Facilitator Profiles - Fall 2012
Check out the wonderful people who are involved with the Academy: OUR FALL 2012 COURSE FACILITATORS
Dr. Fred Abrams (Doctors on the Edge: Will Your Doc Break the Rules for You?) is currently medical consultant to the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, Adjunct Professor at University College at DU. In 2003 he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities of the UCHSC. In 2006 he received the Isaac Bell and John Hayes Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism from the American Medical Association.
In 1983 he founded and directed the first community hospital-based center for study and teaching of bioethics, the Center for Applied Biomedical Ethics at Rose Medical Center in Denver, which then provided the training in the 1980s for all the original Colorado hospital ethics committees as well as the Community Ethics Committee sponsored by the Colorado Department of Health. In the mid-1980s, he was a leader in the passage of Colorado’s first “Living Will” law.
Fred was Executive Director of the Denver University/ Colorado University Health Ethics and Policy Consortium, Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at UCD and Adjunct Professor of Ethics at the Iliff School of Theology. He directed the Robert Wood Johnson-supported "Colorado Speaks out on Health" project, reporting the opinion of thousands of Coloradoans on ethical issues in healthcare and later, the opinions of Colorado doctors on euthanasia. He developed and teaches courses in the “Essentials of Biomedical Ethics,” assisting hospitals, long-term care facilities and communities to create ethics committees for continuing education of staff and public. In the past 30+ years, he has conducted more than 2000 workshops, lectures, classes and conferences for medical, nursing, legal, clergy, and teaching professionals and for the public on ethical issues.
With more than 30 years’ experience as a psychologist, trainer of adults, speaker and author, Maria Arapakis (Tech Tips) has presented thousands of programs around the world on leadership development, life balance and conflict resolution. Maria bought her very first Mac 25 years ago and, ever since, she has thoroughly enjoyed mastering the many ins and outs of the miracle that is a Mac. Maria loves encouraging men and women (including those timid with technology) to “make nice” with their Macs. Let her help you become more productive and comfortable with yours!
Jane W. Barton (Experts & Entertainers: The Heart and Soul of Ritual—Connection OR The Timelessness of Rituals), MTS, MASM, CSA is a passionate speaker, writer, and listener. Jane is the founder of Cardinal, LLC, a consulting firm that provides educational programs to assist people in confronting the daunting challenges posed by aging, serious illness and disability. She is well-versed in the areas of grief and bereavement, caregiving, hospice and palliative care, change and transition, and spirituality and health. She presents innovative, transformational programs to community members, healthcare providers, pastoral caregivers, clergy, funeral service providers, and national audiences to improve the experience of people and families challenged by serious, advanced, or terminal illnesses.
Previously, Jane served as Director of Education for a hospice and palliative care educational institution. She has also served as a hospice chaplain and bereavement facilitator in hospice and palliative care. Jane is a certified Spiritual Director as well as a Certified Senior Advisor.
Susan Blake-Smith (Chatting in Español, Intermediate 1) is an early member of The Academy who spent 25 years living in Mexico City, making her uniquely qualified to teach conversational Spanish. Susan has a BFA in journalism from SMU and enjoyed a successful career in marketing and sales in the travel industry. She has served on several non-profit boards in Denver and chaired many fundraisers over the years. She remembers scrambling up the Pyramid of the Sun on grade-school field trips and looks forward to sharing her love of Mexico and its beautiful language.
Ted Borrillo (Denver’s Elitch Theatre – A Nostalgic Journey and Denver’s Theater Community) is a retired attorney. He was Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver, taught criminal procedure and constitutional law at the DU Law School, and was a defense counsel in his private practice of law. He has had an abiding interest in the criminal justice system resulting from his interest in the Bruno Hauptmann trial and his execution for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. Hauptmann lived in the Bronx not far from Ted’s home. Ted has visited Flemington, New Jersey, the site of the trial, the cell where Hauptmann was kept, and has spoken with David Wilentz, the prosecutor of Hauptmann. He has taught at the Colorado Police Academy and at the National College of District Attorneys in Houston. Ted is also a published poet who has already made poetry a rewarding part of his life.
