The Spring 2011 term included almost 40 courses.

Tuesday, Feb. 8
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, you’ll want to be there. It is your chance to get together informally with course facilitators and fellow members of the Academy, to 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, too. But let them know that many of the courses may already be filled by February 8.


Does History Repeat Itself?

Look for this course description under the heading Economics & Policy Issues.

Facilitator: Larry Matten
8 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 14
10 am—12 noon
Reading, book & film discussion
Limited to 20

Science fiction uses imagination to echo the current world with its myriad problems and concerns and predict what it could be like in the future. It is a way to examine our world and compare the author’s assessments and predictions with modern reality. Sci-fi provides us with a new setting for the classical morality play with the continuing battle between good and evil. Participants are expected to respond critically and creatively to the selected short stories and films. If you explore and engage with the genre you’ll gain a love and appreciation of what it can do. As a scientist, Larry won’t be able to resist comparing science fact with science fiction.

Required reading: Orson Scott Card, ed., Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the 20th Century (Berkeley Publishing, 2004).

Facilitator: Retired science professor and elder-law attorney Larry Matten is an avid reader who has taught Academy courses on subjects ranging from evolution and intelligent design to brain games and chess.

Facilitator: Pam Mingle
7 Tuesdays, Mar. 8—Apr. 19
10 am—12 noon
Reading, discussion, lecture

Young adult literature has exploded in the past few years, expanding into new genres, exploring new themes, and filling needs that reflect changes in today’s youth culture. Join us as we delve into (and define!) such intriguing genres as steampunk, dystopia, paranormals, and manga. From the supercharged Hunger Games to the kinder and gentler Flipped, we’ll gain a keener understanding of what’s going on in this field and how it has evolved from the writing of earlier generations. Learning about the books our grandchildren are reading is an interesting way to connect to their world and their concerns.

Required reading: Any version of these books: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; Graceling by Kristin Cashore; Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld; Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey; Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Facilitator: Pam Mingle began practicing her lifelong dream of writing for children and young adults after retiring from a career as a teacher and librarian. Her most recent novel, a young adult time-travel fantasy called Kissing Shakespeare, will be published by Delacorte in 2012.

Facilitator: Dr. Jim Mingle
7 Wednesdays, Mar. 9—Apr. 20
10 am—12 noon
$50 (Includes numerous handouts)
Reading, discussion

There is no better place to walk—and to read about—than the British Isles. One can barely take a step without running into a historical setting of one great author or another. With the help of novels, poetry, and excerpts from film adaptations, we’ll take a virtual walk through England, Scotland, and Wales. We’ll visit the Lake District with William Wordsworth, the Welsh countryside that inspired Dylan Thomas, the 19th-century city of Dorchester depicted by Thomas Hardy in The Mayor of Casterbridge, and modern-day Aberdeen as experienced by Leila Aboulela’s Sudanese translator. Along the way, we’ll meet such enduring literary themes as the pain of cultural change and the stress of immigration, but we’ll also make time to discuss our own travel and literary adventures in Housman’s “land of lost content.”

Required reading: Leila Aboulela, The Translator (Grove Atlantic, 1999); Bruce Chatwin, On the Black Hill (Penguin, 1982); Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge – available for free to Kindle users) (Oxford World’s Classics, 2004).

Facilitator: Popular Academy literary guide Dr. Jim Mingle has walked more than 1,500 miles from one end of Great Britain to the other. He revisits the scenes of some of his greatest literary adventures for this course.

~~Repeat of fall 2010~~
Discussion Leader: Paulette Wasserstein
6 Thursdays, Mar. 3—Apr. 14 (skip Mar. 24)
1:30—3:30 pm
Reading, discussion

If you love great literature, you have found the right course, now in its third series featuring Best American Short Stories, 2008. Story selections will repeat fall 2010 readings but differ from spring 2010. The class examines one or two memorable stories each week, teasing out the meanings of each story and leaving you with a greater appreciation of the short story as an art form. Because short stories are so concentrated, each one will evoke questions and ambiguities to challenge your interpretation skills and offer new insights to universal experiences.

Required reading: Salman Rushdie, editor, Best American Short Stories, 2008 (Mariner Books, 2008).

Discussion Leader: Paulette Wasserstein, career teacher of English and educational consultant, loves exchanging ideas and sharing “a good read.”

A Haiku Workshop
Facilitator: Ginny Hoyle
5 Wednesdays, Mar. 30—Apr. 27
1:30—3:30 pm
Workshop: reading, informal lectures, 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, this day, this now. We will explore this venerable short-form poem through reading, discussion and modest weekly writing assignments. We will approach the writing of haiku as a mindfulness practice—an activity that heightens our awareness of the here and now. Haiku makes rules and breaks rules in the realm of poetry, and we’ll do a little of each, writing some haiku to a strict syllable count (5/7/5) and some that are even more spare and minimalist. This is a repeat of the Fall 2006 course.

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 divides her time between grandmothering and poetry. Her poems have appeared in a handful of literary journals and been featured in major art exhibits and collections.

Challenging Your Muse, Again
Facilitator: Barb Lundy
2 Wednesdays, April 20, 27
10 am—12 noon and continues both days 1—3 pm
Writing workshop with two all-day sessions

Here’s your chance to get tips from a practicing poet about how to banish your writer’s block. Find out how the use of metaphor can guide you to new insights, how harmony and dissonance enhance the emotional power of a poem, and how symbols resonate in the subconscious. Learn how sensory images, repetition, and internal rhyme can transform a first draft into a memorable final read. And find out how and where to get your poetry published, as well as what to look for in an effective support group. Note: Class meets am and pm on two Wednesdays. This is a repeat of the Fall 2010 class. Previous participants who want to repeat the exercises are welcome.

Recommended reading: Nikki Moustake, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Poetry (Alpha, 2001) and Robin Behen, The Practice of Poetry (Harper Paperbacks, 1992).

Facilitator: Barb Lundy has published over 100 poems and in 2006 was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. She enjoys sharing her love of the craft through teaching and readings and as a member of three writing groups.

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer
5 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Mar. 24
1:30—3:30 pm
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 14 participants. This is a repeat of a Fall 2010 workshop (subtitled Getting Started) and earlier courses.

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

Beginning Memoir Writing
Facilitator: Patricia Cox
8 Tuesdays, Mar. 8—Apr. 26
1:30-3:30 pm
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 in spring and fall 2010 and earlier.

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

Facilitator: Patricia Cox has taught writing to upper elementary students for the Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District.

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer
5 Thursdays, Mar. 31—Apr. 28
1:30—3:30 pm
Interactive writing workshop

If you’ve completed any memoir-writing class and are serious about continuing your project, this is the class for you. Participants will be expected to write at least one new piece each week to read to the class for possible feedback and encouragement. At the end of the five sessions, members will be ready to form an independent, ongoing writing group. This is a repeat of a workshop taught in Fall 2010 and earlier. Limited to 12 participants.

Facilitator: Kathy Boyer has conducted memoir-writing workshops for libraries, summer camps, churches, community centers, and the Academy.


Facilitator: Ted Couch
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Mar. 30
10 am—12 noon
Reading, discussion, lecture

It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, the war to make the world safe for democracy. But it became a war that would breed more wars and make the world’s democracies less safe. The Great War transformed our world. The Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, a succession of crises in the Middle East, all had their roots in that epic struggle. Its legacy is with us still. How and why did it happen? What did it leave in its wake? We’ll explore the strategies of politicians and generals, the course of battles, and, ultimately, their effect on nations, people, and history.

Required reading: Michael Howard, First World War: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Recommended reading: Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History (Holt Paperbacks, 2004); David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Facilitator: After a 30-year career in public relations and public affairs for the Bell System in Chicago, New York, and Denver, Ted Couch is excited about teaching an Academy course about his first love, history.

Herstory & Your Story
Instructor: Charlotte Waisman
4 Tuesdays, Apr. 5—Apr. 26
1:30—3:30 pm
Discussion, reading, lecture

As artists and adventurers, entrepreneurs and scientists, politicians, athletes, and leaders in scores of other fields, women have changed our society substantially over the years. Yet few Americans, female or male, recognize the extent of women’s contributions to our culture and economy because many of their stories have been minimized or forgotten. This course profiles some of these women of achievement and distinction, examines the principles of leadership they embody, and invites class members to consider how they use their personal skills to better themselves or their communities—through their work, religious affiliations, or volunteer efforts. Join us on this rich process of discovery, in which each participant will better understand “Her Story” and share the lessons of how to leave a more valuable legacy.

