, initiating the Golden Age of Broadway musicals which ran through Fiddler on the Roof in 1964. It was a unique time because many of the giants of the first half of the 20th century (Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin) wrote their respective masterpieces during the time when new composers and lyricists such as Lerner and Loewe (My Fair Lady), Jerry Herman (Mame and Hello Dolly), and Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) were beginning their careers. We’ll discuss the plays, their significance, and their impact on American musical theater.


Doug Iden is an avid theatergoer and movie buff with an extensive collection of films and original Broadway musical scores. He also is a critic for the League of Cincinnati Theaters (LCT).

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 10:45am–noon
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Tuesday Brown Bag Seminar: Gee, I Didn’t Know That

Each week, The Brown Bag Lecture Series presents a speaker who will discuss a topic of interest and importance. Plan to bring your lunch and enjoy an ILR tradition.

April 3Underwater Film “Three Directions” 
Mary Ann Pedato is an underwater filmmaker, who will show a film from Indonesia, Maldives, and Cocos Islands.

April 10Gone with The Wind Under a Microscope: Fascinating Facts and Little-Known Details About the Author, Book, Movie, and Cast of this American Classic 
Richard Esposito is a retired business executive and Cruise Line destination speaker.

April 17Making Congress Work for You 
Bob Viney is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati who teaches leadership courses.

April 24Shining Brighter as Seniors! Getting Older Doesn’t Have to Mean Poor Health; You Can Shine Bright Until the End 
Barb Fischer is the owner of Areawide Wellness and a Health Coach for “Living Younger, Longer.”

May 1History of the Atomic Bomb 
Carl Bishop is a chemist who worked in nuclear energy for over 30 years.


Dan Szuhay is a retired teacher and counselor from the Birmingham, Michigan, public schools.

Carolyn Gard directed academic technologies at three universities, including Miami University.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 12:30–1:45pm
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Cooking Made Easy

Chef Rickett continues offering his culinary delights with a series of recipes from “Across The Great USA”! You will enjoy learning how to create dishes from the Pacific Northwest and Southwest deserts, from the Great Midwest to the Northeast, and even a little Southern home cooking.


Eddie Rickett graduated from the Cincinnati Culinary Arts School and joined Hillandale Family of Communities many years ago. He is the head chef for Hillandale Family of Communities and Director of Dietary Management at Chesterwood Village.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 2:15–3:30pm
Dining Room, Chesterwood Village

Reconciling Science and Religion

The course will be organized around five topics: definitions and the search for truth; the history of the “conflict” between science and religion; the different domains of science and religion; contributions to humanity by science and religion; and the future of tensions between science and religion.


Jim Stock is a retired career educator (history, political science), administrator, pulpit supply minister (ten denominations), and world traveler.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 2:15–3:30pm
Room 123, Voice of America Learning Center

A Congress That Serves the People

Congress has had a very high disapproval rating for almost a decade, no matter which party has been in the majority. They have raised the deficit every year since 2000 and excluded themselves from laws they pass for us. Many people want to see Congress work together on the nation’s problems but feel Congressional members put party, personal, or donor interests first. Have you had enough of “politics as usual”? Would you like to see big changes made in our national government processes? Are you willing to be part of the “Change Generation”?


Bob Viney, a former U.S. Nuclear Submarine officer and Procter and Gamble executive, is an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 2:15–3:30pm
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Wining Around Europe

We will explore different regions of France, Italy, Portugal, and Germany, including their wine history and the wines they are known for, and we will discuss the uniqueness of each. Please bring three wine glasses.


Scott Hau has been an avid collector for 30 years. He has owned or managed wine stores for 15+ years and spent 12 years in senior management positions for Magic Pan, Simon’s Seafood, and Ruby Tuesday’s restaurants.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 4:00–5:15pm
BC Bottle Lodge, 7121 Liberty Center Dr., Liberty Twp.

