Quick Contact

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
CEC West Lodge, Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

local: 727-864-7600
fax: (727) 864-7766


Meet the Staff

Facebook Visit us on Flickr

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute


Dedee Aleccia

Dedee AlecciaDedee Aleccia received her Bachelor's degree in English from Rosary Hill College and her two Masters' degrees (in English and Art History) from SUNY Binghamton. Her literature thesis exposes the hypocritical sexual mores manifest in the two versions of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. For her Master's degree in Art History, Dedee conducted on-site research on the Thomas Becket window cycle at Canterbury Cathedral in England. Her thesis is archived in the cathedral library.

As an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to study theatre history at the University of London; this experience whetted her appetite for travel-study. Since then she has become an avid research-traveler, setting up her own study topics and itineraries. These have focused on such areas as Rome's early Christian sites, Frances's Romanesque cathedrals, Turkey's Roman cities and Islamic centers, and China's Imperial residences.

Dedee has held professorships at Broome Community College and Montgomery College and has serves as adjunct professor at SUNY Binghamton, the University of Baltimore, and Eckerd College. Among the many literature subjects she has taught are world literature, British literature, the Bible as Literature, 19th century literature, modern drama, and Shakespeare. In art history she has taught world art, Greco-Roman art, medieval art, Renaissance art, and 19th century art. She has served as director of Montgomery College's Honors Program and has taught several honors courses. Awarded the opportunity to serve as a Smithsonian Fellow, she researched images of labor in 19th century art.

Michael Allen

Mike AllenMichael Allen is a Professor at Stetson University College of Law teaching courses in Civil Procedure, Remedies, Complex Litigation, Constitutional Law I, the Federal Courts and the Federal System, and Veterans' Benefits Law. He also is the co-coach of four of Stetson's moot court teams. In addition, he supervises Stetson's internship programs at the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. During his time at Stetson, Professor Allen has received the University level award for Excellence in Teaching, the Award for Excellence in Professionalism and Career Development presented by the Stetson College of Law Student Bar Association, been twice named the Best All Around Professor, and five times been awarded the Golden Apple Achievement Award for teaching. He has also received the University level award for excellence in scholarship as well as the Dickerson-Brown Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Allen spent nine years as a civil trial attorney at the law firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, Massachusetts where he concentrated on complex insurance coverage cases, securities class action defense, large tort actions and general commercial litigation. Professor Allen's clients included major investment banks, a wide assortment of public companies and insurers at Lloyd's of London.

Professor Allen graduated in 1992 from Columbia University School of Law where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar during his last two years. He received his undergraduate degree in American history and political science from the University of Rochester where he graduated summa cum laude in 1989. He is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Professor Allen's research interests are wide ranging. He has researched and written in areas including remedies, personal jurisdiction and the intersection of authority between the federal and state governments in areas such as the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts and other constitutional allocations of power. He is also a recognized expert on the law of veterans' benefits, a topic on which he has testified before the United States Congress. Professor Allen's articles have appeared in such journals as the Washington & Lee Law Review, the American University Law Review, the George Mason Law Review, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, the Brooklyn Law Review, the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, the NYU Annual Survey of American Law, the Catholic University Law Review, and the Stetson Law Review. In addition, Professor Allen, along with his Stetson colleague Professor Michael Finch, is the author of a book entitled An Illustrated Guide to Civil Procedure published by Aspen Publishers. He is also the author (again with Professor Finch and Professor Caprice Roberts of the West Virginia University College of Law) of Federal Courts: Context, Cases and Problems, also published by Aspen Publishers.

Finally, Professor Allen is active in several professional associations. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools. He is also the past Chair of the AALS Section on New Law Teachers and the AALS Section on Remedies.

Judith Alstadter

Judith AlstadterJudith Alstadter has achieved recognition and praise for the beauty and virtuosity of her interpretations. She has appeared at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York. She has concertized in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean as recitalist, with orchestra, in lecture recitals, and chamber music concerts.

Born in New York, Judith is a graduate of the Juilliard School and received her Doctoral Degree from Yale School of Music and studied in France. She was honored by the French Government for her contributions to French music in America. Dr. Alstadter is a well-known music educator, a popular speaker, performer, coach and workshop clinician for music organizations.

Click here for Dr. Alstadter's website.

