A.L.L. Acedemy for Lifelong Learning

A curious mind
never retires

Instructor Bios

Alyse Axford has trained and performed as a clown for 24 years, including "Advanced Studies in the Art of Clowning.” She has attended and participated in many clown conventions and workshops, and has taught many clown classes. Axford helped create the first Northwest Clown Convention in Bellingham and is the owner, entertainer and manager of Bellingham’s ZigZag & Ragz Z Clowns.

Alex Czopp is a social psychology professor at Western Washington University. Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., he lived throughout Eastern U.S. before moving to the Northwest. Alex received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental social psychology from the University of Kentucky.

Andrew Miller was a professor of classics at the University of Pittsburgh for 35 years and is the author of "From Delos to Delphi: A Literary Study of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo" and "Greek Lyric: An Anthology in Translation." He has taught extensively in lifelong learning programs at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Melon University.

Barbara Gilday taught in Ghana in the 1960s. In the United States, she has taught ESL, coordinated Japanese home-stay programs and created peer tutors in inner-city schools. She has returned to Ghana and Nigeria to build a library, orphanage and new book collection.

Bill Elfo, who has served as Whatcom County Sheriff since 2003, is a former prosecutor and police chief. He holds a B.S./M.S. in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate. His interests include ensuring safe jails and behavioral health alternatives to incarceration.

Cheryl Hodge has taught at colleges for 29 years: eight years at Berklee College of Music in Boston and 21 years at Selkirk College in Nelson, British Columbia. She was nominated in 2011 for Best Blues Song for "That's Why I'm Here” and in 2010 for Best Jazz Song for "Indigo" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. She is the vocal editor at Songstuff.com. Her personal website is http://cherylhodge.com .

Clara Kelly was born in Sri Lanka to Dutch parents, who moved to Java shortly before WWII. The family returned to Europe after the war, and Kelly finished her schooling in England and Switzerland. "The Flamboya Tree" was her first book.

David Drummond's an expedition wildlife specialist who loves sharing world travel adventures with people. David enjoys catalyzing informed decision-making aimed at creating a sustainable planet. Visit his evolving website for more information about educated stewardship: www.merlinfalconfoundation.org

David C. Tucker is a retired high school science teacher and adjunct instructor at Western Washington University. He is a developer of science instruments and a content writer for education-oriented companies. In 1986 he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Education from the National Science Foundation.

Donna Keller has taught at Western Washington University and other colleges in Washington since 2006. She received her M.A. from Antioch University in Seattle in whole system design, with a focus on local and global food systems. She researched cancer at the University of Washington and provides nutrition education for Washington State University’s Whatcom extension. She has practiced Buddhism for 30 years.

Edward Vajda, a professor at Western Washington University since 1987, teaches Russian language and culture, linguistics and courses on inner Asian and Siberian peoples. He directs the linguistics program and documents endangered languages of Siberia. Vajda is a recipient of Western Washington University's Excellence of Teaching Award in 1992 and the Olscamp Research Award in 2011.

Dr. Elaine Cress, an exercise physiologist and gerontologist, was on faculty for geriatric medicine at the University of Washington and for kinesiology at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on physical function and exercise and she has taught courses in lifelong learning for more than a decade.

Evelyn Turner received her B.A. in Philosophy from Western Washington University and managed technical support for large international software companies. She uses Facebook and Twitter personally and consults with local businesses about their social media presence.

Fred M. Rhoades is a mycologist,lichenologist and retired instructor in the Biology Department at Western Washington University. He lives in Bellingham and is continuing his interests in cryptogrammic, or lower plant-like organism botany and natural history photography.

Dr. Gene Kiver, Professor emeritus, taught geology for more than 32 years at Eastern Washington University and continues to study the Ice Age Floods and Channeled Scabland. He recently published a book that describes walking trails in the northern reaches of the flood from the ice dams to Moses Coulee.

Jack Hardy is a former professor and chair of the department of environmental sciences at Western Washington University. He has explored most of the world’s oceans, traveled to 75 countries and published more than 100 articles and several books including “Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions.”

John F. Harriman, Ph.D., served for many years in the ministry of the American Episcopal Church. For the last 20 years he has been a layman in the Orthodox Church and has served with the title of Reader.

Kamarie Chapman is an adjunct professor at Western Washington University's department of theatre and dance. Her award-winning play, "Deception Pass: An American Story," will have its Washington State premiere in January 2013 on Western's main stage.

Kiara Lee Weis is a certified Feng Shui Consultant through the Blue Mountain Feng Shui Institute in Seattle, Washington. She studied under Master Shan-Tung Hsu, Ph.D., for three years. Her work with Master Hsu complemented her interest in remodeling old houses. She has remodeled and sold several houses. After a 40 year career of teaching high school art in Seattle she started her business to help people create comfortable spaces using what they already own. She has a B.A. in art education from the Univeristy of Wisconsin and an M.A. in Fine Art from Boston University.

