Spring 2014

Just Snacks & Fun
Thursday, February 18
4—6 pm
$5 members and prospective members (new members FREE!)
Location: Orchard Road Christian Center (8081 E. Orchard Rd.)
Fellowship Hall, upper level

Join us for lemonade, tea, soft drinks and socializing at our Spring 2014 Open House.  This is a don’t-miss event, especially if you are new to the Academy. Get together informally with course leaders and fellow members of the Academy.  Renew connections, pick up pre-class handouts if there are any for your course, and discover what books and films are hot this season.  Bring a friend or neighbor to find out what the Academy is all about. But be sure to let them know that many of the courses may already be filled by February 18.  This is also a great opportunity to tour the wonderful facility and locate your classroom.


Lecturers: Judges Steve Bernard & John Dailey
6 Thursdays, Feb. 27—Apr. 3
1—3 pm
Reading, lecture, discussion

You won’t want to miss this informative and fun Academy “first”: TWO Colorado State Appeals Court judges will debate and discuss some of the most pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decisions that shaped American society. Judges Steve Bernard and John Daniel Dailey will argue the opposing sides of landmark cases: Marbury v. Madison, which discussed the seminal concept of judicial review; Miranda v. Arizona, which gave rise to the now-familiar Miranda warning; New York Times v. Sullivan, which examined the balance of government and the media in a libel case; Mapp v. Ohio, which applied the so-called “exclusionary rule” to suppress evidence seized by the police; Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education, which dealt with slavery and the rise and fall of the concept of “separate but equal”; and Romer v. Evans, a case that analyzed Colorado’s “Amendment 2,” which precluded government action designed to protect the status of persons based on their “homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships.”  Along with the specifics of each decision, they’ll examine the historical context in which it occurred and the effect it had on the evolution of the law and society as we know it today.

Lecturers: Judge Steve Bernard served as a prosecutor for 28 years and now presides on the Colorado Court of Appeals, getting up-close and personal with the Constitution.  Judge John Daniel Dailey served in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for over 21 years, was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2000 and has taught at CU and DU law schools.

Where Are the Limits?
Instructor:  Dick Young
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Apr. 2
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, discussion, Q&A

In assessing the Presidents’ powers, can we compare Obama’s drone strikes on Al-Quaida strongholds to Jefferson’s attacks on North African pirate states 200-plus years ago? Are there parallels between the fight over Obamacare and similar battles in previous administrations, or have we forgotten our history? Join us as we consider how different White House occupants have exercised their military, political and economic powers, from waging undeclared wars and making high-level appointments to pardoning criminals and manning the “bully pulpit.” Come and put in your two cents’ worth. Others may disagree with you, but no one may be disagreeable.

Recommended Reading:  Emily Bazelon, “All the President’s Powers”, (The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2007),
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/books/review/Bazelon-t.html? and Richard Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan (Free Press, 1991).

Instructor: Retired Admiral, lawyer, and political leader, Dick Young has taught courses on Pearl Harbor, the Pacific War, and American history at various Elderhostels and continuing education programs of several universities.

A Nostalgic Journey
Lecturer: Ted Borrillo
3 Thursdays, Apr. 17 – May 1
10 am—12 noon
$25 (nonmembers $35)
Lecture, discussion, PowerPoint

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.

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


Instructor: Sherma Erholm
8 Thursdays, Feb. 27—Apr. 17
1—3 pm
Guest speakers, video, lecture, discussion, and Q&A

China’s emergence as a world power includes internal and external ambitions and challenges. To help us delve into the many complex issues, several nationally recognized experts will appear as guest speakers. Among them will be Dr. Suisheng Zhao, DU, on foreign relations; CEO Karen Gerwitz, World Trade Center/Denver, on trade; Dr, Stephen Thomas, UCD, on Chinese development; and Dr. Douglas Allen, DU, on economics. Historically, the United States and China have been allies, outright enemies, or cautious partners.  Now, as our nations evolve from their schizophrenic “friend/foe” relationship, it is important for citizens on both sides of the Pacific to learn more about each other in order to share our countries’ assets peacefully and benefit from mutual respect. To this end, we will examine the domestic as well as foreign policies of this big, bold and busy player in international affairs.

Recommended Reading: Andrew J. Nathan & Andrew Scobell, China’s Search for Security (Columbia University Press, 2012) and David Shambaugh, Tangled Titans: The United States and China (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012)

Instructor: Retired public school teacher and Academy Board President Sherma Erholm holds a master’s in communication theory and psychology.  As a learning junkie, she has facilitated adult courses in such diverse subjects as futurism, Egypt, Iran, evolution, and the U.N.

Economy, Politics & Nationalities
Lecturer: Dr. Mary Conroy
6 Thursdays, Mar.6—Apr. 24 (skip 2—TBD)
10 am—12 noon
Lectures, Q&A

Most Americans are confused—and some are dismayed—by Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian presidency, the lack of checks and balances in Russia, and the lack of separation of powers. Similarly, Americans visiting major Russian cities are amazed at how “Western” they are—but are also shocked by news stories about obscenely rich Russian businessmen and poverty-stricken citizens who have been “left behind” in provincial cities. American businessmen and women operating in Russia respect the IT and business savvy of young Russians, but are concerned about the cultural indifference to transparency and business regulations accepted in the West for decades. Yet another issue is the impact of Russia’s minorities, ranging from attitudes toward large Islamic minorities to conflicts between Russians and non-Russian minorities. To deepen our understanding of contemporary Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), we will trace the intricate path from Russia’s history to her contemporary politics, economics and nationality issues and realities.

