Instructors

Senior Learners, Inc.

Instructor Biographies

Senior Learners, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run by volunteers, has provided educational opportunities to seniors 50 years old or more. We offer courses covering a broad range of academic interests, including Health, Science & Technology, The Arts, History, and Languages. Our outstanding instructors come from a wide range of backgrounds and include current and retired artists, musicians, teachers, professors, doctors, engineers, and scientists.

Anne Berra

Anne Berra holds a BA in the field of English and education. She has  taught English at Holy Childhood School in Halfway Tree, Jamaica and at Jeann d'Arc Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. She was in the antiques business for twenty years, and taught two courses on antiques in the Continuing Education Program at the University of Massachusetts. In 1990 Anne and her late husband retired to Portugal, where they lived for fifteen years before returning to the United States.

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Paul Bloom

Pending

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Antonio L. Bunker-Soler

Dr. Bunker is a retired physician who has been in private practice as well as serving in the Armed Forces in several locations throughout the US & Overseas. He has been in Ocala since 2004.

After obtaining his MD diploma at the University of Puerto Rico, he completed a Pediatric Residency in San Antonio, Texas, Allergy Immunology Fellowship in Denver Colorado, & further training in Pediatric Pulmonary at Houston, Texas. Was an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Georgia, US Army Allergy Southeast & Europe Medical Consultant.

Dr. Bunker is interested in the variety aspects of Health Care & Medicine to include Clinical Ethics & Thanatology.

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Jerry Cheney

Dr. Cheney is a scientist by training and by general nature. He earned a BS in Biology in 1976 from Lamar University and then went on to earn a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutuion/MIT Joint Program in Oceanography in 1981. After teaching and doing research for ten years, he changed careers and earned his OD from the New England College of Optometry in 1994. He practiced on Cape Cod, in Daytona Beach, and, for 15 years, in Ocala. He had the good fortune to retire six years ago and has become an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer in retirement.

Jerry has taught classes on the human visual system, biological oceanography and astronomy for Senior Learners. He looks forward to presenting the wonders of scientific exploration in future courses with Senior Learners and hopes to convince students that evidence-based decision making is the most effective way to proceed in all aspects of our daily lives.

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Colleen Pallamary

Colleen J. Pallamary is an author, speaker, and freelance writer. She has an Associate in Science Degree from Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA and is a certified BLS/CPR/AED instructor. She is an Extra Class Ham radio operator and has spent many years volunteering throughout Marion County with a special focus on educating seniors on how to protect themselves from scammers and con artists. She has published three books and her short stories have been published in the Canadian literary magazine Scarlet Leaf Review. She continues to write and is teaching classes throughout the community.

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Joe Coffey

Dr. Joe Coffey holds a PhD in Economics and has taught at Universidad Agraria of Peru, University of California Berkeley, Virginia Tech, NC State, and Purdue. Until retiring from Virginia to Florida, he held executive positions in academia, industry, and government. For over a decade, he has made presentations on economics and world affairs at the College of Central Florida for the Senior Learning Institute, Ocala; Citrus Hills Communities, Hernando; On Top of the World Communities, Ocala; the Villages and on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Princess, Silver Seas and Azamara cruises.

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Phyllis Ponder Craggs

Phyllis Craggs has earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Media and Instructional Design with high honors, at The University of Florida. Phyllis has taught art in many Public and Private schools as well as classes at The College of Central Florida. Phyllis also has an Art Therapy Program called Art With a Heart, a 501(c)3 entity that provides art instruction for residents in assisted living.

Her main interest is being able to share the joy of the creative process. There are many excellent artist in today’s world but very few excellent art instructors!

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William Crawford

Dr. William Crawford is a recently (2017) retired podiatrist. He practiced in Ocala for 35 years. He holds a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Maryland. He has a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Kent State University School of Health Sciences. He has been a contributor at Senior Learners since 2017. His interests lie in medicine, history, science, and geography.

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Frank DiPiero

Frank DiPiero spent 35 years in public education, 16 as a secondary science teacher and the rest in a variety of administrative roles from principal to superintendent. He also had a second career as an Air Force officer with 30 years of reserve and active duty service. He served in a variety of command positions ending his service at the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command as the Reserve counterpart to the Director of Security Forces. DiPiero also was temporarily assigned to US Central Command serving in the Middle East when the 9/11 attacks occurred. His education includes a BS degree in Biology and a MS degree in Education, both from Youngstown State University. He also is a graduate of the USAF Air War College.

