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Read our May 2024 Newsletter

The Inside Scoop

Welcome to The Inside Scoop, our electronic newsletter. Please enjoy this issue and share your feedback by email. We always look forward to hearing from you. This is the May 2024 edition of The Inside Scoop.

Spring Semester Summary

Thanks to all our members, instructors, volunteers and board members for contributing to an exciting and successful Spring 2024 semester! With your expertise and assistance, we were able to experiment with offering more hybrid classes, record some classes (now available for asynchronous viewing), offer virtual class viewing in-person at GMU, and more. We have received much positive feedback this semester, and always welcome your comments and ideas.

Encore Learning members enjoyed another compelling course taught by Dr. Janet Auten. American Women Writers, 1650 – 1860 offered an introduction to the writings of some well-known and also lesser-known writers who were once widely read but may have since faded from attention. We are so pleased Dr. Auten will be teaching another class for us this Fall.

We are fortunate to have a number of returned Peace Corps volunteers (and former staff and friends) willing to share their experiences with our membership.

Peace Corps: 62 Years of Stories and Experiences of Volunteers and Staff was recorded and available for viewing for those who wish to register and view at their convenience. Click on map for larger view.

In-Depth Systems Check To Keep You Going Longer gave information, tools and strategies to help provide an overall “systems check” to ensure we are on the right track with our health. This had four different speakers and class was set up as a hybrid, so both in-person and virtual students could benefit from this helpful information. Pictured is Christine Crawford talking about wearable technology.

Radio: A Look Behind the Scenes provided an opportunity to learn how radio has changed and its future. Students learned about community and public radio as well as podcast creation. Two Encore Learning members were also presenters, Jeff Hoffman and Lynn Borton. The class offered a chance to tour the WAMU radio station. See below for some photos from the tour held on May 14. Pictured above are on-air hosts and staff from WETA Classical at the last class session. Below are tour photos at WAMU studio, courtesy of Richard Rubin.

A fun group of about 20 Encore Learning members and friends enjoyed a tour of WAMU radio station. Special thanks to Rosanne Russo for organizing the class and the tour.

The tour included the newsroom, a broadcasting studio, production rooms, the Hot Jazz Saturday Night studio and an on-air host.

Summer Learning Opportunities

Seeking ways to stay mentally engaged this summer? We invite you to explore our selection of pre-recorded asynchronous courses.

This past semester we recorded four of our courses and are offering Encore Learning members the opportunity to view these recordings over the summer. The course content was pre-recorded at class sessions held in March to May 2024 and there will be no live interaction.

Register for your spot in the asynchronous version of the course by June 30, using the links below, and you will have access to the full course recordings and class materials until July 31, 2024. What a perfect activity for those sweltering summer days!

The four courses offered asynchronously are:

Annual Meeting and Board Election

Our sincere thanks goes out to everyone who voted in our recent election and attended the Encore Learning Annual Meeting on May 16. We announced our Officers and Board Members, had an organizational update, heard from several Committee Chairs, received a report from our Treasurer and showed our appreciation to our amazing volunteers, without whom this organization could not function.

We also heard a presentation from special guest County Board Chair Libby Garvey on Visions for the Future.

Congratulations to our 2024-2025 Board:

  • Marilyn Marton – President (term ending June 2026)
  • Mildred Patterson – Vice President (term ending June 2026)
  • Barry Ginsberg – Vice President (term ending June 2025)
  • Steve Shapiro – Treasurer (term ending June 2025)
  • Joan Carter – Secretary (term ending June 2025)
  • Jeanne LaBella – Academic Programs Co-Chair
  • Deborah Spero – Academic Programs Co-Chair
  • Carol Fuller – Class Aides Co-Chair
  • John Metzler – Class Aides Co-Chair
  • David Briggs – Community Advisory Council Chair
  • Martin Suydam – Information Technology Co-Chair
  • Richard Rubin – Information Technology Co-Chair
  • Jean Falvey – Membership Chair
  • Ann Kaupp – Publications Co-Chair
  • Bill Reilly – Publications Co-Chair
  • Kris McLaughlin – Special Events Chair
  • Jane Nagy – Volunteer Chair

Note: Committee Chairs serve one year terms.

