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Meet the Instructors at Osher

UNM Continuing Education offers education and training from the most talented, experienced and dedicated instructors! UNM Continuing Education has many outstanding instructors, and just like our students, a love for learning brings them here.


Click on instructor name below to see their biography and upcoming classes

Dodici AzpaduPrize‐winning poet and author, Dodici Azpadu, holds a PhD in Language and Literature and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She has taught in the Honors College at UNM, and currently, she teaches writing at CNM. Her novels SATURDAY NIGHT IN THE PRIME OF LIFE and GOAT SONG were published in the United States and Great Britain, and both enjoyed more than 10‐years of bookstore shelf life. Her third novel, LIVING ROOM, was a 2010 finalist for the NM Book Awards in Fiction. For more information, visit her website at www.dodici‐azpadu.com.

Upcoming Classes:

Writing Fiction (Section SPA) ‐ 05/07/2018

As an art historian, Susan's area of study is in Western Art, specifically, the early modern period. She is a former OLLI San Francisco lecturer, and has taught art history classes at the university level at Mills College in Oakland and San Francisco State University for 10 years from prehistory through the 19th century. Susan also taught specific classes in the Italian Renaissance and Women & Art in lecture and seminar formats at both OLLI and at the universities. She specializes in the Italian Renaissance and interests include female patronage and women of the early modern period. She studied in Florence, Italy and at the Courtauld Institute in London. She published her groundbreaking research on the patron of Botticelli's Primavera. Susan has graduate degrees from San Francisco State University and Mills College.

Upcoming Classes:

The Italian Renaissance: The Continuation of the New Style (Section SPA) ‐ 04/23/2018

Richard Blankmeyer was born and raised in Anaheim, CA. He attended the University of Southern California in on an NROTC scholarship, graduating in 1960 with a BA in Social Studies. Upon graduation, Dick served three years active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy where he was assigned to an LST home ported in San Diego. After leaving the navy, he embarked on a 39 year career in banking which included various management positions in internal audit, consumer loan operations, and project development. Dick retired in 2002 and moved to New Mexico with his wife, Carol.

Upcoming Classes:

The Statue of Liberty: A Celebration of Freedom and Friendship (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/09/2018
Women in World War II: The Nurses (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/16/2018

Roberta BoggessRoberta Boggess is on the Leadership Council of the OLLI at the University of New Mexico. She is an active volunteer, participating in membership drives and any necessary events from baking cakes to making presidential decisions. Roberta has a B.A. in literature and an M.A. in linguistics. She taught writing and literature in Albuquerque Public Schools for 31 years. "Bobbie

Upcoming Classes:

Secrets of World War II (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 04/30/2018
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/02/2018
The Sportin' Life ‐ Why Do We Say That? (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/07/2018
Secrets of World War II, Part Two (Section SPA) ‐ 05/14/2018
Ellis Island: Coming to America (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/15/2018
Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Why, Oh Why, Doesnt Disney Call? (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/21/2018
Out of the Mouths of Babes (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 06/01/2018



Upcoming Classes:

Writing Poetry (Section SPA) ‐ 05/01/2018
Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/03/2018

Angelo CervantesAngel Cervantes is an avid genealogical researcher and has done historical and genealogical research in the Archivos of Chihuahua, Colima, Jalisco and Zacatecas, Mexico. He worked as a NM State Archivist in Santa Fe in 2001.

Upcoming Classes:

The DNA of the Lemba Tribe and Its Connection to the Middle‐East (Section SPA) ‐ 04/20/2018
Anthropological Genetic History: The Viking Connection to New Mexican Families (Haplogroup I) (Section SPA) ‐ 05/04/2018
19987 Anthropological Genetic History: The Moors Connection to New Mexican Families (711/1000 CE) (Section SPA) ‐ 05/11/2018
19475 Anthropological Genetic History: The Saxons Connection to the Founding Fathers (Haplogroup I) (Section SPA) ‐ 05/18/2018
DNA and New Mexico Family History (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/25/2018
The Ancient Astronaut Theory and Its Connection to Science Fiction (Section SPA) ‐ 06/01/2018



Upcoming Classes:

Rock Art of New Mexico (Section A) (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/18/2018
Rock Art of Utah (Section B) (Section SPB‐PE) ‐ 06/01/2018
Sampler of Women Artists;; Part Five (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 06/08/2018
Rock Art of Arizona (Section C) (Section SUA‐PE) ‐ 06/15/2018

Mary Mortensen Diecker is the principal of RM Technical Services, Inc., providing consulting services in a variety of areas. She is the author of "Roadrunner Tales," a book in calendar form containing 366 stories about New Mexico. She teaches classes in New mexico History at CNM's Emeriturs Academy and the Road Scholar.

