Course Leaders & Speakers

Learn more about these highly respected course leaders and presenters.

Don Baer

COURSE LEADER: Don Baer

ABOUT: Don Baer has been a member of the Directors Guild of America for some 40 years. His television and feature film experience covered all production positions associated with the DGA,
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Steve Bernard

COURSE LEADER: Judge Steve Bernard

ABOUT: Steven Bernard was a prosecutor for 28 years.  For the past five years he has been a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals, where he has presided for over five years. He has
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Hal Bidlack

COURSE LEADER: Hal Bidlack

ABOUT: Hal Bidlack was a career officer in the United States Air Force, with over 25 years of service, and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2006. He holds all his academic
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Susan Blake-Smith

COURSE LEADER: Susan Blake-Smith

ABOUT: Susan Blake-Smith is an early member of The Academy who has taught Spanish and facilitated three History discussion classes using counterfactual essays by renowned historians to
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Kathy Boyer

COURSE LEADER: Kathy Boyer

ABOUT: Kathy Boyer 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
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Rex Brown

COURSE LEADER: Rex Brown

ABOUT: Rex Brown has a BA in American Literature from Middlebury College, a Masters in American and British Literature from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D in Modern Letters from the
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Beverly chico

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Beverly Chico

ABOUT: Dr. Beverly Chico has lectured for more than 40 years at Maryland and Colorado colleges. A nationally recognized expert and collector of international headwear, her collection has
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COLORADO PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP (CPMG)

COURSE LEADER: Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG)

ABOUT: It’s no surprise Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG) physicians are well respected – they help heal over half a million of their neighbors each year. That presents a great
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Mary Conroy

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Mary Schaeffer Conroy

ABOUT: Dr. Mary Schaeffer Conroy is Emeritus Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has focused her professional research on the politics in Late Imperial Russia and
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Bob Contiguglia

COURSE LEADER: Bob Contiguglia

ABOUT: Bob Contiguglia is a retired Nephrologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. He practiced for 40 years at Rose Medical Center. Bob’s passion is
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Marty Corren

COURSE LEADER: Marty Corren

ABOUT: The Academy’s liaison with the Denver Art Museum, Marty Corren joined the museum as a volunteer in 2006 and serves as an outstanding and popular docent.  She has a special
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COURSE LEADER: Patricia Cox

ABOUT: Patricia Cox 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
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Don Culp

COURSE LEADER: Don Culp

ABOUT: Don Culp attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles, then for a time he thought he might become a popular singer – until an unwillingness to face rejection combined with a
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Anschutz- Feb. 19 - Palliative Care slides

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Linda Gordon

ABOUT: After 35 years as an educator, Linda Gordon recently retired as a principal. She lived in Mexico City for ten years, serving as director of an English as a Second Language school.
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Gerald Henderson

COURSE LEADER: Gerald Henderson

ABOUT: Gerald Henderson, a petroleum reservoir engineer and global energy executive, enjoys facilitating classes in American Literature, including Mark Twain and the history of the New
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COURSE LEADER: Scott Henke

ABOUT: Onsite Consulting owner, Scott Henke, has been featured on 9 News, Fox 31, and the radio for his expertise.  He has taught classes for over 10 years through the Academy and has
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2-Ho-George

COURSE LEADER: George Ho

ABOUT: In order to stay engaged in lifelong learning, Dr. George Ho, discovered the Academy through its writing courses during the Spring term 2010.  For 40-plus years, he worked in
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Shellie Hochstadt

COURSE LEADER: Shellie Hochstadt

ABOUT: Shellie Hochstadt graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in history, and a minor in political science. She was a divisional merchandise manager for a
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Anne Holland

COURSE LEADER: Anne Holland

ABOUT: Anne Holland has a Master’s of Science in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota and is currently the Community Engagement and Exhibits Manager at the Space
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Sally Kneser

COURSE LEADER: Sally Kneser

ABOUT: Sally Kneser 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
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Jim Kneser

COURSE LEADER: Jim Kneser

ABOUT: Jim Kneser 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
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Lone Tree Art Center

COURSE LEADER: Lone Tree Arts Center

ABOUT: The Lone Tree Arts Center is an award-winning professional performing arts center and gallery in the south metro Denver area. Owned and operated by the City of Lone Tree, the Arts
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Sara Marsden

COURSE LEADER: Sara Marsden

ABOUT: Sara Marsden retired in May 2012 from Adams County Social Services after 20 years as a caseworker. She has developed an interest in foreign policy over a lifetime of travel and
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COURSE LEADER: Dr. Larry Matten

ABOUT: Larry Matten started his career as a biology teacher, went to graduate school (Cornell University) to study botany, geology, and paleontology. His adult career was as a
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Robin McNeil

COURSE LEADER: Robin McNeil

ABOUT: Robin McNeil 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
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Denver Art Museum

COURSE LEADER: Joanne Mendes

ABOUT: Longtime art enthusiast Joanne Mendes has recently retired from a career spent organizing programs in art history in London and at the Denver Art Museum, for which she developed
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Walt Meyer

