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Instructor Bios

Fall 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.

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, a runner and a grandfather.

Brittany Barry is a NASM certified personal trainer, a Silver Sneakers Circuit and Classic instructor, and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 specialist. She has trained people from their teens to late adulthood. As a personal trainer, she has worked with numerous clients to improve their balance after a fall or injury. She also assists older adults to recover after shoulder and knee replacements.

*Verna Berry is a mother, grandmother, sister and cousin. She is a transplant to South Carolina, having decided she could not stand another Ohio winter. She resides in Georgetown, but has also lived in Maryland as well as on the Mexico/Arizona border. Berry enjoys learning, reading, eating out and making new friends.

Priscille Boisvert owned a craft and design studio in Massachusetts for 30 years where she taught watercolor, 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 more than half a decade.

Lee 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 the Pawleys Island Town Council before and after Hurricane Hugo. She is a native South Carolinian and a Lowcountry resident since 1984.

*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®). His practice focuses on issues specific to retirees including social security, required minimum distribution strategies and comprehensive investment planning in a tax efficient manner. Brown, his wife (Dr. Alexis Brown) and their daughter reside in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Shana Bury is a CCU graduate, a reptile rescuer and is passionate about education at all levels.

Patrick Burger, a former state of Pennsylvania resident artist, has taught and worked with glass for more than 35 years. His work has appeared in galleries, gift stores and museum shops from New York to Florida. He enjoys teaching fused glass at OLLI and loves to share the joy of creating fused glass with his students.

*Ron Byrd spent college summers as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C., where he was privileged to attend the historic Watergate hearings. After majoring in history and political science in college, he went on to law school and a successful career as litigator and corporate lawyer. His interest in reading and studying history and political science has been lifelong, particularly presidential biographies.

Nathan Carterette is a classical pianist who trained at Yale University and in private study in Munich, Germany. He has performed around the world, and is known for his performances of Bach, his work with composers of today and his educational initiative “Poets of the Piano.” Visit www.nathancarterette.com.

*Thomas Castillo is an assistant professor of history who specializes in 20th century U.S. history, with a research focus on inequality, class, ideology, African-American and immigration studies. He earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history at the University of Maryland. Castillo has held numerous jobs throughout his life, including working at a fast-food restaurant, a retail store, a supermarket, as a house painter, an athletic coach, high school teacher, substitute teacher and academic adviser. He is a first-generation college/university student.

*Adam Chamberlain is originally from Otto, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport in 2005 in political science and history. He then earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chamberlain's research and teaching interests include political parties (especially minor parties), interest groups, public opinion, state politics, American political history and the effects of geographic and social contexts on political behavior.

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

Dan Cross, a Roku Dan (6th degree black belt), 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 has 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, Daughters of the American Revolution and the South Strand Genealogy Club.

Donna Davis/Zada Mae has been a sweetgrass basket weaver for 30 years and an instructor for 15 years. She switched mediums to pine needles when sweetgrass became hard to find. She owned a gallery in the Florida Keys at the nationally known Rain Barrel Artisan Village. She is currently teaching in North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, North Myrtle Beach and other locations. In the past eight years, Davis has created 2, 230 pieces and sells on Amazon Marketplace.

Johnnie Davis is a native of Georgetown, S.C., and an advocate for health and fitness. As a veteran of the United States Army, she understands your health is your wealth, and it can never be replaced. Certified to teach group fitness, raw nutrition and cardio-kick boxing, Davis is also a member of the Zumba Instructor Network and is licensed to teach Zumba, Zumba Toning and Zumba Gold.

Linda Deemer has been teaching line dance classes for the beginner at the Horry Georgetown Recreation Center for more than a year. Her students are happy because she takes it slow and repeats until they are comfortable. Deemer has taught in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida. Her classes have a stress-free zone and are fun, which are her goals while students develop the brain-feet connection.

*Loretta DeLuca has been an OLLI student for several years. She has taken tai chi for several years and is paying it forward.

*Carolyn Dillian, chair and associate professor, Department of Anthropology and Geography, explores the passage of Homo sapiens out of Africa and how we became the only species to survive.  After the evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa, we as a species quickly dispersed to populate every continent except Antarctica. However, some of these regions were already inhabited by other hominins, and new research suggests our interactions with them were much more complicated than previously thought.

Joe DiSabatino earned a master’s degree in English literature and has written and directed numerous short and full-length plays since 2010. 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.

