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Faculty Biographies



Christine Bolli is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara. While her degree focuses on Classical and Medieval Architecture, she is passionate about art through every age and has taught a spectrum of courses at a variety of institutions, including Brooks Institute and UCSB. She also writes articles for the online Art History textbook, Smarthistory

 Kathleen Booth

Kathleen Booth,  B. S. in English, Speech and Theater from Kent State University, augmented by MBA education in Organizational Development and Marketing from Case Western Reserve University. She currently manages IMAGINE Consulting which provide coaching, training and organizational development to individuals, teams and companies. Previously, Kathleen was the Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Warner Bros. supporting business units in 42 countries, National Managing Principal Consultant at Oracle, Continuous Measurable Improvement Consultant at Hughes Electronics (now Boeing Satellite Systems), and Corporate Vice President at Security Pacific Bank. Soroptimist International of Oxnard recently honored her with their “Women Making a Difference” Award. Kathleen’s “life compass” is to be insatiably curious, a perpetual learner, comfortable with change at warp speed, willing to re-invent yourself, and passionate about what you do, what you create and what you give.

 Traceylee Clarke

Traceylee Clarke, received a Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Utah, Department of Communication, Salt Lake City, with a concentration in Environmental Policy Development, Community Outreach & Education, Native American Policy Development and Environmental Conflict Resolution. M.A. in 1997 from Washington State University, Pullman, WA, Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. Concentration in Environmental Policy Conflict, Native American Culture and Organizational Behavior. B.A. in 1995 from Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT. Double Major: Interpersonal Communication; Marketing/Advertising.

Jerry Clifford 

Jerry Clifford has a Ph.D.in Nuclear Physics and spent thirty years doing experimental research, mostly for government-sponsored programs. He has taught Physics and Astronomy for 8 years at CSU Channel Islands. Other applied physics courses taught at the University and at OLLI include Physics of Music, How Things Work, Science & Conscience, and Introduction to Our Solar System.

Bruce Collins 

Bruce Collins has taught in the Osher Program at CSUCI since 2007.  His courses have included The Odyssean Tradition; Tragedy: The Human Dimension—Sophocles to Eugene O’Neill; In the Mood: The Swing Era; The Broadway Musical, and several film courses, among them The Hollywood Western, The Cinema of Shock, and Cult Film Classics.

 Matthew Curtis

Matthew Curtis, Ph.D., is an anthropological archaeologist who has carried out archaeological fieldwork and museum research in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States.  He is a former Fulbright fellow and has been co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded archaeology project in southwestern Ethiopia.

 Shannon Diffner

Shannon Diffner holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Literature from San Francisco State University. She has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years, has taught college-level English composition and literature, and has been an instructor for the OLLI program since 2005. She is co-owner of Scarlet Letters Copywriting, a small business specializing in writing for various marketing arenas.

 Carolyn Dorrance

Carolyn Dorrance, Ph.D. teaches courses in history, political science and philosophy at Oxnard College.. The challenge of applying political ideas in practical politics and fulfilling the ideals of effective citizenship has long been a focus in her teaching. She engages in the public dialogue at the Institute of World Culture (Santa Barbara) as President and Program Coordinator.

 Bill Garlington

Bill Garlington, Ph.D. has a B.A. and M.A. in History from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Asian Studies and Sociology from the Australian National University. He has taught at all academic levels on three continents and carried out extensive sociological/anthropological fieldwork in India. He directs the Adult Education Program at Camarillo United Methodist Church. 

 Herb Gooch

Herb Gooch, Ph.D. is a professor of Political Science at California Lutheran University. He directs the Masters in Public Policy and Administration program. He holds a B.A. in History from U.C. Berkeley, and M.B.A. in Business Management, M.A. in International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.   He is a frequent local media commentator on political affairs.

Laura Hagel 

Laura Hagel MA in Art History from UCSB, is the Rights and Reproductions Officer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She was Program Manager for the “Art of Ancient Glass” exhibit showcasing the Gunter collection of vessels dating to the 6thcentury BCE. Her deep and abiding love of the arts of the ancient Mediterranean has motivated her to teach at Ventura College.

Alisa Hall 

Alisa Hall holds an MA in Art History and a Museum Studies Certificate Degree from Tufts University. She has worked in several museums, most recently as the Assistant Curator for Modern & Contemporary Art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, where she organized the exhibition Identities and supported the international touring exhibition, Tamayo: A Modern Icon Re-interpreted.

