Lend your VOICE

Along with November classes, we are looking for volunteers to help teach kids about healthy eating habits. Learn more about this great program.

class schedule

From mystical poetry to current events, writing to law, November offers a number of interesting and compelling classes for our friends. Classes will be held at the Hamilton Holt building, the Rollins Campus, Winter Park Towers and other locations.

florida: visions of paradise from the spanish to the present

Instructor: Jack Lane

Description: Whether traveling by Spanish galleon, by RV's or by airline, generation after generation has come to Florida with hopes or restoration or re-creation. From Ponce de Leon’s mythological quest for the fountain of youth and Spanish explorers seeking riches, to Creek Indians escaping British domination and African slave finding freedom, to 19th travelers escaping industrial cities, and 20th tourist basking in unfettered leisure, waves of immigrants have carried to Florida dreams of a new life in paradise. Such visions have profoundly reshaped the peninsula’s history and culture. Each group seemed obsessed with writing about their experiences.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, 17, & 24 from 9am to 10:30am
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


small works with clay

Instructor: Catherine Cross

Description: Small Works with Clay provides students with clay experiences utilizing hand-building techniques, tools and vocabulary. Through the process of kiln firing students learn about bisque, underglazes and glaze.   After learning simple coil and slab construction, a variety of small works suitable for gift giving or keepsakes can be made.  Students will have the opportunity to choose what they would like to make from a variety of offerings that are within the small works curriculum, both functional and decorative and holiday works.  Working with clay provides wonderful fine motor benefits for our hands while engaging our minds with the creative process.  The only requirement for this class is a willingness to laugh and have fun.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, & 17 from 9:30am to 11:30am
Winter Park Presbyterian Church, 400 S. Lakemont Avenue,  Winter Park, FL 32792


how good people make tough choices; resolving the dilemmas of ethical living

Instructor: Zena Sulkes

Description: We continually hear and read about the ethical collapse going on around us, and we have begun to explore the idea that ethics is not a luxury , but central to our survival.  In this class we will join our voices to the important discussions about the ethical issues that have meaning for us now and for the future.  Do we want to explore the language of ethics? How do we decide what is right verses right?

How has the growth of inventiveness created critical questions that did not exist in the past? New dilemmas such:  Should unmarried teenage girls use the pill?  How should software be protected from unlicensed copying?  Should the diminishing sea urchin population along America’s Atlantic coast be protected?  Should New England ship its nuclear waste to Texas? Additionally, the class will create their own ethical questions for discussion.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, 17, & 24 from 11am to 12:30pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


your life story writing workshop

Instructor: Catherine Cross

Description: This course will introduce the process for writing a personal or family story in a fun and supportive environment. Beginners and active writers alike will use prompts, pictures, memorabilia, world events, music and more to jump-start the writing process. The class members will be encouraged to read and share their writing in a supportive, nonjudgmental atmosphere.  Learn creative ways to assemble photographs and incorporate relaxing art techniques like watercolor, sketching and collage to assist with storytelling.  Explore ways to incorporate writing whether with one word or lengthy paragraphs to develop memories into documented keepsakes for family or friends.  No writing experience necessary, only a desire to have fun and share stories.  All are welcome whether you have taken this class or not there will always be something new to inspire you on your writing journey.

A supply list will be provided before the class.  Instructor will provide most supplies in order to keep student expenses for supplies under $10.00.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, & 17 from 1pm to 3pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


getting to know my non christian neighbors (full closed)

Instructor: James (Jim) Coffin

Description: A few decades ago, the odds were overwhelming that the family moving into the house next door would be Christian. The only question was whether they’d be Baptists, Catholics, Methodists or some other Christian denomination. But those odds are changing. Although self-described Christians still account for more than 75 percent of the U.S. population, other faith traditions are on the increase. And the fastest-growing religious
affiliation in the U.S. is “no religious affiliation.” So just what is the respective worldview of these other faith/no-faith groups? Why not let them speak for themselves? At each session, hear two presenters each give a lively half-hour overview of the main features of their faith tradition/worldview. Then you as a class will have half an hour to ask them questions. In all, you’ll hear eight presenters from eight faith traditions/worldviews: Baha’i, Buddhism, Hinduism, Humanism/Atheism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Unitarian Universalism. James Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, will serve as the class convener and moderator of the question-and-answer periods.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, 17, & 24 from 2pm to 3:30pm
Winter Park Towers, 1111 S Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792


mead botanical garden history of t.l. mead and florida's native and ornamental plants

Instructor: John Nico

Description: Learn how to grow your garden! Course content will review the history and horticulture of Theodore L. Mead and his impact on flora and fauna throughout Winter Park, Oviedo and the US. Students will learn how specific plant species grow and flourish in Florida's native climate and when optimal times for seasonal plantings. Classes will be held at both Rollins College and Mead Botanical Gardens, Winter Park. Plant materials will be provided.

