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University Hospital/Kaufmann's OASIS center to open in ShoppingTown Mall in June

OASIS, an affiliate of the national adult education organization The OASIS Institute, will open in ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt at the end of June, offering its members a full complement of classes, special events and volunteer opportunities.

"Our new spacious, well-equipped center will allow us to schedule and present an extensive array of courses," said Lauren Feiglin, OASIS director.

Central New York's OASIS center is sponsored by University Hospital of SUNY Upstate Medical University and Kaufmann's, a division of The May Department Stores Company. Located in the lower level of the mall, near the movie theaters in the Kaufmann's corridor, the site's construction was designed and donated by Kaufmann's.

The site houses a computer laboratory, studio, large classroom, reception lounge, kitchen and staff offices. In addition, a fourth classroom will be supported by University Hospital for providing health and wellness educational programming for the community-at-large.

OASIS' curriculum is geared to enhancing the quality of life for people ages 55 and older. The center creates opportunities for its members to continue their personal growth and meaningful service to the community by offering challenging programs in the arts, humanities, wellness and volunteer service.

OASIS programs include HealthStages (health and wellness classes) and a Peer to-Peer volunteer counseling service, with a Life Story Legacies program (oral history) to be introduced in the coming months.

Membership to OASIS is free. Members receive the OASIS course catalog by mail three times a year. One nominal tuition fee per trimester covers most classes, although some classes may have an additional material or class charge.

"National direction of our program is provided by the OASIS Institute, headquartered in St. Louis. The Institute establishes programs in new communities and provides the framework for each center," said Feiglin.

This framework includes standards for program quality; training and on going support for staff and research and development of new programs and curricula for use throughout the network.

Feiglin and the OASIS staff work closely with an advisory council to develop the OASIS curriculum. Council members are comprised of leaders and executives from area businesses and organizations.

In addition to Feiglin, OASIS center staff include: OASIS Program Coordinator Chris Sheridan, who manages the OASIS Volunteer Program, coordinates the OASIS Arts & Humanities curriculum, special events, class registration and assists the director with facility operations; OASIS HealthStages Administrator Jacqueline Jackson-Young, RN, who oversees the development, implementation, promotion and evaluation of the HealthStages program; OASIS Peer-to-Peer Coordinator Marilyn Sharron, CSW, who implements and manages Peer-to-Peer and recruits and trains peer volunteers; and OASIS Administrative Assistant Brenda Bolliver, who provides administrative support to the OASIS staff and assists members and volunteers at special events.

For more information about OASIS or to join, call 315-464-6555.