Lecturer: 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.

Facilitator: Sara Marsden
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 25 – Apr. 15
10 am—12 noon
$85 (includes book: you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
$65 (no book)
Reading, discussion, PBS videos, guest speakers

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

Facilitator: After a career as a social case worker and a brief commitment to the Peace Corps in Mexico, Sara Marsden has developed an interest in foreign policy. A former resident of Mexico City, she received her degrees at UCLA and CSU.
Lecturer: Jim Kneser
5 Thursdays, Apr. 3 – May 1
10 am—12 noon
$65 (includes copies of each week’s lecture handout)
Lectures, Q&A

Whatever the hottest and most complex economic issues are next spring, that’s what will be examined in this highly popular course.  Some of the topics being considered are:  Can the U.S. economy survive quantitative easing? Will Janet Yellen dramatically change the course of Monetary policy?   Is a period of “Secular Stagnation” inevitable?  Is a lost generation forming in employment markets?  When (and how) will we bring our national debt and deficits under control?  Are there things that money can’t or shouldn’t buy (the Sandel question)?  Can public employee pension funds survive without major changes to contributions and/or benefits?   Registration will be limited to 125.  Warning: We hit the limit last term.

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


At the Cutting Edge
Organizer: Donna Barrow
4 Wednesdays, Mar. 26—Apr. 16
1-3 pm
Lecture, Q&A

Renowned Colorado professors and researchers will explain their latest discoveries in four fascinating sessions.  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 what’s happening at the cutting edge and get acquainted with accomplished researchers. No prerequisites, required reading, or quizzes. Each lecture stands alone, so you won’t fall behind if you have to miss a class.

March 26 “The Biology of Cancer and Understanding Cell Division as a Way to Fight Cancer”  Dr. J. Richard McIntosh, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder and Research Professor of the American Cancer Society, specializes in mitosis, the process by which cells organize and segregate their chromosomes in preparation for cell division.

April 2 “You are What You Eat: Understanding the Functions of Metabolism and Nutrient Responses in Development and Behaviors”  Dr. Min Han, Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, examines whether cancer cells are sensitive to starvation.

April 9 “Dexter Sinestre and the Left Hand of Darkness – Tales Related to the Development of Advanced Prosthetic Arms and Hands”  Dr. Richard Weir, Director of the Biomechatronics Development Laboratory, specializes in the design of advanced artificial hand/arm replacements, emphasizing systems based on implantable myoelectric sensors. Dr. Weir is affiliated with the Departments of Bioengineering and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Anschutz Campus, and the Denver VA Medical Center.

April 16  Dr. Mark Williams, Professor Environmental Studies and Hydrology in the Department of Geography at University of Colorado, Boulder, holds an appointment at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.  Mark is the snow hydrologist who was snowed out last year.  He will return from the glaciers in Nepal to wow us with fascinating facts on …TBD! (Think air quality, ground water, or climate change & glaciers)

Organizer: Collaborating with CU-Boulder and Denver, Academy board member Donna Barrow, herself a scientist, designs and coordinates these series, ensuring a fascinating array of topics each time they are offered.

Instructor: Dr. Wolfe Gerecht
5 Tuesdays, Mar. 11—Apr. 8
1-3 pm
Lecture, Q&A

Microbes: they can make us sick and keep us healthy.  Should any strike fear in our hearts? Media hype often inflates their potential harm.  On the other (microbe-laden) hand, the media also hypes the risks of vaccinating against them. Compounding the problem, our urge to feel well quickly has led to widespread misuse of antibiotics, which in turn has resulted in the rise of antibiotic-resistant microbes: some experts conclude that we have already entered a “post-antibiotic era,” with truly worrisome implications.  In this course we will explore all these topics, along with the latest information available on vaccinations and why they are essential.

Instructor: Dr. Wolfe Gerecht received his training in Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases at the Mayo Clinic. He retired as the medical director of a 500-bed hospital system in Springfield, MO.  He was also the medical director of AIDS Project of the Ozarks which served HIV positive individuals in southwest Missouri.

Food for Thought
Instructor: Richard Pflugfelder
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 11—Apr. 15
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A

This course is not about food so much as nutrients, which a growing body of research shows can actually prevent disease, enhance our health and extend our lives.  We’ll cover the basic types (vitamins, minerals, proteins and so forth), delve into the major debates (over the value of supplements, for example) and zero in on the latest findings (the revelations about Vitamin D alone could almost justify a separate course). Of special note will be new research coming out of the CU Cancer Center on grapeseed extract, which appears to be so effective in preventing and treating colon and rectal cancers that patients may soon discard chemotherapy as archaic.

Instructor: 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: Dr. George Ho
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26 – Apr. 2
10 am—12 noon
$55 (Includes the required class workbook)
$45 (No workbook.  You must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
Discussion, lecture, writing

We will all die one day, but we need not make a graceless exit.  Instead, we can prepare for death in a personalized and unique way, by developing our own sense of what end-of-life can and should look like, and sharing those decisions with our family and friends.  We’ll consider the options we have, the choices we face and the wishes we want to pass on.  This is not a “how-to” course or a substitute for medical or legal advice.  It’s an opportunity to appreciate the nuances of the dying process, to consider the difficulties surrounding end-of-life issues, and to develop new perspectives by sharing our concerns with others in a safe setting.  Limited to 20.