Kathy Boyer (Writing Your Life Stories: Getting Started and Writing Your Life Stories: Finishing Your Project), has conducted LIFE STORY workshops for libraries, summer camps, churches, community centers, and with the Academy. As a child, Kathy developed a love of the personal story as she listened to adults recall the tales of their childhood. A retired teacher, Kathy works with individuals to record their memories on audio-tape. As a workshop facilitator, she offers inspiration and ideas to groups of people who want to begin a written collection of their own short stories.
Glenn Bruckhart (Atheism: A Very Short Introduction) and his family moved early in his working career from Pennsylvania to Colorado, where there were real mountains to climb. Glenn taught math and physics, did teacher workshops across the country and helped develop student learning evaluation tools such as CSAP. After retirement Glenn’s passions turned from mountain climbing to biking and from Math to philosophy, religion and their intersections. He now chairs the Academy’s Religion and Philosophy subcommittee, so please share any ideas you have for future classes in this area with him.
Joan Bub (Art Sampler at the Denver Art Museum) is a medical doctor from South Africa who specialized in diagnostic radiology at the Colorado Health Science Center in Denver. She was in practice in the Denver metro area for over 20 years.
Since her retirement she has been a volunteer at the Denver Art Museum, and a docent since 2008.
Jack Burns (CU Science Tuesday: Exploring the Universe from the Moon) is a Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs and Research for the University of Colorado Boulder. He is also Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute’s Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR), a NASA-funded center. Burns received his B.S. degree in Astrophysics from the University of Massachusetts. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Indiana University. From 2001 through 2005, Burns served as Vice President for Academic Affairs & Research for the University of Colorado System. Burns was Vice Provost for Research at the University of Missouri - Columbia from 1997 through 2001. He was Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Burns was Department Head and Professor in the Department of Astronomy at NMSU from 1989 until 1996. During his tenure at the University of New Mexico from 1980 to 1989, Burns served as the Director of the Institute for Astrophysics and was a Presidential Fellow. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory from 1978 to 1980. Burns has 370 publications in refereed journals, books, and in conference proceedings and abstracts (as listed in NASA’s Astrophysics Data System). Burns is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2010 for his service on the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) and as Chair of the NAC Science Committee.
Dr. Mary Schaeffer Conroy (Late Imperial Russia & Russians Today) is emeritus professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has focused her professional research on the politics in Late Imperial Russia and health care in Imperial and Soviet Russia. She is currently translating a Russian book about a family in Imperial and Soviet times. A popular teacher of Russian and East European history at UCD, she has won many teaching awards. During her most recent trip to Moscow, she presented a lecture on Peter A. Stolypin.
Patricia Cox (Write to Save your Life) has been writing to save her life, practically all her life. With a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling, she taught for the Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools while raising three daughters. She has taught memoir writing for many groups and has recently published a memoir about her late husband, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease--We Keep Our Potato Chips in the Refrigerator. Patricia is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc.
Carri Currier (Art Sampler at the Denver Art Museum)has been involved with computers since the late 1960s when she started work as a programmer. As the owner of a computer consulting company, she customized off-the-shelf software for her industry. Since retiring in 2006, she has devoted her time to art but uses computers extensively for the numerous board positions in which she serves. Carri is referred to as a “super user,” meaning she has used a computer a great deal “so I know a little about a lot of things.” She brings logic and problem-solving skills to any situation. Carri is a cat lover, and enjoys gardening, travel and the culinary arts. She is dedicated to recycling and using renewable resources. She volunteers at the Denver Art Museum and is part owner of a gallery (Colorado Artworks on Santa Fe).
