Spring 2013

Tuesday, February 5
4:30 – 6:30 pm
$5 (new and prospective members FREE!)
Location: Wellshire Presbyterian Church, 2999 S. Colorado Blvd.

This is a don’t-miss event, especially if you are new to the Academy. Get together informally with facilitators and fellow participants. Renew connections; pick up pre-class handouts if there are any for your course; and find out about any changes in the course schedules. 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 be filled by February 5.


At the Cutting Edge
Various CU Professors
4 Wednesdays, Apr. 3 – Apr. 24
1:30 – 3:30 pm

The University of Colorado at Boulder has put together another timely series of science lectures featuring four distinguished faculty members. Only one lecturer is scheduled per afternoon, so there will be plenty of time for questions. You needn’t be a science nerd to take advantage of this rare opportunity to learn about recent scientific discoveries and get acquainted with accomplished researchers at Colorado’s flagship university. No prerequisites, required reading, or quizzes. Each lecture stands alone, so you won’t fall behind if you have to miss a class.

Apr. 3 – Monika Fleshner, “Immunity in Health & Disease: An Integrative Physiologist’s Perspective”
Apr. 10 – Michael Shull, “High Redshift Galaxies and the Edge of the Visible Universe”
Apr. 17 – Mark Williams, “Is Climate Change Drying Up the Major Rivers in the Himalayas?” and “The Environmental Footprint of Fracking”
Apr. 24 – Jason Glenn, “Unveiling Galaxy Formation in the Universe”

Coordinator: Bennie Bub
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Mar. 27
1:30 – 3:30 pm

Science is not static. It moves forward over time, reflecting changes in the societies in which it is embedded. We’ll attempt to hit this moving target with the help of a series of guest lecturers, all scientists or researchers. They’ll brief us on the current state of knowledge in their various fields, explain how we got to this point, and challenge us to consider what may come next. We’ll cover such topics as greenhouse warming (on distant planets, as well as our own), minimally invasive surgery, the impact of diet and lifestyle on the working of our genes, major advances in paleontology and geology, and the often overlooked contributions women make to science and technology.

Feb. 20 – Jim Hartmann, “Science and Religion: Two Magisterial Views about What We  Know about the Universe, the World, and Ourselves”
Feb. 27 – Jill S. Tietjen, P.E., “Forgotten Accomplishments of the Amazing Scientific and Technical Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand”
Mar. 6 – Jonathan F. Ormes, “The History of Greenhouse Warming”
Mar. 13 – Richard Sanders MD, “Two Discoveries That Have Revolutionized Surgery”
Mar. 20 – John Anderson, “The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of—The History of Physics in the 20th Century”
Mar. 27 – Lou Taylor, “Paleontology and Geology: Major Advances Through Time”

Stars, Galaxies & Dark Stuff
Facilitator: Lew House
6 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Mar. 26
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, discussion

The universe began in a fireball called the Big Bang. In its subsequent evolution, space, time, matter, and energy were created. Stars and galaxies formed. You may be surprised to learn we are all made of “Star Dust” since all the matter in the material world (other than hydrogen, which originated in the initial Big Bang) was created at the center of stars. We will explore this miracle in strictly layman’s terms; no previous math or science is required; no theories other than pure science will be entertained. To understand our universe, we will range from the miniscule aspects of quantum theory, such as the recent Higg’s boson, to the immensity of the universe itself, as seen by the Hubble telescope, a “time-machine” looking back toward the beginning of the universe. The role of the great mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, as well as the ultimate fate of the universe will be discussed. One guarantee offered by this class is that you will look at the majestic night sky from a whole new perspective. “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”   — A. Einstein

Recommended reading: Chris Impey, How it Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe, (Norton, 2012); and Peter Coles, Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2001).

Facilitator: Lew House is an astrophysicist who has been a principal investigator on two major NASA satellite projects and has advised corporate executives on the use of advanced technologies in strategic planning. In retirement, he studies history and enjoys keeping track of developments in many areas of scientific inquiry.


A Film Series
Facilitator: Sheila Porter
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 12 – Apr. 16
10 am – 12 noon
Viewing films, discussion, some lecture

Those minorities and newcomers who make up the colorful patchwork of diversity that distinguishes our nation today faced numerous challenges, some well known and some little known. In this series of award-winning films we will see extraordinary women who stepped out of ordinary lives and moved beyond the confines of racial and cultural stereotypes to make a difference. We will examine the issues that motivated them, the causes that inspired them, and their impact on today’s world. As we learn more about these individuals and the paths they have traveled, we will develop a greater appreciation for the complexities of diversity and the major movements and changes that have occurred in our lifetimes.

Required reading:   Eyal Press, Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times  (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012).

Instructor: As a psychologist and the granddaughter of immigrants, and an evaluator of those seeking political asylum in the U.S., Sheila Porter finds that the multiple layers of   cultures and diversity continue to engage her interest and provide her with a few answers and many more questions.

Our Losses & Gains
Facilitator: Ruth Neubauer
7 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Apr. 9 (skip Mar. 26)
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, discussion

People grow and change through losses that are an inevitable part of life—the loss of a mother’s protection, the loss of the impossibly high hopes we expect from relationships, the loss of our youth, and the loss of those we love through separation and death. We’ll figure out why some folks (surely not you!) have a propensity to repeat old, negative patterns in the face of each loss. By applying a few very basic psychological concepts to daily life, we’ll examine some of the ways that unconscious processes and conflicts affect our current behaviors and beliefs. We’ll use writing, poetry, and music, to help ground and enhance our understanding of the material. The basic text will be Judith Viorst’s Necessary Losses. We will be reading the book section by section beginning the second week of class.

Required reading: Judith Viorst, Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow (Free Press, 1998).

Facilitator:  Ruth Neubauer, MSW, LCSW, has worked as a psychotherapist in Denver and the Washington DC area for more than 30 years. She remains on the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington DC and has six years’ experience teaching adults continuing their lifelong learning.

What They Don’t Tell Us
Lecturer: Richard Pflugfelder
6 Thursdays, Mar. 7 – Apr. 11
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

We’re constantly overwhelmed with information about food and nutrition that is often confusing, contradictory, and designed to sell products rather than to inform.  A lifelong student of nutritional issues will guide you through this maze of often controversial fact and fiction and help you translate scientific ingredient lists to plain English. Using data from labels as a starting point, you’ll learn to read between the lines about the role of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and other nutrients and get a better grasp of how they affect your health and well-being. Popular grocery and restaurant choices will be used as illustrations. You’ll greet meal time with greater gusto when you understand more about how the menu affects your health, and you may even know whether sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can help or harm you.

Lecturer:  A retired research scientist with a PhD in food science & technology and BS in biochemistry, Richard Pflugfelder is passionate about nutrition and related health issues. Like his father and grandfather, he spent his career in the brewing industry, including 16 years in research and development at Coors.


