Save the Dates – Fall 2017

The Fall Course Preview will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 9 a.m. at NRECA.


Registration will open at 10 a.m. sharp on Monday, September 11, 2017.


Our Fall semester will begin Monday, October 2, 2017.


Summer Office Hours in effect through Labor Day

The office will be open from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Wednesdays through September 3, 2018 – except July 4. If you need to speak to someone in person, be sure to email or call ahead for an appointment. Always check the calendar on this page for updates.

Members’ Annual Meeting on May 24, 2014

Members, please plan to attend this once-a-year event. It provides an opportunity for you to meet and elect Encore Learning’s leadership.


Thursday, May 24, 2018
9:00 A.M. to Noon


Fairlington Community Center
3308 S Stafford St
Arlington, VA 22206


There is free (but limited) parking on site. Allow time for street parking, if necessary, and observe zoned parking restrictions. The center is serviced by Metrobus.


Annual Meeting Agenda


9:00 A.M.       Social period, light refreshments
9:30 A.M.       Business meeting


  • Call to order:  Art Gosling, President
  • Treasurer’s Report:  John Morton, Treasurer
  • Election of Encore Learning Board: Marilyn Marton, Nominating Committee Chair
  • Closing:  Art Gosling

12:00 P.M.       Meeting concludes

The Changing Face of Arlington: Community Advisory Council Annual Meeting

On May 2, 2018, we held our annual Community Advisory Council meeting, hosted by Marymount University in their beautiful new building in Ballston.

Left to right: Adrian Stanton, Kate Bates, Katie Cristol, Marianne Ward-Peradoza, Jay Fisette, Art Gosling, Chris Milliken – speakers at our 2018 Community Advisory Council Meeting. Photo by Joe Furgal.

As guests arrived, Pat Chatten and Steve Spangler were there to greet them and provide name tags. Member Joe Furgal was on hand to take photos – thank you Pat, Steve and Joe.

Steve Spangler and Pat Chatten hand out name badges. Photo by Joe Furgal.

There were a few minutes for coffee and conversation before the meeting began.

Coffee and conversation before the meeting. Photo by Joe Furgal.

President Art Gosling opening the meeting. Photo by Joe Furgal.

After our President Art Gosling kicked off the meeting, we were welcomed by Dr. Marianne Ward-Peradoza, Dean and Professor at the School of Business Administration, Marymount University, our host. 

Dean Ward-Peradoza welcomes us to Marymount. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Next, Council Chair Chris Milliken introduced our panel.

Council Chair Chris Milliken introduces our panel. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Former Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette led the interactive discussion on “The Changing Face of Arlington.” Panel members:

  • Katie Cristol, current Arlington County Board Chair
  • Kate Bates, CEO of Arlington Chamber of Commerce
  • Adrian Stanton, Vice President of Marketing at Virginia Hospital Center

Katie Cristol responds to a question. Photo by Joe Furgal.

The room was packed and the discussion was of great interest to all. Topics discussed ranged from demographics to transportation to housing to open space. And of course, Amazon! The question and answer session was lively.

A packed house. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Q&A Kerry Jones. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Member Jere Cummins and Council Member Theo Stamos. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Our crowd kept panel moderator Jay Fisette on his toes and he more than met the challenge. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Jay Fisette poses a question to the panel. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Q&A Kathryn Scruggs. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Adrian Stanton answers a question. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Katie Cristol answers a question. Photo by Joe Furgal.

More Q&A. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Kate Bates speaks to a question. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Q&A John Metzler. Photo by Joe Furgal.

After the panel discussion ended, members had a bit of time to ask questions one on one and catch up with friends.

Council Members and Encore Learning members post meeting. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Council Member Emma Violand-Sanchez with Carolyn Gosling. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Chris Milliken and Ed Rader. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Steve Spangler and Tom Adams. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Encore Learning staff greet Council Members Barbara Favola and Tannia Talento. Photo by Joe Furgal.

Council members Bob Brink, Mary Margaret Whipple with member John Milliken. Photo by Joe Furgal.

We are very thankful for our council members and look forward to their support in the upcoming year.

Encore Learning’s Community Advisory Council

Kate Bates
Robert H. Brink
Katie Cristol
Barbara Favola
Jay Fisette
David Foster
Patrick Hope
Diane Kresh
Kris Martini
Christine T. Milliken
Patrick K. Murphy
Una Murphy
Edward Rhodes
Matthew Shank
Theo Stamos
Rip Sullivan
Tannia Talento
Emma Violand-Sanchez
Mary Margaret Whipple
Olivia Wong

“Pilot” Group Tour of National Museum of African American History and Culture

On April 5, 2018, 30 lucky members of Encore Learning were able to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of a pilot group tour program. Our Special Events Committee was thrilled to be able to offer these in-demand tickets to our members.

