OLLI Instructor Bios
*Indicates some teaching services are donated to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
*Sheryl Alexander is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, following an undergraduate degree in biology. She is an ordained minister, chaplain and a John Maxwell certified leadership coach, speaker and consultant.
Gary Assadourian is a resident artist in musical composition with the South Carolina Arts commission. A composer who records his own musical compositions, he has taught art and music for 20 years, and his students have won numerous awards. Assadourian plays a number of instruments and has an in-depth understanding of the musical experience. He attended Rutgers College and Columbia University in New York City.
*Sam Baalbaki was born and raised in Lebanon and spent the last 17 years of his career in the Middle East before retiring in the U.S. in early 2012. His legal consulting work took him to more than 20 countries in the Middle East. Through formal and informal discussions (and observation) of the business, social and religious aspects of life in the area, Baalbaki gained a deep insight into the dynamics of the Middle East. Personal experience and extensive reading (in English, French and Arabic) enhanced his thorough understanding of the people and the problems of the area.
Lydia Barrows is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University and spent a year studying at the Jerusalem University College in Israel. With 35 years’ experience in the study and teaching of the Scriptures, her background, education, life experience and passion for Biblical understanding motivates her to share not only the context of the Scriptures but also personal benefits and life skills from their message.
Mary Anne Benedetto, author of Eyelash, Never Say Perfect and 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing, is a speaker, blogger and memoir-writing instructor certified by the Soleil Lifestory Network in Maine. She hopes to start a life story writing epidemic!
Libby Bernardin is the author of Layers of Song (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and The Book of Myth (Stepping Stones Press, 2009), a winner of the SC Poetry Chapbook series. A winner of the SC Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in 1987, she has contributed to numerous journals and anthologies. The Stealing (McGraw Hill’s College Custom Series) was published in 1993. Retired from teaching at USC, she has directed many fiction and poetry workshops.
Miriam Berrouet is a qualified interpreter for the state of South Carolina and interprets in the criminal, family and magistrate courts, as well as local area schools, hospitals and the domestic abuse center. She has taught as an adjunct professor of Spanish at Horry Georgetown Technical College and in the Buzz Power Program of Pee Dee Elementary.
Linda Beyer is a recent transplant from Alaska and brings years of cardmaking teaching experience to the Grand Strand. She employs a wide variety of crafting techniques in the art of handmade cards.
*Bill & Judy Blackburn have spent 35 years together traveling around the world and working in the travel industry, giving them the experience and contacts to guide your travel plans.
Priscille Boisvert owned a studio in Massachusetts for 30 years, teaching all forms of needlework and art classes (tole and decorative painting, oils, acrylics, watercolors and pen and ink). She also owns Priscille’s Stencil Company, which sells throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Nancy Bracken, DHA, has had a lengthy career as teacher, arts administrator, realtor and healthcare administrator. She currently serves as the Senior Program Officer at the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation.
Barbara Brittain is a coal-miner’s daughter from Pineville, Ky. She received degrees in English and library science from the University of South Carolina and is a retired librarian. Calligraphy has been her passion since 1978.
Rosemary Browne has worked in CCU’s Information Technology Services for the past 10 years, staying ahead of the student, staff and faculty computer needs. She is a South Carolina native and has a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University in communications and psychology and a master’s degree in education from the University of South Carolina.
Donna Carr has been teaching Yoga since 2000, sharing the gentle Vini Yoga tradition of respecting and opening the body, allowing Yoga to meet you and your needs. Certified as an RYT with the Yoga Alliance, having studied Restorative, Elder, Low Mobility and Meridian Yoga, she is working on her Reiki Master Certification.
*Ed Delaney retired after 40 years of goveernment work, in which he was involved in developing and conducting numerous training courses. An avid Apple product user since the early 1980's, he is a member of the OLLI Mac Club at Litchfield. He is also an award winning photographer and a member of the Carolina Nature Photographer Association and Seacoast Artist Guild.
*Mike Diem’s radio career covered the era of the demise of network radio, the rise of the disc jockey and talk radio. He spent 41 years behind the microphone in the Midwest. His vast collection of excerpts from radio’s Golden Age is used extensively in each class session. Diem has been an officer and board member of his POA since 2001 and is currently on the board of the Litchfield Neck Council of Property Owners Associations.
*Mary Laura Dorman grew up on an extended family farm which generated an appreciation and interest in all local history, especially the “Welcome Home” concept. As a Vocational Education high school teacher, she sought to establish a friendly classroom or office, and shares those insights with lifelong learners.
