In This Section

Instructor Bios

Spring 2018

*Indicates that some teaching services, in addition to A Taste of OLLI presentations, are donated to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University.

*Janis Adams has been leader of the Classic Book Club in Litchfield for several semesters.

*Richard Aidoo is an assistant professor of politics and adviser for global studies in the Department of Politics at CCU. He holds a Ph.D. in political science (international relations and comparative politics) from Miami University of Ohio. Aidoo teaches introduction to world politics, contemporary African politics, and international political economy. He also teaches a special topics course in political science that incorporates the themes and activities of the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway. His current research focuses on the varied impacts of the expanding role of China in the changing political economies of African states. Aidoo has published in different academic journals, and he is also the author of a collection of op-eds on Sino-Africa relations.

*Bill Alexander has been continually licensed in property/casualty as well as life and health insurance and bonds since 1983. He taught real estate licensing courses in the 1980s at York Technical College in Rock Hill, S.C.

Susan Allen has had several careers in her lifetime, but the two passions she has had throughout her life are horses and crafts. She has been making pine straw baskets for many years. Allen finds gourd art exciting and ever so fun. She has won numerous state awards for her wood carvings. She enjoys seeing her students learn new crafts and skills; her desire is for her students to learn a new craft for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Liane Ammerman is a retired OR nurse educator living part time in Indiana and part time in Myrtle Beach. He plays the piano, handbells, guitar and ukulele and is an active member of the TrU Ukes, a ukulele group in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Gary Assadourian attended Rutgers College and Columbia University (New York). He is an artist-in-residence with the S.C. Arts Commission for musical composition. He taught at St. James Seminary in Jerusalem, Israel, on Mount Zion. He worked as a missionary in Armenia and pursued religious studies at St. Nerses Seminary in New York. He has spent years studying world religions, philosophy and cultures.

*Samih Baalbaki was born and raised in Lebanon and studied (in Arabic and French) Lebanese and French constitutional and civil laws. He spent the last 17 years of his career in the Middle East before retiring (back to the U.S.) in 2012. Baalbaki began teaching at OLLI@CCU in September 2012. For OLLI, he conducts programs covering Islam and the political situation in the Middle East. He also leads weekly Middle East current events discussion groups, a bi-weekly world events club as well as a bi-weekly French conversation club. He is a member of the OLLI Advisory Board.

Bill and Brenda Barber show us that just because you’ve gotten a little older it doesn’t mean you can’t still dance. They were the 2015 winners in the Seniors Division of the National Shag Dance Championship that is held in Myrtle Beach and are some of the best dancers in the shag world.

Lydia Barrows is a Bible teacher with a respectful view of the Bible as a gift. In preparing each lesson, she aims to teach within the Biblical context with Hebraic roots, connections, and applications for personal growth and understanding. Her education at Bible College and the Jerusalem University College in Israel have impacted her life as well as her approach in teaching the Bible. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of three with whom she enjoys “doing” life.

Lindsey Bell is an associate professor of statistics with a Ph.D. from Florida State University. She has a passion for making this sometimes intimidating subject accessible for everyone. When Bell is not busy teaching and learning, she enjoys spending time practicing yoga and going on adventures with her husband and two sons.

Andrea Bergstrom earned both her master’s and doctoral degrees in communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Bergstrom was awarded the Palleschi-Hart Teaching Fellowship for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and was also a Distinguished Teacher Award University Finalist while at UMass. She is co-author of the book “The O.C.: A Critical Understanding” (2014), as well as multiple journal articles and encyclopedia entries. Bergstrom has presented her work on media literacy, media effects and representations within popular culture at regional, national and international conferences.

Priscille Boisvert owned a craft and design studio in Massachusetts for 30 years where she taught water-colors, oil and acrylic painting, as well as knitting and many other forms of needlework. She also designed a line of stencils that sold both in the United States and Europe. She has taught in the OLLI program for the past five years.

Isabelle Boyd is a registered yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist. Her training in 1992 was in kripalu yoga, also known as meditation in motion. She began teaching in Myrtle Beach and continues teaching in Pawleys Island. She earned a 200-hour certification from Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, S.C., and a trip to the Integral Yoga Ashram in Virginia brought her back to the basics of the practice. Continuing education is an important aspect of her training, and she currently holds a certification in restorative yoga and quantum reiki. Boyd’s studio is Bella Luna Spa in Pawleys Island where yoga, massage, angel cards and astrology are studied in small groups.

Jen Boyle, who holds a Ph.D. in English and M.A. in comparative literature from the University of California at Irvine, teaches and writes about questions of media transformation and theories of mediation. Her scholarship and teaching explore “new” media objects and performance; bodies and technology; and the virtual and material flows of objects and information through networks, from the 17th century to the digital present.

Lee Gordon Brockington is a senior interpreter at Hobcaw Barony and a historian, educator and author. She has assisted SC-ETV with the award-winning “Between the Waters Project,” an interactive digital documentary of Hobcaw Barony. A former curator at the Historic Columbia Foundation and history consultant, Brockington served on Pawleys Island Town Council before and after Hurricane Hugo. She is a native South Carolinian and a Lowcountry resident since 1984.

*W. Taber Brown is a wealth adviser and financial planner with Duprez Financial in Myrtle Beach. He is recognized as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®). Brown, his wife (Dr. Alexis Brown) and their daughter reside in Murrells Inlet, S.C. 

Erin Burge, an associate professor of marine biology, has participated in projects ranging from using underwater videos to study fish populations to evaluating ecological changes on Caribbean coral reefs. Burge, whose research interests include environmental immunology, molecular physiology, and molecular biology of marine invertebrates and fishes, earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William & Mary.

Patrick Burger, a former state of Pennsylvania resident artist, has worked with glass for 35 years and taught the art of fusing glass to all ages. His work has appeared in galleries and museum shops from New York to Florida. His fused glass jewelry is available for sale in the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Myrtle Beach Art Museum gift shop, and he is a donating artist to the museum’s annual Collectors’ Event.

