OLLI Instructors

Meet the world class instructors who teach for OLLI at the University of Vermont.


Charlotte Albers

Charlotte Albers is a freelance garden writer, designer, and public speaker. She studied botany and plant taxonomy at the U.S. National Arboretum, holds certificates in Horticulture and Landscape Design from the USDA Graduate School in Washington, D.C. and completed the Master Gardener program through Virginia Cooperative Extension.


William Averyt

William is an Associate Professor Emeritus for UVM’s Grossman School of Business; His areas of teaching and research include international trade, legal and political environment of business. He was tour guide at various museums including President Truman Little White Museum, Key West, Florida; Historic Walking Tour of Key West with Historic Tours of America; Shelburne Museum. William was a Research Fellow at the Winterthur Museum. He was a Fulbright Fellow in France. He earned a Ph.D. from Yale University; M.A from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Diplome, Institut d’Etudes Europeennes from the Universite de Strasbourg; and a B.A. from the University of Alabama.


Carolyn Bauer

Carolyn Bauer is currently the Associate Curator at Shelburne Museum. After receiving her B.A. in Art History from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) in 2012, she attended and received her M.A. in Art History with Museum Training from The George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) in 2014. She started her over 7 year association with Shelburne Museum in 2014 and has since organized over 20 exhibitions.


Miriam Block

Miriam Block has been director of the Mill Museum since 2016. She holds a BFA in Textiles from RISD and formerly worked as a weave designer at a textile mill in South Carolina. She is a teaching artist registered with the Vermont Arts Council. In 2019, Miriam earned her M.ED from Saint Michael’s College with a focus on museum education.


Alice Boone

Alice Boone is the Curator of Education and Public Programs. She organizes learning opportunities and programming for K-12 students and teachers, college students and faculty, and community visitors of all ages. She received her PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and taught college English and writing for several years at Haverford College, UCLA, and the University of Delaware before moving into the museum field, where she was most recently the Woman’s Board Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago. She curated the Candide at 250: Scandal and Success exhibition at the New York Public Library in 2009-10.


Aaron J. Goldberg and P. Jeffrey Potash

Aaron J. Goldberg is a retired attorney from Burlington, VT. He is the Co- Founder of the Lost Mural Project (2010) and the Vermont Contributor to the online New England Jewish Historical Collaborative Resources Guide (2021, a downloadable pdf). He has taught legal courses at Champlain College, has given talks on legal issues, and contributed to published estate materials. He received his B.A. in American Studies from Brandeis University and received his law degree (J.D.) from Suffolk University Law School.

P. Jeffrey Potash is a former Professor of History at Trinity College. He has taught and published extensively on local history topics. Among other works, he is the co-author of “Freedom Unity: A History of Vermont” (2004) and the author of “Vermont’s Burned Over District: Patterns of Community Development and Religious Activity 1776-1850” (1991). His book, “Vermont’s Burned-Over District,” evinces his lifelong fascination with the interplay between religious and larger community dynamics. He is the Archivist of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue. He received his B.A. in History from UVM, and his Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.

Goldberg and Potash are contributing archivists for Vermont Public Television production of Burlington’s Little Jerusalem, available on vpt.org and lostmural.org websites.


Greg Bottoms

Greg Bottoms has been teaching classes in creative nonfiction writing for more than 20 years and has been an English Professor at UVM since 2003. He is the author of eight books, including the memoirs Angelhead and Lowest White Boy. His writings have appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, and magazines, including Creative Nonfiction, Esquire, Harper’s, and The Oxford American.


Bridget Butler

Bridget Butler, AKA The Bird Diva, has been working in conservation and environmental education for more than 20 years throughout New England. Her business Bird Diva Consulting has her traveling across Vermont delivering presentations, leading bird outings, and surveying birds for landowners. Bridget has worked for the Audubon Society in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and helped to create Audubon Vermont’s Forest Bird Initiative. Her Slow Birding work has been featured on numerous podcasts including the American Birding Podcast, Ray Brown’s Talkin’ Birds Podcast, and the South Africa podcast The Birding Life. As the Bird Diva, she feels that birding is for anyone who enjoys and is curious about birds – if you take delight in noticing birds, you are a birder. Bridget lives in St. Albans, Vermont with her husband and three young children.


Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature, specializing in Medieval Drama. Much of the drama during the Middle Ages was religious, but royal pageants were also theater, offering entertainment as well as a spectacle of power.