Dr. Rebecca M. Flowers (CU Science Wednesday: Unroofing, incision and uplift history of the Grand Canyon region of the Colorado Plateau) is an Assistant Professor of Geology at CU. Her research group focuses on problems in continental tectonics, using a combination of geo- and thermo-chonometry, field observation, and petrological tools. She is particularly interested in how deeper crustal and mantle processes are linked with uplift and unroofing histories at the surface of the Earth.
After 35 years as an educator, Linda Gordon (Chatting in Espanol, Advanced Conversation) retired just this year as a principal. She lived in Mexico City for ten years, serving as director of an English as a Second Language school. She’s excited to work with eager Spanish learners!
Ellie Greenberg (New Challenges for Women Over 60) has been interested in the adult life cycle since she developed and led the University Without Walls in the 1970s. Over the last 40 years, she has had the privilege of designing and leading many more programs for adults, such as: PATHWAYS to the Future for 40,000 US WEST non-management employees in 14 states; Project Leadership focused on non-profit board leadership; and MAPP--the Mountain and Plains Partnership-online Masters degree programs for health professionals in underserved areas. Ms. Greenberg has served on many boards and commissions, and learned politics through the civil rights and women’s movements. She cares about learners and learning, and enjoys creating “access to opportunity.” She finds it exciting to be able to now share what she has learned with you through The Academy.
Onsite Consulting, Inc. owner Scott Henke (Tech Tips) has been a consultant for 27 years, training computer users and repairing computers. He taught classes through Denver Community Schools for 11 years and worked for 13 years as a Technology Coordinator at Hamilton Middle School, helping students learn computers and the Internet. His company, Onsite Consulting, offers PC training, PC and network troubleshooting, repair, virus and spyware solutions, free offsite backup, remote emergency help and many other computer services. The company received the 2008 Business of the Year Award.
In order to stay engaged in lifelong learning, Dr. George Ho (Making and Sharing Sound End of Life Choices) discovered the Academy through its writing courses during the Spring term 2010. He now welcomes the opportunity to apply his knowledge, experience and talent to helping members of the Academy navigate the health care system through information and self-exploration. After full retirement, he also plans to volunteer in the area of hospice work and nature preservation (Bluff Lake and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal). He lives in Stapleton with his wife Katherine, and they have three successful and married children and six grandchildren (four of whom live in Colorado).
Conrad Kehn (Writing Music: Composing Workshop) is a performer, composer, improviser, educator, writer and artist. He serves as a lecturer of Music Technology and Music Theory at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. He is the founding Director of The Playground, a chamber ensemble dedicated to modern music. An award-winning composer, his style spans all genres touching on electro-acoustic music, multimedia works, graphic scores, aleatory, and experimental rock, but still remains grounded in the western music tradition. His music has been performed across the US including Issue Project Room (NY), Audio Inversions (Austin, TX), Pendulum New Music Series (CU-Boulder), and the Summer New Music Symposium at Colorado College. As a vocalist, he specializes in improvisation, contemporary music, and the use of electronics. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music and Recording Technology from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (1996). He also has a Master’s Degree in Composition from Lamont (2000), where he was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in Composition and the Outstanding Graduate Student in Commercial Music. In 2010 he completed an MBA at the Daniels College of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship and Non-profit Management.
Tom Keller (Experts & Entertainers: Korea, the Forgotten War) is a Korean War Veteran who landed in Inchon and spent most of his time in Pusan, Korea. Over the years his interest in the military has grown to where he prides himself as a military historian and professional speaker. Tom has many interests and activities including Tuba Section Leader in the John Philip Sousa band of Colorado and is a past commander of the American Legion Post 1112, which also sponsors that band. He serves on the board of the Lakewood Historical Society and is writing a historical book on the Korean War. Tom is a graduate of California State University at Los Angeles and has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Psychology and Graduate Studies in the field of Social Sciences.
Mike Klymkowsky (CU Science Tuesday: Why Understanding & Accepting Evolution Is So (*@#!) DIfficult) is a Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a co-director (along with Valerie Otero) of the CU Teach program. He teaches introductory biology (bio-fundamentals). Together with Kathy Garvin-Doxas, he has developed Ed's Tools and the Biology Concept Inventory (BCI) for use in understanding and assessing student's conceptual understanding in the biological sciences.
