Fall 2014

Tuesday, September 9
2 – 4 pm – Lecture: Medical Life
4 – 6pm – BYO happy hour to follow at Café de France (in ORCC building), $3.00 drinks/happy hour menu provided
Location: 8081 E. Orchard Rd.

Join us for a thoughtful and provocative presentation by Dr. Larry Hergott, Professor of Medicine and Director of Outpatient Cardiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Dr. Hergott will present “A Soulful Journey into the Medical Life…and Yours?” which explores the similarities between the medical life and those of the general population.  Themes include gratitude, balance between professional and personal aspects of daily living, loss, personal and professional evolution, facing our mistakes and the preservation of the soul of medicine.  When Dr. Hergott is not caring for human patients, he doubles as the cardiologist for the Denver Zoo’s gorilla population.   Check out this video:  www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22046354

Afterwards, gather informally with course leaders and fellow members over a cup of tea or a glass of wine at the Café de France.  Renew connections, pick up pre-class handouts if there are any for your course, and discover what books and films are hot this season. This is also a great opportunity to tour the wonderful facility and locate your classroom. Bring a friend or neighbor to find out what the Academy is all about. But be sure to let them know that many of the courses may already be filled by September 9.


Controversies & Decisions
Lecturer: Steven Bernard
6 Thursdays, Oct. 9 – Nov. 20 (skip 10/23)
1—3 pm
Lecture, discussion, Q&A

The Constitution’s First Amendment establishes our freedoms of speech, of press, of religion, to assemble peaceably, and to petition our government to redress our grievances.  In this course we will examine the background of issues such as time, place, or manner restrictions on protected speech; political dissent; school prayer; obscenity; commercial speech; and campaign finance.  We will pass out United States Supreme Court decisions to the members of the class so that they can read them and decide what they think about them.

Lecturer: Judge Steven Bernard served as a prosecutor for 28 years and now presides on the Colorado Court of Appeals, getting up-close and personal with the Constitution.

Course Leader: Ted Stainman
6 Wednesdays, Oct. 15 – Nov. 19
1—3 pm
Lecture, discussion

Major movements, personalities and thoughts have made religious traditions in this country vibrant, creative and uniquely American.  The broad scope of this subject includes:  the doctrine of separation of church and state, which freed religion from the heavy hand of government; the vastness of America’s geography, which allowed people to start movements away from settled church life and established institutions; and America’s heterogeneous population, which mixed traditions that otherwise would not have melded together.

Course Leader: Ted Stainman earned a master’s in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College, NYC and attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel 1964-65 as a special overseas student.  He taught American Religion, at Wesley College after retirement from 23 years as an Air Force chaplain.

Discussion Leader: Dr. Walt Meyer
8 Thursdays, Oct. 2 – Nov. 20
1—3 pm
Lecture, reading, discussion

Explore the history of the Islamic faith from its beginnings in the 7th century to the rise of radical fundamentalism in the 19th century and continuing until today. The life of Mohammad and the Holy Qur’an (Koran), are both widely misunderstood in the Western world. There are many similarities and differences between Islam and the two other great monotheistic religions—Christianity and Judaism. The long history of political relations between Islam and the West, together with the possible future directions of Islam in the wake of the Arab Spring should provide fascinating discussions. Two Muslim guests will provide insight into the struggles faced by the American Muslim community since 9/11.

Required reading: John Esposito, Islam: the Straight Path (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Discussion Leader:  Walt Meyer, a “retired technocrat,” enjoys sharing his research into the historical, political, and religious roots of relations between Muslim cultures and the West.

Have We Learned Anything?
Facilitator: Bob Rose
8 Wednesdays Sept. 17 – Nov. 19 (skip 10/8 & 11/5)
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion, lecture, videos

Worldwide, casualties from armed violence have significantly decreased over the past 25 years.  But does this mean we have learned our lessons in war? Look at the various reasons for this trend, including the decline of colonialism, the end of the Cold War, and the rise of globalization and international diplomacy.  We’ll dissect the growing body of research in such areas as conflict resolution, war prevention and peacekeeping.

Required reading: Joshua S. Goldstein, Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide (Plume, 2011).

Recommended reading: Human Security Report Project, Human Security Report 2013: The Decline in Global Violence: Evidence, Explanation, and Contestation (Human Security Press, 2014).

Facilitator: Dr. Bob Rose, a retired school psychologist, has passions including education, peace studies, international development, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. He has volunteered with a number of NGO’s in the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Its Rise & Fall
Lecturer: Jane Earle
6 Tuesdays, Sept. 16 – Oct. 21
1—3 pm
Lecture, discussion

Trace the history of American newspapers and journalism from the colonial era to the age of the Internet.  Discover the role that our newspapers have played in our country and the development of our particular form of democracy.  This once-powerful institution is in decline.  The crux of this discussion will be what kind of journalism will survive—and what kind of government will be left—when all of our newspapers are gone.

Lecturer: Jane Earle has been a journalist most of her life. After many years working for Ohio newspapers she joined The Denver Post as a writer, became editor and publisher of Denver Magazine and then editorial director at Channel 7.  She has taught college Journalism and spent one year in Moscow as the managing editor at a new English language newspaper.

The Aviator’s Wife
Course Leaders: Paula Kauffman & Gerre Shenkin
7 Wednesdays, Oct. 1 – Nov. 12
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion, lecture

Two of the 20th century’s most compelling personalities are revealed in the book The Aviator’s Wife, a work of historical fiction.  Most famously known as Charles Lindbergh’s wife, the overlooked Anne Lindbergh was an award-winning writer, an accomplished aviator, and a woman who dealt with life’s challenges with her famous husband and the period in history.  Amazing facts about Charles Lindbergh will also be revealed, including his Nazi leanings and his three mistresses. Those who read The Aviator’s Wife will enjoy the course more.

