Conference Welcome

holtonJohn K. Holton, Ph.D.
Director, Illinois Department on Aging

In October 2011, Dr. John K. Holton was appointed by Governor Quinn to apply his expertise in community and human development to address the unprecedented increase in the older adult population, as director of the Illinois Department on Aging.

A member of the American Public Health Association, Director Holton served previously as associate director of the Division of Mental Health at the Illinois Department of Human Services (2007-10), and as site director for the Harvard University School of Public Health’s Project on Human Development in Chicago’s Neighborhoods.

Holton’s experience addressing domestic violence and other issues impacting older adults and their families will strengthen the department's efforts to help older adults live with comfort and dignity. He holds a Ph.D. in human development from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a master’s in urban education from the University of Hartford and a B.A. from Howard University.


Keynote Speaker

nordstromNancy Merz Nordstrom, M.Ed., directs the Elderhostel Institute Network, North America’s largest educational network for older adults. She is also the author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

A dedicated lifelong learner, Nancy returned to school after the unexpected death of her first husband, and at age 53 earned a M.Ed. in Adult Education. As an older student she saw the opportunities and challenges facing older adults, and has dedicated herself to the belief that lifelong learning is both empowering and life-affirming, regardless of age.

Presentation: Learning Later! Living Greater!

Imagine the excitement of exploring the historical and cultural treasures of the Tuscan countryside or the thrill of taking part in a lively discussion about the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh. There’s no doubt such experiences spice up our lives. Thanks to a vast array of opportunities available in the lifelong learning world today, we older adults now have the chance to make our later years far more exciting than we ever dreamed possible. Incorporating lifelong learning into our “After-50” years means our minds will be more stimulated, our bodies more active, and our spirits more fulfilled. Please join us as we explore the concept, benefits, and opportunities of lifelong learning.

Conference Planning Committee Members

Dr. Doug Brauer, Richland
   Community College
Jo Brownlie, Saginaw Valley
   State University
Cheryl Brunsmann, Southern
   Illinois University,
Chris Catanzarite, University of
   Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Pam Collins, Eastern Illinois
Beth Craig, Eastern Illinois
Carol Davis, Spoon River
JoEllen Hickenbottom, Eastern
   Illinois University
Marita Metzke, Eastern
   Illinois University
Jon Neidy, Bradley University
Judy Wagenblast, Lincoln Land
   Community College