Meet Our Outstanding Instructors

Rafi Andrusier Rafi Andrusier has a master’s degree in Talmudic Law (2009, Central Lubavitch Yeshiva, Brooklyn, NY) and has been teaching adult education classes on the subject since 2012. He is also a certified instructor of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.

Making the Right Turn: Engineering Ethics into Driverless Vehicles


Peter Atterton Peter Atterton, Ph.D., is professor of philosophy and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University. He has published articles and translations in the area of continental philosophy. He is coauthor of On Levinas (Wadsworth, 2004); and coeditor of The Continental Ethics Reader (Routledge, 2003), Levinas and Buber: Dialogue and Difference (Duquesne University Press, 2004), Animal Philosophy: Essential Readings in Continental Thought (Continuum, 2004), and Radicalizing Levinas (State University of New York Press, 2010).

The Greatest Literary Fraud in History: Shakespeare


Douglas Barker Douglas Barker, M.A., is a professional art historian and metaphysical researcher, and taught art history at several colleges and universities for over 25 years. While living in England, Germany, and Switzerland, he studied alternative education and worked as a guide on art tours. He also conducted study tours of Israel and India in the German language. Barker has traveled extensively in native North America and participated in numerous ceremonies. He earned his M.A. in art history from the University of Chicago and has taught 100+ courses at a variety of colleges and universities.

North American Indian Art of the Eastern Woodlands, the Plains, and California;

● Native North American Art of the Southwest, Northwest Coast, and the Arctic.


Lawrence Baron Lawrence Baron, Ph.D., held the Nasatir Chair of Modern Jewish History at San Diego State University from 1988–2012. He has authored and edited four books including The Modern Jewish Experience in World Cinema (Brandeis University Press, 2011) and Projecting the Holocaust into the Present: The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005). In 2006, Baron delivered the keynote address for Yad Vashem’s first conference devoted to Hollywood and the Holocaust. He is currently working on a book about the history of how the Oscars has honored films about the Holocaust. Baron has taught the Holocaust in Feature Film course at SDSU for 15 years.

Hollywood and the Holocaust: From Appeasement to Awards


Alexander Bevil Alexander Bevil, M.A., a graduate of SDSU and recently retired California State Parks historian, has been researching, writing and lecturing about San Diego’s local history since 1988. His class is based on an expanded version of a presentation he gave at a 2017 local historical conference (which he chaired), commemorating the 100th Anniversary of San Diego’s role during WWI. Bevil is currently working on several articles commemorating the 40th anniversary of the historic crash of PSA Flight 182 in North Park, and the establishment of San Diego’s first military field hospital in 1769.

San Diego and The Great War: A Historical Timeline


Virginia B. Berger Virginia B. Berger, M.A., became a certified professional coach with a specialty in retirement coaching, after she retired from Grossmont College in 2006. She helps clients make the psychological, emotional, and social transition from work to retirement through group and individual coaching. Now that she has entered her 70s, she is studying more about the aging process and is a certified facilitator for the Conscious Aging Workshop developed by the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Baby Boomers on the Threshold: Managing the Transition into Aging


Peter Bolland Peter Bolland, M.A., is the chair of the humanities department at Southwestern College, a professor of philosophy and humanities, and life-long meditator. He is also a columnist for the San Diego Troubadour and Unity Magazine. An award-winning singersongwriter and poet, as well as a popular speaker and spiritual teacher, Bolland leads meditation workshops at his bi-monthly satsang (peterbolland. com).

The Awakened Heart: A Six-Week Meditation Workshop


Sandra (Sandee) Bonura Sandra (Sandee) Bonura, Ph.D., is a part-time professor, Coronado Historical Society docent, authority on Hawaiian history, storyteller, and frequent lecturer on the importance of using a multitude of primary sources to gain perspectives on historical events. She is deeply interested in the intersection of education, history and Hawai'i. Her four published works include Light in The Queen’s Garden: Ida May Pope, Pioneer for Hawai'i’s Daughters (University of Hawai'i Press, 2017); and The Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890-1893 (University of Hawai'i Press, 2012).

Light in the Queen's Garden: 19th Century Prayer & Politics in Hawai'i


Nadine Bopp Nadine Bopp, M.S., holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University and a B.A. in ecology from the University of Missouri. Combining these disciplines led to her avid interest in urban geography. Bopp’s positions as a college professor keep her current on technological advances, and she has developed classes in urban studies, environmental science, sustainable practices, green architecture, mapping, botany, and landscape design. She taught at The School of the Art Institute, Columbia College, and DePaul University for 19 years.