Highly recommended book: (used as the basis for the course) Melanie Benjamin, The Aviator’s Wife: A Novel (Bantam, 2013)

Recommended reading: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea (Pantheon Books, 1991).
Course Leaders: Paula Kauffman is retired from the Social Security Administration and has facilitated courses for adult learning over the last 15 years.  Gerre Shenkin taught kindergarten and grades 1-8 and was an English teacher at D. U.  She has facilitated many classes for adults over the past 10 years.


Between East & West, Past & Present
Lecturer: Dr. Mary Shaeffer Conroy
4 Tuesdays, Oct.21—Nov. 11
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

Recent developments in Ukraine have focused new attention on its neighbors in East Central Europe, where persistent problems of ethnicity, nationalism and economic transition complicate their changing relations with Russia on one hand and the NATO alliance on the other.  We will review the history of the region, consider the challenges that have arisen in the wake of communism’s collapse, and explore the ongoing tensions between the industrial West and the agrarian East, all in hopes of better understanding the roles that Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will play—together with other states—in the current and future Europe.

Lecturer: World expert on late imperial Russia, Dr. Mary Shaeffer Conroy has given numerous lectures in the USSR.  She has published several books and is an emeritus Professor at the University of Colorado, Denver.

What’s Hot Now?
Lecturer: Jim Kneser
5 Thursdays, Oct.16 – Nov. 13
10 am—12 noon
$75 (includes a giant stack of handouts for each week’s lecture)
Lecture, Q&A

Whatever the hottest and most complex economic issues are next fall, that’s what will be examined in this highly popular course.  Some of the topics being considered are:  Is increasing the minimum wage the best way to help the working poor?  What are the implications for the U.S. economy of Janet Yellen’s dovish stance on inflation and interest rates?  Is Thomas Piketty right: Is Capitalism fatally flawed with ever-increasing inequality built in?   Is a period of “Secular Stagnation” inevitable?  Is a lost generation forming in employment markets?  Are there things that money can’t or shouldn’t buy (the Michael Sandel question)?  Can public employee pension funds survive without major changes to contributions and/or benefits?   Registration will be limited to 125.  Warning: We hit the limit last term.

Lecturer: After a career in financial management, Jim Kneser has turned his attention to educating adults about the workings of complicated economic principles in the real world. In the past seventeen years he’s taught courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, globalization and public policy to over 5,000 participants in over 60 courses.

Facilitator: Vee Sabel
8 Thursdays, Sep. 18 – Nov. 20 (skip 9/25 + 1 TBD)
10 am—12 noon
$90 (includes book: you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
$65 (no book)
Reading, discussion, PBS videos, guest speakers

The Great Decisions Discussion Groups are part of a nation-wide program developed by the Foreign Policy Association.  Each year thousands of Americans discuss and formulate their opinions on eight vital foreign policy issues. The 2014 topics include: Defense Technology, Israel and the U.S., Turkey’s Challenges, Islamic Awakening, Energy Independence, Food and Climate, China’s Foreign Policy, and U.S. Trade Policy. Each 15-page chapter in the Great Decisions Briefing Book places the issues in historical context and provides background, current policies, and alternative options. Discussion questions, annotated reading suggestions, and additional resources, including websites, are provided.  Videos featuring renowned experts in each field provide additional food for thought. Registration is required by August 20 so that books may be ordered.

Required Reading: Great Decisions Briefing Book, which will be mailed in advance.

Facilitator: Vee Sabel has an avid interest in foreign policy and world affairs. She is a highly trained facilitator who has worked with numerous government, corporate, and private organizations. Vee loves to hear the opinions of others and gain new perspective on global issues.


Today’s Global Challenge
Lecturer: Jonathan Ormes
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Nov. 5 (skip 9/24 & 10/15)
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A, discussion, field trip

Guided by our very own physics and astronomy expert, we’ll explore various aspects of this complex and often controversial topic, such as the causes of global warming (some say population and affluence might be underlying factors) and how to mitigate its effects. We will look at the geological record; enjoy images from space; explore the arguments made by skeptics; and learn lessons from our two closest planetary neighbors, Mars and Venus.  A highlight will be a visit to the National Ice Core Laboratory at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood.

Lecturer: Dr. Jonathan Ormes is a Physics Research Professor at DU.  He was the Director of Space Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  His research career involved studies of the origin and characteristics of the relativistic particles that pervade our galaxy.

New Cases & Dilemmas
Facilitator: Dr. Fred Abrams
6 Thursdays, Oct. 16 – Nov. 20
10 am—12 noon
$65 (includes the NEW required large notebook with all new cases—no book is needed)
$50 (no notebook—for those who are sharing with someone else)
Reading, lecture, discussion

While examining all-new case studies, discover the wrenching decisions that doctors face in dealing with such real-life issues as the hazards and happiness of surrogate parenting, euthanasia, sterilization, assisted suicide, abortion, in-vitro fertilization, religious issues in reproduction and birth defects.  In a profession where bodies are vulnerable and souls are laid bare, the dictates of medicine, law, and morality are often conflicting and ambiguous.  Doctors sometimes lie, betray confidences and break the law.  Would you do the same?

Facilitator: An obstetrician and gynecologist since 1959, Dr. Fred Abrams, MD, has taught biomedical ethics and spearheaded medical ethics programs for health-care professionals, teachers, community leaders, and hospital ethics committees.

Course Leader: Woody Emlen
5 Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Oct. 21
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

Explore the science of healing from blood-letting to antibiotics to genetic engineering to Nutraceuticals.  Delve into such questions as why we get sick, how medications are developed and regulated, how the testing of a new drug is impacted by the placebo effect, and how we can tell if a given medication is effective and safe.  In addition, we will see how magical-thinking still plays a role in modern medicine, as it did in primitive societies.

Course Leader: Dr. Woody Emlen was Professor of Medicine and Immunology at University of Washington and CU Health Sciences Center with a practice in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.  From 2004 to 2011 he co-founded and ran his own Denver-based biotechnology Company.

