Spring Summer 2015 Instructor Biographies

Mick Chantler, MA

Mick Chantler recently concluded his 36 year career in teaching at Sonoma Valley High School, and now works part-time as a counselor at Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma. As a lifelong student of the Civil War era, he was pleased to organize the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration for the City of Sonoma in 2009. In 2010 he coordinated the seminars in American History series at the Sonoma Valley Library. Most recently, he taught his Lincoln course at the Sonoma State OLLI. Mick’s other interests include the history of baseball, and he is a long-standing member of the Society for American Baseball Research. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum. Currently he is developing a course on Thomas Jefferson and the Early American Republic.  

Larry Eilenberg, PhD

Larry has had a distinguished career in the American theatre as an artistic director, educational leader, and pioneering dramaturg.  Dr. Eilenberg earned his B.A. at Cornell University and his Ph.D. and M.Phil. at Yale University.  He is Professor of Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University, where he served three terms as Theatre Arts Department Chair. He has also taught at Yale, Cornell, the University of Michigan, and the University of Denver.  Artistic Director of the renowned Magic Theatre during the period 1992-2003, Dr. Eilenberg has also served as a commentator for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” as a U.S. theatrical representative to Moscow, and as a popular lecturer on comedy.

Nina Solomita, MA

Nina is an educator, writer and editor. She has an MFA in creative writing with an emphasis on playwriting from Goddard College.  Most recently she taught Mining the Masters: Pulitzer Prize-winning Plays in the OLLI programs at California State University, Easy Bay, and Dominican and Berkeley universities. Over the past twenty years, she has developed and taught a variety of writing courses and workshops on such topics as playwriting, creating compelling characters, writing to access the imagination, and finding your story (memoir). She was the dean of adult education and an instructor at Pacific Repertory Theatre’s School of Dramatic Arts in Carmel, CA. She also has taught at U. Mass., Boston, Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, Heald College, Salinas, CA, California State University at Monterey Bay, and Marin venues including Book Passage in Corte Madera. Her plays have been produced in Monterey, Carmel and Cambridge, MA. She is an experienced editor and offers professional writing services to writers at all stages of their projects.

 Kayleen Asbo, MA

Kayleen has three master's degrees: one each in music, psychology and mythology and is almost completed with her PhD in Mythological Studies. She has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for the past 16 years, at Dominican University for six years, and she is also on the faculties of the OLLI programs at UC Berkeley and Sonoma State University. The artistic director for the Mythica Foundation of Arts and Education, Kayleen has also been the mythologist in residence for the San Francisco Opera during their production of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. She has repeatedly given lectures and workshops in Chartres, France, Assisi, Italy and Oxford, England on a wide variety of topics from women in history to Medieval music.

Jerry Frohmader, PhD

Jerry taught in the music department at the College of Marin from the mid 1980's to 2002. During that time period he initiated three new courses in the curriculum including Jazz Improvisation, Rock, Pop and Jazz, and Desktop Musician.  During his tenure as Assistant Dean in the School of Music at the California Institute of Arts, he composed a musical score for the opera "Victory Over The Sun" by Malevich.   It was performed at the L.A. County Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the New Theater Festival in Berlin and Amsterdam, at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at the Aspen Music Festival.  As a professional musician (keyboards and saxophone), Jerry performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Clark Terry, AM Los Angeles, & the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  He has been an instructor for the past 15 years with Elderhostel and received recognition from ABC News, Peter Jennings, CNN Travel and most recently was featured on the KQED, San Francisco program, SPARK, in a segment called "American Music".

Kerrin Meis, MA

Kerrin earned her master's degree in Art History at U.C. Berkeley.  After teaching the History of Art at San Francisco State University and the College of Marin for many years, she is now in demand as a lecturer for Elderhostel, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Jewish Community Center. She taught European and Middle-Eastern Art History classes at Book Passage for a number of years and has led travel/study programs to Europe.

Douglas Lee, PhD

Douglas is a semi-retired professor, who teaches at De Anza College and San Francisco City College.  He has a BA from Lewis and Clark College, an MA from the University of Michigan, a PhD from UC Santa Barbara, and a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School.  His fields of specialization are modern Chinese history, Chinese American history, and Chinese law and political economy.

Douglas Kenning, PhD

Douglas was conceived in Japan, born in California, raised in Virginia, and lived variously in Germany, Ohio, Texas, Scotland, Tunisia, Japan, California, and for the last fifteen years in Sicily.  He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has worked professionally as a wildlife biologist, stage actor, army engineer officer, Manhattan taxi driver, academic administrator, university professor, tour guide, among other things. He has written books on Japanese and British poetry and philosophy, articles on the culture and history of Sicily, Italy, and Japan, and stage plays.  He lives half of each year in Sicily, where he runs a small tour business, and half in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching lifelong learning courses on subjects related to the histories and cultures of Mediterranean peoples.