Environmental Justice: A Dwindling Protection or a Global Movement?


Carol Branch Carol Branch, Au.D., has been a practicing clinician for over 30 years. She is currently a faculty member in the Joint SDSU/UCSD Doctor of Audiology program, supervising and mentoring doctoral students in their clinical training as well as teaching various courses. Dr. Branch is an expert in pediatrics, state-of-the-art hearing aid technology, and current evidence-based practices in hearing aids and audiology. She is also conversant in treating patients in Spanish and American Sign Language.

Hear This! The Inside Story of Hearing


Denny Braun Denny Braun, Ph.D., began his career at the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. as a demographer/ statistician. After joining the professoriate at Minnesota State University, Mankato, he taught his course on population dynamics for 33 years before retiring. His area of expertise within sociology and economics is social stratification and the study of income inequality, culminating in his seminal work, The Rich Get Richer: The Rise of Income Inequality in the United States and the World.

We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie;

● Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet


Kristen Breit Kristen Breit, Ph.D., received her B.A. in psychology at Chapman University. She completed her M.A. in psychology at SDSU under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Thomas, researching Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and stress responses. She finished her psychology Ph.D. (Behavioral Neuroscience) at Purdue University, where she studied the relationship between stress and alcoholism, in Dr. Julia Chester’s laboratory. She has since returned to SDSU as a postdoc researching prenatal cannabis exposure with Dr. Thomas in the Center for Behavioral Teratology. She is also a lecturer for the SDSU Psychology department where she teaches courses related to physiological psychology and behavioral neuroscience.

How Early Experiences Shape Our Brains


Richard Carrico Richard Carrico, M.A., grew up in San Diego, served in the U.S. Army, holds three degrees, and has been a professor at local community colleges and a lecturer at SDSU for more than 20 years. As both an archaeologist and historian, he brings a rare depth of knowledge and understanding to his topic. With 40 years of research on primary archival documents, and interactions with native people, he brings a three-dimensional view to a topic that is often portrayed as two dimensional.

Spanish Colonialism in San Diego and the Native American Reaction: Power, Persistence, and Patrimony


Fabio Comana Fabio Comana, M.S., is an exercise physiologist and faculty instructor at SDSU where he teaches the Exercise, Sport and Aging course in the Exercise and Nutritional Sciences department. He is also a faculty instructor at UCSD, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and SCW Fitness Education. Comana is a scientific advisor for Orange Theory Fitness, Core Health and Fitness, Stroops, and Turbostrapp. He has been a collegiate head coach, university strength-conditioning coach; and opened/ managed clubs for Club One. He is an international presenter, media spokesperson, and author.

Preserving Health and Functionality in Baby Boomers


Daniel Del Castillo Daniel Del Castillo is an SDSU alum with a bachelor's degree in public administration and is halfway through a master's degree in psychology. He is a bilingual educator and faculty member of SDSU’s College of Business, and adjunct faculty at CETYS University in Tijuana for the psychology department. DelCastillo has 20 years of experience as an HR professional in the public sector, including SDSU and CSU Stanislaus.

Cultural Diversity: What Does It Really Mean?


Kathi Diamant Kathi Diamant, M.A., is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, where she has taught classes on Kafka, writing, acting, and more for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU since 2008. The author of the San Diego Book Awards’ Geisel Award for her biography, Kafka’s Last Love, she has written extensively for newsletters, newspapers, and magazines as a freelance journalist. Diamant facilitates book discussions and Conversations Worth Having events, and leads the book club at the Kensington Library and for OLLI at SDSU. Best known in San Diego for her work as a TV interviewer and fundraising host for KPBS, Diamant continues to appear both locally and nationally on behalf of Public Broadcasting. As a passionate advocate for the arts, she serves as a commissioner on the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Qudeen the Magnificent by Patricia Benke with Author Visit
● Conversations Worth Having: Your Brain, Your Mind, and You


Constantine (Costa) Dillon Constantine (Costa) Dillon, M.P.A., is a retired National Park Service ranger and superintendent who worked in more than a dozen parks in his 35- year career. His awards include the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award and the National Parks Conservation Association's Stephen Mather Award. Contemporaneous with his NPS career, Costa worked in motion pictures and is the creator and principal writer of the feature film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and four other feature films. He has a B.S. in Environmental Planning and Management (Park Option) from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

Become a National Park "Insider"


Patricia Dintrone Patricia Dintrone, Ph.D., holds her doctorate in ancient history with a specialization in the early Roman Empire from the University of Virginia and is a sought-after lecturer on ancient history topics. She is retired from the history department at SDSU, where she taught courses in ancient history and civilization.