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, & 25 from 9am to 10:30am
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


inspired by the art of henri matisse

Instructor: Catherine Cross

Description: What beauty and simplicity the art of Matisse provides as inspiration for colorful works.  We'll view and learn about the beautiful stained glass in the Sanctuary at Winter Park Presbyterian and have a bit of art history to learn how having disabilities and illness in his senior years did not stop Matisse from his art making. Then we will proceed to create small works using a variety of art mediums engaging with some painting, cut paper, tearing and gluing.  Small pieces like cards, gift tags and artful gifts and keepsakes will make this colorful class a fun and delightful experience for all regardless of abilities.  Wanting to be inspired and getting creative are the only requirements for this colorful program.  All supplies included.

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, & 18 from 9am to 11am
Winter Park Presbyterian Church, 400 S. Lakemont Avenue,  Winter Park, FL 32792


van gogh, his life and contemporaries

Instructor: Maria Leone Garcia

Description: Vincent Van Gogh today is world renowned and beloved. But would he be so if we knew him? Come learn the true Vincent, the man and the 10 year prolific period of his life dedicated to art. See his relationships with his brother and the Impressionists as well as his desire to start an art colony and express the essence and spirit which resided in all facets of life. How did a man so full of life, love, and spirit succumb to depths most hope to never experience and few would admit to if they did? Let us look inside his soul, heart, mind and revel in his art together!

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, & 25 from 6pm to 7:30pm
Winter Park Towers, 1111 S Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792


follow the bouncing ball ii

Instructor: Amado Bobadilla

Description: Ever find yourself singing a song from your--or your parents'--childhood but revert to humming after the first line? Wish you knew the rest of the song, but don't have the time to Google it? Ever wanted to sing those songs, but the Karaoke machine only goes back to the '60s? Then join us as we study the life and times of some of the most popular songs of the '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s. We'll listen to some old (and some not-so-old) recordings and then learn to sing those songs (there may even be time for a solo or two!). And you'll take home all the lyrics, so you'll never be at a loss for words again...at least not when you're singing! We will include fresh songs from each decade and holiday songs for the final week.

Dates & Location: Thursdays, November 6, 13, 20, & December 4 from 11am to 12:30pm
Winter Park Towers, 1111 S Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792


uniting nature and spirit: the american transcendentalist movement

Instructor: Paul Jacob

Description: Transcendentalism is a spiritual and philosophical movement that was developed during the 1800’s in the Northeastern region of the United States as a protest against the general state of organized religion within America. The movement’s foundational belief was the inherent goodness and innate connection of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believe that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and politics—taint the purity of the individual. This class will utilize the writings and philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and others in order to glean practical and spiritual wisdom that can be applied to our daily lives.

Dates & Location: Wednesdays, November 5, 12, & 19 from 11am to 1pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


intermediate mah jongg

Instructor: Meril Salzburg

Description: Mah Jongg (commonly referred to as Maajh) is a fascinating, rummy-like game played with tiles rather than cards, originating in China.  It uses a Card of Official Standard Hands and Rules by the National Mah Jongg League, against which all games are played.  The game is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, with millions of dedicated players around the world.   In this class, participants will learn more about hands and rules on game playing, strategy and scoring. Keep your mind active and vibrant by playing Maajh!

Also, as noted in the course description, the game is played with "Mah Jongg Cards," which cost $8.00 each. Thus any students continuing the game will need to buy this card in order to play, which they can buy from me. I will have cards with me when teaching and then they can purchase them.

Dates & Location: Mondays, November 3, 10, 17, & 24 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Winter Park Towers, 1111 S. Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792


living symbiotically

Instructor: Joseph V. Siry, Ph.D.

Description: Our internal environment reflects our relationship to the world around us. How did the Earth’s physical environments of our ancestors foster the traits of adaptive humans today? In this course, we will explore the creative capacities we possess for sugar metabolism, respiration, and mental agility that arise from our active engagement with and devotion to a love of natural outdoor wonders.

