Meet Our Peer Leaders




Kendra Auberry


Kendra Auberry is the STEM Librarian at the IRSC Pruitt Campus. She teaches research skills through instructional sessions and the LIS1002 Electronic Access to Information class. She holds a BS in horticulture from Purdue University and an MLS in library science from Indiana University.



Harry Banks

Harry Banks earned his B.S. and M.A. from the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C. Dr. Banks, a retired Maryland teacher, also helped create and lead adult discussion groups such as Socrates Cafe, Food For Thought, and Topical Seminars in public libraries in the Delaware area.

Neil Bernstein

Neil Bernstein is a retired music educator from New York. Since 1975, he has been teaching students of all ages— from kindergarten to mature adult learners—how to read music. He recently moved to Vero Beach and is looking forward to teaching in Florida.


Joanne Blandford

Joanne Blandford was born in Fort Pierce and represents the 4th generation of her family to live in the area. She earned her A.A. Degree from Indian River State College and a B.S. of Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. She edits the Main Street Focus, the official monthly newspaper of Main Street Fort Pierce, Inc. She also volunteers as a guide for Main Street's historic trolley tours of downtown Fort Pierce.

David Bradford

David Bradford is a Martin County native who is employed with Edward Jones.  David attended the University of Tampa, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting. Prior to joining Edward Jones, he was responsible for the planning and strategy of the NextEra Energy Nuclear Fleet's operating budget and capital projects programs. 

Mel Bromberg, M.S.P.H./M.C.P.S.

Mel Bromberg holds graduate-level degrees from The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati in Environmental Science, Public Health, Community Planning and Geography. She has worked as a university professor, author, international speaker, expert scientific evaluator, translational research project leader and manager, consultant and entrepreneur with special emphasis in the areas of both water and Earth sustainability and scientific policy.  Her experience includes positions such as Water Team Leader for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development’s Education Caucus, U.S.D.A. Extension Specialist for Water and Agriculture, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Marine and Freshwater Educational Grants Manager, and she has worked on national and international sustainable development and research projects.

Alexis Carlson
Alexis Carlson is the Reference Librarian at Indian River State College and helps students, staff, and community patrons of all ages learn about digital devices, social media, and basic computing. She earned her MLIS from the University of South Florida in 2007.
Rae Marie Crisel
Rae Marie Crisel spent her early working career as a research Biochemist and Molecular Biologist.  She was also director of several manufacturing processes for a large pharmaceutical firm.  Rae Marie always had the dream of becoming an artist to balance her scientific career, and she retired early to pursue both pottery making and painting.  She has been making and selling her work for more than 18 years.
Peggy Cunningham
Peggy Cunningham serves as the Executive Director of the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County. She is certified as a trainer for the Virtual Dementia Tour Comprehensive Program and as a Virtual Dementia Tour Facilitator. She holds a B.A. degree from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross.


Kathryn Den Houter, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathryn Den Houter was a teacher and a psychologist for forty-five years. Currently in retirement, she is fulfilling her dream of reading and writing books. Her most recent work is titled “Resilience: A Workbook”.

Emily Dietrich

Emily "Emma" Dietrich is the new FPAN East Central Public Archaeology Coordinator. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Historical Archaeology at the University of West Florida focusing in public education and outreach. Her research interests include historical archaeology, public education and outreach, and museum interpretation. 


Alicemarie Donohue
Alicemarie Donohue's career includes over 25 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, preceded by teaching secondary school in Cairo and Dubai. A full-time Florida resident since 2008, her main focus is on local community service and learning about new and interesting things. Alicemarie is a member of the External Advisory Committee of the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Joan Edwards
Joan Edwards is a retired fourth grade teacher who taught Florida and Indian River County history for many years in Vero Beach. She has led hundreds of lifelong learners on downtown walking tours. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from University of Findlay, Ohio and a Masters in School Administration from FAU. She has travelled to 77 countries, all 50 states and volunteers with many community organizations, in addition to being an active member of the Fielden Institute.
Darlene Forage
Darlene Forage is the Project Director for the Treasure Coast SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University and specializes in providing healthcare education to seniors and the disabled in the Treasure Coast. Having been a caregiver herself, Darlene brings her wide perspective in addressing the many challenges seniors and the disabled face with their healthcare options in a compassionate, patient, and dedicated manner.
Jean Dickinson Fielden, Ph.D.
Dr. Fielden has led popular lifelong learning offerings since our program began.  She earned the B.A. and M.A. in mathematics at Duke and her Ph.D .in mathematical statistics at Virginia Tech. Jean spent her life in academia and is now the Russell Professor Emerita of Applied Statistics at the University of Alabama, where she served as chair of the program for more than 20 years.  She also taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Cincinnati and Mercer University.  In addition, she did consulting, contract teaching for the military and the American Statistical Association, and testified as an expert witness in legal cases and before Congress. She is an elected Fellow and life member of the American Statistical Association, as well as an avid reader and duplicate bridge player.  The graduate program in statistics at Virginia Tech was recently named in her honor.
Dr. Kyle Freund
Dr. Freund, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Indian River State College, has been involved in archaeological projects throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North America. His work centers on a combination of fieldwork and laboratory-based methods, including scientific analyses of archaeological materials, the mapping of prehistoric networks of interaction, and the social dimensions of exchange, reciprocity, and long-distance relations.

