Instructor Biographies

Overview

Instructor Biographies

Russ Abbott is a registered financial advisor who holds an MBA in Finance and a BA in Economics. He has taught investment classes for over 20 years.

Julia Amaral is a long time Nevada County resident who has traveled to more than 120 countries and explored all corners of the world.

David Anderson was in the radio business for more than 20 years. He plays guitar and keyboards and has written articles about rock music.

Emil Augustine, BA Northcentral University; MA University of Minnesota; M.Div. Luther Theological Seminary; Doctoral Studies, Drew University; Adjunct Faculty, Princeton Theological Seminary; Guest Lecturer, Centenary College.

Catharine Bramkamp holds a BA in English from UCSB and an MA in Creative Writing from SSU. She has been an adjunct professor for three universities for the last seven years.

Steve Browning (Ambassador Ret.) served 34 years as a diplomat in the US Foreign Service. He was an instructor at the University of Southern California and has guest lectured on foreign policy and diplomacy at colleges and universities.

Sue Clark is a literary specialist and an award-winning ghostwriter. As a memoirist, she has helped numerous people write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing and memoir classes for more than 20 years.

Curtis Covington has a BA in Political Science, with a primary interest in Film, History, Literature and Current Affairs. He is a member of the AFI (American Film Institute) and has been teaching for the OLLI program since 2004.

Lincoln Curtis has a BA in Foreign Languages and Drama and an MA in German and Film Studies. He is a Fulbright Scholar, director, actor, and documentary filmmaker, and has taught at the community college level for more than 20 years.

Linda Derosier has a BA in History with a minor in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the AFI (American Film Institute) and student of film. She has been teaching for the OLLI program since 2010.

Charles Durrett is a writer and architect who, along with Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the U.S. Durrett is considered one of the leading experts in the field.

Lori Fee first became interested in Tai Chi in the late 1990s. At that time she was busy with her General Engineering construction corporation, but in 2010 she learned to teach, and has been teaching Tai Chi for the OLLI program at Sierra College ever since.

Carol Fegté is a retired elementary school classroom teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Humanities from San Francisco State University, and worked for 29 years as a scientific and medical editor.

Jason File has a BA in European History and Religious Studies and an MA in Religious Studies, Ancient Mediterranean Religion from the University of North Carolina. He is a full-time instructor in Humanities and Religious Studies at Sierra College.

Tom Fisher had a dual career in aerospace and archeology. Along with working with and designing for NASA astronauts, he has conducted archeological field research in China, Italy, and throughout Central America.

Donald Fraser has a BS from UCLA in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. His lifelong interest in American History and Politics has led him to teach classes on the founding of the United States.

Joan Griffin earned a BA in Psychobiology from UCLA and an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. Joan worked at IBM and was a small business owner, then was an English and history teacher for 25 years.

Joseph Guida studied with world-renowned T’ai Chi Master Da Liu in New York City in the 1980s. Joseph moved to Northern California and began teaching T’ai Chi for good health, relaxation and peace of mind. 

Susan Horst has an MM degree from UNR in Choral Conducting and has worked as a music specialist, conductor and adjudicator for over 30 years.

Paul Jordan-Smith has a Ph.D. in Folklore and Mythology, and traditional tales from various world cultures have inspired his life and influenced his storytelling.

Gopal Kapur teaches nutrition classes at UC Davis OLLI, has contributed to food columns in regional and national media, and is the founder of Family Green Survival, a local not-for-profit.

Trina Long has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for over twenty years. She specializes in senior fitness.

Katherine Longshore graduated from Humboldt State University with a BA in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications. She spent several years as a freelance travel writer, ten years writing fiction and has taught writing workshops.

Richard Lui is a 70-year-old therapist, author, actor, husband, life-coach, father who has renewed and found many callings in his life. He has been an adult education teacher for 40 years in the Sacramento area.

Jerry Martin holds I hold a B.A. from UCLA and an M.A. from Emerson College. He began teaching in the Peace Corps, taught high school and since 2014 has been teaching Sudoku and Team Sudoku.

Terence McAteer has a doctorate In Educational Administration from USF and a Master’s Degree in History from San Francisco State. He has taught at the high school level and has been a history research fellow.

Lorin Miller has a Master’s degree from California State University and a distinguished background as a solo performer and choral director. He has performed nationally and internationally in a variety of styles ranging from Bach to Broadway.

Steve Miller has a BM and MM from CSU Sacramento. He is a part-time faculty member at Sierra College.

Phawnda Moore has an academic background in design and has studied with master calligraphers. She has taught calligraphy and design for 15 yrs.

Kent Penwarden is a retired electronic engineer and manager from Silicon Valley, one of whose avocations has been to maintain an interest in the long history of the Middle East.

Roger S. Peterson is an incurable history buff. He has a BA in political science and history. His interest include presidents, the JFK assassination and a lifelong interest in Wyatt Earp.

Judie Rae has a BA in English and an MA in Professional Writing from University of Southern California. She has 25 years of teaching experience at universities and Community college, and is a freelance writer.

Janet Rankin received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and her Master’s Degree in History at Sac State. Janet has been teaching U.S. History and women’s history at Sierra College for more than four years.  

Winslow Rogers earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in English and American Literature and was a full-time professor for ten years. He specialized in Victorian novelists like George Eliot, W. M. Thackeray and Henry James.

Susan Rogers has a master’s degree in Speech Communication and has been researching her family history for more than five years. In 2017, she visited relatives in Northern Ireland whom she found through her genealogy work.

Ellen Sander has a BA and MA in French, a BA in Government, and an MA in International Affairs. She has taught for the UC Davis French Department and has been an OLLI instructor for six years.

Sam Schlafer has worked in the library field since 2001, working for both the DOD/Air Force and now at the Twelve Bridges Library. He has taught classes for seniors, written about pop culture and is a member of the AFI.

Martine Shelley has been practicing Qigong since 2006 and became certified to teach Radiant Heart Qigong in 2013. Martine is Professor Emeritus at Sierra College and has a BS and an MS in Psychology.

Dan Shoemaker has a BA in Communications and Media Arts from Antioch College, an MA in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.

Anney Siegel-Wamsat has a BA in English from UC Berkeley. She fell in love with Tai Chi and has been training to teach with Sifu Renee Neal. She is excited to begin teaching the Advanced Tai Chi for the OLLI program.

Michael Theodore has a BA in History from UCLA and has taught History and Art for Los Angeles Unified School District for 36 years.

Kathrin Wilson has a BA from UCLA in Dance and an MS in Physical Education from California State University Sacramento. She has danced professionally for 30 years.

Alex Yarmolyuk was born and lived in Soviet Ukraine for 25 years. He finished his BA in General Business at Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine, and served his mandatory two years in the Soviet military. In 1996, he emigrated to the United States.