*Evelyn Byrns has been co-leader of the Classic Book Club in Myrtle Beach for several semesters.

*Judy Chamberlain is an instructor for AARP Driver Safety Program.

*Lee Carter is the director of Wellness Outreach at Coastal Carolina University. She has been working in the field of alcohol and other drugs and violence education and prevention with college students for close to 15 years.

*Anne Commerton earned a bachelor of arts in English from William Smith College and a master’s in information studies from Syracuse University. She was an Air Force librarian for eight years (four in Germany) and then an academic librarian at Syracuse University and director of Libraries and Learning Resources at the State University of New York College at Oswego. She has always been a writer and was published in several professional journals as well as writing for the New York State Library. She has taken many courses in writing, including the memoir class at OLLI. She is currently working on a novel.

Alli Crandell is a humanities-trained designer whose digital practice focuses on creating hand-crafted digital publications and projects where form is informed by content. Crandell started her career as a humanist among computer scientists and engineers thinking about what “place,” “space” and “history” meant in digital projects. Before coming to CCU, she worked in a plethora of positions that required translating between disciplines, between form and function, an instructor of engineering history to engineers, digital consultant for grant projects and bespoke digital publication designer for punctum books. As the director of digital initiatives, Crandell serves as a project manager for The Athenaeum Press, Coastal’s innovative multimedia publishing lab, where she works with students across the University to create regionally-specific and professional-level publications. She also works as the primary facilitator of a wide range of digital infrastructure and media production projects for the Edwards College.

Eric Crawford holds a Ph.D. in musicology from The Catholic University of America. His research focuses on the rich tradition of Gullah music, specifically the retentions and alterations that have occurred since the antebellum period. Beginning in 2007, he conducted extensive field recordings on Saint Helena Island, site of the historic Port Royal Experiment, and his transcriptions are held at the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In 2013, he participated in the Saint Helena Island Gullah Spirituals project, which was a collaborative effort among scholars and students to preserve and foster the study of the earliest recorded Negro spirituals. In 2014, The Athenaeum Press released a CD of his field recordings and accompanying booklet to the general public. Crawford is currently working on his book on the Saint Helena Island spirituals entitled “De Ole Sheep Done Know De Road: In Search of the Gullah Spiritual,” and he is conducting field recordings on historic Sandy Island, S.C.

*Maryann Crimi is the co-leader of the Myrtle Beach Education Center’s writing club. She has been an OLLI member since 2012 and has taken a variety of courses.

Dan Cross began taking martial arts in 1979 through the Isshin Ryu Karate system. He owned his own dojo for approximately five years in Elkton, Md. He is certified to offer classes in defensive tactics, emergency response, handling hostile situations, rape prevention and self-defense.

Christine Davis earned an Ed.D. in instructional technology and distance learning. A retired school administrator and university faculty member, she now focuses on the use of technology for genealogical applications. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society and the South Strand Genealogy Club.

Carl DiLorenzo is a retired information technology management consultant. He worked for IBM for 33 years. His iPhone/iPad course has been a success in the Murrells Inlet International Club and has been featured in a local newspaper.

Joe DiSabatino is a retired psychotherapist with a lifelong interest in Eastern spiritual teachings and practices, especially how these practices can help us navigate the stresses of contemporary life. He lived and studied in India for more than four years. In addition, he is a painter who has had an enduring love affair with great art. He has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, visiting many of the major museums and galleries that house some of the world’s greatest paintings and sculptures.

Susan Duke, an award-winning watercolorist, has been an art instructor for nearly 30 years, the past dozen at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Myrtle Beach Art Museum and the past decade for the adult education program (now OLLI). Her loose, flowing style applied to florals, landscapes, still-lifes and abstracts can be seen in area galleries.

*Anne Duncan has led the OLLI Contemporary Book Club since 2005. She believes that this book club has chosen books which have helped its members remain knowledgeable about society’s important issues through reading high-quality fiction and nonfiction. Many members have been active in the book club for more than a decade.

*Ralph Edwards is an instructor for AARP Driver Safety Program.

*Ellen Elliott is a graduate of Cornell University and the State University of New York at Albany. She worked for 38 years as executive director of a community education organization, and, after retirement, was a partner in a consulting firm which specialized in organization development for nonprofit agencies, including strategic planning, board training and organization assessment. As a volunteer, she served on several community boards and is a member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Simone Esquibel is a professional mosaic artist who has been creating mosaics since 2004. Her mosaic projects include fine art, home decor and signage. She particularly enjoys teaching others to mosaic, creating a safe environment to learn new skills, explore one’s creativity, and take in the mindful meditative experience inherent for so many with the mosaicing process.

*Alice McInvaill Estes is a juried and award-winning artist and art instructor; she has taught drawing, painting, batik, sculpture and needlework during the past 30 years in South Carolina. She has taught children and adults at local recreation centers, churches, schools and colleges. Estes helped paint the exterior wall murals at two Myrtle Beach recreation centers. A native of Myrtle Beach, she has served as past president, vice president and secretary of the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild, and has belonged to Seacoast Artist Guild, leading art demos and workshops for both groups.

*Kathleen Fair has had a love affair with history for most of her life, even surviving teaching history to middle schoolers for more than four decades. She loves to share the “stories” of history.

David Fattaleh has been a professional photographer more than 35 years. As a studio/portrait photographer, state photographer for the West Virginia Division of Tourism, freelance photographer and educator, he has experience in all formats of photography. Fattaleh’s work has been shown in many publications throughout the United States and abroad. He has conducted presentations at local high schools, photography clubs, city and state conventions, and business luncheons. Fattaleh is a member of the Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) and the Tidelands Photography Club.