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Robert DuMond

Robert DuMond is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in Floriculture and Masters in Adult Ed from the University of South FL. He retired from the College of Central Florida as a Senior Professor in Environmental Horticulture in 2014. During his 25 years at the college, he taught landscape design, irrigation design and installation, turf grass management, greenhouse operations, plant propagation, pest and disease control, landscape and plant maintenance and nursery operations. Prior to teaching, he worked as a landscape designer in Central Florida for 20 years. Having lived in upstate New York, he also has extensive knowledge of northern plant material.

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Barbara Fitos

Barbara Fitos holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Douglass College / Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University/ New Orleans. A 35 year resident of Ocala/Marion County Barbara is a former County Commissioner and retired banking professional and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County. Active in many community organizations, she has one son, attorney Joseph Fitos, and is the very proud grandmother to the “Fitos4”.

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Annette George

Born in Columbus IN  and grew up there. Majored in music therapy and music education at UGA. Worked 14 years in NC as a music therapist in a chaplains department of a large state institution for developmentally disabled adults for 14 years. Then went to ChiangMai Thailand and worked as a Presbyterian missionary...teaching music at a Christian university for 29 years. Covid19 quarantines trapped me in the US in spring 2020 and forced me into retirement. Happily retired mow and living with my older sister who has numerous health and mobility issues.

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Elena Goulet

Elena Goulet is an avid “cat” person with a background in Information Technology. She is the Chair of Sheltering Hands, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Northwest Marion County. Sheltering Hands maintains a network of foster homes and residence facilities providing safe, loving and enriching environments for cats until they are placed in their forever homes. It also provides TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) Services for feral/community cats, including traps, low cost spay/neuter and vaccination services. Several Senior Learners have obtained their cats from Sheltering Hands and often volunteer at their facility.

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Latif Hamed

Pending

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Rich Hautanen

Rich Hautanen is a retired engineer who worked 25+ years in the computer network and defense industries. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University, and a MS in Computer Science from Rivier University. Rich teaches courses on Android phones & tablets, Windows 10 computers & gaming, and ancient american history (pre-Columbus). He is currently a member of the SLI board.

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John Holloran

Dr. John Holloran has a Bachelor of Arts degree Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. He recently retired after a 21-year career teaching in private high schools in a variety of leadership positions, 18 years of which was at the Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, OR. In retirement he is a freelance writer and photographer. During his teaching career he was an avid digital still and video photographer of school activities. He recently taught a high school course on History Through the Lens, which showed how photography both documents and shapes history.

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Robert Holloran

Robert Holloran holds a BS in physics and an MS in nuclear engineering from the University of Washington. In 1976. as a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington, he taught graduate-level nuclear engineering and radiological science courses. His professional career culminated in co-founding National Background Data and serving as its Chairman and CEO until it was acquired by a Fortune 500 company subsidiary.

Since retiring in 2006 he served the community as Vice Chair of Healthy Ocala and the Public Policy Institute of Marion County. He also has taught a variety of courses at programs for seniors about physics, astronomy, science-based history and chocolate. His interest in chocolate is an outgrowth of a family business that made raw chocolate products commercially. Bob is currently the past chair of Senior Learners.

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Margery Howard

Margery Howard attended Indiana U before graduating Purdue U, earned an MBA from Webster U while working in healthcare IT where she retired in 2017. She has tutored foreign languages in Indiana and taught computer and management classes here in Ocala. She is currently serving on the Senior Learners Board and has many interests, including aviation, geography and foreign languages.

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Brad Hull

Brad Hull is a retired high school English and American Literature teacher.

After receiving a BA and MA in American Literature and teaching for 30 years, Brad retired and continues to conduct seminars and lectures on American authors and works. He will be teaching a course on Ernest Hemingway in the Senior Learners Summer 2021 Term.

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William Kee-Nee

William Key-Nee has been an adjunct professor of humanities for the past 26 years and participated in lifelong learning classes off and on as an instructor starting in 1986. He earned a Master's Degree in Humanities from the University of South Florida in 1995 and holds a BS in Professional Management (Nova Southeastern University), and an AS in Environmental Science Technology Degree (Santa Fe College). He is also the published author of three books: Creating A Sacred Future, Encyclopedia of Future Technology Volume I, and Origin and Destiny of Humanity.

