Instructors/Facilitators


Bev Battaglia, PhD

Twenty-six successful years in human resources management, organization development, training, consulting, sale, and program development in both the public and private sectors. PH.D., Human and Organizational Systems - Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, CA.

Liliane Bazerghi-Fymat

I have been a translator, head hunter, and French teacher. I am the mother of three children and enjoy tennis, bridge, and all arts and crafts, including stained glass work.

Jerry Blatt

My interest in politics and history began when I was student body president of my university during the Viet Nam war. My expertise in marketing and decision-making came from over 40 years as a television advertising sales executive. I was a partner in a TV production company that produced an award-winning children's show and I taught television marketing at CSULB.

Amy Bollinger

Class: "Personalogy"-"Understanding Personal Preferences" Retired university dean, in higher education for over 30 years. While a professor, she taught Life Strategies as a Life Coach and Counselor. She was also a public speaker, touring the country, representing my institution and have a lifelong love of learning and sharing knowledge.

Sid Burks

LOCAL MILITARY HISTORY: Sid has been an educator for 40 years. He is currently a faculty member of Cal State San Bernardino. His interests include aviation, military, and desert history. This presentation represents a convergence of those interest. He has made similar presentations to various aviation, veteran, and service groups around the valley. They have always been well received. He plans on writing a book based on the research he has done for these presentations.

Gary Ceriani

Gary J. Ceriani grew up in a small town in the mountains of Colorado. After graduating from Colorado College, he spent a year doing post-graduate work in literature at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1972. He formed his own firm, Davis & Ceriani, in 1976 and developed a national reputation and a national practice as a trial lawyer specializing in complex, and often high profile, cases representing Plaintiffs (often institutional investors) in multi-million dollar securities fraud litigation. He has represented Plaintiffs and Defendants in over 175 cases tried to verdict (mostly jury trials), has defended numerous criminal cases (including first degree murder), and has obtained multiple 8 figure verdicts in both commercial and personal injury cases. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is listed in Best Lawyers in America (for “Bet the Company Litigation”), Colorado Super Lawyers (for Securities Litigation), and other “best lawyer” lists. He and his wife of 44 years divide their time between Colorado and Palm Desert.

Carol and Bill Clayborn

After Carol and Bill Clayborn retired from teaching for many years in the Desert Sands Unified School District, they found new careers as docents at the Coachella Valley History Museum.

Chris Considine

Graduate of Fordham University and Michigan State University. Spent early career as a high school French and English teacher. Later pursued a graduate degree in psychological counseling and practiced as a clinical therapist for 15 years before retiring.

Dr. Charles Derry

Class: "Film Appreciation II" -Charles Derry with a Ph.D from Northwestern University and an MA from USC--taught and coordinated in the Wright State University Motion Pictures program in Dayton Ohio, now housed in the new Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures. Derry  is the author of Dark Dreams 2.0: A Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film and The Suspense Thriller: Films in the Shadow of Alfred Hitchcock, as well as other books and articles on the cinema. He has also written several plays, published short fiction and memoir, written and directed short films, and worked as a stage director, including acclaimed multi-media productions of The Laramie Project & Wings.

Adair Fell

Class: 'Short Stories'. Adair is an avid reader who has participated in this class for five years. She is a Liberal Arts major from the University of Illinois and a retired Human Resources professional from Chicago.

Martin Frank

Martin Frank graduated from UCLA with a BA in Pyschology with a minor in Spanish. He attended the University of the Americas in Mexico for six months. He worked in the corporate business world doing risk management for large fortune 500 companies. His last few years he was responsible for creating and implementing a training program for entree level brokers. Since his retirement he has done volunteer work at LIR and the Betty Ford Center and Animal Samaritans.

Gary Fredricksen

GENEALOGY: Gary is a retired university administrator from Cal Poly Pomona. He is in his 6th year as President of the Sun City Palm Desert Genealogy Club and is also Newsletter Editor for the Palm Springs Genealogical Society. He has over 15 years experience researching families. He teaches a variety of classes including Researching Places, Source Citations Made Easy, Using FindAGrave and others. He annually teaches beginning genealogy both in clubs and in libraries.