Dates & Location: Wednesdays, November 5, 12, and 19 from 2:30-4:30 pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


constitutional law and the major issues of our time

Instructor: Bob DiConsiglio

Description: This class will discuss the major issues of our time and how they relate to the Constitution. The topics to be discussed may include but not be limited to: Obama Care, separation of powers, federalism, separation of church and state, first amendment, fourth amendment and the NSA, abortion and the right to privacy, the president as commander in chief and his authority to take military action., the voucher system in our schools, the second amendment and gun control, affirmative action and higher education, voter id, and any other subjects the class would like to discuss.

Dates & Location: Thursdays, November 6, 13, & 20 from 10am to noon
Winter Park Towers, Parry's Corner, 1111 S Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792


current events and politics

Instructor: Bob DiConsiglio

Description: This class will discuss the major current events of the day and how they relate to politics. The topics to be discussed may include but not be limited to the following: 2014 Congressional elections and Governor's election in Florida, 2016 Presidential election, The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), the IRS, Russia and Putin, Middle East, Syria, Bengazi, Ukraine, Radical Islam, Iran's appointment to the UN Council on Women, legalizing marijuana, America's standing in the world, is there a decline in American culture?, gun control and any other matters that are happening at the time of the class and any other subjects the class would like to discuss.

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, & 25 from 11am to 12:30pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium & Mead Gardens

every day law

Instructor: Bob DiConsiglio


(1) Contracts - Offer and acceptance, oral and written contracts, capacity to enter into a contract, consideration i.e. the thing of value given.

(2) Torts - The difference between torts and crimes, assault and battery, slander and libel, negligence, invasion of the right to privacy.

(3) Criminal Law - Intent to commit a crime, Constitutional safeguards, search and seizure, the exclusionary rule, entrapment, Miranda Warnings.

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, & 25 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


tasting the wine of the beloved: the mystical poetry of rumi and hafez

Instructor: Paul Jacob

Description: Rumi and Hafez are two of the most widely read poets in the world, yet their words seem to be a puzzle to many Western minds.  In this class we will attempt to look deeper into the metaphorical messages of love and connection blossoming within the lines of these two beloved mystical poets.

Dates & Location: Thursdays, November 6, 13, & 20 from 11am to 1pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


the arab israeli conflict: about land or cultural differences?

Instructor: Teresa Decio, M.A.

Description: Why has the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted for so long?  Is it because of disputed claims over land or due to deep cultural differences between Jews and Arabs?  As part of this course, we will attempt to answer these questions through assigned readings and in class discussion.  This course will also include a brief historical synopsis of the conflict and a discussion of the role the United States has played in attempts to achieve a lasting peace.

Dates & Location: Thursdays, November 6, 13, & 20 from 6pm to 8pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


coming into the home stretch

Instructor: Robin Wilson

Description: Flexibility promotes a more youthful body and mind. By blending of the art of dance, the power of yoga and the science of pilates this class is designed to do just that! The special benefit is that each student will gain the ability to perform these movements and exercises in the privacy of their own homes for many years to come.

Dates & Location: Fridays, November 7, 14, & 21 from 10am to noon
Annie Russell Dance Studio on main campus


your life in words (part 1)

Instructor: Yvonne Vassel

Description: Writing your life story is not an exercise in self-indulgence. Indeed, your story will be a gift to your family and future generations, and is a way to ensure the memories, special events, and lessons of your existence do not entirely disappear. You will also value the opportunity to look at your life events with the benefit of distance and understanding. Over four sessions we will combine your words and photos to put together a mini life story that’s ready for you to publish. We will also look at the pros and cons of some available publishing resources.

Dates & Location: Thursdays, November 6, 13, & 20 from 2pm to 4pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


fabulous fashionistas: lessons in living long and flourishing

Instructor: Lezlie Laws

Description: In this course you will watch a documentary by Britishfilm-maker Sue Bourne called Fabulous Fashionistas.  You’ll explore the art of ageing in the company of six extraordinary, stylish women.  With an average age of eighty, they’re all determined to make life full, creative, and meaningful, no matter what their life conditions.

We’ll examine the qualities of heart and mind that these women bring to their experiences, and how they have managed to keep going, look fabulous, and have fun in the “one wild and precious life” they have been given.

Dates & Location: Fridays, November 7, 14, & 21 from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


the family

Instructor: Dr. Kistler and her Anthropology students

Description: Join Dr. Ashley Kistler from the Department of Anthropology at Rollins College and her students for a discussion about kinship and family around the world. This course seeks to answer the following questions: What is “kinship?” What is a “family?” How do other societies define these institutions? This course will explore the roles that medical innovations, political controversy, new reproductive technologies, and globalization play in determining the way in which we define the family. We will also look at the unique family structures of societies around the world. During the last class, Dr. Kistler will also talk about her own research on kinship and family in Maya communities in Guatemala.