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Belea Keeney

Belea T. Keeney has published three short story collections, and The Tiger Whisperer, which won the award for Best Novel of the Year from the Cat Writers Association in 2014. She works as an editor for the American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine; writes the garden column for Ocala Style magazine; and works as a reporter for the Ocala Gazette. Her writing has appeared in Florida Horror: Dark Tales from the Sunshine State, The Beast Within, Sniplits, Boundoff, WordKnot, Best Gay Love Stories, Men of Mystery and many other anthologies. Her stories have placed in the Writers in Paradise Short Story competition, the 2010 Florida Review Editor's Choice Award, the 2007 Left Coast Writing Contest, and the 2011 Saints & Sinners Literary Festival Short Story contest.

She works as an editor and spends her time off collecting caladiums, feeding birds, and, of course, reading.  She especially enjoys working on paranormals, horror, romances, memoir, and most anything written about horses.

"I especially like developmental editing, that is, working with writers one-on-one to create a stronger story. This type of editing covers plot, characterization, pacing, dialogue, point of view, imagery, and tone." She takes on select private clients for editing and coaching. Email her at belea.keeney@gmail.com

Her books and stories are available through Amazon or her publisher, JMS Books.

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Evelyn Kelly

Dr. Evelyn Kelly, a resident of Marion County for 40 years, is a medical writer, public speaker, and college professor. With a PhD from the University of Florida, she teaches graduate classes for Saint Leo University. As a writer, she has published over 400 articles and is now writing her 19th book- What You should Know about Asthma.

Dr. Kelly lives on a farm in Marion County and has four children: Kurt, a former state representative and Congressional candidate, now CEO of the Florida Coalition for Children; Natalie, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities (mental health); Sharlene, a former counselor at Florida State College, Jacksonville; and Marsha, a clinical social worker. Evelyn and Natalie have traveled to 85 countries and often speak to groups of their adventures.

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Lela Kerley

Pending

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Gary LeBlanc

Pending

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Mery Lossada

Dr. Lossada came to Ocala in 2005 and opened a private practice specializing in Neurology and Psychiatry. She joined Hospice of Marion County in 2007 and became Chief Medical Officer in 2010. In 2017, Dr. Lossada earned Fellow status with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine (AAHPM). Dr. Lossada is board certified in Palliative and Hospice Medicine, Hospice Medical Director, Neurology and Psychiatry, is a Diplomat Neurologist and Psychiatrist and belongs to the Board of American Medical Specialties.

In 2016, she was granted the Hospice Medical Director Certified (HMDC®) credential by the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board. She is also the 2016 recipient of the Catalyst Award presented by the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care organization. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding collaborative work with the professional team as well as with patients and families. In 2015, she was elected to Fellow status by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

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Scott Mitchell

Pending

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Colleen Pallamary

Colleen J. Pallamary is an author, speaker, and freelance writer. She has an Associate in Science Degree from Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA and is a certified BLS/CPR/AED instructor. She is an Extra Class Ham radio operator and has spent many years volunteering throughout Marion County with a special focus on educating seniors on how to protect themselves from scammers and con artists. She has published three books and her short stories have been published in the Canadian literary magazine Scarlet Leaf Review. She continues to write and is teaching classes throughout the community.

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Gwynn Pealer

Gwynn Pealer has a BA in Biology from Hartwick College. She has 15 years experience teaching Advanced Placement Biology at Forest High School and International Baccalaureate Biology at Vanguard High School, both in Ocala. She has been published in journals of the National Science Teachers’ Association and has served on the board of the Florida Association of Science Teachers. She was Crown Region Teacher of the Year in 1988. Gwynn retired in 2008 after 40 years of teaching. She has taken many Senior Learner courses and taught several science-related courses. She has served in various capacities on the Senior Learners board.

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Roberto Putzeys

Roberto Putzeys, M.D. was in Private Practice in Radiation Oncology at the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute, Ocala, Florida for twenty years prior to retiring here in 2009. After retiring from his full-time practice, he still occasionally practices outside of the area at facilities needing temporary additional help.

He obtained his MD diploma in his home country of Guatemala. After moving to the USA, he completed a Radiation Oncology residency at the Medical College of Virginia and , and obtained his board certification in 1978. He then worked at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio TX, and academic and Va facilities in Little Rock Arkansas. He started practicing in Florida in Tallahassee in 1984 and moved to Ocala in 1989.

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Matthew Reilly

Dr. Matt Reilly moved to Ocala after retiring as Professor at James Madison University, where he helped to create the College of Integrated Science and Technology. He developed new courses in areas of chemistry, physics, economics, computer science, and energy-related topics. Matt was recognized by his students and faculty colleagues for his teaching abilities. He served as Faculty Marshall of the JMU faculty.