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

Artists & Their Times
Instructor: Dr. Sheila Porter
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 25—Apr. 15
10 am—12 noon
Reading, DVD, discussion, Q&A

Madness—whether springing from a disordered individual or a disordered society—has sparked works of art since the earliest times. In this series of lectures and films, we’ll examine how the work of certain artists—Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo and Edvard Munch, for example—reflected their own brands of personal “madness,” while the work of others—Goya, with his war against the church, and Ben Shahn, with his war against war—reflected the “madness” of their times.  We will probe the complex interplay between an artist’s temperament and his environment, and try to answer the most perplexing questions of all: Why did this particular person at this particular time create in this particular way?

Required Reading: Class handouts.

Recommended Reading: Lynn H. Nicholas, The Rape of Europa (Knopf, 1995) and Dario Gamboni, The Destruction of Art (Yale Univ. Press, 1997).

Instructor:  Sheila Porter, PhD, has been called the Academy’s patron saint of solemn subjects because of her interest in the “darker” human emotions.  She combines an art history degree with over 30 years’ experience as a clinical and forensic psychologist.  Sheila chairs the Academy’s Curriculum Committee and volunteers with projects in Cambodia and Africa.

From Generation to Generation
Course Leaders: Dr. Ellie Greenberg with Patricia Cox
Format: Discussion, lecture, writing, films
6 Thursdays, Feb. 27—Apr. 3
1—3 pm
Lecture, discussion, film, interviewing, and writing

What has happened to the Women’s Movement of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s?  Did it achieve its goals and close up shop, or is it still around but just less visible? More to the point, what difference has it made in the personal lives of the women who participated directly in it, their children, and their grandchildren, and what impact will it have on future generations? Through lecture, film, discussion, observation, writing and communications with our now-adult children, we’ll consider all these questions and, in the process, learn more about the nature of social change and how progress takes place. Our conversations—which men are welcome to join as well—also will likely help us build strong and lasting relationships with each other, our children, and our grandchildren.  Limited to 15.

Course Leaders: Author, teacher, and educator, Dr. Ellie Greenberg developed and led University Without Walls in the 1970s, the start of a 40-year career in providing “access to opportunity” for adults. Patricia Cox has taught writing for the Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek School District, and the Academy.


Instructor: Shellie Hochstadt
6 Thursdays, Mar. 6—Apr. 10
10 am—12 noon
Lectures, Q&A

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

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

Anti-Semitism & the Catholic Church
Facilitator:  Ralph Stern
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 25 – Mar. 18 & Apr. 8—29
1—3 pm
Reading, some lecture, mostly discussion

Anti-Semitism’s long history is laid out in the book Constantine’s Sword by the ex-priest James Carroll.  Studying this won’t be an easy journey, as the relationship between Judaism and the Catholic Church has been anything but tranquil from New Testament times right up to the 20th century.  But in discussing this legacy, including the church’s connection to the Holocaust, we will come to a better understanding of the roots of the hostility, which can be traced back to the Crusades and beyond.  Embedded in this fascinating history is Carroll’s growing discomfort with Catholicism and the changes he wishes to make in its dogma.   Will Carroll—despite his own conflicted attitudes toward the church—persuade you that the future promises repentance and rapprochement?   NOTE: This is a re-scheduling of the course that needed to be cancelled in the fall.  Participants from that course have first choice for registering.  A few new people will be able to join them.

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

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

Course Leader: Dr. Rex Brown
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Apr. 2
10 am—12 noon
Discussion, discussion, discussion, lecture

Many Americans call themselves “pragmatists,” meaning they are practical people who aim to get things done, not idealists or uncompromising ideologues.  But most who use the term don’t know that Pragmatism is also the name of our country’s most important contribution to the field of philosophy.  The minds behind this school of thought have profoundly influenced the way we think about concepts like democracy, liberty and justice—as well as the way we teach, learn and talk about science, religion and even reality itself. Prepare to have your most cherished beliefs challenged as we read and discuss essays by William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Dewey and especially Richard Rorty, who wrote that the goal of any intellectual inquiry should not be truth, but consensus—an agreement on what to do and how to do it.

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

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

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


Instructors: Pam & Dr. Jim Mingle
6 Tuesdays, Feb. 25—Apr. 1
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion, video, lecture

Is there a more enduring theme in literature than affairs of the heart?  The pursuit of love engages such a wide range of human emotions and behavior—happiness and anguish, contentment and jealousy, trust and infidelity—that the subject never seems to be exhausted.  In this course we will sample the works of several British writers both traditional and modern, using the movie adaptations to enhance our understanding and enjoyment.  From the novels of Jane Austen to those of her modern-day imitators, from the gothic romances of Daphne DuMaurier to the heartbreaking stories of the Irish writer William Trevor, we will share in the happiness of found love as well as the pain of indiscretion and deceit.

Required Reading: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, many editions available, including free editions for e-readers, and Georgette Heyer, The Nonesuch, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009

Recommend Reading and DVD Viewing:  Jane Austen, Persuasion, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, (any versions), Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca, (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2006), and William Trevor, The Collected Stories,(Penguin Books, 1993).