Upcoming Classes:

The White Hat Guys and the Black Hat Guys (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/03/2018



Upcoming Classes:

Viktor Frankl and Our Search for Meaning (Section SPA) ‐ 05/24/2018

* Born & educated in Albuquerque, New Mexico. * Received BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNM in 1954. * Served two years as a Lt. In the USAF in aircraft hydraulic system R&D at WPAFB. * Worked as an engineer, sales & marketing manager, subsidiary president, corporate VP & consultant for Pall Corporation for 45 years, mostly on Long Island, NY. Was their 81st employee & at retirement they had over 9,000. * Currently serves on the UNM, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board. * He helps review & rate the projects of the Mechanical Engineering Senior Design classes, four times a year.

Upcoming Classes:

Understanding DNA Results and What They Mean For You (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/07/2018



Upcoming Classes:

The Great Composers: Baroque, Classical and Romantic Periods (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/02/2018
The Anatomy of Humor (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/03/2018
Strange Brew: Music of the 1960s (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/10/2018
The Art of Maintaining the Freshness in Your Primary Relationship (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/15/2018

Ramon FloresRamón Flores is a native of Albuquerque who earned BA in History and MA in Cultural Pluralism from Stanford University and a MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. In the course of a thirty year career as a theatre director, playwright, actor and producer Ramón has extensively researched and written on a number of historical issues. Ramón wrote, directed and produced two plays about New Mexico's colonial period. With Lynn Butler Knight he co‐wrote The Merchant of Santa Fe which addressed the plight of New Mexico's Hidden Jews living under the shadow of the Inquisition in 1670. With Taos Pueblo writer James Lujan he co‐wrote Casi Hermanos about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 which was produced in 1995. In 2004 Ramón co‐wrote and produced the play The Peculiar Case of José Padilla about the New York born Puerto Rican who was held as an "enemy combatant

Upcoming Classes:

The United States and China: Is Confrontation or War Inevitable? (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 04/23/2018
Will the Alt‐Right Continue to be a Major Player in Republican Party Politics? (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/08/2018

Robert GishRobert F. Gish holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.degrees in English and American Studies from the University of New Mexico and is the recipient of the Erna Fergusson Distinguished Alumni Award from UNM. He is the author of over twenty works of fiction, memoir, folktales, and literary biographies as well as numerous monographs and essays on the literature, history, and culture of the American Southwest. His short story collections include West Bound, Dreams of Quivira, Bad Boys and Black Sheep, and First Horses: Stories of the New West. Bob taught at the University of Northern Iowa from 1967‐1991, where he was University Distinguished Scholar and Professor of English, as well as Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He served as Director of Ethnic Studies and Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo from 1991‐2001. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Pen West, the Authors Guild, and the Screen Actors Guild. He and his wife, Judith, live in Albuquerque. They are the parents of three children and six grandchildren. He is a jazz guitarist and vocalist by avocation. Please visit his website: www.robertfgish.com

Upcoming Classes:

Voltaire and The Lessons of Candide"" (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/01/2018

Creigh GordonMs, Electrical Engineering, Aficionado of Macroeconomics

Upcoming Classes:

Money and Economic Policy in the Post Gold Standard Era (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/24/2018

With a career ranging from archeologist and and university teacher through environmental consulting and land use planning to computer network design and administration, Bruce can draw on a wide range of experiences. He has degrees in anthropology from Rice and Yale and in Public Administration from the University of Denver. He has a long standing interest in the history, technology, and economics of the ancient Mediterranean area. He feels that history more interestingly seen in terms of the way people lived their daily lives and interacted with their surroundings than as a parade of political events.