Jerry Blizin

Jerry Blizin has been an OLLI presenter for more than five years. He has presented programs on history, biography and jazz. A native of St. Paul, Minn., he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1948. He is a former journalist who spent 17 1/2 years with the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) and was the newspaper’s Washington,D.C. correspondent from 1963-1965. In 1962 he was selected as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association, spending a year in Congress working on the staffs of the late Sen. Spessard Holland (D-Fl) and Rep. Richard Bolling (D-Mo.) He became press secretary to the late Sen. George Smathers (D-Fl) in 1965 and served until Smathers’ retirement in 1968. In 1969 he joined the Washington public relations office of Hill & Knowlton Inc., where he served as senior vice president and deputy manager. He retired in 1987 and returned to Florida after 25 years in Washington, residing in Tarpon Springs. Since 1987 he has contributed guest columns and articles to The Times, Tampa Tribune and Washington Post. His lifelong hobbies have included jazz and foreign travel. A jazz-band drummer from 1943-1962, Jerry’s first OLLI lecture in 2005 was about his idol, Duke Ellington.

Nan Colton

Nan ColtonNan Colton is a playwright, director, storyteller, actress and arts educator having performed and lectured professionally on stages throughout South Africa, Great Britain and the United States. From 1990 -1998 Nan was founder and Artistic Director of Kestrel Productions - a small, professional theatrical company that presented over 100 productions of vital American theater and, when in residency at Eckerd College, brought Pulitzer winning playwrights to town to share their works with local thespians and audiences. Now she is committed to create and present theatrical solo performances and workshops that are both interactive and entertaining in museums, art galleries, schools, universities and at conferences.

Nan has been the Performing-Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg for the past 15 years, having researched, produced and performed over 33 vastly different original scripted presentations that explain the art and the exhibitions.

Nan's 5 historical character project entitled Upstairs/Downstairs at Tampa Bay Hotel (Henry Plant Museum) has won national recognition with an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History. It is her commitment to the local community that has won Nan recognition by the Pinellas County Arts Council who recently awarded her the prestigious Artist of the Year 2000 - Friends of the Arts Award.

Artist statement:

"In all my work I strive to make the expression of my work relevant, entertaining and perti­nent for the audience. I diligently research the historic and personal climate that molded the person I am portraying. My dialog with the audience is created to meet the immediate needs and responses I perceive. It is a two way flow. Every Thespian will say something like "I listen to the audience." Well, we do. That is what makes the work a joy. That is why I choose the medium of "live theater" to tell the story. Only in the moments of suspended disbelief is the conversation with the listeners immediate and interactive. The result of the give and take, that brief emotional rapport, is an exchange of ideas and a deeper under­standing of our humanity. Isn't this, after all the effort, one of the main functions of art?"

Roy Duttweiler

Roy Duttweiler is a native of New York City where he worked at the Metropolitan Life until he retired. During those years, he was a volunteer serving on several boards including those of a residence for seniors and a homeless shelter for women. He was also actively involved in his church, where he served on various boards, as well as with the Presbytery of New York City.Opera is one of his great loves, along with classical music, both live performances and CD renditions. He has served as Co-Chairperson of the OLLI Advisory Council at Eckerd College for four years and has been both a lecturer at some of the classes and a trip leader for the group travel programs. Roy also manages to find time for other volunteer involvement in the community.

Jason Fortner

Jason FortnerJason Fortner has been a part of our Eckerd College Continuing Education Programs with both the OLLI and Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) programs for nearly a decade. After a life of working in theater and the arts, Jason has amassed a vast collection of entertainment memorabilia, which he shares with his students through videos, audios, and images. From the primeval musical THE BLACK CROOK to today's high tech extravaganzas, Jason keeps up with the latest trends and successes on Broadway, in Hollywood, and around the world's stages. When not at Eckerd College, Jason works for Wizard Studios International as Creative Director, where he has traveled throughout the US and abroad on various shows and events. He serves as both Producer and Director for Clearwater's Francis Wilson Playhouse, entertaining audiences there for over 20 years. When not immersed in entertainment, Jason seeks more high speed thrills, and has ridden over 500 roller coasters worldwide!