Facilitator: Dr. George Ho
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Oct. 22
10 am—12 noon
$55 (Includes the required class workbook.  You must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
$45 (No workbook)
Discussion, lecture, writing

We will all die one day, but we need not make a graceless exit.  Instead, we can prepare for death in a personalized and unique way, by developing our own sense of what end-of-life can and should look like, and sharing those decisions with our family and friends.  We’ll consider the options we have, the choices we face and the wishes we want to pass on.  This is not a “how-to” course or a substitute for medical or legal advice.  It’s an opportunity to appreciate the nuances of the dying process, to consider the difficulties surrounding end-of-life issues, and to develop new perspectives by sharing our concerns with others in a safe setting.  Limited to 24.

Facilitator: Now retired from an active career in teaching and medical practice, Dr. George Ho, Jr. focused his special expertise on the areas of internal medicine, arthritis treatment and palliative end-of-life care.


Instructor: Shellie Hochstadt
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 24—Oct.29
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

Over the centuries, religions have spread their messages and extended their spheres of influence via the same routes traversed by traders and travelers.  We’ll examine this process by tracing the development of various beliefs from early polytheistic and Zoroastrian concepts to the five major religious beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The trail corresponds to changes in political, economic and cultural patterns around the world.  Religious ideas are not incubated in vacuums; they are products of philosophy, social interaction and political winds.

Instructor: Shellie Hochstadt taught world history, government and economics until her retirement in 2010. She combines her interests in history, travel and reading into her teaching, where she endeavors to bring a thoughtful global perspective.

What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Facilitator: Ed Schreiber
10 Tuesdays, Sept. 16 – Nov. 18
1—3 pm

Explore your own ideas and popular opinions about ethical dilemmas such as torture, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, the moral limits of markets, and other ethical dilemmas.  Taking a cue from one of Harvard’s most popular courses, Michael Sandel’s Justice—What’s the Right Thing to Do? we will draw on lessons taught by history’s greatest philosophers, and hear a non-theistic approach to dealing with moral dilemmas, large and small.  Folks who have already seen or read Sandel’s works will enjoy this opportunity for group discussion.

Facilitator: Ed Schreiber came to the US from Croatia at age 13. After six years as an Army musician he played piano in Denver nightclubs while studying engineering at University of Colorado and then worked in the computer industry for 35 years, interrupted by a run for Congress in 1980.

Are You a Pragmatist?
Course Leader: Dr. Rex Brown
6 Tuesdays, Sept. 23—Oct. 28
10 am—12 noon
Discussion, discussion, discussion, Discussion, lecture

In philosophy, the term pragmatism refers to a school of thought that has profoundly influenced what Americans believe about democracy, liberty, justice, education, science, culture and reality itself.  Indeed, pragmatism is our country’s distinctive contribution to modern intellectual life.  In this course we’ll strive to gain a solid understanding of it by reading and discussing essays by William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Dewey and especially Richard Rorty.

Required Reading: Louis Menand, Pragmatism: A Reader (Vintage Books, 1997) and Richard Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope (Penguin, 2000).

Recommended Reading: Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) and Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Course Leader: After earning advanced degrees in literature, Dr. Rex Brown taught at the University of Iowa, Heidelberg College, and the University of Denver, from which he retired in 2010.  He has a lifelong interest in literature, philosophy, art, and their intersections in our culture and our everyday lives.

Anti-Semitism & the Church
Facilitator:  Ralph Stern
8 Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Nov. 18 (skip 10/21)
1—3 pm
Reading, some lecture, mostly discussion

This is an extension of a course offered last spring, which explored the history of anti-Semitism as laid out in the book “Constantine’s Sword” by the ex-priest James Carroll.  As we continue our reading, we will discover it is really two books—one about the long and difficult relationship between Judaism and Catholicism, and the other about Carroll’s own struggle with his faith and relationship with the church. Those who did not take the class last year are welcome to join this course if they read the first half of the book before 9/23.

Required Reading: James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews—A History (Mariner Books, 2002).

Facilitator: Ralph Stern has spent the past 45 years reading about theology, theodicy and comparative religion.  In 1986 he entered the Jewish Theological Seminary and received a Masters in Jewish Philosophy.


Poet & Prophet
Instructor: Paul Turelli
7 Tuesdays, Sept. 30 – Nov. 11
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, discussion

Bob Dylan is arguably the most important American song writer and performer of the past half-century.  He juggles a multitude of hallmarks and characterizations:  Folk hobo king, ‘60s protest poet, rock and roll icon, traveling troubadour, country blues outcast,  and an ever-relevant commentator on the American experience.  Dylan transformed himself as an artist, and did the same for his listeners, fans and even detractors.  Examine the many facets of his career through his music, lyrics, video clips and interviews. Each participant will have an opportunity to share insights about a specific album or era.

Instructor: Paul Turelli is a retired middle school teacher and administrator from Littleton Public Schools.  He has a vast interest in literature and history.  Paul gained an interest and passion for Dylan’s creative abilities and how he impacted both literature and history.

Survival through Music
Course organizer: Sally Kneser
Lecturers & Facilitators: Anita Fricklas, Judy Schwartz, Robin McNeil
10 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Nov. 19
10 am-12 noon
$85 (includes two music CDs)
$75 (no CDs)
Reading, lecture, discussion

This combination literature, history and music course is a unique offering that will delight readers and music lovers alike.  The life, times, and music of Alice Herz-
Sommers are chronicled in the nonfiction book, Alice’s Piano.  It was her artistic skills as well as her character which helped her survive her years in Theresienstadt, the concentration camp manipulated by the Nazis to appear to be something quite different from what it actually was.  Listen to the works of Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven and others—with special attention to the Études—mastered and performed by Herz-Sommers .  At the time of her death earlier this year at the age of 110, Alice was the oldest Holocaust survivor.  Allow her story and the music that saved her life to fill your heart.

