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Welcome to OLLI at Sierra College Fall 2023 Registration is Open! It is a new Membership year so if you have not renewed your membership yet,you must have a Membership in your shopping cart before you can select courses. > OLLI Extras > Instructor Biographies

Instructor Biographies   


Emanuel Abramovits a cultural manager and concert promoter based in Florida, with 25 years of professional experience organizing concerts by international artists in the US and South America. He is relatively new to our OLLI but has been teaching for several institutions in nine states for three years. Emanuel Abramovits has been a concert promoter since 2000, directly involved in many events by international artists, designed and staged many original orchestral events and world premieres, including an Event of the Year winner. He served as the Cultural Director at UNION ISRAELITA DE CARACAS from 2008 to 2019, releasing books, organizing film cycles, concerts, and art exhibits. 
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David Anderson was a professional disc jockey, music director, and program director in rock radio for more than 20 years. Along the way he interviewed many well-known artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Todd Rundgren, Chris Isaak, Boz Scaggs, Robert Cray, and Bruce Hornsby. David has written a number of articles about rock music, television, and the movies. He has been teaching in the OLLI program since 2016.



Barri Babow has a diverse background. She has a MS in Information Systems, MA in History of Science and BS in Physics. Before grad school, she worked in the aerospace industry designing satellite software (remember Star Wars in the 1980s?). During grad school, she was a teaching assistant in astronomy and computer science, among other jobs. After grad school, she worked in the tech industry doing systems analysis, project management and the like. Her work included developing and delivering training for users, technical support personnel and managers. Barri loves traveling, seeing new places and meeting new friends. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!


James Baker earned a PhD in sociology and social psychology from the University of Utah. He is retired from an aerospace and business management career along with being an Adjunct Professor at UCLA and USC. He taught many college classes over a 20-year period. He has been an active genealogist for the past 15 years, specializing in German, DNA, and Research Methodology. He has written articles for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Magazine, the NGS Quarterly, and Der Blumenbaum, the journal of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. He has presented classes and webinars to many genealogy groups including the NGS,Southern California Jamboree, and Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!

Gloria BeverageGloria Beverage leads monthly discussion about books that stretch your reading muscles. A retired newspaper editor with a photojournalism degree, she also studied English literature and Women’s Studies. Know that feeling of satisfaction when you finish a really good book? It’s even better when you can share your thoughts with other book lovers.




Ann Bliss holds a doctorate in American literature from U.C. Davis. She earned her M.A. in English from Cal State East Bay and her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley. She has taught at Texas A&M-San Antonio, U.C. Merced, and U.C. Davis. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!




Douglas BonettiDoug Bonetti is a California native, growing up in King City in the heart of the Salinas Valley. He attained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Sacramento State University, graduating in 1979. He worked for 34 years in Sales and Marketing at the largest consumer products company in the world-Procter&Gamble. Retired, he currently resides in Cameron Park, CA. His passion is history-specifically Civil War history. He has an extensive collection of weapons, letters, and accouterments. He speaks at local grammar schools and HS’s throughout the region, Veteran’s Clubs, and has spoken at virtually all the Regional SIRS (Sons in Retirement) chapters on the Civil War. 2023 will mark his 9th year lecturing on the Civil War for the Renaissance Society.

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




Linda Derosier has been an Instructor for OLLI at Sierra College since 2010. She teaches film studies with an emphasis on “Femme Fatales, Feminists and Friendly Women in Film”. She earned a BA in History and Drama from the University of Minnesota, Morris.




Michele Dodge holds a BS in Business Administration/Accounting from the University of the Pacific. Since retiring she has expanded her experience in Wildlife Photography and Wildlife Rescue.




Bill DrabinBill Drabin recently retired and relocated to the Roseville area. He spent over 35 years in Corporate Finance in banking and healthcare industries in the Bay Area, and is a graduate of San Jose State University. He and his wife have been recent additions to attending the OLLI at Sierra College program. In recent news, Bill has accepted a position on the OLLI at Sierra College Advisory Council. His background in finance, his skillset in the classroom, and his perspective from both a student's and instructor's viewpoint will be an asset to the OLLI Advisory Council. 



Joan EstinJoan Estin taught in California, and internationally, for 40 years before returning to Nevada County to share her expertise with the community. Some of her accolades include: • Listed in Who’ s Who Among America’ s Teachers (the best teachers in America selected by the best students in America (student criteria determined by grade point average and national test scores) • Nominated Outstanding Gifted Teacher of the Year (California State Board of Education) • Participant in the Language Arts California Literature Project • Nevada County Drama Festival contributor • Chairman of middle school G.A.T.E. Committee Educational Experience • 1968-1971 University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. History major  Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!

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.




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




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. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!