Instructors: Popular Academy literary guide Dr. Jim Mingle has walked more than 1,500 miles from one end of Great Britain to the other revisiting the scenes of some of his greatest literary adventures for this course.  Pam Mingle is a former teacher and reference librarian. Her debut novel, Kissing Shakespeare, won the 2013 Colorado Book Award for young adult fiction. Her latest book, The Pursuit of Mary Bennet, is a Pride and Prejudice sequel.

Instructor: Judy Kurtz
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26- Apr. 2
10 am—12 noon
Reading, discussion, lecture

Victor Hugo, the master of paradox, addressed timeless quandaries that we still grapple with today, summing them up in lines like ”all the evil of good” or “success is a terrible thing” (read: drone strikes or democracy in Egypt).  In this course we’ll explore several such notions as Hugo presented them in Les Misérables, using both the book and the musical version as source material.  Our discussions will give us an opportunity to flex our own intellectual muscles as we engage with a great 19th century thinker in contemplating such simple stuff as the nature of good and evil, duty and rebellion, and religion and conscience.  Insider’s tip: start reading Hugo’s hefty classic as soon as you register for the course so you can enjoy a leisurely read.

Required Reading: Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (Signet Classic preferred Unabridged, 1987 or later)
Instructor: After attending Cornell and St. John’s College, Judy Kurtz spent 27 years teaching vocabulary, punctuation, grammar and Great Books/Great Ideas. She employs the Socratic method to make her classes the best they can be.

Repeat of the Fall Course
Discussion Leader: Dr. Paulette Wasserstein
6 Thursdays, Feb. 27 – Apr. 3
1—3 pm
Reading, discussion

This popular course will explore fascinating stories with scintillating participation-friendly discussions.  If you love great literature, you will appreciate the artistry that goes into the creation of the short prose found in The Best American Short Stories 2011, edited by Geraldine Brooks.  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: Geraldine Brooks, ed., The Best American Short Stories 2011 (Mariner Books, 2011).
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
Course Leaders: Ginny Hoyle & Art Elser
5 Wednesdays, Mar. 26—Apr. 16 & Apr. 30
1—3 pm
Reading, writing, discussion

Haiku teaches us to see beauty everywhere, even where we least expect it. Join us as we consider haiku’s connection to nature and the influence of Shintoism on Japanese culture through the ages. In the spirit of traditional Japanese haiku groups, we will each follow our own path, writing haiku that are true to our experience of the world and its beauty. Naturalist Art Elser will help us appreciate what nature’s up to, right under our noses on the high plains, as spring unfolds. Come prepared to share your work and appreciate the work of others.  Note: While this is a repeat of the popular course offered previously, it keeps evolving, so returning participants will find a familiar structure along with new ways to explore. And first-time participants will begin fresh, in good company.

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

Course Leaders: Ginny Hoyle’s poems have appeared in literary journals and been featured in major art exhibits and collections. She has written haiku off and on for years–and kept a daily haiku journal from 2000 – 2003. She is a member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop.  Art Elser is a poet and an award-winning naturalist who leads prairie walks at Plains Conservation Center. He writes haiku almost daily as part of a haiku exchange with Wyoming poet Chris Valentine, and he is a member of WyoPoets.  Finishing Line Press this year released a collection of his poems, We Leave the Safety of the Sea.

Facilitator: Patricia Cox
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 11 – Apr. 15
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.

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

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer
6 Thursdays, Mar. 6 – Apr. 10
10 am—12 noon
Interactive writing workshop

Whether you’re nineteen or ninety, you have stories to tell and wisdom to share. Learn how to begin compiling a collection of your life experiences to share with friends and family—or simply to read later at leisure.  Spark your memory with innovative and engaging activities designed to bring to mind long-forgotten scenes from your past and to help you start getting them down on paper. Pick up your pen and open a new chapter on your life in the supportive atmosphere of this popular class. Limited to 13 participants. This is a repeat of a Spring 2013 workshop and earlier courses.

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


The First 30 Years
Instructor: Lorenz Rychner
5 Tuesdays, Feb. 25—Mar. 25
1—3 pm
Listening to music, lecture, explanations, Q&A

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.

Recommended Reading and Listening: Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion (CDs or 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.

30s thru WWII
Instructor: Lorenz Rychner
5 Tuesdays, Apr.1—Apr. 29
1—3 pm
Listening to music, lecture, explanations, Q&A

Jazz artists in the Thirties introduced new styles, new faces, and a new Big Band sound that—to this day—excites audiences in ballrooms and concert halls around the world.   This course is a continuation of ALL THAT JAZZ—The First 30 Years (also offered this term), but it stands on its own.  In this class we will hear and discuss recordings by familiar names and the lesser-known gems of ’30s jazz. And we’ll certainly come to realize that, in the words of Duke Ellington, “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”

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.

Instructor: Robin McNeil
10 Tuesdays, Feb. 25—Apr. 29
10 am—12 noon
Listening to music, lecture, Q&A

Upon hearing the music, can you tell the difference between Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert?  You will, after taking this course. You’ll study the elements of musical form and learn to identify these classical composers with ease, and then go on to regale your friends with answers to challenging questions.  Such as: How is a string quartet similar to a piano sonata? Or, for that matter, how is a sonata similar to a symphony?  Did the composer change keys when he was supposed to? And, who was laughed at when he added trombones to the orchestra?  Seriously, there is an art to listening to music.  Enhance your listening skills and learn what to listen for: this mastery will enrich every piece of music you hear in the future.

