University of Southern Indiana

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Diana Nyad lives by her tenet, “You are never too old to chase your dreams.” The 64-year-old endurance swimmer achieved her lifelong quest to swim from Cuba to Florida on her fifth attempt last year. The grueling 110-mile ocean swim took 53 hours, and she endured hundreds of jellyfish stings on her legs, arms, and face. Nyad will bring her inspirational insights to the University of Southern Indiana’s Mid-American Institute on Aging (MAIA), August 14 and 15.

In July of 2010, at the age of 60, Nyad began her “Xtreme Dream” quest of swimming from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish 30 years previously. When asked her motivation, she replied, “Because I’d like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams.” Nyad was unsuccessful in 2010 and tried two more times 2011 and 2012 before completing the historic swim on September 2, 2013.

MAIA, co-sponsored by SWIRCA & More, is a two-day gerontology conference for health professionals and members of the community. There will be breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to healthy aging, including fitness and exercise, nutrition, identity theft, and coping with illness.
In addition to Nyad, this year’s MAIA will feature Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, an occupational therapist with a background in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; Erminia “Mimi” Guarneri, MD, FACC, president of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine; and Breeda Miller, a stand-up comic who finds humor in caregiving as part of the “Sandwich Generation.”
Teepa Snow returns as a MAIA speaker for the second year in a row, and she is leading a special pre-conference workshop for direct care providers on Wednesday, August 13 at USI. Her presentation is titled, “Positive Approaches to Provide Support and Care: Changing Challenging Behaviors,” and it will be held from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in Carter Hall. Her presentation will give participants a hands-on opportunity to try out new caregiving skills in a safe, engaging environment. This workshop will be useful to direct care providers who work in long term care and home health settings and care for those with memory disorders, dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

For registration information on MAIA and the pre-conference workshop, visit, call 1-800-467-8600, or email

Founded in 1965, the University of Southern Indiana enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in 80 majors. A public higher education institution, located on a beautiful 1,400-acre campus in Evansville, Indiana, USI offers programs through the College of Liberal Arts, Romain College of Business, College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. USI is a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University and offers continuing education and special programs to more than 15,000 participants annually through Outreach and Engagement. USI is online at