On Thursday, May 19, 2011, Beverly Olevin received a UNEX Distinguished Instructor Award for 2011. Beverly was recognized for her abundance of talent, enthusiasm and energy that she brings to the courses she teaches for OLLI. An accomplished novelist, playwright, director, and consultant, Beverly has been teaching since 2005. Her series, The Play’s The Thing, received rave reviews from OLLI members. The student experience is enhanced in Beverly’s courses by the performance of dynamic scenes from contemporary and classic plays. Lectures and discussions focus on the role of theater throughout history and the basic human need to share and learn from each other’s stories.
Beverly Olevin’s latest work of fiction entitled, The Good Side of Bad (published by White River Press), was named Best Fiction for 2010 by Kirkus Discoveries. This quote from Beverly’s webpage sums up nicely the level of commitment Beverly has to her craft and the quality experience students can expect:
“The greatest satisfaction and even joy in writing for me comes when the characters I have created slowly become so real to me that they are capable of making their own choices, continually surprising and teaching me in the process.”
Konstantinos (Duncan) Palamourdas
Konstantinos Palamourdas, otherwise known as Duncan, graduated with honors from the University of Athens with a double specialization in both Applied and Pure Math, and received a Master’s in Algorithms and Logic from the same university. Afterwards, he got a scholarship from UCLA for a PhD in Math. He then obtained a second Master’s, and a PhD in Mathematical Logic, also from UCLA. His dissertation was on Descriptive Set Theory, a major field of pure mathematics. While at UCLA, he was awarded the Robert Sorgenfrey Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition for his teaching contributions.
He teaches poker and chess to small classes which always fill up early. Since he was young, Duncan has had two major passions in his life: games and puzzles. He has always enjoyed the challenge of an intelligent brainteaser, or the inherent complexity of games like chess and poker — which is why he got involved with math and math Olympiads at a very young age.
Duncan attributes his love of teaching to his parents.
“My parents were the best and most efficient educators I have encountered in my entire life, and for that I will be eternally grateful! Their influence was so tremendous that I found joy in helping my own classmates with their homework while I was still in elementary school. Second, teaching helps me learn, because it pushes my cognitive limits to the next level. I am a big believer that if you can’t explain something in very simple terms then you don’t truly understand it yourself. As a result, I love the challenge of decomposing complicated ideas to their bare essentials. That’s because it really does affect my own perception of the world. I guess it’s a complex quest to conquer simplicity. And I love every minute of it!”
Earl Schub brings to his classes at Osher a deep commitment to enthusiastically sharing his joy of music nurtured by a distinguished career as an educator, performer and arts administrator. As Dean of the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, Director of Public Relations & Marketing and Executive Producer for Televison at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Manager of San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater, he possesses a wealth of knowledge about opera and what goes into the training and career development of singers. He began teaching at Osher in 2006 and has never lost his sense of joy at sharing his experiences and insights with large classes of men and women who share his love of the human singing voice whether in opera or the popular field.
A proud alumnus of UCLA – he earned his MBA in Arts Management in 1976 – Mr. Schub takes particular satisfaction in in giving something of himself back to the university which has given him so much.
Maria Siciliano has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education at the University of Southern California (USC), San Jose State University, and the University of Washington College of Engineering. She is principal and founder of Gerontology in Action, which provides writing, teaching, and research services to academics and professionals serving the aging population. She earned a BA in English from Wellesley College, an MPA from Harvard University, and an MS in gerontology from USC. She is also an avid swimmer. She brings her love of literature and classic film to her Osher classes.
“I enjoy teaching Osher students because they are highly intelligent and engaged. We learn from each other.”
John Snibbe, Ph.D.
Dr. Snibbe is a clinical psychologist who has spent a long and adventurous career in public sector mental health services. He has managed Countywide Psychiatric Emergency Services, worked for various police departments, been involved in programs for the homeless, and evaluated psychotic murderers in Patton State Hospital. He specializes in serious mental illness and is an expert in disaster services and police psychology.
Dr. Snibbe is an enthusiastic instructor who laces his programs with colorful personal vignettes from his significant professional experiences. Selective videos are also used to provide examples of the illness or disorder for the class to comment on. He has written or edited four books along with research in the area of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“My classes delve into the ‘dark side’ of human experience and I try to make these disorders and issues understandable and relevant to today’s society and our OLLI members.”