Required reading: Charlotte Waisman & Jill Tietjen, Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America (HarperCollins, 2008).

Instructor: Principal of a consulting firm specializing in leader and workforce excellence initiatives, Charlotte S. Waisman has a Ph.D. from the School of Communications, Northwestern University, and has held tenured positions at Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Utah. She is in much demand as a keynote speaker on the role of women in society.

The Constitution in American Life
Instructor: Steve Bernard
8 Wednesdays, Mar. 9—Apr. 27
1:30—3:30 pm
Reading, lecture, discussion

Nothing affects your life as a citizen more powerfully than the Constitution. Understanding its impact since the time of its drafting is essential to an understanding of our system of government and the rights of citizens. We’ll talk about how this document came to be, who its framers were, what topics it addresses, and how it has been interpreted and applied over time. You’ll find much good and inspiring in this story, but there is also controversy, sadness, and even tragedy. We’ll round out our series of lectures and class discussions with a short video, a debate, and a field trip to a Denver District Court trial, where we’ll see the Constitution at work firsthand.

Required reading: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – to be handed out in class.

Instructor: His Honor 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.

Madison’s Vision
Instructor: Dr. Vincent McGuire
4 Wednesdays, Apr. 6—Apr. 27
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, discussion

James Madison and other founders of our republic envisioned a government that would work much like a sophisticated piece of machinery. In other words, it would be set in motion and then go of itself. We’ll look in detail at the principles laid down in The Federalist, consider what the framers expected our government to do, and assess whether it is currently succeeding or failing at the task. We won’t argue politics or debate current events—we’ll just discuss ideas. With a good working knowledge of how our system is designed to function and why, perhaps our body politic would be less divisive.

Required reading: Any edition of The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

Instructor: Dr. Vincent McGuire is a senior instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His passionate interest in America’s founding principles dates from undergraduate days.

~Repeat of the Spring 2008 and Fall 2009 course~
Instructor: Dick Young
8 Tuesdays, Feb. 22-Apr. 19 (skip Mar. 29)
10 am—12 noon
Lectures, discussion

Nothing in our political system is more generally misunderstood or under fire than the way we elect our presidents. In this course we’ll look at the history of the United States through the lens of the Electoral College and examine the way our political parties came into being and have evolved. We’ll see what part our founding fathers’ opinions of political parties played in the creation of the Electoral College, how the college was first used, and how it was affected by the passage of the Twelfth Amendment. We’ll take a close look at several notable elections, including the disputed 2000 election, and see what roles the Electoral College, political parties, and the popular vote play in determining the President of the United States. You’ll have a chance to ponder the “what ifs” of American political history and might perhaps end by agreeing with Thomas Jefferson, who said, “If I must go to heaven with a political party, I would prefer not to go.” (This is a repeat of the Spring 2008 and Fall 2009 course.)

Recommended reading: Jay Winik, April 1865: The Month That Saved America (Perennial, 2001).

Instructor: Rear Admiral (ret.) Dick Young is a political activist and history buff who is earning a master’s in history forty years after taking his law degree at the University of Michigan. He has taught this course at various Elderhostels and the continuing education programs of several universities.

Discussion Leader: Sherma Erholm
8 Wednesdays, Mar. 9—Apr. 27
1:30—3:30 pm
Reading, discussion, optional reports strongly encouraged

Do Iran’s funding of terrorists and purported plans for nuclear weapons keep you up at night? Join us in this exploration of America’s options in the face of growing pressure from Europe and the UN for the US to “do something.” Knowing that there are no easy answers, we’ll search the past and present for lessons that can guide the future conduct of American policy. We’ll study Persian history from ancient Persepolis through the reign of the Shahs to today’s Islamic Republic and examine the complicated record of US-Iranian relations. As we gain understanding of the people, culture, and government of Iran, we’ll take a critical look at the policy recommendations put forward by the author of The Persian Puzzle. Though current developments in US/Iran relations will be incorporated, this is substantially a repeat of the Spring 2009 course.

Required reading: Kenneth Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America (Random House, 2004 or 2005).

Recommended reading: Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men (Wiley and Sons, 2003). Ray Takeyh, Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic (Henry Holt, 2006).

Discussion leader: Retired public school teacher 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, China, Iran, evolution, and the U.N.


Coordinator: Mary Taylor
9 Tuesdays, Feb. 22—Apr. 19
10 am—12 noon
$60 (Members may attend one session for FREE)
Lecture, Q&A

What might we learn from the fossils recently unearthed near Snowmass? That’s just one of the questions sure to come up during this series of nine lectures introducing the latest scientific insights into the history and evolution of the natural world. The presenters—all Colorado-based experts—offer both global and local perspectives on topics ranging from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the effect of climate change on the Rocky Mountain region. We’ll have plenty of time for discussion about research trends and emerging issues in these fields, and because each lecture stands alone, you won’t fall behind if you have to miss a class.

Feb. 22 – Vertebrate Paleontology Today, an overview of vertebrates around the world and in our own back yard. Presented by Louis Taylor, research associate, Earth Sciences Department of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

March 1 – The End of Dinosaurs & Other Extinctions, will discuss some of the connections between asteroids and ecosystems, rain forests and dinosaurs, whales and walruses. Presented by Kirk Johnson, DMNS Vice President of Research & Collections and Chief Curator.

March 8 – Paleobotany: Learning from Plants, what fossil and modern plants tell us about climate change, ecology, and plate tectonics. Presented by Ian Miller, curator of paleobotany and invertebrate paleontology, DMNS.

March 15 – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, issues and opportunities. Presented by Robin Sweeney, director, Office of the Environment at the Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office, where she is in charge of environmental oversight for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and new renewable energy projects.

March 22 – Fossil Footprints, what we learn from fossils that aren’t bodies or bones. Talk by Martin Lockley, recently retired from the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Denver, and internationally known expert on dinosaur tracks.

March 29 – Exploring Deep Time, the earliest animals and their first ventures onto dry land. Lecture by James Hagadorn, geoscientist and new curator of earth sciences at DMNS.

April 5 – Evolutionary Synthesis & Future Adaptations, a synthesis of evolutionary theory—how we got this way and where we are headed. Presentation by Richard Stucky, curator of paleoecology and evolution, DMNS.

April 12 – Climate Change, its impact on Colorado’s energy, water, and biological resources. Presentation by Bob Raynolds, consulting geologist, research associate at DMNS, and adjunct professor at Colorado School of Mines.

April 19 – Human and Animal Paleopathology, the stories bones can tell us about how we live and die. Lecture by forensic anthropologist and paleopathologist Sue Ware, research associate in the departments of Earth Sciences and Zoology, DMNS. She studies ancient peoples, their bones, and their mortuary practices.

Coordinator: Mary Taylor made the arrangements to bring this stunning array of speakers to Academy members interested in learning more about the scientific and paleontological basis of life on earth.

Instructor: Dr. George Ho
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 1—Apr. 12 (skip Mar. 29)
1:30—3:30 pm
$10 Required notebook (you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
Discussion, lecture

Why do we fear dying? What options do we have as we face the end of life? We’ll look at these and other questions, including how to decide what really matters most, what kind of care to choose, and when and how to define our values in a living will. This is neither a “how-to” workshop nor a substitute for professional medical and legal advice. Rather, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the nuances of the dying process, develop new perspectives, and share insights with others. At the end of the course, you should have a better sense of what may lie ahead, how to prepare for it, and how to let your loved ones know your wishes.

Instructor: Now partially retired from an active career in teaching and medical practice, Dr. George Ho Jr.’s areas of special expertise focus on arthritis treatment and palliative end-of-life care.


Co-facilitators: Karyl & Walt Meyer
5 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Mar. 24
1:30—3:30 pm
Discussion, lecture

Over the centuries, translators of the scriptures of the world’s major religions have been called everything from God’s secretaries to traitors. As one French source puts it, “Translations are like women: if they are beautiful, they are not faithful; if they are faithful, they are not beautiful.” We’ll examine the origins, contents, and uses of the sacred Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim books—with a brief look at Hindu, Buddhist, and other texts—as well as the critical roles played by those who interpret and modify the scriptures. We’ll take a close look at the writing of the King James Bible and the process of formalizing the orally transmitted text of the original Qur’an—both of which are important to understand in our age of widely divergent and strongly held religious beliefs.