Facilitator: Marlene Chambers
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 26 – Apr. 16
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Videos, analysis of art, discussion

There’s more than a grain of truth in the old chestnut, “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”  With a little training and practice, though, you’ll get even more enjoyment out of looking at art. We’ll begin by learning to identify and analyze the basic visual features artists work with: line, shape, form, color, space, texture, value, and light. And we’ll see how artists use these elements of design to shape the esthetic effects they want to create. We’ll look at lots of paintings and a few sculptures and spend time discussing controversial issues, as well as our personal biases. We’ll all have a chance to talk about some of our favorite art works and what features make them so satisfying. You’re bound to leave with a surer knowledge of art and a deeper appreciation for the artists’ achievements.

Recommended reading: Paul Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher, The Art of Seeing (Pearson, any edition).

Art Enthusiast: After thirty years as senior editor and head of publications at the Denver Art Museum, Marlene Chambers has escaped to the Academy, where she indulges her lifelong interests in literature, art history, and learning theory.

American Art under the Magnifying Glass
Coordinators: Joanne Mendes & Marty Corren
6 Wednesdays, Feb.20 – Mar. 27
1:30 – 3:30 pm
$75 (includes all tour fees & printed materials)
Parking additional
Participants must be (or become) DAM members.
Tours at the Denver Art Museum

Take a closer look at American art in the Denver Art Museum’s collection and two special exhibitions—one focusing on Georgia O’Keeffe’s formative years in New Mexico and another featuring early 20th century landscapes by Colorado’s own Charles Partridge Adams. On this kaleidoscopic tour of discovery, you’ll see things you’ve never noticed before as museum staff and docents lead us from a romantic mid-19th century dreamscape by Thomas Cole to a 21st century installation featuring video and computer technology, from a Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks to a life-size horse assembled from recycled car parts by Montana sculptor Deborah Butterfield, and from a Marsden Hartley still life of 1915 to abstract paintings by Vance Kirkland and Robert Motherwell. Our last session takes us to the nearby Clyfford Still Museum to tour a new exhibit of groundbreaking work by this first generation abstract expressionist painter. Participants must be or become Denver Art Museum members.

Coordinators: Academy member and longtime art enthusiast Joanne Mendes retired from a career spent organizing programs in art history in London and at the DAM. The DAM’s Academy liaison, Marty Corren, joined the museum as a volunteer in 2006 and recently received the Cile Bach Award for outstanding work as a DAM docent.

Instructor: Julie Williams
6 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Mar. 28
9:30 – 12 noon

Indulge your inner artist!  Whether you’re a budding artist or an experienced painter, there’s no greater joy than painting an oil or pastel portrait of a family member, friend, or grandchild. Learn the tricks of the art from a professional portrait painter who’ll take you step by step through the basic techniques for capturing the essence of your subjects and bringing them to life on your canvas. We’ll begin at the very beginning, so bring some examples of artistic styles you admire, as well as a photo of your subject and a Xerox of the photo so we can discuss the values in the image. A supply list will be provided before classes start so you’ll be ready to get a running start with your own table easel, paints, brushes, and canvas.

Instructor:  A professional portrait artist for 29 years, Julie Williams holds a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University, studied at the Ridgewood (NJ) Art Institute, and apprenticed with renowned portraitist Joseph Bowler in Hilton Head, SC. She has exhibited at numerous galleries and served as a gallery art instructor and private tutor.  www.portraitartist.com/williams.

European Tradition
Lecturer: Lorraine Sherry
6 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Mar. 28
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, viewing images, Q&A

This course, the fourth and last in the “Garden as Art” sequence, covers the evolution of formal garden design from its roots in antiquity to the present day.  We’ll focus on the European tradition, which developed out of the ancient walled courtyard garden, reached its pinnacle in the Italian Renaissance and French baroque periods, and spread throughout the European Continent and beyond.  This is not a horticulture course in “how to grow a better rose bush.”  Rather, it’s a fine arts course exploring the ways in which garden design—like music, painting, sculpture, and architecture—reflects the spirit of the age in which it is created.

Facilitator: Lorraine Sherry serves on the NorthPark East HOA’s Landscape Improvement Advisory Committee, which is overseeing the implementation of the ten-year landscape renewal plan for the entire subdivision. She pursued her horticultural education through CSU’s Colorado Master Gardener program and international travels.

Instructor: Lorenz Rychner
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Mar. 27
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, demonstration, Q&A

Do you love music, but wish that program notes and pre-concert lectures weren’t delivered in a foreign language? You’ll listen to music in new ways once you learn the lingo and see how some of the basic elements of music work. So what if you can’t read a score or have never played an instrument? When you learn the basics by means of a keyboard that you can hear and see projected on a large screen, you’ll move quickly from notes and scales to chords and phrases and from there to melody, rhythm, and harmony, as well as musical forms like ballads and symphonies. Your ears already know most of this; it’s high time for your mind to get involved.

Recommended reading: Browse this website:  http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/theory/theory.htm?tqskip=1

Instructor: After 15 years as a professional musician in Australia, Lorenz Rychner studied orchestration and conducting in LA and headed the music synthesis program at the Grove School of Music.

The First 30 Years
Instructor: Lorenz Rychner
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 19 – Apr. 23
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Listening to jazz, lecture, discussion

This course sets the stage for an extended series about what has often been called the first truly American art form. In these opening weeks, we’ll see how jazz grew out of the culture of its time, what makes it jazz, and who performed it in its formative years. We’ll also study its impact on other art forms and American culture in general. Join us as we stomp, swing, and Charleston our way through the Jazz Age. All tapping toes and snapping fingers are welcome. No previous musical training required, though some familiarity with the fundamentals may be helpful.  (See the 6-week Music FUNdamentals class offered Wednesday mornings starting Feb. 20.)

Recommended reading: Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion (CDs or audio downloads from www.thegreatcourses.com); and Wilder Hobson, American Jazz Music (Norton, 1976).

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.

Lecturer: Robin McNeil
10 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Apr. 23
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, listening to music, Q&A

Immerse yourself in the life and music of little-known French composer Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898) under the direction of maestro Robin McNeil. Although the composer was greatly respected during his lifetime, after his death Gouvy’s music fell largely into obscurity until the last decade of the 20th century, when the Institut Théodore Gouvy in Hombourg-Haut, Lorraine, was founded to champion his achievement. The acclaimed 1994 CD of Gouvy’s Requiem by the Philharmonie de Lorraine and more recent recordings of his extensive repertoire will help us give Gouvy the hearing he deserves. In this second of two courses devoted to his legacy, we’ll look at Gouvy’s life as well as his music. By exploring his relationship to such well-known contemporaries as Berlioz, Liszt, and Brahms, we’ll begin to discover and appreciate his true place in the history of music.

Instructor: Concert pianist Robin McNeil taught at the University of Illinois and the University of South Dakota, and he is currently the executive director of the New Colorado Festival Orchestra.

