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OLLI Board of Advisors

Ellen ElliotEllen Elliot
Ellen serves as Chair. She is a member of the 4-H Hall of Fame and winner of the Woman of Excellence award from Schenectady, N.Y. She has been a literacy volunteer, serves as a member of the Schenectady County Community College Continuing Education Advisory Committee, and worked in the area of organization development for more than 15 years.


Michael KohlerMichael Kohler
Mike serves as Vice Chair. He has served as an assistant administrator for the Long Island Jewish Medical Center as well as in the N.Y. State Office of Mental Health, where he was responsible for all clinical physical health care services for patients at 28 state-operated psychiatric hospitals. He is also an active volunteer at the Theatre of the Republic in Conway.


Jerry ConleyJerry Conley
Jerry serves as Secretary. He is a man of many interests from ballroom dancing to yoga; he and his wife Donna have been lifelong learners at CCU and other places. He grew up in southwestern Virginia and attended Virginia Tech (bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering) and Old Dominion University (MBA in finance and quantitative analysis). He spent 40 years in engineering and project management in shipbuilding, power plant design, and in nuclear physics. Conley retired as deputy manager/operations manager for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at several colleges.


John KennyJohn Kenny
John heads the Communications Committee. He has spent the last 40 years as a hands-on strategist and technologist working with companies, governments and educators to help them embrace technology. For 12 years, he and his partner ran a coalition called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Kenny serves as a board member and volunteer teacher at the Tara Hall Home for Boys in Georgetown, and is also a law professor.


Elazer J BarnetteElazer J. Barnette
Elazer serves as Chair of the Program Committee. He has served 46 years in the field of education as a (7-12) secondary teacher; an Education Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Education; professor and Dean for the School of Technology at North Carolina A&T State University; and recently retired as Dean for the School of Education and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Savannah State University. Barnette has served on numerous boards and has taught continuing education classes and community schools adult interest classes. He earned the bachelor degree in Education at West Virginia State University, Master and Doctorate degrees in Education from North Carolina State University.


Samih BaalbakiSamih Baalbaki
Samih was born and raised in Lebanon and spent the last 17 years of his career in the Middle East before retiring in the U.S. in early 2012. His legal consulting work took him to more than 20 countries in the Middle East. Through formal and informal discussions as well as observation of the business, social and religious aspects of life in the area, Baalbaki gained a deep insight into the dynamics of the Middle East. Personal experience and extensive reading (in English, French and Arabic) enhanced his thorough understanding of the people and the problems of the area.


Blake CrawfordBlake Crawford
Blake Crawford moved to South Carolina in 2012 and immediately joined the OLLI@CCU. For more than 30 years, he was a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including service as communications director for its Office of Minority Health, where he worked on infant mortality prevention, maternal and child health, HIV/ AIDS, substance abuse, and other health disparities.


Kathleen D.Kathleen Eroszonak Eroszonak
Cathy is originally from New Hampshire and spent most of her career working in the medical field. She was the office manager of a busy medical practice, was Director of Optifast at a clinic in association with Sandoz Nutrition and helped establish and manage a psychological counseling group. She served as the New Hampshire State President of the American Association of Medical Assistants and represented NH at their National Convention. For several years she has been actively involved volunteering at Help4Kids, participates in the annual United Way “United to Read” campaign and previously volunteered for the Atlantic Stage.