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Instructor Biographies

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Emil Augustine, BA Northcentral University; MA University of Minnesota; M.Div. Luther Theological Seminary; Doctoral Studies, Drew University; Adjunct Faculty, Princeton Theological Seminary; Guest Lecturer, Centenary College.

Catharine Bramkamp holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in Creative Writing from SSU. She has been an adjunct professor for three universities for the last seven years.

Sue Clark is a literary specialist and an award-winning ghostwriter. As a memoirist, she has helped numerous people write and publish their memoirs. She has taught writing and memoir classes for more than 20 years.

Curtis Covington has a BA in Political Science from California State University East Bay, with a primary interest in Film, History, Literature and Current Affairs. He is a member of the AFI (American Film Institute) and has been teaching for the OLLI program since 2004.

Lincoln Curtis has a BA in Foreign Languages and Drama and an MA in German and Film Studies. He is a Fulbright Scholar, director, actor, and documentary filmmaker, and has taught at the community college level for more than 20 years.

Lori Fee first became interested in Tai Chi in the late 1990s. At that time she was busy with her General Engineering construction corporation, but in 2010 she learned to teach and has been teaching Tai Chi for the OLLI program at Sierra College ever since.

Jason File has a BA in European History and Religious Studies and an MA in Religious Studies, Ancient Mediterranean Religion from University of North Carolina. He is a full-time instructor in Humanities and Religious Studies at Sierra College.

Joseph Guida studied with world-renowned T'ai Chi Master Da Liu in New York City in the 1980s. Joseph moved to Northern California and began teaching T’ai Chi for good health, relaxation and peace of mind.

Gopal Kapur teaches nutrition classes at UC Davis OLLI, has contributed to food columns in regional and national media, lectured at Harvard University, Commonwealth Club, The Brookings Institution, University of California Berkeley and Davis; founder of FamilyGreenSurvival, a not-for-profit with the mission to end local hunger.

Terrence McAteer has a doctorate in Educational Administration from USF and a Master's Degree in History from San Francisco State. He has taught AP U.S. History and Government at the high school level and has been a history research fellow many colleges including Stanford University.

Steve Miller has a BM and MM from CSU Sacramento. He is a part-time faculty member at Sierra College.

Sifu Renee Neal has been teaching martial arts since 1988 and is a nine-time International Karate Champion. She has been teaching for OLLI at Sierra College since 2003. She has 19 years of yoga teaching experience.

Kent Penwarden is a retired electronic engineer and manager from Silicon Valley, one of whose avocations has been to maintain an interest in the long history of the Middle East.

Janet Rankin received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and her Master’s Degree in History at Sac State. Janet has been teaching U.S. History and women’s history at Sierra College for more than four years.

Ellen Sander has a BA and MA in French, a BA in Government, and an MA in International Affairs. She has taught for the UC Davis French Department and has been an OLLI instructor for six years.

Sam Schlafer has worked in the library field since 2001, working for both the DOD/Air Force and now at the Twelve Bridges library. He has taught classes for seniors, written about pop culture and is a member of the AFI.

Martine Shelley has been practicing Qigong since 2006 and became certified to teach Radiant Heart Qigong in 2013. Martine is Professor Emeritus at Sierra College and has a BS and an MS in Psychology.

Alex Yarmolyuk was born and lived in Soviet Ukraine for 25 years. He finished his BA in General Business at Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine, and served his mandatory two years in the Soviet military in Saint Petersburg. In 1996, he emigrated, with his wife, to the United States.

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