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Meet Our Instructors

Interested in becoming an OLLI at LSU instructor?

OLLI at LSU is fortunate to have a variety of highly qualified and interesting instructors. Our instructors have taught everything from art and history to clowning and sailing. Instructors for OLLI have the option to receive an honorarium for teaching and can also enjoy other benefits such as taking a free course.

For information on how to become an instructor, send an email to

Instructor Forms

Course Submission Form

Use this online form to submit a course for a regular semester review. Please complete it entirely and return it along with the Instructor Hiring and Biography Form below. Email any additional attachments, such as the supply lists or waivers, to your chapter's Curriculum Committee for review and approval. Be mindful that there are deadlines throughout the year to ensure the course is published in the applicable bulletin.

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Instructor Hiring and Biography Form

Submit this online form with instructor information and biography. Your chapter's Curriculum Committee will review and contact you regarding approval.

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OLLI at LSU Fall 2020

Instructor Bios

Marian Arrowsmith has her Master’s Degree Plus 30 Graduate Hours/ Masters of Education from Southeastern Louisiana University (Administration and Supervision) and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University.
Agnes Bickham attended Shambhava School of Yoga in Kona, Hawaii, after practicing yoga for many years. She earned her RYT 200 in Hatha-based tradition. After certification, she has been employed as a yoga instructor at the Women’s Wellness Center in Baton Rouge for seven-plus years, and is still employed there. She has taught at various other studios. Agnes believes yoga is a stabilizing practice that grounds students, promoting a sense of well-being, strength, and confidence.
Jim Bolner, Sr., professor emeritus of political science (LSU), received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Virginia. His area of expertise is American constitutional law and history. He has taught at LSU and several universities in the United States and France. Since his retirement from LSU in 1999, he has taught courses in the OLLI program on American politics and digital photography.
Henry Bradsher has two bachelor degrees (arts and journalism), Univ. of Missouri, 1952; U.S. Air Force 1952-55, Associated Press correspondent covering Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1956 Montgomery bus boycott, AP correspondent and bureau chief covering South Asia for five years, AP bureau chief Moscow for 4.5 years, Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Asia correspondent for The Washington Star 1969-75, world-roving correspondent 1975-81, CIA senior analyst 1982-2000.
Andrew Burns is a current LSU Sociology Ph.D. candidate from Sandusky Ohio. Andrew researches drug use, deviance, and social problems. His current research focuses on the impact the Opioid Crisis has had on small town residents.
Harsha Chacko is a Professor Emeritus at UNO where he taught Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration for 33 years and is also a Certified Specialist in Wine. He taught the wine classes at UNO, organized wine study trips to Napa and Sonoma for 10 years, and also taught at UNO Montpellier in France for five summers. He is the Wine Director of Bonne Cuvee Wine Tours, a company that creates wine confidence through educational journeys.
Gail Chisum is the author of two photo/history books and was awarded Best in Division and Best in Category by the Printing Association of the South for “Flags Along the Way: A History of West Feliciana Parish (2014)” which was followed by “National Gems-Louisiana Treasures” in 2017. Gail graduated from Quachita Baptist Univ. with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and photo journalism. He received commission as Second Lt. in the U.S. Army, was promoted to Captain while serving in Vietnam and was honorably discharged after serving 3 years. He began his career with Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies as an agent in 1984, became a District Sales Manager and then Vice President of Sales from 1990-2012 until retiring to St. Francisville with his wife, Fran and nearby extended family.
Charlotte Lowry Collins received her art degrees from LSU and UNO, and an M.F.A. from Memphis College of Art. She was an Associate Professor of Art at Kennesaw State University, and taught at SELU. An active artist in her hometown community, she is the Director of the Olde Towne Arts Center, and a founder and board member for the arts krewe, Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moonpie. She currently teaches Talented Arts at University View Academy.
Lynette Coto’s primary research interests are in the areas of gender, sexuality, race, sociological theories, feminist theory, and queer theory. She is primarily a qualitative research scholar, but she has co-authored theoretical and quantitative research as well. Lynette’s current research projects include the exploration of hook up culture, sexual kinks, and student athlete exploitation. She earned a M.A in Applied Sociology from the University of Central Florida. Lynette is currently a fourth year sociology doctoral candidate with ABD status at Louisiana State University. She is also an affiliate of the Women & Gender Studies, and African and African American Studies Departments.
Erica Daigle has a PhD in English from the University of Iowa, where she studied Renaissance literature and the history of medicine. Her favorite writer to teach is Shakespeare. Outside of Renaissance culture, Erica has a research and teaching interest in world religions and mythologies.
Kerry Everitt is a speaker, facilitator, consultant and coach. She specializes in helping individuals, organizations, and communities envision the future, manage change and communicate effectively throughout the process. A sample of her clients includes health care, higher education, business and industry, communities and non-profit organizations. Kerry advocates at local, state and national levels and helps bring diverse voices to the table. She was elected to the Rapides Parish Police Jury with help from a strong and active coalition. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Univ. of Tulsa and a master’s degree in management from LSU where she focused on communication theory and organizational theory.
