Susan Kah has served as the Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU, Fort Lauderdale since September 2020, having served as Vice Chair the previous inaugural year. She believes strongly that the Board’s standing committees are what determine the success of the Board’s mission to provide advice to OLLI at FAU, Fort Lauderdale in the areas of programming, marketing, development and policy making.
“For these first three years of OLLI at FAU, Fort Lauderdale, we have been a very active and hands-on Board and have served as greeters, program attendees, ambassadors in the local community and technology consultants,” Kah says. “They have personally secured sponsorships from local organizations. All of this has transpired during the challenges of COVID. And challenges still remain. And this Board will persevere.”
Kah is especially optimistic about the future of OLLI at FAU because of increasing community participation and the University’s recent decision to closely align the activities of the Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton locations and place them under one administrator, Jane Morgan.
When it comes to programming, Kah says her favorite lectures or events have tended to be out of the classroom, such as the tour of the Avron B. Fogelman Sports Museum last Fall. “Here was a wonderful resource on the FAU campus of which I was completely unaware,” she says. “OLLI can facilitate appreciation of our local treasures. I also favor multi session programs because they allow you to delve deeper into and promote broader thinking about a topic. Taylor Haygood recently presented an engaging four week program on the life of Gertrude Stein. Her life certainly warranted more than a one time lecture.”
Kah would like to see the OLLI Fort Lauderdale continue to explore field trip types of experiences that focus on resources within the Broward area, such as museums, galleries, arts and cultural centers, performance venues, libraries, or historic landmarks. “By participating in this type of more active learning, we become more enlightened and appreciative residents,” she says.
Now retired, Kah has a history of working within large educational institutions. After a
earning a baccalaureate and masters degree in nursing from the University of Florida, most of her professional career was spent at Miami Dade College. There she served as a faculty member, program coordinator, department chair, director of the Teaching/Learning Center, dean of nursing and allied health technologies, academic dean and interim president of the Medical Center Campus. While working at Miami Dade, she earned her Ed.D. from Nova University in Community College Administration. “I am an advocate for education at any age, and the philosophy upon which state colleges is based is especially meaningful to me. They are a higher education access point for many individuals who otherwise may never progress beyond a high school education and graduate from universities, such as FAU.”
On a personal level, Kah and her late husband, Don, attended Lifelong Learning programs for many years at the Boca FAU campus. “We would meet friends and have breakfast in the cafeteria, very often having very stimulating discussions on a variety of issues. I miss those times together; they were special.” FAU was also special for Don because he was a member of the second graduating class, the class of 1966, and 50 years later became a member of the Majestic Owl Society.
Today, in addition to her responsibilities with the Board of Advisiors, Kah spends time with her daughter and eleven year-old granddaughter when their schedules permit, travels in this country and abroad, is committed to Pilates twice a week, and loves spending time outside walking, biking or gardening between November and May. She is also looking forward to the Fall when Osher Lifelong Learning Programs will begin again at the Fort Lauderdale location.
“I would like to see the OLLI Fort Lauderdale continue to explore field trip types of experiences that focus on resources within the Broward area, such as museums, galleries, arts and cultural centers, performance venues, libraries, or historic landmarks. By participating in this type of more active learning, we become more enlightened and appreciative residents,” Kah says.