Eleanor Ferrar earned her doctorate from New York University. She taught acting, directing and playwriting in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at City University of New York and also at La Sapienza (University of Rome) (in Italian) and a private, professional acting school in Rome.

Joseph Fitsanakis specializes in intelligence with an emphasis on international espionage, writing and teaching extensively on the subject. His work has been translated into several languages and referenced in media outlets, including The Washington Post, BBC, ABC and Newsweek. Before joining Coastal Carolina University’s Intelligence and National Security Studies program, Fitsanakis built the Security and Intelligence Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies.

*Roy Frost is the leader of the iPad Club and is from Binghamton, New York.

George Fust is the 2015 Recipient Lieutenant General Sidney T. Weinstein Award for Excellence in Military Intelligence. His tactical and technical competence provided credibility for the military intelligence corps across the European Command Area of Operations and greatly contributed to strengthening the alliance. He was selected to serve as the military intelligence company commander for the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy. During a complex and evolving time in Europe and the Middle East, he developed a culture of readiness and resiliency for his unit and was able to execute decentralized, multinational operations in support of five named operations in six countries with great success. In one year, he led elements in 13 different countries in support of allied and partnered nations.

Larry Gates, a retired psychology professor, earned a Ph.D. from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He did additional study at Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

*Veronica Davis Gerald is the director of the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies, vice chair of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and an assistant professor of English at Coastal Carolina University.    

Anne Gladis has more than 30 years of floral experience. She is the founder of Special Arrangements, a firm that designed flowers for hotels, weddings and conference venues. She has also taught floral arrangement designing using fresh flowers and silk flower design.

*Doris J. Gleason has been with AARP since 1993 and is director of community outreach for AARP in South Carolina. Gleason currently serves on the board of the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation and is a member of the Waccamaw American Leadership Forum - Class III. She is the recipient of AARP’s 2015 National McKoy Award for work with veterans. Born and raised in New York City, Gleason spent time in New Jersey and Atlanta, Ga., prior to relocating to South Carolina in 2006. She holds a degree in business management from SUNY-Empire State College at Saratoga Springs and her passions include family, reading, cooking, the beach and animals.

*Pat Golembiewski was born and raised in Reading, Pa. She has had a varied career and a love affair with plants for more than 50 years. She had a wedding cake, pastry and floral design business for more than 25 years. Custom chocolates were a specialty. In addition, she was a full-service bridal consultant. Aside from that, she kept busy gardening and helped form the Laureldale Garden Club in 1965. Pat was a member of the Wyomissing Area Garden Club (WAGC) for more than two decades, she was a photographer for the WAGC meetings and flower shows, she was president of the Berks County Orchid Society (BCOS) for approximately 15 years; and she was the chairman of various flower shows in the garden club as well as the BCOS. As you can probably guess, Pat loves to grow unusual varieties of plants.

John Gore is a caring and compassionate tai chi chaun and qigong practitioner with the ability to design classes for the development of mind and body experiences. He has taught for several years and is proficient in tai chi 108 postures, long form. He studied with grandmaster William C.C. Chen, Terence Dunn, Adeline Ge, M.D., and Master Moy Lin Shin, founder of the Taoist Tai Chi Society. Gore has also coordinated social services for at-risk youth, been a taxi driver and is an Air Force veteran.

*Susan Verbeke Granger moved to this area recently from Saratoga County, N.Y., where she managed a New York State program that assisted veterans with readjustment issues. In addition, she worked for 15 years as an adjunct faculty member at a college in New York, teaching courses in Health and Human Services. Granger is a retired military member, having served more than 29 years as a Navy senior chief hospital corpsman. She is delighted to meet new people at OLLI and she looks forward to enjoying dinners at some of the Grand Strand restaurants.

Marsha Greens career as an international tour director and expedition ship cruise director has spanned every continent, including Antarctica. Currently teaching tai chi and tutoring French in Pawleys Island, Green is certified by the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach “Tai Chi for Arthritis,” “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention” and “Seated Tai Chi.” She is dedicated to empowering people to improve their health by making tai chi accessible to all regardless of physical level.

*Luz Greene holds an advertising and social communication degree; she brings extensive experience in leading and training large and diverse workforces. She speaks English and Spanish fluently and is an advocate for the Spanish-speaking community. Her teaching experiences include graduate-level courses, exclusive seminars and professional workshops for adults and children. She loves to travel and dance; this led to her becoming a Zumba instructor. In addition to being passionate about Spanish history, education and tradition, Greene very much enjoys talking about Spanish culture and language.

*Chris Gunn, assistant professor of history at Coastal Carolina University, earned his Ph.D. at Florida State University in 2014. He has spent nearly six years living and researching abroad in Budapest, Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya, and his primary research interests include Turkey, Cyprus, the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Eastern Mediterranean, transnational political violence and reconciliation. He teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire, the modern Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and terrorism.

*Cindi Hall is an OLLI staff member. Music has always been a big part of her life. She is a songwriter and recording artist, nominated in 2011 and 2012 in the Georgia Country Awards Female Artist category. Two of her original songs on “Sleepin’ with the Window Open” were finalists in the 2010 CMT Listener’s Choice Competition as well as the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, both of which are major songwriting competitions. For the past few years, Hall’s musical emphasis has been directing musical theater. She has many years of experience directing choral groups of all ages and enjoys bringing people together to join voices in song. She is excited to share her love of music and singing to begin a new special interest group, The OLLI Singers.

Angelos Hannides is an assistant professor in the Department of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University. He studied at the University of Miami, Stony Brook University, and the University of Hawaii, from which he earned his Ph.D. in 2008. He’s interested in coastal sands as a natural medium and an eco-habitat, in modern technologies that help us observe the ocean’s biogeochemistry everywhere all the time, and science’s role in informing marine public policy.

