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Meet the Instructors at OLLI

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.


Do you have knowledge to share?

We are always looking for qualified instructors for various topics! 

Teach at CE

Please contact Maralie Waterman-BeLonge, Program Supervisor at belonge@unm.edu or (505) 277-6179.


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

Dodici Azpadu holds a Ph.D. in Language and Literature and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She is a prize‐winning poet and author, has taught in the Honors College at UNM, and currently teaches writing at CNM. Her novels have been published in the US and Great Britain and she was a 2010 finalist for the NM Book Award.

Upcoming Classes:

Fiction Writing Live Online (Section Spring 2) ‐ 4/6/20
Grammar For Writers (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/12/20

Sarah H. Baker is a lecturer and workshop leader, the author of more than twenty published novels. She grew up in New Orleans and has lived all over the country from Alaska to Georgia, but seems to have sprouted roots in New Mexico. Retired from the government, Sarah holds an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from The University of Texas.

Upcoming Classes:

E‐Publishing: The Wave of the Future! Live Online! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/16/20

Jeff Berg is a freelance writer, journalist and New Mexico film historian living in Santa Fe. He has traveled around New Mexico presenting his noted Made in New Mexico film clip series, doing live narration for each show. Previously, he served on the board of the Mesilla Valley Film Society located in Mesilla, New Mexico, and was Assistant Manager for the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe. He is the author of New Mexico Filmmaking.

Upcoming Classes:

The Grattan Incident to the First Wounded Knee‐ An Overview of the Wars Against the Plains Indian Tribes (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/8/20

Richard Blankmeyer attended the University of Southern California in on an NROTC scholarship, graduating with a B.A. in Social Studies. Upon graduation, Dick served three years active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the navy, he embarked on a 39‐year career in banking. He is an aficionado of history and an avid investigator of American social issues. Dick retired in 2002 and moved to New Mexico with his wife, Carol.

Upcoming Classes:

Golden Anniversary: Woodstock Music and Art Fair (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/6/20

Roberta Boggess 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. She is past president of the Albuquerque Assistance League and serves in multiple volunteer capacities with OLLI at UNM."

Upcoming Classes:

Puritanism, Cromwell and the English Civil War (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/30/20
A Hodgepodge of Potpourri Part I (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/1/20
A Hodgepodge of Potpourri: Why Do We Say That? Part Two (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/15/20
Longfellow (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/20/20
Dinner at George and Martha's (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/27/20
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/8/20

John Bratzel is Professor Emeritus from Michigan State University where he taught for thirty‐six years. He was the graduate director of the MSU Latin American Studies Center and President and later Executive Director of the Popular Culture Association. A specialist concerning Latin America during World War II, he has authored or edited two books on the subject as well as many articles. He has won the prestigious MSU Teacher‐Scholar Award as well as two book awards. Bratzel recently moved to New Mexico to avoid the northern winters and to be with his grand children.

Upcoming Classes:

Espionage in Latin America during WWII (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/29/20

Angel R. Cervantes is an avid genetic genealogical researcher. In 2004, he pioneered the study of Anthropological Genetic Genealogy with the creation of the New Mexico DNA Project. He has also been a key lecturer and speaker on the study of Anthropological Genetic Genealogy for various historical and genealogical organizations in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico. Mr. Cervantes teaches Advanced Placement History at Albuquerque High School.

Upcoming Classes:

The Visigoths Connection to New Mexican Families ‐ The Visigoth Perspective ‐ Live/Online! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/10/20
The Franks Connection to New Mexican Families (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/17/20
Who Was Leonardo da Vinci? (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/1/20
The Byzantine Connection to New Mexico Families (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/15/20
The Conquest of Florida and Andrew Jackson (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/22/20
Who Were the Knights Templar? (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/29/20

Mary Clark has a degree in Medical Technology, working in hospital labs and eventually at the Mayo Clinic in MN. She worked at a Medical Device company in California for nearly 28 years. A skilled and experienced trainer in volunteer and professional settings, Mary holds a certificate in Training Program Development from California State University, Fullerton. She also received a Certificate as a Hearing Loss Support Specialist from HLAA.

Upcoming Classes:

Purchasing a hearing aid – ARGHH!! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/13/20
OK, I've got a hearing aid – NOW What? (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/4/20

Dr. Duncan is a licensed, clinical child psychologist experienced in working with children and families on humor. He has fostered school‐wide humor in a school where he consulted and more generally, he's knowledgeable about how children learn.

Upcoming Classes:

Grow Laughter: Foster a Sense of Humor in Your Children and Grandchildren (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/27/20

John Farris received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNM and served two years as a Lt. in the USAF. He worked as an engineer, sales and marketing manager, subsidiary president, corporate VP and consultant for Pall Corporation for 45 years. An avid genealogical researcher, he serves as a volunteer and President of the Albuquerque Genealogical Society with 15 years of DNA experience.

