OLLI Instructors

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

Charlotte Albers

Charlotte 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.


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.


Francesca Arnoldy

Francesca Arnoldy, UVM alumna and longtime birth worker, is the course developer, facilitator, and program director of the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s End-of-Life Doula Professional Certificate Program. She is author of Cultivating the Doula Heart: The Essentials of Compassionate Care and leads workshops about doula approaches and end-of-life wishes. Her goal is to encourage people to hold one another’s hands through life’s intensities and sacred rites of passage. Francesca lives in quaint Hinesburg, VT with her family in a most idyllic village. You can find Francesca contemplating birth, death, and life with the doula heart on her website contemplativedoula.com.


Christopher Illoa Chaves

Christopher Ulloa Chaves has roughly twenty-eight years of professional experience in nonprofit organizations, senior-level national security education, and university-level teaching at institutions including Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Duquesne University, University of New Mexico, and the College of William and Mary. He has also lectured at the Santa Fe Institute. He carries an undergraduate degree in education from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, graduate-level work in the humanities involving literature and ethics, and a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Southern California.


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, an author, three time former city counselor, has held political appointments in the state and high level administrative positions in the federal government but always remained a resident of Burlington.


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.


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.


Clare Innes

Clare 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.


Patsy Jamieson
Patsy Jamieson is a food writer known for creating healthy recipes that do not compromise flavor. She is Recipe Editor for Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter and Food Stylist for EatingWell. Patsy is also a flavor and nutrition analysis consultant for YOLO Snacks, a specialty popcorn company. She is the author of Celebrating Herbs and Cooking for Health & Flavor. Patsy developed recipes for two Reader’s Digest books, Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar and Disease Free. As the former Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director for EatingWell, she edited numerous EatingWell cookbooks, among them The Essential EatingWell Cookbook, which was a finalist for a James Beard Award. Her articles and recipes have appeared in Cooking Light, Cooking Club, EatingWell, and Vegetarian Times. Patsy has conducted cooking classes and demonstrations across the country and has appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, the Food Network’s Sara’s Secrets, PBS’s The Victory Garden and CNN’s On the Menu. She earned her Grand Diploma and Professional Certificate at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris.


Maeve Kim

Maeve 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!


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.


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.


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 Time Is Always Now, a finalist for the 2019 Able Muse Book Award, and Fetch, Muse, forthcoming in the fall of 2020. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in Baltimore Review, Valparaiso Review, Ocean State Review, Slice Literary, Crab Orchard Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere. She is a co-founder of Mud Season Review and on the board of Sundog Poetry Center.


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 mjstrauss.com.

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.


Richard Witting

Richard Witting has over twenty years of experience in the restaurant industry, owns and operates Firefly Catering Company, manages Ohavi Zedek Synagogues kitchen, runs food education programs with the Fletcher Free Library and CVU Access. Richard also runs the Isole Dinner Club, a pop-up dinner series that explores history and culture through art, performance, food and libations. Richard has a degree in Anthropology with a focus on food and culture from UVM.