All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Monday courses

Summer 2019 Semester

Civil War Round Table [4 Sessions] 

10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Moss A  
Mondays: June 3, 10, 17, 24  

The Mid-Missouri Civil War Round Table returns for its ninth summer with Osher@Mizzou, offering a sample of the monthly programs presented by its members at Round Table meetings since 1983. Like other Round Tables across the nation, mid-Missouri’s is made up of professional and amateur historians and anyone else interested in the Civil War. 

Coordinator: Ralph Kreigh 

June 3: The Vicksburg Campaign 

What do the United States Navy, saps, a canal, underwater mines, caves and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s great grandfather all have in common? The Vicksburg Campaign, of course! So long as the Confederacy controlled the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Union farmers and manufacturers from the upper Midwest did not have unfettered access to markets via shipping down the Mississippi River and through the Gulf of Mexico. Conversely, preserving its stronghold at Vicksburg ensured to the Confederacy access to much needed manpower and war material from the Trans Mississippi (land west of the Mississippi River). Come hear Sharon Weedin lead us through the military campaign that ultimately allowed “the Father of Waters to again go unvexed to the sea” (as President Lincoln so eloquently put it) and, many would argue, sealed the doom of the Confederacy. 

Instructor: Sharon Weedin 

June 10: Cinders and Silence 

“Cinders and Silence” provides the first chronicle of Missouri’s “Burnt District.” Between 1854 and 1870, three western Missouri border counties plunged from prosperity to devastation, and finally, to oblivion. 

The border conflict between Missouri and the Kansas Territory intensified during the Civil War. Revenge-driven, Kansans leveled western Missouri between 1861 and 1863. Lawrence, Kansas, triggered General Orders No. 11. Within six weeks, the district suffered depopulation and total destruction. Historical silence shrouded the tragedy for decades. “Cinders and Silence” recovers the history and breaks the silence. 

Instructor: Tom A. Rafiner, a Jackson County native, continues his focused and dedicated journey to uncover western Missouri history. For ten years, he has researched family and community histories buried in the border conflict and the Civil War. Tom’s first history, Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos and Order No. 11, documented previously lost Civil War history. A sought-after speaker and storyteller, he has spoken throughout Missouri and Kansas. Tom holds a B.A. degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and an M.A. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. 

June 17: Three Interesting Civil War Deaths 

Jim will focus on the deaths of Albert Sidney Johnston, Stonewall Jackson and Abraham Lincoln and discuss why the deaths of these three men is interesting in three ways. The first is the circumstance of each death, combined with the importance of the decedent. The second is the medical situation surrounding each death, with the ultimate question of whether the decedent could have survived. Finally, Jim will examine the importance of each death in the overall historical picture of the war and times. 

Instructor: James Cummings 

June 24: The Siege and Battle of Corinth 

In 1862, the small town of Corinth, Miss., was a major strategic value to both Union and Confederate forces as they fought for control of the Mississippi Valley. This was primarily the result of two major railroads intersecting the town. Following the major battle at Shiloh on April 6–7, won by the Federals with tremendous casualties on both sides, the Union pushed south under General Halleck with over 120,000 troops. Confederate troops retreated to Corinth with over 70,000 men and fortified the town. As the Union forces approached, the Confederates evacuated the town in the greatest hoax of the war. Union forces occupied the town and added to the fortifications. In the Battle of Corinth on October 3–4, 1862, Confederate forces attacked but were defeated with heavy casualties on both sides and again retreated to the south. Missouri regiments fought on both sides at Corinth. 

Instructor: Gene McArtor holds bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri. He and his wife, Donna, have been married for 54 years. They have two sons, Steven and Michael, and five grandchildren. His interest in the Civil War has been lifelong, and he is a member and presenter at the Mid- Missouri Civil War Round Table. His last Osher program was on the Civil War locomotive, “The General.”  

Interrogating Whiteness [4 Sessions]

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Moss B
Mondays: June 3, 10, 17, 24

What do the Chinese Exclusion Act, the treatment of a white lesbian on a plane and the alt-right have in common? All three are windows into the concepts of “whiteness” and white privilege that we will explore in this course. Through assigned readings that will inform our class discussions and by watching documentaries/ videos, we will investigate how the concept of whiteness privileges those whom society considers “white,” while simultaneously targeting people of color. The class will read Robin DiAngelo’s short book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism. For our first class, please be ready to discuss the foreword and to the middle of page 28 (for week 2, to page 88; for week 3, to page 122; for week 4, to page 154/end). We would love to hear your perspectives and stories about living in a nation where race and racism greatly influence who has power and privilege. 