Upcoming Classes:

Understanding DNA Results and What They Mean for You (Section Spring 2) ‐ 5/15/20

Peter Fisk, Ph.D., holds a Bachelors in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, a Masters in Counseling, from USC and a Doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant University), in Los Angeles. He worked for many years in large health systems, private mental health clinics and in private practice. Dr. Fisk is an enthusiast of American history and classical music; he’s a published author and playwright.

Upcoming Classes:

Baseball as a Metaphor for Life (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/16/20
New Mexico's Role in the Civil War (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/19/20
The Basics of Music Theory (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/6/20
The Psychology of Charisma (Section Spring 1) ‐ 6/4/20

Ramón Flores earned a B.A. in History and a M.A. in Cultural Pluralism from Stanford University and a M.F.A. in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. During 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 is a popular lecturer, leading a film series and other discussion groups.

Upcoming Classes:

The Right to Bear Arms and the NRA Role in Public Policy (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/16/20

Robert F. Gish holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in English and American Studies from UNM 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. Dr. Gish is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Pen West, the Authors Guild, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Upcoming Classes:

Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Unpardonable Sin (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/30/20
Writing Short Stories from Start to Finish (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/5/20

Melody Groves was born and raised in Las Cruces, but spent a few years growing up on Guam and in the Philippines.” She holds a B.S. from New Mexico State University and an M.A. in Education from the University of New Mexico. Melody taught in Albuquerque until leaving the classroom to become a full‐time freelance writer. She writes award‐winning novels and non‐fiction while writing for Wild West, True West, New Mexico and other magazines."

Upcoming Classes:

Boots and Spurs, and Chaps... Oh My! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/30/20
Nine Things You May Not Know About Billy the Kid (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/6/20
Old Town: 300 Years in the Making (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/14/20
Writing Realistic Characters in Dialogue: Fiction and Non‐Fiction (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/21/20
Putting emotion into your Writing (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/28/20
When Old West Lawmen Went Bad... and Vice Versa (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/7/20

Hi! My name is Annick. I’m the French instructor at UNMCE. I was born in France, near Lyon, but I’ve lived in many different regions in France, as well as in England, where I taught French for a year after College. I worked for a long time as an information researcher, then, when my husband got a motivating job opportunity in the US, we moved to New York City, and began a whole new life. I opened a tour guiding business, catering to French speaking visitors, and even wrote a book about the city. After ten years of hustle and bustle though, we were ready for a less stressful life, so we settled in New Mexico. It was four years ago, and I absolutely love this region, Albuquerque, and my job at UNMCE. It’s just wonderful to see the pleasure in my student’s eyes, when they grasp a new concept, or realize they’ve said a whole sentence in French, almost naturally! I also feel very honored, because people here are very open, and all my students show a great curiosity about French culture.

Upcoming Classes:

That's So French! A Study in Cultural Contrast (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/21/20

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, which aired on PBS on October 1, 2002. Carol has been an ASA member since 1984 and a member of the ASA Affiliation of Geologists since its foundation.

Upcoming Classes:

Geology of the Jemez Mountains ‐ Live Online! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/29/20

Lizabeth Johnson earned her M.A. in History from UNM and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington, Seattle. She has long had an interest in both ancient and medieval history, particularly the history of Celtic peoples. This interest in Celtic history led her to an interest in colonialism, particularly Roman and English colonialism in the British Isles. Her recent research has revolved around the survival of native legal practices in Wales in the century after the English conquest of Wales.

Upcoming Classes:

History of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales ‐ Now Live Online! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/15/20

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher and literary consultant. She worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television before turning her attention to fiction and essay writing. Ms. Josefs holds an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Antioch University. She currently leads workshops and provides coaching, editing and manuscript consultation through The Writing Circle.

Upcoming Classes:

Writing the Collage Memoir ‐ Live Online (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/16/20

Stacey Lane holds an M.A. in Liberal Studies and is a Certified NLP Practitioner. Ms. Lane is also a published writer and journalist. A lifelong learner, Stacey is a currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Communication from Arizona State University. She has a private practice and also teaches classes with the New Mexico EDGE.

Upcoming Classes:

Expanding the Writing and Being Process: Harness the Healing Power of Language ‐ Live/Online (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/18/20
Introduction to Neuro‐Linguistic Programming (NLP): Subtle, Sensitive and Sophisticated (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/1/20
Neuro‐Linguistic Programming (NLP): (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/15/20
Neuro‐Linguistic Programming (NLP): (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/29/20

Miriam Ginny" LaPore is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist with 30 years of professional experience, including teaching at the University of New Mexico both undergraduate and graduate nutrition courses for four years. Ms. LaPore has a Masters in Education (MEd) and has completed all my coursework for a Doctorate in Adult Education with a Nutrition focus. She's taught several courses and planned and coordinated colloquium series. In addition, she is also certified in Advanced QEEG and Neurofeedback."

Upcoming Classes:

NeuroNutrition: Change Your Brain, Change Your Weight (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/17/20

Dianne R. Layden, Ph.D., is a semi‐retired college professor and writer, who has studied public violence for over 30 years and is currently at work on a book about mass shootings. She holds a doctorate in American Studies from UNM, has taught college classes for 45 years, and has given numerous presentations on violence‐related subjects.

