Fall 2017


Paul Turelli
4 wks THURS  9/14-10/5, 11:30 am-1 pm
$45, DVD Viewing, discussion, reading

We will read Shakespeare’s text and simultaneously watch Kenneth Branagh’s stunning 1996 film. Analytical breaks will be taken to examine scenes, plot lines, character developments, and critiques of both the play and the film itself. We will look primarily at the Prince’s motives and Shakespeare’s underlying themes.

REQUIRED READING: Borrow or purchase this play.

Paul Turelli, a former Littleton Public Schools Adminstrator and teacher, has most recently taught Academy classes about Bob Dylan, The Beatles and songwriters of the ‘60s. Paul is a member of the Academy’s Board.

Kathy Boyer
6 wks THURS  9/14-10/19, 1:30-3 pm
$65, Writing, discussion

Whether you’re 19 or 90, 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 in your life in a supportive atmosphere. Limited to 12 participants. Repeat of popular Academy course.

Kathy Boyer, a retired teacher, has conducted life stories workshops for libraries, summer camps, churches, community centers, and the Academy. She also works one-on-one to help people record their memories electronically.

Patricia Cox
6 wks TUES 9/12-10/17,  9:30-11 am
$65 Writing, discussion

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

Patricia Cox has taught writing for the Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District. She has published four books; the most recent is My Memoir Runneth Over?

Rex Brown
6 wks WED 9/13-10/18, 9:30-11 am
$60, Reading, discussion

This course will focus on great modern dystopian novels, two of them required reading and the third recommended for super readers. The Wanting Seed, by Anthony Burgess, and the The Handmaid’s Tale,by Margaret Atwood will be the main focus of discussions the first five weeks. On the sixth week, Dr. Brown will comment on Riddley Walker, by Russel Hoban, as well as more familiar classics such as1984 and Brave New World. Each novel describes a possible future in which current social, political, ecological, and nuclear debates are taken to their extremes to create societies that are simultaneously plausible, ridiculous and tragic. Characters typifying a range of human strengths and weaknesses, struggle to survive or to find some dignity and meaning in life, with consequences that will make you laugh, cry, cringe and think differently about the society you live in right now.

Required reading: The Wanting Seed and The Handmaid’s Tale. Optional reading: Riddley Walker.

Rex Brown has been facilitating philosophy discussions at the Academy for three years. He’s taught literature at every level of schooling and founded an inner-city charter school specializing in experiential, project-based learning. He’s on a Board at DAM and runs Pattern Studio shop in RiNo.

Paulette Wasserstein
6 wks WED 10/4-11/8, 11:30 am -1 pm
$65, Reading, discussion

Join the celebration of some of the best short story writers of the 20th Century. Pay tribute to an all new selection of classical writers such as James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates and several others.  The class will discuss one or two stories each week, teasing out the meanings and analyzing the unique writing styles of each author. Build your interpretation skills and feel welcome to share your ideas in a lively, interactive format. This session will use an all new reading list, and last year’s class, the “Masters of Short Story Part I,” is not a prerequisite.

REQUIRED READING:   Lorrie Moore, Heidi Pitlor, Eds. 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

Dr. Paulette Wasserstein, career teacher of English and education consultant, loves the exchange of ideas and sharing “a good read.” She’s taught this class 10’s of times to a sell-out crowd.

Sally Stich
4 wks WED  9/13-10/4, 9:30-11 am
$45, Lecture, in-class reading, discussion

Morbid or insightful? Sad or celebratory? Study obituaries,from a historical perspective–the first one published– to modern day obits, using the New York Times as the gold standard of obit writing. Why study obits now? Because for Baby Boomers, crafting their own last words has become a nationwide trend. We’ll study how we got to this point, while also learning about what makes a life story a great read. Reveal the joy and beauty of one’s last story, as well as the humor and honesty–or conversely, the clichés and platitudes.

Sally Stich has been a freelance writer for 36 years. Her work has appeared in the Denver Post and the magazines that grace your coffee table. She also taught on the writing faculty at CU-Denver and in the Master of Humanities program at DU’s University College.


Don Baer
10 wks THURS 9/14-11/16, 9:30 am-1 pm (note class time)
$95 DVD Viewing, Discussion

Now in his 80’s, Clint Eastwood has enjoyed success in the three most challenging and demanding areas of filmmaking—as an actor, director and producer. Come watch and discuss his classic films: Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Dirty Harry, Bird, Gran Torino, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, American Sniper, and Unforgiven. There will be a break in the middle of class for you to eat lunch. Feel free to bring your own.

Don Baer has been a member of the Directors Guild of America for 40 years, where his television and film experience included major studios: Universal, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros, and Columbia.

Georgi Contiguglia
6 wks THURS 10/12-11/16, 9:30-11 am
$65  Lecture, Q&A

Since ancient times, art has played roles that go beyond aesthetics, decoration and technology. Art has provided meaning by reflecting history, politics, ideology, hopes and fears of epochs and generations through time. Get an overview of the purposeful uses and roles of art through the ages from ancient to modern times.

Georgi Contiguglia has a graduate degree in Art History and taught the subject in NYC and Ft. Collins. She was curator of Decorative and Fine Arts and later CEO at History Colorado. She is Vice-President and Treasurer of the Academy.

Gloria Kubel
7 wks TUES 9/12-10/24, 11:30 am-1 pm
$75 Video, discussion

Modern dance in America developed to make statements in movement that were relevant to modern times and had a unique American energy. Beginning in the early 20th century, modern dance is as varied as the dancers/ choreographers who have given form to their artistic vision. We will view tapes of dance performances and discuss what we observe–performers such as Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Alvin Ailey, Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor. In our discussions we learn how a dance can relate to emotional expression, social commentary, and abstract form.