Susan Duke, an award-winning watercolorist, has been an art instructor for 26 years, the past 12 at Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum and the past eight for Lifelong Learning. Her loose, flowing style, applied to florals, landscapes, still lifes and abstracts, can be seen in area galleries.
*Darlene Eichler is a native of southwest Virginia, a graduate of Radford University and the University of South Carolina. A retired teacher/librarian, she is the author of 10 books and is working on her first children’s book.
Simone Esquibel, a retired psychotherapist and social worker, has been creating tile mosaic art for nine years. Her mosaic projects vary, including creating mandalas, yard art, small tables and wall hangings.
Alice McInvaill Estes, well-known batik artist, has been an art instructor for OLLI for the past seven years. A graduate of Winthrop College in art education, she is the president of the Litchfield Arts & Crafts Guild and has taught drawing, painting, sculpture and batik art courses to all ages for the past 20 years.
*Jim Farrell holds master’s degrees in education and environmental science. A recent transplant from New Jersey, Farrell is exercising his lifelong interest in the Civil War and expanding his knowledge of the Southern perspective.
Eleanor Ferrar received her doctorate from New York University. She taught acting, directing and playwriting in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at City University of New York and also in Italian at La Sapienza (University of Rome) and a private, professional acting school in Rome.
Larry Gates, a retired professor, has a doctorate in psychology from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
Michael Gay studied drawing, painting and printing at CCU and earned his degree at USC-Columbia. He works in several media (even digital art and photography) but primarily enjoys pencil, pen-and-ink and watercolor.
*Doris J. Gleason has been with AARP since 1993 and holds the position of Director, Community Outreach for AARP-South Carolina. She is responsible for engaging AARP’s 25 state chapters, as well as spending time in the community working with agencies, partners, AARP members and the public at large on a variety of issues, projects and programs.
*Kathy Graham is the President and CEO of the Coastal Carolina Better Business Bureau, located in Conway and serving North and South Carolina coastal Communities.
Luz Greene holds an advertising and social communicators degree and brings extensive experience in leading and training large and diverse workforces. An advocate for the Spanish community, she speaks English and Spanish fluently. Her teaching experiences include graduate-level courses, executive seminars and professional workshops for adult education and children. Greene was awarded the 2004 Horry County Literacy Tutor of the Year.
*Sheila Griffith has a master’s degree in labor studies and has worked with computers for more than 25 years. A W3C certified web developer, her family owns The Write Solutions Today, a web design and computer basics training company in Pawleys Island, providing website design, redesign and consulting, as well as online computer basics, maintenance training and computer troubleshooting for businesses and individuals. Griffith has recently published a seniors’ guide to getting the most from your iPad – Grandma Talks Tech: Baby Boomers Take to iPads, Too.
*Sally Z. Hare, distinguished professor emerita and founding director of the Third Quarter Lifelong Learning program (now OLLI) and the Center for Education and Community at Coastal Carolina University, is president of Still Learning, Inc.
Bruxanne Hein, with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Research at CCU since 2000, has presented a number of workshops to faculty, staff and students on grants administration and grant writing. She is a certified research administrator, grants specialist, grant writer and a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and the Society of Research Administration.
*Elizabeth Hileman is an accredited CIT instructor with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of USA in South Carolina. She has been studying Master Moy Lin Shin’s Taoist Tai Chi for more than 22 years, teaching and guiding students through its gentle graceful movements for 18 years.
*John Hobson, a former business executive, holds a Master’s degree in the Great Books from St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He is president of the Board at Atlantic Stage, a nonprofit theatre company in Myrtle Beach, and serves as the leader of the OLLI Classics Book Club.
Peg Howell, founder and president of Howell Consulting Group, L.C., specializes in leadership development and individual coaching. She brings more than 20 years of consulting experience with a range of clients from Fortune 10 corporations to small nonprofits and individuals. Since moving here five years ago, she has worked with the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, Georgetown County Habitat for Humanity, Tara Hall Home for Boys, Miss Ruby’s Kids and the American Leadership Forum-Litchfield Region.
Sharon Huber had a career in woven textile design in New York City. After moving to the Grand Strand, she developed two educational and design services, “Home Rejuvenation” and “Clutter Cutter.”
Richard Hull is professor emeritus of plant science at the University of Rhode Island and adjunct professor of environmental horticulture at Clemson University. During his seasonal residency, he offers illustrated courses on gardening and assists with presentation materials for local history courses.