*Sally Z. Hare is the Coastal Carolina University Singleton Distinguished Professor Emerita and president of still learning, inc. She served for more than a decade as dean of the graduate school at Coastal. With a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and postgraduate work at Harvard University and Smith College, Hare is proud to be the founder of OLLI, then called Third Quarter, about 30 years ago. She received the 2002 South Carolina Woman of Achievement Award from the Governor’s Commission on Women and was selected to lecture at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria.

*Bert Hayslip Jr. is currently a teaching associate in the CCU Department of Psychology. He teaches classes in psychology of aging and the lifespan of human development. He formerly taught at the University of North Texas for 35 years, and he retired in 2013 as Regents Professor of Psychology. His interests include cognitive development in later life, grandparenting, and death and dying.

*Cassandra Carlson Hill entered the field of communication studies after five years of working in the nonprofit sector in Western Australia as a nontraditional student. Her ongoing research explores advice and decision-making communication in varied contexts, namely between young adults and other family members. She is particularly interested in intergenerational communication. She’s taught at five universities in three different states, and loves seeing families come together through communication.

HGTC Chefs at the International Culinary Institute at HGTC are not only award- winning, but are some of the best trained chefs around (think Culinary Institute of America, French Pastry School [Chicago], Institute Paul Bocuse and Johnson & Wales University). They work hard to make sure every student enjoys the kitchen experience when attending a class.

*John Hobson is a former business executive, and holds a master’s degree in the great books from St. John’s College at Santa Fe. He is a past president of the board at Atlantic Stage, a nonprofit theater company in Myrtle Beach and serves as the leader of the OLLI Book Club in Myrtle Beach.

Brooke Holden is a communications specialist with Horry County government in the emergency management division.

Peg Howell is the first woman to have the job known as “company man” on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. Howell left the oil business and earned an MBA from Harvard in 1984 to become a business consultant and executive coach.

Daniel Hull earned a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance from Illinois State University, where he studied with Douglas Rubio, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in guitar performance from the Eastman School of Music while studying with Nicholas Goluses. An active soloist, ensemble musician and teacher, Hull has performed throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He is currently on the music faculty of Coastal Carolina University, where he teaches guitar and directs the CCU guitar ensembles. Recent performances include the 2012 Piccolo Spoleto festival, the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Flute Festival and concerts at the University of Akron, West Virginia University, Winthrop University and UNC-Pembroke.

Keith Jacobs was born in Fayetteville, N.C., and moved to Myrtle Beach in 1994 to work as a photojournalist at The Sun News. Transitioning to commercial photography 10 years later, Jacobs has shot for many newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times and FHM Magazine.

*Ellen Jampole, in addition to the normal things like family, loves learning, teaching, music, cats, reading, dancing, hula hooping, card making, snakes, lizards, spiders and laughing. She became a teacher when her younger brother was born and has never looked back. (Except once … when she thought she wanted to be a long-distance truck driver.) She is a graduate of Appalachian State University (undergraduate and master’s degrees) and Louisiana State University (doctorate).

Sharolyn Jewel is an experienced manager with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry. Jewel manages the pool and landscaping division of Surfside Realty. She earned a degree from Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Lloyd Kaplan earned his master’s degree at Brown University and is a professor emeritus from the Community College of Rhode Island and is in the CCRI Hall of Fame. As a professional musician, he has been the leader of “The Aristocats” for 27 years, is the co-author of “Who’s Who in Rhode Island Jazz: 1925-1988” and is the co-author of “20th Century Music: An Introduction.”

Paula Kenion is a stress management consultant and teacher/disciple in the tradition of Kriya yoga. She offers classes and workshops along the Grand Strand, in addition to a monthly Kriya Yoga Satsang in Pawleys Island. Kenion has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has been teaching yoga meditation for more than 10 years.

*Richard J. Kilroy Jr. has been an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at CCU since July 2014, where he teaches courses in support of the intelligence and national security studies degree program. He is retired from the Army Intelligence and Latin America Foreign Area Office.

Susie Kinney is an award-winning artist originally from the foothills of Northern California and Nevada. Mostly self-taught, she paints a wide range of subject matter, from lush landscapes and seascapes to portraits and western-inspired themes. Working mostly in oils, she is especially drawn to the contrast of light against dark and capturing this essence in her work. She is also intrigued by the beauty of monochromatic color and creating works that evoke emotion, expression and texture.

Dave Klauder is a law enforcement officer, holding the rank of sergeant within CCU’s Department of Public Safety. He likes to go sculling and play golf.

Sharon Knost is from the Northern Virginia area and moved to South Carolina in 2008 after retiring from a career with the federal government. In 2009, she enrolled in an OLLI@CCU stained glass class and has been passionate about this creative art ever since. She enjoys passing this enthusiasm for stained glass to others.

Clancy Knowles earned undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics; his graduate work was in computer science. Knowles designed and developed large-scale software systems. At the age of 24, he was the principle in designing a new early-warning system for NORAD. He developed other systems including the Military Airlift Command’s global command and control system. While based in London, he helped clients throughout the world, including Scotland Yard and the National Police of New Zealand.

Paul Kowalski, a retired physicist who worked in industry for 30 years, has spent years taking night-time photographs of the night sky, capturing astrological figures, the sun and planets, and currently deep space objects including nebular, open and globular clusters, binary star pairs, and various galaxies. He has studied stars by performing spectrum analysis to ascertain their stellar classification based on their spectral characteristics.

Susan Omans Krug has always loved French and began to study it in high school. She did not take any French courses in college, but traveled to Quebec often with family and friends, and used her rudimentary knowledge of the language when she was there. She went back to the study of French after her first trip to France. Although she was not a French teacher, Krug was a teacher. She retired after 30 years in the classroom, and now spends her time traveling with her husband, entertaining friends and looking for opportunities to improve her French.

Patti Kussman is a retired French teacher whose career spanned 30 years. She is a true Francophile, having studied and traveled extensively in France. She is excited about sharing her knowledge and love of the French language and culture with OLLI students.