Kay Dobis is a nutritionist in Myrtle Beach who specializes in helping people with chronic disease heal themselves through the power of food and lifestyle changes. Dobis earned an M.S. in nutrition and integrative health from Maryland University of Integrative Health and is board-certified as a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). Dobis’ son is a CCU summer camp alumnus, and her mom is a current OLLI member, so CCU programs are a family affair.

Susan Duke, a native of New York and local gallery owner, studied under various national artists and won numerous awards while participating in many judged and juried exhibitions. She is a transparent watercolorist so her paintings include soft flowing works, strong color realism or bold, bright abstracts. An instructor more than 32 years she teaches all levels of students, sharing her joy of “dancing on paper.”

*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.

Patti Edwards, a South Carolina native, earned degrees in music education from Mars Hill College, vocal performance and vocal chamber music from Saint Louis Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas. She has performed across the United States and has been invited to the Czech Republic on four separate occasions to perform recitals of American music and teach master classes at the Janacek Conservatory.

*Ralph Edwards is an instructor for the 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, custom tabletops, 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 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, a lover of history, enjoys teaching adults who love to learn. She taught middle school for more than 40 years. The best part about teaching an OLLI course is that she has an excuse to learn new subjects.

*Greg Farmer was the undersecretary of commerce during the Clinton administration. He managed Senate races, congressional races and a political consulting firm. Farmer spent 20 years as an executive in the high-tech industry. He earned a master’s degree from Florida State University.

Joseph Fitsanakis is an associate professor in the intelligence and national security studies program at CCU. He specializes in the study of international espionage. His work has been translated into several languages and referenced in media outlets including the Washington Post, BBC, ABC, NPR and Newsweek. Before joining Coastal in 2015, Fitsanakis built the security and intelligence Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies.

*Jerry Frontiero grew up a small New England town where many of its inhabitants were of either Italian, Irish or Portuguese descent. He initially learned the Italian language from his parents. He has traveled worldwide to all continents, including Antarctica and frequently travels to Italy. Frontiero served in the U.S. Navy and earned an undergraduate and two graduate degrees. He has taken formal Italian classes, including classes offered by OLLI.

*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. He is a recipient of an excellence in teaching award at the University of Southern Mississippi.

*Carol Gibson is a graduate of Pfeiffer and Furman universities. She taught for 19 years at North Greenville University. She has presented for Friday bonus events for OLLI programs at Furman and Clemson. She has a CD, “Nations Royalty,” a tribute to the steam locomotive era. She has two railroad songs on two releases by NBT Records and is a member of Travelers Rest Historical Society.

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 was featured in The Sun News “Conway Notebook” practicing tai chi in Collins Park July of 2011. He taught qigong and tai chi at Ladies Choice Fitness Center, Inlet Square Mall, Murrells Inlet (18 months) and at the Conway Recreation Center (for three years). Presently, Gore teaches at Fit-4-Everyone Recreation Center (an OLLI partner). Gore has also coordinated social services for at-risk youth, been a taxi driver and is an Air Force veteran.

*Susan 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.

*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 enjoys talking about Spanish culture and language. She was the 2004 Horry County literacy tutor of the year.

*Giuseppe Giordano is a bocce player from way back, since childhood. He is the bocce coordinator for the Sons of Italy in Myrtle Beach.

*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. His primary research interests include Turkey, Cyprus, the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, Caucasus, the Eastern Mediterranean, transnational political violence and reconciliation. He teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire, the modern Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and terrorism.

*Betsy Haase is a writer and a teacher of writing. Her pieces have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Stories, Victoria, TeaTime Magazine, and Edible Communities. She earned a bachelor of arts in English and an M.A. in writing arts from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.

*Angelos Hannides is an assistant professor of marine science at CCU. 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.

Karen Harper earned a master’s degree in public health from National University. She is a certified wellness recovery action plan facilitator and has worked as a mental health case manager and peer support specialist for 14 years.

*Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the founding director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. He serves on the boards of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries. With Charleston novelist Nicole Seitz, he is co-editor of the anthology “Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.”

*Bert Hayslip earned a doctorate in experimental/developmental psychology in 1975 from the University of Akron. He taught for three years at Hood College in Maryland and was on the faculty of the University of North Texas for 35 years; he is now Regents Professor Emeritus. He 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 has taught OLLI classes since 2013.