Ralph Hunn emigrated to the U.S. from his native Heidelberg, Germany in 1972 to join his father, a professional jazz musician. Working in his father’s restaurants and nightclubs, Hunn began training under Arthur Murray as a professional ballroom dance instructor (1976-83) and continued independently and with Fred Astaire Dance Studio (2005-10). Currently, he is a realtor and instructs ballroom dance professionally at American Athletic Clubs in three Grand Strand locations.
Jan Igoe is an award-winning journalist and columnist with a background in graphic art. She has taught advertising art and design as a community college adjunct professor. An avid jewelry maker and polymer clay enthusiast, Igoe loves sharing crafts that everyone can master.
Keith Jacobs was born in Fayetteville, N.C., and moved to Myrtle Beach in 1994 to work as a photojournalist at the Sun News. Transitioning to commercial photography 10 years later, Jacobs has shot for many of the best known newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times and FHM Magazine.
*Ellen Jampole’s love of reading spurred her to become a teacher and over the years, she has taught students from age 5 to 65 (elementary through college). At the college level, she has taught courses in children’s literature, literacy development, curriculum and instruction. In addition, she has been a student of belly dance for more than 25 years.
Bill Jordan has been a landscape photographer since 1968, switching wholly to digital and turning professional in 1999. He has developed and taught credit, noncredit and seminar courses in both digital photography and Photoshop for photographers over the past 10 years at universities and for the Carolina Nature Photographers Association.
Cathy King has been studying and practicing yoga for the past 10 years. She began teaching in 2009, following certification as a Hatha Yoga instructor.
Priscilla LaFon has taught drawing and painting classes for all ages in the Myrtle Beach area since 1980, believing it is never too late to learn how to draw and paint.
*Terri Langston and father *Stan Stephens are co-owners of AHI Agency, dedicated to providing important information to seniors and Medicare recipients.
Bobbie Lawson is retired from teaching courses at CCU in art history, art appreciation and graphic design. Currently, she serves as a docent at Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.
*Cyndee Long is the founder and owner of Seaside Home Stagers in Pawleys Island. She has staged and redesigned homes in the Grand Strand area for three years. She was named Rookie Stager of the Year in the southern region by the Real Estate Staging Association in January 2011.
Sandra Lucas-Hyde has been dancing since the age of three. She has studied tap, ballet, jazz, modern and ballroom dancing. An instructor for the Myrtle Beach Chapter 6024 of USA Dance, as well as the City of North Myrtle Beach, she dances each year as a professional in the “Dancing with the Horry County Stars” benefit.
Richard Lutman has an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College. He has taught fiction and composition classes in Connecticut and Rhode Island and won awards for his short stories, nonfiction and screenplays. He was a 2008 Pushcart nominee. A chapbook of his flash fiction was published in 2009. Since 2010, he has had 12 stories, one novelette and one novella published on Kindle, Smashwords and Create Space.
*Jean Macary has a doctorate from the Sorbonne. He has taught at Princeton University and Fordham University in New York and has published on 18th century literature: Voltaire’s Facéties.
*Barbara MacDonald is an accredited CIT instructor with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of USA in South Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in administration from Wright State University in Ohio. She began the study of tai chi after retiring from the Ohio Department of Education in 2001.
Rita Martino majored in voice at CUNY - Hunter College and taught language arts, music and visual arts in New York for 10 years. She has introduced scores of lifelong learners to the joys of opera.
Robin McCall has turned her love for history and her hometown into a career, serving as a Georgetown city tour guide, as well as leading Grayline tours from Myrtle Beach to interesting places such as Brookgreen Gardens, Southport, Charleston and Savannah.
Frank McCambley has been woodcarving for several years. Having studied the art of bird carving under Jim Hossbach, he now specializes in songbirds, waterfowl and birds of prey. Loving the art as he does, he wants to share his knowledge and experiences with others.
Ian McLaren was born in Northern Ireland, earned his Ph.D. in physics at Queens University, Belfast, emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1967 and spent three years on the research faculty at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The founder and long-time president of Umbro USA, McLaren retired to Litchfield Beach in 2006.
Danny McLaughlin was born and raised in the area and earned a Fine Arts degree at the College of Charleston. He has been painting and teaching his passion for lowcountry subjects, including portraits, landscapes and still life, since 1990. His artwork has hung in the Library of Congress and is owned by celebrities.
Susan Meyers is the author of the poetry collection Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006), inaugural winner of the S.C. Poetry Book Prize. A long-time writing instructor, she has an M.F.A. from Queens University of Charlotte.