Spring is for Romance: Movie Classics

If you are in the mood for romance, join us for some of the most romantic movies of all time—from young love and lost innocence to affairs of the heart. Remember with us those days when you and your soul mate first met and the all-consuming emotion that you felt for each other. Spring is for romance.

April 3Love Affair (1994, PG13, 108 minutes) 
Join us as we watch a singer and a football star both engaged to other people meet and fall in love . . . but don’t want to get too carried away. They are after all “taken.” The portion filmed in Tahiti is idyllic. What will happen to this couple?

April 10Cousins (1989, PG13, 110 minutes) 
This film is a celebration of human desire where humor makes sure no one is hurt too badly. It involves three weddings/family reunions with dancing, drinking, gossip, hanky panky, and shoving matches. With family members like these, it’s amazing that anyone survives. The music will make you want to get up and dance throughout the film. The smiles, good humor, warmth, and charm make this romantic comedy one you will cherish and remember often.

April 17Splendor in the Grass (1961, not rated, 124 minutes) 
This drama set in the 1920s tells the story of a fragile teenage girl from Kansas dealing with her feelings of sexual repression, love, and heartbreak involving a handsome young man from the town’s most powerful family. Will these high school sweethearts give in to their desires or let their well-meaning, oppressive parents dominate their lives? Will Bud go to Yale and take over the family business or marry Deanie and become a farmer? This was publicized as the perfect “date movie” of its day.

April 24A Walk in the Clouds (1995, PG13, 102 minutes) 
Come stomp grapes with us in the most picturesque wine-producing valley in Northern California. A young vet returning from World War II meets a pregnant, unwed girl on a bus ride home. During this first encounter, she asks him to pose as her husband as she comes from a devout Catholic family. They are a proud MexicanAmerican family who have worked the land for generations and do not take kindly to strangers. But there is another small problem: he got married the day before he left for war. Hopefully things will work out for this cute young couple. Bring your hankies and laugh and cry with us.

May 1Heaven Can Wait (1978, PG, 100 minutes) 
What happens when an aging football player is mistakenly plucked from life on earth 50 years before his time? Since his body had been cremated, the only thing heaven could do was to put him back into an expiring billionaire’s body to live out the rest of his years. How will he fend off attempts on his life while trying to convince his old football team that they need an eccentric billionaire as their starting quarterback? Oh, did we mention that he also met a girl? Can heaven wait?


Rick Richter is a retired owner of his family landscaping company. He spends a great deal of time selecting the movie titles while eating popcorn.

Tom Macejko is a retired local ophthalmologist who got snagged into doing research for these films. He and Rick now make a great team of closet film critics.

Dates and Location

5 Tuesdays: April 3–May 1; 6:30–9:00pm
Theater, Chesterwood Village

Wednesday Classes

American Car Culture

April 4American Car Culture, Part I 
Larry Gray, a retired international business executive and art enthusiast, will discuss early auto development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the legacies of the Duryea brothers, Ransom E. Olds, and Henry Ford. We’ll explore the influence of European cars, speed and racing, women drivers, and the Selden patent suit, following the development of American car culture up to World War II.

April 11American Car Culture, Part II 
Larry Gray will discuss how the wartime freeze in car production affected the auto industry and review the post-war explosion in car sales and the demand for new and different-looking cars. See in the 1950s what cars meant to one’s personal identity and how hot rods and customs influenced the American car culture. Revisit the 1960s and the introduction of muscle cars and the Ford Mustang.

April 18American Car Culture, Part III 
Larry Gray will review the imports and how they made their presence known. He will discuss the automobile revolution during the 70s, 80s, and 90s, as well as the early years of the 21st century.

April 25Vintage Car Collection 
Gene Rose is a local car enthusiast with a vast collection of vintage vehicles. Gene will share his collection and present the stories behind each model.

May 2American Car Collection! 
Come enjoy a public exhibition of new, classic, and vintage automobiles! Learn the history behind each make and model. Talk to automobile club members and individual owners.