Instructor: Ted Borrillo
3 Wednesdays, Mar. 6 – Mar. 20
10 am – 12 noon
$20 (nonmembers $30)
Lecture, discussion

The film producer Cecil B. DeMille once said that Denver’s Elitch Theatre had a reputation among actors and actresses for being “one of the greatest cradles of drama in American history.” Today the name “Elitch” is probably best known in association with the LoDo amusement park, but thousands recognize its deeper roots in Denver’s cultural history. The tale begins with the love story that brought John and Mary Elitch to construct a lovely garden complex at Tennyson Street and West 38th Avenue, where they opened a theatre on May 1, 1890. Until its closing in 1987, nearly a hundred years later, 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 the boards at Elitch and look back on the role the theater itself played in shaping the city’s cultural landscape.

Instructor: Retired lawyer Ted Borrillo is a published poet who enjoys delving into history and law issues and cases.


Perspectives in Fiction
Facilitator: Jim Mingle
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Apr. 3 (skip Mar. 13)
10 am – 12 noon
Discussion, some lecture

Great Britain and other European nations lost both power and prestige as their former colonies gained independence, but the experience left behind a rich body of literature and film. We’ll read and discuss three of the best examples of this legacy—George Orwell’s Burmese Days and Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter and The Quiet American.  We’ll also dip into other novels like Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa and excerpt some of the films that capture the tumultuous end of the colonial experience. We’ll have a chance to see how the collapse of power plays out in complex human relationships and ponder the sometimes heartbreaking lessons learned amid the ruins. Please begin or finish reading Orwell’s Burmese Days before the first class.

Required reading:  George Orwell, Burmese Days (Benediction Classics, 2011), Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter (Penguin Classics, 2004), and Graham Greene, The Quiet American (Penguin Classics 2004).

Instructor:  Popular facilitator Dr. Jim Mingle has led [spelling corrected] classes in both history and literature from the Academy’s early years.  In 2000, he retired from a career as director of a national association of university administrators.

(Repeat of Fall 2012 Course)
Discussion leader: Paulette Wasserstein
6 Thursdays, Feb. 28 – Apr. 11 (skip Mar. 28)
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Reading, discussion

This popular course again explores stories with the same participation-friendly discussions. If you love great literature, you will appreciate the artistry that goes into the creation of the short prose found in Best American Short Stories 2010, edited by Richard Russo.  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.

Required reading: Richard Russo, ed., The Best American Short Stories 2010 (Mariner Books, 2010).

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

A Haiku Workshop
Facilitator: Ginny Hoyle
5 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Mar. 20
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Workshop: reading, informal lecture, discussion, short outdoor sessions

Writing haiku invites us to look more closely and see more deeply, to create small poems that bear witness to the poignancy and beauty of this world, this life. We explore this venerable short-form poem through modest weekly writing assignments, approaching the creative process as a mindfulness practice—observing simple rituals that heighten sensory appreciation. Haiku makes rules and breaks rules in the realm of poetry, and we will, too, as we write some haiku to a strict syllable count (5/7/5) and some that are even more spare.  Note: Although this popular course has been offered previously, it keeps evolving, so returning participants will find a familiar structure along with new ways to explore. First-time participants will begin fresh, in good company.

Required reading: Robert Hass, The Essential Haiku (The Eco Press, 1994).

Recommended reading: Wm. J. Higginson & Penny Harter, The Haiku Handbook (Kodansha International, 2010).

Facilitator: Ginny Hoyle is hooked on nature, science, and poetry. Her poems have appeared in a handful of literary journals and been featured in major art exhibits and collections. She volunteers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the Department of Earth Sciences. Last summer she spent a week onsite at the Ice Age dig in Snowmass, and she is still buzzed about it.

Beginning Memoir Writing
Facilitator: Patricia Cox
6 Tuesdays, Mar 5 – Apr. 9
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.   This is a repeat of the popular course taught previously.

Facilitator: Patricia Cox has taught writing to upper elementary students for both Denver and Cherry Creek School Districts.  She is a true believer in memoirs, having published We Keep Our Potato Chips in the Refrigerator, a memoir about her husband who had Alzheimer’s, and My’s Happy, a three generation memoir.

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer
6 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Mar. 28
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 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 14 participants. This is a repeat of the course taught previously.

Facilitator: 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.


Instructor: Rex Brown
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Mar. 27
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, discussion, participant reports

“The unexamined life is not worth living,” Socrates is reported to have said as he chose to drink poison rather than give up philosophy. Would you make the same decision—to die rather than stop asking fundamental questions about who you are, how you should live, and what you owe others? This course offers you the chance to read and discuss (and probably argue about) the works of two modern philosophers who have given much thought to these matters: Alasdair MacIntyre and Robert Nozick.  Both have written clearly and provocatively about what all of us experience every day but seldom reflect on. You’ll come away thinking differently about the nature of philosophy, virtue, morality, happiness, and much more—as well as the inescapable fact that all human beings are dependent on others from the minute they are born.  Please read Chapter 1 in Dependent Rational Animals for the first class.

Required reading:  Alasdair MacIntrye, Dependent Rational Animals (Open Court, 1999) and Robert Nozick, The Examined Life (Simon & Schuster, 1989).

Instructor: 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.

An Introduction & More
Facilitator: Glenn Bruckhart
5 Wednesdays, Mar. 27 – Apr. 24
10 am – 12 noon
Discussion, guest speakers, and participant presentations

What is atheism really?  Are we all born atheists and become theists only through indoctrination?  Do atheists and theists have different perspectives on morality?  From an evolutionary perspective, why has a religious orientation been more visible and apparently more influential than an atheistic/naturalistic perspective? If, as David Sloan Wilson asserts, the real function of religion has been to allow people “to achieve together what they cannot achieve on their own,” where does that leave atheists?  Come join in the research and discussion of these questions and many more that surround this topic.

Recommended reading:  David Eller, Natural Atheism (American Atheist Press, 2004); and Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind (Pantheon Books, 2012).

Facilitator: A retired teacher, Glenn Bruckhart’s current passions include biking, philosophy, and religion.  He chairs the Academy’s Religion and Philosophy Subcommittee.


Its Legacy & the Law
Lecturer: Judge Stephen Bernard
4 Wednesdays, Apr. 3 – Apr. 24
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, discussion

This course explores the institution of slavery in America: how it came about, how the law first protected then rejected it, and how its pernicious influence has echoed through our history. We’ll cover the historical origins of the practice, its arrival in Colonial America, the debate over it at the Constitutional Convention, its growth in the first half of the 19th century, and its post-Civil War legacy: the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Recommended reading: Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights (Yale University Press, 1998).

Instructor: Judge Steve Bernard served as a prosecutor for 28 years and now presides on the Colorado Court of Appeals.  His acquaintance with the Constitution is up-close and personal.

Lecturer: Dan Lynch
8 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Apr. 11
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, discussion

We all deplore “activist judges,” but who are they?  Answer: Justices who write opinions we hate.  If you are “pro-life,” Harry Blackmun is one.  He wrote the Roe v. Wade decision that declared laws that ban abortion unconstitutional.  If you are “pro-choice,” justices who vote to reverse Roe qualify. This course addresses the question: What is the proper way to interpret the Constitution, whose lean and sometime disparate text poses many puzzles that can only be solved by examining the sweeping set of values, precedents, and practices that lie outside the written document and help define it. We’ll base our discussion on America’s Unwritten Constitution by Akhil Reed Amar, a book the Washington Post called “one of the best, most creative treatments of the U.S. Constitution in decades.” Filled with colorful vignettes, this readable book is certain to provoke plenty of new perspectives on the Supreme Court and its challenging role.
Highly recommended reading:  Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012).