Cathy Milliren is a retired principal from the New York School for the Deaf where she worked for more than three decades. She has taught American Sign Language at both the high school and college levels for several years.
Jason Milliren has been using American Sign Language as a means of communication for the past 25 years. He has been a teacher of the deaf and taught ASL at the high school level for several years. He has also worked on interpretive sign language for the theater.
Dale Morris worked as a professional trainer for a large county, teaching programs, software and general PC skills - beginner to advanced. His passion is making computers more accessible while keeping the user safe. He keeps current with technology in general, from TV's to iPads, phones and cameras.
Sue M. 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 a master gardener, she has taught these subjects to area newcomers through Lifelong Learning.
Carol Dovi O’Dwyer is a life coach and certificed Crucial Conversations facilitator. She is passionate about supporting people in living from their strengths and achieving significant life goals. Carol edited an anthology, Gifts from Our Grandmothers, published by Crown in 2000.
Tom O’Dwyer is a native of Limerick, Ireland, who immigrated to the United States at the age of 25. A stonemason by trade, he enjoys helping people make the most of their trip to Ireland.
Angela O’Sullivan was an instructor of Windows classes for five years for the Workforce Development and Continuing Education branch of Thomas Nelson Community College in Williamsburg, Va., and also customized basic Windows training for Williamsburg public school employees.
James O’Sullivan holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of London and an M.B.A. in international economics from the University of Notre Dame. He is retired from decades of strategic planning, investment banking and pension fund management.
Don Parrish has been in the teaching and consulting business for more than 30 years, working in 10 countries through his consulting firm, Excellence Associates Incorporated. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in education, and he enjoys teaching and sharing the many practical things learned from real-life experiences, his own and others.
Debbie Peret has been employed at CCU for more than 10 years in the ITS department as an Information Resource Consultant. She assists CCU faculty and staff with computer hardware, software and purchasing requests. Previously, she worked as an IT support professional in the Baltimore/Washington metro area. She has more than 20 years of experience in computer training and support.
Tibby Plants is a Michigan transplant who has published a contemporary fantasy novel, poetry, short stories and nonfiction. She is the editor of The Petigru Review, the yearly literary journal of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop.
Robert Poirier has a bachelor’s degree in European history from Norwich University (The Military College of New England) and master’s degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A decorated officer of the Vietnam War, he completed advanced intelligence courses and was designated a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) 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. Author and teacher of military history, Soviet military analysis and Civil War battles, he leads battlefield tours for the Civil War Education Association.
*Odile Postic, a native Frenchwoman, retired from teaching French and Spanish at the college level in 2000. Since then, she has taught Travelers French to scores of students in between her own travels and her efforts to preserve the local breeding habitat for loggerhead turtles. She has led the French Conversation Club since 2007.
Philip Powell received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University under the tutelage of pianist Michel Block, preparing him for an active teaching and performing career. He is the chair of CCU’s Music Department, following many distinguished roles as assistant conductor of Long Bay Symphony, former artistic director of the Festival of Music & Art, former chair of CCU’s Performing Arts Department.
David Powers serves as a counselor specializing in traumatic and cumulative stress. Author of a dozen books and more than 500 newspaper and magazine articles, he regularly conducts seminars and consults with both agencies and individuals on balancing the various aspects of life. A decorated veteran of both the Marine Corps and Army and a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Powers is a member of the Mensa Society.
Gene Raymond has loved golf for more than 50 years and is a low handicap player who competes in senior and super senior golf tournaments. A former airline pilot and institutional bond salesman, following retirement from a portfolio management career, he has taught for OLLI at Duke University.
*Robbie Renken is a certified beginning instructor of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of USA in South Carolina. She has taught beginning and continuing Tai Chi for the past seven years.
Ronald Revere is a retired physics/astronomy teacher with 30 years of experience making science exciting. Join him and explore the mysteries and vastness of space and the daily wonders of the sky!
*Gail Reynolds, a retired special education teacher from Rochester, N.Y., has been researching her family history for more than 25 years. She helped found the Grand Strand Genealogy Club and is its past president and current treasurer. She has been teaching genealogy courses for Lifelong Learning since 2000, works with individuals on their family history research and speaks on the topic of family history at local service organizations.
Ed Robidoux, a retired mechanical engineer, relocated to Murrells Inlet in 2003 to pursue his hobbies in photography, cooking and Apple computers and devices.