Recommended reading: Phillip Novak, The World’s Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World’s Religions (Harper Collins, 1994) and Huston Smith, The World’s Religions (Harper Collins, 2009).

Facilitators: Karyl Meyer, a retired theater and speech teacher, and her husband Walt Meyer, a retired self-styled “technocrat”, share a long-standing interest in religious scriptures and have studied the Bible and the Quran in depth.

Facilitator: Lenny Kramish
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Mar. 30
10 am—12 noon
Reading, discussion, lecture

Bible texts have helped create the values and beliefs of countless generations—right up to the present day. We’ll examine the origins of these influential texts—weigh the motivations of their authors, take into account the times in which they were written, and examine the rationale that led to their inclusion in various versions of the scriptures. We‘ll see how Biblical stories can carry metaphorical truths even when they may not be literally true and how the moral principles they illustrate apply to contemporary problems.

Required reading: Any version of the Bible

Recommended reading: Elaine Pagels, Beyond Belief,(Random House, 2003).

Facilitator: Jazz vocalist and pianist Leonard Kramish holds a Ph.D. in adult education and gerontology and is director of education for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Facilitator: Walt Meyer
9 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 21
10 am—12 noon
$65 (includes many handouts plus speaker fees)
Reading, lectures, discussion, visit to mosque

How much do you really know about the Islamic faith and the Muslim people? Here’s your chance to explore the history of Islam from its seventh-century beginnings to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. We’ll study the life of Muhammad and discuss the Holy Qur’an, both of which are widely misunderstood in the Western world. We’ll explore the similarities and differences among the three great monotheistic religions—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—and examine the implications and consequences of the long political history between Islam and the West. Two Muslim guests will provide some insight into the struggle faced by the American Muslim community in the wake of 9/11. A visit to a mosque will conclude the course. This is a repeat of the Spring 2008 course, with expanded material about the last two years.

Required reading: John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005).

Also recommended: John Esposito, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford Univ. Press, 2002) and Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (Harper Collins, 1993).

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.

Will Your Doc Break the Rules for You?
Instructor: Dr. Fred Abrams
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Mar. 30
10 am—12 noon
$13 Required book (you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
Reading, lectures, discussion

Doctors lie, betray confidences, and break the law. Can this be right? If their decisions are the best of anguishing alternatives, perhaps they are right. But where would you draw the line? To examine these issues, we’ll analyze absorbing, true stories about dilemmas faced by doctors and patients, including euthanasia, assisted suicide, advance directives, abortion, sterilization, marital infidelity, intersexuality, birth defects, AIDs confidentiality, and rape. All participants are expected to read the appropriate chapter of Dr. Abrams’ book Doctors on the Edge in order to offer their opinions each week. You will face the dilemma. You will decide. Registration is required by February 15 so that books may be ordered. This is a repeat of the popular course offered in Fall 2010 and earlier.

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


Discussion Leaders: Marty Hartmann & Janet Lewis
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Mar. 30
10 am—12 noon
Light reading, discussion, presentations, participant reports, two guest speakers

If you’ve loved art all your life and would like to share your responses with others, you’ll want to join this lively exploration of styles, techniques, and influences. Our focus will be on looking at art from 1860 to the present, including paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, and objects d’art. You’ll have a chance to research and make a mini-presentation on a topic of your own choosing such as current venues in the global art world, censorship, art valuation, fraud, street art, etc.

Required reading: Paul Zelanski, The Art of Seeing (Prentice Hall, 2007) –or any edition, but used copies are more reasonably priced.

Suggested reading: any other art appreciation book of choice.

Discussion Leaders: Marty Hartmann majored in studio art in college and enjoyed a career as curator of education at the Denver Museum of Natural History. She still indulges her love for art at museums around the world. Former high school teacher and architectural design firm manager, Janet Lewis has traveled worldwide on art-focused trips and loves sharing her insights and discoveries.

Instructor: Georgi Contiguglia
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 8—Apr. 12
10 am—12 noon
Video, discussion

“The first virtue of painting is to be a feast for the eyes,” according to 19th century French painter Eugene Delacroix. Using this as our touchstone, we’ll undertake an in-depth exploration of European masterpieces dating from the Renaissance to the Baroque era. Among featured artists are Giotto, Van Eyck, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and El Greco. We’ll begin each week with a video lesson developed by Oberlin College professor and Smithsonian lecturer William A. Kloss for the Teaching Company’s “Great Courses” program. We’ll follow this with a discussion of the history and formal esthetic features of the various works, as well as the changing tastes and technologies that transformed the world of art during this period.

Instructor: Georgi Contiguglia was the Curator of Decorative and Fine Arts at the Colorado Historical Society before becoming its president and CEO. She has a master’s in art history and has worked at the Brooklyn Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum. She currently teaches art history at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins.

Instructor: Devin Hughes
4 Wednesdays, Apr. 6—Apr. 27
1:30—3:30 pm
Lecture, CD’s, PowerPoint

This four-part excursion into ethnomusicology explores the ways in which composers tell unique “stories” by adapting ideas from different nations, styles, and eras. In one session we’ll explore Danzon #2, by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez, who blends several Latin American styles into a piece that has the feel of ballroom dance music, then move to the Rimsky- Korsakov warhorse Scheherazade, in which he applies his own style and brilliant orchestration to a simple melody inspired by “hearing the gypsy-musicians of Bakhchisaray” on a trip to the Crimea. Another session features the world premiere of The Song of the Untouchable, still to be composed by American violinist Gregory Walker on a trip to India he will make in January for a documentary on the oral/aural traditions of the untouchables, the lowest class in the caste system. The final program, also a world premiere, will be a performance and discussion of Concertos Pampanas, a work for classical guitar and orchestra by Colin Thurmond that incorporates musical elements from Venezuela, Brazil, and Mexico with hints of Prokofiev.

Instructor: Devin Patrick Hughes is in his third season as music director of the Boulder Symphony Orchestra (formerly Niwot Timberline Symphony) and continues to serve as music director of the Denver Contemporary Chamber Players. He was recently chosen with eleven other young conductors to participate in the prestigious Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition in Italy.

Focus on Schubert
Facilitator: Jim Kneser
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Mar. 30
1:30—3:30 pm
$45 (Includes class CDs)
Lecture, CDs, DVDs, discussion

As he lay dying, Beethoven is reputed to have said, “A divine spark glows in Schubert.” While the young Austrian’s symphonies and operas were well known to the great German composer, they were remarkably unknown to the audiences of Europe during his lifetime (1797-1828). Best known today as the father of the “High Art Song,” of which he wrote more than 600, Franz Schubert is also renowned for the exquisite chamber music on which his reputation rested in his own day. We’ll focus on Schubert’s vocal pieces, sometimes called by the German word Lied (song) or Lieder (songs), with special attention to the series of intensely emotional and haunting songs entitled Winter’s Journey, which he wrote near the end of his life.

Facilitator: When he’s not immersed in the Economist, the many-faceted Jim Kneser is delving into some absorbing corner of musical history.

Instructor: Conrad Kehn
1 Thursday, Mar. 10
10 am—12 noon
$5 (nonmembers $10)

The Playground, a chamber ensemble-in-residence at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, honors Women’s History Month with a one-time performance and discussion of works by female composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, both local and international. The chamber ensemble is dedicated to modern and contemporary music and directed by the award-winning composer Conrad Kehn, a lecturer at Lamont. The works will be selected from the program for the Playground’s upcoming March 15 concert at Regis University.

Instructor: Performer, composer, improviser, educator, writer, and founding Director of The Playground, Conrad Kehn 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.

Instructor: Robin McNeil
10 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 28
1:30—3:30 pm
Lecture, CDs

The real John Cage is a brilliant and fascinating man who learned all of Beethoven’s violin sonatas at the age of 12. The general public often dismisses him on the basis of a single work—the composition 4’33”, in which no instruments are played and only environmental sounds are heard for four minutes and 33 seconds. But contemporary composers have lauded Cage as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. Many have either written like him or been strongly influenced by him. His impact on the evolution of musical thought and the seriousness with which he worked are readily acknowledged. By sampling music from different composers, Cage’s contribution to 20th century music can be appreciated.

Instructor: Concert pianist, musicologist, and past executive director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Robin McNeil has also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of South Dakota.

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:30

Ticket details are on the last page. Use the regular registration form to order tickets.


