Become an Osher Volunteer   |   Meet Our Advisory Board


Become an Osher Volunteer

Osher VolunteerVolunteers are crucial to society, and they’re the backbone of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State University. Our strong volunteer program makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission to engage and enrich lifelong learners through a diverse selection of courses and programs to foster the joy of learning.

In addition to a rewarding experience, Osher Institute volunteers receive benefits such as free lectures or classes, free on-campus parking during volunteer meetings and events, and an invitation to our amazing annual volunteer appreciation event!

Learning more about your unique skills and interests will help us to connect you to areas of need within the Osher Institute.

Please complete the volunteer form below to let us know which of these roles spark your interest and we’ll get back to you with more information to get you started.

Our current high priority openings are for the following roles:

Membership Committee
Develop strategies to recruit and retain members. This includes greeting and welcoming new students, nurturing member relationships, assisting with annual member meetings, and developing member surveys. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]

Classroom Ambassador
Welcome students, introduce instructors, and ensure classes run smoothly. Serve as liaison between the Institute and classmates, disseminate information, and motivate peers to get involve. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]

Administrative Volunteers
Provide reception support at the front desk, print parking permits for students, prepare class packets, send reminder emails to students and instructors, and other clerical duties. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week.]

Other opportunities that may interest you:

Fundraising Committee
Experienced fundraisers needed to assist with increasing the culture of philanthropy within the institute and seeking support from potential business sponsors. [Fundraising experience required. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]

Marketing Committee
Help spread the word and increase visibility of the Osher Institute at SDSU through outreach, community partnerships, and social media. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]

Curriculum Committee
Recruit new instructors and assist in selecting curriculum each semester. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]

Speakers’ Bureau
Represent the Osher Institute at local organizations and communities in an effort to raise awareness and increase membership. [No experience necessary. Time commitment: 1-3 hours per month.]


Additional Volunteer Opportunities at SDSU

Aztec Mentor Program — Mentor an SDSU Student
We invite you to become a mentor and support an undergraduate student in his or her career development. Mentors will spend 8- to 12-hours over the course of one semester to advise and coach a student in areas including these: developing leadership skills, transitioning from the undergraduate program to the workforce, developing networking skills, setting career goals, and learning about specific industries and organizations. Mentoring allows you to help build a brighter future for one student and at the same time offers you:

Mentor Benefits

  • An opportunity to give back to SDSU
  • Exposure to graduates as potential employees
  • Development of closer links with SDSU
  • Enhancement of coaching, mentoring, and professional development skills

“The Aztec Mentor Program is a great opportunity for Osher students to help SDSU undergraduates. One thing we all have in common, if we look back, is how nice it would have been to talk to people in our fields of interest. It’s a great opportunity for Osher Institute members to get in touch with a young, vibrant group of people who will be ruling the world in the not too distant future.

— Deborah Carson, Curriculum and Instructor Committee, Aztec Mentor Program Volunteer

For more information, please visit the Aztec Mentor Program.


Conversation Groups with International Students at SDSU’s American Language Institute
Conversation groups at the American Language Institute (ALI) are designed to give international students practice in conversing with native speakers and other English-language learners. Supervised by ALI staff, the sessions are lightly structured, with topics and questions to guide the small group discussions. Students also have a chance to ask questions and explore topics of interest. Volunteers are selected to work with between two and five students each session. On some occasions, games and other activities are integrated. Refreshments are served at each meeting.

“I like to travel internationally and have always liked talking to people and experiencing their cultures. So this is like traveling, but you don’t have to leave the country.”

— Susan Furtado, Osher Member, ALI Conversation Group Volunteer

When: Tuesdays, 3:30-5 pm, twice a month
Where: SDSU Gateway Center and Extended Studies Center

For more information, fill out the ALI volunteer form or contact Emma Ryan at


For more information on leadership and volunteer opportunities, please email or call (619) 594-2863.



Meet Our Advisory Board

Eddie BacaThe Osher Institute at SDSU invites the gathering of keen educators and people with a broad array of life experience. The program inspires discovery, serves the curious, and is a real San Diego gem!

— Eddie Baca
Eddie Baca is a retired airline pilot who’s now a partner in The Talon Group.


Ron Barefield Who says you can’t relive your college days, or you just missed the opportunity the first time around! Osher provides quality courses by professional instructors in a friendly and supportive academic environment on a major university campus. The combination of comfortable classrooms, parking, well-qualified seasoned instructors, interesting topics, and adult learners with diverse backgrounds and life experiences provide for a rich learning environment and interaction. Over the last few years, the variety of classes, instructors, and classmates have provided a very fulfilling enrichment to my life, and created a desire for me to give back to the Osher program.

— Ron Barefield
Ron Barefield is retired from a career in real estate development and related activities; and, also regional and local government administration related to housing and community development programs and activities


Gayle Coonce As a retired educator, I love the opportunity to continue learning — taking courses on an even broader range of topics than my earlier university experiences! The topnotch instructors and curious classmates create stimulating classes and an enthusiastic learning community. Osher has been an ideal addition to retirement.

— Gayle Coonce
Gayle Coonce is a retired special education administrator.



Peter McQuaid Osher has been a great way for me to keep the neurons firing, explore new information across a large array of subjects, update knowledge that may have timed-out, and bounce ideas off a remarkable collection of uniquely aged minds.

— Peter McQuaid
Peter McQuaid is a retired public school teacher/administrator.


Sharon Popp I love the Osher Institute at SDSU classes. There is a broad range of topics and subjects. It’s such a treat to be able to take so many classes across so many subject areas. The instructors are informative and stimulating. The classmates are there to learn and engage in thoughtful exchanges. It all adds up to a terrific learning environment.

— Sharon Popp
Sharon Popp is a retired special education administrator