Kevin Hughes 

Kevin Hughes received his Master’s Degree in History from Cal State University Northridge. He has taught twenty different types of history courses, including US History, Western Civilization, World History, 19th Century History, and 20th Century History at a variety of community colleges and Universities. His lifelong passion is researching history and making it accessible, exciting, and relevant to students.

 Saul H. Jacobs

Saul H. Jacobs matches up a professional career as an informational and documentary media writer and producer, with experience as a lecturer on informational research and writing at UCLA Extension and Cal State Northridge, skills as a performer, an academic background in Theater Arts, and a lifelong interest in popular music and the musical theater to develop, produce, and present these classes.   Bob Lipson, his musical colleague and friend for 62 years, is one of the area’s outstanding interpreters of the great American standards. He augments Saul’s lectures with his piano artistry and his own insights on musical composition and styles and popular music’s contributions to our culture.

 Bob Koster

Bob Koster has over 40 years of experience in film and TV production.  He has taught production at UCLA, USC, Art Center College, the AFI, and lectured here and abroad, concentrating on early history of film and television.  He has authored three books on film production, and has worked in the archive department of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 David Knight Lynch

David Knight Lynch received a B.S. in Astrophysics in 1969 from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1975 from the University of Texas in Austin. He specializes in infrared spectroscopy of comets, novae, supernovae, young stars and very old stars. Dave also works in the field of optics in nature (rainbows, mirages, etc.) and geologic mapping. Dave's recreational activities include playing the fiddle in assorted southern California bands, camping, collecting rocks and rattlesnakes and reading the New Yorker. He also enjoys writing and won the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (Romance Category), as well as several "dishonorable mentions" since.

Michael Markman attended the New England Conservatory and Yale University.  He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, Boris Goldovsky, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, John Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Antonio Banderas, David Foster, Steven Spielberg and more. Michael has performed music in over 1000 films, hundreds of TV programs, including 24 years of "The Simpsons", countless CD's, and 19 Academy Awards telecasts.

 Brent Meeker

Dr. Brent Meeker, has a B.A. in Mathematics, M.S. in Computer Science, and a B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics. He had a long career at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, and most recently worked for Jacobs Technology Naval Systems Group. Many of his scientific articles have been published.

Barbara Moroncini  

Barbara Moroncini, received a Ph.D. in Musicology from UCLA in 2008. Her doctoral dissertation was a study of urban landscapes, socio-political structures, economics, and their impact on the formation of identity and aesthetics goals of experimental musicians in Los Angeles. Barbara authored liner notes for the German music label Wergo, program notes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl—for which she also gave pre-concert lectures. She taught Contemporary Music Studies at Victoria University’s New Zealand School of Music, in Wellington, where she designed courses for the academic curriculum and was director of the Post-Graduate Forum. She was invited to speak at the London University School for Advanced Studies, Institute for Musical Research. Back in Los Angeles, Barbara has happily returned to composing, focusing on electronic media. Barbara also teaches music theory and music history classes for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCLA.

Peter Neff, M.M., is a composer/guitarist. His compositions can be heard in numerous movies, TV shows, recordings and commercials, including "The Sopranos," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Saturday Night Live" and "Nova." He has performed with Smokey Robinson, Wilson Pickett, Eartha Kitt, John Raitt and Petula Clark. He holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami

 Steve Norris

Steven M. Norris, Ph.D., Arizona State University, has conducted ichthyological research (fish studies) in the USA, Africa and Europe.  A Research Associate of the Fish Division of The University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology, he is an internationally recognized ichthyologist.  Dr. Norris is currently an active faculty member at CSU Channel Islands.

 Nitika Parmar

Dr. Nitika Parmar, received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA and subsequently completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship at UCLA after which she was appointed as an Assistant Project Scientist. Her prior education was received in India where she did her BS (Honors) in Biophysics followed by an MS in Biotechnology and MTech in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. Nitika’s fields of interest include molecular biology, genetic engineering, and DNA recombinant technology. Her research focuses on understanding signal transduction pathways controlling cellular growth (normal and cancer) as well as studying protein damage in response to aging. She has utilized various organisms such as bacteria, worms and plants as well as Drosophila and mammalian cell lines to address her research. She enjoys the excitement of research but tremendously enjoys teaching and interacting with students as well. She feels that molecular biology has no limits and that its benefits can be tapped with an unending potential--the only requirement being a sense of intense motivation and enthusiasm!

 John Pendleton

John Pendleton, Ph.D. (History) teaches at CSU Channel Islands, Ventura College and in the Elderhostel and OLLI programs. Author of a textbook on popular culture, he is currently working on a study of American heroism and celebrity. He is Director of Internet Research and a writer for an interactive educational course on American innovation.