Required (or highly recommended) reading: Melissa Muller, Alice’s Piano: The Life of Alize Herz-Sommer (St. Martin’s Press, 2012).

Facilitators: Anita Fricklas’ career included many years as Director of Education at Temple Sinai and Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee. Anita has received many awards for her work in diversity, advocacy and bigotry reduction.  Judy Schwartz is a career teacher and counselor having taught at Temple Sinai and Denver’s East High School, where she also coached the speech and debate team.  Over the years Judy has taught in the Philippines and in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Lecturer: Robin McNeil (who also teaches The Romantic Period in Music this semester) has taught music at the University of Illinois and the University of South Dakota.

New Book: All New Stories
Discussion Leader: Dr. Paulette Wasserstein
6 weeks:
5 Thursdays, Oct. 9 – Nov. 20 (skip 11/6 & 11/13)
1 Wednesday, Nov. 12
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion

This popular course will explore fascinating stories with scintillating participation-friendly discussions.  If you love great literature, you will appreciate the artistry that goes into the creation of the short prose found in The Best American Short Stories 2012, edited by Tom Perrotta.  Each week the class examines one or two memorable stories, teasing out the meanings of each story and building a greater understanding of the short story as an art form.  Because the short stories are written by contemporary authors, their subject matter and dilemmas cannot fail to stir great questions and evoke new insights about the world in which we live.  Note: Class will meet on Thursdays.

Required Reading: Tom Perrotta, ed., The Best American Short Stories 2012 (Mariner Books, 2012).

Discussion Leader:  Dr. Paulette Wasserstein, career teacher of English and education consultant, loves the exchange of ideas and sharing “a good read.”

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Oct 22.
10 am—12 noon
Interactive writing workshop

Whether you’re nineteen or ninety, you have stories to tell and wisdom to share. Learn how to begin compiling a collection of your life experiences to share with friends and family—or simply to read later at leisure.  Spark your memory with innovative and engaging activities designed to bring to mind long-forgotten scenes from your past and to help you start getting them down on paper. Pick up your pen and open a new chapter on your life in the supportive atmosphere of this popular class. Limited to 13 participants. This is a repeat of a Spring 2014 workshop and earlier courses.

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer, a retired teacher, has conducted Life Stories workshops for libraries, summer camps, churches, community centers, and the Academy. She offers inspiration and ideas to people who want to begin a written collection of their own short stories.

Facilitator: Patricia Cox
8 Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Nov. 11
10 am—12 noon
Interactive writing workshop

Anyone who physically and emotionally outlasts childhood has something to write about forever,” offers author Lou Willett Stanek. You’ll agree once you discover the rich vein of topics in your past and experience the joy of preserving these treasured tales. We’ll share and encourage each other in class and tackle some writing at home. Reading your stories aloud will prove a powerful affirmation, and listening to others as they share theirs is an effective way to improve your own writing. Join this group, capped at 12, to learn how to transform your cherished memories into your memoirs.

Recommended reading: Lou Willett Stanek, Writing Your Life (Collins, 1996), and Frank Thomas, How to Write the Story of Your Life (Writers’ Digest Books, 1989).

Facilitator: Patricia Cox has taught writing for the Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District.  She has published three books, the most recent is I’m Sorry…What Was the Question?

The Aviator’s Wife
Course Leaders: Paula Kauffman & Gerre Shenkin
7 Wednesdays, Oct. 1 – Nov. 12
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion, lecture

Two of the 20th century’s most compelling personalities will be revealed in the book “The Aviator’s Wife,” a work of historical fiction.  (See the complete description under History)


MUSIC FUNdamentals
Instructor: Lorenz Rychner
8 Tuesdays, Sept. 16 – Nov. 11 (skip 9/30)
1—3 pm
Lecture, listening to music, discussion

Do you love music, and want to know more about how it works? How do the notes become scales and the chords become harmonies? It really is FUN to find out how the FUNdamentals come together to show your mind what your ears knew all along. Soon the lingo of program notes and CD booklets will no longer feel like a foreign language, and your listening pleasure will be enhanced immensely when you recognize many elements of the music—whatever kind of music—you like to hear. No prerequisites, no tests, just a lot of musical FUN for the inquisitive mind!

Instructor: Lorenz Rychner worked as a professional musician in Australia for 15 years before moving to LA to study orchestration and conducting and head the music synthesis program at the Grove School of Music.

THE ROMANTIC PERIOD IN MUSIC Schubert through Wagner and Mahler
Instructor: Robin McNeil
9 Thursdays, Sept. 18—Nov. 20 (skip 9/25)
10 am—12 noon
Listening to music, lecture, Q&A

Forget the flowers and chocolates. Experience and examine the Romantic era in music, which was characterized by more than passionate and expressive writing.  Learn about the connections that composers in the first half of the 19th century drew between their music and the literature of the time (Robert Schumann, for example, inserted quotes from the German poets in his scores).  And we’ll also give attention to the ways in which Schumann, Schubert, Chopin and others pushed the boundaries of the prevailing rules to create more advanced harmonics.

Instructor: Concert pianist Robin McNeil taught at the University of Illinois and the University of South Dakota, in addition to serving as executive director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra.

Caruso to Callas
Course Leader: Don Culp
5 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Oct 15
1—3 pm
Listening to opera, discussion

From Caruso to Callas, we’ll examine five opera stars whose singing styles—and distinctive personalities—developed and transformed the art of opera. Through music and video, find out how these virtuosos raised the standards of vocal performance, acting, and dramatic presentation.  Enrico Caruso, Feodor Chaliapin, Rosa Ponselle, Jussi Bjorling and Maria Callas influenced, radically changed, and raised the bar on what the public expected from opera.

Course Leader: Don Culp was in sales and sales management and also managed The Magic Castle in Hollywood.  He has studied singers and the art of singing since 1970.