Jeff Gindin

Course: The Canadian Justice System: Separating Myth from Reality: Jeff has been a practicing Criminal Defense Attorney in Canada for over 46 years. He has taught Trail Advocacy and Criminal Law for over 30 of those years. He has lectured extensively on the Criminal Justice System at the Police Academy, The Law Society and various conferences.

Lisa Herbst

Class: "Art Appreciation" --I studied at the Sotheby's Institute in London from 1990 to 1992 Styles in Art and Applied Arts. University of Kingston - upon- Thames in art history, architecture and design history. Spending my summers in Europe, I regularly take study weeks and summer school. Since moving to the desert in 1996 I have been teaching for the La Quinta Arts Foundation. Facilitating classes for LIR since 1999.

Carolyn Hill, Esq.

Class: "Trails of Evidence"-Using Forensic Science from the Crime Scene to the Courtroom. Graduated with a B.A. in Spanish. Thereafter, I lived and taught in a remote area of Mexico for a year. In 1974, I entered law school in Sacramento, CA. I originated and edited the school monthly newsletter and graduated as President of the Student Body and co-winner of the Best Defense Counsel of the Trial Advocacy Competition. I opened my own law firm and practiced civil litigation for 25 years. Since retiring, I have taught courses for LIR entitled Famous/Infamous Criminal Trials and moderated several others.

Alan Humphries

I am a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sergeant with over 30 years service. I've had assignments in custody, patrol, administrative and detective divisions before specializing as a fire cause investigator and explosive ordnance disposal expert. I am a P.O.S.T. certified instructor and subject matter expert. I founded the Black Peace Officer's Association of Los Angeles County and served as its president for six years. After retirement I served as the Director of Security for West Los Angeles Church of God in Christ for eight years. I reside in Indio with my wife, Winda.

Harold Jacobs

I received my BA from the University of Chicago and my PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. I was Professor of Sociology at SUNY New Paltz for 35 years, including Chair of the department for six years. I am a recipient of the SUNY Distinguished Teaching Award and have published extensively in my field. I enjoy chess, travel, cooking and film.

Thomas Jones, PhD

I am a retired professor of U. S. history. My career includes teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, academic administration, faculty development, and consulting. I received my B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota (1964) and then received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study in history at Cornell University (Ph. D. 1968). My publications include books and articles on U. S. history, college teaching, and liberal education, as well as a novel.

Donald Kagan

College drop out, graduated from the School of Trial by Fire. Retired entrepreneur with former IT businesses in Nicaragua and the SF Bay Area.Avid Economics enthusiast. Active in helping the Latino community and other causes in the Coachella Valley.

Roberta Kay

After fifteen years of teaching, counseling and administration duties for the Los Angeles Unified School District, I returned to graduate school at Antioch University where I received a double Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Organizational Psychology. I ran a private psychotherapy practice for eight years and then transitioned into Corporate Training and Consulting specializing in Diversity Awareness training and Communication Skills. My strengths lie in group facilitation and process both of which are helpful in guiding people through the process of composing their life stories.

Denise Kelly

I received an AB in Spanish Language and Literature from Gettysburg College in PA, and a MA in Spanish Language and Literature from Penn State University. My love of travel began with a 2-month stay with a family in Colombia, South America when I was in college, and another two months living with a Mexican family while attending la Universidad de Guanajuanto. I have taught Spanish for over 15 years, including every level of Spanish from 7th to 12th grades, university level, and adult education. While teaching high school, I received a Rockefeller Foundation grant for travel throughout Spain and lived with a Spanish family while attending a 6-week course at la Universidad de Salamanca.

Ed Kodinsky

Edward Kodinsky received B.S. and M.S. from Moscow Institute of Electronic Machinery and has completed a Ph.D. program in the State Scientific and Research Institute of Metal Processing in Moscow. In October 1989 Mr. Kodinsky founded Conextions, Inc. and became its President and CEO. Conextions, Inc., of North Andover, MA was a pioneer in integrating mainframe legacy systems with the World Wide Web using Object Oriented tools and technology. Conextions worked closely with Steve Jobs' NeXT Computers, Inc. and was the first company on the market to provide mainframe connectivity for NeXT. In 1999, Conextions products and technology were acquired by Attachmate, Inc. of Seattle, WA, which continues to market and sell products based on Conextions technology. Mr. Kodinsky was a cofounder of Chamber Music Foundation of New England and International Chamber Music Ensemble Competion. Mr Kodinsky and his wife, Tanya Kodinsky are the founders of Chamber Music of Art Foundation. Mr. Kodinsky continues to consult businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the nation. He combines strong scientific background with solid business and organizational skills and his love for chamber music.