Influences on the Development of Early Christianity


Oliva M. Espin Oliva M. Espín, Ph.D., is professor emerita of Women's Studies at SDSU. She holds her doctorate in counseling psychology and Latin American studies from the University of Florida. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University; a professor of psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University; and a Fulbright distinguished chair in gender studies, University of Klagenfurt, Austria. She was born in Cuba; studied its history, literature, and music all her life; and has lead study tours to Cuba.

Cuban History through Mystery Novels: Havana Fever


George Gastil George Gastil, M.A., teaches California history at SDSU and Grossmont College. He earned his M.A. in history with an emphasis on 20th century California, and did a year of archival research and interviews for a major exhibit on labor history in San Jose. He also served on the Lemon Grove City Council and Lemon Grove School Board. Professor Gastil continue to be active with historical societies and community groups interested in documenting the diverse history of San Diego and California, and is especially interested in the relationship between historical study and living memory.

California History in Living Memory: From the Great Depression to Today


Patti GerkeRon Greenwald Patti Gerke and Ron Greenwald specialize in working with older and aging adults and their families when it's time to consider the right housing option. Working closely with estate planning attorneys, aging life specialists, senior move managers, home care agencies, nonprofits and many others in the senior space, Gerke and Greenwald have years of experience in being the project manager for an individual, couple, and their family when it's time to discuss, plan, and implement one's housing options. Having both personally lived the aging experience with their respective parents, over a decade of time, they wish to share their hands-on journey.

Rethink Home: Benefits to "Rightsizing" Your Home & Lifestyle – Senior Stay or Go™


Maya Ginsberg Maya Ginsberg, M.A., has been studying the violin since age 11. She studied violin performance at the University of Oregon, holds a B.A. in music from Skidmore College, and received her M.A. in music from SDSU. She has been an active member of the North Coast Symphony Orchestra for the last 14 years. She is a violinist with Eliana Strings, and the violinist of the Striano Piano Trio. In addition to her work as the violin clinician at Mount Carmel High School, she is a lecturer at SDSU and teaches violin privately in the San Diego North County area.

There’s No Business Like Show Business: The History of the American Musical


Alexander Greenbaum Alexander Greenbaum, M.A., enjoys a diverse and adventurous musical life. As a member of the Hausmann Quartet, he is a lecturer at SDSU, where he teaches cello and chamber music. As a longtime member of The Knights, he has performed and recorded throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the festivals of Caramoor, Dresden, Ojai, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Salzburg, Vienna, and last season in Aix-en-Provence and Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie. Locally, Greenbaum is a founding member of the San Diego Baroque Soloists, a mainstay on the Art of Élan series, and an affiliated artist with San Diego New Music.

Chamber Music: From the Renaissance to Today


Jim Hinton Jim Hinton, M.A., has been performing folk music professionally for over 40 years. He sings and accompanies himself on guitar, mandocello, harmonica, and bodhran (the Irish drum). He specializes in the traditional songs of Ireland and performs at pubs, festivals, schools, churches, and coffeehouses throughout the Western states. A prolific songwriter and purveyor of contemporary folk, Hinton has a vast repertoire that includes songs from the 1600s through the 1960s from Ireland, Britain, and America.

Singer/Songwriter Revolution, Chapter Two


Damon Hitchcock Damon Hitchcock, M.A., is an adjunct instructor at Miramar College and Southwestern College and an instructor at the San Diego Museum of Art's Museum Art School. He teaches art history, drawing, watercolor, and design, and has been a juror for local exhibitions. He earned his master's degree in studio arts from SDSU. He has been teaching for over 45 years including 11 years at OLLI.

Art History: An Era of Exceptional Achievement, the Art of Northern Europe, and the Italian Renaissance

● Art History: The Varied and Rich Expressions of 17th Century Baroque Art


Bob Jordan Bob Jordan was born and raised in San Diego and has graduate degrees from San Diego State and the University of Southern California School of Cinema. Jordan has been teaching at SDSU for more than 30 years. One of his areas of expertise is silent film history.

Charlie Chaplin: A Biography on Film


Christine Kirsch Christine Kirsch, Au.D., has been a practicing clinician for over 30 years. She is the director of the Audiology Clinic at SDSU and serves as the director of clinical training for the joint SDSU/UCSD Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences department. Dr. Kirsch is an expert in current hearing-aid technology and emerging clinical trends related to the management of permanent hearing loss.