Gloria Kubel studied dance in New York City, highlighted by studying with Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Erick Hawkins and performed ballet and modern dance with Martha Graham and more. She taught in Denver for over 20 years and directed a small company. Gloria created a movement-discussion-support group for women after breast cancer and continues to teach dance, exercise, tai chi and meditation classes.

Joanne Mendes
1 wk WED 11/1, 1-3 pm (note special class time)
$30 Docent-led tour AT THE DAM

See remarkable works created by women in Paris from 1850 to 1900, a time of great social, cultural and artistic change. Her Paris features more than 80 paintings by 37 women artists from Europe and America, including Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot. Many artists migrated to this epicenter of art to further their careers at a time when Parisian society was still restrictive for women. This is a one-time group tour of this ticketed exhibition which takes place at the Denver Art Museum. Class limited to 28.

Art lovers Joanne Mendes and Marty Corren have organized the popular Academy DAM GREAT ART courses for the past nine years.


Don Culp
5 wks TUES 9/12-10/10  11:30 am-1 pm
$55,  Lecture, Q&A

Hear audio and video examples of the great Broadway singers. From the Florodora Girls to George M. Cohan, to the great entertainers like Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, to Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand, and Audra McDonald. Learn about the people who sang the songs and hear the original recordings of their music. This is a repeat of a popular Academy course.

Don Culp
5 wks TUES 10/17-11/14,  11:30 am-1 pm
$55,  Lecture, Q&A

A highly demanded second part to Voices of Broadway, which dealt with how voices on Broadway changed over the years and the singers, composers, and musicals that influenced those changes, More Voices of Broadway will introduce you to new performers, famous and forgotten, and give you more stories and infor-mation about some of the people and productions from the first series of classes. And, of course, LOTS of music to hear and videos to see. This is a repeat of a popular Academy course. No prerequisite for this course.

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.

Robin McNeil
8 wks THURS 9/14-11/2, 9:30-11 am
$80  Lecture, Q&A

Immerse yourself in the life and music of little-known French composer Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898). This composer was greatly respected during his lifetime, but obscurity followed his death until the late 20th century when the Institut Théodore Gouvy in Hombourg-Haut, Lorraine, was founded to champion his achievement. By exploring his relationship to such well-known contemp-oraries as Berlioz, Liszt, and Brahms, we’ll begin to discover and appreciate his place in the history of music.

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


Sara Marsden
7 wks TUES 9/12-10/24, 9:30-11 am
$75,  Varying speakers, lecture, Q&A

Good Work! will emphasize effective programs that are less like a charity and more like a movement. Each speaker will address a specific problem and their success in addressing that problem. Speakers will provide useful information about ways to become involved as volunteers, letter writers, legislative participants, advocates or contributors. All of us want to know that our efforts, large or small, are directed toward meaningful groups with proven track records.

Sara Marsden studied at the University of Colorado and received Masters degrees from CSU and UCLA. She also completed a two-year stint in the Peace Corps, Phillipines.

George Ho
8 wks WED 9/13-11/1, 11:30 am-1 pm
$85  Discussion, 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, we can share 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 in a safe setting. Repeat of a popular class. Class maximum of 24 participants.

Retired from an active career in teaching and medical practice, George Ho, Jr. focuses his special expertise on the areas of internal medicine, arthritis treatment and palliative end-of-life care.

Chuck Shannon, various speakers
5 wks THURS 9/14-10/12, 1:15-3 pm (Note start time)
$65  Lecture, Q&A

In recent years, “millennials” have been the defining demographic factor for metro Denver growth. Well, “seniors” have become the defining demographic for the future. How is population growth, including the impact of “seniors,” going to affect metro living? Learn about metropolitan cooperation, characterized by the Brookings Institution as among the best examples in the country. What will transportation look like? How about housing affordability and choice? How will they affect your lifestyle? Digital technology will be addressed as it is redefining urban planning and service delivery. Denver is rumored to be the preferred site of Google to demonstrate the “City of the Future.”

Chuck Shannon has been a division director for DRCOG, vice president for Mile High United Way, senior fellow at United Way of America, and a fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Also featured: various speakers from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Steve Bernard, Sheila Porter
5 wks THURS 9/14-10/12, 1:30-3 pm
$65  Lecture, discussion

From the days of its origins with Nuremburg, international criminal courts have been mired in controversy over their scope, cost and relevance. Today the system of International Criminal Justice remains contentious. The African Union threatens to withdraw from being a participant and the US has never agreed to be a signatory. You will learn a great deal of history that is not generally known and will look ahead as we discuss the future of International Justice.

Steve Bernard, appellate judge, and Sheila Porter, forensic psychologist, have partnered again to delve into the world of International Criminal Courts. Both Steve and Sheila have long-standing interest in what leads to resolution after human rights abuses reach public awareness and prick the human conscience. Sheila is on the Academy Board.


Gulsum Katmer
10 wks THURS 9/14-11/16 1:30-3 pm
$90, Lecture, Q&A

Islam, the religion of about 1.6 billion Muslims, is perhaps the most misunderstood religion in the West. This course will attempt to provide an overview of Islam, its history, major teachings, rituals, attitudes, sects within the religion, and its relations with other cultures and faiths, among other topics, in order to provide a well-rounded introduction to one of the most influential ways of life on Earth.

Gulsum Katmer was born and raised in the neighborhoods of Cappadocia, Turkey. In 2007, she moved to the US where she received her BS in Biology from UCLA and her Master’s in Economy from Penn State. Last year, she became the Executive Director of Multicultural Mosaic Foundation. She and her family have been living in Colorado since 2013.

Ted Stainman
6 wks THURS 10/12-11/16, 9:30 -11 am
$65  Lecture, Q&A

True, America was founded by people seeking religious freedom, but that’s a simple version of history. Religious ideas and religious people were critical to the develop-ment of America:  how we became a nation and why we face the issues we face today. Learn about the beginning of evangelical religion, how the Baptists and Methodists won, how the Puritans lost Harvard, how the Mormons started west, and how the Branch Davidians traced their origins to a New England messianic movement.