Instructor: Lawyer Dan Lynch has handled a number of civil rights and religion/state cases, an experience that prompted  his concern with “the increasingly dangerous alliance between government and religion.” He chaired the Colorado Democratic Party and edited the predecessor to the Denver Business Journal.

Discussion leader: Dick Young
7 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Apr. 2
10 am – 12 noon
Class discussion, some lecture

What criteria would you use to select the best and the worst U.S. presidents? Presidential scholar Alvin Fetzenberg focuses on character, vision, competence, economic policy, preserving and extending liberty, and finally defense, national security, and foreign policy. In making your ranking, how much weight would you give honesty and the ability to compromise? And what about luck, timing, a good TV image, events outside the U.S. and communicating with voters?  In our first class we’ll discuss and then vote to select the group’s five greatest and five worst, excluding all who served after 1980. Then in the next five sessions we’ll discuss, debate, discern, deliberate, and dissect each choice. Or you can come, sit back, and just listen.  Prerequisites: facts, civility. Optional: opinions, your own research.

Facilitator: Dick Young, a political activist and history buff, has taught courses on Pearl Harbor, the Pacific War, and American history at various Elderhostels and continuing education programs of several universities.

Facilitator: Ted Borrillo
3 Thursdays, Mar. 7 – Mar. 21
$20 (nonmembers $30)
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, video, discussion

How can we be sure that justice will be served in our courts of law? By looking closely at three sensational and controversial cases, we’ll examine the safeguards offered by a Constitution constantly open to interpretation. We’ll focus on censorship and Charlie Chaplin before reopening the trial of Bruno Hauptmann, who many believe was wrongly executed for the alleged kidnapping and death of the Lindbergh baby. We’ll turn next to the Leopold-Loeb murder case, commonly called the crime of the century, in which both defendants were represented at trial by Clarence Darrow, one of the foremost advocates the law has known. We’ll also briefly discuss some aspects of the Sacco-Vanzetti case and the trial of the Rosenbergs, convicted spies who were executed during the turbulent McCarthy era.

Instructor: Ted Borrillo is a retired attorney with an abiding interest in the criminal justice system. 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 private practice.

Facilitator: Walt Meyer
7 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Apr. 4
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, discussion

We’ll 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. We’ll study the life of Mohammad and discuss the Holy Qur’an (Koran), both of which are widely misunderstood in the Western world. And we’ll examine the similarities and differences between Islam and the two other great monotheistic religions—Christianity and Judaism. We’ll also consider 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. 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).

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

Politics, Economy & Culture
Instructor: Mary Conroy
8 Wednesdays, Mar. 6 – Apr. 24
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

Thanks to newly available archival evidence, we know a lot more than we used to about what life was like in Russia during most of the 20th century. Join us as we explore this rich political, economic, and cultural landscape, and you’ll come away with a much better understanding of what’s going on in contemporary Russia. We’ll cover all the bases, from the Revolution of 1917 through World War II, followed by the undoing of Stalinism under Khrushchev, Breshnev, and Kosygin, and the implosion of the USSR.  We’ll also examine the changes that have come about in post-Soviet Russia, including the return to a market economy and multiparty political system, the rebirth of religion and nongovernmental organizations, and the rejuggling of relationships with the former Soviet Socialist Republics and the rest of the world.
Recommended reading:  There are eight excellent books listed at www.AcademyLL.org on the books page.  Please select one so you can share with the class some of the fascinating material you learned from your reading. (No web access? Call 303-770-0786.)

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


Market Forces
Facilitator: Bill Achbach
4 Thursdays, Apr. 4 – Apr. 25
10 am – 12 noon
Lecture, discussion

Economics isn’t just about numbers.  It’s about politics, psychology, history, and so much more. We are all economists when we work, save for the future, pay taxes, and buy our groceries. Yet many of us feel lost when the subject arises on a larger issue. Once you understand the basics, it all makes sense, so we’ll study the principles and thought patterns laid down by Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and others. Learn the principles that will, in the words of a famed British economist, keep you “from being fooled by economists.” Make your own decisions about when private or government control is best. Understand why markets are such powerful, enduring, and organic institutions.

Required reading:  Timothy Taylor, The Instant Economist: Everything You Need to Know about How the Economy Works (Plume, 2012).

Recommended reading: Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition (Basic Books, 2011).

Facilitator: In addition to 35 years in the classroom and numerous teaching awards, Bill Achbach has worked closely with the Colorado Council on Economic Education, which honored him as Enterprising Teacher of the Year in 1993.

Did the Knuckleheads Get It Right?
Lecturer: Jim Kneser
4 Thursdays, Feb. 28 – Mar. 21
10:00 am – 12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

Fill in the blanks. “January 1, 2013, has come and gone, and our elected ___ (statesmen/knuckleheads) have ___ (successfully avoided/blundered over) the Fiscal Cliff and set us on the path to ___ (peaceful and successful fiscal consolidation/over-leveraged oblivion—think Greece).  As a result, we ___ (will not need to be concerned about/will blast straight through) the Federal Debt ceiling, and we’ll see interest rates and inflation ___ (remaining under control/absolutely exploding).  Please join me this spring to see which of these courses I will be offering.”  — Jim Kneser

Instructor: After a career in finance, Jim Kneser has turned his attention to educating adults about the workings of complicated economic principles in the real world. In the past 15 years he’s taught classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics, globalization, and public policy to over 4,000 participants.

Efforts in Recent Decades
Facilitator: Bob Rose
8 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Apr. 18 (skip Mar. 28)
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, discussion

Is war an inevitable part of human nature, or can it be prevented or minimized? Join us as we consider this question in light of the changes that have occurred since the end of the Cold War. While it may offer little comfort to those in the middle of one of the dozens of armed conflicts now going on, the trends have generally been positive, with the numbers of wars and casualties both down significantly. We’ll explore the various reasons for this, including globalization, the end of the colonial period, and actions taken by the international community. And we’ll attempt to gauge the prospects for further progress by examining some of the successes, failures, and lessons learned in the areas of war prevention, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

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

Recommended reading: David Cortright, Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008).

Facilitator: Dr. Bob Rose’s passions include education, peace studies, international development, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. A retired school psychologist and active volunteer with refugees and nongovernmental organizations on three continents, he recently earned a certificate in peace, social justice, and reconciliation from Regis University.

Facilitator: Jack Beattie
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 26 – Apr. 16
1:30 – 3:30 pm
$80 (includes book—you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
$56 (no book)
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. This year’s topics include: Future of the Euro, Egypt, NATO, Myanmar & Southeast Asia, Intervention, Iran, China in Africa, and Threat Assessment. 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 the field provide additional food for thought. Registration is required by February 1 so that books may be ordered.