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

Composing Workshop
Instructor: Conrad Kehn
8 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Mar. 12 & Mar. 26—Apr. 23
10 am—12 noon
Demonstration, lecture, composing, writing music

Ever wanted to try your hand at writing music?  In this do-it-yourself workshop, we’ll start with the basics—musical notation, genre, form, and composing technique, Then, with coaching from an award-winning composer, you’ll get to create the score for a short chamber work (or works) for performance at our last session by members of the Playground Ensemble, whose members are faculty and alumni from DU’s Lamont School of Music. Don’t have much musical background? Don’t let that stop you. This is a team effort, and we’ll cover everything you need to know to enjoy the thrill of composing music—from writing chords to picking the right instruments for your composition.

Instructor: Conrad Kehn is a composer performer, educator and founding director of The Playground. He teaches music technology and music theory at Lamont, and is the lead teaching artist and administrator of the Denver Young Composers Playground. The Playground performers are Lamont faculty, alumni, and area professionals.

Instructor: Chuck Ceraso
1 Tuesday, Apr. 29
10 am—2 noon and 1-3 pm
Studio art: drawing, demonstrations
Note: All materials will be provided: drawing pad, markers, charcoal, and pen for you to keep

This hands-on course will take you step-by-step through a process that will unlock your ability to draw anything, accurately.  In a class filled with fun and laughter, you’ll discover a way of seeing that will surprise you in its simplicity.  Your instructor is an artist who has taught thousands over the past 20 years and can still state, “I have never met anyone who can’t learn to draw.”  As he attests, it’s great to travel to new places to be inspired, but even greater to find the endless inspiration of seeing your same old place with new eyes.  If you can sign your name, you have the capacity to draw as well as Rembrandt.

Instructor: Chuck Ceraso has been teaching at the Denver Art Museum for the past 16 years, and is now teaching at The Art Students League of Denver and at his studio in Lafayette, Colo. He recently completed the book, The Art of Color Seeing.

European & Modern Masters
Course Leaders:  Joanne Mendes & Marty Corren
5 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Mar. 26
1:30—3:30 pm (NOTE: Half hour later than other Academy afternoon courses)
$80 (includes all tour fees, including the Modern Masters Special Exhibit fee of $22, & printed materials)
Parking additional
Participants must be (or become) DAM members.
Tours at the Denver Art Museum

This is the eighth in a popular series of in-depth looks at works in the Denver Art Museum.  We will explore European masters old and new, along with some of their major American counterparts. On this kaleidoscopic tour of discovery, experts will guide us through the classics, from early religious Renaissance paintings and stunning Tudor portraits to Dutch still lifes, the recently rediscovered Venetian harbor scene by Canaletto, from 1724, and the treasured Impressionists Monet, Pissarro and Sisley.  Among the moderns, we will explore works by such icons as Picasso, Dali, and Warhol, plus one of Jackson Pollock’s finest drip paintings when we tour the spring special exhibition Modern Masters from the Albright Knox Art Gallery.   Join us for exciting revelations and leave with a heightened vision of the hidden facets in these artistic gems. Participants must be or become members of the Denver Art Museum.

Art Lovers Extraordinaire:  Academy Board 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.


Coordinator: Lois Martin
8 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Apr. 16
1:00—2:00 pm
$25 or $5/session (one session free with Academy membership) (non-members $8 each session)
Lectures, Q&A, various

Choose one, some, or all of these fascinating presentations

A)    Feb. 26 “The Gut Microbiota: Our Hundred Trillion Closest Friends” Dr. Woody Emlen gets up close and personal, probing the vast microbe population living in our intestines. These trillions of microorganisms include both beneficial and harmful bacteria of which two-thirds are specific to each one of us.

B)    Mar. 5 “Savoring the Second Half of Life” Barbara Warner, author of Keep Your Fork- Dessert is on the Way:  Savoring the Second Half of Life, will inspire you to join her in harvesting the wisdom, courage and knowledge that is now yours, to create a most delicious second half of life.

C)    Mar. 12 “Sports and Concussions” Dr. Robert Contiguglia will examine how concussions are caused, identified, and treated, and explore their societal ramifications, including current state and pending federal legislation.

D)    Mar. 19 “Childhood and Adolescent ADHD: Theory, Diagnosis & Treatment” Dr. Michael Frank, a pediatrician specializing in ADHD diagnosis & management, will update us on this all-too-common ailment impacting so many of our grandchildren, their learning and their social interactions.

E)    Mar. 26 “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” Harold Fields will examine the racial caste system that is alive and well in America, through the prisms of his own work in racial reconciliation and Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

F)    Apr. 2 “Anti-Depressants: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” Dr. Alan Feiger, a research psychopharmacologist, examines one of the most commonly prescribed medications. He will discuss his own research findings and discuss the role of alternative therapies and side effects.

G)    Apr. 9 “Writing with Emotion” Author, memoirist and teacher BK Loren will reveal her secrets for “Writing the West.” Discover why her novel Theft won the 2013 WILLA Award for Writing and the 2012 Reading the West award from independent booksellers.

H)    Apr. 16 “Buddhism: Beyond the Four Noble Truths” Dr. Gary Reser–a Naropa University graduate and a “practicing householder” of Buddhism since 1988–will discuss how Buddhism can be a religion, a philosophy, and/or a practical, empowering way of life.