The 20th Century
Instructor: Wendy Rouder
6 Wednesdays, Oct. 15 – Nov. 19
1 – 3 pm
Lecture, video
Places, please, everyone! Curtain!…. Musical theater is America’s own cultural treasure that brings us joy, laughter, and even tears. Through the use of videos, rare footage and photos, original recordings, and compelling behind the scene stories, we will learn that the unique American voice is heard in the 20th century American musical. Take a closer look at successful shows from the craft’s pioneers and periods: Cohan, Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Hammerstein, Hart and Rodgers, and conclude with a sampling of the best of the Golden Age.

Instructor: Wendy Rouder has loved live performance her whole life and holds BA, MA and PhD degrees in theatre.  She has taught theater and directed plays, both musicals and dramas around the country to college students and lifelong learners alike. Her articles on 20th century American actors appear in the Dictionary of American Biography.

Survival through Music
Course organizer: Sally Kneser
Lecturers & Facilitators: Anita Fricklas, Judy Schwartz, Robin McNeil
10 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Nov. 19
10 am-12 noon
$85 (includes two music CDs)
$75 (no CD)
Reading, lecture, discussion

In this unique offering at The Academy, this combination literature and music class will delight both readers and music lovers alike. (See the complete description under Literature)


Deeper Understanding & Pleasure
Instructor: Billie Day
6 Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Oct. 28
1—3 pm
Videos, lecture, discussion

Holland in the 1600s was home to a bravura concentration of artistic talent, which left us with an unrivaled heritage of landscapes, still lifes and portraits that continue to take our breath away. See the images created by many of these great masters, and learn how they were able to express profound truths by focusing on the small and simple details of everyday life.  We’ll also learn the nuances that Dutch culture held: how did it nourish these gifted artists?

Instructor: After living in Washington, DC for over thirty years and teaching high school modern world history, Dr. Billie Day received a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to the Netherlands to study the art, history, and culture of that country.  She has a PhD in education from New York University.

Course Leaders:  Joan Bub & Joanne Mendes
5 Wednesdays, Oct. 1—Oct. 29
1:30—3:30 pm (NOTE: Half hour later than other Academy afternoon courses)
$75 (includes all tour fees & printed materials)
Parking additional
Participants must be (or become) DAM members.
Tours at the Denver Art Museum

Our fall sampler proves once again that you’ll always find something new at the Denver Art Museum.  Enthusiastic curatorial staff and docents will spotlight brand new installations drawn from the museum’s collections:  First Glance/Second Look: Quilts from the Denver Art Museum Collection; Depth & Details: Carved Bamboo from China, Japan & Korea; and Photography & Vision: The Influence of Joyce & Ted Straus (the Straus family has given more than 250 photographs spanning the history of photography from works by Edward Weston to Sandy Scogland).  We’ll be among the first to see the special exhibition, Matisse and Friends: Selected Masterworks from the National Gallery of Art.  And we’ll tour Daniel Sprick’s Fictions: Recent Works which features more than 40 examples of this Colorado artist’s portraits and still life paintings. One of the DAM’s conservationists will guide us through their new open-view facility. We’ll also see recent pieces by New York painter and sculptor Jeffrey Gibson, DAM’s Artist in residence this summer, whose work blends modern patterns and objects with more traditional Native American materials and motifs.  All this and more!  All participants must either be DAM members or become one.  Limited to 28.

Art Lovers Extraordinaire:  Dr. Joan Bub a retired radiologist, recently completed the docent program at the DAM.  Longtime art enthusiast Joanne Mendes retired from a career spent organizing programs in art history in London and at the DAM.

Course Leader: Dr. Hiroko Johnson
6 Thursdays, Sept. 18 – Nov. 13 (skip 9/25, 10/23, 10/30)
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, reading, discussion

Japan is a country in which, traditionally, each social class–the aristocracy, the samurai and the merchant–has had its own type of art.  We will examine each in turn, beginning with 12th century hand-scrolls that depict the customs, costumes, transportation and other aspects of the aristocratic lifestyle.  The samurai culture will be revealed through such elements as the tea ceremony, the Zen garden and the Kano school of painting. And the merchant culture will be reflected in the form of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, which rose to popularity in the 1600s and have become familiar to American audiences through such works as “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.”  From such images, we’ll discover, we may learn as much about a country’s traditions as about its terrain. This is a repeat of the Fall 2013 course.

Course Leader: An expert on the history of Japanese art, Dr. Hiroko Johnson taught for five years in the Los Angeles area and for 12 years at San Diego State University, where she was chosen the most influential professor in the College of Arts and Humanities.  The author of a book and many articles in both English and Japanese, she has taken groups of students to Japan and China on study tours.

Let’s Explore
Instructor: Sharon Rouse
6 Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Oct. 28
9:30 am – 12:30pm
Hands-on Workshop

Watercolor is a beguiling and exciting medium with a character all its own. Even if you’ve never handled a brush before, you’ll enjoy exploring watercolor’s idiosyncrasies while learning how to deal confidently with washes, glazes, and color mixing. Discover your hidden potential as you unleash the power of this unpredictable but rewarding medium. Beginners will explore specific exercises creating a variety of results and develop personal paintings. Experienced artists may work on individual projects and also explore techniques that may solve your dilemmas.  After you’ve registered, we’ll send a list of materials you’ll need.  Limited to 21.  Note times!

Instructor: Sharon Rouse’s skills as an experienced teacher of adult classes and workshops guide her as she works with students of various skill experiences.  Her work appears in various group shows and private collections.


Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17—Oct. 29 (skip 10/22)
1—3 pm
$10 – Required workbook: Spanish Verb Tenses, Dorothy Richmond.
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

Tailored to fit beginners as well as those with “un poquito de” previous Spanish language experience, this class will include the most basic vocabulary, sentence structures and phrases essential for travel and casual conversation.  Will you become fluent in six weeks? No, but you will have fun!  The Academy’s fall term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Class is limited to 18. Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303- 912-9988.

Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith grew up in Mexico City and enjoys sharing her love of the Mexican language, history, and culture.  She spent her career in the travel industry and has logged many hours as a community volunteer.

Instructor: Dr. Linda Gordon
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Oct. 22
1—3 pm
$10 – Required workbook: Spanish Verb Tenses, Dorothy Richmond.
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

The Beginning/Intermediate class is for those who have taken some Spanish, but want to “brush up” on grammar and vocabulary and keep building conversational skills.  Participants should be comfortable with the present tense, familiar with the past tenses and ready to sharpen their communication skills through reading, speaking, and listening. The Academy’s fall term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Class is limited to 14.  Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303-399-8241.

Instructor:  An educator for 35 years, Dr. Linda Gordon retired recently from being a school principal. As the former director of an English-as-a-second-language school in Mexico City for 10 years, she’s excited about working with adults who want to learn

Instructor: Sandy Stolar
6 Wednesdays, Sept. 17—Oct. 29 (skip 10/15)
1—3 pm
$10 – Required workbook: Spanish Verb Tenses, Dorothy Richmond.
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

¡Continuamos la conversación! The class will be conducted primarily in Spanish, with pauses to look at some important grammar.  Themed conversations will build vocabulary and the confidence to speak in complete sentences in real-life situations. Si tú puedes pedir una margarita, describir las cosas que más te gustan, y preguntar como llegar al museo and want to dust it off and trot it out—and have a lot of fun doing it—esta es la clase para ti. The Academy’s fall term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Limited to 12 participants. To see if this class is a fit for you llámame at 303-708-9716.

Instructor: Sandy Stolar taught Spanish for 25 years in middle school, high school and community college. She has traveled extensively in Mexico, Spain and South America.


Instructor: Scott Henke
6 Thursdays, Oct. 2—Nov. 20 (skip 10/23 & 11/13)
1—3 pm
$45 or $10/session (one session free with Academy membership) (non-members $13 each session)
Lecture, demonstration, Q&A

Two hours is exactly the right amount of time to hear detailed explanations and get all your questions answered.

A) 10/2 – Computer Basics & How to Buy a New PC – If you’re not yet confident in using your computer Scott’s props and visuals make complicated terms and systems easy to understand.  You’ll also learn what you need to know when buying a new computer.
B) 10/9 – Travel Class—Planning Your Trip: Plane Fares & Hotels – There are various ways to book travel online—learn which ones are easiest.
C) 10/16 –  Travel Class: Car Rental, What to Do, Maps, Restaurants & Discounts – More detailed tips will make your next trip more fun.
D) 10/30 –  Intro to Digital Photography and How to Organize Pictures with the free software: Picasa – Edit photos, add text, email, and order prints.  It’s easy!
(Skip 10/23 – no class)
E) 11/6 – Organizing Photos with Picasa: Advanced – This class is ONLY for those already comfortable with Picasa.  Learn to upload photos to get prints anywhere, build a website, facial recognition and more!
(Skip 11/13 – no class)
F) 11/20  – Common Computer Scams,  How to Avoid Them, & How to Get Free Credit Reports – With a few easy steps erase your fears: hoaxes, identify theft, and hackers.  You could save THOUSANDS of dollars.

Instructor: Scott Henke, owner of Onsite Consulting, has been helping over 4200 families and businesses in Denver for 30 years.  He makes the complicated and frustrating world of computers easy and fun again.

Play of the Hand, Part 1
Instructor: Sally Kneser
8 Tuesdays, Sept. 23—Nov. 11
12:45—3:10 pm (NOTE: early start)
$90 (includes handouts)
Lecture, reading, Q&A, exercises, practice hands

Make the most of the cards you’re dealt!  This class will begin with a whirlwind review of modern basic bidding.  Then we’ll examine specific techniques for playing the cards.  The explanations of how to do things and why are always followed by many examples and exercises.  Each session will include one hour of lecture, followed by one hour of playing pre-set hands, with numerous opportunities to decide which techniques are the most appropriate and effective.  Weekly reading is required, as we will cover the first half of the book during the fall term and complete the second half in the spring term.  Advanced beginners and intermediate players are welcome.

Required Reading:  Audrey Grant, Play of the Hand in the 21st Century (American Contract Bridge League, 2007).

Instructor: Everyone’s favorite bridge instructor, Sally Kneser takes her passion for bridge to the classroom with humor, patience and clarity. She keeps busy as a member of two book clubs and as grandma since retiring as Director of the Academy.

Academy Facilitators

Our facilitators are enthusiastic volunteers who research and present courses on topics of great interest to them. The materials and opinions they and their guest speakers present are their own and not necessarily those of the Academy for Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Fred Abrams is currently medical consultant to the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care and serves on the Board of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the Health Sciences Center, In 2003 he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In 2006 he received the Isaac Bell and John Hayes Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism from the American Medical Association. In 2010 the Board of Governors of the HealthOne System awarded him the Trusted Care Award for Excellence in Clinical Ethics.

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.

Steve Bernard was a prosecutor for twenty-eight 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 frequently considered constitutional questions during his career. The Constitution is the document upon which our system of government is based and Steve believes that education about this seminal document is essential to an understanding of our system of government, and to understanding the rights of citizens.

Susan Blake-Smith 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.

Kathy Boyer has conducted WRITING YOUR LIFE STORIES workshops for libraries, summer camps, churches, community centers, and with the Academy.  With Kathy’s inspiration and encouragement, several of her groups have continued meeting regularly.  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.

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 University of Iowa.  He is the author of Schools of Thought: how the politics of literacy shape thinking in the classroom; It’s Your Fault, an insider’s guide to learning and teaching in city schools; and scores of reports and articles about teaching reading, writing, art, and critical thinking. He has taught at the University of Iowa, Heidelberg College and the University of Denver, from which he retired in 2010.  He has a lifelong interest in literature, philosophy, art, and their intersections in our culture and our everyday lives.