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 retiring from 23 years as an Air Force chaplain.

Paul Turelli
4 wks THURS 9/14-10/5, 1:30-3 pm
$40, :Lecture, discussion, Q&A

Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day are arguably the most important American Catholics (Christians) of the 20th century. Their writings and controversial lifestyles challenged the traditional and fundamental doctrines and beliefs of the Church–and the larger Christian world. Although contemporaries, their separate and unique lives addressed a greater question: “How to live a Christian Life in the Modern World?” Through a seminar and discussion format, an intense and sometimes very personal exploration of these two spiritual giants will be explored. Weekly readings for each class period will be provided through email.

Paul Turelli, a former Littleton Public Schools Adminstrator and teacher, has most recently taught Academy classes about Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Songwriters of the ‘60s. Paul is a member of the Academy’s Board.

Ralph Stern
8 wks TUES 9/12-10/31, 1:30-3 PM
$80  Lecture, discussion

The Book of the Job has inspired theologians and philosophers for the past 1500 years. Professor George Moore and Charles Kent of Harvard University describe Job as the greatest work of Hebrew Literature and one of the greatest works of world literature, ranking with Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy and Milton’s Paradise Lost. It’s a very short book, perfect for study, analysis and trying to decipher its enigmatic message. As a direct by-product, we will wrestle with theodicy and the problems that have plagued believers in a supreme being from biblical times until today.

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.

Herzl Melmed MD, Robert Hazan Phd
5 wks THURS 10/5-11/2, 11:30 am-1 pm
$65  Lecture, Q&A

This class will explore the Middle East by looking at:
1) The Ottoman Empire towards the end of the 19th century 2) The Rise of Political Zionism. 3) The Causes & Consequences of World War I. 4) A brief history of Palestine 5) The Causes & Consequences of World War II. 6) Arab-Israeli Wars & Arab-Israeli Peace Efforts: 1948-2000 7) 21st Century: The Future of the Middle East.

A native of South Africa, Herzl Melmed grew up in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), where he was a student leader and activist who fought Apartheid and later lived in Israel during the Six-Day and the Yom Kippur Wars. Since immigrating to Colorado in 1976, he has been active in the local community and chairs ActionIsrael, a grassroots group of Christian and Jewish supporters of Israel. Together with Prof. Hazan, Mr. Melmed chaired a Middle East study group for 27 years and a Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Denver for two years.

Dr. Robert Hazan is Chair and Professor of Political Science at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is a founding member of the Middle East Study Group of the Anti-Defamation League-B’nai Brith. Dr. Hazan grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, and was educated in France and the United States. He received his doctorate in International Studies at DU.

Shellie Hochstadt
7 wks WED 9/27-11/8, 11:30 am-1 pm
$75  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.

Shellie Hochstadt taught AP world history, government and economics until retiring from high school teaching in 2010. She combines her interests in history, travel and reading into her teaching, where her goal is to bring a thoughtful global perspective.


Various speakers,*Cooperative Institute for Research
in Environmental Science (CIRES)
5 wks TUES 9:30-11 am, 9/12, 9/26-10/17 (SKIP 9/19)
$65  Lecture, Q&A

Wondering what in the world is happening in the world? Join experts in Earth and space science for a tour of the latest discoveries and how they affect us. First, you’ll discover how scientists study the changing Earth from space. Then you’ll learn about water in the West, air quality impacts from Colorado oil and gas development, the projected impacts of a big solar storm, and the microorganisms that live in your house. Dr. Waleed Abdalati, CIRES Director, former NASA Chief Scientist and host of PBS series, “The Crowd and the Cloud” kicks off the first lecture, followed by four more presentations from the Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), an organization of 800 scientists devoted to understanding our changing Earth.
The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science is an organization of 800 scientists devoted to ensuring a sustainable environment.

Jonathan Ormes
4 wks TUES 9:30-11 am, 10/24-11/14
$50 Lecture, Q&A

The biosphere is the thin shell around the surface of the planet that contains and sustains life on Earth. We will consider the history of this fragile shell including the basic outline of the evolution of life, the formation of fossil fuels, and the recent past with its cycles of ice ages. We will connect with the past to see what it can tell us about the future. We will consider questions such as, “How will the energy revolution look going forward?,” “What can we expect from the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice fields and caps?,” and the biggie, “Will it continue to sustain life as we know it?”

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.

John Anderson
5 wks TUES 9/26-10/24, 1:30-3 pm
$55  Expert Videos, Lecture, Q&A

Scientists know that galaxies and clusters of galaxies are held together by what they call “dark matter.” This mysterious stuff can’t be seen, yet it comprises five times as much of the universe as all the ordinary matter that makes up our world, our bodies and the sun. But what is it really? We will start by viewing the feature- length movie Particle Fever, which shows the behind- the -scenes story of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland where the Higg’s particle (Nobel Prize 2013) was discovered. The LHC is currently searching for clues as to what dark matter is. We will discuss various theories about this priority physics and cosmology problem, along with some novel technical jargon.

John Anderson worked in the computer industry for 30 years. Retirement allowed him to resume an undergraduate interest in physics and the history of science. He has a degree in physics from Yale.  After many years in New York/New Jersey, including seven years on Wall Street, he came to Colorado.

Woody Emlen, various speakers
5 wks WED 9/27-10/25 9:30-11 am
$65  Lecture, Q&A

Cutting edge medical research happens every day at the Anschutz Medical Campus, and Academy members are lucky enough to be able to “listen in” on this research in real time. Each semester, new speakers update us on the most exciting and recent advances in medical research.  For previous participants, there is still more that is worthy of your awe and edification! For those of you taking this class for the first time, you will be amazed at the incredible discoveries being made in our own backyard at Anschutz. The course is a collaboration between The Academy and the Office of Development at Anschutz Medical Campus.