We also said farewell to Class Aide Co-Chair Gail Massot who will end her board term on June 30. Thank you Gail for your service on our board!

If you missed the Annual Meeting, you can view a recording, including a short slideshow with highlights of the year, on our YouTube channel.

Special Events

US Copyright Office at the Library of Congress

Encore Learning members toured an exhibition at the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress on May 7. The tour provided details about the copyright office and famous cases in which copyright has been invoked and challenged. Thanks to Louise Kenny for coordinating this wonderful tour.

Encore Learning Presents

The Special Events Committee continues to arrange informative and enjoyable presentations open to the public. Many of these are recorded and can be found on our YouTube channel. Recent programming included: Book Banning: How America’s Libraries Are Countering Censorship, and Anti-Aging Claims: Fact or Fad with Dr. Joe.

Next up on June 24 at 3:00 PM, John Milliken will discuss (from his book) Last Century Elections that Shaped Modern Virginia: What’s Next? The lecture explores the politics of Virginia in the latter half of the twentieth century using six selected elections to explore the demographic and economic changes that drove the transformation of the state’s politics. We hope to see you then on Zoom!

Volunteer Opportunities

School is (almost) out…including Encore Learning’s academic year. It is a good time to reflect on the achievements and contributions of over 150 dedicated volunteers. Their hard work and commitment have been instrumental in our success.

Curious about how everything is accomplished? Have a skill you want to hone? We invite you to get more involved in the year ahead. Your involvement can make a significant impact and is one way to ensure the content you want is brought forward.

We need volunteers for many aspects of Encore Learning, including:

Volunteer Coordinator Jane Nagy participated in story time at Mason Square Plaza on a hot May morning.

  • Promoting Encore Learning at community events and locations
  • Developing strategies to diversify our membership and ensure we are inclusive
  • Distributing flyers at community locations
  • Planning academic courses or Special Events
  • Joining a newly forming Public Relations/Marketing committee

If any of these opportunities are of interest to you, please visit our Volunteer page or send an email to info@encorelearning.net.

Club News

Please email the Encore Learning office if you are interested in joining any of our clubs or would like more information. You can also visit our Clubs page on our website.

Tech Hobbyist Club

Special Lectures

On May 6 the club enjoyed a presentation by Alphonse Galdes on Modern Drug Development and Discovery.

The club’s final special lecture of the series will be on Monday, June 3 at 10:00 AM. Join us to learn about Robotics presented by Michael Shapiro. All are welcome!

Use this direct link for the lecture:


Or if you have Zoom open:

Meeting ID: 870 4526 5665 Passcode: tech

You do not need to be a member of the Tech Hobbyist Club to attend this special presentation.

Travel Club

The May 17 Travel Club meeting featured a presentation by Judy Ballard on her trip to Japan in March.

Photo of Golden Temple by Judy Ballard.

The next meeting will take place on Friday, June 21 at 3:30 PM on Zoom. Dick Juhnke will be talking about his recent “Trip Through Time on Italy’s Northern Adriatic Coast.” Please join us!

Photos courtesy of Dick Juhnke. Ravenna (right), Trieste (below left, Venice, below right).

Chamber Music Club

The Encore Learning Chamber Music Club met for two concerts in May and will now take a four-month summer hiatus. The club will re-convene in October when the Friday Morning Music Club begins its 2024-2025 chamber music season.

Stay tuned for an update in September.

Nonfiction Book Club

The Encore Learning Nonfiction Book Club will meet next on July 8. We’ll be discussing: All The Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me (by Patrick Bringley). The book offers a fascinating, revelatory portrait of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its treasures by a former New Yorker staffer who spent a decade as a museum guard. We’ll meet in the Arlington Central Library Bluemont Room, beginning at 1:30 PM and ending not later than 3:00 PM. New members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Get on our mailing list by notifying the office of your interest.

Ed Rader, Club co-Coordinator

Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club meets Wednesday mornings at 8:00 AM for breakfast and conversation at La Madeleine in Bailey’s Crossroads. What a great way to start your day!

Photos courtesy of Lee Cooper.