Dekira Hemingway earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s degree in communication from Queens University of Charlotte. Hemingway is employed by CCU in the Office of Admissions and Merit Awards as a marketing and communication assistant, mainly focusing on social media. In her free time, Hemingway enjoys using social media for communication, traveling and spending time with her family, friends and fiancé.

*Ian Hewitt is a former embedded computer engineer who became an astronomical researcher studying galactic structure. He also is a volunteer in the NASA Solar System Ambassador Program organizing and conducting education events for the public. He is a long-time amateur astronomer and has taught multiple classes in astronomy and space flight. His hobbies include cooking, history and amateur radio.

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.

Rhonda Hoffman lives in Loris and earned a B.A. from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. She currently teaches part time in the adult basic skills program at Southeastern Community College. One of her passions is world religions.

*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). In October 2017, her son and daughter-in-love became parents to Finley, one of the cutest babies ever.

Valerie Jones-Wright is an instructor for the AARP Driver Safety Program.

*Fred Kessler is a man of many talents, including being a champion auctioneer and public speaker. Kessler, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, is employed at Brookgreen Gardens as a narrator of history, wildlife and plantation culture. He has conducted auctions throughout the Southeast, announced horse shows and rodeos, and has been a featured speaker for museums, corporations, associations, churches, clubs, art galleries and storytelling events. He has made guest appearances on radio and television.

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 designer of 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.

*Drew Kurlowski joined the faculty of Coastal Carolina University in 2015 as an assistant professor of politics. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri, and a master’s degree in government from the University of Virginia. His research and teaching interests focus on campaigns and elections, election law, voting behavior, political parties and American political thought. He is currently finishing his first book, an introduction to election law, which will be published in 2019.

*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. She has recently become an avid golfer.

*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, and has been an avid gardener all her life, leading garden clubs for many years. Lampley is a member of the Atlantic Camellia Club, puts on annual shows and loves to teach others her passion for gardening. She and her husband enjoy giving tours of their one-acre garden in Murrells Inlet and share plants that they have propagated in their greenhouse with others.

*Eileen Langer-Smith is a former professor of criminal justice at Schenectady County Community College in New York and adjunct professor at the State University of New York College at Delhi. Her career in criminal justice began in 1979 as a police officer with Westchester County Parkway Police and then with the city of Rye police in 1980. She went on to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services 1986 as police training technician. One area of expertise she developed was as a master instructor in the IACP Drug Recognition Expert program and taught this program throughout the United States.

*Wally Lasher is the leader of the Gilles Bridge Society and has been playing bridge for many years.

Nancy Launi was a nurse by profession. Now she follows her passion and helps people organize, preserve and enjoy their digital photos. She teaches classes in the area to help people organize their print and digital photos as well as create traditional and digital photo books.

Natasha Lawrence, an avid traveler who offers enrichment and destination programs on cruise ships, is also a professional calligrapher who taught at the Charleston Museum for almost 10 years. She is a California college graduate, and lived in Florida for 30 years. Now a resident of Myrtle Beach, she teaches both history and art programs. Her calligraphy and mixed media pieces are sold at Studio B in The Market Common.

Pamela Lott is originally from the Saratoga Springs area in upstate New York. She holds a B.S. in education, an M.A. in psychology, and certifications as both a teacher and school psychologist. Lott has more than 33 years of experience working in public schools with students ranging from preschoolers through college students. She had completed nearly a decade as a teaching associate in the Spadoni College of Education.

Amanda Masterpaul is a teaching associate for CCU where she teaches introduction to women’s and gender studies and applied theatre classes. In her classroom projects, she collaborates with community partners such as the Lowcountry Food Bank and Project Lighthouse to bring theatre and activism together. Throughout her career, she has worked as an educator, puppeteer, theatre director, community organizer, and facilitator and coordinator for after-school civic learning programs. Amanda also received her RYT 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2012. She currently teaches various forms of yoga practice at Yoga in Common.

*Tom McCollough was the Rodes Professor of Religion at Centre College for more than 30 years. He is now a teaching associate in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at CCU. His teaching and research have focused on Jewish-Christian relations with a particular interest in the archaeology of those communities in Roman and Byzantine Palestine. McCollough continues as the director of the archaeological excavations at Cana of Galilee and associate director of the excavations at Shikhin in lower Galilee.

*Bob McCue is a graduate engineer with a master’s degree in business. His avocation is, and has been for a long time, Irish history and literature. He has pursued these passions at OLLI programs in Maine, Arizona and, most recently, in South Carolina. He particularly enjoys making James Joyce intelligible to the contemporary reader.