Laura Laffrado, Professor of English at Western Washington University, is an award-winning teacher who has published widely on American Literature. Her latest book is "Uncommon Women: Gender and Representation in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writing."

Lloyd George earned his B.S. in Natural Science with a major in biology and minors in geology, chemistry, physics and meteorology. His work experience includes traveling science teacher for Oklahoma State University, space and science lecturer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 20 years as a public school teacher. He has conducted programs at the World’s Fair in Seattle, two world trade shows and many television programs and has put on workshops for teachers throughout the United States.

Louis Truschel taught history at Western Washington University from 1970 to 2010, when he retired. His courses included two on World War II and another on the empires in world history.

Michael Impero is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County. He was raised near Maple Falls and remembers some of the characters and events of Mount Baker Mining District's later days. He has an intense interest in the history of the Nooksack River Valley.

Michael Johnson, a Bellingham native, recieved his B.A. in History from Western Washington University and is writing his masters thesis on the Jefferson Bible through California State University.

Mike Robinson is an applied anthropologist who has three decades of experience as CEO of three important Canadian cultural organizations: the Arctic Institute of North America, the Glenbow Museum and the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.

Millie Johnson is an associate professor in Western Washington University's mathematics department and a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America's Pacific Northwest Chapter. She has taught mathematics for 40 years, including 29 at Western, and is frequently asked to speak and consult on mathematical applications including septic tank design, river flow management, DNA testing and the science of soap bubbles.

Nancy Canyon holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and a certificate in fiction writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of Allied Arts of Whatcom County and the Washington State Arts Commission. Her poetry and prose are published in Floating Bridge Press, Sue C. Boynton Contest, Poetry South, Labyrinth, Fourth Genre, Main Street Rag and more. She teaches "wild mind writing" at Whatcom Community College.

Dr. Charles Nelson graduated in Anthropology from Washington State U. in 1965. He completed his Ph.D. in African Archaeology at University of Califorina at Berkeley in 1973. Since 1967, he has spent much of his time in East Africa doing archaeology. His last posting was to the University of Nairobi, first as a Fulbright Scholar and later as an Associate Professor of History and Archaeology.

Nicholas Stigliani is a retired United States Foreign Service officer. Nicholas lived in Turkey for a total of five years, where he served at the American Consulate in Izmir from 1977 to 1979 and at the Embassy in Ankara from 1990 to 1993. He speaks Turkish and most recently visited Turkey in 2008.

Captain Paul Myers began his aviation career at age 16. His early days included corporate flying and crop dusting. He was hired by United Airlines in 1963 and flew 36 years with United, captaining the Boeing 747-400 his last 10 years. Myers has received numerous awards for his work in the area of aviation safety. His name is inscribed on the "Wall of Honor" in the Smithsonian Flight Museum in Washington, D.C. Myers is the tour coordinator for Bellingham's Heritage Flight Museum.

Peter Haug is a professor of manufacturing and supply chain management at Western Washington University. He received his M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his Ph.D. in operations management from the University of Washington.

Robert Keller taught at Fairhaven College for 26 years, including courses on church history, death and dying and a range of other historical, social and environmental issues. He received a B.A. in divinity and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is on the guest faculty at Huxley College.

Ron Miller was a nationally syndicated newspaper TV columnist from 1977-99. He has taught adult education courses in film and the mystery genre for Academy for Lifelong Learning, Whatcom Community College and the Elderhostel program at Skagit Community College. He is the author of "Mystery! A Celebration," the official companion book to the PBS "Mystery!" series. He was the TV columnist for "Mystery Scene" magazine, and is the co-founder and managing editor of www.thecolumnists.com, now in its 13th year online. Miller had a one-on-one interview with Hitchcock during the editing of “Psycho” and has spoken with many of the stars who worked with Hitchcock throughout his career.

Ross Fewing is the Northwest Network ethicist for PeaceHealth. His principal work includes the area of clinical and organizational ethics. He is co-chair of PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center's ethics committee.

Scott Hean has been involved with the Bill Reid Foundation for more than 11 years and is its current chair.

Standley Claussen is a retired professor of history living in Bellingham where, as volunteer at the American Museum of Radio and Electricity, he founded the Midnight Mystery Players to broadcast radio dramas on the museum radio station.

Tessa Campbell, curator of collections at the Hibulb Cultural Center & National History Preserve, will cover the materials of this course with the help of some colleagues. Beth Brownfield has worked with Native Americans and both locally and nationally. This is her fourth course to help expand participants’ knowledge about Coast Salish Nations within the Pacific Northwest region.

Wes Gannaway, a resident of Whatcom County for more than 40 years, has a love of history. He has co-authored a book on baseball history in Whatcom County. He is the current Whatcom County Historical Society president and has presented several Bellingham history classes for A.L.L.