Hear This! The Inside Story of Hearing


Laura Johnston Kohl Laura Johnston Kohl lived with both the Peoples Temple and Synanon cults. After a fluke saved her from the deaths in Jonestown on Nov. 18, 1978, she struggled but persevered, earning her B.A. in philosophy/psychology, then her California Teaching Credential. She is on the Speakers’ Bureau of the Jonestown Institute, and has been interviewed locally, nationally, and internationally for TV, radio, newspapers, research papers, and documentaries. She has written many articles about the details of life in Peoples Temple and her survival, and for the annual Jonestown Report. Kohl is the author of Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look, and is currently working on her second book.

SDSU Love Library Series, Week 3: Leadership Styles in Famous/Infamous Cults: Peoples Temple and Synanon


Svetlana Kostic Svetlana Kostic, Ph.D., is an affiliated faculty member with the Computational Science Research Center at SDSU. As an expert in hydraulics and water resources, and a professional civil engineer, she brings over 15 years of experience conducting water resources studies throughout the U.S. and overseas for a wide range of clients. Dr. Kostic received the prestigious Alvin G. Anderson Award for her achievements in the field. She serves as a convener/chair of a session on supercritical bedforms at the European Geological Union. Her work on flood-control levees on river deltas and the Hurricane Katrina experience was published as an invited book chapter in Advances in Environmental Research, Volume 56, by NOVA in February 2017.

Flood-Control Levees on Deltas: What We Learned from the New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Experience


Bruno Leone Bruno Leone, M.A., earned his master’s degree in European intellectual history, and is a lecturer, freelance writer, Fulbright Fellow, and former instructor at the University of Minnesota and St. Francis College. He taught world history for over 40 years and delivered public lectures on ancient Egypt for most of his academic career. He also authored two books for young adult readers — Origin: The Story of Charles Darwin, and Disease in History.

Prolonging Human Life

● The Printing Press: Why the Pen is Usually Mightier than the Sword

● Ancient Egypt


Philip P. Lindsley Philip P. Lindsley is a widely recognized elder and disability law attorney. His practice focuses on Medi-Cal and public benefits planning, special needs planning, asset protection, probate and trust administration, and conservatorships and their alternatives. He is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), accredited by the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association; a State Bar of California-certified legal specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law; and an accredited Veterans Administration attorney. He is rated AV “Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubble peer review.

Top 10 Things Skilled Nursing Facilities Don't Want You to Know


Catherina Madani Catherina Madani, Ph.D., graduated with her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1998. In 1999 she moved to San Diego and began working in critical care at UCSD. In 2015 she earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of San Diego, and currently works at UC San Diego Health, providing palliative care education. Madani is a Certified Hospice & Palliative Nurse, co-chair the Palliative Care Committee, and an active member of the Advance Care Planning Committee at UCSD. She’s also a lecturer in SDSU’s graduate nursing program.

Advance-Care Planning at Every Age


Iyas Masannat Iyas Masannat, M.S., is a practicing pharmacist in health care facilities including various rehabilitation and detoxification programs in Southern California. He has a master's degree in molecular biology, and has been teaching SW800: Pharmacology and Etiology of Substance Use in the Joint Doctoral Program in Substance Use at SDSU since its inception. Masannat also serves as voluntary assistant clinical professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD where he mentors students at the student-run free clinics.

Drugs and the Brain: The Science of Addiction


Susan McBeth Susan McBeth, M.A., is an SDSU alum with a degree in business administration, and a master’s in comparative literature. She is also the founder and owner of Adventures by the Book (, which connects authors and their books with the reading community through interactive literary events and travel packages.

Culture and Cuisine of France Edventure


Gwenn Olive Gwenn Olive has been a performer all her life. After to moving to San Diego, she began studying improvisation and currently teaches it at OASIS. Prior to retirement, she was a psychotherapist in private practice for 30 years. Olive draws from this experience to deepen the improv characters she creates.

Improv Basics


Wendy Patrick Wendy Patrick, J.D, Ph.D., is a career prosecutor, SDSU business ethics lecturer, and media commentator with over 2,000 media appearances. She has a weekly political segment on Fox 5 San Diego and Blaze Radio, and comments almost daily on politics in the media, including social media. Dr. Patrick is also a behavioral expert. She is the author of Red Flags (St. Martin´s Press, 2015), and coauthor of the revised version of the New York Times bestseller Reading People (Random House 2008). She also has her own column in Psychology Today and is a Huffington Post contributor.