Jane Gegner is a member of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

Michele Abrams, a Miami University alumna, serves on the ILR Public Relations Committee and is West Chester Site Coordinator for the ILR Curriculum Committee.

Dates and Location

5 Wednesdays: April 4–May 2; 9:00–10:15am
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Plan a Comfortable Financial Future

Take control of your financial affairs. Learn how to manage your finances in retirement. Address real-life concerns with tools that will last a lifetime. This knowledge will help you become more confident in making intelligent decisions to pursue your overall goals and improve your financial future. Full-color graphics will help explain financial concepts. Guest speakers will address specific topics. The moderator will provide a 164-page interactive workbook packed with colorful charts, checklist, and explanations that follow the entire course. This valuable take-home resource will help apply what you learn to your personal financial situation.


Gary Hollander, CFP, has been providing financial classes for over 42 years and was recently awarded “FIVE STAR Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager” by Cincinnati Magazine. He has been president of Hollander & Associates LLC since 1976.

Dates and Location

6 Wednesdays: April 4–May 9; 10:45am–noon
Room 123, Voice of America Learning Center

Interesting Places

Learn more about a variety of interesting international places from experienced travelers. They will share what they learned about the people, culture and customs, history, geography, and, of course, they will present photos.

April 4A Tale of Four Cities: Travelling in the Old AustroHungarian Empire, Car-Free and Carefree  
Terry Lehmann is a retired federal prosecutor and author of two transportation-related books.

April 11Cruising the Viking Path to Iceland and Greenland 
Tom Gard is a retired mathematics professor and has traveled extensively since retirement.

April 18A Trip to Cuba 
MaryEllen Haynes is a retired music teacher who has traveled extensively with her husband Bill since their retirements.

April 25Norway from Oslo to Nordcapp 
Carolyn Gard directed academic technologies at three universities, including Miami. Now retired, she is an avid traveler.

May 2An American Living in Sweden 
Shirley Taylor taught in elementary schools for 35 years.


Carolyn Gard directed academic technologies at three universities, including Miami University.

Dates and Location

5 Wednesdays: April 4–May 2; 10:45am–noon
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Wednesday Brown Bag Lecture Series

Enjoy five speakers who will entertain and enlighten you. Learn about Cincinnati’s past, Middletown’s 1910 train wreck, 1800s medicine, America’s murals, and the housewife who was first to fly around the world.

April 4July 4, 1910: The Middletown Train Wreck 
Sam Ashworth, President of the Board of Trustees, Middletown Historical Society, and Board Chair of the Butler County Visitors Bureau.

April 11Cincinnati Memories Armchair Tour, Part III 
Jeanne Rolfes is a retired fundraiser and has given more than 400 presentations.

April 18Jerrie Mock: Flying Housewife 
Rosemary Deitzer, retired association manager and meeting planner, enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for interesting people and their stories.

April 25Murals of Yesterday and Today Across America 
Larry Gray, retired international business executive and art enthusiast.

May 21800s History of Medicine: Blood, Blister, and Purge 
Kathy Creighton, Executive Director, Butler County Historical Society.


Marlene Esseck, retired elementary teacher, Lakota School District.

Dates and Location

5 Wednesdays: April 4–May 2; 12:30–1:45pm
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

The Rhythms of Life

April 4Health Rhythms 
Arlene de Silva has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive in nonprofit management and the home and community-based care industry, both nationally and internationally. In 2008 she founded the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition, the nation’s first community-wide recreational music-making wellness coalition which consists of 80 organizations, physicians, and musicians from cities in six states and Switzerland. She is CEO of Global Music & Wellness, a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote a culture of wellness through recreational music making.

April 11Painting Party 
Barb Lieb is the local art instructor who will teach this unique, relaxing painting event. Personalize and design your custom masterpiece. Students should bring to the class a flat paint brush, thin paint brush, an 11x17 canvas, and an apron or shirt to cover clothes. Acrylic paints will be provided.