Image DescriptionJoan 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 for 25 years taught English and history to middle school students. In retirement, Joan has taught for OLLI for four years and serves on the OLLI Advisory Council. In addition, Joan's debut book, an adventure memoir entitled Force of Nature, is being published in September 2023. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!


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. 




Randy Humphreys

Randy Humphreys has a Masters in Music Education from the University of Nevada, Reno and a Bachelors in Music from San Francisco State University. He retired from The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in 2020, where he taught Band, and Jazz band. When not playing or teaching music, he can be found teaching skiing in the winter, and beaching in the summer. He lives in Truckee with his wife Hillary and their puppy, Penny. 




Rebecca Inch-Partridge works as a freelance editor, writing coach, author, and guest lecturer. Over the last several years, she has used her "Write That Book" technique to help many aspiring authors complete a manuscript. She has had numerous of her own stories and articles published. Her first novel, ESCAPING THE DASHIA, came out in March of 2023. Her second book, ABBY'S FIRE, coathored with Corinne Malcom Ibeling, comes out in October 2023. She's enjoyed critiquing manuscripts for over 20 years and has worked as a freelance editor for the last six years. She loves helping writers get their ideas down on paper. Rebecca is an active member of Gold Country Writers and the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Louise Johnson has a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University where she focused her studies on ecology and population genetics. She has been a high school teacher of biology, chemistry, physics and geology. She served as school principal, Assistant Superintendent and a 15-year veteran California school district superintendentRecording Icon Records Zoom Courses!



Gopal KapurGopal Kapur, author of three college-level text books, teaches history, nutrition, and special interest classes at UC Davis and Sierra College OLLI Centers. He has contributed to food columns in regional and national media, and is founder of Family Green Survival, a local not-for-profit with the mission to EndLocalHunger. He is the developer of BagOfLife® meals designed to provide high quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and natural dietary fiber to those facing hunger in our community and the EatSHARP™ Personal Nutrition Assessment quiz available at


Janice Kelley has a MS in Recreation, Parks and Tourism from CSU Sacramento. She brings a lifetime of writing experience to Life Writing and Nature Writing workshops. She has led writing workshops at senior centers, libraries, and schools. Her professional background includes writing for local and statewide magazines, nonprofit organizations, City of Rocklin, CA State Parks Sierra Nevada Conservancy and National Park Service. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!


Loydyne Lane is currently President of the Nevada County Chapter, a chapter of the California Grand Jury Association. The Chapter is a group of 10-15 past and present jurors who support the Grand Jury with recruiting and report distribution. She has served five years on the Grand Jury as Foreperson Pro Tem (assistant Foreperson), Business Manager, and Outreach and Finance Committee chairs. Loydyne has an MBA, ten years' experience in banking, 15 years' experience as a Management Consultant with KPMG and other national consulting firms, and extensive experience with non-profit organizations.

Nelson LoaizaNelson Loaiza has a B.A. Teacher of English, University of Concepcion/University of Chile (1968) - Teacher of English, St John's School, Concepcion, Chile (1967-1969) *Granted a Fulbright Scholarship to California State University, Chico (June 1969) - M.A. Drama (1971); M.A. English (1972)  [Teaching Assistant 1969-1973] - Teacher of English/Spanish/Drama, Tehachapi Unified school District (1973-1978) - DLI instructor/English as a Second Laguage, Migrant education, Region III, Merced,California (1978-1987) - Developmental Education Specialist/Professor of English, Merced College (1988-2009) ** Retired since 2009 and currently volunteering my time to facilitating/guiding 2 Socrates Cafe forums: one at Maidu Community Center, one at Sun City Roseville. Expected to add another at Riley Library in August.

Trina Long has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for over twenty years. She specializes in senior fitness. 
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Irving Lubliner is a professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University (SOU), where his specialty was mathematics education. After receiving a BA in math from U.C. Berkeley and a Master of Arts in Teaching from U.C. Davis, he had a 40-year teaching career. He taught math at all levels, kindergarten through graduate school, led seminars for teachers in 39 states, and gave over 350 conference presentations, including several keynote addresses. Since retiring in 2014, he has taught math, blues harmonica, and literature classes for OLLI at SOU, where he also served on the Council of Directors. In 2019, he created Felabra Press and published his mother’s writings about her experiences during the Holocaust, the book that will serve as the theme for this presentation. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!

Richard LuiRichard Lui is a licensed counselor, life coach and adult educator for more than 40 years in the greater Sacramento area. He practices many passions or callings in his life as an author, actor, musician, lover of nature, animals and sports, but most importantly as husband, father, friend and citizen. He feels humbled to guide others with proven scientific and intuitive tools to find and follow their passions at any age for more aliveness, self-care and joy as we balance and care for others in these difficult and challenging times.