Dates & Location: Tuesdays, November 4, 11, & 18 from 6pm to 8pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium


food in the 21st century

Instructor: Alex Stringfellow

Description: Whether through popular media or at the local grocery store we have all heard the new food terminology: organic, local, gluten-free, all-natural, fair trade etc. This course explores the existing food system from farm to table and clarifies some of these misused and abused terms. At the end of this course you will be able to navigate your local grocery with confidence and improve your health through informed food choices. This course will include a two lecture classes and two field trips. The first field trip will be to a local grocery store and the second will be to East End Market.

NOTE: Transportation is required for 2 field trips.

Dates & Location: Fridays, November 7 from 1pm to 2:30pm, 14 from 1pm to 4pm, & 21st from 1pm to 2:30pm
Hamilton Holt Auditorium (after class on the 14th there will be a trip to a local grocery store and the last class on the 21st will be at the East End Market).


this month's instructors

STARS instructors come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Read more about them here.

jack lane, ph.d.

Dr. Lane is celebrating his 50th year teaching History with Rollins. He has received degrees from Oglethorpe University, Emory, & the University of Georgia. He also served during the Korean conflict and is a notable author.

zena w. sulkes

Ms. Sulkes is a lifelong educator who has been a school principal and an Adjunct Professor at both UCF and at Rollins. She is a proud Wolverine with her B.A. from the University of Michigan and graduate degrees from University of South Florida where she earned a Doctorate in Education. She looks forward to being a teacher in this innovative program for lifelong learners.

meril salzburg

Meril Salzburg has been playing and teaching Mah Jongg for 15 years and currently teaches “Maajh” at the JCC of Greater Orlando Maitland Campus and private home classes in the greater Orlando area. She also organizes and runs Mah Jongg Tournaments as fundraisers for non-profit organizations, a fun way to raise money and win prizes. For 35 years, she specialized in organizational management, marketing, membership, development, financial assistance scholarships, event planning, and educational programs. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and French and sits on several committees and past board member serving in several positions over the past 10 years.

james coffin

James (Jim) Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, brings to his role a diverse life experience. Coffin grew up on a farm in Missouri. After a year at Union College, in Lincoln Nebraska, he spent a year as a church volunteer in Mexico. He subsequently earned a degree in theology at Newbold College in England and was later ordained as a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. During his ministerial career, he worked in both the United States (26 years) and Australia (10 years). In addition to residing overseas for extended periods, he has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.

Coffin spent nine years of his pastoral work in youth ministry and nine years as an editor of Seventh-day Adventist publications. His last 18 years before assuming his current role, he served as senior pastor of the Markham Woods Church of Seventh-day Adventists in Longwood, Florida. Concurrent with his pastoral work at Markham Woods, he directed a study center/think tank that sought to create deeper understandings of and more effective communication between religious adherents and our postmodern and increasingly secularized society. He assumed his current role with the Interfaith Council in November 2011.

He has authored three books dealing with the theory about, practice of and questions arising from religion. He has written scores of articles for religious publications and websites. And he has had some sixty “My Word” opinion pieces printed in the Orlando Sentinel, usually addressing religious or social/ethical issues. He and his wife, Leonie, have three adult sons.

robert diconsiglio, j.d.

Bob is a retired attorney from New Jersey. From 1999 - 2011 he was the chair of the paralegal program at Everest University and taught numerous courses on the law in particular Constitutional Law. Bob was a licensed mortgage banker in New Jersey. He also served as the President of The League of Mortgage Lenders of New Jersey and the state representative to the national association in Washington. Bob has served on the Board of Directors of Newton Savings and Loan in New Jersey. As part of his career he has been the president and a major stock holder in several mortgage banking firms.

maria leone garcia

Maria Leone Garcia has been teaching Studio Art, Art History, and Humanities since 1982. She earned a B.A. in Art History from Seton Hall University in New Jersey with a 2nd Major in Art Education and an M.A. in Art History from Arizona State University emphasizing 19th century French Art and Native American/Pre-Columbian Art. She is a single Mother of two and has lived and taught in Central Florida for 21 years. Presently a full time teacher of Art History and Humanities Honors at Hagerty High School in Seminole County, Maria has taught all ages and is herself a lifelong student. She looks forward to sharing her love of art and the artists who have graced our lives with beauty and spurred our curiosity and imagination!

ashley kistler, ph.d.