Instructor: Professor Emeritus of Cultural Diversity Nancy F. Browning taught “Cultural Diversity in Modern America” to thousands of students at Lincoln University. In her retirement, she attends Osher classes, facilitates the Diversity Book Club and Friday diversity films, and writes the “Spotlight.” Nancy hosts a gluten-free website and edits scientific grants and papers. She enjoys walking, singing, needlework and volunteering for social justice causes as well as spending time with friends, family and her husband, Rawn.

The American Presidents – Part One [4 Sessions]

1:00 - 2:30 p.m., Moss A 
Mondays: June 3, 10, 24; July 1 (no class on June 17)

This course will examine those men who have served as presidents of the United States, starting with George Washington and moving forward chronologically through James Madison. Their family histories, education, previous work history and life experiences will be considered to see if any of those factors can provide a clue to the quality of their presidency and whether they provide a guide in selection in elections that are to come. This class is the first of a series. 

Instructors: Jay Ward was born in Springfield, Mo., and raised in Lexington, Mo. He was an undergraduate at Northwestern University and received a medical degree from the University of Missouri. Retiring from medicine after 30 years, he received a master’s degree and doctorate in United States history from the University of Missouri.  

A Matter of Balance [8 Sessions]

1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Hillcrest D
Twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays: June 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27 

Limit of 15 students. 

As the No. 1 cause of injuries and death from injury, falls threaten the independence of older adults and often prove costly, as well. A Matter of Balance helps adults 60 years old and up realize that falls — and the fear of falling — are controllable. The program provides information on ways to change your environment to limit risk factors that contribute to falling, and will help you find strength and balance exercises to reduce your chances of falling. 

This award-winning program may be for you if you: 

  • Are concerned about falls 
  • Have fallen in the past 
  • Restrict activities because you’re worried about falling 
  • Are interested in improving your flexibility, balance and strength 
  • Are at least 60 years old, ambulatory and able to problem solve 

Join us to learn the steps you can take to prevent falls and continue enjoying your favorite activities. 

Instructors: Kelsey Weitzel is an assistant Extension professor in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She has been a certified exercise physiologist for five years and helps manage the University of Missouri Extension exercise programs. She loves to help others improve their health and fitness. She lives with her husband in Columbia, but is originally from Iowa. 

Judith Mutamba obtained her B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics at MU and a masters in Medical Sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. Judith served 20 years as a dietitian, public health nutritionist and deputy director of national nutrition in the Ministry of Health & Child Welfare, Zimbabwe. Judith is an intern with Columbia/ Boone County Health Department as she completes her M.S. in Nutrition, Exercise & Physiology at MU. Judith believes in lifelong learning and is dedicated to working with older adults in promoting healthy lifestyles. 

Kristin Miller is an assistant Extension professor in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She manages some of state-wide Nutrition and Health programs for University of Missouri Extension. She has a passion for helping others live their healthiest life and enjoys being active. She is from Ashland, Mo., where she currently lives with her husband, Kyle, and daughter, Anna.

Summer Sing 2019 [4 Sessions]

3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Moss A
Mondays: June 3, 10, 17, 24

Summer Sing 2019 will focus on building the habits of a successful choral singer, no matter your age, experience or voice part. As we learn wonderful literature (old and new), all singers will be encouraged to improve their skills together as we work individually and collectively, enhancing musicianship. Along with musicianship, we will focus on enhancing our musical expression and the art of musicality. [This class will replace the Osher Sings! club for the month of June.] 

Instructor: Brandon A. Boyd is an assistant director of choral activities and assistant professor of choral music education at the University of Missouri, where he conducts the Mizzou Men’s Choir. In addition to his conducting duties, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting and music education. Boyd appears regularly as a conductor, clinician, composer-in-residence, pianist and conference presenter. He holds two degrees from Florida State University (Ph.D. and M.M.) and earned a B.S. in from Tennessee State University.