OLLI at Penn State York welcomes new director

YORK, Pa. — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State York is welcoming Jennifer May as the new director. May will begin working alongside the outgoing director, Peggy Chown, who will be retiring at the end of September.

May joins OLLI at Penn State York with nearly 20 years of experience in educational leadership, professional development, training and nonprofit management. She was most recently the project director for Berks Teens Matter in Reading, Berks County, where she managed 29 partner organizations, trained more than 200 physicians and medical provider staff, advocated for the importance of medical providers who are teen-friendly and increased funding by 500 percent.

Prior to Berks Teens Matter, May was the director of education at Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. May held faculty positions at Penn State in both Human Development and Family Studies and in the Graduate Department of Education. She worked as an adjunct faculty member for Holy Family University and as an instructor for the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarah Anderson, director for OLLI at Penn State University Park, said she is thrilled to have May onboard.

“I am excited to have Jen as my OLLI at Penn State York colleague/counterpart,” Anderson said. “She brings to her position vast skills and experience. Working together, we will enhance lifelong learning programs in both of our communities.”

May said her prior responsibilities at Berks Teens Matter required her to work with volunteers and community stakeholders. She said this would assist her in stepping into her new role.

“We helped Berks County and the city of Reading decrease their rates of teen births by as much as 43 percent since 2012," said May. "Engaging the community was a primary task of our initiative. We brought all sectors of the community together to tackle this complex social issue, including government officials, healthcare providers, nonprofits, schools, parents and youth.

"Volunteers were the crux of the initiative, contributing more than 800 hours in 2017. OLLI is modeled similarly, relying primarily on volunteers. While the content may be different, I believe my management skills and background in educational leadership will be an asset.”

May earned her doctor of education and master of education from the University of Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree from West Chester University.

She and her husband, Kevin, live in York with their three children.

OLLI at Penn State York is a mostly volunteer-driven, membership organization offering classes, workshops, events and trips to adults who love to learn. The organization at Penn State York is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Although the focus of OLLI programming is for adults age 50 and above, any adult is welcome to participate. More than 700 people are members of OLLI at Penn State York.

For more information, call 717-771-4015 or visit OLLI at Penn State York online.