*Anita Lampley is a native South Carolinian. Her past employment is in retail management. She is self-employed as a seamstress, specializing in wedding gown alterations. She’s been an avid gardener all her life and has led garden clubs for many years. She’s a member of Atlantic Camelia Club, puts on annual shows and loves to teach others her passion for gardening. She and her husband love to give tours of their one-acre garden in Murrells Inlet and share plants that they have propagated in their greenhouse with others.

*Charlotte Lothian is a co-founding member and leader of the chamber music orchestra who are music lovers who wanted to connect with other music lovers. She came up with the idea of the orchestra and got it started in the spring of 2017.

Pamela Lott is originally from the Saratoga Springs area in upstate New York. She holds a bachelor of science in education, an M.A. in psychology, and certifications as both a teacher and school psychologist. Lot has more than 33 years of experience working in public schools with students ranging from preschoolers through college students. This is her eighth school year at Coastal Carolina University; she is employed as a teaching associate in the Spadoni College of Education.

*Gina Markland is the compliance and planned giving officer for the Coastal Educational Foundation. Prior to her employment with the foundation she worked at Coastal Carolina University in the Department of Athletics in several different roles, including coaching, academic advising and administration. Markland’s other professional experiences include teaching and financial services. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Linda Martin is a member of Coastal Carolina University’s Department of English and has been a resident of Horry County since the 1970s off and on due to her earlier days as a military wife. Frequent moves, courtesy of Uncle Sam, meant new beginnings and new friends. But, leaving old friends was always hard, which is why her fictional friends, whom she hopes you will meet, have become an important part of her life.

*Tom McCollough is the Nelson and Martha McDowell Rodes Professor of Religion Emeritus at Centre College. McCollough earned an M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. His research and publications have focused on the archaeology of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and in Jewish and Christian communities in the contemporary Middle East. He is the director of the archaeological excavations at Khirbet Qana (Cana of Galilee).

*Bob McCue is an engineer/businessman within an avocation in Irish history and literature. He has taught over the last 10 years at OLLI programs sponsored by the universities of Southern Maine and Arizona.     

*Anita McKay began writing in third grade, overwrought stories sounding suspiciously like sci-fi and mystery movies she had seen. After retiring as a marketing director, she developed her writing through workshops, college courses and critique groups. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology with a concentration in linguistics. Along with writing, her passions include travel and gardening. She facilitates the Litchfield OLLI Writing Club.

Fredanna A. D. M’Cormack McGough, assistant professor of health promotion, joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of North Florida in 2000 and master’s degree from
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2003. She holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in health education. Her research areas include ecological factors affecting maternal health outcomes and international health. Other interest areas include interpersonal violence, nutrition assessment and incorporating alternative educational techniques in the classroom setting.

Tracy McLoughlin is a native Long Islander who moved to South Carolina in 2008. She has a love for paper crafts: cards, scrapbooking and creating miniature albums of all types. Her passion is to teach others the art of paper crafting for self-fulfillment and for gift-giving. She believes crafting should be simple, and with all the “stuff” out there it can become overwhelming. She loves to teach simple, beautiful ways to preserve your memories.

Nelson Melendez has 49 years of martial arts experience. He is a former law enforcement officer with the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention in Seattle, Wash. Melendez lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Lisa and their son, AJ. Together they own and operate the SC Wellness and Fitness Center, LLC. As a part of the Wellness Center, the couple operate The Karate Studio, where they teach Goju karate-do. In August 2013, Melendez was promoted to Rokudan (sixth degree black belt) and holds the title of Shihan. The couple welcome all to come and train with them.

Barbara Pavilack Melenik has several years of experience as a group fitness instructor and as a presenter in various fitness events. She is certified in personal training, spinning and Silver Sneakers®. She is licensed in several Zumba specialties, including the newest HIIT Fitness, Strong by Zumba. She was trained by the creator of Zumba, Beto Perez, and participated on stage with him during his master class at the 2013 Zumba convention.

Helene Miale is a former college business law and marketing adjunct professor and corporate marketing executive. She earned a law degree from Seton Hall University, a master’s degree in communication from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and economics from the University of Connecticut.

*Kate Middletonis a graduate of Marshall University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling. She has taught courses at both levels and is retired from private practice and school counseling. She has been in the Myrtle Beach area since 2013.

*Tim Miller is a native Kansan who spent 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry working in sales operations, training and management. He has spent his entire adult life learning about personal finance and investing, both in the classroom and in the game of life. He holds an MBA and has earned the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC® retired) designation.

Bevelyn Mitchell is the outreach and community awareness coordinator for Rape Crisis. She earned an undergraduate degree in social work from South Carolina State University and a master’s degree from Springfield College. Mitchell primary provides and outreach and awareness to Horry and Georgetown counties residents by providing training presentations, community tabling events, coordinating awareness activities and developing and distributing outreach materials.

Suz Mole makes functional and sculptural one-of-a-kind vivid glass art exhibited and sold in art galleries and contemporary craft stores throughout the United States. A decade ago, she moved back “home” to her roots in the South near the ocean. Now, Mole continues her art journey in fused glass art, art workshops, and her new interest in mixed media including alcohol inks, encaustics and paper.

Gina Montori is a certified professional life coach. She specializes in helping men and women get “un-stuck,” and supports them in creating the life/career/relationships they are yearning for. After 20 years of working and coaching in the corporate arena at a Fortune 500 company in Ohio, she is now a resident of Murrells Inlet, where she does personal development coaching, facilitates workshops and writes an inspirational and motivational monthly blog. Learn more about her at

Gail Moona has been weaving sweetgrass into baskets and other shapes for decades. Moona learned how to weave baskets from her mother (Leola Wright) and has taught this craft to her daughter, sons, nieces, nephews and granddaughter.