Required reading: Great Decisions Briefing Book from the Foreign Policy Association, which will be mailed to you in advance.

Facilitator: Jack Beattie enjoys being retired from US WEST so that he can pursue his interests in history, economics, and social issues.

Facilitator: Charles Hall
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Apr. 9
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Discussion of required reading, some lecture

Some nations fail while others prosper. Why? Two thoughtful answers were offered in the 1990s by Jared Diamond (geography) and David Landes (culture). But more recently, the authors of Why Nations Fail have argued that man-made political and economic institutions are what really make or break a country. Basing ourselves on careful reading of this contention, we’ll test it out in the fortunes of countries that have succeeded or failed throughout history, from the Roman Empire and Venice to Korea, Botswana, and England. And we’ll consider what may happen in such current instances as China, with its authoritarian growth machine, and many other less developed countries where millions remain mired in poverty.

Required reading: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail (Crown Publishers, 2012, hardbound).  Pages: 544, approximately 70 pages/week for a great discussion.

Facilitator: Charles Hall, a retired lawyer, has examined the subject of wealth and poverty for several years and always appreciates hearing the views of others.


Coordinator: Lois Martin
8 Wednesdays, Feb. 20 – Apr. 10
12:15 – 1:15 pm
$30 or $5/session (one session free with Academy membership) (non-members $8 each session)
Lecture, Q&A, various

Choose one, some, or all of these fascinating lunchtime presentations.
A)  Feb. 20: “From Garbage to Gorgeous: The Building of Denver’s Platte River Beltway.” Executive Director of the Greenway Foundation Jeff Shoemaker will explain the efforts required to clean up the Platte and make it a Denver magnet.
B)  Feb. 27: “The Beauty & Charm of the Tao.” Don Scheuer, retired minister and retired English teacher in Cherry Creek Schools, brings the 26-century-old philosophy of Tao Te Ching to life.
C)  Mar. 6: “MacArthur, Truman, and the 1945 Japanese Surrender.”  Military historian and national lecturer Tom Keller recalls the details and globe-changing significance of the surrender.
D)  Mar. 13: “The History of Jazz: Live Music & Stories of the Jazz Age.” Lamont professor and Lone Tree Arts Center representative Art Bouton will get your toes tappin’ during a whirlwind summary of the history of jazz.
E)  Mar. 20: “Building the Brain.” Rich Shipman, adult educator with the Poudre Valley Health System, will lead us in brain games to keep our synapses firing.
F)  Mar. 27: “Who Was Clyfford Still?” With images from the Clyfford Still Museum, Dean Sobel, director, will demonstrate how Still’s powerful paintings laid the groundwork for the Abstract Expressionist movement.
G)  Apr. 3: “The 21st Century City.”  Mike Maloy, investment adviser, will explain how metro areas can still be relevant if they have the correct infrastructure and demographics.
H)  Apr. 10: “The Fight over Water in the Middle East.” Redirecting the water flow in Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Palestine requires civil engineer Gary Anderson to excel as both a “rocket scientist” and a peacemaker.


Instructor: Sally Kneser
9 Tuesdays, Feb. 26 – Apr. 23
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture, Q&A, playing cards

These relaxed practice sessions in both bidding and playing will fine-tune, cement and speed up your basic skills. There will be no formal lectures, but many exercises and challenges. Participants should already know how to play bridge plus Stayman and Transfers. The first hour includes bidding sample hands and figuring out what bids from partner mean. The second hour is for playing pre-set hands, totally mixed up, just like the real world. Uncertain about your ability level? Check with Sally Kneser, 303-770-0788.

Required to have already read, or have equivalent knowledge: Audrey Grant’s two basic books, Bidding in the 21st Century and Play of the Hand in the 21st Century (Baron Barclay Bridge, 2008).

Instructor: Bridge nut and art groupie Sally Kneser is also the Academy’s director. She is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics of the game.

Intermediate Bidding
Instructors: Sally Kneser with Kerry O’Gorman
9 Thursdays, Feb. 21 – Apr. 11
1:30 – 3:30
Lecture, Q&A, playing cards

Those who have mastered basic bridge bidding plus a handful of conventions will enjoy learning the more advanced standard conventions known across the nation.  Participants should already know Stayman, Jacoby transfers, weak- and strong-two bids, take-out doubles, Blackwood, and Gerber. This class will review negative doubles, reverses and Roman Key Card. The new conventions introduced will be Cappelletti, Michaels, unusual notrump, and help suit game tries. There will be assigned reading, explanations, Q&A, practice bidding and playing pre-set hands. One session will be a field trip to a bridge club. This class is LIMITED to those who took Part I in the fall PLUS those who receive approval from the instructor, Kerry O’Gorman, 303-771-0811.

Required reading: Barbara Seagram, 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know (Master Point Press, 1999).

Instructor:  Sally Kneser is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics of the game. Kerry O’Gorman began playing bridge at age 10 and after 40 years in secondary school teaching and corporate training, he can now focus on bridge.

Intermediate 1
Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 27 – Apr. 17 (skip 2 TBD)
Intermediate 2
Instructor: Sandy Stolar
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 27 – Apr. 10 (skip Mar. 27)
Advanced Conversation
Instructor: Linda Gordon
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 27 – Apr. 10 (skip Mar. 27)
1:30 – 3:30 pm

Intermediate 1:  Tailored to fit those who want to improve basic Spanish skills, these classes will build on previous semesters and focus on increasing vocabulary, verb conjugation, and phrases essential for travel and casual conversation. You’ll learn what to say in common situations—“My luggage seems to have taken a different flight,” or “Is that really what I ordered?” and gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language. Those with “un poquito de” previous Spanish language experience will feel comfortably challenged in Intermediate 1 with a focus on conversations using present tense regular and irregular verbs and reviewing both past tenses. Limited to 22 participants. Is this class a fit?  Llámame at 303-794-9635.

Required Workbook for Intermediate 1: Dorothy Richmond, Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Vocabulary, 2nd ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2012).

Intermediate 2:  ¡Felicidades!  Ya estás listo para hablar con más confianza, conversando del pasado, (practicando situaciones hipoteticas) y haciendo planes futuros. With the past tenses needing just a quick review, the Intermediate 2 group will tackle the future and conditional tenses. We will build vocabulary through conversations about a variety of subjects. This class is for those who are not yet able to sustain complete conversations. Limited to 14 participants. Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303- 708-9716.

Advanced Conversation: Continuamos la conversación! The Advanced Conversation class will be conducted primarily in Spanish—starting with a review of the basics and then engaging in themed conversations to 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. Limited to 12 participants. Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303-399-8241.