Joyce Kormbluh

Class: Short Stories'. Joyce is an avid reader who has enjoyed taking this class for six years. She is a retired lawyer from Michigan and New York.

Morgan Levine

Morgan has been with Desert Adventures since it started over 25 years ago and she has set the standard all guides strive to achieve. Her passion for the desert, it's geology and cultural history is contagious. Morgan is well known throughout the desert and her speeches are coveted by both local and visiting groups. Because of the tremendous contributions, Desert Adventures has won many prestigious awards. Selected as 'Best Guide' in the entire desert by the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Bureau and Palm Springs Tourism. Morgan has lived in the desert for over 40 years. Morgan also works with numerous environmental groups to protect our cultural and natural resources. For more information call 760-340-2345 or email info@red-jeep.com.

Ben Liberman

Born Benjamin Diego Liberman in Santiago Chile. Parents were married in Israel after the war of independence in 1948. Family immigrated to the US in 1964 when 11 years old. Graduated from Cal State University in Northridge with a degree in Business Administration while selling stereo’s and TV’s at swap meets. Worked for a CPA firm in Los Angeles after graduating from college until fired 9 months later. Opened Furniture store in 1981, struggled many years eventually opening 5 furniture stores which are currently professionally managed. In 2000 got an MBA from Pepperdine University and was able to retire from active duty at the furniture stores in 2013. Married for 40 years, 2 kids, 4 grandkids, happy, retired and loving life.

Reesa Manning

I am Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Integrated Wealth Management. Reesa joined Integrated Wealth Management in 2009, and previously was Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at UBS Financial Services for 12 years. Prior to my career in financial services, I founded Southern California based, 140 store franchise Penguin's Frozen Yogurt. I served as president of the nonprofit, 2000 member National Council of Jewish Women in Los Angeles for three years, and am past president of the Desert Cities Chapter of NAWBO (National Organization of Women Business Owners) and Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley. I reside in Rancho Mirage, CA with my husband and currently serve on the Board of Temple Sinai and The Springs HOA. I am a firm believer in women's empowerment and financial literacy.

Steve Manning

I received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami, followed by a MBA from Pepperdine University. I had a career spanning more than 50 years in military, aerospace and semiconducting design and its associated manufacturing technologies. I have published two books and am an ardent news "buff".

Meltsner Team

Meltsner Team:John Considine (LIR Board), Joyce Whitacre (LIR Board), Joan Beasley (Class Secretary) will follow the Meltsner story discussion/analysis format for the Fall Season.

Angelica Miller

Class: "Advanced Intermediate Spanish" -Angelica is a native Spanish speaker. She attended college in Mexico City and has been an executive secretary. She has given private Spanish lessons.

Jim Miller

BEARS, BULLS, AND PIGS; Jim is a year-round resident of Palm Desert. He has a MBA from Columbia University in NYC. During his 30+ year career, he held a variety of financial positions in industry and finance. He has had considerable experience in debt and equity markets, project finance, municipal finance and structured finance. He has been a personal investor for more than 50 years and is looking forward to networking with fellow investors in his never-ending quest to beat the market.

Les Modie

I have both BA and MA degrees in Spanish and History. I have studied in Spain, Ecuador, and Mexico. My travels have taken me throughout the Spanish speaking countries of the world.

Steve Moyer

Class: "Great Trials" - is a retired trial attorney from Los Angeles. Steve currently serves as a mediator and teaches law at the California Deserts Trial Academy College of Law in Indio.

Sybil Waite Moyer

Sybil is from England and has been in the USA for sixteen years. She has been involved in Education for 60 years. She took an MA Honours Degree in Education when she was 57 years old and was subsequently appointed Principal of an elementary school in the UK. After retirement Sybil became Principal of the Elementary Department of a British International School in Kiev, Ukraine. She later served the American Peace Corps in Guatemala for two years. She has always loved English History and will enjoy presenting it to you.