Jim Kneser (“It’s the Economy, Stupid!”) is in his fourteenth year of leading classes in economics, public policy, and high art music. He has led more than 60 economics and public policy classes with more than 3,500 class members and has facilitated more than fifteen classes in music, focusing on the Germanic tradition from Bach to Mahler and from sonatas to opera. Jim has an undergraduate degree in economics from Ripon College and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School. He is also a CPA and worked in private equity specializing in mergers, acquisitions, speculative markets, and corporate finance. Jim enjoys placing current economic and public policy issues in proper historical context, explaining the fundamental economic principles that apply, and allowing class members to draw their own conclusions on the proper course of action. Past participants have consistently praised his classes, emphasizing that he “thrives on questions and discussion” and commenting that he is “One of the finest teachers I have ever seen in a classroom—including the graduate level—brilliantly informed!" and that “In all my years of teaching economics at the college level, I have never seen anyone explain the subject as clearly as Jim does."
Sally Kneser (Bridge: Advanced Intermediate Practice and Bridge: Intermediate Bidding) is always ready to learn something new and help teach others. “I love to learn, and it’s so much more fun with friends around.” Sally is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics to others. As the Academy’s Director, Sally tackles operational and tactical issues in running the nonprofit. While volunteering with the Junior League, Sally chaired several committees, including the Facilitators. In addition to managing the Academy’s business, she has volunteered as the “keeper of the files” for several nonprofits. When not enjoying herself at the bridge table, she attends two book clubs and stops to smell roses in her gardens.
Dr. Joyce Lisbin (Living Longer, Healthier & Happier: New Research) has been in the field of public health and education for over 35 years. Her most recent full-time position was as the Health Communications Coordinator for the California Department of Public Health, the STD Control Branch where she worked for ten years. During that time she was also an adjunct professor at San Jose State University. Previous to that position, Dr. Lisbin was the Health Educator at the University of New Mexico, Student Health Center; the Director of Health Education for Bergen County, New Jersey and the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Rockland County. Her work experience includes consultations in program evaluation, and training staff and peer educators throughout the United States, as well as in Kenya, South Africa, Turkey and Sri Lanka, and she has designed and led health-study tours to Scandinavia, Kenya and China. To find out more about Dr. Lisbin’s consultant services, please visit Health Concepts Exchange (www.HealthConceptsExchange.com ).
Dr. Lisbin’s interest in healthy aging began over thirty years ago. She directed a pilot peer education program for women 55 and over, The Older Women’s Health Project. That experience was her first professional encounter with the health and emotional challenges faced by older women. Today, as an older women herself, she can compare the differences between that generation and her own. The discussions in this course will build on the participants’ experiences and affirm that this is an exciting time to be over 60.
In 2010, Dr. Julie Lundquist (CU Science Wednesday: Harvesting the Wind: Wind Energy and Atmospheric Dynamics) joined the faculty of the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder with a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She is a fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute. Her research group explores the dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer, with applications to wind energy, urban meteorology, and surface-atmosphere interaction. Prior to joining CU-Boulder‘s faculty, Sr. Lundquist was a postdoctoral researcher and later a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco. Her boundary-layer research supported the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, and she helped design and carry out the Joint Urban 2003 field experiment.
Dan Lynch (Religious Liberty & the Constitution) wrote the book Our Fading Religious Liberties: Government Using Religion, because of the increasingly dangerous alliance between government and religion. As a lawyer who has handled a number of religion/state cases, Lynch became fascinated with the subject. His thesis is that the Constitution has created a system in which all governments are powerless as to religion. Unlike some separationists, Lynch argues that the best defense of religious liberty is not Jefferson's mantra about "separation of church and state," but the fact that the Constitution expressly denies all power as to religion to the government.