Lecturer: Jim Kneser
6 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 7 (skip Mar. 10)
10 am—12 noon
$50 (includes daily lecture notes)
Lecture, Q&A

In early 2010, after a financial upheaval that laid waste our savings and left the country deeply in debt, the US economy appeared to be on the road to a strong but jobless recovery. Even so, the prospect of growing federal deficits and national debt might make us vulnerable to even more devastating economic crises, sooner rather than later. We’ll take a close look at the late-2010 report from the “Deficit Commission” and the implications of the 10-year forecasts for US deficits and national debt. Unless other urgent economic headlines divert us, we’ll also look into the economics of immigration and US immigration policy, as well as the current European economic situation. Those who’ve taken Jim’s other courses promise you’ll enjoy this class even without a background in economics. The course will be supported by the web site.

Lecturer: Jim Kneser loves exercising his training in economics and finance (plus his vocational experience in private equity) in researching the facts behind the news and putting current developments in proper historical context.
Does History Repeat Itself?
Coordinator: Nancy Collins
8 Tuesdays, Mar. 1—Apr. 19
1:30—3:30 pm~~NOTE: Mar. 1st class ONLY will run 12:15 NOON to 2:15
Reading, specialist lectures, discussion, Q&A, video

Are challenges to novels, plays, and school textbooks increasing in this country today, or does it just feel that way? Does the notion of “age appropriate” reading make sense? Or is this just another form of censorship aimed at restricting those who threaten the social order? In this multispeaker course, we’ll consider these questions and review the traditional grounds for censorship—social, sexual, political, and religious—and discuss whether they are subtly changing. We’ll study the legal framework for censorship in the United States and elsewhere, the invention (and reinvention) of pornography from the 18th century to the present, the surprising vitality of theatrical censorship, the struggles of teachers and librarians who choose to offer or ignore controversial works, and, last but not least, the self-censorship of creative writers.

Required reading: Nicholas Karolides, et al, 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature (Checkmark Books, 2005).

Recommended reading: Walter Kendrick, The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture (University of California Press, 1996).

Speakers and Discussion Leaders: This class will be led by a team of literature professors (Irene Gorak, Kathlene Sutton), lawyers (Wick Downing), authors (Downing and Pam Mingle), and the incomparable and irrepressible (Sheila Porter, Nancy Collins).

Colorado Schools & Their Challenges
Facilitator: Dr. Toni Larson
6 Tuesdays, Mar. 8—Apr. 12
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, discussion

Colorado ranks near the top in educational attainment, and its citizens are among the wealthiest in the nation. Yet, out of 100 students who start ninth grade today, only 70 graduate from high school, only 44 go on to college, and of these only about 15 graduate “on time.” Perhaps more worrisome, the achievement gap between ethnic minorities and the current majority is the largest in the nation. Often called the “Colorado paradox,” this situation seriously impedes the state’s ability to meet its future needs for a well-educated work force. We’ll look at the demographic roots of the problem, as well as the financial and institutional constraints that burden the system, and consider solutions for stemming the dropout rate and staving off a 21st century crisis.

Facilitator: As executive director of Independent Higher Education of Colorado, Dr. Toni Larson makes it her business to keep abreast of public policy research that affects education.

Facilitator: Rick Schaler
3 Wednesdays, Feb. 23, Mar. 23 & Apr. 20
10 am—12 noon
$20 (nonmembers $30)
Discussion, reading

History shows that the people of Afghanistan have a way of taking down world leaders who engage or enrage them. Will our current war in that country have a different outcome? Is it worth the price we are paying? Can it be won? These are among the questions we will explore in this timely course, which will touch on Afghanistan’s history, geography, and mineral resources, as well as its tribal heritage, educational progress, and developing political system. As we approach the key issues from a variety of angles, expect some friendly, but controversial, discussion. As Mark Twain once said, “A man can learn something by carrying a cat by the tail that he can learn no other way.”

Facilitator: Multifaceted student of other cultures, Dr. Rick Schaler’s interest in Afghanistan has been fueled by current events and his daughter Heidi’s job as executive director of Friends of the American University of Afghanistan.

Facilitator: Jack Beattie
8 Thursdays, Mar. 10—Apr. 28
1:30—3:30 pm
$20 Great Decisions Briefing Book (you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
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: Rebuilding Haiti, National Security, Horn of Africa, Financial Crisis, Germany Ascendant, Nonproliferation, Crisis in the Caucasus and Global Governance. 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: Jack Beattie enjoys being retired from US WEST so that he can pursue his interests in history, economics, and social issues.


Coordinator: Lois Martin
8 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Apr.13
12:15-1:15 pm
$30 or $5/session (one session free with Academy membership) (nonmembers $8)
Lectures, Q&A, various
Choose one, some or all of these fascinating lunchtime presentations

A) Feb. 23: “How to Succeed in Opera without Really Singing.” Ever dream of going onstage? Discover how Joyce Deroos, a retired office manager, made her dream come true by volunteering as a supernumerary in Tosca: all the fun and adventure of joining the singers at rehearsals and the costumed “supers” at performances—without acting or singing!

B) Mar. 2: “A Circuitous Political Journey.” Retired computer scientist Ed Schreiber retraces his dramatic Odyssey from a fascist upbringing in WWII Croatia, to communist schooling in Tito’s Yugoslavia, and finally to candidacy for US Congress.

C) Mar. 9: “Western Concepts of God: A Preview.” In this introduction to his Academy course, Jewish Theological Seminary graduate Ralph Stern explores Western civilization’s struggle to define the concept of God. Stern’s overview encompasses iconic texts, from the Bible and rabbinical literature to the works of 20th-century theologians and humanists.

D) Mar. 16: “Aches and Pains in the Elderly: Causes, Cures & Conundrums.” Ready for a reality check on those pesky aches and pains? Veteran rheumatologist George Ho, MD, outlines what you can change, what you can’t, and how to navigate the health-care system.

E) Mar. 23: “Where Did We Come from & Are We Alone?” Investigate the possibility of life on other worlds and the origins of our own with retired physician Michael Hitchcock, who recently earned a master’s in Astronomy.

F) Mar. 30: “Colorado’s Refugees & Immigrants: Why Here? Why Now?” Tyree O’Shea, Community Resource Coordinator for Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services in Denver, explores why and how refugees and immigrants land in Colorado, what they are escaping, and how ecumenical services create a lifeline to hope.

G) Apr. 6: “Up in Flames: The Reformation Revisited.” From history’s vantage point, 9/11 was only the latest act in a centuries-old drama of faith-based conflicts. Examine the Reformation’s near-apocalypse with Dr. Joan Chase, historian, anthropologist, and Biblical scholar.

H) Apr. 13: “Death Panels & Living Wills: What’s New in End-of-Life Planning in Colorado.” If you had to face end-of-life decisions for yourself or a loved one tomorrow, would you have all the latest facts and guidance you’d need? Jennifer Ballentine—who played a key role in recent changes to Colorado laws on advance directives and end-of-life care—will explain your complex options and why selecting a “health care agent” is essential in Colorado.

Coordinatior: Lois Martin was a founder of the Aurora Sun Newspaper, was named Business Person of the Year for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, and elected to the Benson Hall of Fame for Community Leadership.


(Life and Death Decisions)
Instructor: Larry Matten
10 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 28
1:30—3:30 pm
$15 Notebook (you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
Lecture, Q&A

Here’s your chance to get an overview of estate issues and their tax implications from an experienced elder-law attorney before going to see your personal lawyer. We’ll examine the Colorado laws governing estates, end-of-life health issues, and transfer of wealth as we explore various scenarios that could affect the decisions you make about your financial and health-care future. Are the “Five Wishes” the best choice? What if you are unable to make decisions? Whom can you turn to? Do you really need a will? Is there an advantage to having a living trust? Why put off getting your house in order any longer? Sign up today. This is a repeat of a popular course offered previously.

Instructor: After a long career as a professor of biology and botany, Larry Matten began a second career in 2000 as an elder-law attorney specializing in estate planning and Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security issues. He has recently retired from the practice of law and returned to his first love, teaching.

Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith
7 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Apr. 20 (skip Mar. 30 & April 6)
1:30—3:30 pm
Conversational Spanish

Level 1: Tailored to fit beginners as well as those with “un poquito de” previous Spanish language experience, this class will build on the fall semester and cover basic vocabulary 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 “Did I really order this?” Will you become fluent in six weeks? No, but you will have fun and gain greater confidence in this musical and increasingly important language. Thinking about signing-up but have questions about what was covered during the fall? Call Susan at (303) 794-9635. Limited to 20 participants.