Brittney May has taught voice and directed choral ensembles of varied ages and sizes for over 15 years, spurred on by a passion for working with young professionals, students, and beginners. Before coming to Reno, she taught k-6 general music, band, and choir in Tucson, Arizona for four years. Brittney May graduated from Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2011. She earned her Master’s in Music Education from UNR in 2015.



Robert Murley is a software engineer, whose first job out of college was with Douglas Aircraft, working on the third stage of the Saturn rocket. Since that time, he has continued to be interested in the project and its many little-known facts. Bob would like to share this fascinating information with those who wish to learn more about Apollo.




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. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!




Joe Medeiros is a retired professor of biology/botany/ecology. He is retired Editor-in-Chief of the Sierra College Press. He was a National Park Ranger and has led hundreds of fieldtrips throughout the natural world. He is a genuine tree-hugger. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!




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 retired faculty member from Sierra College.





Dr. Kenneth Moore is an ordained minister who studied history at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley (MA, MDiv), UC Davis, and McCormick School of Theology in Chicago (DMin). Ken has taught classes on the history of religion at Cotner College, and with OLLIs at the University of Nebraska and UC Davis. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!



Susan OsbornSusan Osborn has a Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University; M.S.W., U.C. Berkeley; B.A., University of Colorado; Lifetime Instructor Credential - California Community Colleges; Full-time faculty member: Chapman University, Notre Dame de Namur University, University of Washington, Bellevue Community College, Edmonds Community College; Adjunct faculty member: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, University of California, National University, University of LaVerne, University of Phoenix, St. Mary's College, University of San Francisco, Allan Hancock College, Mission College, West Valley College, Foothill-DeAnza College Seattle Community College, City College, Seattle Pacific University, Western Washington State University. 



John Panneton is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D.). He was a Federal Prosecutor for 16 years with the U.S. Department of Justice. He was a Criminal Defense attorney from 1991 to 2015. He has taught criminal justice courses at CSUS from 2006 through 2017 (full-time faculty) and at the University of California Davis from 2001-2003.



Roger PetersonRoger S. Peterson is an incurable history buff. His interests include presidential decision making, the JFK assassination, and a lifelong interest in Wyatt Earp, the latter two resulting in eight publications. He has a BA in political science and history.




John Powers, M.F.A., is a writer and director with experience in theater and film. Drawing on U.S. history as source material for several of his productions. He has also developed this material into provacative classroom engagements, such as Profiles in Deceit: JFK and LBJ in Vietnam and Hitler's A-Team. John has been an OLLI instructor since 2013. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!



Judie Rae has a BA in English and a 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.




Susan Rogers has a Masters degree in Communications from UC Santa Barbara and has been teaching for OLLI Sierra College since 2019. She’s retired from a 45-year career in marketing communications, including 10 years in media literacy education publishing a website with hundreds of resources for advocates for media literacy for children and adults. Susan has pursued genealogy research and teaching since 2012 and enjoys helping others pursue their family history. Recording Icon Records Zoom Courses!



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.




Ellen SanderEllen 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.




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 continue teaching the Advanced Tai Chi for the OLLI program.




Kulvinder SinghKulvinder Singh has a J.D., M.B.A., and a B.A.






Dr. Stephenie Slahor holds a Ph.D. degree and a J.D. degree. She is retired from her law practice and university teaching and now creates informational and fun courses for OLLI programs around the nation. Her courses are in the natural sciences, history, and interesting sites around our world that have geological or human significance. Her hobbies are travel, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, horsemanship and archery.
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Teri Umhauer has degrees in Product and Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Art and Fashion History have always been passions and particularly when they come together. She teaches Fashion at Sierra and American River Colleges.  




Wayland Whitney is a conductor and violist from Northern California. He is passionate about education, and has taught publicly and privately since 2008. In 2009, he co-founded the Placer County Youth Orchestra (PCYO) in Roseville, CA, which he administered and conducted while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Viola at UC Davis. From 2016-18, he directed the Music in the Mountains Youth Orchestra (MIMYO) in Nevada County, CA. In 2018, Whitney moved to West New York to study conducting and free improvisation with Dr. David Rudge at SUNY Fredonia, finishing his Master’s degree in Conducting in spring of 2020. He has also studied at the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival in Hancock, ME under the direction of Micheal Jinbo and Ludovic Morlot. In 2021, Whitney returned to Music in the Mountains as director of MIMYO and Assistant Conductor of the MIM Orchestra and became conductor of the Modesto Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, Whitney became the conductor of the OLLI Orchestra in Nevada City, CA. In 2023, Whitney also became Director of Strings and Orchestras at Modesto Junior College. He lives in Modesto with his two cats and an ever-increasing number of houseplants. 

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.



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