Pati Myers Gross

Pati GrossPati Myers Gross has a BA degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida and a MA degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. She was a St. Petersburg police officer for numerous years working in various divisions: patrol, crime prevention, crime scene, intelligence, truancy, and burglary. She was the first female reserve officer of the year and the first female captain of the reserve unit. Pati authored five children's safety books and co-produced four musical safety CDs. She was an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice Department at Remington College and supervised the forensic lab. She is currently the forensic instructor in St. Petersburg Police Department's Citizen Police Academy. Pati is also a member of SPPD's volunteer road patrol. Pati works in the family business, David C. Gross Funeral Home with her husband David and two sons, Michael and Steven.

Ellen Hersh

Ellen HershEllen Hersh was born in New York City, raised in Philadelphia, and currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida and Bradford, New Hampshire with her husband, author Burton Hersh. She has taught French and German language and literature at the secondary and college levels. On the rosters of the Florida and New Hampshire arts councils, Ellen has been poet-in residence at schools, libraries, continuing education programs, etc., since 1981. She holds degrees from Radcliffe/Harvard College, Yale University, and an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College. Her poems and translations have appeared in reviews and anthologies such as Under the Legislature of Stars, and The Other Side of Sorrow.

Hal Hultman

Hal HultmanHal Hultman received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Delaware, a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research/Industrial Administration from Union University, a Master of Financial Economics Degree from George Mason University, and Certificates of Completion, Basic Management and Advanced Management Principles, from IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY. Hal served his active duty tour as a Nuclear Weapons Officer at the U.S. Army Ordnance School at Aberdeen, Maryland.

Hal had the unique opportunity to be a technical staff member, Project Manager and Development Engineering Manager in the IBM Federal Systems Division, and was involved in numerous computer development projects, among which were the Houston Ground Data Processing Complex, the Space Shuttle, the FAA Air Traffic Control System, the US Post Office Optical Mail Reader/Sorter, the U.S. Air Force F-14 Tomcat Cockpit Display and the U.S. Navy AN/UYS Digital Sonar. All of these systems are now displayed in Smithsonian Institution Museums in Washington, DC.

Hal retired early from IBM to accept a professorship at Montgomery College. His mission was to restructure and invigorate the Electrical Engineering transfer program which, upon his retirement from the College, had become the largest Engineering Transfer program in the United States. Concurrently, Hal taught Introductory finance, economics, and management courses, Physical Science, several honors courses, and served as the Montgomery College Coordinator for its Smithsonian and Library of Congress Internship programs. Hal was a principle investigator on a five-year Nation Science Foundation grant to restructure the Physical Science program for Elementary Education programs in the United States.

Hal received an IBM Corporate Outstanding Technical Achievement award, two IBM Technical Marketing awards, two professional recognition awards for excellence in teaching, and was nominated as a candidate for Community College Professor of the Year in the State of Maryland. Additionally, Hal was selected twice as a Smithsonian Fellow, once in Physics, where he researched techniques for creating computer synthesized music, and once in Economics, where he researched the measurement techniques used to define work, employment, and ultimately unemployment.

Hal has been an adjunct professor at Eckerd College in the PEL program, and is currently lecturing in both the OLLI and Road Scholar programs. Hal also lectures in the lifelong learning program at St. Petersburg College.

Joy Katzen-Guthrie

Joy Katzen-GuthrieJoy Katzen-Guthrie Composer-lyricist, pianist, producer/arranger, cantorial soloist, writer, teacher, historian and speaker, Joy Katzen-Guthrie is devoted to uplifting, empowering, and inspiring through the arts. Through her weave of history, storytelling, and traditional, contemporary, and original songs, she has developed her music to be a portal to healing and creativity. A Memphis, Tennessee native who has made her home in the Tampa Bay area since 1981, Joy melds a repertoire of some 3,500 compositions with a vast knowledge of musical genres and history in congregation, classroom, concert hall, and in ten published recordings. With her husband Mark, she operates a professional recording studio, Tune-of-the-Century Music®, as well as Broadcast Studio Design/Integration services and sound reinforcement services for a roster of congregations, organizations, and individual performers. Since 2000, Joy has created and served as Scholar-In-Residence for six Jewish heritage tours throughout China and has announced her coming heritage tour to Argentina for spring 2010. She is a contributing writer to the Encylopedia Judaica on the Jews of Alaska, and her photographs of China have been published worldwide. Joy has also received appointments to the Florida Artist Residency Directory, funded by the State Division of Cultural Affairs, and has been awarded two arts resource fund performance arts grants from the Pinellas County Arts Council. Her original continuing program for students, Of Musical Note, features professional musicians who explain their instruments and craft and involve children in performance. Joy's extensive website is her own design and creation: joyfulnoise.net. She is also on Facebook, CD Baby, and Amazon.com.

