New Director of OLLI at Auburn Appointed

Ileeia Cobb

The Office of the Vice President for University Outreach has announced the appointment of Ileeia Cobb, Ph.D. as the new director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University. "We are looking forward to Dr. Cobb joining us as OLLI director," says Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach. "She has an expansive vision and experience with adult learners, and a significant enthusiasm for community engagement."

Originally from Tallassee, Alabama, Cobb earned her bachelor, master and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University. Her doctoral research focused on perceptions of older Americans in regards to the aging process and adult education programs. Cobb’s career includes experience with senior populations and adult learning. She served as a grants and program manager at the Alabama Department of Senior Services and most recently as staff associate responsible for institutional program review at the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

"I look forward to working with Dr. Cobb," says Don Baker, chair of the OLLI Advisory Council. "She has experience working with seniors and managing grants, both of which will be important as the new director of OLLI."

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University is a unit of the Division of University Outreach. Known familiarly as OLLI at Auburn, the institute provides academic, not for credit programming for adults 50 years and beyond. Members of OLLI at Auburn participate in a variety of activities including academic courses, social activities, special lectures and workshops, and events at Auburn University, and at collaborative sites in Montgomery and Valley, Alabama. As a member led, member driven organization, OLLI members work with the director in planning and leading the program through its Advisory Council and various committees.

Founded in 1990 as the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners (AUall), the program affiliated with the Bernard Osher Foundation in 2007, adopting the name OLLI at Auburn. Since then, the program has flourished and expanded, growing to more than 1,000 members. OLLI recently moved into beautiful new administrative and classroom quarters at the historic Sunny Slope home on South College Street.

Noting Cobb’s overall experience obtaining and administering grants, as well as working at the state level with institutions of higher education, OLLI founder and former director Mary Burkhart is impressed with Cobb’s dedication to lifelong learning. “Dr. Cobb is engaging, outgoing, and has a background in research on the positive effects of learning for older adults, plus she has good ideas about ways to increase membership diversity,” says Burkhart. “As an enthusiastic member of OLLI, plus my own experience as the director, I believe Dr. Cobb will help us ensure OLLI’s future.”

Ileeia Cobb becomes the third director of OLLI at Auburn, succeeding current director Linda Shook who is moving to Montana. Cobb’s appointment is effective July 10; her office will be at Sunny Slope. For more information about OLLI at Auburn, visit the website.

Submitted by Office of the Vice President for University Outreach; Dr. Royrickers Cook, VP

For more information, contact 334-844-5700

Last Updated: October 24, 2018