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. He serves on the Academy’s Board as curriculum chair.MIND

Kip Doran
8 wks WED 9/27-11/15, 9:30-11 am
$85  Lecture, discussion, Q&A

Mature adults experience significant life changes: retirement, health issues and loss to name a few. Many of these changes have emotional and mental health components which can at times disrupt emotional equilibrium. Get the facts from an expert on the common mental and emotional issues facing individuals in the latter stages of their lives, and their remedies. Topics will include: depression and suicide; anxiety, fears and panic attacks; Alzheimer’s disease; the mental response to life trauma; grief and grieving; solving loneliness and boredom; substance abuse; and finding happiness. Learn about the common myths and truths about mental conditions, finding competent help and support, the best uses of therapy and/or medication, and how to assist others with emotional issues.

Dr. Christopher “Kip” Doran, a graduate of Boston College and Yale Medical School s a Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Having authored two mental health textbooks, he has taught throughout the US and in six foreign countries.

Tim Steele
5 wks WED 10/18-11/15, 9:30-11 am
$50  Lecture, discussion

Water, water everywhere, but what do we need to know? This class encompasses  in-depth facets of water covered in last year’s course. Selected topics, plus some new ones, include: The Amazon River Basin – water and ecology impacted by development; Watershed Plans – the institutional keystone of water management; China (PRC) – sacrificing environmental controls for economic progress ;The EU’s Water Framework Directive – contrasting water policy to the U.S., and ; Energy-Mining: Emerging Water-Quality Contaminants – types and impacts. An optional trip for those who did not attend last year’s course is proposed to the Argo Mine Treatment Facility and Xcel’s historical hydropower museum in Georgetown, with an overview of various issues in the upper Clear Creek watershed. No prerequisite needed to attend this class.

Tim Steele has worked in hydrology and regional assessments of water resources for 51 years. Recently, he has conducted university-related applied research and lectures on global water-resources issues, mine-impacted case studies, and Integrated Water Resources Management.


David Marsh, Ph.D.
5 wks WED 10/18-11/15 , 11:30 am-1 pm
$55 Lecture, discussion

Time Magazine calls U.S. Highway 50 the “main street of America”–the highway extends from Maryland’s eastern shore to Sacramento and passes through Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City and the heartland of America. What were the noble ideas that shaped our nation and how have these ideas played out as we tour across the country? We’re going to use Highway 50 to explore America from its founding, early development, the Civil War, and westward expansion, to our current life together. This will not be a traditional travelogue. Instead, we will explore seven themes about the nature of America, using Highway 50 as an anchor, prompt, and story board.

David Marsh was a high school history teacher before serving as a professor of education and associate dean in the School of Education at the University of Southern California.  He has spent the last decade exploring America along Highway 50. In the style of Charles Kuralt, he has driven every mile of the highway, talked with many “locals” along the route, visited key museums and sites, and read local newspapers.

Anita Fricklas/Judy Schwartz
6 wks TUES 9/12-10/17, 9:30-11 am
$65, Lecture, Q&A

Focusing on rescuers we have not introduced before, we will learn about men and women from varied walks of life who are heroes for the special work they did to save many Jews.  Many left their own homes, jobs and families and endangered their own lives to do what they knew was right. Join us as we share these incredible stories through lectures, speakers, and videos that will renew your faith in mankind.

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 debate team.  Over the years, Judy has taught in the Philippines and in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ted Borillo
3 wks WED 9/13-9/27 9:30-11 am
$35  Lecture, Q&A

Cecil B. DeMille once said that Denver’s Elitch Theatre was known among actors as “one of the greatest cradles of drama in American history.” Today the name “Elitch” is probably most often associated with the LoDo amusement park, but thousands recognize its deeper roots in Denver’s cultural history. After building a lovely garden at Tennyson and West 38th, John and Mary Elitch opened a theatre in 1890. Until its closing in 1987, the playhouse hosted many of the nation’s premier performers and witnessed huge transformations in American life. Join us as we share amusing anecdotes of the actors who walked Elitch’s boards and look back on the theater’s role in shaping Denver’s cultural landscape.

Retired lawyer Ted Borrillo is a published poet who enjoys delving into history and law issues. Ted recently published a book with the same title as this course.

Dick Young
6 wks TUES 9/12-10/24, SKIP 9/26, 9:30-11 am
$65 Lecture, discussion

Woven in to discussing each of our 45 Presidents, we will discover how the making of our country was truly a miracle. From the electoral college over the years (has it worked?) to the wars we have fought, we will look at each president and  how he got elected. We’ll look at the role political parties have and continue to play in our electoral process, including how different we are from the vision of Thomas Jefferson, who once was quoted as saying, “If I must go to heaven with a (political) party), I would prefer to not go.” And we will learn how important the President is in our ordinary lives.

Retired Admiral, lawyer, and political leader, Dick Young has taught courses on Pearl Harbor, the Pacific War, and American history at various Elderhostels. He is now legislative chairman of the United Veterans Committee of Colorado.

Mary Conroy
5 wks TUES 10/17-11/14, 11:30 am-1 pm
$60  Lecture, Q&A

It’s the centenary of the Russian revolutions of 1917. Get an in-depth study of Russia’s economics and political scene leading into the first three years of World War. A complete history of the February/March and October/November 1917 Revolutions will be discussed, complete with causes and results.

REQUIRED READING:  The course leader has a few extra copies of these books that she can loan the first day of class.
Mary Schaeffer Conroy, Emerging Democracy in Late Imperial Russia. University Press of Colorado, 1998.
Geoffrey Swain, The Origins of the Russian Civil War (Origins of Modern Wars). Routledge, 1995.