Click here to download a written interview with Joy Katzen-Guthrie

Rick Kistner

Rick KistnerRick Kistner is a Pittsburgh native and Vietnam era veteran who lectures for both the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) and Road Scholar programs for Eckerd College. His educational background includes a B.A. in Urban Studies from Wright State University and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Dayton. Rick's lecture series on American history, government, literature, and the performing arts, are derived from a unique combination of career experiences. As a young man he was a police officer and homicide detective and went on to spend twenty years as Police Chief in several American cities.

During the same time he worked as an actor in films, TV commercials, and on stage, appearing in over 120 productions since 1964. This diverse background led to Rick being profiled on N.P.R. and "CBS This Morning" with Charles Osgood. A voice artist, he combines his intense interest in popular Western Literature with his acting career via his collection of studio recordings of classic literature by Dickens, Poe, Mark Twain, and dozens of others for the popular Lit2Go website. Currently, he and Karen, his wife of 37 years, live in Largo, Florida, and enjoy spoiling their grandchildren.

Duncan J. MacMillan

Duncan-MacMillanDuncan J. MacMillan has appeared on civic, collegiate and summer festival artists series as solo pianist, chamber musician, harpsichordist, and in premiere of new piano works. His own compositions have been commissioned and premiered by symphony, university faculty, and touring artists, as well as by liturgical ensembles. He has taught piano, music literature, theory and history, and coached opera and chamber music at various colleges and universities. He has also taught piano privately for over 25 years. He serves as President of both the Florida State Music Teachers Association District 9 and the Upper Pinellas Music Teachers Association, and is on the Artist Advisory Board of the National Society of Arts and Letters, Tampa Bay Chapter.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda, he holds BA degrees magna cum laude in psychology and music performance, a Certificate in Piano and Pedagogy, and Master of Music degrees in piano and music theory from Florida State University.

Click here to download the OLLI interview with Duncan MacMillan.

Joe Menasce

Joe Menasce was born in Cairo, Egypt of Jewish parents from Spanish descent and left Egypt at the age of 16 for political reasons. He kept wonderful memories of his youth that included a comfortable life and weekly horseback riding to experience the exhilaration of galloping in the desert circling the Pyramids and the Sphynx a la Lawrence of Arabia!

Joe is bilingual French/English, lived in Nice France for 6 years before his admiration for America convinced him to immigrate to this country in 1964. He became a citizen, holds a BS in Business Administration from California State College at LA, is happily married with Michelle and has 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.

Joe's careers include positions in sales and marketing management in the medical industry as well as a Certified Financial Planner from which he retired.

Joe's passion for a variety of disciplines including international affairs, politics, history, economics and medicine along with extensive travelling around the world and his unusual background helped him develop a certain international perspective that led him to teaching for OLLI both at USF in Tampa and at Eckerd College and as a lecturer for different organizations.

David Mulligan

David Mulligan spent his entire career in upstate New York in public school education teaching French. He has a B. A. Degree in education from the State University of New York at Potsdam. David also has an M. A. Degree in French studies from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. He has also done additional graduate work at Middlebury College, Tufts and New York University. David has also lived, traveled and studied in France during his career as an educator. Visiting France on a regular basis continues to be a major interest of his. He now enjoys presenting classes for the OLLI program at Eckerd College.

Rea Nurmi

Rea NurmiRea Nurmi was born in Helsinki, Finland, where she graduated from the Structural Design Institute. After coming to the United States in 1973, she worked as an electro-mechanical designer in engineering firms. After 14 years she left her work with straight black lines for a life adventure in color.

Rea is a painter who has produced and exhibited artwork since 1987. In her paintings she prefers pastel medium and varied subjects. Through the years she has gained a reputation for that versatility. Her work varies from the realistic Inventory Series to otherworldly Underwater Series to the majestic Flight Series. Lecturing and exhibiting frequently, Nurmi has established her credentials as an artist and educator. In addition she has a rug design line. Some of her colorful floral paintings have been made into large woolen area rugs.

