Spotlight on Barbara Cohen: Cheering On Hurricanes Football and Lifelong Learning

Spotlight on Barbara Cohen: Cheering On Hurricanes Football and Lifelong Learning

By DCIE News

Spotlight on Barbara Cohen: Cheering On Hurricanes Football and Lifelong Learning

By DCIE News
Barbara Cohen has been a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Miami since 2019. As an undergraduate alumna, ‘Canes football fan, and OLLI member, her connection to the University is second nature.

Barbara Cohen can’t help but laugh as she dishes on one of her favorite classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, entitled “Monday Morning Quarterback.” As one of two women in the course, she gets a kick out of her classmates’ obsession with statistics and sports history and loves that it is “good for a minimum of one laugh” each time. A longtime season ticket holder for Hurricanes football, she knows she is in the right place.

Barbara started taking computer classes at OLLI to build her technology confidence but has since become a fan of the discussion-based classes, finding that “there [are] very intelligent and interesting people who engage in conversation. I find that very stimulating.” She is also enrolled in a weekly “In The News” discussion class where members share perspectives and analyses on current events. As a four-year member of OLLI at UM, Barbara values the social community it provides in addition to the learning programs, and how it keeps her connected to her alma mater. After her late husband passed away, she desired a social outlet with an engaged peer group who would share her interest in continuing education and inspire her to keep learning.

“For me, it’s been a lifesaver,” she says of OLLI going virtual during the pandemic. “It increased my sociability, even though it’s virtual. It gave me structure to my day… It helped get [me] through the pandemic.”

Though she is excited to return to in-person classes, she has also appreciated that the pandemic gave her more time to explore new subjects and topics she found intriguing. As an active real estate agent in the southwest Miami area, she loves that OLLI allows her to pursue a wide variety of classes outside her industry. She also found that OLLI members became a great source of information and advice during the pandemic, sharing tips on where they could find COVID-19 tests and other helpful resources.

Barbara can't imagine life without her connection to the University of Miami, given her long history of involvement. She hopes that more people will discover the joy in an OLLI membership that she has found, saying “it’s not over! I have so much more to do!”

To learn more about membership benefits and how to join, please visit our website.