Edythe Bresnahan, MA

Edythe completed her graduate studies in Painting at the University of California, Berkeley and continued to do post graduate work in printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She also received a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Edythe was chair of the Art Department at Dominican and has taught Botanical Drawing at both CCAC and Dominican University of California. Currently her artwork can be seen at K. Imperial Fine Arts at 49 Geary Street in San Francisco.

Wood Lockhart, PhD

Wood studied architecture at Yale University and received his doctorate in the History of Art and Architecture from Northwestern University. He is the former Chair of the Art History Department at Dominican University and has been teaching at the university since 1975. Wood is also a retired United Airlines Captain and, over a thirty six year flying career, has visited and photographed virtually all of the architecture which will be discussed in the course.

Oak Dowling, JD

Oak is a retired attorney with 43 years of practice, including 31 years in San Rafael. He's a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School and a native of Chicago. He has lived in Marin County for over 40 years and for over 24 years he has been a part-time instructor of Law at College of Marin. In his Law classes, he has used courtroom drama to demonstrate legal principles. As an avocation, he has performed in theater in Marin and San Francisco over the last 15 years.

Bruce Elliott, PhD

Bruce teaches courses in European History at Berkeley, Stanford Continuing Studies, and Dominican OLLI. British history constitutes a special enthusiasm for Bruce, as this was the field in which he conducted his doctoral research. Along with teaching in the academic year for several university programs, in the summertime, Dr. Elliott leads groups of his lifelong-learning students on travel-study trips to choice European destinations.

John Rothmann, MA

John is a politics/foreign policy consultant specializing in the US, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. A talk show host on KGO–AM Newstalk radio, he is a frequent lecturer on American Politics and has been called “a scholar of modern Republicanism” while being acknowledged “for his unique insights, and in particular for rare and crucial materials.” Rothmann served as Director of the Nixon Collection at Whittier College from 1968 to 1970, as Chief of Staff to Senator Milton Marks, Field Representative to Senator Quentin Kopp, and in 1982 was one of the founders of the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club. Widely published and honored, Rothmann has spoken on more than 150 college/universities in the US, Canada and Israel and has been on the faculty of USF. Both his B.A. and his Masters in Arts in Teaching are from Whittier College. Prof. Rothmann is the co-author of Icon of Evil — Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam.

Patti Trimble

Patti is a poet and essayist with awards from Lannan Foundation, Poets &Writers, Djerassi Residency, and a Pushcart nomination. She performs/presents poetry in US and Europe, writes for San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and teaches for SSU OLLI, Pt. Reyes Field Institute, and Arcadia University Abroad. Her effective teaching style is based on 25 years of expertise—developing writing/ literature programs for Macmillan-McGraw-Hill, et. al. Patti is currently writing anthropocene poems and an art-world memoir, and her 2014 CDs are on www.outofroundrecords.com.

Steve Bryson, PhD

Steve is Target Scientist for the Kepler Mission to find Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars. He also leads the false-positive identification effort and monitors Kepler performance at the pixel level. Prior to joining Kepler in 2005, Steve developed new, high-accuracy numerical methods for solving nonlinear differential equations and participated in the early development of virtual reality. Steve is an avid amateur astronomer, and worked at Chicago's Adler Planetarium in the late 70's. Steve has a PhD in computational mathematics from Stanford University, and for more than 10 years taught modern physics in adult education classes at the San Francisco Academy of Sciences.

Hank Fearnley, PhD

hank has taught History and Political Science at the college level for over thirty-five years, most of which has been spent at the College of Marin.  He received an MA in History from Georgetown University and a PhD in History from University of California, Santa Barbara.   In 1999 he received a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to study the impact of globalization on Malaysian and Singaporean politics and society.  Professor Fearnley has been honored with numerous teaching awards from Alpha Gamma Sigma and the College of Marin student honor society.

Jon Bailey, DMA

Jon is acclaimed as conductor, composer, and teacher in the fields of music and art. After completing his doctorate degree at Stanford University he served as Dean and Professor of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before teaching at the Yale School of Music, where he conducted the Yale Concert Choir and the New Haven Chorale in addition to teaching courses in the history of music.  Jon is also Professor Emeritus at Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he served as Chair of Music and conducted the College’s choral ensembles for ten years, twice winning the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.  Jon conducted the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles for thirteen years and has been a program consultant for National Public Radio as well as Arts Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood.

Jan Wahl

Jan is best known to the Bay Area for her incisive film criticism during appearances as KCBS Radio and KRON TV Film Critic and Entertainment Reporter. A graduate of San Francisco State with a degree in broadcast communication and arts, for 30 years Jan has been actively involved in the television and film industries.  First as a producer, stage manager and director on such TV programs as “Good Morning America,” Jan has always shared her love of entertainment with the community.  She is a two-time Emmy award winner and member of the Directors Guild of America.