Instructors: 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. 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. An educator for 35 years, Dr. Linda Gordon just retired as 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

Instructors: Scott Henke & Maria Arapakis
10 Tuesdays, Feb. 19 – Apr. 23
1:30 – 3:30 pm
$45 or $7/session (one session free with Academy membership) (non-members $10 each session)

A)  Feb. 19: Basic Computer Terms, Troubleshooting, and Overview of Future Classes
B)  Feb. 26: Master Google: Searching, Accessing, Clip Art, and Videos
C)  Mar. 5: Gather the Essential iPad Apps (BYO iPad)
D)  Mar. 12: Facebook: Stay Safe, Know the Basics and the Psychology
E)  Mar. 19: Mac Tips, Tricks & Techniques: includes the Latest, Hottest Features (Maria)
F)  Mar. 26: Mac Tips, Tricks & Techniques: includes the Latest, Hottest Features, Part 2 (Maria)
G)  Apr. 2: The Downside of the Internet: Viruses, Spyware, Scams and How to Avoid Them
H)  Apr. 9: Online Shopping and Selling: Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping, and Shop.com
I) Apr. 16: Windows 8: Why Does Microsoft Hate Us?
J) Apr. 23: Intro to Digital Cameras and How to Organize Pictures with Picasa

Instructors: Scott Henke, owner of Onsite Consulting, has been helping over 4900 families and businesses in Denver for 29 years. He makes the complicated and frustrating world of computers easy and fun again. With over 30 years of experience as a psychologist, trainer of adults, speaker, and author, Maria Arapakis has presented thousands of programs around the world on leadership development, life balance, and conflict resolution. She bought her first Mac 25 years ago and has enjoyed mastering the miracle that is a Mac.

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.

Bill Achbach (Building Blocks of Economics: Market Forces)  is a 35-year veteran teacher, retired from DPS and the International Baccalaurate program at George Washington HS.  A 2007 Denver Distinguished Teacher, he has worked with the Colorado Council on Economic Education and was their Enterprising Teacher of the Year in 1993 (the same year the Denver Bar Association also selected him their Teacher of the Year).  Bill served on the original CCEE committee that proposed content standards for economics to the Colorado Department of Education and was selected to participate in the NCCE’s Training of Writers program that brought together U.S. and Eastern European teachers in Prague, CR in 2001.

John Anderson  (Breakthroughs in Science: “The Dreams that Stuff is Made of – the History of Physics in the 20th Century”) 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 and OLLI, including “The Great Equations,” “Feynman Physics Fest” and “Particle Physics for Non-Scientists.”  He escaped to Colorado 20 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.  If he doesn’t answer the phone, he’s probably out biking or skiing.

With more than 30 years’ experience as a psychologist, trainer of adults, speaker and author, Maria Arapakis (Tech Tips)  has presented thousands of programs around the world on leadership development, life balance and conflict resolution.  Maria bought her very first Mac 25 years ago and, ever since, she has thoroughly enjoyed mastering the many ins and outs of the miracle that is a Mac.  Maria loves encouraging men and women (including those timid with technology) to “make nice” with their Macs. Let her help you become more productive and comfortable with yours!

Donna Barrow (CU Science: At the Cutting Edge) is a discriminating reader who loves to explore beyond the page. She is a demon at locating background and supplemental information in order to flesh out her knowledge of a subject. Her background is as a geologist but she has many other interests, too. Donna is an avid gardener. She designed and served as the de facto project manager for a ten acre landscaping project at her church. An avid bridge player, Donna has assisted with the Academy’s Intermediate Bridge class for several terms, where participants eagerly sought out her opinions on difficult questions.

Jack Beattie (Great Decisions in Current Foreign Policy) retired from US WEST after a long career working in a variety of finance and accounting assignments.  His last assignment was VP – Controller of US WEST Marketing Resources Group Inc. a subsidiary of the larger company.  He enjoys keeping physically active and does this in a variety of ways.  He is a long time member of the Academy and has attended a range of classes in the areas of History and Social Issues and the area of Economics and Global Issues.  As a course facilitator he is looking forward to a series of lively discussions related to the issues in the new Foreign Policy Association book.

Steve Bernard (Slavery in America: Its Legacy & the Law) 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 (Chatting in Espanol, Intermediate 1) is an early member of The Academy who spent 25 years living in Mexico City, making her uniquely qualified to teach conversational Spanish.  Susan has a BFA in journalism from SMU and enjoyed a successful career in marketing and sales in the travel industry. She has served on several non-profit boards in Denver and chaired many fundraisers over the years.   She remembers scrambling up the Pyramid of the Sun on grade-school field trips and looks forward to sharing her love of Mexico and its beautiful language.

Ted Borrillo (Denver’s Elitch Theater  and Justice on a Tightrope) is a retired attorney. He was Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver, taught criminal procedure and constitutional law at the DU Law School, and was a defense counsel in his private practice of law.  He has had an abiding interest in the criminal justice system resulting from his interest in the Bruno Hauptmann trial and his execution for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.  Hauptmann lived in the Bronx not far from Ted’s home. Ted has visited Flemington, New Jersey, the site of the trial, the cell where Hauptmann was kept, and has spoken with David Wilentz, the prosecutor of Hauptmann. He has taught at the Colorado Police Academy and at the National College of District Attorneys in Houston.  Ted is also a published poet who has already made poetry a rewarding part of his life.

Kathy Boyer (Writing Your Life Stories) 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 (Demystifying Philosophy) 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.

Glenn Bruckhart (Atheism: An Introduction & More) and his family moved early in his working career from Pennsylvania to Colorado, where there were real mountains to climb.  Glenn taught math and physics, did teacher workshops across the country and even helped develop student learning evaluation tools such as CSAP.  After retirement Glenn’s passions turned from mountain climbing to biking and from Math to philosophy, religion and their intersections.  He now chairs the Academy’s Religion and Philosophy subcommittee, so please share any ideas you have for future classes in this area with him.

Dr. Bennie Bub, MD, FRCS, (Organizer: Breakthroughs in Science), is a South African neurosurgeon, board certified in three different specialties on three continents. His teaching career began when, as a medical student, he taught physics at a technical college in return for free car maintenance courses.  After receiving his MD at the University of Cape Town he became a general surgeon gaining his FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons) in the UK.  Having been captivated by the complexities of the brain, he now began his neurosurgical studies in London at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases and Epilepsy.  Thereafter he became a Teaching and Research Fellow at Harvard College as well as a resident in the Harvard Neurosurgical Service at the Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals.  Concurrently, he studied violin performance in the Boston Conservatory of Music. This Boston sojourn was followed by completion of his neurosurgical certification at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.   Then began his years of busy neurosurgical private practice simultaneously teaching as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town.  During this period he founded the first multidisciplinary clinic in South Africa for the management of intractable pain.  Immigration to the USA in 1976 was followed by training and board certification in Anesthesiology.  He then joined a practice in Denver from which he retired after more than 20 years.  In the early nineties he was founder and CEO of a successful database company, which provided credentialing of physicians for health insurance companies.  Since retirement he has indulged in his love of music, travel and voracious reading, all the while striving to stay au currant with the neurosciences.  Bennie serves on the Academy’s board.