The museum chronicles the decades of fighting against slavery, the efforts to end segregation, the Civil Rights Movement and contributions made by African-Americans in areas ranging from the military to sports to culture and the arts.

Member Ed Rader took the following photographs for us and said, “I liked it so much I went back the next day.”

Meeting at the entrance before the tour.

Chuck Berry’s Cadillac Eldorado.

Part of the Culture Galleries on level four.

Taking a break to pause and reflect at Contemplative Court.

We hope you can join us on one of our many Special Event tours in the future. Thanks to Ed Rader for the photos.

Ethnic Lunch Club: Food and Friendships

If you like to dine out and try exotic cuisines among friends, our Ethnic Lunch Club is for you.

Here are some photos taken in April 2018 while dining at Royal Nepal restaurant in Del Ray, courtesy of Lee Cooper.

Helen Sioris, Arlene Kigin, Nadia Tangour

Keith Fairweather and Dru Dowdy

Lynn Morsen, Ron Wise, Althea Johnston. Flag of Nepal in background.

Margaret Neuse and Jae Shin Yang

Vera Libeau and Steve Shapiro

Delicious food at Royal Nepal.

The Ethnic Lunch Club, a group of “foreign foodies,” usually meet at a specified restaurant on the last Thursday of the month to explore and enjoy the area’s great ethnic food.

Details for each restaurant are sent by email each month. Some meals are fixed-price complete lunches; some are à la carte.

To join or get more information, contact us via the Encore Learning office at 703-228-2144 or

Community Advisory Council Profile: Diane Kresh

Our Community Advisory Council, established in 2006, serves as a sounding board and network of support for Encore Learning’s Board of Directors. The Council, comprised of community leaders and representatives from our affiliates, advises the organization on topics which range from acquisition of classroom and office space, to membership levels and diversity, to recruitment of instructors and additional affiliations. The broad, deep and diverse experience they bring to the discussion is invaluable.

We continue our series on current Council members with this interview of Diane Kresh, Director, Arlington Public Library. Diane has served on Encore Learning’s Community Advisory Council since 2010 and is a familiar face to many Arlingtonians given the outreach the library has made since her tenure began 12 years ago this month.

Diane, our public libraries are the new gathering spaces in our community. How long have you worked in libraries?

I began working for the Library of Congress as a college student — a summer job that became a 30+ year career.  When I felt the call to try something else, I took an early out from the Library only to find myself happily employed a couple of months later as the Director of Arlington Public Library.  While I wouldn’t say that I started out in life to be a librarian (although I did alphabetize my baseball cards), the profession has served me well.  It allows me to “advocate” for values I embrace like social equity, intellectual freedom and inclusion.  And it’s a career that has never been boring.  Although the tools of the trade have evolved, and the names and faces of colleagues have changed, the core missions to make information freely available and the mandate to collect and share the stories that define our cultural heritage, have never gotten old.  They are as vital and as important today as they ever were.

So you have been in the metropolitan area for a long time!

I lived in DC, raised two boys (Matt and Nate) and worked there for more than 30 years. Actually, I have lived in this area since 1958 when my family relocated here after my father left the Marine Corps and began to work for the Federal government. I attended Arlington public schools (Tuckahoe, Williamsburg and Yorktown) and went to college at Catholic University of America, where I earned my BA in Speech and Drama and my Masters in Library Science.

Diane and author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Google says there were more degrees and honors involved. Don’t be shy.

I received CUA’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for contribution to the field of library and information science, 2002. In 2010, I was awarded the Top Student Award by George Mason University when I earned my Master’s in Public Administration (Northern Virginia Fellows Cohort). I picked up my Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching at Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership in 2013. And, like other local leaders, I am a graduate of the Signature Program of Leadership Arlington, now known as Leadership Center for Excellence.

 {Marjorie Varner: I remember Diane coaching a segment of my Signature Program in 2015!}

Author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen and Diane discuss his book.

Thanks for your contributions to that nonprofit organization as well. Tell us what you think about our organization.

Marjorie Varner reached out to me shortly after I became Library Director and invited me to serve on the Community Advisory Council. Indeed, the mission of Encore Learning is closely aligned with the role of the public library. We both promote lifelong learning and encourage the young and the not so young to be curious and open to new paths. Over the years, Arlington Library has benefited from a close relationship with Encore Learning. We host programs and classes each month; sometimes we co-sponsor and sometimes we don’t. Encore Learning’s use of the library reinforces our commitment to helping citizens become the best they can be.  And the wide range of class offerings taught by experts in their fields reminds us all of how fortunate we are to live or work in this smart and caring community.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t running Arlington’s library system? Where would we find you on the weekend or on vacation?

