Step Into The Inn at The Terraces:

Bits and Bytes e-newsletter from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Chico State

Bits and Bytes


We have some exciting news to share with you! Last July, Ann Nikolai became the program director for Professional & Continuing Education (PCE), using 75% of her time overseeing all of PCE’s other programs, and dedicating 25% of her time directly to OLLI. Now, it is time for change again. Starting this July, Ann will dedicate all of her work time to PCE.


With this shift in Ann’s responsibilities, we are pleased to introduce you to OLLI’s new program director Andrew Lavin, pictured with his wife Kellie Marie and their son Wesley. OLLI reports to PCE, so Andrew and Ann will continue to collaborate. “Andrew’s breadth of experience is a perfect fit for OLLI,” Ann said, “and I can’t wait to introduce him to our special community of learners.”

new program director
As the program director, Andrew will head up OLLI’s strategic direction, program development, fundraising, and marketing. He will oversee our volunteers and get to know members. “I am excited about OLLI because I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler, wanting to explore widely rather than specialize in one thing,” Andrew said. “I also truly believe that life should be about making ourselves well-rounded and well-connected people and OLLI fulfills both of those functions. I look forward to using my gifts of creativity, media production and design, and nurturing people’s diverse strengths in this role as we build the next phase of OLLI.”

Andrew was most recently a grant manager at CalRecycle. Before that, he taught at Butte College, Feather River College, and Chico State. He has a BA from Chico State, an MA from San José State University, and a PhD from UCLA. He wrote Thinking Well: A Logic and Critical Thinking Textbook released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, and hosted and produced Reductio, a podcast about philosophy, ideas, and understanding.

Be sure to say hi when you see Andrew around and give him a warm welcome to OLLI!

Save the Date

Join us for a Goodbye Ann and Welcome Andrew Drop-In Reception on June 26, 3-4:30pm, in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico.



More than 80 people have enrolled in Jay Sherwin’s class Danger, Suspense, and Deception: The Best of Alfred Hitchcock. Jay, pictured, has taught this and another Hitchcock class to 24 OLLI programs nationwide, with more scheduled in the fall. “I have been watching, studying and enjoying Hitchcock films for fifty years, since I was a child, and I remain fascinated by his life and his work,” Jay said. “When I moved to San Francisco in 2007, I created a walking tour of Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco.”


Jay led the tour for nine years, meeting thousands of Hitchcock fans from around the world. “When I left California, I was very sad to give up the tour, but then I realized that I didn’t have to!” He converted it to a virtual tour and begin offering it online to OLLI programs all over the country, including OLLI at Chico State.

“It was hard to choose just of few of Hitchcock’s best films,” Jay said of his spring class, “but I did, and I had a wonderful time developing the class content.” Jay chose four classic Hitchcock themes – themes he explored throughout his career – and he’ll be discussing two films each week that share a common theme.

“What I love most is sharing my Hitchcock obsession with others, including casual fans and serious students,” Jay said. “It’s great to introduce the films to people who haven’t seen them, and it’s great fun to discuss them with other longtime fans who appreciate them as much as I do.”

Register now for Danger, Suspense, and Deception: The Best of Alfred Hitchcock and experience Jay’s appreciation for yourself.

Jay’s class is just one of our OLLI USA classes starting this month. Some of the other classes will give you a chance to learn about paper, take a tai chi class, or catch up on AI news.



Brian Mullins, pictured, attended the OLLI Art Gallery opening reception on April 28 after a 15-year absence from OLLI. “As I got more active in cycling, I had less time for OLLI,” Brian explained. Brian and his wife Deborah spend six month a year in Chico, and lately he’s been missing the social connections and learning opportunities OLLI offers. At the gallery event, he ran into people he’d known when he was last an OLLI member, including Maureen Fredrickson, with whom he was a teacher at Chico Junior High School.


“It’s all coming back to me,” Brian said. “What I loved most about OLLI 15 years ago was the easy ways in which to connect with people.”

More than 50 people attended the gallery opening in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico. The artwork, 60 pieces by OLLI members, will be on display through the end of the term.



OLLI members get a special discounted lunch price at The Social Chico’s main cafeteria when you buy a 10-meal card from the cashier for $81.19. Single meals for everyone, including OLLI members, are $13.52.

The OLLI lunch hour, 11:30am-12:30pm, Monday-Friday is a great opportunity to spend time with other members and get something to eat between classes without having to go anywhere. And these prices still beat most downtown eateries!


The Social Chico’s cafeteria will be open through May 24. They will then be closed during the summer. Café 1400 in the Bradley 2 lobby will be open all summer serving Starbucks drinks and grab-and-go food items.

Debit/credit cards only. The Social Chico cannot accept cash.




With more than 130 members enrolled in his fall and winter classes on memory and aging, Westmont Living, Inc. (The Terraces of Chico) Senior Executive Director Cliff Keene has touched on a subject many of us can relate to. In his “Where Are My Keys?” class, Cliff discussed signs of normal brain aging, with examples like harder to recall names and slower to find words. He also shared symptoms of abnormal brain aging, like getting lost in familiar places, frequently repeating questions, and odd or inappropriate behavior. In addition to fielding questions, Cliff also talked about contributing factors, as well as resources for support.

Cliff’s long career in and commitment to older adult care makes OLLI’s partnership with The Terraces of Chico, pictured, a natural fit. For more than a decade, The Terraces has hosted OLLI classes, from opera, dance, and film classes to foreign languages and tai chi. These classes are also open to residents at The Terraces, creating a win-win arrangement for OLLI and for the facility. OLLI Program Director Ann Nikolai and Cliff both served together on the Chico State Interdisciplinary Center on Aging (ICOA) where Ann first met Cliff and discovered his deep commitment to older adults. “Cliff always made himself available as a resource to campus and the wider community to address issues affecting older adults, like health care, physical aging, financial security, and loneliness,” Ann said.


