Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Courses

Who’s teaching my class? Meet the OLLI @ UM Instructors

Arthur Ackerman has been a student of personal growth workshops for over 40 years.  He has studied with masters such as Ken Keyes, Alan Cohen, Jack Kornfield, Rick Hanson and many others.  He has developed courses to share the highlights of these experiences.   Arthur facilitates a Men's Group on Key Biscayne and has been a member of  the Listening Program for Miami-Dade County Public School Systems since 2010.  He is also a certified yoga instructor. And has taught several classes at OLLI.

Rita Botwinick is Fellow at the University of Miami Miller Center for Judaic Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Modern German History from St. Johns University. Dr. Botwinick was born in Germany, but fled Nazi Germany with her family during World War II.

Jim Brennan is a native Floridian. He graduated with a BA in Humanities from FAU, where his focus was on art and architecture. Jim is a teacher and an award-winning artist in acrylics, watercolor, metal sculpture and wire sculpture mediums. His work has been featured throughout Miami, Palm Beach, Winter Park and Tampa. 

Dr. Batia Cohen has a PhD in Mesoamerican studies from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She was an adjunct professor at FIU, and has published numerous articles in specialized art and history magazines. Currently, she is a collaborator of an online cultural magazine. 

Marsha B. Cohen, PhD, is an independent scholar, lecturer and news analyst who specializes in Middle Eastern social history and politics and the role of religion in world affairs. She taught International Relations at Florida International University for over a decade, and worked with the UM Master of Arts in the International Administration (MAIA) program from 2009-2011, as well as teaching adult education courses and lecturing in a variety of venues locally and nationally. 

Robert Dawson is an actor/historian and is a science lecturer for the Museum of Science. He has created over 40 one-man historical presentations for festivals, museums and educational institutions. 

Alan Dietz, an active OLLI member, was an original Madison Avenue "Madman" as a Creative Director at some of the world's largest ad agencies headquartered in New York and Chicago. He was President and Creative Director at his own ad agency in Miami for many years. Alan has created high-profile ad campaigns for some of the world's premier clients.He graduated with a BA and MA in history at the University of Miami, where he taught American and world history as a graduate teaching assistant. This was followed by PhD work in history at Cal-Berkeley, which was interrupted by his acceptance of a job as an advertising copywriter at J.Walter Thompson in New York. He is presently writing a sci-fi novel dealing with quantum physics and relativity theory. 

Joe Donato: M.A., Jazz Performance, university of Miami; B.A., Studio Music / Jazz and English Literature, University of Miami. Joe Donato is a performing musician and jazz artist who has toured through the U.S., Canada, and the world. He has a variety of recordings and performs locally in Coral Gables and South Florida. Joe has been teaching lifelong learners at OLLI at UM for over 5 years. 

Dr. Judith Etzion, Ph.D. in Musicology, Columbia University, has enjoyed a distinguished career as a scholar, performer,  and university professor in the USA, Israel, and Spain. She has also conducted courses in music appreciation for adult education programs for over 30 years. Dr. Etzion teaches various lifelong learning programs in South Florida. 

Luis Carlos Fallon, Doctorate of Law, Nacional University of Bogota, Colombia 
Master's degree, Commercial Law, Los Andes University, Bogota. Dr. Fallon taught at the National University in Colombia and was an associate professor at Tamkang University in China. He has written five books and has taught Spanish language, literature, and language. He currently teaches a variety of Spanish language courses at the University of Miami Intensive Language Institute. In 2015, he was named the Good Will Ambassador for the International Celebration of Hispanic Book Month by the Hispanic Heritage Literature Organization in Miami. 

Ms. Heather Fraser is a financial professional and financial capability teacher. She works with individuals to improve their financial knowledge and implement strategies to build weath in their professional years, into retirement and beyond. 

Tony Garcia is a Master Trainer and Instructor in Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Health programs. He has been teaching Tai Chi in Miami for the past ten years and also teaches Tai Chi for people with chronic health conditions. 

Manny Garcia-Rossi, MA, attended the University of Florence and graduated from Florida State University in 2002 in Italian and Literary Theory. Manny is a Senior Lecturer, and founder of the UM Italian Film Series, for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami, where he has taught since 2003. 

Dr. Eugene Greco graduated cum laude from Union College as a Humanities major, concentrating in music and art history. He holds an MME degree in Choral Music Education from Ithaca College and a second masters from State University of NY at Albany in Educational Administration. Additionally, Dr. Greco holds a PhD in Musicology from UM. He teaches at both Miami Dade College and UM. 

Ed Harper, PhD, an active OLLI member who earned a BA with Honors from Principia College  in Government and Foreign Affairs and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.  He has held many high level executive positions, including vice president of Emerson Electric, executive vice president of the Campbell Soup Company, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, and chief operating officer of American Security Group and was Chairman of the Government Affairs Council for the Financial Services Roundtable composed of the 100 largest financial institutions in the US. In the public sector, he is a former special assistant to President Nixon and a former Assistant to President Reagan as well as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  Dr. Harper was on the faculty of the Political Science Department at Rutgers University where he lectured on American Government. 