Downtime for me is filled with taking photos (the iPhone camera is amazing), singing with a semi-professional choral group, and creating mixed media collages and assemblages.  And when I’m not working on my own projects, I enjoy going to the theater and art galleries, eating at the latest pescaterians-friendly restaurants or spending time outdoors with my wife, Colleen Donnelly.  She grew up in upstate New York near the Canadian border and we spend a couple of weeks each summer hiking in the High Peaks of the Adirondack mountains or canoeing.   

Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, at a book talk with Diane.

Sounds like you stay busy even when you are away from the job! What would you delve into if you were an Encore Learning member?

I love to read (an occupational hazard) and am interested in many of the subject areas Encore Learning offers, especially those focusing on the arts. I also enjoy politics and current events and relish keeping up with what’s happening across the Potomac. I hope to be able to teach a class or two someday for Encore Learning. I have always enjoyed teaching and it would be a fun and interesting way for me to give back to a community that has given me so much.

We are passing your name right along to our Academic Programs Committee. Let’s add another title to your list: Instructor, Encore Learning. Thanks so much!

Photos courtesy Diane Kresh.

Bonnie Mangan on Civil War Women: Bibliography to Share

As part of our Meet the Speaker Series, Bonnie Mangan, Vice President of the Society for Civil War Women, spoke at Arlington Central Library on Monday, March 26, on “Civil War Women: Nurses, Soldiers and Spies.” It was the fifth lecture co-sponsored by Encore Learning and Arlington Central Library in 2018.

Ms. Mangan shared entertaining tales of a select number of lesser-known women who as abolitionists, campaigners for women’s suffrage, volunteer nurses, logistical organizers, disguised soldiers, spies and even spymasters, mobilized support for troops on both sides of the war.

The lecture emphasized their courage and dedication to caring for soldiers, the wounded and dying, as well as civilians, prisoners, and the many slaves caught up in the fighting. They also helped meet the needs of the hundreds of displaced persons, freemen, and slaves. Ms. Mangan’s presentation was a lesson for all regarding the often overlooked but extremely critical role that Civil War Women played in the lives of thousands.

Ms. Mangan based her talk on her in-depth research into the many letters and memoirs written by these exceptional women, particularly Sophronia E. Buckling, Laura S. Havilland, Harriet Jacobs, and Sojourner Truth. She also prepared a Selected Bibliography for those interested in reading more about these outstanding women.

Bonnie Mangan Bibliography Women in the Civil War





Office closed until April 2, 2018

Courses, clubs and special events proceed as scheduled.

Email and voice mail messages will be answered upon our return. Happy Spring!

Weather Update/Closings for Wed March 21

Arlington Public Schools and Mason are both closed on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

Per our policy, our office will be closed and no classes will be held at Mason and Fairlington Community Center on March 21, 2018.

Here is a reminder of our weather policy:

If Arlington Public Schools (APS) cancels classes, our office is closed and our classes at Fairlington Community Center (FCC) are cancelled. If they announce a delayed opening, our classes scheduled to begin after the building reopens will take place as scheduled.

If Mason cancels its classes, our classes at their Arlington campus are cancelled. If Mason announces a delayed opening, our classes scheduled to begin after the campus reopens will take place as scheduled. Mason, like APS, usually treats all its locations as one.

If Arlington Central Library is closed, any special event scheduled there is cancelled. If the library remains open but cancels all programs, then our special event is cancelled.

Activities such as special events which meet outside of our host institutions and our clubs do not have hard and fast rules. When in doubt, contact the activity coordinator.

Most institutions make their daily closure/delay decision between 5am and 6am and post their decision in bold letters on their home page.

To learn the most up-to-date info on the host institutions’ decisions regarding delays and closings:

Listen to the radio or watch television news bulletins

Visit for Arlington Public Schools or call 703-228-4APS

Visit for George Mason University or call 703-993-1000

Visit for Arlington Central Library or call 703-228-5990

Globe Trotter or Armchair Traveler: Our Travel Club is for You

Our travel club is a wonderful mix of those who are still actively traveling, and those who just want to enjoy hearing from others about their trips. At our March 2018 Club meeting, member Charlie Hallahan gave a wonderful presentation on his trip to Palestine. For those of you who couldn’t be there, a few photos courtesy of Charlie below.

Meeting with a Samaritan official on Mount Gerizim outside Nablus.

Curvy roads and curvy camels in the West Bank.

St George’s Monastery – a 5th Century Greek Orthodox Monastery near Jericho.

The key symbol appears in Palestinian towns as a reminder of hopefully returning to their homes lost in the 1948 and 1967 wars.

Read signs in Hebron carefully.

Travel Club members also independently coordinate trips for those interested.  The most recent tour selected was in September 2017 – a Grand Circle Line cruise that included Malta, the Western Coast of Italy, and Rome.  Read about that trip and see photos here.

If you wish to join our Travel Club, please email the office.