 Robert Piccioni

Robert Piccioni, graduated from Caltech, has a Ph.D. in high-energy physics, and was a research faculty member at Harvard. He hosts the internet radio show “Guide to the Cosmos” on webtalkradio.net and is the author of 2 award-winning books.

 Mark Rafter

Mark Rafter, M.A. in Psychology from CSU San Bernardino, has taught a wide range of psychology courses at Chaffey College and College of the Canyons. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he is known for making psychological research and theory come alive by offering strategies to apply psychological theory and research to daily interactions.

Social Psychology Class Notes 5.29.14

Richard Gotch Robinson 

Richard Gotch Robinson, Born in England. Educated Harrow School and Trinity College Dublin. Awarded the Icarus Poetry Prize. 30 years in London as typographer, publisher, bookseller. Moved to California with family. Instructional videographer. Hospice volunteer. Ran Poetry on Campus at Ventura College. Enjoys writing, painting, vintage photography. Publications: Eternity, Time and the Soul (2005), Selected Poems (2009), Ventura County Beginnings (2011).

John Snibbe 

Dr. John Snibbe, Ph.D., has been a clinical psychologist for over forty years. He worked in the Psychiatric Emergency room at LAC/USC Medical Center, for Kaiser Permanente in their psychiatric facility, LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Psychiatric Mobile Response teams, and special sensitive projects for the Board of supervisors. He has authored or edited three books and published many papers. He specializes in treating psychological trauma and disaster response as well as management of the seriously mentally ill. He is currently an instructor at the UCLA OLLI with past faculty at the USC &        UCLA School of Medicine.


 Robert Stellwagen

Robert Stellwagen was trained in biochemistry at Harvard University (A.B. degree) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D.). He conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Health and UC San Francisco before joining the faculty of the University of Southern California where he taught biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics and carried out laboratory research in the School of Medicine for many years.

James Stemen, M.M. in Music Education and M.S.M. in Sacred Music from Southern Methodist University. Professor Emeritus of Music at Moorpark College for 38 years teaching music history, voice, music appreciation and conducting. Former conductor of Los Robles Master Chorale for 30 years.

 Jessica Tade

Jessica Tade, Ph.D. Studied at University of California, Santa Barbara specializing in Romanesque architecture and sculpture.  She was previously an art history textbook editor for the McGraw-Hill Companies, a project archivist for the UCSB University Art Museum Architecture and Design Collection, and both a summer associate and teaching assistant at UCSB, covering the spectrum of art history.


 Michael Teasdale

Michael Teasdale,received a BA in Philosophy from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in International Economics from the Sorbonne, Paris. He directed theatre for 10 years in Europe winning the prize for the best foreign language play at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 1984 for the Voix Humaine by Jean Cocteau. Michael has run his own consulting firm and speaks frequently about change and operational strategy at global conferences for the Biopharmaceutical industry.


 Margaret (Peggy) Tranovitch

Margaret (Peggy) Tranovitch, M.Phil, History of Art and Connoisseurship, University of Glasgow, has broad interests in art history. She did her Master’s thesis on Art in the Court of Queen Melisende, and is anxious to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for art and culture. She currently teaches at Oxnard College and has taught several popular OLLI classes.

 Jean Treiman

Jean Treiman, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., started her career in the late sixties and has worked as a teacher, administrator and researcher, at many different levels in education.  She retired in 2012 from University of California, Office of the President, spending her last five years as Executive Director, California Subject Matter Project (CSMP).  She has been a leader in professional development in the UC system and was an Education Programs Consultant in professional development for five years at the California State Department of Education.

 Marilyn Vail

Marilyn I. Vail ,Ph.D., earned her doctorate from Cornell University in French Literature, M.A. from Middlebury Graduate School of French in Paris, and B.A. in French and Spanish literature from the University of North Carolina. She has taught at Cornell University, Cazenovia College in upstate New York, Moorpark College, and Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.

 Jeannette Webber

Jeannette (Jinny) Webber, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Santa Barbara City College, spends a great deal of time in England researching her historical fiction set in Shakespeare's England which examines gender roles in his plays and in Elizabethan society. The first two volumes, The Secret Player and Dark Venus, have been published; Bedtrick is due out in 2015. Besides her love of British literature, Jinny is fascinated by the ancient Mediterranean world and its mythology.

 Clifford Wilcox

Clifford Wilcox, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in American Intellectual History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He focuses on the history of ideas and education in American society. An OLLI instructor since 2011, Cliff teaches courses on American culture and the history of American colleges and universities..


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