Len Marino (Icons & Legends) was born in Boston, MA in a conveniently forgotten year. He was an art major and worked for an advertising agency for 20 years, followed by work for a corporation in international marketing. His interest in film started when he was about five. His mother owned a dress shop located right next to a theater. He would come home, go to the shop, and the theater became his babysitter. His uncle worked for Keystone Camera and Projector so Len showed old comic films. Len has taught the Cinema class previously in New York and in Colorado.
Jan Marino (Freeing Your Writer’s Voice) has published six critically acclaimed novels with Little, Brown and Simon and Schuster. She is included in TWICE TOLD, an anthology published by Dutton. She is the recipient of grants from The New York National Arts Club, the Rocky Mountain Women's Institute, a Scholar at the Bread Loaf, Bennington College, C. W. Post Workshops, and countless awards, including ALA's Best Book of the Year, the New York Public Library's Best Book for the Teen Age, Editor's Choice from Booklist, and Best Book by Parents Magazine. Her workshops have included The Writer's Voice, Hofstra University, Rutger's One-on-One Program, and the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation.
While not all of her books are autobiographical, each one of them has a little bit of her past in them. Her books, The Day that Elvis Came to Town, Like Some Kind of Hero, For the Love of Pete, Searching for Atticus, I, Elizabeth, Write Me a Happy Ending, and The Mona Lisa of Salem Street all contain aspects of Marino’s life.
“I love to write, to imagine, and to create characters” Jan says. “Yes, there are days of frustration. Days when I stare at the lifeless computer screen. Days when my characters refuse to talk to me. But give up? Never. I cajole. I plead and beg until I hear their voices. And when my computer screen finally comes alive, I am beyond happy.”
Lois Martin (Experts and Entertainers) came to Denver by way of Philadelphia and Nebraska. She majored in journalism at the University of Nebraska, before she moved to Pennsylvania while her husband was in medical school. She has been editor of internal publications for Campbell Soup Co. and Leeds and Northrup, both in the East. After the arrival of her four children, she founded the Aurora Sun Newspaper where she worked for 20 years as publisher. She was founding moderator of the Aurora Hospital Association, President of the Aurora Hospital District, Business Person of the Year for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, and elected to the Benson Hall of Fame for Community Leadership.
Robin McNeil (Music & Culture: Pivotal Moments of Change) began his study of piano at DePauw University at the age of four, taking lessons with Irene Soltas. He has a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Indiana University and a Master of Music in Performance from the University of Illinois. He began his teaching career at the University of Illinois and then served as Chairman of the Piano Department at the University of South Dakota.
He has performed more than 300 concerts throughout the United States and has written many musicology book reviews for Choice magazine of the American Library Association and Publisher’s Weekly, in addition to being an experienced music critic for newspapers. He is also a published poet, and the Denver composer, David Mullikin, has used his poems for art song texts.
In the past, Robin has been thoroughly involved in arts management as the Executive Director of the Fine Arts Center of Clinton (Illinois), State Treasurer of the Association of Illinois Arts Agencies, and member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Central Illinois Cultural Affairs Consortium. Robin has served as the Executive Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation.
Outside the sphere of music, Robin has raced Alfa Romeo and Ferrari automobiles and flown WW II vintage aircraft. He is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Robin now lives with his wife in Littleton, where he teaches privately and continues to do research on the French composer Théodore Gouvy. He is President of the Piano Arts Association, and an Honorary Member of the Institut Théodore Gouvy of Hombourg-Haut, France.
Peter Miscall (Biblical Storytelling: A Patriarch, a King & a Prophet) has a degree in the Hebrew Bible and taught for 24 years in Denver at St. Thomas Seminary. He also taught classes at Iliff School of Theology. He has published five books and numerous articles on biblical narrative (mainly the books of Samuel) and poetry (mainly Isaiah). His primary interests are in the diverse ways--both ancient and modern--of reading and understanding the narratives and the poetry. He continues to study the Hebrew Bible, to read widely in contemporary biblical studies and to write occasional book reviews and articles.