Claire Fontenot is a Master Gardener since 2001 and Advanced Master Gardener since 2016. She has developed the American Daylily Display Garden, the Louisiana Iris Collection, and the Ginger Display at the BREC Independence Park in Baton Rouge. She participates in Master Garden speaker programs held at East Baton Rouge Parish Public Libraries.
Erin Fuson is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and Institute for Integrative Nutrition holistic health coach with a focus in mindfulness and movement. Her passion lies in educating and empowering people to transform anxiety and pain into strength and self-love. Through mindfulness techniques, yoga, and connection with others, Erin fosters a fun, easy-going environment for students to learn ways to cope with stress, grief, self-doubt, big life transitions, and chronic pain.
Jillian Guinta is a Yoga Therapist and teacher of mind-body science. Hailing from New Jersey, Jillian has completed several advanced trainings in therapeutic yoga as well as a certificate program in Applied Positive Psychology. In addition to her experience teaching courses in trauma-informed yoga and positive psychology, Jillian holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Seton Hall University where she was named Adjunct Professor of the Year (2015- 2016).
Erin Halloran is originally from Minnesota where she earned her BA in History from the University of Minnesota-Morris. She graduated with her Ph.D. in British History from LSU in Spring 2019. She has taught a number of courses at LSU including: Western Civilization 1500- present and England 1300-1500. Summer 2018 she was an instructor on LSU in Ireland, where she taught the courses Medieval Ireland and England, and Early Modern Ireland and England.
Recently retired, Sally Hermann taught music for 27 years in private and public schools. She received her vocal performance degree from the University of Illinois, Campaign-Urbana, teaching certification from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and became National Board Certified in 2010. She resides with her husband in St, Francisville where she now continues her passion for music at her leisure.
Pat Heurtin holds a MEd+30 hours. She is a retired teacher, having taught and coached health, physical education, and English 23 years at the high school level, and education teaching methods two years at the university level. Following her teaching retirement, she served seven years as the physical director for the Lake Charles YMCA. After retiring from the YMCA, she served as the public information officer for the Calcasieu Parish Library System. She now stays very busy serving as an ambassador for pickleball in the West Feliciana area.
Trenton James is a board-certified family physician, retired from active practice and is now involved in precepting family medicine residents and medical students. Trent works part time with eQHealth Solutions, Inc. a population health management company for government and commercial clients. He is involved in camellias, recording oral histories for the T. Harry Williams Oral History Center in LSU Libraries, historic preservation, Louisiana medical history, and a docent at the LSU Rural Life Museum.
Dr. Claire M. Kantrow is a physical therapist and chronic pain specialist practicing at Elevate Wellness Studio in Baton Rouge, LA. She graduated in 2009 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA and then went on to complete a Residency in Orthopedics and Practice Management. She has practiced in outpatient orthopedic settings and has developed a niche practice in managing patients with chronic pain and complex neuro-orthopedic conditions. Claire has lectured in a variety of settings including at the LPTA State Conferences, in the Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in the state, and in the community.
Owen Kemp has been a yoga instructor for several years & received her yoga training through the Living Yoga program at the Barsana Dham Ashram in Austin, TX. She attended training sessions at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY & various venues around the country & internationally. Owen's yoga style is best described as flow.
Sam LeBlanc is a retired attorney. He and his wife, Noelle, have lived in West Feliciana since 2008.
Merrie Lee Logan, originally from the Midwest, attended The University of Iowa and La Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City before moving to Louisiana and graduating from LSU with a degree in Spanish, French, and English. She taught in public and private schools for almost twenty years before joining the awesome OLLI family!
William McClendon, III, has taught at LSU, Univ. of Tennessee and Western Carolina University teaching negotiating and professionalism courses to law, business, and graduate engineering students. He practiced law with Taylor Porter Law Firm in Baton Rouge for 40 years. Bill has given talks to various groups, including churches, OLLI and the LA Legislature on building better relationships, civility, history, and using your imagination creatively. He holds a B.A. in history and an LLB in Law from Tulane Univ. He has won many awards and is listed in Who’s Who in the World. He is the author of Deal Makers: Negotiating More Effectively Using Timeless Values.
Deborah McCollum is a retired high school principal from St. Tammany Parish School System. She was an educator for 38 years. Her degrees include Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in mathematics and chemistry, a Masters of Education in Secondary Education and a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision. Her love for reading, movies, and watching television led to her interest in leading this course.
Olivia Pass has a PhD from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and two master’s degrees from LSU, in English and journalism. She enjoys both taking and teaching OLLI classes.
Jane Patterson is the current President of Baton Rouge Audubon Society, as well as the Education chair. She started birding in 2005 and has been teaching birding classes since 2007. She was honored at the National Audubon national conference in July 2014 with the Dutcher award for outstanding service by an Audubon Chapter leader for her efforts in bird related education. Jane retired from her career in state government in 2017 as the Director of Telecommunications where she was responsible for overseeing internet and phone services for Louisiana state government.