Matt is knowledgeable about energy issues. At the U.S. Department of Energy, he was responsible for assessing the environmental impacts of new energy technologies using coal, oil, tar sands, oil shale, and natural gas. He was the Executive Director of the Integrated Utilities Board of the National Academy of Engineering. He consulted for organizations such as the Gas Research Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, and American Petroleum Institute. He led studies of energy policies and technologies at the Engineering Societies’ Commission on Energy.

Prior to joining JMU, Dr. Reilly was Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of Research Program Development at Lehigh University. He helped to form interdisciplinary research centers in structures, energy, manufacturing, process control, and polymers.

Matt began his career at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he developed new programs in environmental studies. His degrees are in Chemical Engineering and include the PhD and MS from the University of Illinois and the BS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

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Danielle Rosier

Danielle Rosier, Au.D. Dr. Rosier is a Board Certified Doctor of Audiology. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida, and upon completion, stayed at the University of Florida to complete her Doctorate in Audiology. She is currently a fellow member of the American Academy of Audiology and on the board for the Hearing Loss Association. Her clinical expertise includes diagnostics and amplification with a focus in aural rehabilitation. A Florida native, Dr. Rosier enjoys kayaking and hiking with her husband and black lab. Her time recently has been spent enjoying her daughter, Anna Elizabeth.

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Sarah Satterfield

Dr. Sarah Satterfield has taught a variety of music and humanities courses at the College of Central Florida, the University of Florida, Flagler College, and Florida Gateway College. She was recently ranked the 12th leading university professor in America based on student evaluation data. Dr. Satterfield lectures regularly throughout the Southeast, specializing in American music and music of the twentieth century, and has concertized extensively. An experienced administrator with a broad background in various sectors of the performing arts industry, Dr. Satterfield managed the San Diego State University Symphony Orchestra and Ocala Symphony Orchestra. She served as Administrative Assistant for the prestigious Arioso Wind Quintet, winning grants exceeding $50,000 for that organization. She also coordinated the Adams Project, a training program that taught collegiate-level small ensembles the art of educational, senior, and multi-cultural outreach programming.

Dr. Satterfield received a PhD in Music History and Literature with an outside specialization in art from the University of Florida, MM in Flute Performance from SDSU, and BM in Music Education from Furman University (magna cum laude). In her spare time she is a runner and competitive triathlete. She serves on the Board of Directors of the local triathlon organization Tri-Him.

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Bruce Seaman

Bruce Seaman is a retired Presbyterian minister who has lived in Marion County for over 25 years. He is known locally as a social justice activist who has led local groups like Community of Gratitude, YouthReach, Awake Marion, and Bridges Project as well as serving with many others. He has focused more on writing in retirement. He is a graduate of Adelphi University (B.A.1981) and the Divinity School at Harvard University (M.Div. 1985). Last October, he published "To Succeed Where Others Failed: The Untold Story of the Marshall Plantation Raid," the topic of his course with Senior Learners.

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Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith has 20 years of experience designing, developing and deploying global entrepreneurial leadership programs for world-leading technology and professional services companies including AT&T and Lucent Technologies. She holds a BS from City University of New York and has Certificates from Babson College Executive Education, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Guru School and Disney Leadership Programs.

Elaine currently teaches film appreciation courses at Senior Learners and at Master the Possibilities. She is a member of the American Film Institute. You can follow Elaine on Twitter @elaineentertain for commentary on the arts focusing on film, television, books and theatre.

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Burton Stephens

Burton Stephens was a researcher and manager for traffic and highway safety programs at the Federal Highway Administration. He headed the International Clearinghouse at the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of America. He performed research at the Civil Engineering Department and was a consultant to the National Older Driver Research and Training Center at the University of Florida. Burt received a Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology from the George Washington University and has been an instructor at the University of Florida. the University of Maryland, the National Highway Institute, the CF Senior Institute and Senior Learners.

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Thom Thomas

Thom Thomas is an accomplished artist with a strong background in the principles and elements of art and design. Inspired by childhood ambitions for a career in fashion design and illustration, he completed his undergraduate study in Commercial Illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco California. Since completing his studies, he has worked as a freelance artist for more than 30-years; his work has been featured as greeting cards, in books and album cover designs. Thom is a virtual workshop instructor and demonstrator with a desire to share his knowledge and passion for drawing with others.

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Lori Witkowich

Pending

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