Michael Morris is a South Carolina native; he has been in the fire service since 1989, and started with Midway Fire Rescue in 2007. He currently holds the position of fire inspector and works in the Division of Fire and Life Safety. His main focus is community risk reduction, which encompasses code enforcement, fire and life safety education and fire investigation, as well as cause and determination. Prior to becoming a firefighter, he spent approximately seven years in the U.S. Army, where he got a chance to travel and meet some incredible individuals. He also learned the value of not wasting precious moments when it comes to people. Morris says that he has an amazing career, an amazing job, works with amazing people, and is learning each day to appreciate life. His motto is “life is good and made up of many moments; live each moment well.”

*Paul Moyer is a retired physician who majored in mathematics at Haverford College. He has maintained an interest in mathematical topics and since retiring has been renewing knowledge in those topics. He has been tutoring struggling students and offered “Math for Adults” to OLLI students. He is capable of teaching mathematical topics from elementary arithmetic through elementary calculus. He is pleased teach you how to do math but will insist on also teaching you why the “how to” works.

Elizabeth Muckensturm is an Ohio native, but has lived in the area on and off for many years. She graduated from Clemson, earning a master’s of arts degee in communication, technology and society with an emphasis in tourism marketing after earning an undergraduate degree from Ohio University in organizational communication. She has worked in the field as a digital and traditional marketing director. Muckensturm writes tech/marketing blogs for a content strategy company based out of Greenville, S.C. She enjoys studying social media and how it is used to communicate. She also loves to travel and experience different cultures.

Debbie Mundie is a retired pharmacist who relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2009 from Hanover, Va. In retirement, Mundie’s priority was to become physically fit and active while exploring creative endeavors like yoga, dance, music and photography.

*Sue M. Myers brought her years of study and experience in history, political science, biology and geology to the South three decades ago. As a transplant and master gardener, she has taught these subjects to area newcomers through lifelong learning.

Brandi Neal is a reformed band nerd from Sumter, S.C. She earned a B.A. in music from the University of South Carolina and an M.A. and Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Pittsburgh. A lecturer at Coastal Carolina University, her primary interests are sacred vocal music from the renaissance and baroque eras, with emphasis on the music of Nicolas Gombert, the semiotics of golden-age rap music, and musico-theatrics of popular music in the post-Trayvon Martin era.

*Gary M. Newman has a B.S, concentration in insurance and financial management, Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, 1954. He has five decades’ experience in life underwriting, financial guidance, estate planning and administration support, and fiduciary services. Emeritus member: D.C. Estate Planning Society and Society of Financial Services Professionals. He is a Sun News columnist and drafted mini-books about managing late-life, end-stage and incapacitated living, and the estate.

Judy Niles is a co-founding member and leader of the chamber music orchestra who are music lovers who wanted to connect with other music lovers. She is from Bainbridge, N.Y., a small town in Chenango County. It is famous for being the home of Elmer’s glue.

Mark Nugent is the Public Information Officer/Public Education Officer for Horry County Fire Rescue. He brings experience from a 40-year career in fire, emergency medical services and emergency management. Nugent is the co-author of the book “The Community Fire Safety Operational Guide.”     

Bob O’Brien is the former owner of Ruppert, O’Brien, and Drake, an advertising agency located in Indiana. He currently owns Prose Press in Pawleys Island, S.C.

Joe Oestreich holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Ohio State University and is the author of four books of creative nonfiction: “Waiting to Derail” (co-written with Thomas O’Keefe, forthcoming in 2018), “Partisans” (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), “Lines of Scrimmage” (co-written with Scott Pleasant, 2015) and “Hitless Wonder” (2012). His essays have appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, Ninth Letter, Fourth Genre, The Normal School, and other magazines and journals.

*Nora Fisher Onar, assistant professor at Coastal Carolina University, examines global politics with a focus on Turkey between the West and Middle East. Her research interests include international relations (IR) theory, comparative area studies, political ideologies, gender, history/memory, and foreign policy analysis. She earned her doctorate in IR from Oxford University and holds master’s and undergraduate degrees from Johns Hopkins SAIS and Georgetown, respectively. Onar speaks five languages, including fluent Turkish and Italian. A nonresident fellow of the German Marshall Fund and research associate of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, she has published extensively in academic journals such as Conflict and Cooperation, Theory and Society, and Women’s Studies International Forum. She also regularly speaks and writes for policy fora like the Brookings Institution and Carnegie Endowment, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, and Open Democracy. She is editor of a forthcoming book for Rutgers University Press called “Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City.”

*Carol Osborne, director of Academic and Community Outreach at CCU, earned her degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. and M.A.T. in English education) and University of Virginia (M.A. and Ph.D. in English). She has taught on the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels, but now enjoys working with the OLLI population of “seasoned adults” like herself.

Angela O’Sullivan’s early life included living in England, Germany, India, Hong Kong and Singapore. After moving to New York in the early 1970s, she has since made the U.S.A. her home. O’Sullivan has been a Windows instructor for the past 15 years.

James O’Sullivan loves the people and land of Ireland. His father and ancestors lived their lives in Castlegregory on the Ring of Kerry. He holds a bachelor’s degree (physics) from Imperial College, University of London, and an MBA (international finance) from the University of Notre Dame. An early developer of A.I. neural network technology for the financial markets, he worked at Citicorp in global financial banking and then founded a company based on his A.I. technology.

Len Pietrafesa is a professor emeritus at NC State University and a Burroughs & Chapin Scholar at CCU. He served as a dean for research and extension at NCSU and as department head of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences. He chaired committees of 27 graduate and 28 Ph.D. students. He is the former chair of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration science advisory board, the American Geophysical Union Focus Group on Science and Society, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board on Oceans Atmosphere Climate, and the commissioner of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Weather, Water and Climate Enterprise. He is a Fellow of the AMS.