Her works also include murals. She creates relaxation environments in hospitals, nursing homes, other health facilities and schools. Rea has a special and unique gift for opening new horizons through art to those whose lives are restricted. Her large works of gardens and other nature scenes evoke relaxation and tranquility. With this work her intention is to bring color and light where it is most needed. The finished murals are the subject of an upcoming book, "HEALING WALLS," which will be published in Helsinki, Finland in early 2012, and offered in both English and Finnish.

Rea Nurmi's work is influenced by her own ever-changing life experiences and communicates her unmistakable enthusiasm and joy. She divides her time between Milford, Connecticut and St Petersburg, Florida. If you would like to view some of Rea's works, visit her website.

Roberta O'Connor

During her forty-year career in education, Roberta has taught people from four to ninety-four and credits them all with teaching her. She was able to combine her vocation, Education, with her avocation, Philosophy, as she earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Smith College and the Doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. After teaching at the Smith College Laboratory Pre-school and at a vocational high school, from 1978 to 1993 she taught in and chaired the Education Department at Springfield College in Massachusetts. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China. One of her favorite experiences was directing a Bachelors degree program with Chinese Y.M.C.A. and Springfield College for Hong Kong educators. She also particularly enjoyed tent-camping with her husband across Canada, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, and back-packing in Scandinavia, since that kind of travel offered many, varied opportunities to enjoy nature and to interact with other people. After her "retirement," for a few years she taught classes with lifelong-learning programs at Eckerd College, coordinated the volunteer program for Senior College, traveled with Elderhostel, and volunteered as a docent at Florida International Museum. Her most recent adventure was a 2007 project in South Dakota with "Earthwatch," discovering the Zen of excavating mammoth bones. She returns to OLLI eager to resume explorations of the implications of Eastern philosophies for life in the Western world.

John Schloder

John SchloderAfter studying in Paris and beginning his museum career at the Louvre, John Schloder returned to the United States to work for the Cleveland Museum of Art as the Museum's Assistant Director of Education and Public Programs. He also was Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Joslyn Museum of in Omaha, Nebraska, before accepting the directorship of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. Dr. Schloder has taught at Case Western Reserve, The University of Nebraska, The University of South Florida, and Eckerd College, as well as various museums and colleges across the United States and Brazil.

In his first years at the MFA, Schloder implemented a re-evaluation of the Museum's collection; oversaw a three-year program of "blockbuster" exhibitions that led to significant fundraising and increased national and international tourism to St. Petersburg; an evaluation of the current and future needs of the Museum; a feasibility study on adding a new wing to the original museum building; and a capital campaign to build the Hazel Hough Wing, which doubled the original size of the Museum. Last year, Dr. Schloder retired as the Museum's director but continues to lecture at the MFA. Most recently in France, as part of a committee of French museum curators, he co-organized an exhibition and catalogue of the art collection of Cardinal Richelieu.

Bob Teare

Bob Teare's interest in OLLI and teaching music is a product of discovering new energies in retirement. His formal teaching experience dates back to he 60's when he taught philosophy to undergraduates at Columbia University and Bennington College. Then, for thirty four years he worked as a clinical and school psychologist in private practice in northern Vermont.He moved, permanently, to Florida in 2005.

Music, especially classical music, has always been his form of meditation, he says. He can especially remember listening to live broadcasts of Toscanini when he was eight, falling in love with Otto Klemper's 1963 version of the four Brandenburgs, and being stopped dead in his tracks by Paul McCreesh's conducting of Handel's Messiah.

Bob lists four factors leading to his teaching now:

  • access to a very large collection of classical recordings from the past 70 years,
  • a long term interest in comparison-listening as a unique way to gain understanding of music,
  • a persistent sense of dismay at the way classical music is presented on the radio, in concert program notes, and in most textbooks,
  • and, OLLI, for being here to afford us an opportunity to share our joys.

Register Now!

The Met Opera at Eckerd College

Met Opera Live in HD
Enjoy the entire 2015-16 Metropolitan Opera season simulcast in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium. OLLI and ASPEC members will receive ticket discounts.