Instructor: Dr. Linda Gordon
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26 – Apr. 2
1—3 pm
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

Tailored to fit beginners as well as those with “un poquito de” previous Spanish language experience, this class will include the most basic vocabulary, sentence structures and phrases essential for travel and casual conversation. You’ll learn what to say in common situations.  “Did I really order this?”   Will you become fluent in six weeks? No, but you will have fun!  The Academy’s spring term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Class is limited to 14. Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303-399-8241.

Instructor:  An educator for 35 years, Dr. Linda Gordon 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

Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Mar. 12 & Apr. 2—16
1—3 pm
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

The Beginning/Intermediate class is for those who have taken some Spanish, but want to “brush up” on grammar and vocabulary and keep building conversational skills.  Participants should be comfortable with the present tense, familiar with the past tenses and ready to sharpen their communication skills through reading, speaking, and listening. The Academy’s spring term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Class is limited to 18. Is this class a fit? Llámame at 303-794-9635.

Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith grew up in Mexico City and enjoys sharing her love of the Mexican language, history, and culture.  She spent her career in the travel industry and has logged many hours as a community volunteer.
Instructor: Sandy Stolar
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 26—Mar. 19 & Apr. 2—9
1—3 pm
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading, memorizing

¡Continuamos la conversación! The class will be conducted primarily in Spanish, with pauses to look at some important grammar.  Themed conversations will build vocabulary and the confidence to speak in complete sentences in real-life situations. Si tú puedes pedir una margarita, describir las cosas que más te gustan, y preguntar como llegar al museo and want to dust it off and trot it out—and have a lot of fun doing it—esta es la clase para ti. Limited to 12 participants. The Academy’s spring term has three Spanish courses so that you can gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language.  Class is limited to 14. To see if this class is a fit for you llámame at 303-708-9716.

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

Instructor: Roberta Feinsmith
9 Wednesdays: Feb. 26—Apr. 9 & Apr. 23—30
1—3 pm
$70 (includes notebook of handouts—available on the first day)
$55 (For those who already have the required notebook)
Interactive class participation, speaking, reading

Learn enough basic Hebrew to successfully navigate a visit to Israel or communicate with grandchildren in Israel.   The goal will be to acquire a vocabulary of about 500 words and learn the conjugation of 30 Hebrew verbs in the present and past tenses.  The final lesson will introduce the future tense.  That should enable participants to tell time, ask directions, order food in a restaurant, shop, use various means of travel, discuss the weather and handle other everyday transactions. The best part may be the camaraderie you develop with other participants as you learn to speak, read, understand, and even sing in this ancient and complicated language. Limited to 25.

Instructor:  A teacher whose enthusiasm and love of Hebrew are highly contagious, Roberta Feinsmith studied Hebrew language in Israel for 10 years and at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.   She has previously taught conversational Hebrew in New Jersey in adult learning programs offered through Rutgers University and Bergen Community College.


Instructor: Jane Masterson
1 Tuesday, Feb. 25
1 Thursday, Apr. 24
10 am—3 pm with a lunch break
Lecture, DVD, practice
NOTE: Complete course lasts 4 hours on one day.  Sign up for just one date.

Get certified in adult, child, and infant CPR, the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique that has helped save the lives of countless heart attack victims. This one-day, four-hour session teaches you how to perform chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing, with emphasis on the new CAB of CPR—Circulation, Airway, and Breathing.  You’ll practice with mannequins and  the automated external defibrillator, which can restart a stalled heartbeat through electrical stimulation. Wear comfortable clothes since much of the individual practice will take place on the floor.  BYO lunch or plan to go to Subway or Café de France.

Instructor: Jane Masterson holds the titles of RN, ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support), TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course), and American Heart Association. CPR Instructor. She is a fun-loving, delightful person who will engage you in the CPR experience. Her 23 years in ER medicine include experience locally at Swedish, Porter, St. Anthony, and Flight for Life.

Instructors: Scott Henke & Maria Arapakis
9 Thursdays, Feb. 27—Apr. 24
1—3 pm
$55 or $8/session (one session free with Academy membership) (non-members $10 each session)
Lecture, demonstration, Q&A

Two hours is exactly the right amount of time to hear detailed explanations and get all your questions answered.   Be sure to register in advance.  Some sessions may sell out.

A) 2/27   iPad & iPhone Basics – Maria
B) 3/6     Computer Basics & When to Buy a New PC – Scott
C) 3/13   The Downside of the Internet: Viruses, Spyware, Scams & How to Avoid – Scott
D) 3/20   Intro to Digital Photography and How to Organize Pictures with Picasa – Scott
E) 3/27   iPads & iPhones: More advanced tips – Maria
F) 4/3     Mac Tips & Tricks – Maria
G) 4/10  Using Google for Much More than Searching – Scott
H) 4/17  Online Shopping – Using Consumer Reports & Staying Safe with eBay, CraigsList, Quibids, & others –  Scott
I) 4/24   Endless Online Entertainment & Education with Hulu, HBOGO, Rotten Tomatoes & IMDB, iTunes University, YouTube, etc. – Maria

Instructors: As a speaker/trainer, psychologist, and author, Maria Arapakis has over 30 years of world-wide experience training adults. She loves helping both brand-new and more experienced Mac, iPad, and iPhone owners expand their use, understanding, and enjoyment of all things Apple.  Scott Henke, owner of Onsite Consulting, has been helping over 4200 families and businesses in Denver for 29 years.  He makes the complicated and frustrating world of computers easy and fun again.