The Politics of Social Media: How Twitter and Other Platforms Have Revolutionized Political Speech


Kevin Petti Kevin Petti, Ph.D., is a U.S./Italian citizen, college professor, textbook coauthor, and president-emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. Dr. Petti teaches anatomy and physiology, human dissection, and health science at San Diego Miramar College. He also teaches study abroad to Italy for San Diego State University, focusing on anatomy as a science and its influence on the Renaissance masters. He speaks internationally about the connection between art and anatomy in Italy at conferences, museums, and universities. The Italian government invited him to their Cultural Institutes in Los Angeles and New York; and The University of Palermo, Sicily, hosted Dr. Petti for a week in their seminar series celebrating its 210th anniversary.

Anatomia Italiana: Connecting Art and Anatomy along the Italian Peninsula


David Rader David Rader teaches for academia, business, government, and the military. He served in the United States Air Force from 1967–1971. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at numerous colleges and universities for 40 years in several disciplines — history, political science, international studies, and international business. He has taught in the United States and abroad and has worked in the securities, real estate, high tech, and defense industries.

Theodore Roosevelt: American President/Global Leader


Rebecca Romani Rebecca Romani, M.A., holds a master's degree in television, film, and new media from SDSU. She teaches film for Palomar College and the SDSU American Language Institute. She has written about film for various outlets including KPBS Cinema Junkie, and moderates the annual One Book One San Diego film screenings at the San Diego Public Library. She has interviewed a number of female foreign film directors and is well-acquainted with the work of many others both as a reviewer and professional contact.

Foreign Film Femme Series


Isabelle SacramentoGrilo Isabelle SacramentoGrilo, M.S., has been teaching Natural Disasters at SDSU for the last 17 years, as well as Earth Science and Oceanography. Her students consistently rate her classes as the “best [they’ve] taken at SDSU.” Honors include an Outstanding Faculty Award as most influential university professor, and Favorite Faculty Award. She has been an invited lecturer at symposiums in Portugal, the Luso-American Education Foundation conference, the Natural History Museum in San Diego; and in SDSU programs such as Freshman for a Day, and the SDSU Center for Teaching and Learning. She just received a grant from the Portuguese government to teach the Natural Disasters class as a faculty-led study abroad in Portugal.

Natural Disasters


Lisa Shapiro Lisa Shapiro, M.S., M.A., is an assistant professor at San Diego Mesa College with degrees in management and literature. Her classrooms have always been filled with veterans, and she encourages the soldiers, sailors, and Marines who are transitioning back to student life to put their stories on paper. Professor Shapiro has read all of the letters in the World War II Servicemen’s Correspondence Collection. Her book, No Forgotten Fronts: From Classrooms to Combat, will be available in April from the Naval Institute Press.

SDSU Love Library Series, Week 2: Dear Doc: From Classrooms to Combat


Robert D. Shultz Robert D. Shultz has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones in La Mesa since 2008, and provides investment, insurance, and financial planning for individuals and small businesses. He has the following accreditations/licenses: AAMS Designation (Accredited Asset Management Specialist); Series 7 Securities; and Series 66 Combined State Law, Life and Health Insurance. He serves on the Edward Jones leadership team as a new advisor coach, field trainer, and mentor; and supports the community of La Mesa as the immediate past president and board member of the Kiwanis Club.

A Primer for Retirement and Investment Basics: Outlook and Opportunities: Separate the Signals from the Noise


Michael Sloan Michael Sloan has an M.A. from the University of Chicago and 42 years of business experience in commercial and social enterprises. He was president/CEO of a global marketing and manufacturing company for 30 years and is currently a partner in W.E. Do Good, a social enterprise in Ethiopia. He is a full-time lecturer in SDSU’s Fowler College of Business and the only professor of social entrepreneurship. He mentored an SDSU student project that won first place and $100,000 in Texas Christian University’s Venture and Values Competition.

Social Entrepreneurship: The Business Solution to Poverty


Glenn C. Smith Glenn C. Smith, J.D., LL.M., is a constitutional law professor at California Western School of Law, and teaches a Supreme Court simulation class in which the students learn about the Court by playing roles as current justices and advocates. He is the author of Constitutional Law for Dummies and writes about a variety of legal issues for scholarly journals and publications aimed at non-legal audiences. He is a regular commentator in print and electronic media regarding the Court and its cases.