*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.

*Cathy Milliren has more than 30 years of experience educating children who are deaf. Originally from New York, Milliren has worked at the New York School for the Deaf in the capacities of middle school teacher, supervisor of children with deafness and other special needs, assistant high school principal and preschool/elementary/middle school principal. She has taught American Sign Language (ASL) at various universities and enjoys helping others discover this rich language.

*Jason Milliren has been an educator for more than 25 years. As a deaf professional, he has taught students who are deaf in both a school for the deaf as well as in a mainstream setting. In addition, he has numerous experiences in theater, which include directing, acting and performing. Milliren has taught American Sign Language (ASL) at various locations. He utilizes his unique talents in bringing this language to life.

*Nancy Muñoz-Maser was raised in New York City in a multi-ethnic neighborhood full of many languages and cultures. She has been bilingual since childhood. She worked at the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan which moved to Texas, where she spent time learning the Texas culture. She has enjoyed traveling the world with her husband since her retirement and their relocation to the Myrtle Beach area, closer to family and friends.

*Barbara Melenik earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from West Liberty University and has several years of experience as a group fitness instructor and as a presenter in various fitness events. She is an IFTA certified personal trainer and is also certified in 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, in Aqua Zumba and participated on stage with him during his master class at the 2013 Zumba convention. In addition, she is an independent beauty consultant and has many years of educating about skin care and as a color consultant. She studied with several internationally known makeup artists.

*Julie Melser has been a licensed mortgage loan originator for more than 11 years. Realizing there were many benefits that the new and improved reverse mortgage could offer adults aged 62 and older and seeing a need for someone to assist that group and provide old-fashioned, hands-on customer service, she made the decision in early 2017 to focus solely on reverse mortgages. Julie has lived in Greenville since 2000 and is licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

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 degree 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 and has been active in OLLI since then.

Craig Miller holds a doctorate in theology and biblical/classical languages, is an elected member of Phi Alpha Theta, an international society for original historical research, and is an instructional methodologist. He served for years as a tutor for the National Latin Exam, has taught Latin at all levels of academia, including 15 years for the Fairfax (Va.) Adult and Community Education Program, where he innovated a modern-minded, student-oriented Latin/Greek curriculum. He has done teacher training for classical languages, taught classics and religion at OLLI, and teaches a critical thinking course at his home. He served for more than 30 years as an analyst, linguist and policy adviser to the intelligence community.

Suz Mole makes functional and sculptural one-of-a-kind vivid glass art that is 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.

Gail Moona has been making sweetgrass baskets for more than 40 years. Originating from Mt. Pleasant, S.C., she is carrying on this family tradition in the Myrtle Beach area to broaden the education of this historical and rare basket weaving craft. She has been teaching for more than 30 years and enjoys helping others learn about this amazing art.

*Paul Moyer, M.D., retired since December 2014, practiced long-term care medicine for more than 40 years in Pennsylvania. Although he has no formal teaching training, teaching was a frequent responsibility in his professional career. He has recently been tutoring and substitute teaching in a local private high school. He is capable of and enjoys tutoring in any level of mathematics from elementary arithmetic (excluding “common core”) through elementary calculus and elementary probability theory. He can teach you how to do the math, but much more importantly, he will insist on teaching you why the “how to” works. For example, he can show you the mechanical method for extracting a square root, but you will need to learn how that method depends on the square of a binomial.

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. Upon completion of the Nia white belt training, Mundie began teaching Nia dance in 2015. She subsequently completed Nia Moving to Heal (M2H) training and apprenticeship to become a certified Nia M2H teacher. Moving to Heal classes provide a gentle, restorative experience that turns movement into a therapeutic self-healing experience for students with a range of challenges that include general mobility problems, injuries and short- or long-term illnesses. Mundie feels that this model of teaching Nia combined with her knowledge and experience in health care allows her to deliver “movement as medicine” as a complement to traditional health care.

*Sue 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.

John Navin describes himself as an old grey-haired history professor; he came to CCU in 1999. In his previous (before CCU) life, he lived in Massachusetts and Maine. Navin is a former marketing executive. He earned a B.A. in English (UMASS/Boston), an M.A. in American studies (Boston College) and a Ph.D. in history (Brandeis). He specialized in early American history. Navin is currently writing a book about history of the Charleston Workhouse. He teaches courses on the Colonial period, American Revolution, early republic, antebellum period, crime and punishment, Vietnam War and more.