Instructor: Susan Blake-Smith grew up in Mexico City and enjoys sharing her love of the Mexican language, history, and culture. She has served on several nonprofit boards and worked as a volunteer and fundraiser for many others.

Instructor: Cyndi Sauvage
6 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Apr. 6 (skip Mar. 30)
1:30—3:30 pm
Conversational Spanish

Level 2: Continuamos la conversación! Following the Fall 2010 format, this class will be conducted primarily in Spanish—starting with a review of the basics, 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 if off and trot it out—and have a lot of fun doing it—esta es la clase para ti. Wondering whether this class is a fit? Llámame at (303) 782-5203. Limited to 10 participants.

Instructor: Worldwide traveler Cyndi Sauvage lived in Spain for several years. As a 15-year veteran of the publishing industry, she has been involved in every aspect of writing, editing, and producing a wide variety of magazines, books, and newspapers.

Instructor: Jane Heath
5 Tuesdays, Mar. 1, 15, 29, Apr. 5, 19
10 am—12 noon

This course is an introduction to color theory and design. We’ll begin with washes, complementary colors, triads, and value, then move on to composition, focal points, and “negative” painting as important elements in the creative process. You’ll learn by doing, with a different project to paint each week, followed by a critique of your own work.

Instructor: Enthusiastic watercolorist and experienced teacher Jane Heath believes people of all ages and abilities can enjoy watercolor painting as a hobby. Her work has appeared in various juried shows in metro Denver.

Computer Super-User: Carri Currier
8 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 14
12:15—1:15 pm
$0 FREE! Drop in
Demonstration & Q&A

Drop in with your computer questions, or just sit in on the topic of the week. We’ll cover 1) file organization, 2) internet search engines, 3) emailing, 4) photographs, 5) Microsoft Word, 6) Microsoft Excel, 7) computer security, and 8) customizing your system. We’ll deal with specific individual problems that can be shared with the group, plus you’ll have handouts you can use at your home computer. Watch Carri use her computer along with a power point presentation.
Although this is a drop-in class, if you sign up ahead of time Carri will send an email and you can mention particular questions or areas of concern. The first class will cover terminology and file organization and go over the topics for each week.

Computer Super-User: Carri Currier started as a computer programmer in the late 60s and eventually owned a computer consulting company that customized off-the-shelf software.

Instructor: Larry Matten
10 Wednesdays, Feb. 23—Apr. 27
1:30—3:30 pm
$20 Chess workbook (you must own, share, or borrow one in order to participate)
Lecture & playing

Give your mind a work-out. Learn the game of kings (and queens). You don’t need to know a thing about chess to have fun in this class, just an interest and willingness to learn this classical game. There will be a weekly tutorial and review of the basic moves and strategies. Learn the algebraic notation for record keeping during a game. Recreate and follow games played by chess masters. There will be chess problems to solve. As students advance, we’ll introduce variants such as speed chess and team chess. Chess boards and pieces will be provided.

Instructor: In addition to his background in biology, botany and law, Larry Matten is an avid chess player. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has coached elementary-school chess teams.

Advanced Beginning, Continued
Instructor: Milt Shioya
8 Thursdays, Feb. 24—Apr. 21 (skip week to be announced)
10 am—12 noon
Lecture, Q&A, playing cards

Advanced Beginning level: Participants will continue learning basic finesses, discarding losers, promoting length, and ruffing. This class is open to those who already have a basic knowledge of bidding including those who play socially. There will be assigned reading, explanations, Q&A, and playing pre-set hands. Those who are uncertain about their ability level should contact Milt Shioya, 303-331-8654.

Required reading: Audrey Grant, Play of the Hand in the 21st Century (Baron Barclay Bridge, 2008).

Recommended reading: Watson, Louis, Watson’s Classic Book on The Play of the Hand at Bridge (Harper Paperbacks, 1971).
Instructor: Milt Shioya (Beginning level) is an avid bridge play who has proven himself at the bridge table as a Silver Life Master with over 2000 master points.

Intermediate, Continued
Instructor: Sally Kneser
8 Tuesdays, Mar. 1—Apr. 19
1:30—3:30 pm
Lecture, Q&A, playing cards

Intermediate level: Participants should already understand and be comfortable using basic finesses, discarding losers, promoting length, and ruffing. Intermediate level bidding is also expected, including a thorough understanding of Stayman, Jacoby transfers, weak twos, and strong two clubs.
This is a continuing class and new participants must receive permission from the instructor, Sally Kneser, 303-770-0788.

Required to have already read, or have equivalent knowledge: Audrey Grant, Play of the Hand in the 21st Century (Baron Barclay Bridge, 2008).

Recommended reading: Watson, Louis, Watson’s Classic Book on The Play of the Hand at Bridge (Harper Paperbacks, 1971).

Instructor: Bridge nut and art groupie Sally Kneser (Intermediate level) is also the Academy’s Director. Sally is a Life Master in bridge and enjoys explaining the basics of the game.

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:30
Third Balcony Center, Row C
$43 (nonmembers $53)
Must be ordered by January 10

Thirty Academy members already have their reservations for Rusalka tickets. Antonin Dvorák’s opera is based on the folk story of a water sprite, Rusalka, who out of love for a mortal man longs to become human. The witch Jezibaba makes Rusalka’s dreams come true. But when the Prince she loves is unfaithful, there are tragic results for all.

Academy Facilitators

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

Dr. Fred Abrams (Doctors on the Edge: Will Your Doctor Break the Rules for You?) is currently medical consultant to the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, Adjunct Professor at University College at DU. In 2003 he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities of the UCHSC. In 2006 he received the Isaac Bell and John Hayes Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism from the American Medical Association.

In 1983 he founded and directed the first community hospital-based center for study and teaching of bioethics, the Center for Applied Biomedical Ethics at Rose Medical Center in Denver, which then provided the training in the 1980s for all the original Colorado hospital ethics committees as well as the Community Ethics Committee sponsored by the Colorado Department of health. In the mid-1980s, he was a leader in the passage of Colorado’s first “Living Will” law.

Fred was Executive Director of the Denver University/ Colorado University Health Ethics and Policy Consortium, Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at UCD and Adjunct Professor of Ethics at the Iliff School of Theology. He directed the Robert Wood Johnson-supported “Colorado Speaks out on Health” project reporting the opinion of thousands of Coloradoans on ethical issues in healthcare and later, the opinions of Colorado doctors on euthanasia. He developed and teaches courses in the “Essentials of Biomedical Ethics,” assisting hospitals, long-term care facilities and communities to create ethics committees for continuing education of staff and public. For over 30 years, he has conducted more than 2000 workshops, lectures, classes and conferences for medical, nursing, legal, clergy, and teaching professionals and for the public on ethical issues.

Jennifer Ballentine (Experts & Entertainers) is Executive Director of the Life Quality Institute and President of The Iris Project, an end-of-life consulting and education initiative.  Formerly, she was Director of Programs for the Colorado Center for Hospice & Palliative Care and has participated in many collaborative projects with state and national organizations involved in end-of-life decision making, advance care planning, and healthcare ethics.  She played a key role in the development and passage of recent changes to Colorado laws on advance directives and end-of-life care.

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 (A More Perfect Union: The Constitution in American Life) was a prosecutor for twenty-eight years, and now is a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals, where he has presided for over four 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 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.

Kathy Boyer (Writing Your Life Stories: Beginning; and Writing Your Life Stories: Finishing Your Project), 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.  Now 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.

Dr. Joan Chase (Experts & Entertainers) got her PhD in Anthropology from the American University in Washington DC with a specialty in Archaeology.  After working for several years on the East Coast, she became interested in the archaeology of Israel and Jordan.  While she was teaching at the University of Maryland she joined a Middle Eastern team which was active in both countries, excavating at several sites dating from 3000 BCE to the modern era.  Joan subsequently obtained a Masters degree in Biblical Interpretation from the Iliff school of Theology and is currently teaching Anthropology at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Originally from Minneapolis, Nancy Collins (Banned Books & Censorship: Does History Repeat Itself) transferred from Macalester College in St. Paul to the University of Denver, met her husband and received a BSBA degree with a specialization in Marketing. After raising a family, working in a church office, and retiring as a franchise co-owner of a printing company, Nancy felt it was time to learn more about the music she enjoys in addition to the rapidly changing world. She remains active in the music program at church, loves gardening, reading, travel, animals, bridge, mah jongg and thoroughly enjoys the class opportunities from the Academy.