TroyLynne Perrault is a Pampered Chef Consultant and recent cancer survivor whose passion is to help people make healthier food choices. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans. She is also a licensed Louisiana Realtor and fundraiser who has worked at three universities in New Orleans.
Brian Pope, MA, University of Texas at Austin, performs the creative and hosting duties for Center Stage on WRKF-FM, a one-hour radio show that each week examines a topic or theme dealing with musical theater, now in its 18th season on the air. He was inducted into the Theater Baton Rouge’s Hall of Fame in June of 2012. Additionally, he is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches where he teaches Musical Theater History and Literature.
Marie Ricca intertwines lifelong studies of sports, dance, and martial arts and is set to share the techniques of Tai Chi. Initially trained in Taekwondo, then receiving her black belt in Shotokan from Mikane Sensei with JKA and later acquiring her second degree under the training of Darrell Goodyear with USANKF (serving as an accredited Judge for same.) Marie received a black belt in Shorin Rye Kubudo(weapons) training with Daniel Gomez. She presently teaches Yang Style Tai Chi Chaun.
Barry Richard has been and still is working in the electrical/instrumentation engineering discipline in industry throughout the US since 1978. He began learning T'ai Chi Chuan under the instructions of Michael Chow in 2001. Since 2005, he has been instructing the movements of T'ai Chi Chuan to other students at various locations in Baton Rouge. Barry continues to study and refine these movements under the watchful eye of Michael Chow. His rewards have been not only seeing the benefits in his life, but watching the benefits in others as they progress in their practice of this T'ai Chi.
Ralph Schomburg obtained a BS in Mathematics and an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston in 1968 and 1978 respectively. He started working at NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in 1967 as a Cooperative Education Student Trainee and retired from civil service in 2003 as the Assistant CFO of NASA JSC. He has been the recipient of many NASA awards, was a training instructor in the National Management Association, and a part-time staff instructor at San Jacinto College where he taught math and conducted management seminars on topics including strategic planning, time and stress management, communications skills, leadership and supervisory skills, negotiation skills, and memory training.
Nancy Sidener earned her AB at University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD at UC, Davis. Before retiring, she taught economics at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and part-time at LSU, while directing the Louisiana Council for Economic Education.
Jane Simmons has been a yoga instructor for several years, and received her yoga training through the Living Yoga program at the Barsana Dham Ashram in Austin, Texas. She attended training sessions at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, and various venues around the country and internationally.
Dr. Tip Tipton is an actively retired musician/composer with B.A., MMus. (LSU), EdD. degrees and teaching experience @ Xavier Univ., New Orleans. Rev. Tipton is a semi-retired Presbyterian U.S.A. Pastor with 27 years of pastoral experience with New Iberia and Orlando congregations. He has also taught as an adjunct professor for Columbia Theological Seminary.
Greg Tomlinson is a Ph.D candidate in German history at LSU. I previously taught courses on German history, the Third Reich, and a biographical examination of the life of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Emily Toth (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) is an LSU professor who has taught courses in women writers, Louisiana women, women's lives, and nonfiction writing. Her eleven published hooks include biographies (Kate Chopin and Grace Metalious), academic advice books (Ms. Mentor), and one prizewinning historical novel. Her online advice and memoir columns include "Ms. Mentor" and "Talking Writing".
Kirk Vidrine is the owner and CEO of V-Well solutions, a company focused on providing corporate and personal wellness services with the purpose of making people healthier, happier, and more productive. He has spent his career working with clients from all walks of life to create fitness and food programs that help them to excel in their athletic endeavors and personal health goals. Kirk has been working as a fitness professional for over 18 years. He has an undergraduate degree in dietetics from Louisiana State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition, also from Louisiana State University. His specialties are nutrition, weight loss, and corporate wellness programing. Kirk has performed research in nutrition and body composition, bone health, and bio compounds, and has presented his nutrition research at national scientific conferences. Throughout his career Kirk has provided personal training and wellness services, performed cooking demonstrations, taught nutrition at the Louisiana Culinary Institute, and provided corporate wellness education to businesses across Louisiana. He has spent 5 years of his career developing and implementing corporate wellness programs for Shell Oil. Kirk’s combination of knowledge and experience with food and exercise allow him to give people a complete picture of what a healthy lifestyle can be.
Barry Weinstein was ordained a Reform Rabbi by Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1971. His wife studied in Jerusalem, Israel, 1968-69, travelling throughout Israel. As a Union College, Schenectady, NY, undergraduate, in his junior year he studied at the University, Madrid, Spain. He is rabbi emeritus of Congregation B'nai Israel here in Baton Rouge and has served Temple Sinai in Lake Charles, as rabbi, since 2010. He believes the course on Anti-Semitism is both timely and important in understanding this ancient but persistent prejudice. He hopes to have experts in this field join us via Zoom.