Member Spotlight: Merrie Callinan

Merrie Callinan

Expanding Her Knowledge

OLLI Member Merrie Callinan Embraces Lifelong Learning

Merrie Callinan has been an OLLI member for 10 years, most recently with OLLI at UC Davis. After serving as a middle school resource specialist for students with learning differences, Callinan is now the student. Taking four to six courses per quarter, she has embraced the lifelong learning motto that is OLLI. “It’s so fun to look into areas that you didn’t study in school or in your career,” she says. “It’s stimulating getting to learn about things you have little knowledge of. So much has changed since I was in school, especially in the field of science.”

What’s unique about OLLI at UC Davis?

The science courses here are a step up. They are phenomenal and so is the instruction. I’ve been so impressed with them. I’ve even shared it with a friend.

What do you like most about the courses?

I like the flexibility that OLLI at UC Davis offers. There is a variety of courses, not just in topic, but in the type of courses available. You can take a one-time event, a course that meets just once or twice, and there are options to take longer courses that meet six or eight times.

You’re fairly new to Davis, how has OLLI helped you in building friendships and community?

The bus trips and events where you leave and spend the day together are wonderful for interacting with other members. It’s a great opportunity to mingle. I didn’t have this in Marin—you’d go to class, then you’d leave. Here, it is smaller, more relaxed and casual. It’s not intimidating—that’s the beauty of smaller classes. The instructors are very open to talking with you and are always engaging with the class participants. And the events give you the opportunity to talk with some very interesting people who have a breadth of resources. I just met someone from Sacramento who shared tips and gave me new ideas for things to do there.

What would you say to someone who’s considering joining OLLI?

If you’re interested in sharing in an intellectually stimulating environment, this is for you.

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