Joan Bub immigrated with her husband and 3 young children to the USA in 1976, from their native South Africa.  She worked all her adult life as a medical doctor, specializing in Radiology.   She became President of the Colorado Radiological Society and was honored in 2001 by being made a Fellow of the American College of Radiology.  For over 25 years she evaluated images of the human body. It is therefore no surprise that after her retirement, she became a docent at the Denver Art Museum, again evaluating images, but of a very different kind!   Joan has been a docent and volunteer at the DAM for 8 years.

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 health care in Imperial and Soviet Russia. A popular teacher of Russian and East European history at UCD, she has won many teaching awards. Dr. Conroy’s first publications concerned Peter A. Stolypin. Stolypin served as governor of several Russian provinces at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries and, from 1906-1911, served as Minister of Internal Affairs (Imperial Russia’s largest ministry that supervised the police, certified medical and pharmaceutical personnel and institutions, and dealt with national minorities, local government, and peasants and agriculture). Simultaneously, Stolypin served as Chair of the Council of Ministers–a quasi Prime Minister in the government of Tsar Nicholas II. Most famous for his agrarian reforms, which attempted to replace semi-socialistic peasant communes with private farmsteads, Stolypin also sponsored many other reforms. He was the point man in dealing with the Russian Parliament, newly instituted in 1906. A proponent of law and order, he attempted to the crush revolutionaries’ terrorist activities and curb independence movements of the Finns, Poles, Ukrainians, and other minorities. Stolypin was assassinated in September 1911, while attending the opera in Kiev. A pariah in Soviet times, Stolypin is idolized by many post-Soviet politicians, most notably, President Vladimir Putin. In September 2011, the centenary of Stolypin’s assassination, Dr. Conroy was invited to Russia by a wealthy businessman and former Duma member to give 10 lectures at conferences held in various parts of Russia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. In December 2011 she gave a talk at a conference hosted by the Civic Forum in Moscow. In April 2012, Dr. Conroy participated  in a conference in Moscow commemorating the 150th anniversary of Stolypin’s birth. This talk is included in a book published by the current Russian State Duma. In June 2012 Dr. Conroy was invited to the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. In October/November 2012, Dr. Conroy switched gears to give a paper on Russian-American Pharmaceutical Relations at the Medical University in Grodno, Belarus.

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 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.

Don Culp wanted to become a commercial artist and attended The Art Center College in Los Angeles but most of his adult life was spent in sales or sales management with a short break as General Manager of The Magic Castle in Hollywood during its first two years of operation.  In 1970 when he saw Placido Domingo on PBS in a film of Madama Butterfly he became a convert. Then he heard a recording of Jussi Bjorling and knew that, without in any way denigrating Domingo, he was hearing singing on a level far above anything he’d heard before.

Billie Day lived in Washington, DC for over thirty years.  She was a high school teacher of modern world history and created a course, Global Perspectives, focused on the culture and history of the world since 1500.  In 1986 she received a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to the Netherlands to study the art, history, and culture of that country and has visited there many times since then.  She has a PhD in education from New York University.

Jane Earle has been a journalist most of her life. After many years working for Ohio newspapers she joined The Denver Post as a writer, became editor and publisher of Denver Magazine and then editorial director at Channel 7.  She has taught college Journalism and spent one year in Moscow as the managing editor at a new English language newspaper.

Dr. Woody Emlen is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California (San Diego) School of Medicine.  He was Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for almost 20 years, where his practice was in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology (Arthritis) and his research focused on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.  In the late 1990s, Dr. Emlen left academic medicine to pursue a career in biotechnology, serving as Vice President of Scientific Affairs for Palo Alto-based InterMune Pharmaceuticals.  In 2004 he co-founded his own Denver-based biotechnology company, Taligen Therapeutics, serving as CEO until the Company’s acquisition in 2011.  He currently is retired from medicine but serves on the Boards of several early-stage Biotechnology companies.

After graduating from high school, Anita Fricklas attended Boston University.  Her career included many years as Director of Education at Temple Sinai. She later became the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee. Most of her work has revolved around diversity, advocacy, and bigotry reduction. As a volunteer she has dedicated many hours at the Lupus Foundation of Colorado and the Arthritis Foundation writing columns about living well with chronic illness and encouraging the Federal delegation to prioritize lupus and arthritis in doling out research dollars. Anita has received many awards for her work. Two that stand out are the Anita Fricklas Award for Excellence in Education being established at Temple Sinai and Mayor Wellington Webb declaring December 6 2002 as Anita Fricklas Day.

After 35 years as an educator, Linda Gordon 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!

Onsite Consulting, Inc. owner Scott Henke 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 discovered the Academy through its writing courses during the Spring term 2010.  For 40-plus years, he worked in Rheumatology with an additional subspecialty interest and training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Now retired, he welcomes the opportunity to apply that professional knowledge, experience and talent to helping members of the Academy navigate the health care system through information and self-exploration.  Since 2011, he has facilitated the Academy course entitled Making and Sharing Sound End-of-Life Choices which he will continue to provide as long as the demand exists.”

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 department store until 1994, when she returned to her core interest and passion for world history. She taught AP World History, AP Government, and economics until her retirement in 2010. She combines her interests in history, travel, and reading into her teaching, where she endeavors to bring a thoughtful global perspective.

Dr. Hiroko Johnson is an art historian specializing in Japanese art history. She received a PhD from the University of Southern California and was a post-doctoral fellow at University of Tokyo in Japan. She specializes in Asian art and brought Japanese culture to her students by taking them on annual study tours to Japan. Currently an Emeritus Professor at San Diego State University, she received the Most Outstanding Faculty Member award in 2011. In San Diego she is on the board of the Japanese Friendship Garden and has co-curated the woodblock prints collection of the San Diego Museum of Art. She has numerous publications in both Japanese and English, including a monograph titled “Western Influences on Japanese Art: the Akita Ranga School and Foreign Books” in which she introduced the West to the Akita Ranga Art school, Japan’s first art school to apply the Western painting techniques in Japan.