Kate Cartwright

Kate Cartwright is the Tasting Room & Wine Club Manager at Shelburne Vineyard. After working as a Marketing Communications Manager in the healthcare IT field for nearly 15 years, Kate decided to make a big change and explore the wonderful beverage & food landscape in Vermont. A passionate teacher of all things wine-related, Kate holds her Level II certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and is mid-way through her Italian Wine Scholar certification.


Gordon Clark

Gordon Clark is a lifelong social change organizer and long time personal and community food gardener. He was the national director of Peace Action, the nation’s largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization, from 1996 to 2001, ran for Congress in 2008, and has been a Master Gardener, local food advocate, and garden educator and trainer for the past 10 years, speaking and writing frequently on the topic. Gordon lives in Burlington with his wife Emily, dog Izzy, and cat Meeka.


Gary De Carolis

Gary De Carolis has been the founder and lead tour guide for Burlington History Tours for 8 years. He has a 5 star rating at Trip Advisor. He has been the lead tour guide for the Road Scholar Programs Burlington, VT Tour. He has been a regular OLLI tour guide for the past 5 years. His website is: www.burlingtonhistorytours.com


Michael DeBonis

Mike returned to his home state to join the GMC’s staff as executive director in 2014. In 1996, Mike completed a southbound Appalachian Trail thru-hike and completed hikes of the Long Trail in 2004, 2017, and 2021. Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Johnson State College and a Master of Forestry degree from Yale University. Mike and his wife, Jennifer, make their home in Moretown along with their two dogs.


Satyam Deva

Satyam, the founding director and lead instructor of Renaissance Yoga, pursued and completed his yoga teacher training in India. During his many years of ashram life, Satyam spent large tracks of time studying one-on-one with his yogacharya. Satyam’s initial interest in meditation grew over the days, months, and years into a holistic lifestyle based on the principles and tenets of yoga. He has led seminars on diverse aspects of yogic life. He has a BA Philosophy and French and an MS Ed (Educational Leadership).


Erica Donnis

A native of Essex, Vermont, historian Erica Donnis shopped and dined at the Champlain Mill with family and friends during its heyday as a retail center. Her favorite destination was the Paper Peddler. Erica has more than twenty years of experience working with museums, archives, and historical societies, including Shelburne Farms, Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Champlain College Special Collections. She is a graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.


Katherine Elmer

Katherine Elmer, MS, is a clinically-trained community herbalist and lecturer since 2012 on Herbal Medicine, Integrative Health and Food Systems topics at the University of Vermont. Katherine completed professional training through the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. Katherine is co-founder, co-director and a clinical herbalist at the Railyard Apothecary (270 Battery Street) and Spoonful Herbals (a local educational non-profit).


Lillian Elvir

Lillian has been a docent at the MMFA for 6 years and for the last 3 years responsible for In-Town tours for the English guides. She is a lifelong art enthusiast having travelled and visited museums in major cities around the world, including the Shelburne Museum. Lillian is currently studying Art History at Concordia University and pre-Covid worked in an art gallery. Upon completing her docent training her first scenario was an artwork by Jean-Paul Riopelle. She looks forward to sharing my enthusiasm for this great Canadian artist with you. When not guiding Lillian spends her time sailing on Lake Champlain.


Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro has been teaching for OLLI locally and around the country for six years. He teaches at resorts such as Chautauqua Institution in New York and retirement communities. He earned a doctorate at The Pennsylvania State University.


Garrett M. Graff

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist and bestselling historian, covers politics, technology, and national security. He is a contributor to WIRED and CNN, and the author of multiple books, including the #1 national bestseller “The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11,” as well as “The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI,” and “Raven Rock,” about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans.


Dr. Andrea Grayson

Dr. Andrea Grayson’s consulting practice focuses on behavior change communications, and she teaches in the Master’s of Public Health program at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. She writes on personal and public health issues, and is the creator of the online class Breaking Free from Sugar.


Huck Gutman

Huck Gutman is Professor of English Emeritus at U.V.M. He was also Chief of Staff to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).


Robert Hajdu

I have a Ph.D. in medieval history and a J.D. law degree. At the beginning of my working days I taught at the City College of New York for eight years. After that I practiced law. With retirement I started teaching in the Collegium for Lifelong Learning at Westchester Community College in New York. Loved it right away. I have also written Hungarian Goulash: A Historical Memoir, which is available on Amazon. Last year, my wife and I moved to Burlington.