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

Walt Meyer
7 wks TUES 9/19-10/31, 11:30 am-1 pm
$75  Lecture, Q&A

The course begins with a brief discussion of the European and Middle East context in the late 11th century, followed by a presentation of the first Crusade, including the capture of Jerusalem and the reaction of the Muslims. Subsequent weeks will cover the period of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the establishment of the military orders, the unification of the Muslims under Saladin, and subsequent Crusades, including the aborted Crusade of Richard and Phillip, Kings of England and France, respectively. Finally, we spend some time examining the fate of the military orders and reflecting on the legacy of the Crusades because the effects of the Crusades linger in the world today and affect the thinking of both Islam and the West.

Walt Meyer is a retired “technocrat.” His interest in Middle Eastern religion stems from having led different courses on Islam, the Crusades and the Inquisitions over the past 12 years.

Shellie Hochstadt
6 wks THURS 9/14-10/19 , 11:30 am-1:30 pm
$70  Lecture, Q&A

An examination of the Vietnam War, the course begins with the history of French Colonialism and continues through the American involvement in Vietnam. The course leader will talk about the country’s history from 1800-1975. This course is a repeat from Spring 2017

Shellie Hochstadt taught AP world history, government and economics until retiring from high school teaching in 2010. She combines her interests in history, travel and reading into her teaching, where her goal is to bring a thoughtful global perspective.

Susan Blake-Smith and the Hamil-tones
7 wks WED 9/20-11/15, 1:30 -3 pm, SKIP 10/11, 11/1
$75  Lecture, Q&A

Hamilton, the record-breaking Broadway sensation, has sparked new interest in one of America’s most fascinating founding fathers. Using the musical as our backdrop, we will explore Alexander Hamilton’s remarkable story from a hardscrabble childhood in St. Croix to his meteoric rise to Secretary of the Treasury, his role in the country’s first publicized sex scandal and his fateful duel with Aaron Burr. We will discuss the lyrics, the music and why the show has “revolutionized” Broadway. Is the show historically accurate? Did Hamilton throw away his shot? Why is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright, considered a literary and musical genius? This class will be fast-paced and fun.  Whether you are already familiar with the music or not, you’re going to “want to be in the room where it happens.”

Susan Blake-Smith, veteran Academy facilitator, with Jack Keenan, chair of the Academy’s history department, Jim Kneser, music and economics buff, Paulette Wasserstein, literature rock star, Sally Kneser, director of visuals and technology and MitchSamu, professional music director, composer, musician and pianist extraordinaire.


Abe Wagner
6 wks TUES 9/12-10/24, SKIP 10/10, 9:30-11 am
$55  Lecture, Q&A

Times have changed and people seem more divided than ever. Through a unique blend of warmth, wit and wisdom, Abe Wagner will help you understand and improve communication in your life based on the common-sense psychologies of Transactional Analysis (TA) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)  to improve communication, resolve conflict and reduce stress. Learn to: stay out of psychological games and the drama triangle (persecutor, rescuer victim), cope with stress, and “carefront” when dealing with people who are being “resistable.” You’ll also understand how to: really listen, invite others to do the same, and appreciate the power of positive reinforcement. Plan to laugh while learning tools for a more rewarding life.

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 Transactional Analysis and NLP have been acclaimed by his audience members from all walks of life.

Joseph Kerski
5 wks WED 10/4-11/1, 11:30 am-1 pm
$55  Lecture, demonstration, discussion

This course will enable participants to understand why stories can be effectively told with today’s interactive, web-based (http://storymaps.arcgis.com) maps, and learn how to create story maps that incorporate sounds, video, photographs, narrative, and other multimedia.  Through readings, videos, quizzes, discussions, and hands-on activities, learn how and why to create story maps and be confident that you can use these tools to investigate our world and tell your OWN stories.

Joseph Kerski is a geographer and cartographer at the US Census Bureau and at the USGS for 21 years. He teaches at educator professional development institutes and in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) through Elmhurst College, Penn State and other places on the map.

Sally Kneser
8 wks TUES 9/19-11/7, 11:30 am-1 pm
$90  Lecture, Q&A, bidding practice

The 2-Over-1 Game Force system is simply an adaptation of Standard American. Easy! But there are lots of bells and whistles. These lessons involve many “How-to” situations: suit preference, shape, limit raise, bigger hand, slam interest, showing an ace or king, and much more. Most importantly, there will be hundreds of sample hands to practice. Partners, groups, or solos are welcome. This is a chance to practice, practice, practice your bidding. (No card playing. For that, sign up for the Stay & Play session, which will meet right after class.) Course limited to 90 participants.

Sally Kneser is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics to others. While volunteering with the Junior League, Sally chaired the Facilitators and has volunteered as the “keeper of the files” for several nonprofits. She is a founding board member and former executive director of the Academy.

Your Group
8 wks TUES, 9/19-11/7 1:30-3 pm
$30  Play set hands

NEW!  Looking for a place to relax and play bridge? No instruction to interrupt your playing time with friends. Pre-set challenges in bidding and play will be available each week or you can shuffle and play random deals. Come with your own group or mix around with other bridge lovers. Participants from the 2/1 course can bring a lunch and continue the fun. We will provide light snacks. Course limited to 90 participants.

Course Leader: Sharon Rouse
3 wks TUES, 10/17-10/31, 9:30-Noon (note end time)
$35 Hands-on, demonstration

“Art is the only way you can run away without leaving home.”-Twyla Tharp. Watercolor is a beguiling and exciting medium with a personality all its own. As watercolorists, no matter our experience, we are all perpetual students. Explore watercolor’s idiosyncrasies and discover your hidden potential as you develop personal paintings. A list of suggested materials will be sent after registration. Limited to 18 participants.

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 shows and private collections. 

Doug Wilke
5 wks TUES 9/26-10/24, 1:30 am-3 pm
$55 Lecture, Q&A, hands-on

Learn all about scanning your old photos and slides. Emphasis will be on the scanning process, resolution, and photo enhancement with the scanner software.  Then, using Picasa, we will organize, tag, and edit all these images for online sharing and backup.  On the last day, bring your laptop to class for help on organization and editing.