Dr. Jason Neff (CU Science Tuesday: Dust and Air Quality) is an Associate Professor in the Geological Sciences Department and Environmental Studies Program at CU Boulder. He received his BA from CU Boulder and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. As a biogeochemist he has studied ecosystems around the world. Neff’s research includes studies of carbon release from boreal ecosystems in Alaska and Siberia and work on the global nitrogen cycle. Recently Neff has been working to understand how land-use change in the western US has affected the production and deposition of dust. This work has been featured on National Public Radio and highlighted in newspapers around the world.
Kerry O’Gorman (Bridge: Intermediate Bidding) began playing bridge with his parents at age ten in Indiana. At Purdue University he “hung around” with some exceptional bridge players who introduced him to duplicate bridge. Here he learned the “first rule of bridge”-- that bridge games last until 1:00 am! In April of this year he and his duplicate partner, Eileen Hunt, won their section in an event at the Sectional Tournament in Aurora. Kerry’s 40-year professional career was centered on education and training, both secondary school teaching (math) and corporate training (information systems). Now retired, he skis, sails, paints, travels, volunteers in animal rescue and plays a lot of duplicate bridge.
John Paull (Discovering the Wonders of Nature) is an experienced teacher, principal, science consultant, trainer, and author with more than 45 years of classroom experience from pre-K and elementary through to the post-graduate university level. Initially a teacher in elementary and middle schools in Leicestershire, England, John went on to head two UK schools for 18 years, and was a consultant for the national curriculum in environmental education and science. He then came to the U.S. where, for the past 15 years, he directed teacher preparation programs and taught master’s classes at the University of Colorado Denver. He is currently a Site Professor in the University’s Teacher Education Program, based in an inner-city middle school.
Sharon Rouse (Watercolor: Let’s Explore) is a retired art teacher, has taught adult watercolor and sketchbook classes and presented short watercolor workshops. She uses her sketchbooks and journals to record ideas for future paintings. Her work has been accepted into various shows and is in private collections. In addition to her art, she is a docent at the Denver Art Museum and a supervisor for art student teachers at Metropolitan State College.
Laura Rubin (The Play’s the Thing) is a retired public school speech therapist, who has facilitated play reading groups for seven years in Jacksonville, Florida, and Denver. Laura has enjoyed meeting new people through international and domestic travel.
Lorenz Rychner (Music FUNdamentals) took up piano and clarinet lessons as a child in his native Switzerland. He combined a career in publishing with a busy performing schedule. After emigrating to Australia, he spent 15 years as a fulltime musician. In 1985, while in Los Angeles studying orchestration and conducting, he accepted an invitation to head up the music synthesis and electronic orchestration programs at the Grove School of Music. Many published books and articles later, he became the Editor at Recording magazine (recordingmag.com), his current job that brought him to Colorado in 1996.
Vee Sabel (Great Decisions in America’s Current Foreign Policy) is a confirmed foreign policy junkie and world traveler. She loves to hear the opinions of others and gain new perspective on issues. She is a skilled facilitator, having been trained by and worked with Michael Doyle and Peter Strauss in their worldwide consultancy, Interaction Associates. While with them, she specialized in issues involving information flow and management structure. She has also worked with nonprofit boards throughout the United States on similar matters. Locally she is a member of the Institute for International Education, the Englewood Rotary Club, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Art Museum, and numerous other nonprofit groups. Vee is also a designer with the Allred Architectural Group and often lectures at Arapahoe Community College.
Ed Schreiber (Experts & Entertainers: The Beat and the Brain) was born during World War II to an aristocratic fascist Catholic family in Zagreb, Croatia, and educated in communist schools in Yugoslavia before coming to the U.S. at thirteen. Ed finished high school in Dearborn, Michigan and then served for six years in the U.S. Army as a musician, mostly in France. Ed played piano in Denver night clubs while studying engineering at the University of Colorado, and had a distinguished career in the computer industry. Ed has also been a race driver, a taxi driver in Paris, an amateur actor, a radio talk show host, and a Democratic candidate for Congress.
