VOLTS Valparaiso Organization for Learning and Teaching Seniors is a group of seniors in the area who are intellectually curious and like to learn, particularly with a group of peers. VOLTS was organized in the Spring of 1995 with the support of the Office of Continuing Education at Valparaiso University. VOLTS is directed by its own members and now works in collaboration with the Valpo Education Department. Programs, including guest speakers and lecturers, are chosen by the interests of those involved. Topics include previews of university drama and musical productions, discussion of current events, and presentations by VU faculty or other professionals. As the name implies, the program is designed for seniors who are interested in learning and teaching. Expertise within the group naturally lends itself to an exchange of information within the group. Thus, VOLTS does not replicate a classroom setting in which members are lectured to by a speaker. Rather, VOLTS allows participants to be actively involved in both learning from and teaching fellow members.

Who can participate?

The VOLTS program is open to all senior citizens who are excited about knowledge. Participants are retired or above the age of 60.

When can I start?

Anytime! A VOLTS schedule is prepared each semester and is included in the current brochure. If you are interested in participating you are welcome to come as a guest or visitor to a session. Virtually all meetings are held on the campus at the University.

What Is the cost?

The cost per year is currently $20 per person or $35 per couple per academic year.


Download and complete the VOLTS Registration Form. You may submit your registration and payment at any VOLTS meeting, or simply bring them to the Education Department in Meier Hall.

Request information

For more information please contact the The Department of Education at Valparaiso University at 219.464.5077, or you may send us an email at emma.kelley@valpo.edu or douglas.wassilak@valpo.edu.

Schedule and Parking

All meetings will be held in Harre Union Ballroom A unless otherwise noted

Click here for Directions and Parking

Click here for a Campus Map (Building Locations Starred)

Fall 2022

Monday, August 29
3:30-4:30 p.m. Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Valpo Police Update: Collaborative Work for Social Work,”
Jeffrey Balon, Chief of Police

Monday, September 12
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Understanding Russia and the Challenge It Presents to Europe and the
United States,”
Dr. Al Trost, Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Monday, September 26
3:40-4:30 p.m., Brown & Gold Room (Rooms A&B), Harre Union
Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction
An overview and discussion of resources available to area residents for
reusing, recycling items and reducing waste.
Speaker – TBD

Monday, October 10
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Solar Entergy Research”
Luke Venstrom, Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering
Paul H. Brandt Professor of Engineering

Monday, October 24
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“The Coming November Election and Its Significance for the American
Political Party System,”
Professor James Old, Department of Political Science

Monday, November 14
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Valpo Parks ”
John Seibert, Executive Director, Valpo Parks

Monday, November 28
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Magnets and Myths: Past and Present”
Mel Bohlman, former teacher and nearly 40 years professional experience in the
local magnet factory

Monday, December 12
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Physician Assistant program at Valparaiso University”
Dr. Joseph Zaweski, Assistant Dean for the Physician Assistant Program, College
of Nursing and Health Professions (CONHP)
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, College of Nursing and Health
Professions (CONHP)

Spring 2023

Monday, January 9
3:30-4:30 p.m., Helge Center, Multipurpose Room
“Creating the Stewards of Tomorrow”
Heather Sullivan, Executive Director of the Dunes Learning Center

Monday, January 30
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Valpo Athletics Update”          
Dr. Charles Small, VU Athletics Director

Monday, February 13
3:40-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Updates in Elementary Education”
Bonnie Stephens, Principal at Heavilin Elementary School

Monday, February 27
3:30-4:30 p.m., Christopher Center Community Room
“ValpoNEXT and Project Neighbors”
Paul Schreiner, Executive Director of Project Neighbors  

Monday, March 13
3:30-4:30 p.m., Ballroom A, Harre Union
“Housing Opportunities Update”
Jordan Stanfill, CEO of Housing Opportunities

Monday, March 27
3:30-4:30 p.m., Brown and Gold Room (A & B), Harre Union
“The Future of the American Experiment in Democracy”
Dr. Albert Trost, Professor Emeritus of Political Science/Colleague from the Political Science Department

Monday, April 10
3:30-4:30 p.m., Brown and Gold Room (A & B), Harre Union
“Equipping International Neighbors to Navigate New Beginnings- COMPASS International Center”
Alyssa Long, Program Director

Monday, April 24
3:30-4:30 p.m., Center for the Sciences, Building Lobby
“Glass Artwork in the Biochemistry Building and Brief Presentations on Chemistry and Medicine”
David Lee from Hotshop/Dr. Jeff Pruet and Dr. Paul Smith from the Department of Chemistry

Program Planning Committee
  • Dave Eickemeyer and Susan Livarchik – Co-chairs
  • Ann Jones
  • Michael Strayer
  • Douglas Wassilak
  • Dr. Albert Trost (Coordinator-Current Events)