Midlands Lifelong Learning Steering Committee

Sondra Berger
Sondra Berger has a passion for education, serving as substitute teacher in K-12 during college, collegiate instructor during graduate school, and professor. She is Emeritus Professor, College of Pharmacy, UofSC and Chair, Board of Directors, Lourie Center.

Elise Bidwell
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Jan Collins
Jan Collins is a freelance journalist, columnist, and author. She is a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and was a Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C. From 1998 until 2009, Jan was the co-author of a nationally syndicated newspaper column on retirement and aging entitled “Next Steps”. She is also the co-author of “Next Steps: A Practical Guide to Planning for the Best Half of Your Life” (Fresno, California: Quill Driver Books, 2009).

Van Edwards
Retired attorney
“In my career I negotiated contracts all over the world. I found that the more I knew about the history and culture of the place I was negotiating, the better I did professionally plus I enjoyed the experience of being there so much more. I truly believe that ‘Learning doesn’t retire’–there is so much to savor in life and I want to appreciate it all as much as I can.”

Jessica Elfenbein
History Professor, University of South Carolina

Becky Garnett
Program Director, Corporate and Continuing Education, Midlands Technical College

Paula Dornbusch Gordon
Retired educator
Paula believes that one’s zest for education stems from a mind open to the love of knowledge and the joy of learning.

Valinda Littlefield
Assistant Professor and Director of African American studies, University of South Carolina

Vicky Montgomery
Secretary to the Board of Governors/Communications, Programs and Events, University of South Carolina Alumni Association

Sandy Olson
Retired senior living marketing professional
Sandra has a passion for life-long learning and realizes from many years of experience in senior living what a life-changing impact life-long learning can have on quality of life for older adults.

Sandra Poliakoff
MA, CRC. Counseling Psychologist with Dept of Veterans Affairs(ret) and currently contractor for Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Former school board member, Richland School District Two.
“I am involved in lifelong learning to stimulate minds and foster social interaction, both so important factors as we age.”