Mark C. Serreze (CU Science Wednesday: The changing climate of the Arctic: What is happening and why we should care) is a professor of Geography , as well as the current Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU Boulder. His areas of expertise include Arctic climate and climate change, synoptic and dynamic climatology, boundary-layer processes, atmosphere-sea ice interactions, hydro-climatology, permafrost, climate modeling, and remote sensing of the cryosphere. Dr. Serreze received his B.A. and M.S. in Geography from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado.
Educated in London and Kansas, Eileen Sharkey (Financial Literacy: 21st-Century Survival Skills) has a practical and global view of finance and presents the changing tenets of money management in an easy-to-understand manner. During 2010 she presented Managing Money During Hard Times at Denver’s first Financial Planning Day with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Surviving and Thriving the Economic Roller Coaster for the Denver Eclectics, What You Need to Know for a Secure Financial Future to Inspiring Minds, and several other seminars. She has presented financial education courses through AARP, CO State University Cooperative Extension, the Institute for Creative Aging, CO Alliance of Geriatric Care Managers and many other organizations. Some of the boards that she has served on include the Denver Ballet Guild Endowment Trust, the College for Financial Planning Board and the CO Women’s Estate Planning Councils. She was honored by Wealth Management as one of the nation’s 50 most influential women in finance during 2010. She contributed to Your Book of Financial Planning and The Vintage Years and is frequently interviewed by regional and national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal.
Ralph Stern (The Evolution of God) has spent the past 40 years reading about theology, theodicy and comparative religion. In 1985 he entered Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, a liberal school. Following a year of study, he decided that he wanted more intensity and transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is conservative, and received a master’s in Jewish Philosophy. By the time he left JTS in 1991 to become the executive director of the Allied Jewish Federation here in Denver, he had completed two-thirds of the course work needed for a doctorate.
Before retiring after 30 years of teaching experience, Sandy Stolar (Chatting in Espanol, Intermediate 2) taught Spanish at the middle school and high school and several semesters of community college, too. She loves getting people interested in speaking another language and learning about foreign cultures. As a staff developer, Sandy has experience teaching adults. Sandy has traveled extensively in Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica and South America. She looks forward to facilitating the Intermediate 2 Spanish class at the Academy.
Following a career in television including 15 years in broadcast news as a film and video editor, Jim Syring (Experts & Entertainers: What would the Founding Fathers think of us today?) returned to his first love, writing. He is currently a manuscript editor and consultant to authors. A lifelong student of American culture and politics, his political satire, The Founding Fathers Farewell Tour of the U.S. of A. was published in January by Lulu Press.
Dr. Darin Toohey (CU Science Tuesday: Short-lived Climate Forcers: What Are They and Why Should We Care?) exploits ultrasensitive spectroscopic techniques for fast-response measurements in the laboratory and field. He has designed and built instruments that have been deployed at the ground and on high-altitude balloons and aircraft. His work has contributed to international agreements to protect the ozone layer. His current work addresses the mechanisms by which aerosols (small particles suspended in air) influence the properties of clouds and, hence, Earth's climate. For the past year Darin has served in the Department of State as a Jefferson Science Fellow, where he represented U.S. interests in energy and green growth for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He will talk about gases and particles with short lifetimes in the atmosphere (~ten years or less) that are becoming increasingly important as drivers of climate change on Earth - the so-called "short-term climate forcers." Although these are the most potent climate-active materials released to the atmosphere by human activities, they are easier to eliminate than carbon dioxide because of their short lifetimes. Studies show that the impact of short-lived climate forcers on Earth's temperature is comparable to that of 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions. Darin will discuss the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, an initiative launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in February, 2012, with the United States, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Ghana as founding members.