*Gary Newmanearned a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During his six decade career of designing/managing financials for individuals, families, employer/employee benefits and team-working estate plans, he earned the Chartered Life Underwriter designation. Newman was a professional/fiduciary team founder-principal, marketing to, servicing and counseling clients about financial and estate affairs. In addition, he found the time to undertake many professional and community service roles. He is a D.C. Estate Planning Council, American Society of Financial Services Professionals emeritus. Currently, Newman provides seminars and guidance, authors legacy letters, informational manuscripts and news media columns, and is an OLLI instructor.

Joseph Opala is an American historian who has been studying Gullah history and culture for more than 40 years both here in the Lowcountry region and in West Africa.  Professor Opala taught African history at the University of Sierra Leone and at James Madison University in Virginia.  The Sierra Leone Government awarded him Sierra Leone citizenship and that country’s equivalent of a knighthood in recognition of his historical research. He is currently a visiting scholar at Coastal Carolina University.

*Carol Osborne, after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in the art of teaching (English education), she taught high school in Virginia Beach for 12 years before pursuing a second master’s degree and a doctorate in English from the University of Virginia. In 1998, she accepted a position in the English department of Murray State University, and soon became director of humanities. In 2002, she joined the faculty of Coastal Carolina University and has since taught English and English education courses, served as the associate dean of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and is now the director of Department of Academic and Community Outreach.

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. 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.

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.

*Ed Piotrowski is ABC 15’s chief meteorologist. He earned a degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University. In his 22 years in South Carolina, Ed has been named Best Weathercaster in the state twice by the South Carolina Associated Press, Best of the Beach 13 years in a row, and was nominated for the National Hurricane Center’s Media Award for outstanding efforts to educate and inform the public about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness.

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 37-year veteran teacher of astronomy and physics who has taught for six years with OLLI-Litchfield. He is also a teaching associate at CCU where he currently works diligently to bring the wonders of Astronomy 101 to non-science majors. Join Revere in his quest to erase scientific misunderstandings 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 is assistant professor of anthropology and assistant director of the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at CCU. She conducted research on the African Guyanese pre-wedding ritual kweh-kweh and is currently researching the culture and identity of the Gullah-Geechee of South Carolina.

*Sheila Rudesill worked in the garment department of a major department store. She can tell you a great deal of information about how clothes are made and how to tell good clothing. She holds a black belt in the Goju Ryu style of karate and is passionate about tai chi, as well.

Tom Saguto, founder of SagutoGolf, is a PGA member who enjoys helping others make the most out of their golf games in a body-friendly and simple manner. Though the golf swing can be made over-complicated, he presents the material in such a way that anyone can understand. His unique teaching methodology works with students’ swing and increases their golfing longevity so that they can play pain-free for years to come.

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, as a health care attorney, government adviser, business consultant and CEO to more than 500 health care clients (insurers/hospitals/physicians), has dealt with just about every policy and operational facet of health care for more than 35 years. He served as an adviser to the Clinton Administration on health care reform. He published numerous articles and presented extensively at major universities and conferences on the state of, and options for, fixing our complex and dysfunctional system. Whether starting a venture capital fund or creating a successful products company for blind people like himself, Scheur has been recognized nationally and received numerous awards for his unique entrepreneurial style throughout his 35-year career. He was voted runner up in the 1996 New England Entrepreneur of the Year competition, and in 2001, received the Reynolds Society Disabled Person of the Year award. He earned a law degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Tufts. His passions for business success are rooted in simplicity, marketing and unparalleled customer service.

*Melanie Scott has studied Taoist tai chi for the past 10 years. She has organized an OLLI group so that students have the opportunity to practice tai chi with the motivation and encouragement of a group setting.

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 as she used to be the one who needed the help due to medical conditions. She feels fortunate to be able to give back to others.

Kaitlin Sidorsky earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in political science from Brown University (2015 and 2012 respectively), and a B.A. in politics and law from Bryant University (2010). She teaches courses in American national government, state politics, political communication, and gender and politics. Sidorsky’s research involves the role that gender plays in political ambition and recruitment. Sidorsky also researches the intersection of federalism and gender-related policies at the state and federal level.

*Barnie Slice has been teaching in the OLLI program at CCU for more than a decade and has had huge classes that he loves to teach. He is a self-taught artist who began before the age of YouTube lessons. 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.