Jon Haveman

Jon Haveman is the Executive Director of the National Economic Education Delegation (NEED). He is a noted California economist, where he has been practicing since 2001. He has a reputation for providing audiences with edible economic information that is readily useful in their work and private lives. Prior to starting NEED, Jon was a principal at Marin Economic Consulting, a founding principal at Beacon Economics and the Director of the Economy Program at the Public Policy Institute of California. He has been a Senior Economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, an Economist with the Federal Trade Commission, and held a faculty position in the Business School at Purdue University. Dr. Haveman an expert on economic policy issues and speaks regularly at events across California. His more than 400 talks have covered a wide range of policy topics. Dr. Haveman holds a Ph.D and in Economics from the University of Michigan.


Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio

Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio is Associate Dean and Professor of Art History at UVM. She has published four books and dozens of articles and essays, and has lectured at universities and museums across Europe, the US, and Canada, including the National Gallery of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Prado, and won UVM’s Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Clare Innes

Clare Innes is a Vermont-based ukulele teacher, performer, and focused dabbler on the dobro, bass, harmonica, spoons, and washboard necktie. Driven by a hurricane-force love of making music with friends, imperfect strangers, students, and unsung musical heroes, she thrives on taking part in creating the best learning and listening experience possible for students, fellow musicians, and audiences — recognizing the volumes that she has learned from her students and the entertainment that flows back to her from those attending a class or a performance.

Clare has taught several hundred ukulele students in group and private lessons and stage pop-up Ukulele Shenanigans, where dozens of ukulelians show up and rattle the rafters in song. She has been called a “Ukulele Whisperer” for my knack for untangling the knottiest chords, strums, and concepts and helping people venture into the flow of playing.


Anette Isaacs

Anette Isaacs, MA, is a German Historian and Public Educator who has been presenting hundreds of programs on more than 30 different topics in the Chicago area and in South Florida. Ms. Isaacs holds a Master’s Degrees in American Studies, Political Science, and History and is an adjunct faculty member for the lifelong learning departments of 5 Colleges in Illinois and at various OLLIs (Osher Lifelong Learning Departments) across the United States.


Patsy Jamieson

Patsy Jamieson is a culinary professional with over three decades experience in food media. She is a Cooking Teacher and Tour Leader for OLLI at the University of Vermont. Patsy is the author of Celebrating Herbs and Cooking for Health & Flavor and has developed recipes for various Reader’s Digest and EatingWell cookbooks. Patsy has appeared on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, Today, and Sara’s Secrets. She is the former Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director of EatingWell. Patsy holds a Grand Diploma and Professional Certificate from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris.


Maeve Kim

Maeve Kim has taught birding classes for OLLI, CVU Access, MMU After Dark, and several libraries and other organizations for several years now and has led almost a hundred bird walks. She’s a published author, with articles in BirdWatching magazine as well as two novels. In her recently-published second novel, every character is either a birder or a bird!



David Ian Kroese

David Kroese left a 25-year career in the corporate world to pursue his personal interests, becoming one of about fifty people known to have visited all 400+ National Park Service units in December 2017. Over the past decade, David has logged over 1,500 visits to NPS sites across the country. David wrote of his experiences in the first published narrative through all the NPS sites, The Centennial: A Journey through America’s National Park System. David shares his enthusiasm for our park system in speaking engagements across the country and is currently working on his next book, Hidden Gems of America’s National Park System.


Thea Lewis

Thea Lewis is a Vermont native who left a previous career as Director of Creative Services at CBS affiliate WCAX-TV to take up research and writing full time. Called Vermont’s Queen of Halloween, she’s been scaring up history in Burlington and beyond since 2002 and has created special events and history tours for numerous Vermont organizations.


Suzanne Lourie

Suzanne Lourie (LICSW, JD) is a Professional Organizer and owner of Get It Done, LLC. Suzanne works with people at all stages and ages of life to manage the clutter and the emotions that come with it, & to set up systems to maintain organization. Suzanne works 1-1 with her clients as well as presenting to groups.


Irving Lubliner

Irv Lubliner teaches math, music, and literature classes for OLLI at Southern Oregon University, where he serves on the Council of Directors. An emeritus professor specializing in mathematics education, he taught for 40 years and led seminars for teachers in 39 states. In 2019, he created Felabra Press, publishing the book that will serve as the theme for this presentation.


Anna Mays

Anna Mays is an anthropologist who enjoys teaching about world culinary traditions, agricultural practices and the intersection between food, diet, culture and well-being. Anna trained as a James Beard Fellow at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School and taught in the Food Systems Department at Sterling College. In addition to her food security work in international development, Anna teaches cooking classes for City Market and OLLI. Anna has an MA in Anthropology of Food from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.