Melissa Paiva-Salisbury,assistant professor of psychology, earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont and a Master of Arts in forensic psychology from Roger Williams University. Her current research interests include the heterogeneity within psychopathy, callous-unemotional traits, and the exploration of construct measurement.

Robert (Bob) Poirier earned a bachelor’s degree in European history from Norwich University and a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A decorated officer of the Vietnam War, he completed advanced intelligence courses and was designated a foreign area officer for Western Europe. His distinguished career in the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center brought awards for the discovery and publication of the 1944-45 Auschwitz aerial photographs. As an author and teacher of military history, Soviet military analysis and Civil War battles, he leads battlefield tours for the Civil War Education Association.

Hank Pulkowski is an award-winning watercolor artist and teacher who lives and works in Myrtle Beach. Pulkowski’s paintings have been juried into, and appeared in, numerous shows and exhibitions both in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. He is a Signature Member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. His work was featured in Professional Artist magazine in their October 2014 issue, and International Artist magazine ran a six-page article on his work in their February-March 2016 issue.

Roger Quinn held a union press credential for a number of years. He has been a teacher and counselor with the NYU Publishing Institute. Quinn has published a series of articles designed to help children, parents and teachers deal with life-threatening illness as well as articles helping teachers, students and parents deal with teenage suicide, dying and death. He is a volunteer firefighter, EMT, captain and chaplin (PFI). He is also the author of “The Trinity Conspiracy” and “The Innocent Asset Conspiracy.”

Nilo Ramos, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the physical education program at CCU. He earned a doctoral degree in kinesiology from the University of Georgia. Ramos has extensive knowledge and experience of exercise, nutrition, health and quality living. He enjoys exercising and playing sports, including weightlifting, running, soccer and basketball. He also enjoys exploring the world. He has explored countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Uruguay, Argentina, France, Italy and Germany.

Sharlene Reeve was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the 1980s. Having a career in the medical field, she learned that stress plays a huge role in magnifying the symptoms of this condition. She had previously practiced yoga and really enjoyed it and was certain it would help reduce the stress and ease the stiffness/pain she constantly felt. In 2009, she enrolled in a program to become a yoga instructor. She has been leading yoga classes locally since graduating in 2010. Yoga has rewarded her both physically and mentally. She hopes you will join her in the incredible practice of yoga.

Ron Revere is a 30-year veteran astronomy and physics teacher who has taught for five years at the Litchfield Education Center. He is also a part-time teaching associate at Coastal Carolina University where he currently works diligently to bring the wonders of astronomy (101) to non-science majors. Join Revere in his quest to raise astronomical understanding in the Lowcountry.

*Gail Reynolds is a retired teacher from Rochester, N.Y. She has been researching her family history for more than 25 years. She co-founded the Grand Strand Genealogy Club and is a past president and treasurer of that organization. She has been teaching genealogy courses for lifelong learning since 2000. She also consults with individuals on their family history research and speaks on the topic of family history at local service organizations.

*Gillian Richards-Greaves, assistant professor of anthropology, has research interests that include musical, cultural, linguistic and ritual expressions of the African diaspora, particularly of the English-speaking Caribbean. Over a period of five years (fall 2005-spring 2010), she conducted a multisite, transnational, comparative dissertation research project on the African Guyanese pre-wedding ritual named kweh-kweh, in which she examined African Guyanese’s constructions of ethnic identities and rediasporization in New York City. She has since expanded her research on the African diaspora to include the Gullah-Geechee of South Carolina; she is currently participating in a research project that examines African retentions and cultural traditions of the Gullah-Geechee people of Sandy Island and their relatives in surrounding areas. She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Indiana University.

Ed Robidoux is a retired engineer and the founder and president of Tidelands Photography Club. He has been teaching Photoshop/Lightroom CC and Elements for the past six years.

Tom Saguto is a local PGA golf professional and owner of SagutoGolf, a golf instruction business. His teaching philosophy focuses on making the game of golf easy to understand while increasing the student’s enjoyment of it. With an emphasis on swinging the golf club in a body-friendly manner, he teaches a personalized simplistic and comprehensive golf game improvement plan that works with each student’s unique strengths and capabilities to achieve their golfing goals.

*Sara Sanders earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of South Carolina, joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 1987 and retired in 2014. Sanders and her husband, Stephen Nagle, taught in Poland 1989-90 on Fulbright grants, co-edited “English in the Southern United States” (Cambridge UP, 2003) and were co-recipients of the S.C. Governor’s Award in the Humanities. Sanders is a facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal and a medical humanist.

Paige Sawyer has operated a photography business in Georgetown since 1974. He has won numerous state and national awards and is a past president of the South Carolina Professional Photographers Association. Through OLLI, Sawyer also conducts a photography safari, a walking tour of historic Georgetown and a harbor history tour of Georgetown. Between the months of March through November, he works as a guide/naturalist on the Carolina Rover.

*Barry Scheur was a White House adviser on health care policy during the first health care reform initiative of the Clinton administration, and was he an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with frequent lectures at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Brandeis. His 40-year career as a health care lawyer and consultant included advising major health insurers, the federal government, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of provider groups and hospitals. His avocation is music. Scheur has a passion for acoustic roots and folk music as a 50- year collector, guitar teacher and performer. His greatest enjoyment comes from the discovery and sharing of music from new singer/songwriters, especially when related to story-telling and current events.

Margo and Will Sherwood both have a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Their passion is helping others to live more fulfilled lives through the life skills they teach in their class.

Linda Shultz has been practicing yoga since 2005 after many medical problems. In 2008, after realizing how much yoga had helped her, she started to teach yoga to others in Pennsylvania, where she is originally from. Shultz loves sharing the yoga journey with others and watching them discover their own accomplishments.

*Barnie Slice has been teaching in the OLLI program at CCU for 12 years and has had huge classes that he loves to teach. During a career of more than 40 years, he has taught 12,000 students, many of whom have gone on to big things in the art world.