Paula Kauffman’s life-long interest in families of politicians is probably the result of having grown up in Washington D.C. where she attended public school along with the kids of Congress people and diplomats.  Paula is retired from the Social Security Administration and has facilitated courses for adult learning over the last 15 years.

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 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.

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 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.”

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 and a Master of Music in Performance from the University of Illinois. He began his teaching career at the University of Illinois and then went to the University of South Dakota where he was Chairman of the Piano Department.

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 been the Executive Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and has been 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.

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 and coordinated adult courses and lecture series for more than a decade. Her passion for art was ignited when she and her petroleum engineer husband Bob moved to England, where she soon put her education degree to good use as co-director of Modern Art Studies, a company associated with the Institute of Contemporary Art. Joanne likes nothing better than to put people in touch with the most knowledgeable art experts available and currently continues to organize art-related education and travel opportunities for the DAM Contemporaries, one of the Denver Art Museum’s support groups.

Dr. Walt Meyer 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. Walt and wife Karyl have been married 50 years and have three grown children and four grandchildren. Walt’s interest in the Inquisitions stems from his having taught courses on Islam, the Protestant Reformation, and the Crusades, all of which relate in some way to the various Inquisitions. He discovered in his research on the subject that, like the religious forces covered in his other courses, the Inquisitions leave a long trail of legacies, some of which are still present today.

Walt has a BS in Chemistry from Capital University, a PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington, and he is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Minnesota Management Academy. He has served on many boards and task forces within the Lutheran Church and is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, sponsored by the Graduate Theological Union of the University of California at Berkeley. He served as Adjunct Professor of Meteorology at Saint Louis University for one year, and he has taught numerous Bible study classes. Through these experiences, and through the Academy, he has found teaching to be one of his passions.

Dr. Jonathan F. Ormes is a Research Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Denver. He was formerly the Director of Space Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  His research career involved studies of the origin and characteristics of the relativistic particles that pervade our galaxy known as cosmic rays.  After retiring from the government in July 2004 and moving back to his home state of Colorado, Jonathan became interested in the problems of population growth and climate change.

Retired school psychologist, Dr. Bob Rose’s, passions include education, peace studies, international development, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. He and his wife have worked with refugees for over 14 years and have volunteered with a number of NGO’s in the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. As a school psychologist at the secondary level, his work included conflict management, anger management, and training/supervising peer mediators. He taught graduate courses for educators for over 20 years. He recently earned a certificate in peace, social justice and reconciliation from Regis University.

Wendy Rouder fell in love with theater as a child and brought that life-long love to theater education, earning in theater a B.A. from Skidmore College, a M.A. from Queens College of the CUNY and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. After graduating from Skidmore, Wendy worked in summer stock and off-Broadway before realizing that the chance of earning a living in the theater was akin to winning the lottery.  With her doctorate in hand, she taught theater and directed plays, both musicals and dramas, at Keuka College, State University of New York and San Jose State. Her articles on 20th century American actors appear in the Dictionary of American Biography.  For the past three years Wendy has been teaching theatre courses to lifelong learners in Northern California.

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 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.

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 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 has an avid interest in US Foreign Policy and the issues which are crucial to our nation and the world.  She is a skilled facilitator and experienced group leader. Vee was trained by Michael Doyle and Peter Strauss, well renowned authors and founders of Interaction Associates and who are recognized all over as foremost in leadership and facilitator training. She has given classes in Facilitating, Group Dynamics, Meeting Management, Conflict Resolution and Design Principles. She has worked with corporations. nonprofit boards, professional organizations, labor unions, the State of Colorado, the US Air Force youth program, among numerous other clients. More importantly, she loves to hear the opinions of others and, through the class discussions and debates, gain new insights into pressing dilemmas facing our country.

Ed Schreiber has been leading a weekly discussion group at First Universalist Church since 2007. Ed came to the US from Croatia at 13. After six years as an Army musician he played piano in Denver nightclubs while studying engineering at University of Colorado. He worked in the computer industry for 35 years, interrupted by a run for Congress in 1980. Ed has been an Academy geek and has given presentations on the Balkans, politics, IQ, atheism and the science behind music.

Judy Schwartz is a career teacher and counselor. She taught at Temple Sinai for many years.  She taught English and coached the speech and debate team at Denver’s East High School, taught teachers in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1997 to 2000, taught and was the counselor at Emerson Street School, the former alternative school for expelled students, taught English in Guadalajara, Mexico, taught English acquisition classes in many Denver locations.  Do you get the picture?  Retired now from almost all of these positions, her time now is devoted to her children and four grandchildren and to hobbies and friends, all of which she loves dearly.

Gerre Shenkin has always been fascinated with what goes on behind closed doors—especially the doors of famous families.  She has visited presidential museums and is eager to explore how the children coped with the spotlight they were always exposed to.  Before retirement, Gerre taught grades 1-8 and at Denver University.  Since retirement she has been very involved with facilitating and taking senior classes.

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 Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel 1964-65 as a special overseas student.  He taught American Religion, a survey course, at Wesley College, Dover,  DE after retirement from the Air Force 1993.

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 of Religion, a liberal school. Following a year of study, he decided that he wanted to intensify his study and transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is conservative. There he 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. He and his wife Frances, a past president of AJA, have lived in Denver for 22 years.

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 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.

Paul Turelli is a retired middle school teacher and administrator from Littleton Public Schools.  He has a vast interest in literature and history.  Believing that Bob Dylan is an artist who impacted both literature and history.  Paul gained an interest and passion for Dylan’s creative abilities late in his career, around 1975.  Paul  looks forward to hearing from class participants who probably have had more exposure to Dylan’s earlier heyday.

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 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.