Georgi Contiguglia (The World’s Greatest Paintings 1300-1650) was Curator of Decorative and Fine Arts and then President and CEO of the Colorado Historical Society.  At CHS she curated the annual Artists of America exhibition.  She has a Masters Degree in art history, and, early in her career worked at the Brooklyn Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum.  She taught art history in New York and is currently teaching art history at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins.

Ted Couch (World War I) was, for several years, a writer and reporter for United Press and for CBS Radio in Chicago. He then began a 30-year-career in public relations and public affairs for the Bell Telephone System in Chicago, New York, and Denver. He later served as speechwriter and consultant for the CEO’s of U S WEST, the American Indian College Fund, and the Johns-Manville Company.  He says he has been in love with history “for as long as I can remember.” He has had a particular interest in World War I. He has read extensively on it and has walked its battlefields and visited its cemeteries in France. “The Great War transformed our world,” he says. “The Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the crises in the Middle East all have their roots in that war and its aftermath.” Ted has found that with retirement the best was yet to come. He has been active with the Academy since its founding. He has also facilitated several history courses, but this will be his first class as a facilitator for the Academy.

Patricia Cox (Write to Save your Life: Beginning Memoir Writing) 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.

Carri Currier (Computer Tips: BYO PC Questions & Problems) has been involved with computers since the late 1960s when she started work as a programmer.  As the owner of a computer consulting company, she customized off-the-shelf software for her industry. Since retiring in 2006 she has devoted her time to art but uses computers extensively for the numerous board positions in which she serves.  Carri is referred to as a “super user,” meaning she has used a computer a great deal “so I know a little about a lot of things.”  She brings logic and problem-solving skills to any situation.
Carri is a cat lover, and enjoys gardening, travel and the culinary arts.  She is dedicated to recycling and using renewable resources.  She volunteers at the Denver Art Museum and is part owner of a gallery (Colorado Artworks on Santa Fe).

Joyce Deroos (Experts & Entertainers) is the 1981 recipient of the Outstanding Young Women of America Award for volunteerism and leadership in Omaha, Nebraska.  More recently, she has served as President of the Castlewood Garden Club and has chaired the Children’s Social Committee at the Denver Athletic Club.  Joyce retired from Cherry Creek School District after 26 years working as an administrative secretary and office manager at Cherry Creek High School, Eaglecrest High School, Homestead Elementary, and Canyon Creek Elementary.  She is a lover of Opera and was thrilled to volunteer as a Super in the production of “Tosca.”  She has three children and four grandchildren.

A career public school teacher, Sherma Erholm (The Persian Puzzle and Modern Iran) holds a bachelor’s degree in speech and music, and a master’s in communication theory and psychology.   A desire to gain and share an understanding of Iran/Persia, its once rich civilization, and the present love/hate feelings regarding the U.S. has prompted the choice of this subject.

Dr. James Hagadorn (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth), a geoscientist with interests in understanding surface-earth processes – both in deep time and today – is the new Curator of Earth Sciences at the Denver Museum. A recent transplant to Colorado, he is excited about the opportunity to explore and work on the geology of the Rocky Mountains. His research is focused on how animals and microbes first colonized land, what early coastal systems were like, and why organisms started building skeletons.  James has a strong interest in science education.  He received a B.A. in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania. An M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California led to postdoctoral studies at California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, he was an assistant professor of geology at Amherst. He became the Curator of Earth Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2010.

Marty Hartmann (Art Talk / Talk Art) majored in studio art in college & enjoyed a career in museum education at the Newark Museum.  She later shifted into science and was a Planetarium Assistant and Curator of Education at the Denver Museum of Natural History.  She has visited art museums throughout the US and abroad and loves sharing her discoveries.

Jane Heath (Let’s Paint!  Fun with Watercolors) is an experienced teacher who has a passion for painting with water color.  She is a member of the Park Hill Art Club. A few years ago, she volunteered at the Denver Art Museum.  She has been in juried Art Shows and sold in a number of different art venues. Her style is varied and always interesting. Many local artists and national artists have been her instructors. Her  favorite instructor is Don Andrews. Jane believes that painting in water color is a wonderful hobby to be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. She will share her enthusiasm with her class.

Dr. Michael Hitchcock (Experts & Entertainers) was born and raised in Minnesota but attended Medical school and did his residency in Washington, D.C.  He served as a doctor in Vietnam and California in the Army, and has practiced Neurosurgery for 25 years in the south Denver area.  After retirement, he received a Masters of Astronomy with special interest in Astrobiology and he is presently doing volunteer work with the Rotary Club, International Health and Hunger, and helping at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

In order to stay engaged in lifelong learning, Dr. George Ho (Experts & Entertainers, Making and Sharing Good End-of-Life Choices) discovered the Academy through the writing courses during the Spring term 2010.  There appears to be an opportunity to take his knowledge, experience and talent to develop programs in the areas of his expertise and passion to help members of the Academy navigate the health care system through information and self-exploration.  After full retirement, he also plans to volunteer in the area of hospice work and nature preservation (Bluff Lake and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal).  He lives in Stapleton with is wife, Katherine, and they have three successful and married children and six grandchildren (four of whom live in Colorado).

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. 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.

Devin Patrick Hughes (Cultural Impact on Musical Styles) is in his third season as Music Director of the Boulder Symphony and continues to serve as Music Director of the Denver Contemporary Chamber Players. He has most recently held posts as Resident Conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant Conductor for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra.  He was selected with eleven other young conductors to participate in the International Arturo Toscanini Conducting Competition in Italy.

An avid performer and promoter of the music of our time, Devin has initiated a composer-in-residence program with the Boulder Symphony.  This season the Boulder Symphony will feature and premiere works of Luis Jorge Gonzales, Arturo Marquez, Ozie Cargile, Chip Michael and Colin Thurmond.  In collaboration with Longmont’s Alternatives for Youth and the Longmont Youth Symphony, he also began an annual Latin American Festival, celebrating the shared cultural traditions of North, Central and Latin America through music and dance.

As founder and Music Director of the Denver Contemporary Chamber Players, a group dedicated to highlighting local composers and exploring the interplay of music, theatre, art and dance, Devin commissioned and performed multiple musical responses to exhibitions in the Museum of Contemporary Art during Denver Arts Week.  He is equally active in the choral and operatic repertoire, Devin has conducted many orchestras across the United States, Canada and Europe including the Colorado Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Green Bay Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini (Italy), Oradea Philharmonic (Romania) and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic).  He has been featured during Colorado Spotlight with Charley Samson on Colorado Public Radio and at the Lamont School of Music he was the recipient of the Leon Guide Conducting Award, the Harry Albertson Scholarship and was granted the Jeff Bradley Musical Development Award numerous times.

John L. Kane, Jr., (Banned Books & Censorship:  Does History Repeat Itself?) a Senior United States District Judge, will speak on “Sin, Liberty, and Law” to Academy members and to the general public, on March 1st 2011.  He will return to The Academy to lead off the final session of the “Banned Books” course on April 19th 2011.  Judge Kane was nominated to the Federal bench in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter.   He was educated at the University of Colorado, where he majored in English Literature, and at the University of Denver, which awarded him a J.D. in 1970 and, twenty-seven years later, an honorary LL.D.  After founding one of Colorado’s first racially integrated legal practices, Judge Kane was appointed Adams County Public Defender in 1965.  He was the first to hold that position.  From 1967 to 1969 he served as a Peace Corps deputy director in Calcutta, India, then as a country representative in Turkey.  He has taught at CU and DU and at Trinity College Dublin.  His recent Federal cases include Arnold Zaler, the “Hot Dog Swindler,” in 2009 and the death penalty appeal of Nathan Dunlap, the “Chuck E. Cheese murderer,” in 2010.

Judge Kane says his friends were not necessarily so impressed when he first ascended from trial lawyer to judge.  “What’s the difference?” they asked.  His response?  “Well for the first time in my life, I’m actually listening rather than waiting for someone to be quiet so I can come back with a quick repartee.”  And people appreciate that, “especially in a court, where they’ve waited so long for somebody to listen.  One of my pet peeves is when a judge isn’t paying attention. And a court is a sort of secular temple, where people come and they expect to be heard,” he says.  “And they should be.”