Dr. Jonathan Van Blerkom (CU Science Wednesday: Impact of current technologies on human reproduction using in vitro fertilization)performed Colorado’s first successful in vitro fertilization procedure in 1982. A professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he is recognized throughout the world as a preeminent expert on egg and sperm physiology. He has lectured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Australia. He also serves on the editorial board of several international publications and has written numerous articles and books. Soon after Dr. Van Blerkom started his IVF lab, U.S. News and World Report listed Dr. Van Blerkom’s IVF lab among the nation’s top 10 laboratories dealing with advanced reproductive technologies.
As a certified and licensed Audiologist in Colorado, Linda Van Dyke (Experts & Entertainers: Hearing Loss for Dummies)MA, CCC-A, MBA has owned and operated Arapahoe Hearing Associates (AHA) since 1984 in Centennial, Colorado. AHA provides comprehensive Audiology services including hearing evaluations, hearing aid evaluations, and service for all major brands of hearing aids. Linda very much enjoys working with all ages who deal with the challenges of hearing loss both at work and home. Her professional passions include practice development, business management and leadership, as well as public speaking.
In addition to teaching children and graduate courses for K-12 teachers (which included one she created called, “Storytelling in the Classroom”), Kathleen Visovatti (Once Upon a Time: Family Storytelling) became a professional storyteller, and told tales in schools, libraries, bookstores, historical societies, art centers, and festivals. She was an annual teller of ghost stories at the Illinois Storytelling Festival for many years, and was featured at the national Jonesborough Storytelling Festival in Tennessee. Nowadays Kathleen is retired, but she tells stories to her six grandchildren often, and looks forward to telling tales with you.
Dr. Paulette Wasserstein (Contemporary American Short Stories: New Series) has always loved sharing “a good read.” Her career in public education, teaching high school English, afforded her the endless opportunities to open student thinking by way of the printed word. In the early 1990s after many wonderful years of teaching reading and writing at Cherry Creek High School and adult education at the University of Phoenix departments of Communication and Masters of Education, Paulette was inspired to contribute to education on state and national levels. With a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, she was contracted to work as an independent consultant with many school districts and administrators to create challenging curricula and to provide K-12 teacher training to raise literacy levels for students.
Barbara Martin Worley (Outfoxing the Predators: Preventing Elder Fraud & Financial Exploitation), Gerontologist, M.A., has worked in the field of aging for over thirty years. She began her career at the Area Agency on Aging in Montrose, served as the Executive Director of Senior Support Services in Denver, and for the past twenty years was the Denver Extension Director for Colorado State University. Barbara has served on several elder abuse steering committees and is a past member of the Denver Commission on Aging. She is presently the Director of Consumer Fraud Protection in the Denver District Attorney’s office.
One of the Academy's most accredited facilitators, Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young (US Presidents through the Lens of the Electoral College) is ideally suited for an exploration of the Electoral College’s history in our country, given his extensive knowledge of both history and politics. Dick has a BA from the University of Michigan and graduated with honors from the United States Navy's Officer Candidate School, after which he was ordered to the destroyer USS MADDOX (DD731), where he served two tours in several official capacities. After leaving active duty, he obtained his JD from the University of Michigan and was Assistant Editor of the Michigan Law Review. His years in Denver have been no less impressive. He practiced law and remained active in the Naval Reserve, as well as in numerous civic and political organizations. His awards, citations and commendations are literally too many to mention but his greatest pride and pleasure are his wife Lorie, to whom he has been married more than 50 years, and his four grown daughters.
Mary Zinn (Communication Skills to Resolve Conflict) has more than twenty years’ experience in the dispute resolution field as a practitioner, trainer and curriculum designer. Her presentations are known to be engaging and enlightening.
Ms. Zinn provides services of mediation, facilitation, conflict and anger management education and use of collaborative problem-solving models to neighbors, families, congregations, schools, agencies and businesses.
Her professional organization memberships include Association for Conflict Resolution, Colorado Council of Mediation and Mediation Organizations, and Mediators Beyond Borders.