April 18Opening Minds Thru Art (OMA)  
Shannon Bryant, Certified Instructor. Learn about OMA, a program founded by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon in 2007 that is grounded in person-centered care principles. People with memory loss (artists) are paired with volunteers (students, families, volunteers) who are trained to rely on imagination instead of memory and who focus on remaining strengths instead of lost skills. OMA enables people with memory loss to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork.

April 25Music & Memory  
Shannon Bryant, Certified Instructor. Learn about the revolutionary MUSIC & MEMORYSM program that brings personalized music into the lives of people struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive conditions. Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memories of lyrics and experiences related to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others. Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s, and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.

May 2Chair Yoga  
Joella Ryan teaches a wonderful way to relax from head to toe without the stress of getting out of your chair. This flow is also a great way to stretch your body and relieve tension while at work. In addition to good stretching, chair yoga improves muscle tone, breathing habits, and sleep. It also reduces stress and promotes a sense of well-being. You can learn to ground your mind and body with chair yoga. Perfect for all levels. Participants should come dressed in exercise clothing.


Cindi Remm taught adult learning classes at Miami University and the University of Dayton.

Michele Abrams is West Chester Site Coordinator for the ILR Curriculum Committee.

Dates and Location

5 Wednesdays: April 4–May 2; 2:15–3:30pm
Room 100, Voice of America Learning Center

Friday Classes

Fridays Not-So-Far Afield

We often travel to distant lands without ever discovering the gems hidden in our own backyards. Join us as we do a little exploring close to home. You may select any or all of these jaunts while planning to expand your local horizons.

April 6Steven Newman the “WorldWalker”  
Location: Room 100, VOALC.
Steven Newman was featured on the Travel Channel last year with his program entitled “Mysteries at the Museum.” Steven has successfully walked the length and width of 21 countries on five continents and fulfilled a childhood dream. He remains an active hiker and as of January 2017 he completed a climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

April 13Ernie Martin Photography  
Location: Room 100, VOALC.
Ernie Martin will be returning to the VOA with another amazing virtual presentation entitled “Photography, Just For The Fun Of It.” His presentation will include animals, humans, and other types of subjects, along with some of his experiences as a volunteer at the Cincinnati Zoo.

April 20DogBerry Brewing  
Location: 9964 Crescent Park Drive, West Chester.
Owners Tony Meyer and Chris Frede have recently moved their business into a new, attractive, and greatly expanded 10-barrel brewhouse. Come join us for an interesting outing to Dogberry’s new location and see how far they have come since Fall of 2015, when we visited them last. The cost for the beer tasting will be $8.00 per person, payable on site.

April 27MillerCoors Brewery 
Location: 2525 Wayne Madison Road, Trenton
The Trenton Brewery is the second most productive plant in the country for MillerCoors. Its production and warehouse space is approximately 297,000 square feet, and the loading area is manned by robotic lifts, moving pallets of beer into trucks and trains. The tour will require a fair amount of walking and stair climbing, but if you are unable to participate in the walking tour, MillerCoors will provide the other participants with a video of the facility to view. Supplied hard hats, ear plugs, safety vests, and safety glasses are required. The tour will be led by Denise Quinn.

May 4Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati 
Location: 4393 Tylersville Road, Hamilton.
The tour and presentation will be given by Dr. Satinder S. Bharaj, President of the Guru Nanak Society. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion; the basic Sikh belief is represented in the phase Ik Onkar meaning “One God.” A progressive religion, it was well ahead of its time when founded over 500 years ago in India. The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the world’s fifth largest religion. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, helping the less fortunate, and equality of mankind.


Sharon Chapman is a retired executive assistant.

Frank Chapman is a retired construction engineer.

Dates and Location

5 Fridays: April 6–May 4; 10:00am–noon
Location varies, as noted by each date above.

ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.