S. Ashley Kistler is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. For ten years, she has conducted research on cultural revitalization, historical memory, and power in the Q’eqchi’-Maya town of San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala. Ashley has authored articles published in The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Global South, and The Latin Americanist and currently serves as the book review editor for Collaborative Anthropologies. Her book, Maya Market Women, is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press.

paul w. jacob

Mr. Jacob teaches Creative Nonfiction and Travel Writing at Rollins College. He received his M.A. in Writing and Consciousness Studies from New College of California. He is the former Editorial Director of Modern Nomad magazine; worked as a Feature Writer for the global music culture periodical Revolution; and was the Food and Travel Columnist for the Tuscaloosa News. Jacob (under a pen name) has had two chapbooks and two books of poetry published by independent presses in the U.S. and Canada and his spiritual memoir, Buddha Behind the Bar, will be published in 2014. He has also spent time living and working at various spiritual retreat centers and monasteries in the United States, Canada and Europe.

amado bobadilla

Mr. Bobadilla has worked in the Central Florida arts community for the past 20 years as a musical director, accompanist and educator. He music directed The Wizard of Oz, Good News! and Bingo! The Musical at the Icehouse Theatre in Mt. Dora; Honk!, A Year with Frog and Toad, School House Rock Live!, and Just So for the Orlando Repertory Theatre; and Cabaret for the Center Players in Maitland. He was a musical director for the Orlando production of Menopause the Musical, and works with Robin Jensen and the Florida Opera Theatre youth programs. He has worked as an accompanist and vocal coach at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College and the New School of Orlando. He is the youth director and worship pianist at Fellowship Church of Winter Springs and is a substitute organist for St. John Lutheran Church in Winter Park, FL.

yvonne vassel

Yvonne has been a journalist and photographer with three daily newspapers: The New Haven Register, The Journal Courier, and The Orlando Sentinel. She was also Central Florida’s regional spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children & Families, and a state organizer/lobbyist/writer for a non-profit working on Federal railroad legislation. Throughout it all, the personal story has held the most power and interest. Now, with Your Life In Words, she has immersed herself in writing and publishing life stories. Yvonne believes writing our personal histories is a way to continue an ancient oral tradition of passing on our stories and lessons to future generations, and that we all have an interesting and important story to share. Yvonne was born in Jamaica and has a Bachelor’s in Journalism/Communication from the University of Bridgeport, and a Masters in Corporate Communication and Technology from Rollins College.

teresa decio

Teresa Decio has lived in Central Florida for thirty-five years and earned her undergraduate degree in History from the University of Central Florida and a Master's Degree in History from American Public University in 2012. Her teaching career spans twelve years; three years spent as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Central Florida and nine years teaching public high school social studies courses. Currently, I teach Humanities, Sociology and American Government at Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida.

robin wilson

Robin Wilson currently teaches modern and jazz technique at Rollins. She was formerly a Professor of Dance at Ball State University and she co-chaired the Dance Program for the Indianapolis High School of Performing Arts for fourteen years. Ms. Wilson also taught modern dance at the prestigious Interlochen National Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, and at the Lynnette Jordan Schisla Dance Center (Indpls, Ind.), for Dance Kaleidoscope (Indpls, Ind.),at the Anderson Ballet (Indpls, Ind.), and at Butler University (Indpls, Ind.).

lezlie laws, ph.d.

Dr. Laws is a Professor of English at Rollins College with degrees from the University of Missouri, and North Texas State University. Professor Laws specializes in rhetoric, composition theory and literary non-fiction. She has published essays on rhetorical theory and creative non-fiction.

alex stringfellow

Alex Stringfellow is a graduate of both University of Central Florida and Rollins College with a B.S. in Psychology and Master's in Urban Planning, respectively. In addition to his undergraduate studies in Psychology and Behavior, he earned a concentration in Biological Sciences (30+ credit hours) and involved himself in several environmental organizations. His fascination and work has involved the research and design of complex and sustainable systems: their inputs, processes and outputs. This fascination began with modeling the complex cognitive functions of working memory as it relates to ADHD in adolescents. His time at the Children's Learning Clinic coincided with his first Ecology and Environmental Science courses and ultimately led him to his environmental work at the UCF Arboretum. Through educating and coordinating volunteer efforts in Arboretum's one organic garden and orchard, his focus on urban systems, specifically food, agriculture and native landscapes, began to flourish. Since, he has earned a Master's degree in Urban Planning, co-founded a small firm(AKJ Associates LLC) received grant-funding to revitalize an abandoned greenhouse, launched the Mills 50 Community Market, installed an edible landscape and Parklet in Eatonville Florida, and started Compost Orlando, the first residential composting program in Central Florida.

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