After retiring, Doug Wilke discovered a new passion in scanning and digitizing his photo collection for TV viewing and web sharing with interested family members. He is also The Academy’s morning site coordinator.

Joe Klocek
5 wks TUES 9/12-10/10,  11:30 am.-1 pm
$55 Lecture, demo, Q&A

Are you tired of fuzzy photos? Sick of sophomoric selfies? In this class, we’re going to explore photographic skills from the basics through intermediate understanding. By the end, you’ll understand all the techniques necessary to shoot effectively, at any time, in any environment, and with any subject. There will also be a small section on quality editing and printing.

Joe Klocek has been a professional in the photographic industry for 11 years and a guest speaker at photo clubs, the Amazing Aging Exposition, and the Colorado Travel and Leisure Exposition.

Leah Klocek
5 wks TUES 9/12-10/10,  11:30 am.-1 pm
$60  Lecture, demo, Q&A

This class is a thorough and accessible introduction to delving into one’s own family history/genealogy. Topics  range from the basic, such as how to create a family tree, to the intermediate, such as an introduction to the documents and records commonly used in genealogy, where and how to find them, and how to interpret them, to the more advanced, including common pitfalls and mistakes encountered by hobbyists and how to avoid them. An examination of DNA testing has also been added to the class. The class culminates with informal student presentations of their own findings

Leah Klocek is a historical and genealogical researcher here in Denver. She is a founder and owner of a small business, Crossroads Historical Research.

Linda Gordon
6 wks WED 9/13-10/18, 1:30-3 pm
$60  Practice speaking, listening

Tailored to fit beginners with “un poquito” of previous Spanish language experience, this class will include the 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! Class is limited to 25.

REQUIRED READING:  Dorothy Richmond, Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Verb Tenses.  McGraw-Hill, 2010. It’s $15.

An educator for 36 years, Linda Gordon retired from being a school principal. As the former director of an English-as-a-second-language school in Mexico City for 10 years, she enjoys working with adults who like to learn.

Sandy Stolar
8 wks WED  9/13-11/1, 1:30-3 pm
$75  Practice speaking, listening

Intermediate Chatting in Español is for people wanting to brush up on their conversational Spanish skills. We practice speaking, listening and reading in Spanish. We will review the past tenses as well as introducing or refreshing knowledge of other tenses and some grammatical concepts as needed by the participants. Our main focus is “charlando en español.”

REQUIRED READING:  Dorothy Richmond, Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Verb Tenses.  McGraw-Hill, 2010. It’s $15

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. She is also licensed to teach Tai Chi.

Scott Henke
WED 10/25-11/15 9:30-11 am
$10/class.   First class FREE
Tips, tricks, information, Q&A
10/25  DIY Troubleshooting
11/1  Flights and Hotels
11/8  Maps
11/15  Scams

Onsite Consulting owner, Scott Henke, has been a consultant for 33 years. His company offers PC consulting, network troubleshooting, repair, virus and spyware solutions, free Carbonate backup monitoring, remote emergency help and more. He is available for free advice via email: scott@henke.com

Karyl Meyer
8 wks TUES 1:30-3 pm, 9/12-10/31 (performance TBD)
$80  Reading, Performing

Among a group of your Academy peers, analyze, prepare and rehearse one or two classic scripts for an end-of-class performance with Academy students, family and friends. Class members may act, serve as simple sound technicians or be involved in other ways (understudies, stage set-up, gathering and managing simple costumes and props, etc.); however, the whole group will contribute to script analysis and character development by helping create the production. Some weeks may require extra time for practice. Prior acting experience and line memorization are not required.

Karyl Meyer is a former high school theatreteacher, as well as a coach for speech and debate teams. She has also been a board member of the Colorado ThespianSociety.


Jim Kneser
6 wks THURS 10/5-11/9, 9:30-11 am
$110  Lecture

The surprising result(s) of the 2016 election dramatically changed all expectations for the economy.  The Trump administration had campaigned on the promise of making very significant changes to economic policy hoping to achieve strong economic growth, lower taxes, controlled immigration, better regulatory policy, higher wages, reduced poverty, improved health care policy, smaller trade deficits, a shrinking federal deficit, and a declining national debt.  Financial markets have benefited from the optimistic expectation that some or all of these promises will come to pass, but the necessary legislation has (as of this writing) been slow in coming.  If we have concrete policy proposals by this fall we will look at them in detail in class.  In any event we will take a thorough look at the present status of the U.S. economy and consider what types of economic policy changes should be considered and how they might operate to achieve our desired ends.  A significant majority of academic and private sector economists are in close agreement as to how these objectives can best be achieved (e.g. the IGM Forum, former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors, etc.) but the general public and politicians are focused on alternatives that are far less likely to be economically successful.  Explaining and discussing these differences  in the fall will add some hot sauce to our classes.

After a career in financial management, Jim Kneser has turned to teaching micro and macroeconomics, globalization and public policy to over 5,000 participants in over 60 courses. Jim is a founding Academy Board member.

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. Waleed Abdalati is Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a NOAA joint institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is former NASA Chief Scientist and is host of the television series “The Crowd and The Cloud”, a celebration of citizen scientists. As a professor of geography, Dr. Abdalati’s research the use of satellite and airborne remote sensing techniques, integrated with observations and modeling, to understand how and why the Earth’s ice cover is changing, and what those changes mean for life on Earth.

John Anderson worked in technical sales and support in the computer industry for 30 years. Retirement allowed him to resume an undergraduate interest in physics and the history of science. He has facilitated several science classes at the Academy.  He escaped to Colorado 25 years ago after a score of years in the New York/New Jersey area, including seven years on Wall Street. He has a degree in physics from Yale.