Amanda McIntire

Amanda McIntire first began practicing yoga almost 20 years ago. It wasn’t until recovering from an injury, however, that she truly experienced the transformative power of yoga. She is RYT-200 certified with the Yoga Alliance and specializes in teaching beginners. Amanda believes that everyone can benefit from yoga practice – regardless of experience or physical ability. Her supportive, down-to-earth approach allows students to grow comfortable and confident as they work toward creating their own practice.


Kim Nolan

Kim has worked closely with leaders, students, and diverse teams for over 25 years, helping create engaged workplaces and learning environments that make a positive impact on the world. A community-based leader, educator, and practitioner, Kim facilitates collaborative processes across teams, building safe relationships and achieving desired outcomes within larger systems. Recognized as an effective and compassionate leader with expertise in organizational change & project management; mindful leadership; relationship building; mentoring, supervision & education; people & cultural development.

In 2019, Kim studied directly with Brene Brown and became certified as a Dare to Lead facilitator. In this capacity, Kim has offered multiple workshops, provided 1:1 coaching to leaders, and mentored rising stars in the early stages of their career.

Kim has a PhD in Leadership & Change, an MEd in counseling psychology and is ordained as Buddhist chaplain.


Mary Peabody

Mary is a UVM Extension Professor and a certified life coach. She has three decades of experience engaging adult learners in the area of decision-making and life transitions. During the pandemic she stretched herself by becoming a certified life coach which gave her more tools and sharpened her skills even further.


Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen has worked as a food and agriculture journalist and cookbook author for more than 20 years. She is currently a staff writer for Vermont’s alt-weekly, Seven Days. She has authored or co-authored three cookbooks, including the New York Times notable cookbook, Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont, and her newest book, The Little Local Vermont Cookbook. Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, Saveur, EatingWell, and on Foodnetwork.com, among many others. She earned an M.S. in Food Systems from UVM in 2020 and now teaches in that program as a lecturer. Carrie Putscher earned an M.S. in Food Systems from UVM in 2018 and is Assistant Outreach & Education Manager for City Market.


Katherine Robinson

Katherine Robinson majored in Psychology & Anthropology at the University of Vermont. She has also done graduate training in mental health counseling and is certified by the McLean Meditation Institute, which has allowed her to deepen her studies in the art of meditation and relaxation. She has been teaching classes at OLLI at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida since 2018 and also provides meditation and stress relief classes and support groups for seniors at various senior living facilities in her area.

Her passions include helping people learn how to turn on the relaxation response through meditation and breathing techniques, exploring the healing vibrations of sound and motivating and inspiring others to be the best that they can be. She has also been certified as a trained facilitator of group empowerment drumming through Remo Drum Corporation and enjoys facilitating drum circles in order to connect people on a deeper level.


Sarah Salatino

Sarah Salatino is the owner/head grower of Full Circle Gardens in Essex, VT, home of over 700 varieties of Vermont grown native and pollinator perennials, and their seasonal companions. She is a member of the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association and is a Vermont Certified Horticulturist. Her nursery serves as an education site to promote pollinator gardens, and native plants, and to teach customers how grow perennials in a sustainable manner. She and her staff provide inspiration and education to you for your perennial garden.


Beth Shaha

Beth is a life coach and owner of The Grounded Canary. Beth is a lover of stories and a truly gifted listener. Whether it’s through traveling, noticing beauty, gathering around a table, or listening to stories – feeling alive and free in her life is important to Beth. She lives with her family in State College, PA.


Jay Sherwin

Jay Sherwin created the Life Reflections Project to educate people about legacy letters, ethical wills and other legacy documents. He has practiced law, given away money for five different charitable foundations, worked as a philanthropy consultant and served as a hospital chaplain. He has extensive experience teaching and facilitating adult learning programs.


Kayla Silver

Kayla Silver is a certified sommelier and owner/operator of Salt & Bubbles Wine Bar and Market.


Eva Sollberger

Eva Sollberger produces a biweekly video series called “Stuck in Vermont” for Seven Days. Launched in February 2007, it airs every other Thursday on sevendaysvt.com and a shorter version plays during the Friday evening news at WCAX-TV.


Rebecca Starks
Rebecca Starks has taught topical literature and poetry workshops for OLLI since 2014; she has a PhD in English from Stanford University and a BA in English from Yale University. She is the author of the poetry collections Fetch Muse (Able Muse Press 2021) and Time Is Always Now (a finalist for the 2019 Able Muse Book Award), and the recipient of Rattle’s 2018 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor.