After thirty years as senior editor and head of publications at the Denver Art Museum, Marlene Chambers (Getting More out of Looking at Art) has escaped to the Academy, where she hopes to indulge her lifelong interest in literature, art history, and learning theory. She holds master’s degrees in both English literature and art history. Her literary, film, and exhibition criticism has appeared often in professional journals, and she currently serves on the editorial board of the journal Curator. She has taught high school English, college freshman English, and label-writing workshops and believes that “learning is meaningless unless it opens your eyes to fresh ways of seeing.”  Marlene considers the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership she received from the American Association of Museums in 1996 the capstone of her career.

Dr. Mary Schaeffer Conroy (Soviet Russia & Russia Today: Politics, Economy & Culture) is emeritus professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has focused her professional research on the politics in Late Imperial Russia and health care in Imperial and Soviet Russia. She is currently translating a Russian book about a family in Imperial and Soviet times. A popular teacher of Russian and East European history at UCD, she has won many teaching awards. During her most recent trip to Moscow, she presented a lecture on Peter A. Stolypin.

The Academy’s liaison with the Denver Art Museum, Marty Corren (DAM Great Art: American Art Under the Magnifying Glass) 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 (Write to Save Your Life) has been writing to save her life, practically all her life.  With a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling, she taught for the Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools while raising three daughters.  She has taught memoir writing for many groups and has recently published a memoir about her late husband, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease–We Keep Our Potato Chips in the Refrigerator.  Patricia is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc.

After 35 years as an educator, Linda Gordon (Chatting in Espanol, Advanced Conversation) retired just this year as a principal. She lived in Mexico City for ten years, serving as director of an English as a Second Language school. She’s excited to work with eager Spanish learners!

Charles Hall (Why Nations Fail) keeps active both mentally and physically.  Bike trips along the Highline Canal and cross-country skiing offer opportunities to enjoy Colorado’s beautiful outdoors.   Reading, leading classes, and chatting at coffee group keep his mind sharp. Before retiring, Charles worked as an attorney in private practice and later as in-house counsel for a commercial finance company. He subsequently was regional manager for the finance company in Denver. He has facilitated 15 courses in life-long learning programs.

Onsite Consulting, Inc. owner Scott Henke (Tech Tips) has been a consultant for 27 years, training computer users and repairing computers. He taught classes through Denver Community Schools for 11 years and worked for 13 years as a Technology Coordinator at Hamilton Middle School, helping students learn computers and the Internet.  His company, Onsite Consulting, offers PC training, PC and network troubleshooting, repair, virus and spyware solutions, free offsite backup, remote emergency help and many other computer services. The company received the 2008 Business of the Year Award.

Jim Hartmann  (Breakthroughs in Science: “Science and Religion: Two Magisterial Views about What We  Know about the Universe, the World, and Ourselves”) received his B.A. degree in the humanities from Regis College and M.A. degree in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After a three-year stint in radio-television, he began a thirty-year career at the Colorado Historical Society, beginning as deputy state historian and ending as president of the Society and gubernatorial appointed state historic preservation officer for the State of Colorado. After retiring from those positions, he was appointed executive director of Four Mile Historic Park where he remained for five years.

Dr. Lew House (The Big Bang: Stars, Galaxies & Dark Stuff) a retired Senior Scientist, spent 28 years studying the atmospheres of the sun and stars. He has a PhD in Astrophysics, an M.S. in Nuclear Physics, an M.A. in Military History and an undergraduate degree in Geophysical Engineering. In a second career he was the Senior Director of Corporate Technology Intelligence.  Currently he is President of The Rocky Mountain Churchillians, an affiliate of the International Churchill Centre, London. Lew lectures occasionally on Churchill and recently taught a Churchill course at the Academy. He is an avid student of history and geopolitics and endeavors to keep up on current science. War gaming and simulations are also on the list of his interests.

Ginny Hoyle’s (Falling Awake: A Haiku Workshop) poems have appeared in a handful of journals, including Copper Nickel, MARGIE, Pilgrimage and Wazee. Through collaboration with noted book artist Judy Anderson, her work has been featured in exhibits in New York, San Francisco and Denver. Next up is an installation at Walker Fine Art, Denver, 300 W. 11th Avenue, Denver, opening March 25. (The working title is When We Were Birds.) From 2000 – 2003, she kept a personal journal with entries written in haiku—and fell in love with the form, which teaches practitioners to see the world more sharply, with heightened appreciation.

Jim Kneser  (Critical Economic Issues: Did the Knuckleheads Get It Right?)  is in his fourteenth year of leading classes in economics, public policy, and high art music. He has led more than 60 economics and public policy classes with more than 3,500 class members and has facilitated more than fifteen classes in music, focusing on the Germanic tradition from Bach to Mahler and from sonatas to opera. Jim has an undergraduate degree in economics from Ripon College and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School.  He is also a CPA and worked in private equity specializing in mergers, acquisitions, speculative markets, and corporate finance.  Jim enjoys placing current economic and public policy issues in proper historical context, explaining the fundamental economic principles that apply, and allowing class members to draw their own conclusions on the proper course of action. Past participants have consistently praised his classes, emphasizing that he “thrives on questions and discussion” and commenting that he is “One of the finest teachers I have ever seen in a classroom—including the graduate level—brilliantly informed!” and that “In all my years of teaching economics at the college level, I have never seen anyone explain the subject as clearly as Jim does.”

Sally Kneser (Bridge Practice:  Beginning/Intermediate and Bridge: Intermediate Bidding) is always ready to learn something new and help teach others. “I love to learn, and it’s so much more fun with friends around.” Sally is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics to others. As the Academy’s Director, Sally tackles operational and tactical issues in running the nonprofit. While volunteering with the Junior League, Sally chaired several committees, including the Facilitators.  In addition to managing the Academy’s business, she has volunteered as the “keeper of the files” for several nonprofits.  When not enjoying herself at the bridge table, she attends two book clubs and stops to smell roses in her gardens.

Dan Lynch (U.S. Supreme Court & Activist Judges) wrote the book Our Fading Religious Liberties: Government Using Religion, because of the increasingly dangerous alliance between government and religion.  As a lawyer who has handled a number of religion/state cases, Lynch became fascinated with the subject.  His thesis is that the Constitution has created a system in which all governments are powerless as to religion.  Unlike some separationists, Lynch argues that the best defense of religious liberty is not Jefferson’s mantra about “separation of church and state,” but the fact that the Constitution expressly denies all power as to religion to the government.

Len Marino (Legends & Icons) was born in Boston, MA in a conveniently forgotten year. He was an art major and worked for an advertising agency for 20 years, followed by work for a corporation in international marketing. His interest in film started when he was about 5. His mother owned a dress shop located right next to a theater. He would come home, go to the shop, and the theater became his babysitter. His uncle worked for Keystone camera and projector so Len showed old comic films. Len has taught the Cinema class previously in New York and in Colorado.

Lois Martin (Experts and Entertainers) came to Denver by way of Philadelphia and Nebraska. She majored in journalism at the University of Nebraska, before she moved to Pennsylvania while her husband was in medical school. She has been editor of internal publications for Campbell Soup Co. and Leeds and Northrup, both in the East. After the arrival of her four children, she founded the Aurora Sun Newspaper where she worked for 20 years as publisher. She was founding moderator of the Aurora Hospital Association, President of the Aurora Hospital District, Business Person of the Year for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, and elected to the Benson Hall of Fame for Community Leadership.