Beginners & Never-evers, Part 2
Instructor: Sally Kneser
8 Tuesdays, Mar. 4—Apr. 22
12:45—3:10 pm (NOTE: early start)
$90 (includes flash cards, handouts)
Lectures, reading, Q&A, exercises, practice hands

This class is open ONLY to continuing participants from the fall plus those who get approval from the instructor.  It continues the study of modern bidding and playing agreements using the latest discoveries about how adults learn. If you played bridge years ago in college, this class will be invaluable in highlighting the many changes that have made the game even easier to play.  All new participants must read chapters 1 through 4 and 9 in the required book before the course begins.  For approval: Sally Kneser, 303-770-0788.

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

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

Academy Facilitators

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

With more than 30 years’ experience as a psychologist, trainer of adults, speaker and author, Maria Arapakis (Tech Training) 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 (Colorado Science Researchers: 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.

Steve Bernard (Great Debates that have Shaped 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 Español: Beg/Int) is an early member of The Academy who spent 25 years living in Mexico City, making her uniquely qualified to teach conversational Spanish.  Susan has a BFA in journalism from SMU and enjoyed a successful career in marketing and sales in the travel industry. She has served on several non-profit boards in Denver and chaired many fundraisers over the years.   She remembers scrambling up the Pyramid of the Sun on grade-school field trips and looks forward to sharing her love of Mexico and its beautiful language.

Ted Borrillo (Denver’s Elitch Theatre: A Nostalgic Journey) 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 (Pragmatism in Modern American 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.

Chuck Ceraso (Drawing for People Who Think They Can’t) has been teaching at the Denver Art Museum for the past 16 years, and is now teaching at The Art Students League of Denver and at his studio in Lafayette, Colorado. He recently completed the book, The Art of Color Seeing. Ceraso studied art at the University of Notre Dame, and the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art as well as with Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art. His work is in private and public collections in both this country and abroad. Ceraso is listed in Who’s Who in the West and The Dictionary of International Biography.

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

Patricia Cox (Write to Save Your Life, and The Impact of the Women’s Movement) 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.

Sherma Erholm (China Rising) was a public school teacher with a bachelor’s in Speech and Music and a Master’s in Communication Theory and Psychology.  Since childhood, she has entertained a love affair for China and its people.  Impelled by a desire to learn more about the country and its people, she has used all available avenues, including reading and using other media, plus playing tourist as well as attending classes, seminars, and special meetings through D.U. and the Jackson/Ho Foundation in Denver.

A teacher whose enthusiasm and love of Hebrew are highly contagious, Roberta Feinsmith (Conversational Hebrew for Beginners, Part 2) studied Hebrew language in Israel for 10 years and at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.  Roberta studied the language in Israel for 10 years and at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She has previously taught conversational Hebrew in New Jersey in adult learning programs offered through Rutgers University and Bergen Community College.

After 35 years as an educator, Linda Gordon (Chatting in Español: Beginners) 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!

Wolfe Gerecht (Antibiotics & Vaccines: Issues & Answers) graduated from the University of Missouri –Kansas City School of Medicine at the age 22.  He trained in Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and is Board Certified in both.  He practiced in Springfield, Missouri and retired as the Chief Medical Officer of a 500 -bed hospital system.  He also served as the long term Medical Director of AIDS Project of the Ozarks. Among his proudest achievements was receiving the Take Wing Award which is the UMKC School of Medicine’s annual honor given to a graduate who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field.

Ellie Greenberg (The Impact of the Women’s Movement) has been interested in the adult life cycle since she developed and led the University Without Walls in the 1970s. Over the last 40 years, she has had the privilege of designing and leading many more programs for adults, such as: PATHWAYS to the Future for 40,000 US WEST non-management employees in 14 states; Project Leadership focused on non-profit board leadership; and MAPP–the Mountain and Plains Partnership-online Masters degree programs for health professionals in underserved areas.  Ms. Greenberg has served on many boards and commissions, and learned politics through the civil rights and women’s movements.   She cares about learners and learning, and enjoys creating “access to opportunity.” She finds it exciting to be able to now share what she has learned with you through The Academy.

Dr. Min Han, (Colorado Science Researchers: Cutting Edge) Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute received his bachelor’s degree from Peking University in Beijing and his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology before coming to CU-Boulder as a faculty member in 1991.  Investigators at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) conduct basic biomedical research in cell biology and regulation, genetics, immunology, neuroscience and structural biology. HHMI research has led to significant discoveries in AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and obesity. Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is a nonprofit medical research organization that ranks as one of the nation’s largest philanthropies.  In 2012 HHMI spent $800 million for research and $119 million for science education.  HHMI sponsors about 330 HHMI Investigators in the nation, including 15 Nobel laureates and 157 members of the National Academy of Sciences.  There are 5 Investigators at CU-Boulder and one at the University of Colorado Denver School Of Medicine. Han is interested in how a common tumor suppressor gene known as Retinoblastoma 1, or Rb, behaves under conditions of starvation. The question is important because it may help researchers understand why many cancer cells are more susceptible to starvation or fasting than ordinary cells. Han and his team study a popular lab organism called C. elegans, a translucent nematode smaller than an eyelash.