*Stanley and Terri Stephens are a father/daughter team who own and operate an insurance agency providing guidance and advice to current and future Medicare recipients in the Grand Strand area. The agency is dedicated to educating and empowering seniors in making smart choices regarding their health care.

Jef Sturm is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he earned his degree in graphic design and fine art. He has since spent most of his life drawing and painting and as owner of a graphic design business. He demonstrates, exhibits and sells his work at venues in Georgetown, Pawleys Island and Myrtle Beach. Working from his own photographic compositions, Sturm’s approach to painting is to “capture the quality of light as it exists in a solitary moment.”

Kowena Suckstorf has many years of experience making quilts from a variety of fabrics and using different techniques. Over the past four decades, she has created quilts in both traditional and contemporary styles from wall-hanging sizes to heirloom baby quilts to king-size beds.

*Janet Swan is a Vermont farm girl. She worked for a veterinarian, an insurance company, a company that compiled the mailings for Reader’s Digest, a plastics factory, and for GE Aircraft Engines. Swan retired in March 2005 and spent time touring to see where she wanted to spend winters. She visited acquaintances in Pawleys Island who showed her the non-touristy side of the area, which led to her renting a place for a month in 2006 and taking an OLLI course, then buying a condo. She’s having the time of her life.

Lisa Swanger works in the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University. She serves as the coordinator of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium, established in 2004 to assist local governments meet stormwater education and public involvement requirements under the federal Clean Water Act. Swanger earned a Master of Science in marine resource management from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.

Gloria Tinubu was born near Murrells Inlet, S.C. and is an applied economist, educator and political figure. She served on the Atlanta City Council and as a member of the Georgia State Assembly, as well as running as a candidate for mayor of Atlanta. When she returned to South Carolina, she entered state politics. In 2012, she ran as a Democrat for Congress in South Carolina’s newly established 7th congressional district; she had won the Democratic primary for the district seat with 73 percent of the votes. She is the first African-American woman in South Carolina to win her party’s nomination for Congress.

John Tracy is a musician, photographer, educator and mentor. He trained in academia and with West African musicians. He believes the essence of the arts, music and dance is awareness and a profound joyous dance of the spirit.

Daphne Trent is a Certified Health Coach from the Sears Wellness Institute. Trent teaches health classes and holds health seminars in the area. Her passion is to help everyone live a healthier lifestyle with vibrant health through diet, exercise and fundamentals on health.

Jo Ann Tufo is a lecturer, historian and professional actor who has taught for OLLI for five years.

Holly Uzun is a Virginia native. She has studied tai chi since 1998 and began teaching soon after. A lifelong passion of caring for seniors combined with the health-giving properties of tai chi has made this a perfect fit for sharing at OLLI@CCU.

Martha Van Loan has degrees in art from Syracuse University and the University of Oregon. Her art has been in galleries and museums in the U.S.A. and overseas. She is still active but is semi-retired, now working part time as a designer and instructor.

Christine Vernon is the local Murrells Inlet storyteller and performing artist of the “Inlet Walking Tour-Ghosts, Pirates and Legends.” Since her move to the area in 2005, she has been studying the local history, legends and lore of the south Strand. Christine has performed on television and stage and is a full-time artist, selling her art in a variety of businesses, galleries and on her website. She is a finalist for the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards from The Sun News/Georgetown Times for Best Tour Guide/Company.

*Bill Warner is a retired lawyer and Navy veteran who is also a scholar and chronicler of the Revolutionary War in the South. His Carolina forebears fought for independence and liberty and helped turned the tide in the Carolinas which led to British colonial defeat and the establishment our nation.

Wendy Weinhold holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a B.A. from Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. Weinhold’s work focuses on the changing definition of U.S. journalists in the digital age; her academic interests include critical theory and feminist criticism. She is a qualitative researcher, and her articles have been published in Journalism Studies and Kaleidoscope. Her research has been recognized with Top Paper awards from the International Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kathy Welde, a former math teacher and military spouse, has been creating stained glass works of art more than 35 years. She has been teaching this art form more than 20 years. Her classes have been a popular favorite since OLLI courses began in Pawleys Island.

*Philip Whalen is professor of history in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University. He is the author of five books, including the co-editing of “French Historians, 1900-2000” and “Place and Locality in Modern France.” Whalen has ongoing research and teaching interests in tourism, gastronomy, historical geography and the memory of war in French history.

*Sue Ann Whittick has retired to Myrtle Beach after being a visual arts teacher in Pittsburgh Public Schools. She is a craftswoman who specializes in basketry, seashells and miniatures. She loves tea parties, the sea area, traveling, exploring life and learning and teaching in OLLI@CCU.

Clark Wilburn formerly taught middle and high school history in the Rochester, N.Y., area. He has led many tours to Great Britain and Ireland (as well as much of North America) for Collette Vacations and subsequently founded his own tour company, Tea & Tradition Tours. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from Nazareth College. He is also a graduate of The Drama Studio, London.

Misti Williams grew up in the Pacific Northwest. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Washington at Seattle, in political science with an emphasis in political communication. Her research focuses on communication and political activism, strategic media frames, global communication, and politics and popular culture. For fun, Williams enjoys traveling, live music, running, and spending time with her husband and feline family.

Jolene Stinson Williams is a retired secondary school teacher. She earned a B.S. in art education from the University of Oregon and has completed graduate work in art therapy. She founded the local Colored Pencil Society of America No. 124 for colored pencil enthusiasts. Her work can be seen in local art shows and in “CP Treasures Vol. III.”

Geoffrey Wilson spent 13 years teaching secondary school science, then earned a master’s degree in business administration in finance and worked in banking and finance for 30 years. He retired to Myrtle Beach in 2016. Growing up near Philadelphia, he and his family had an intense interest in the Civil War, especially the Battle of Gettysburg.