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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

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) ‐ 6/2/17

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" has received several teaching awards including the Chamber of Commerce's Blue Ribbon Teacher of the Year in 1990 and 1998. An informed and animated teacher, she loves explaining "the story behind the story" to make literature and history come alive. Ms. Boggess has taught the following courses for the Osher program: Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Plague, Why Do We Say That? John Donne was a Rock Star, and Theatre from the Greeks to Shakespeare.

Upcoming Classes:

Shaken... and Stirred (Section SPA) ‐ 5/31/17

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 Spanish Founding of Florida and the Spanish Jesuit Massacre of Ajacán (Modern-Day Virginia) (Section SPA) ‐ 5/26/17
The Search for the Lost Tribes (Section SPA) ‐ 6/2/17

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" in a US military brig for more than three years and accused of being "the dirty bomber" for Al Qaida. This play addressed the issues raised by the "Global War on Terrorism." He is currently working on follow up play to The Peculiar Case of José Padilla. For the UNM Continuing Education Division, Ramón has previously offered the lecture series "Islam and the West," "The Manhattan Project," and "A City Upon the Hill: American Exceptionalism from Puritan New England to Bagdad of 2007." Ramón is a popular lecturer through Story of New Mexico and has led film series and other discussion groups. Recently, he provided courses for Osher on the origins and role of the Tea Party Movement, Propaganda, Populism and Corruption of Western Ideals and the Myth of Secure Borders. Ramón is a voracious reader and researcher and has a loyal following within the Osher community.

Upcoming Classes:

Demagogues and the Dangers They Pose to Democracies: A Historical Review (Section SPA) ‐ 6/2/17

Norma LibmanNorma Libman is a journalist and educator. She is the author of Lonely River Village and has written more than 500 articles for newspapers nationwide. She has taught at colleges and universities in Illinois and New Mexico. She also leads writing workshops and holds degrees in Education and Literature.

Upcoming Classes:

The Magic and Mystery of E.E. Cummings" (Section SPA) ‐ 6/6/17

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) ‐ 6/2/17

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" from his alma mater. Mr. Trestrail's public service experience was as a Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps, from 1968-1970, where he taught chemistry at the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture. He is a practicing boarded toxicologist, and for many years, was a visiting instructor at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, on the subject of criminal poisoning. He is recognized as the foremost authority on the subjects of criminal poisoning and murder by poison. For 33 years (1976-2009), he served as the Managing Director of one of the nation's certified regional poison centers. He now serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of Criminal Poisoning. Mr. Trestrail and has been featured in multiple episodes on The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, and PBS. He is the author of Criminal Poisoning: An Investigational Guide for Law Enforcement, Toxicologists, Forensic Scientists, and Attorneys. He is also one of the co-editors of the book Toxicology Secrets. His third book The Poison Quiz Book

Upcoming Classes:

New Mexico Critters... the Good, the Bad... and the Really, Really Interesting! (Section SPA) ‐ 6/9/17

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