George Palmer

B. Com. M.A. Econ. (Hons) University of Cape Town. Co-Founder: Liberal Party of South Africa. Chief Economist: S.A. Federated Chamber of Industries. Chief Economist: Union Acceptances, South Africa's First Investment Bank. Editor-In-Chief: South African Financial Mail. Head of Far East Research: Prudential Securities, Tokyo

Tom Preston

Death With Dignity- Dr. Preston created and chaired a coalition to sponsor a ballot initiative in WA state that was passed by the voters to become the WA Death with Dignity Law. Since then he has advised physicians and counseled patients regarding accessing the law. Dr. Preston has been a hospice volunteer in WA state and in the greater Palm Springs area, and has written three books on end-of-life issues, including assessment of physician aid in dying. He is a retired cardiologist.

Marc Rosen

"Controversial Issues" Marc received a BA from the University of California in Political Science, an MA from Cal State University San Francisco in Education of Exceptional Children, and an MA from San Jose State University in Counseling and Guidance. He was a high school educator and counselor for 36 years, and has initiated and participated in numerous discussion groups on current events and controversial issues. "Be a Better Photographer" Photography has been a favorite hobby since 1978. Marc has developed and printed black and white film and color cibachrome, as well as digital. He uses several photo editing programs including Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Nx Capture and others. Marc enjoys photo restoration, video editing and producing. He and his wife, Irene, have recorded & produced many DVDs of special events with stills and video, such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, family histories and travel documentaries. Marc has been a Sun City Camera Club participant and award winner, is a past V.P. and has presented and assisted in several workshops.

Gerald Salomon

I received a BS in Liberal Arts from the University of Cincinnati. I have been a life long aficionado of music and have accumulated an extensive collection of musical CDs and DVDs which I draw upon as teaching aids in my course. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and love of music with other enthusiasts.

Mario Sewell

CINEMA: Mario has a BA in History from the University of Chicago and a MA in Latin American History from Stanford University. In addition to 28 years in management with the LA County Health Services Department, he taught adult-level English as a Secondary Language in classes both in LA and Indio and Oaisis for six years. He has volunteered as a reading tutor in Mecca and Las Palmitas and helped raise funds for books for second and third grade children in the East Valley. Mario has facilitated the LIR foreign films series for four years.

Ron Sharrow

Class: "Self Publishing for Dummies" -Ron Sharrow began his writing career in 1998, after retiring from his Baltimore law practice. He has written and published 10 of his own books, plus a number of others which he has ghost-written, edited, or formatted for other writers.

Ralph Sinibaldi

Class: "Biotechnology & Society" - Ralph Sinibaldi has worked in molecular biology research and development for more than 35 years. He is an innovator in the areas of genomics, gene expression, DNA microarrays and drug discovery. Ralph has more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology management. He has been involved in both startups and large global life science companies. He was awarded the Sandoz Presidential Award for innovative research and has published over 45 scientific articles and abstracts on original research and received 3 patents. Ralph has completed business management training at UC Berkeley and has BS, MS, and PhD degrees in biology from the University of Illinois. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois Medical Center and at the University of Chicago. He was the recipient of a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund postdoctoral fellowship.

Hazel Warlaumont

Helen received her PhD from the University of Washington and enjoyed a career as a Professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, where she also directed the graduate program and founded University Women for Peace. Her publishing and research areas include advertising, global communication, information processing, social media and public policy, and media and the American character. She  has  also lectured as a visiting professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Granada in Spain, Round Earth Study Abroad in Morocco, and Hawaii Pacific University. One of her favorite pastimes these days is creative writing . She has published two novels - 'The Second Translator' and 'Medeleine and Therese'. She divides her time between the desert and Whidbey Island, WA. 

Nancy Weil

I was born in Atlanta and received my journalism degree with a minor in US history from the University of Georgia. Even though I spent 26 challenging years teaching upper elementary students, writing has always been a first love,

Since December of 2013 I have had almost 20 columns in the Desert Sun covering a wide variety of topics e.g. health care, voting and elections, the movies,diversity, the Consititution, being a long term cancer survivor and several on the positive aspects and attitudes about growing older.

Nicolette Wenzell

Class: "History of Palm Springs"-Nicolette Wenzell is associate curator and collections manager at the Palm Springs Historical Society. A desert native, Wenzell has been with the Historical Society for seven years. Wenzell co-authors a weekly history column in the Desert Sun as well as a weekly history segment on KMIR news.