Why It's the FIRST Amendment: Why Freedom of Speech and Religion Remain So Important and Controversial;

● The Constitution and Presidential Removal: What’s Clear, What’s Not


Jesse James Thomas Jesse James Thomas, Ph.D., has a broad background in psychology and recent embodied cognitive science. He holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Illinois, and did post-graduate training at the renowned Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He has many years of experience as a psychotherapist in La Jolla and Scripps Hospital, and teaching at SDSU. Thomas also has considerable experience with animals.

How Animals and Humans Make Sense of Things


Susan Valoff Susan Valoff, LCSW, C-ASWCM, has 25 years of experience in healthcare and geriatrics, including in-hospital social work, home-care administration, and Aging Life Care Management. In addition to having served hundreds of clients and families, Valoff has served as an expert witness in cases related to older adults and their care needs. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago.

Top 10 Things Skilled Nursing Facilities Don't Want You to Know


Stephen L. Weber Stephen L. Weber, Ph.D. was the seventh president of San Diego State University, an institution that ranks among the largest in the nation from 1996 to 2017. He is the past chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Board of Directors. He also served on the boards of The Peres Center for Peace, Student Veterans of America, and the Executive Committee of the NCAA. Locally, President Weber served on the boards of BIOCOM, the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego Science and Technology Council. He currently chairs the board of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). During his time as president of SDSU, the campus led the nation in improved graduation rates, increased the diversity of its student body, increased research activity as well as grants and contracts, was among the national leaders (#23) in study abroad, and became a national leader in veteran-friendly education.

Modern Universities


William Welsh William Welsh, Ph.D., is a professor of astronomy at San Diego State University. He earned his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, followed by postdoctoral work at Keele University in England and at the University of Texas, Austin. Since joining the faculty at SDSU in 2000, his work has been focused on transiting exoplanets, and in 2008 he was selected to join NASA's Kepler Mission. Dr. Welsh has been a pioneer in the field of circumbinary planets, a new class of planet that he helped establish. In 2015, he was honored with SDSU's College of Science’s Monty Award for outstanding faculty contributions.

Exploring the Night Sky: Naked Eye and Deep Space Observing


Gur Windmiller Gur Windmiller, M.S., was born and raised in Israel and came to live in San Diego as a student in 1999. He received a B.S. and M.S. in astronomy from SDSU and has been working in the astronomy department and doing research for nearly a decade. The research team that he feels lucky to be part of — lead by Dr. Bill Welsh and Dr. Jerry Orosz — has made numerous discoveries, among which are planets with two suns. This is Windmiller’s sixth year of teaching astronomy courses at SDSU and fourth year of teaching in Grossmont College.

Exploring the Night Sky: Naked Eye and Deep Space Observing


Matthew Wion Dr. Matthew Wion holds a Ph.D. from Marquette University in Wisconsin and an M.A. from SDSU. Born, raised and originally educated in San Diego, Wion earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2011. During his graduate studies, he taught philosophy courses at Marquette, Mount Mary College, and Bryant and Stratton College (all in Milwaukee). After graduation, he was an adjunct at the College of Lake County, Harper College, McHenry County College, and Oakton in Northern Illinois. In March of 2015, he and his family moved back to San Diego where he has been teaching at Southwestern College.

Political Philosophy: The Search for a Just World

● The Historical Jesus



Authors & Presenters

Patricia Benke is a San Diego appellate judge with a distinguished legal career as a former deputy attorney general for the state of California, and Superior Court trial judge. An established author of mystery novels, she received a 2016–17 San Diego Book Award in the Best Published Short Stories category for her collection, Qudeen the Magnificent, based on her childhood experiences as an immigrant from Syria.

Qudeen the Magnificent by Patricia Benke with Author Visit


Mary Duncan is the author of Henry Miller is Under My Bed: People and Places on the Way to Paris, a memoir on Duncan’s life led around the world, but always rooted in France. A native of San Diego, California, she taught at San Diego State University

for 25 years. Her academic subjects ranged from terrorism and the Irish Republican Army to leisure and work in contemporary society.

Culture and Cuisine of France Edventure


Gloria Rhodes is an associate librarian at SDSU, with over 25 years’ experience working in school, public, and academic libraries. As the library liaison to the departments of Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, United States History, and Military Science, she provides library instruction, collection development, and research assistance to students and faculty. She also coordinates the library presence for orientation events, and provides tours for visiting K-12 students. Rhodes is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and North Carolina Central University, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and a master’s in library science.

SDSU Love Library Series, Week 1: Discovery Session and Tour