Judge Kane’s views on some First Amendment issues are well known.  For instance, he has asserted both the freedom and the responsibilities of religious practice in civilized modern states.  “One of the dominant themes of human history, religious intolerance,” he has lamented, “unhappily continues with the ferocity and relentlessness of all that is evil in the human spirit. . . . If my right to practice my religion is diminished, then so is yours.  If your right to be free from supporting mine is traduced, then so is mine.”   Although he has less often articulated his positions on literary censorship and freedom of the press, his audience can expect an equally broad and nuanced appraisal of these issues.  While they wait for his lecture, Academy members may wish to ponder a statement from his essay “Judging Credibility”: “To paraphrase the novelist Frank Delaney, we join our myths with facts according to our feelings, and we choose what we believe from what we are told. We bring to the facts our feelings, our experiences, and our desires. What we believe is what harmonizes the totality of this combination.

Dr. Kirk Johnson (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) studies fossil plants, terrestrial stratigraphy, geochronology and dinosaur extinction and works in a museum environment where good science and public communication of science are equally valued. He has published many popular and scientific articles on topics ranging from fossil plants and modern rainforests to the ecology of whales and walruses. He is best known for his research on fossil plants that is widely accepted as some of the most convincing support for the theory that an asteroid impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Since 1997, he has supervised the Denver Basin Project, a multidisciplinary NSF-funded effort to understand and interpret the paleontology, geology, and hydrology of the rocks beneath Denver. This work has led to the discovery and analysis of a 64 million-year-old tropical rainforest in Colorado. His research has also taken him to Alaska’s Bering Sea, the Brazilian Amazon, the Canadian High Arctic, the rainforests of New Zealand, the Gobi desert, India, China, Patagonia, and the American West. He is presently working on research projects in Patagonia, Manchuria, Wyoming, and Denver.

Conrad Kehn (Modern Women Composers) is a performer, composer, improviser, educator, writer and artist. He serves as a lecturer of Music Technology and Music Theory at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. He is the founding Director of The Playground, a chamber ensemble dedicated to modern music. An award winning composer, His style spans all genres touching on electro-acoustic music, multimedia works, graphic scores, aleatory, and experimental rock, but still remains grounded in the western music tradition. His music has been performed across the US including Issue Project Room (NY), Audio Inversions (Austin, TX), Pendulum New Music Series (CU-Boulder), and the Summer New Music Symposium at Colorado College. As a vocalist, he specializes in improvisation, contemporary music, and the use of electronics. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music and Recording Technology from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (1996). He also has a Master’s Degree in Composition from Lamont (2000) where he was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in Composition and the Outstanding Graduate Student in Commercial Music. In 2010 he completed an MBA at the Daniels College of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship and Non-profit Management.

Jim Kneser (Dissecting Current Economic Issues and Take me to your Lieder: Focus on Schubert) is in his fourteenth year of leading classes in economics, public policy, and music. He has facilitated over fifteen classes in music, focusing on the Germanic tradition from Bach to Mahler and from sonatas to opera.  He has led over 50 classes with over 3,000 class members.  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.

Sally Kneser (Bridge:  Intermediate Play of the Hand, Cont.) 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.

Dr. Lenny Kramish (Bible Metaphors) has his Ph.D. in Adult Education and Gerontology.  He is the Director of Education for Union of American Hebrew Congregations.  He is widely recognized as a Fellow in religious education.  Lenny is the author of numerous educational materials in secular and religious education and in the past he was an instructor at the University of Georgia, Triton Community College, and the University of Colorado.  He also serves as the National Director of Development for The National Association to Prevent Blindness.  In his spare time, He is a professional musician (jazz vocalist and piano player).

Dr. Toni Larson (New Demographics:  Colorado Schools & Their Challenges) serves as executive director of Independent Higher Education of Colorado, the nonprofit agency responsible for public policy research and lobbying for Colorado College, Regis University, and the University of Denver.  She keeps abreast of state and federal issues, especially as they affect higher education. To relax Toni enjoys biking, music, movies, reading, theater, and her grandchildren.
Janet Lewis (Talk Art / Art Talk) was a high school teacher and a manager of an architectural design firm.  She is a world traveler and has taken numerous art-focused trips abroad.  She is currently volunteering at the DAM.

Dr.Martin Lockley (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) recently retired from the University of Colorado at Denver, Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, where he taught paleontology and served as Curator/Director of the CU-MWC fossil footprint collection. He is internationally known for an expert on dinosaur tracks and is the founder and director of the Dinosaur Trackers Research Group. His most recent book, How Humanity Came Into Being: The Evolution of Consciousness, explores the evidence for the development of human consciousness.

Barb Lundy (Poetry Workshop: Challenging Your Muse) gave herself poetry for her 50th birthday, picking up a dream she’d lost sight of while raising her children and nurturing her career.  In the intervening decade, she has had nearly 100 poems published in JAMA, the Potomac Review and The MacGuffin. Barb was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry in 2006. Barb is listed in the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, is a member of the Colorado Authors League and enjoys sharing her love of the craft through teaching, readings and as a member of three writing groups. Writing has always been part of her income-generating jobs and she taught writing for many years at Arapahoe Community College. Barb currently works with people with traumatic brain injuries and intellectual disabilities.

Lois Martin (Experts and Entertainers) came to Denver by way of Philadelphia and Nebraska. She was a major 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.

Dr. Larry Matten (Chess for Fun, The Best of Sci Fi Lit, Putting Your House in Order (Life and Death Decisions) started teaching science when he turned 21.  Most of his teaching experience was as a Professor at Southern Illinois University.  He has taught over 10,000 students in his large general biology and general botany courses.  He was major advisor for 5 Ph.D.’s and 15 Master’s students.  His area of interest has been on early land plants.  Larry has published extensively, received numerous grants, been the president of his national professional organization, is a past editor of the international journal Palaeontographica, and has had two species of fossils named in his honor.  He retired from academia after the death of his wife of 36 years and changed careers.  He received his law degree in 2000, passed the bar and went into private practice as an Elder Law Attorney in the firm of Solem, Mack & Steinhoff, P.C.  His practice has specialized on estate planning that includes: powers of attorney, guardianships, conservatorships, wills, trusts, and probate.  He also represented clients having Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security issues. Larry is a trained mediator/arbitrator and is currently doing arbitrations for the Better Business Bureau.  He has recently retired from the practice of law and has returned to his first love, teaching.

Dr. Vincent McGuire (The Constitution:  Madison’s Vision)  was born in Brooklyn.  He received a B.A. in politics from the University of Colorado and then returned to New York for a Masters Degree in Political Science from New York University. His thesis was an analysis of the politics and policies of acid rain. Vincent taught High School Social Studies from 1980-1987. Returning to CU in 1989, he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1995. His dissertation was on liberalism and republicanism at the American Founding. As a Senior Instructor in the Farrand Residence Academic Program and the Kittredge Honors Program he teaches a variety of courses from American Government to Western Political Thought. He is the Faculty Liaison to the Honor Code as well as the advisor to two Honor societies. Happily married, Vincent has three children and two dogs. His non-academic interests are in classic films, travel and debunking accepted conventions.

Robin McNeil (The Real John Cage) 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 over three hundred 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.

Karyl Meyer (Exploring Scriptures from the Major Religions) is a retired theatre, speech and math teacher and training coordinator. She also directed high school theatre productions and coached debate teams. While teaching, she was active in the National Thespian Society, serving on the Colorado State Board and directing their annual college/university auditions.  Through studying scriptures, particularly the Bible and the Quran, she was intrigued by the questions of how these books came to be and how they have changed over time.  Thus she was motivated to develop this course with Walt while exploring and examining these issues.  Karyl and Walt, who is co-teaching this course with her, have been married 47 years and have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Walt Meyer (Islam: From Muhammad to the Ground Zero Mosque and Exploring Scriptures from the Major Religions) 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.

Dr. Ian Miller (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) first began working at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as an undergraduate at Colorado College during the late 1990s. He received his PhD in geology and geophysics from Yale University and returned to the Museum in 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow. Ian began as curator of paleobotany and invertebrate paleontology in 2008.

He studies fossil plants, paleoclimate, paleoecology, and tectonics. His research focuses on how fossil plants can be used to estimate paleoclimate, and, in turn, how that information can be used to determine how the earth has changed on geologic time scales. He is also a taxonomist who studies Late Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic fossil floras from North America.