Bridge Club

The Bridge Club met in May at the Lubber Run Community Center. The club meets monthly at various locations to play social bridge and have a simple lunch. Coordinators are Sharon Bisdee and Joan Carter. Photo courtesy of Lee Cooper.

What’s Happening at Mason Square

Encore Learning members are invited to gather at the Plaza at Mason Square for their 3rd annual summer season, from June 3-August 9!

From known favorites to new experiences, there is something for everyone! Returning events this season are Innovation Station, Video Game Social, Rep & Revive with SPENGA, Story Time, Outdoor Yoga, and Zumba. New to this season are Pages on the Plaza, Tai Chi, and Thursday Night Live! Outdoor Music Series.

Invite a member to meetup at the Plaza.

You can sign-up to receive emails about events at Mason Square here:


New Look, Same Patriot Pride

You will begin to notice changes around Mason Nation as its new visual identity is implemented. George Mason unveiled a new logo as the capstone of its three-year-long comprehensive rebrand. The new logo ushers in a new era of excellence and accessibility of a modern university that is All Together Different. President Gregory Washington and university leaders discuss the new visual identity in this 5-minute video.

Community Events

On Wednesday, May 29 join Encore Learning and many of our friends and partners on National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

We will be at the Health Fair at Lubber Run Community Center from 10:00 AM – 12 Noon. You’ll find information as well as access free health screenings.

Kick off your summer with knowledge about your health. You do not need to register to attend.

On Sunday, June 23 at 6:00 PM join Encore Learning at Pops in the Park with the Arlington Philharmonic at Lubber Run Amphitheater. Wear your Encore Learning name badge so you can enjoy music together.

Staff Corner

We heard from a few of you that the Annual Meeting of Members on May 16 was one of our best. We do think that there is an efficiency of being virtual for such events that is beneficial to us all. Meanwhile, many other members are finding great joy in meeting up in-person at a class, club or tour. Encore Learning strives to bring people together to make social connections and learn something new. If you missed the Annual Meeting, you can view a recording, including a short slideshow with highlights of the year, on our YouTube channel.

We love reading feedback in course surveys. The election ballot included an opportunity for members to share why lifelong learning is important and what role Encore Learning plays in their life. Here are a few comments that were shared:

  • Being able to learn new things is a wonderful thing.
  • Lifelong learning offers meaning, purpose and community!
  • Keeps my brain healthy, and keeps me happily entertained and informed.
  • A day isn’t complete unless you learned one new thing.
  • Encore Learning has kept me in touch with the world and my community. The classes are phenomenally important to my well being.

We sincerely hope that you will continue to stay connected with us throughout the summer season. Whether it’s through participating in a Special Event, joining a club, or enrolling in one of our recorded courses, there are plenty of ways to remain involved.

We have reduced hours during the summer months, this means we won’t be responding on Fridays and you may experience up to two business days response to inquiries.

Enjoy the summer days and be in touch if you want to learn more about what is happening now or in the future.

~ Lora 

Lora Pollari-Welbes

Executive Director

Save These Dates!

Please make a note of these important dates for the upcoming fall semester:

  • Fall Semester announced – August 1
  • Fall Course Preview – September 5 at 9:30 AM virtual
  • Fall Course Registration – Monday, September 9 at 10:00 AM
  • Member/Club Open House – Thursday, September 19 at Mason. New this year: featuring workshop sessions on topics to help you get the most out of your membership and learn about new club possibilities.
  • Classes begin – September 30

Welcome New Members

During April 2024, we welcomed the following new members: John Dennis, Iolaire McFadden, Susan McFadden, and Rebecca Richardson.

Thank you to Steve and Linda Shapiro, Carol Richardson, and Goodwin Living for referring friends who became members of Encore Learning! Spread the word and please refer friends and family to Encore Learning. If you’d like to bring Encore Learning into your community (residential building or neighborhood) to share information about membership, let us know.

Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our General Fund to support our sustainability or to the Arthur W. Gosling Youth Scholarship Fund. If you wish to designate a charitable gift in someone’s honor or memory, please email us indicating how the gift should be recognized. If you would like to discuss tax benefits of charitable giving and charitable remainder trusts, please view our Donate page or contact the office.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Inside Scoop. If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email us at info@encorelearning.net.

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