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, namely, Director, Production Manager, First Assistant Director, and Second Assistant Director. He was Executive In Charge Of Production for the Danny Thomas / Sheldon Leonard Production Company, (T&L), as well as Production Executive at Universal Studios. He has produced television series, movies for television, and directed series episodes, see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0046345/. His career has been at all the major studios: Universal, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros, and Columbia.

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 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 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.

Susan’s alter-ego is a history buff who has facilitated three discussion classes using counterfactual essays by renowned historians to reimagine history’s critical turning points.   She will bring this enthusiasm and curiosity to the subject of Alexander Hamilton with the help of Jack Keenan, chair of the history department at The Academy; Jim Kneser, economics and music aficionado; Paulette Wasserstein, literature rock star; and Mitch Samu, music director, musical theater expert and pianist extraordinaire.

Ted Borrillo 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 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.

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.

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.

Georgi Contiguglia served for a decade as President and CEO of the History Colorado and the state’s Historic Preservation Officer.  Earlier she was Curator of Decorative and Fine Arts, managing seven house museums and curating many exhibitions including the annual Artists of America exhibition.  She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University majoring in mathematics.  She received a Masters Degree in art history from Hunter College in New York and worked at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum.  She has taught art history in New York, at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, and the Academy for Lifelong Learning.  She continues to serve on a variety of boards including the Board of the Academy for Lifelong Learning. She received Colorado Preservation Inc.’s prestigious Dana Crawford Award for her efforts in the field of historic preservation and the Mountain-Plains Museums Association’s Hugo Rodeck Award for outstanding service to the museum field.

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 interest and experience in the modern and contemporary collections at the Denver Art Museum.

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 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 lack of talent and the emergence of the Rock Generation to convince him otherwise. Don was the first general manager of The Magic Castle in Hollywood (no, he can’t do any magic tricks) and then spent 46 years with Executive Car Leasing Company before retiring. After the death of his wife in 2010, Don moved to Aurora, Colorado where he has pursued a life of indolence interrupted only by hours spent on the computer and reading his favorite authors, and by the bursts of activity needed to research, write, and present classes for the Academy. He tried never to take life or himself too seriously and injects that attitude into his classes.

Dr. Christopher “Kip” Doran, a graduate of Boston College and Yale Medical School, a Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Having authored two mental health textbooks, he has taught throughout the US and in six foreign countries.

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.

Dr. Noah Fierer, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and CIRES; University of Colorado Boulder. His research group study the microorganisms living in our homes, in soil, and in the atmosphere. With the help of citizen scientists, Dr. Fierer used advances in DNA sequencing to build the first maps of airborne microbial diversity across the United States.  His group has studied microbial conditions that lead to environmental allergies, and has shown that microbial populations inside the home reflect the gender of the humans and the species of the pets inside. Currently, Dr. Fierer is studying the influence of microbes in shower heads and their influence on respiratory disease. For more information, see: http://fiererlab.org/

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 recently retired 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!

Dr. Robert Hazan is Chair and Professor of Political Science at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is a founding member of the Middle East Study Group of the Anti-Defamation League-B’nai Brith. Dr. Hazan grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, and was educated in France and the United States. He received his doctorate in International Studies at DU.

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 taught over 5,000 people through Adult Education over the past 20 years. His company, Onsite Consulting, offers PC consulting, PC and network troubleshooting, repair, virus and spyware solutions, free offsite backup, remote emergency help and many other computer services.   His classes are designed with the beginner in mind. He is always available for free advice via email scott@henke.com

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.

Gulsum Katmer was born and raised in the neighborhoods of Cappadocia, Turkey. In 2007, she moved to the US to pursue her education. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from UCLA and her Master’s in Economy in from Penn State. Gulsum is a passionate teacher of Turkish language and art classes. She gave many talks on Islam and women in Islam at various different institutions. Gulsum Katmer has been Executive Director of Multicultural Mosaic Foundation since 2016. Gulsum and her husband have two children and have been living in Colorado since 2013

Phil Keenan is a founding partner of the law firm of Ambler & Keenan. He is a board certified attorney in estate planning, and is also a CPA and a CFP. His practice specializes in estate planning, probate and trust administration, and the taxation of trusts and estates. He has the highest peer reviewed rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected a Colorado SuperLawyer. He is a past-president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, and was recognized in 2009 with the Denver Foundation’s Philanthropic Leadership Award.  Phil is also a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

Joseph Kerski, Ph.D., has three degrees in geography–geomorphology, population change, natural hazards, water, ecoregion studies, and geography education and GIS (Global Information Systems). Joseph has been with ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.) in Broomfield for nearly 10 years as its Education Manager. He teaches, creates curriculum, supports implementation of GIS and conducts research. Feel free to learn more about Joseph at his Website, http://www.josephkerski.com

Joe Klocek has been a professional in the photographic industry for tens years. In that time he has worked as a wedding and portrait photographer, course instructor, and camera store manager. He has been a guest speaker at photo clubs, the Amazing Aging Exposition, and the Colorado Travel and Leisure Exposition.

Leah Klocek is a historical and genealogical researcher here in Denver. She has an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, and a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania. The founder and owner of a small business, Crossroads Historical Research, Leah is also a certified history teacher.

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.”

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. While volunteering with the Junior League, Sally chaired several committees, including the Facilitators and 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.

Gloria Kubel received a BA in Education from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York and a MA in Dance from the University of Colorado.  She studied ballet growing up in New York City and studied modern dance with Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Erick Hawkins, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis.  She taught modern dance in Denver for over twenty years and directing a small company of dancers, performed in several Colorado cities.  Gloria created a movement – discussion support group for women after breast cancer and continues to teach Dance – exercise and Tai Chi Movement Meditation classes.