Paige Sawyer opened his photography business in 1974 and specializes in portraits of children, families and brides. Winner of numerous state and national awards, he is a past president of the South Carolina Professional Photographers Association.
Geales Gavin Sands is the founding executive director of the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation in Pawleys Island, S.C. In pursuit of its mission to improve the quality of life for Georgetown County citizens, she works as a matchmaker for volunteers and the local nonprofits in need of their help. She was formerly the development officer for Tidelands Community Hospice and director of volunteers for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Va.
Josette Page Sharwell obtained her doctorate from the University of Florida and has organized 27 film festivals during and since her college teaching career in South Carolina.
*Barnie Slice is a self-taught artist who has been painting for 50 years and teaching art for more than 40. He has taught more than 5,000 students and sold 3,500+ paintings around the world. For the past eight years, he has taught water media techniques for Lifelong Learning and creates the OLLI catalog covers each term.
David Soma is a historian of the American West, having served as a historical tour guide and actor for the National Park Service, a living history actory portraying Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and “Wild Bill” Hickok,and a western character actor, stuntman and extra in films, television and documentaries. Author of The Yellow Doll (a historical novel about the death of Hickok) and monthly newspaper columnist, he brings 40 years of extensive travel and research in the American West to the American South.
Jane Spillane was married to Mickey Spillane for nearly 23 years. A storyteller in her own right, she continues to publish her husband’s unpublished manuscripts under Mickey Spillane Publishing, LLC.
Barry Stopfel is an Episcopal priest. His experience over the past 20 years has been focused on religion and social justice. Prior to seminary and ordination, he was a marketing executive in New York City.
Sam Syme has had many careers and throughout all has retained his love of history. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate from Duke University and has taught history at Duke, Emory, Wake Forest, USC-Coastal Carolina College, St. Leo College and Coastal Carolina University.
Craig S. Talbot is trained in Native Spirituality and serves the Peoples of North and South Carolina.
Deborah Thomas taught college English, served as a technical writer for IBM and has been a professional writer and marketing specialist for more than 25 years.
Pat Thompson, who learned the game of mah-jongg more than 10 years ago, regularly participates in mah-jongg tournaments in the area and across the country.
Daphne Trent is a certified L.E.A.N. Health Coach.
Jo Ann Tufo is a historian, lecturer and performer who has worked for more than 20 years presenting on a variety of historical subjects. A former Philadelphia tour guide and professional actor, she studied American history at Temple University. She is the president of Senior Class: American History Programs for Mature Audiences, presenting her one-woman performances as “The Good Wife, Mrs. Benjamin Franklin” and “The Eternal Wife, Mary Lincoln” in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and South Carolina.
Don Ullmann is a graduate of West Point with master’s degrees in German language and literature and international relations. A retired Army Intelligence Colonel and U.S. Army European Area Specialist, he has been teaching Lifelong Learning courses on the Grand Strand since 1995.
Ana von Hofmann has been painting since childhood. Prior to art school at Carnegie Mellon University, she worked as a sidewalk artist in Lake George, N.Y. and Provincetown, Mass. She holds an international degree in Montessori and is a resident artist with the SC Arts Commission. She has taught children’s art at the Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum, as well as drawing classes at CCU.
Zenobia Washington has created her “Women of Inspiration” dolls originally as grief therapy and now as a celebration of life. A former jewelry.
Kathy Welde a former math teacher, has taught stained glass for more than a decade and creates complex windo designs, nautilus shell suncatchers and stained glass angels on commissions.
*Norm Whiteley retired in 1994 as president and CEO of Global Environmental Solutions Inc., following 32 years in various technical and management positions. Originally educated as an engineer and businessman, he pursued studies leading to a degree in biblical history after retirement. In addition to teaching for OLLI, he publishes an investment newsletterk, is a frequent contributor on the subject of investing to the Prime Times publication and serves as an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.
*Sue Ann Whittick taught visual arts for 32 years for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, as well as teaching noncredit courses in calligraphy, cooking and crafts. She is a member of the Grand Strand Shell Club.
Pam Wilk is certified L.E.A.N Health Coach.
Jolene Williams a retired school teacher, graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in art education and completed graduate studies in art therapy. For five years she instructed art and piano classes for community centers in Oregon.
Rebecca Zdybel works professionally as an artist and art instructor, coordinating classes and teaching at Art & Soul Gallery in Myrtle Beachk, as well as privately. She displays at Art & Soul Gallery and Seacoast Artist Guild's Gallery in Market Commons.