Now in his third year as The Terraces Executive Director, Cliff has had an opportunity to experience the OLLI presence at the facility. Becoming an OLLI sponsor last year seemed like a natural next step. As Cliff explained it, “It is great to have OLLI classes at the Terraces. There is such good energy when ongoing learning with seniors is happening here. It inspires our own residents to get involved with a topic that interests them as well.” OLLI members also love the classroom setting on the shores of California Park Lake.


Longtime OLLI instructor and volunteer leader Sydney Wilde has been a Terraces resident since 2022. “When my husband died two years ago, I already knew The Terraces was where I needed to be,” Sydney said. “The space is bright and airy, the apartments are comfortable, food is good, and there are more activities than any one person could possibly attend.” Shortly after Sydney moved in, she assumed the role of president of The Terraces Residents’ Council, a position formerly held by another OLLI member, Louise Cummins, who relocated to Washington State a year ago. In addition to her leadership role at The Terraces, Sydney has also continued teaching for OLLI online and, as of the new winter term, in person. “The in-person class is comprised 50/50 OLLI members and Terraces residents,” Sydney said.


OLLI partnerships on campus and in the community enrich programming by expanding knowledge networks and resources. For OLLI, this sponsorship also provides a financial boost that is contributing to OLLI’s post-pandemic recovery. But Cliff will tell you the partnership with OLLI is an excellent way to facilitate learning through classroom opportunities at The Social Chico and at The Terraces. “It is a pleasure to work with the OLLI program,” Cliff said. “I am happy to support the philosophy that learning should never end. I am also pleased to offer some topics that empower people as they age. There is not a better adage than ‘knowledge is power’ to adopt during the senior years of life.”

The Terraces popular Concert By The Lake series is May 18 and June 15 on the lawn at The Lodge. Music starts at 5:30. Bring chair or picnic blanket. Food, wine, and water provided.


Save the date for our Spring Community Speaker Series on Wednesday, May 22, 3-4pm. Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) President and CEO Seana O’Shaughnessy, pictured, will join us to talk about CHIP’s work.


Founded in 1973 as a partnership between Chico State and the City of Chico, CHIP serves Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter, Yuba, and Colusa Counties by assisting low-income and rural disadvantaged residents, seniors, and others who lack the financial resources or knowledge to improve or provide adequately for their housing. Seana embarked on her journey with CHIP three months after the Camp Fire. “I grew up in Paradise, so it means a lot to me to come full circle and be a part of this crucial recovery work,” she said.


Learn more about CHIP’s recovery efforts and the communities and people served at this event.

Free and open to the public!

A hybrid event – join us in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico or on Zoom. Check the OLLI website the day of the event for the Zoom link.




Joan O’Brien has been an OLLI member since she retired in 2017. She and her husband Shawn relocated to Chico in 2005 from San Diego, where she taught severely disabled preschoolers. Shawn took a job with Butte County Public Works and Joan worked in Yuba City for Sutter County Superintendent of Schools. “I jumped right into OLLI classes after I retired,” Joan said. “The vast array of classes now available both in person and online are amazing.”


Joan enjoys outdoor hikes and bird watching, as well as historic tours. She says she also gets a lot out of the financial classes for women. She particularly appreciates having access to classes from other OLLI programs such Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Arizona. The OLLI staff got to know Joan better when she started volunteering in the office. “I volunteer for all sorts of reasons,” she said. “I really like to help others who need it, to give me something meaningful to do, and to meet other people who share a common interest.”

Pictured: Joan’s daughters Katie and Siobhan, Joan, and Shawn, plus dog Fergus, at the 2023 Run for Food event.



Tropical Costa Rica, Winter ’25

Experience the paradise of lush forests and stunning waterfalls, rumbling volcanoes and endless coastlines in Costa Rica. Take in tranquil views of Arenal Volcano, visit the Cano Negro nature preserve, experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest’s lush canopy, and relax on sandy beaches. Your 9 days and 13 meals will be guided by seasoned tour guides from Collette.

Tropical Costa Rica

Exploring Greece and Its Islands, Spring ’25

Discover the magnificent ruins of ancient Greece and bask in the brilliance of the Mediterranean. This comprehensive journey explores Greece’s most important ancient monuments with ample time to explore on your own. Your 16 days and 25 meals will be guided by seasoned tour guides from Collette.

View the Exploring Greece and Its Islands full itinerary (pdf) and book now for discounted rates.

Exploring Greece and Its Islands

Memorials of World War II, Fall ’24

Retrace the D-Day preparation efforts and path this October. Join the OLLI members who have already signed up for this exciting tour! Book your trip and view the Memorials of WWII full itinerary (pdf).




OLLI instructor and local humorist Eric Miller will be the featured presenter at the Chico Friends of the Library Annual Meeting. Free and open to the public!

May 21, 6:30pm

Chico Library Conference Room, 1108 Sherman Avenue, Chico (map)





Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in 1979 and has been an official heritage month since 1990. The month includes the heritage of Americans from a wide variety of national backgrounds.

A variety of US federal government agencies and organizations offer ways to learn about the heritage and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. This May, spend some time learning and exploring their heritage.




May 22

May 27

June 19

June 26

June 28

Spring Community Speaker Series

Memorial Day (No Classes, OLLI Closed)

Juneteenth (No Classes, OLLI Closed)

Goodbye Ann, Welcome Andrew Reception

Last Day of Spring Classes



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