His current research projects include studying the uplift of the Colorado Front Range; the paleolatitudinal displacement of Cretaceous and Paleogene terranes on the west coast of North America; plant extinction and diversity changes across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Denver Basin; and the taxonomy of select Late Jurassic through Eocene floras in the American West.

Dr. Jim Mingle (Literary Walks in Great Britain) has combined his love of literature and walking into a unique journey.  Over the past 10 years he has walked more than 1500 miles from one end of Great Britain to the other – visiting the venues of much of the great literature of England, Scotland, and Wales.  Jim earned his PhD from the University of Michigan and spent much of his career as the director of a professional association for university administrators.  He has been teaching at the Academy since 2004.

After Pam Mingle (The Changing Face of Teen Lit) retired from her career as a teacher and librarian, she began to pursue her lifelong dream of writing for children and young adults. Her most recent novel is a YA time travel fantasy called Kissing Shakespeare.

Bradford K. Mudge, (Banned Books & Censorship: Does History Repeat Itself?) a Professor of English at University of Colorado, Denver, returns to The Academy on March 15 2011 to engage “Banned Books” course members in a discussion of pornography.  Professor Mudge is the author of two books and many articles on libertine literature, sexuality and gender, and the history and concept of pornography.  His book The Whore’s Story: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel was named an outstanding academic book by the library journal Choice in 2002.

Tyree O’shea (Experts & Entertainers) is the Community Resource Coordinator for the Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services (ERIS) and is also a part time Sponsorship and Development Assistant to Genevieve Cruz, working on special projects.  She primarily focuses on raising funds for the agency as well as community outreach and education.  Previously, she was a volunteer with C3 Initiatives and worked in case management and event planning.

Dr. Bob Raynolds (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth), a consulting geologist who has lived in Denver for more than 20 years, is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. His study of the sedimentary rocks that accumulated at the foot of the Himalayas led him to study similar rocks in the Denver Basin that record the uplift of the Front Range. Bob earned his Masters from Stanford University and his PhD from Dartmouth College. He has taught at the Center for Excellence in Geology at Peshawar University in Pakistan, at Dartmouth College, and at the Colorado School of Mines as an adjunct faculty member.

Cyndi Sauvage (Chatting in Espanol II) is a 15-year veteran of the publishing industry and has been involved in every aspect of writing, editing and producing a wide variety of magazines, books and newspapers (commercial and trade) in Colorado and New York City.   She is a worldwide traveler to over 75 countries, and lived for several years in Spain. She speaks Spanish and French, is learning Chinese and was the original author of Karen Brown’s Country Inn Guides to Spain and Portugal. A lifelong learner, she is always enrolled in a class or two that captures her interest. She is also a part-time teacher, freelance writer, editor and language tutor based in Denver, where she is a member of the Denver World Affairs Council and the Institute of International Education. Cyndi received her BA in Spanish and French from the University of Colorado–Boulder, where she also taught Spanish while pursuing a graduate degree in Latin American Literature.

Rick Schaler, MD (Afghanistan in Transition) originally planned to teach Economics.    A college counselor convinced him to explore chemistry, calculus and biology which instead led to a successful career in medicine.  Rick has always been intensely curious, especially regarding the history and development of other cultures and minored in Judaic Studies.  Through all of these academic evolutions, he kept his sense of history and  humor, though not necessarily in that order.   You’ll find him entertaining, well-informed and a bit unbalanced.   His interest in Afghanistan has been fueled by current events and his daughter Heidi’s job as the Executive Director of Friends of The American University of Afghanistan, an organization dedicated to higher education in Afghanistan.   Heidi has been to Afghanistan twice and her involvement in this organization has contributed to Rick’s interest in the country and its history.

Ed Schreiber (Experts & Entertainers) was born during World War II to an aristrocratic fascist Catholic family in Zagreb, Croatia, and educated in communist schools in Yugoslavia before coming to the U.S. at thirteen. Ed Schreiber finished high school in Dearborn, Michigan and then served for six years in the U.S. Army as a musician, mostly in France.  Ed played piano in Denver night clubs while studying engineering at the University of Colorado, and had a distinguished career in the computer industry.  Ed has also been a race driver, a taxi driver in Paris, an amateur actor, a radio talk show host, and a Democratic candidate for Congress.

Milt Shioya (Bridge: Advanced Beginning Play of the Hand, Cont.) is an avid bridge play who has proven himself at the bridge table with more than 1000 master points, and thus a Silver Life Master.  He retired from being the Tournament Assistant for the Denver Sectional Tournaments.  He has taught sessions on Introduction to Duplicate Bridge and has traveled widely to compete in regional and national tournaments.  Milt enjoys classical music, traveling, fine dining, hiking, and a good joke.

Ralph Stern (Experts & Entertainers: Concepts of God) has spent the past 40 years reading about 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 more intensity and transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is conservative, and 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.

Dr. Richard Stucky (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) is the Curator of Paleoecology & Evolution at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  He began his career at the Denver Museum in 1971, and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in vertebrate paleontology from the University of Colorado in 1982.  He worked at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a post-doctoral fellow and assistant curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, prior to becoming the DMNH Curator of Paleontology and Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences in 1989.  He was the science director for the Prehistoric Journey exhibition that won the Curator’s Award from the American Association of Museums in 1996.  Richard studies the evolution of fossil mammals and their ecological communities.  He is currently studying the relationship between climate change and ecosystem evolution.  Richard is involved in the Teen Science Scholar Program at the Denver Museum, engaging high school youth in authentic scientific research.

Dr. Robin Sweeney (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) is the Director of the Office of the Environment at the Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office, where she is in charge of Environmental Oversight of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as the National Environmental Policy Act review of renewable energy technologies.   Prior to joining the Golden Field Office, she was the Construction Manager at the Yucca Mountain Office in Las Vegas, NV.  During her 20 year tenure with the US Department of Energy, she has worked on a wide range of environmental programs and sites.  Prior to becoming a federal employee, she was a consultant and owned her own business.  She has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, an M.S. in Geosciences from University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University.

Dr. Louis H. Taylor (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth), a vertebrate paleontologist and Research Associate in the Earth Science Department of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, currently teaches courses in the museum’s paleontological certification program. His research has included studies of paleoenvironments, paleomagnetism, Paleocene mammals, Pleistocene mammals, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in China.  He worked as a paleontologist, geologist, and supervisor in the geological laboratories of Texaco, Inc.  He has been active in the Western Interior Paleontological Society, and serves on the board of directors for the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge.

Mary Taylor (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) is a retired high school science teacher who never lost her fascination with the dynamic systems that shape our earth and all life on it.  Her connections to educators and researchers in natural history and the earth sciences have resulted in a stunning line-up of speakers for the spring course.   Just as the present is the key to the past (a foundational concept in geology), so is an understanding of the past a key to peering into the future.

Dr. Sue Ware (Scientific Insights into the Story of Life on Planet Earth) is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in the departments of Earth Sciences & Zoology. She is a paleopathologist who studies disease and death in the fossil record. Sue is a trained forensic anthropologist and osteologist and studies ancient peoples, their bones, and their mortuary practices.

Dr. Paulette Wasserstein (Contemporary American Short Stories:  Repeat of Fall 2010) 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 teacher training K-12 to raise literacy levels for students.

Charlotte S. Waisman, Ph.D. (The Power of Women: Herstory & Your Story) is a Principal with The AthenA Group, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in organizational culture change, multidimensional leadership and workforce excellence.  Charlotte was instrumental in the development of the Women’sVision Leadership Institute, an intensive leadership program of the Women’sVision Foundation, designed to accelerate the career paths of mid and upper level corporate women. Charlotte’s book, The Leadership Training Activity Book, Amacom Press, 2005, is a reflection of the work of the Institute.  Charlotte’s primary focus is executive coaching, curricula development and training opportunities.  In 2008, Charlotte co-authored with Jill Tietjen, HER STORY: A Timeline of the Women who Changed America, published by HarperCollins.  The book is a highly visual depiction of over 850 American women who have been influential in our country’s history.  As a national champion and advocate for women she has been going across the country to acquaint audiences with the book by doing workshops, keynote presentations and speeches.

One of the Academy’s most accredited facilitators, Rear Admiral Richard (Dick) E. Young (America’s History: Impact of the Electoral College) knowledge of both military history and politics make him ideally suited for an exploration of this period in our country.  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 over 50 years, and his four grown daughters.