Haley Smith is an artist born in Massachusetts currently living and working in Myrtle Beach. Her work focuses on oil portraits, still lifes and landscapes. Smith’s awards and honors include a Purchase Award in the S.C. Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition and Exhibition in Charleston, and People’s Choice in the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Members Show. She earned a bachelor’s degree from CCU in May of 2017.

*Stanley and Terri Stephens are a father/daughter team. Their senior insurance agency teaches a three-part series course, “Understanding Medicare.” These courses were created to educate and provide tools necessary for the senior consumer to make sound decisions regarding their health care. Stanley is a proud grandpapa; Terri is a talented singer.

Jef Sturm is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he earned a 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 altered and revised photographic compositions, Sturm’s approach to painting is to “capture the quality of light as it exists in a solitary moment.” In addition to teaching privately, Sturm teaches painting for CCU OLLI Program, life drawing and painting for the Seacoast Artists Guild, and life drawing and workshops for Waterway Art Association in Calabash, N.C.

*Holley Tankersley, a political scientist with research and teaching expertise in public policy and political institutions, is associate dean of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University. Prior to serving as associate dean, Tankersley served as chair of the Department of Politics. During her four-year tenure in that role, she promoted and managed growth of the department as it doubled in size; led faculty in deepening and expanding their commitment to high-impact learning practices; and founded the Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, an endowed teaching and research center focused on solving the policy problems of the community and the region.

David Thomas is a certified computer technician through CompTIA and is the director of photography for the CONjuration Convention in Atlanta. He is also a photographer with Mythical Medieval Festival. Thomas works full time at Costco in the electronic section and helps people with different levels of experience purchase cameras and computers.

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. She is also an avid singer and tennis player.

*Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides workplace, residential and life-organizing services. Drawing from her 30 years of human resources experience, she also helps clients with HR/job search needs. Tringali is a member of National Association of Productivity and Organizing (NAPO) professionals. She is also chair of the national NAPOCares Committee that highlights the social responsibility efforts of NAPO members sharing their time, treasures and talents with their communities.

Jo Ann Tufo is a lecturer, historian and professional actor who has taught for OLLI for more than half a decade. She studied American history at Temple University and worked as a professional tour guide in the “most historic square mile in America,” Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia.

*Elizabeth Tyler is a CCU honors college graduate; her major was finance. She was the 2015 financial student of the year. She is now a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Myrtle Beach. She lives in Conway with her husband Russell and their dog, Duke.

Don Ullman has taught history courses for seniors on the Grand Strand since 1995. Ullman is a West Point graduate with master’s degrees in German language and literature from Middlebury College and international relations from the University of Southern California. He is returning to teaching after three years of medical issues.

Robert Unger helped his parents run a small family resort on the Lake of the Ozarks which instilled the meaning of hard work in him at a young age and helped him realize he wanted to run his own business when he grew up. He went to Westminster College in Missouri and after graduation, started with Edward Jones as a financial advisor. One of the primary reasons he is a financial advisor is his desire to help people. He met his wife through Edward Jones; they moved to Pawleys Island in 2017 and enjoy it so much they want to raise a family and eventually retire here.

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. 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. Vernon 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.

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 has won awards for her work. She loves tea parties, the sea area, mermaids, traveling, exploring life and learning and teaching for OLLI@CCU as well as summer kids’ camps through the Department of Academic and Community Outreach.

*Misti Williams grew up in the Pacific Northwest which she never gets tired of reminding people of.  She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle, 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 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 “Colored Pencil Treasures Vol. III.”

Geoffrey Wilson has had a lifetime love of science, finance and history. Wilson spent 13 years teaching secondary school science after earning a master’s degree in physics. He later earned a master’s degree in business administration in finance and worked in banking and finance for 30 years. His career paths included law in addition to the previously mentioned areas. 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.

Stephen Wunderley retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008. He has a great deal of experience in adult education and learning as well as practice and an interest in history, research and maps for quality metal detecting experience. He has knowledge of different types of metal detectors and metal detecting. He is a new South Carolina resident, having been here since December 2017.

*Tom Young is a retired Army colonel (1965-96) who was a military intelligence staff officer and commander at all levels. He was awarded Congressional and Harvard fellowships; he co-authored book on national security strategy. He was a defense contractor overseas, Middle East specialist and Arabic trained linguist. Young taught courses on history, terrorism and M.E. affairs for universities in Maryland, West Virginia and Washington. He has guest lectured OLLI classes for Samih Baalbaki.