Upcoming Classes:

Hate Crimes in the US and New Mexico (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/7/20

Doug Lindsey has a bachelor's degree in computer science and has worked for IBM, Albuquerque Public Schools and Intuit, makers of Quicken and Turbotax. He is a member of the local chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and recently accepted a position on the FPA board. Doug Lindsey is a Certified Financial Planner

Upcoming Classes:

Savvy Cybersecurity (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/12/20
Savvy Personal Finance Technology: What Baby Bomers and Gen‐X'ers Need to Know About FinTech (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/7/20

Matilde Machiavello holds a Bachelor of Education, with a specialization in English language. She is a Brain Gym Instructor/Consultant, Life and Team Coach, and Master Practitioner in Neuro‐linguistic Programming with a focus on teaching and bilingual storytelling. These approaches are ‐ in her words ‐ the perfect blend to accompany learning paths, challenges and personal/professional processes and career moves. She is originally from Uruguay.

Upcoming Classes:

Brighten Your Brain (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/11/20

Carol March is a career development specialist, trainer, and published author who teaches individuals and groups how to succeed and thrive in today's workplace. Carol has a MS degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State University. Carol's specialty is helping people navigate life transitions and find ways to bring their natural creativity into their professional lives.

Upcoming Classes:

Shamanism: From Witch Doctors Through the New Millennium (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/7/20

John A.J. Matthews is a Professor of Physics at the University of New Mexico with research interests in experimental elementary particle physics and most recently in particle astrophysics. Dr. Matthews’ particle astrophysics experiments have included the Pierre Auger Observatory focused on the study of the highest energy cosmic rays and the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory focused on the study of the highest energy gamma‐rays.

Upcoming Classes:

Science for Lunch: Alaska Dreaming (I): Land Sculpted By Ice (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/17/20
Science for Lunch: Alaska Dreaming (II): Shaped By Plate Tectonics (Section Spring 2) ‐ 4/24/20
Science for Lunch: Alaska Dreaming (III): Waves in the Ocean (Section Spring 3) ‐ 5/1/20
Science for Lunch: Out of this World (II): 1960s Serendipity (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/15/20
Science for Lunch: Out of this World (I): Our Unexpected Solar System (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/8/20

Jon Nimitz has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University, and taught at universities for about 10 years. He spent a total of about two years in India, teaching high school and traveling with Indian friends through all regions of the country. Dr. Nimitz explored a wide range of spiritual traditions. He has published two books and over 100 technical reports and papers.

Upcoming Classes:

Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/1/20
Taoism (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/29/20

Joe Sabatini obtained his Master’s Degree in Library Science from U.C.L.A. Following five years at the U.N.M. School of Law Library, he joined the Albuquerque Public Library in 1973 as Head of Reference. Following his retirement in 2008, he volunteers in the Archives/Library of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and is active in the Near North Valley Neighborhood Association.

Upcoming Classes:

Christmas Revels: The 1919 New Mexico Mounted Police Raid on Santo Domingo Pueblo (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/20/20

Frank Sedillo ('82 BBA, '87 JD) began his 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. He presides as a Metropolitan Court Judge and as host of The Advocate," a City of Albuquerque GOV 16 Television show. Judge Sedillo is a long‐term instructor for a children’s law camp at UNM Continuing Education."

Upcoming Classes:

A Law Camp for Adults (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/9/20

Laura Smith is a clinical psychologist and current President of the New Mexico Psychological Association. Dr. Smith presents workshops on cognitive therapy and mental health issues to national and international audiences and is a widely published author of articles and books to the profession and the public, including those co‐authored with Dr. Charles Elliott.

Upcoming Classes:

Fake News: Defending Against Propaganda and Persuasion (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/10/20

Rob Spiegel is a career writer of 35 years, who has sold fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to national and international markets. He is currently senior editor at Design News, an international trade magazine. His work has appeared in hundreds of magazines, from Rolling Stone and New Mexico Magazine to True Confessions and Concrete D

Upcoming Classes:

Blogging Your Way to Writing Success ‐ Live Online! (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/10/20

Charlie Steen holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Early Modern European history and is Professor of History at UNM. He specializes in placing historical events in context with art, architecture, religion and other cultural aspects, as well as the Reformation, 18th century Europe, and the French Revolution.

Upcoming Classes:

Early Modern Cities: Amsterdam in the Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/9/20



Upcoming Classes:

The Powerful History of Southwest France (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/14/20

Program Supervisor, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico

Upcoming Classes:

Child Narrators in Adult Fiction (Section Spring 1) ‐ 5/5/20

Gay Witherington has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of the Pacific and a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from South Dakota State University. She worked as a counselor at the university counseling center, the campus women’s center and in private counseling practice and taught courses in meditation, assertiveness, parapsychology and other subjects. She has practiced meditation for 40 years.

Upcoming Classes:

Exercises for your Spiritual Health (Section Spring 1) ‐ 4/23/20

See All UNMCE Instructors