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Walt Meyer

ABOUT: Walt is a retired “technocrat”, having spent 22 years in the weather field of the US Air Force and almost 20 years as a program manager for a defense contractor. My wife and I
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KarylMeyer

COURSE LEADER: Karyl Meyer

ABOUT: Karyl Meyer has been involved in educational and community most of her life. She spent many years teaching high school, directing plays and musicals as well as coaching speech and
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Hans Meyer

COURSE LEADER: Hans Meyer

ABOUT: Hans Meyer is the founder of the Meyer Law Office, P.C.  His practice specializes in immigration law and removal defense, criminal defense and postconviction relief, the
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Sheila Porter

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Sheila Porter

ABOUT: Since retirement has unfolded, Sheila Porter’s interest in people and places have taken her to far flung locations and led her to doing psychological evaluations of asylum
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Robert Reiber

COURSE LEADER: Robert Reiber

ABOUT: Robert Reiber received his training in the Meisner Technique at Hofstra university in the late 90’s. He had thought the theatre world would no longer be a part of his life due to
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COURSE LEADER: Sandy Ronyane

ABOUT: Sandy Ronayne has made more than 50 photo books — including ones on her family history (parents in WWII, family mothers and grandmothers, grandparents trip to Colorado from
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Sharon Rouse

COURSE LEADER: Sharon Rouse

ABOUT: Sharon Rouse is a retired art teacher who then enjoyed being a supervisor for art student teachers at Metropolitan State College.  She has taught adult watercolor and sketchbook
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Lorenz Rychner

COURSE LEADER: Lorenz Rychner

ABOUT: Lorenz Rychner 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
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Betsy Schwarm

COURSE LEADER: Betsy Schwarm

ABOUT: Music historian Betsy Schwarm spent a dozen years on the air at the vintage KVOD radio, “The Classical Voice of Denver,” and also taught music appreciation at Metropolitan
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Eileen Sharkey

COURSE LEADER: Eileen Sharkey

ABOUT: Eileen Sharkey’s practical and global view of finance and easy-to-understand approach to the changing principles of money management makes her in demand as a financial
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Ted Stainman

COURSE LEADER: Ted Stainman

ABOUT: Ted Stainman graduated from the Hebrew Union College, NYC (1970) with a master’s in Hebrew Letters.  He also has a BA in history from Rutgers University (1964) and attended the
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Tim Steele

COURSE LEADER: Tim Steele

ABOUT: Tim Steele has been in water-quality hydrology and regional assessments of water resources for nearly 50 years. He has managed multidisciplinary projects and directed hydrologic
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Bob Steele

COURSE LEADER: Bob Steele

ABOUT: Bob Steele’s career spans professional journalism and applied ethics, college teaching and consulting. He spent nearly 20 years guiding the journalism ethics program at The
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Ralph Stern

COURSE LEADER: Ralph Stern

ABOUT: Ralph Stern has spent the past 44 years reading about religious philosophy, theology, theodicy and comparative religion. In 1985 he entered Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute
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Sandy Stollar

COURSE LEADER: Sandy Stolar

ABOUT: Before retiring after 30 years of teaching experience, Sandy Stolar taught Spanish at the middle school and high school and several semesters of community college, too. She loves
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Philip Tedeschi

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Philip Tedeschi

ABOUT: Clinical Professor Philip Tedeschi is co-founder and executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection in DU’s Graduate School of Social Work. As a student in the
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COURSE LEADER: Dr. Alec Tsoucatos

ABOUT: Alec Tsoucatos was born in Alexandria, Egypt of Greek parents a day before Pearl Harbor. He attended a primary British school in Alexandria and finished Junior High and High School
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Paul Turelli

COURSE LEADER: Paul Turelli

ABOUT: Paul Turelli is a retired middle school teacher and administrator from Littleton Public Schools. He’s taught successful courses at The Academy including The Beatles, Female
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Abe Wagner

COURSE LEADER: Abe Wagner

ABOUT: Abe Wagner, MSW, is an author and international speaker.  He has presented in all 50 states and over 35 countries.  His down to earth approach and practical application of
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dennis-wanebo1

COURSE LEADER: Dennis Wanebo

ABOUT: Dennis Wanebo is a lawyer who has tried hundreds of jury trials—civil and criminal—as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney.  He has tried complex civil cases, and, on the
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Paulette Wasserstein

COURSE LEADER: Dr. Paulette Wasserstein

ABOUT: Dr. Paulette Wasserstein has always loved sharing “a good read.”  Her career in public education, teaching high school English, afforded her the endless opportunities to open
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wigdahl

COURSE LEADER: Matt Wigdahl

ABOUT: Matt Wigdahl began his teaching career with Kindergartners and the next 28 with high schoolers at Douglas County Schools,-teaching Literature, Grammar, Composition and Creative
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Dick Young

COURSE LEADER: Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young

ABOUT: One of the Academy’s most accredited facilitators, Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young, has a BA from the University of Michigan and graduated with honors from the United States
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