Mrs. Lucy Harper holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Agnes Scott College with an emphasis on religion and religious philosophy courses. She earned a Master of Arts in English literature from The University of Virginia. She is a CPA and has taught college English courses and done tax work in various accounting firms. Lucy chairs various nonprofit organizations and boards. She is the Chair of the OLLI at UM Advisory Council. She has traveled extensively, including trips to Israel and Egypt. 

Karl Koslowski received his B.S. from Philadelphia University of the Arts. He currently teaches digital photography at Florida International University, University of Miami and Miami Dade College. Koslowski was a member of the US & Foreign Service. He designed and supervised the installation of major USA Pavilions in 30 countries throughout the world.  

Wisvline Labrousse PhD, ARNP, CS holds a BSN from the University of Miami, an ARNP from Florida international University, a MS in counseling psychology from Nova University, a PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University. She is a Clinical Specialist (CS), nationally certified as ARNP by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She worked 40 years in the Medical field in Miami, FL  including a long-term position as Medical Research Associate at the University of Miami School of Medicine where she retired. She is founder and CEO of Labrousse Ventures,Inc. She is a member of the University of Miami Alumni Association and of OLLI. 

Dr. Lawrence Lahiff is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and educated in meteorology at Florida State University, where he received his PhD.   He has worked as both a researcher and teacher at the University of Miami and NOAA.  Most of his career was in forecasting at the Miami Forecast Office and the National Hurricane Center. He is now retired. 

Dr. Nancy Lawther taught at Texas A&M University, the University of Georgia and most recently at Barry University. She has a BA in French from Pennsylvania State University, a Masters in French from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in French from Yale University. 

Dr. Doralina Martinez Conde, an OLLI member, has a Ph.D in Spanish-American Literature from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She is an Associate Professor Emerita of Spanish at Georgia Southern University where she taught Spanish Language, Culture and Literature courses for more than two decades. Dr. Martinez Conde has published a book and several articles in peer review journals. She also has presented her research at numerous conferences in the United States, Dominican Republic, Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica. She has an extensive knowledge in proficiency-oriented language instruction. 

Alicia Menendez-King is a UM graduate with a double major in French and English and received a M.A. from UNC at Chapel Hill in French. French teaching posts in Dallas, FIU, Rice, and Houston Community College. Studied in Frence and lived in Bordeaux. She has a passion for languages and culture!

Miriam Moussatche-Wechsler, LCSW, LMHC brings more than 20 years of experience in psychotherapy and psycho-education, lately focusing in working with men and women 50+. Miriam is a frequent lecturer on the subject of transitions for clients 50+, most recently presenting at the annual symposium of the International Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups,  and the annual meeting of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association. 

Brian Murphy is a pianist, composer, and arranger who has recorded and performed extensively in U.S., Canada, and around the world. Brian has collaborated with the great Tito Puente on a number of award-winning albums. He has conducted workshops on improvisation and has received grants. 

Joan Nurse is a Corporate Trainer. She has 16 years of experience working in the Call Center Industry. She trained various computer systems, such as AT&T and FedEx Domestically and Internationally . In addition, she has a wide range of experience in Microsoft and Macintosh.  

Dr. Mitra Raheb received her PhD from UM in International Relations. She is an adjunct professor at several local universities, and consults for international organizations. 

Jiovannina (Nina) Ramos was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her background and practice as a teacher in yoga and meditation from La Gran Fraternidad Universal Fundación. She graduated with a bachelor degree in humanities and art degree from the Escuela de Artes Visuales Cristobal Rojas, also in Caracas. Nina lived in Caracas until 1995 when she moved to Miami. In Miami, Nina is a life coach, medical assistant and licensed massage therapist. 

Dr. Daniel Rivera, an accomplished multilingual professor and translator of Arabic/English/Spanish, has 13 years of academic teaching experience. He is an expert on international relations and Middle Eastern history and politics. He is a political analyst for America TeVe (Ch 41 and Radio Miami). He is an adjunct lecturer at the Univ of Miami. He holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies and a M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Eric Selby has taught English and directed drama for over 30 years. He holds a M.A. in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and has attended the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College for additional graduate work. 

George Wendell graduated from UMass with a BA in Classical studies, and 9 upper level English classes. He then graduated from the University of Toronto with an MA degree in Classical Studies. After retiring from a career in financial sales he has been a member of OLLI since September 2014, and a SIG facilitator (Writers’ Workshop) this past session. He brings a deep appreciation and knowledge of literature to OLLI and hopes to find ways to share his passion with classmates. Other interests included literary theory and criticism, linguistics, and playing the piano (mainly jazz).

Peter Luykx, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami’s Department Of Biology. His research interests include human genetics, molecular biology, and cytogenetics.

Ruth Rosenwasser is Curatorial Consultant for South Asian Art at the Lowe Art Museum at UM.  Since 1999, she has organized and conducted group tours to India.  Ruth uses her 26 years of travel to India as the basis for her lectures, publications, and photographs. She has an MA in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.