Jeff Lukas is a Research Integration Specialist with the Western Water Assessment (WWA), a NOAA-supported program within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. For the past 15 years, Jeff has worked closely with water managers and other decision-makers in the Rocky Mountain West to assess climate-related vulnerabilities and prepare for an uncertain climate future. He was lead author of the 2014 Climate Change in Colorado report for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, summarizing the latest science on observed climate trends and future climate projections for the state. Jeff has a B.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder and an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana.

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 living abroad in the Phillipines and Mexico. She served two years in the Peace Corps. and lived on and off in Mexico for five years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Her oldest daughter was born in Mexico City. Both daughters are citizens of Mexico and and the US. She is a Denver native who attended CU Boulder and has Masters degrees from CSU and UCLA. She enjoys the interaction and stimulation that comes through courses at The Academy.

David Marsh has spent the last decade exploring America along Highway 50. In the style of Charles Kuralt, he has driven every mile of the highway, talked with many “locals” along the route, visited key museums and sites, and read local newspapers. He brings stories, photos, reflections, and a decade of experiences to share.  David was a high school history teacher before serving as a professor of education and associate dean in the School of Education at the University of Southern California.  Then, he retired, moved to Denver, and now has time for travel, gardening, and the joys of this wonderful city.  He has taught this course multiple times in the Los Angeles region, and led a study tour of highway 50 to Washington, DC.  David has traveled to over 90 countries and lived in India for a year—travel is truly important to him as a way of understanding a country and our lives together.

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.

A native of South Africa, Herzl Melmed grew up in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), where he was a student leader and activist who fought Apartheid and later lived in Israel during the Six-Day and the Yom Kippur Wars. Since immigrating to Colorado in 1976, he has been active in the local community and chairs ActionIsrael, a grassroots group of Christian and Jewish supporters of Israel. Together with Prof. Hazan, Mr. Melmed chaired a Middle East study group for 27 years and a Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Denver for two years.

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.

Karyl Meyer has been involved in educational and community theatre most of her life. After majoring in theatre and speech (and minoring in math) she spent many years teaching high school (even math on occasion) and directing plays and musicals as well as coaching speech and debate teams. For several years she was on the board of the Colorado Thespian Society and directed university auditions for high school seniors, bringing in 25 university representatives from around the country. She has also directed a variety of productions for community and church groups. Her favorite aspects of play production are the creative and collaborative efforts to bring a piece of literature fully to life for an audience.

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. My wife and I have been married 52 years and have three grown children and four grandchildren. His interest in the religions of the Middle East stems from having led courses on Islam, on the Crusades and on the Inquisitions. He has led these classes a total of ten times over the past nine years and has received rave reviews of the depth and quality of his presentations. He has done considerable reading on the subject. The religions that will be discussed are frequently in the news and the danger facing some of them is real and in some cases threatening.

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.

Dr. Gabrielle Petron, Research Scientist, NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab (ESRL) and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).  Her studies include emissions related to unconventional oil and natural gas production, using a sensor-equipped mobile van, towers and airplanes to identify methane and other hydrocarbons emissions.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the non-methane emissions are pertinent to regional air quality issues.  Dr. Petron’s work provides independent information on regional emissions.

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 seekers seeking refuge in the U.S. Both activities have made her look at cultural differences, belief systems, the courage it takes to start a new life in a new place and the pros and cons of assimilation. As a psychologist and the granddaughter of immigrants, the multiple layers of what ‘diversity’ involves continue to engage her interest and provide her with a few answers and many more questions.

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 full-time 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 moved to Colorado in 1996 and was the Editor at Recording magazine (recordingmag.com).

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.

Chuck Shannon’s “two careers” began with twelve years as a division director for the Denver Regional Council of Governments and concluded with 20-plus years in the United Way system. In his last ten years with United Way, he split his time between serving as a Mile High United Way vice-president and as a senior fellow with the United Way of America (United Way Worldwide). In the latter role, he focused on national initiatives for development of low-income communities, serving part-time as a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and collaborating with the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University.

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.

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 baseline and modeling studies for water-resources planning and management studies, many involving hydrocarbons, coal and minerals projects. Lately, he has conducted university-related applied research and lectures on global water-resources issues, mine-impacted case studies, and Integrated Water Resources Management.

Rob Steenburgh is a Space Scientist and Senior Space Weather Forecaster at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). Space weather describes the dynamic conditions of the Earth’s outer space environment, including any condition or event on the sun, in the solar wind, in near-Earth space and in our upper atmosphere that can affect technological systems, human life and human activity. Space Weather impacts numerous facets of everyday life, from where airplanes can safely fly, to how accurately a farmer plows his field. SWPC provides information for novices and experts alike about the impacts and phenomena of Space Weather.

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.

Sally Stich has been a freelance writer for 36 years. Her work has appeared in the Denver Post and the magazines that grace your coffee table. She also taught on the writing faculty at CU-Denver and in the Master of Humanities program at DU’s University College.

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’s taught successful courses at The Academy including The Beatles, Female Songwriters of the 60s and a previous version of Bob Dylan (before THE prize.) Paul studied literary and film criticism as a graduate student in college and also taught literature during his teaching career.

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 Transactional Analysis and NLP have been acclaimed by his audience members from all walks of life. Abe’s unique blend of warmth, wit, and wisdom, make him a master at captivating and engaging his class participants.

To quote Ken Blanchard, Ph.D  author of “The One Minute Manager : “Abe Wagner is one of the best communicators I know.  He has the uncanny capacity to take complicated concepts and make them easily understood by everyone.”  Plan to laugh while you learn.

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.

Doug Wilke discovered a new passion in retirement. His father had a large collection of old family photos and documents to donate to a hometown museum. Before disposing of them after his father’s death, Doug taught himself to scan and digitize this collection for TV viewing and web sharing with interested family members. The project expanded to his wife’s family photos and he is now up to about the year 1950 for both families! It’s not only about preserving his family history, but also learning about his family. Doug is eager to share this computer skill with you.

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 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.