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

In order to stay engaged in lifelong learning, Dr. George Ho (Making & Sharing Sound End-of-Life Choices) discovered the Academy through its writing courses during the Spring term 2010.  For 40-plus years he worked in Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Rheumatology and with an additional subspecialty interest and training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He now 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.  Now, fully retired, he pursues his interests in photography, wildlife, writing and exercising (jogging, biking and swimming) to remain healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.  He lives in Stapleton with his wife Katherine, and they have three successful and married children and six grandchildren (four of whom live in Colorado).

Shellie Hochstadt (Foundations of World Religions) 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.

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.

Performer, composer, and founding Director of The Playground, Conrad Kehn (Writing Music: Composing Workshop, and Writing Music Concert) teaches music theory, composition, and music technology at Lamont, where he directs the composers concert series. The Playground performers are Lamont faculty, alumni, and area professionals.

Jim Kneser (Critical Economic Issues) 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: Beginners & Never-evers, Part 2) 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.

Judy Kurtz  (Les Misérables in the 21st Century) is a retired educator. Educated at Cornell, BA English, and St. John’s College, Masters in Liberal Arts., she spent 27 years attempting to teach the correct use of the apostrophe, the reasons why colonialism is destructive to both victim and perpetrator, the perfectibility of man, and the value of a broad vocabulary. Her greatest successes came with the addition of the Socratic seminar to her classes of adolescents and adults. Her mantras have been “She cares enough to give them the very best,” and “You must keep
Dickens in the curriculum!”

Lois Martin (Experts & 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.

Sara Marsden (Great Decisions in American Foreign Policy) 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

Jane Masterson (CPR Certification Workshop) holds the titles of RN (Registered Nurse), ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support), TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course), and American Heart Association CPR Instructor. Beyond all those letters and experience, Jane is a fun-loving, delightful person who will engage you in the CPR experience. Her twenty-three years in ER medicine includes experience locally at Swedish, Porter, and St. Anthony Central Hospital, Level I Trauma Center, and Flight for Life.

Dr. J. Richard McIntosh, (Colorado Science Researchers: Cutting Edge) Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Research Professor of the American Cancer Society Dept. of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado–Boulder specializes in mitosis, the process by which cells organize and segregate their chromosomes in preparation for cell division.  He is now officially retired after an award-winning career as a cell biologist and expert on mitosis. In retirement Dick turned toward global education, where he focused on challenges faced by students in Africa.   Through the American Society for Cell Biology he helped create courses for young scientists in Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana.

Longtime art enthusiast Joanne Mendes (DAM Great Art: European & Modern Masters) 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 (The Classical Period in Music) 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.

Jim Mingle (Love & Romance in British Literature) 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

Pam Mingle (Love & Romance in British Literature) is a former teacher and reference librarian. Her debut novel,
Kissing Shakespeare, won the 2013 Colorado Book Award for young  adult fiction. Her latest book, The
Pursuit of Mary Bennet, is a Pride and Prejudice sequel.

Richard Pflugfelder (Nutrition Ammunition:  Food for Thought) 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 (Creativity & Madness: Artists & Their Times) 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.

Lorenz Rychner (All That Jazz: The First 30 Years, All That Jazz: 30s thru WWII) 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.

Ralph Stern (Constantine’s Sword: Anti-Semitism & the Church) has spent the past 44 years reading about religious philosophy, theology, theodicy and comparative religion. In 1985 he entered Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, a liberal school. Following a year of study, he decided that he wanted to intensify his study and transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is conservative. There he received a master’s in
Jewish Philosophy. By the time he left JTS in 1991 to become the executive director of the Allied Jewish Federation here in Denver, he had completed two-thirds of the course work needed for a doctorate. He and his wife Frances, a past president of AJA, have lived in Denver for 22 years.

Before retiring after 30 years of teaching experience, Sandy Stolar (Chatting in Español: Intermediate/Advanced) 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. Paulette Wasserstein  (Contemporary American Short Stories) 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.

Dr. Richard Weir (Colorado Science Researchers: Cutting Edge) is Director of the Biomechatronics Development Laboratory at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.  He is also a Research Healthcare Scientist at Denver VA Medical Center, and holds Research Associate Professor appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering and  Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus.  He specializes in the design of advanced artificial hand/arm replacements.  His 3D printing lab was featured in The Denver Post in March 2013. Dr. Weir’s research covers all aspects of the problem ranging from development of neural control interfaces and clinical deployment of these systems, to mechatronic design and development of novel prosthetic components.  Current projects involve the development of prosthetic hand/arm controller systems based on implantable myoelectric sensors (IMES) to create a neural interface for the user.  He is also seeking novel ways to interface with peripheral nerves using opto-genetic approaches. Dr. Weir received a BA in mathematics and a BAI in microelectronics and electrical engineering from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, in 1983.  After working as a control engineer in England, he moved to the USA and obtained his MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Dr. Mark Williams, (Colorado Science Researchers: Cutting Edge) Fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and Professor of Geography, received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in ecology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1991.  Prior to that Mark tried to be a ski bum but he kept getting good jobs and took them seriously.  One day, some people that needed help with a research project came by the ski lodge, so he helped them.  And then he was inspired to go back to school. His expertise is the ecology of mountain areas: the interaction of organisms with variables in their physical environment. Mark is a faculty member of Environmental Studies and the Hydrology Program in Geography.   He is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

One of the Academy’s most accredited facilitators, Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young (Presidential Powers: Where Are the Limits?) 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.