Upcoming Classes:

The Late Roman Empire (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/03/2018

Carol A. Hill is a geologist and author of many books including Cave Minerals of the World, and Geology of Carlsbad Cavern, and Geology of the Delaware Basin. She was featured on the NOVA show "Mysterious Life of Caves,

Upcoming Classes:

Geology of the Jemez Mountains (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/02/2018



Upcoming Classes:

Introduction to Acting (Section SPA) ‐ 05/04/2018



Upcoming Classes:

The History of Coffee (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 06/02/2018

Doug LindseyI have been helping clients with social security decisions and financial planning issues for the past four years. I have attended many continuing education courses on Social Security planning taught by local experts including "Understanding the Benefits of Social Security

Upcoming Classes:

Savvy Social Security for Boomers (Section SPA) ‐ 04/19/2018
Savvy Medicare Planning for Baby Boomers (Section SPA) ‐ 04/26/2018
Osher Membership Event : Cybersecurity (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/15/2018

Jon NimitzJon Nimitz has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University, and taught at universities for about 10 years. He was consistently rated by students as an outstanding instructor. After that he ran a small research and development business working on environmentally friendly chemicals. Always interested in philosophical and spiritual issues, since retiring from technical work he has taught classes for UNM CE on "Introduction to India," "The Meaning of Life," and "Loving What Is: The Work of Byron Katie." He is currently a self‐employed investor. He spent a total of about two years in India, teaching high school and traveling with Indian friends through all regions of the country. He has made a point of exploring a wide range of spiritual traditions. He also gives talks on investment topics to the local chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). He has received numerous academic awards and has qualified to join MENSA. He has published two books and over 100 technical reports and papers.

Upcoming Classes:

Buddhism (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/04/2018
Taoism (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/30/2018

Dr. Norton was born in a drafty log cabin in the Carpathian Mountains.... Actually, close but not that close. She was born in the former Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, and thanks to the former USSR, she came as a refugee with her family to Canada. She wanted to become a veterinarian, but somehow she became a historian, generally regarded as a much less useful profession. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with BA and MA in history, she sought the warmer climate of New Mexico, U.S.A. Several years, and a Ph.D. later, she still resides, with her English husband, in the Land of Enchantment. Although she considers herself a recovering academic, she can't seem to give up her favorite subject, and she therefore shares her passion for it by consulting, occasionally teaching, and lately writing. Well, she does not really like the writing part; she likes the research and the finishing part.

Upcoming Classes:

"Fun without Footnotes:" Reading and Writing History and Historical Fiction (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 04/18/2018

Metropolitan Court Judge Frank Sedillo's ('82 BBA, '87 JD) pursuit of a legal career began in the legislative branch when he served as Aide/Doorkeeper for Senator Pete Domenici and then as Aide to Congressman Manuel Lujan. Now he presides not only in court but as host of "The Advocate,

Upcoming Classes:

Introduction to Law (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 06/02/2018

Rob SpiegelSenior Editor, Design News; Lifelong Writer and Author of Six Books

Upcoming Classes:

In the Moment: Writing Effective Scenes (Section SPA) ‐ 05/02/2018

From Washington DC to teaching in South America, from Mexico to teaching in Mongolia and England, Dr. Maya Sutton is a traveler and educator. Maya graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of New Mexico. Her specialties are adult learning, cognitive development, life stages, and experiential learning. Since the 1980s Maya has been active in distance learning for adults and in taking education to adults where they work. As president of Sutton Seminars, she has trained thousands of people in stress management at government and private organizations throughout the West.

Upcoming Classes:

Canterbury! Home of Three Religions (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/01/2018
Stonehenge and Avebury ‐ Sacred Sites of England (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/10/2018

Shari TarbetAn educator for 29 years, Shari has taught English, history, creative writing, and mythology from the 7th grade through college level. This includes three summers teaching with Upward Bound. She is a graduate of Kansas University with undergraduate degrees in education, humanities, and communications. She also holds an MA in Mythological Studies from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is currently working on her PhD at the same school. She has studied Urban Druidry with Dr. Maya Sutton, and is a published writer and photographer. She has also been a consultant with Intel Corporation. An Albuquerque resident for 24 years, her other interests include belly dance and jewelry making, her Scottish heritage, and three pet cats. She recently received her PhD In Mythological Studies.

Upcoming Classes:

Bill of Rights: What do they Guarantee: Part II (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/17/2018

Mr. Trestrail graduated with honors, obtaining a B.S. degree in Pharmacy, from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1967. In 2010, he received the "Distinguished Alumnus Award

Upcoming Classes:

The History of Cereals and their Premium Toys (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 04/24/2018
New Mexico Critters... the Good, the Bad... and the Really, Really Interesting! (Section SPA‐PE) ‐ 05/08/2018

Gay Witherington

Upcoming Classes:

The Sacredness Within All Things (Section SPA) ‐ 04/21/2018
The Continuing Journey of Life after Death (Section SPA) ‐ 05/10/2018

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