Rachel Stievater

Rachel was turned on to the idea of farming while being a student at Oberlin College. She left school for hands-on experience and has never looked back. After apprenticing on farms in the northwest and northeast, she became a Field Manager at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY. Although a production farm, Hawthorne Valley also runs many programs for students. It was here that Rachel began to see the importance of incorporating education into agriculture.

This led her to Farm & Wilderness in Plymouth, Vermont where she became the Garden Manager for 4 years. Farm & Wilderness operates a year-round, highly diversified, small-scale farm. Seasonal interns, campers, and students learn through working on the farm.

She took a break from Farm & Wilderness to raise a son, start a homestead and a cut-flower business, and return to college at UVM to obtain a degree in Plant Biology. After finishing her degree at UVM, she realized she missed the educational side of farming and returned to work as the Garden Manager at Farm & Wilderness for another three seasons. Rachel was excited to return to UVM in 2015 as the Catamount Farm Manager and an FTP instructor. She moved into an FTP Co-Directorship role in 2017 and Director in 2020.


Michael Strauss
Michael Strauss began his artistic life in California in the 1950’s, and continued to draw and paint while a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Vermont for 45 years. After retiring in 2003, he began to teach drawing in UVM’s Honors College, for UVM CE, and at galleries around the state. During this time he authored his book, “The Mind at Hand: What Drawing Reveals: Stories of Exploration, Discovery and Design” (2013, BrownWalker Press). He now devotes the majority of his time to painting and conducting drawing and painting workshops, as well as exhibiting his work in local galleries and other venues. For more information about Michael, visit his website at


Ethan Tapper

Ethan Tapper has been the Chittenden County Forester for the Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation since 2016. In this role he advises landowners, conservation organizations, municipalities, foresters, and loggers on how to manage their land responsibly for a variety of benefits. Ethan also writes a monthly column for 11 community newspapers and a quarterly column for Northern Woodlands magazine, maintains a YouTube channel and does extensive public speaking for thousands of people each year. He is the 2021 Northeast-Midwest Cooperative Forester of the Year. Find Ethan’s links, articles and other resources here: https://linktr.ee/ChittendenCountyForester.


Britta Tonn

Britta Tonn is an Architectural Historian and Historic Preservation Planner with VHB in South Burlington. With a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont, she has worked in the field for over a decade and has documented hundreds of historic buildings and historic districts throughout the state. She currently serves as the governor-appointed Architectural Historian on the Vermont Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. Britta has a keen interest in the history of Burlington and Winooski, where she resides with her family.


Jeffery Trumbower
Jeffrey A. Trumbower, Ph.D. (University of Chicago), Professor of Religious Studies at Saint Michael’s College since 1989, also former Academic Dean at Saint Michael’s 2005-2014.


Lindsay Varner

Dr. Lindsay Houpt-Varner is a historian specializing in community culture and social history in the Early Modern Period. She completed her undergraduate degrees in history and government and political affairs at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and her Master’s and Ph.D. at Durham University in the United Kingdom. She has worked in the public history and heritage field as a community educator and administrator. From 2016-2018, she was the project director for the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Initiative and afterward used knowledge from this project to develop the Community Outreach Department at Cumberland County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. She started her current role as director of Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in September 2020.


Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl, MA, is a writer, editor, critic, and publishing industry veteran who has worked with Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and countless bestselling authors. A columnist for BookPage for two decades, he is also a published novelist and award-winning, internationally-produced playwright. He teaches at Osher programs across the country.


James West

James earned his PhD at Princeton and is a Russian Historian. He taught for Trinity College Hartford for 24 years and 15 years at Middlebury College Vermont. He currently teaches for OLLI Northwestern University and OLLI Auburn University.


Heather Wolfe

Heather Wolfe, MPH, RDN, LDN, NBC-HWC, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and nationally board-certified health and wellness coach at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Wolfe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics, nutrition and food sciences from the University of Vermont and a Master of Public Health degree from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She has been providing nutrition counseling and health coaching for over 15 years, mostly in employee wellness, helping people discover the knowledge, skills, habits, and motivation needed to eat well and be well. Wolfe is a food enthusiast and homesteader who enjoys permaculture gardening, scratch cooking, and raising backyard chickens in Vermont alongside her husband and three daughters. Within the past two years she has published a cookbook titled Sustainable Kitchen and become a certified Vermont Master Composter.