Longtime art enthusiast Joanne Mendes (DAM Great Art: American Art Under the Magnifying Glass) 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.  She recently completed training on DAM’s Asian collection.

Robin McNeil (Theodore Gouvy’s Place in Music History) 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.

Dr. Walt Meyer (Islam Then and Now)  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 46 years and have three grown children and four grandchildren.  Walt has a long-held interest in the Crusades, which was rekindled by his teaching of a prior class at the Academy on Islam, since the Crusades have had considerable impact on relations between Islam and the West. He has done considerable reading on the Crusades and continues to find it to be a complex and intriguing subject.

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.

Jim Mingle (Decline of the British Empire: Perspectives in Fiction) spent his career as the director of professional association for university administrators.  He has taught both history and literature courses for the Academy.  Jim says he “retired to the outdoors.”  He has lead Sierra Club trips to national parks, walked the length of Great Britain, and canoed rivers of the American West and Canada.  He received his PhD. from the University of Michigan.

Ruth Neubauer, MSW, LCSW (Psycholigical Growth: Our Losses & Gains)  has been a practicing psychotherapist in Denver and the Washington, DC area for over 30 years. She remains on the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, DC, and taught at OLLI-American University for three years before moving to Denver where she has now facilitated at OLLI-DU for the last three years.  She is also a published poet/writer, photographer, and musician. She looks forward to teaching with The Academy.

Kerry O’Gorman (Bridge: Intermediate Bidding) began playing bridge with his parents at age 10 in Indiana. At Purdue University he ‘hung around’ with some exceptional bridge players who introduced him to duplicate bridge. Here he learned the ‘first rule of bridge’– that bridge games last until 1:00 am! In April of this year he and his duplicate partner, Eileen Hunt, won their “section” in an event at the Sectional Tournament in Aurora. Kerry’s 40-year professional career was centered on education and training, both secondary school teaching (math) and corporate training (information systems). Now retired, he skis, sails, paints, travels, volunteers in animal rescue and plays a lot of duplicate bridge.

Dr. Jonathan F. Ormes (Breakthroughs in Science: “The History of Greenhouse Warming”) is a Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver. Formerly Dr. Ormes was the Director of Space Sciences at tNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 2000 until 2004.  Ormes received his undergraduate degree in physics from Stanford University and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1967.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is currently active studying antimatter and other aspects of galactic cosmic rays. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 experimental and theoretical refereed papers.

Richard Pflugfelder (Real-World Nutrition: What They Don’t Tell Us) is a retired research scientist with a Ph.D. in Food Science & Technology and B.S. in Biochemistry. He has a passionate interest in nutrition and related health issues. He spent his career in the brewing industry, like his father and grandfather. During 16 years in Coors Brewing Co. R&D, he developed flavored beverages and did research in beer flavor chemistry. Richard’s other passions include music, singing, computing and nature.

Since retirement has unfolded, Sheila Porter’s (Diversity in America: A Film Series) 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.

Bob Rose (Waging War on War: Efforts in Recent Decades) recently completed coursework and earned a certificate in Peace, Justice and Reconciliation through Regis University. After retiring in 2007 he has been able to pursue his passions in this area full-time. Bob has volunteered in the Middle East, Africa, and Central America, and has enjoyed working with refugees for over 10 years. As a school psychologist, Bob worked with conflict management, anger management, and trained peer mediators.

Lorenz Rychner (Music FUNdamentals and All That Jazz: The First 30 Years) 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.

Richard Sanders MD (Breakthroughs in Science:  “Two Discoveries that have Revolutionized Surgery”)

Dr. Lorraine Sherry‘s (The Garden as Art: European Tradition) previous careers included radar systems analysis for The MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA, and evaluation of educational technology grants for RMC Research Corporation in Denver. Lorraine has written more than three dozen articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and seven book chapters on e-learning and instructional technology.  Since she retired in 2005, she has pursued her “true loves” of choral performance, perennial gardening, world travel, and collecting antique maps. She is a Colorado Master Gardener; has taught a course in “World Gardens as an Art Form”; and has written two City of Westminster grants to beautify the public areas of her townhome subdivision.  Her personal website is located at http://home.comcast.net/~lorraine.sherry/index.htm.

Before retiring after 30 years of teaching experience, Sandy Stolar  (Chatting in Espanol, Intermediate 2)  taught Spanish at the middle school and high school and several semesters of community college, too. She loves getting people interested in speaking another language and learning about foreign cultures. As a staff developer, Sandy has experience teaching adults. Sandy has traveled extensively in Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica and South America. She looks forward to facilitating the Intermediate 2 Spanish class at the Academy.

Dr. Louis H. Taylor (Breakthroughs in Science: “Paleontology and Geology: Major Advances Through Time”) is a Research Associate in the Earth Sciences Department of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has been a secondary and college teacher and currently teaches courses at the Museum.  Dr. Taylor was a research geologist and paleontologist for Texaco and was director of the Texaco laboratory in Denver. He received his undergraduate degree from Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania, master degrees from Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona, and a doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1984.

Jill S. Tietjen, P.E.  (Breakthroughs in Science: “Forgotten accomplishments of the amazing scientific and technical women on whose shoulders we stand”) is an author, national speaker, and an electrical engineer. Tietjen is one of the top historians in the country on scientific and technical women. She is the president and CEO of Technically Speaking, a national consulting company specializing in improving opportunities for women and girls to have more career options in technology. Tietjen is also a frequent keynote speaker at engineering, science, and women’s conferences. She has been inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Paulette Wasserstein (Contemporary American Short Stories and The Scarlet Letter) 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.

Julia MacLeod Williams (Painting Portraits)  holds a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University: studied at the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, NJ: apprenticed with renowned portraitist, Joseph Bowler in Hilton Head where she lived for 20 years, She has been a professional portrait artist for 29 years; exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Grand Central Gallery in NYC and a number of  galleries in Hilton Head, SC. She is a member of the National Portrait Society of America. Teaching experience includes instruction of private students, instructor at For Arts Sake Gallery, Richmond VA and the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, VA

One of the Academy’s most accredited facilitators, Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young (Chose the 5 Greatest & the 5 Worst Presidents) is ideally suited for an exploration of this period in our country, given his extensive knowledge of both military history and politics.  Dick has a BA from the University of Michigan and graduated with honors from the United States Navy’s Officer Candidate School, after which he was ordered to the destroyer USS MADDOX (DD731), where he served two tours in several official capacities. After leaving active duty, he obtained his JD from the University of Michigan and was Assistant Editor of the Michigan Law Review.  His years in Denver have been no less impressive.  He practiced law and remained active in the Naval Reserve, as well as in numerous civic and political organizations.  His awards, citations and commendations are literally too many to mention but his greatest pride and pleasure are his wife Lorie, to whom he has been married more than 50 years, and his four grown daughters.