Dr. R. Michael "Mike" Gallagher
Dr. R. Michael Gallagher returns to the classroom bringing 35 years of academic and clinical experience to his fellow lifelong learners. He has served as a member of the External Advisory Committee for the Fielden Institute. He is a recognized authority in medicine and healthcare delivery and has lectured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has served in various university positions including professor, department chair, dean, and medical director of healthcare organizations. Dr. Gallagher’s special interest is in complex headache and medical problems and he has authored numerous articles, medical text chapters and books. Dr. Gallagher served as a USAF flight surgeon and retired with the rank of colonel. Dr. Gallagher resides in Ponte Vedra. 
John C. Hosler
John C. Hosler spent more than 44 years in finance, management, and business consulting.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Ohio State University and served in both the United States Air Force and Air National Guard.  He is a Colonel in the Commemorative Air Force and a life member in the Air Force Association.  


Jane B. Howard

Mrs. Jane B. Howard, Professor Emerita of Arts and Humanities at Indian River State College, is a resident of Vero Beach, Florida. She received her M.A. in Art Education with an emphasis on Art History from Murray State University and has done graduate work at Florida Atlantic University and College of Santa Fe New Mexico. She has served as educator, art consultant, tour guide and travel consultant, interior designer, graphic artist, art history tele-course presenter, photographer, and juror for major art shows since 1960.

Leigh Hursh, Ph.D.

Leigh Hursh holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a M.A. in philosophy, both from the University of South Carolina. Her practice background includes inpatient community and private practice with all age groups, plus individual couple and group therapy. Her education informed by her work underscores the individual’s unwavering distinctness.

Mary Jane Ingui, Ph.D.

Mary Jane Ingui, Ph.D. is a graduate of Adelphi University and Lehigh University, a news correspondent, author of a book about Italian-American women in the 20th century, and a writer of many stories of veterans, including the recently published book “Trauma and Tenacity in Vietnam: A Surgeon's Story”.

David Kapell
David Kapell has a degree in History and Political Science from Tufts University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan.  After a career in computer systems development, he was the program director for a non-profit adoption agency, spending several weeks each year traveling and negotiating with government officials in China.  He has traveled extensively throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, and maintains various levels of proficiency in Chinese, Dari (Persian), French, German and Spanish.  David is a past member of the External Advisory Committee of the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a retired educator and administrator from St. Lucie County Public Schools.  She has mentored intern teachers for Florida Atlantic University, and served as a university supervisor of intern teachers for the University of Florida. She has served as an adjunct professor for Indian River State College teaching computer programing in the 1980s and courses in Special Education in the 2000s.  She has a B.A.E. in elementary education from the University of Florida; a M.A.E. in administration and supervision from Florida Atlantic University, and is certified in the instruction of children with Specific Learning Disabilities.

Barbee Kiker
Peer Leader Barbee Kiker was involved with computer training and course development for ONLC Training Centers based in Wilmington, Delaware, for 15 years.  She has taught computer-related courses with Osher Lifelong Learning in Delaware since 2007 and has a passion for keeping up with today’s technology.

Don Klein

Don Klein helps beginners gain confidence and build the skills needed to effectively use a computer to communicate with family and friends. He is a retired educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience from elementary age students to the lifelong learner. He holds a Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern in Instructional Technology.

Stephen Kowel, Ph.D.

Dr. Kowel received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held faculty positions at Syracuse University, University of California - Davis, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and University of Cincinnati, where he also served as Dean of the College of Engineering. After retiring as Professor and Dean Emeritus, he served as Director of Research Development for Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 2012 to 2015.

Russell J. Kratz, Ph.D.
Dr. Kratz studied at Centro de Idiomas del Pacifico in Quepos, Costa Rica, and served as an adjunct professor in the English and Spanish Department at Universidad Americana de Puerto Rico in San German, Puerto Rico. He taught Spanish at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York. He holds a B.A. in English education from St. John’s University, a M.A. in English from Queens College/City University of New York and a Ph.D. in curriculum development from the University at Albany in New York.
Katherine Geddes Lovkay
Lifelong learner Katherine Geddes Lovkay, M.Ed. has been meditating for decades and has used and taught meditation in healthcare and public forums. She has served as an inter-denominational chaplain for Treasure Coast Hospice and an ordained minister in both Australia and the U.S. Her approach is welcoming of your individual spirituality and no particular spiritual approach is presented or recommended.
Iris E. Madison, LCSW
Iris Madison is a practicing licensed psychotherapist with more than 40 years of experience in the mental health/human services field. She currently works as an adjunct instructor in the Human Services Department at IRSC and has facilitated workshops for the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning for the past four seasons. Her approach is ecological because her courses encompass the diverse systems (socio-political, psychological, familial, and environmental) that impact upon individuals in their lives.

M.J. Malloy

M.J. Malloy is a graduate of the University of Miami and a former ZTA Sorority sister.  M.J. spent her career teaching Spanish, French, and Russian.  Her love of bridge began during retirement, when she learned to play to keep her father company.  She is now a member of the American Bridge Teachers Association, and is an American Bridge Contract League Life Master and accredited Bridge Director.

Doug Marcello

Since 2014, Doug Marcello has worked as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Coming from a career in education, Doug carries his passion for education into his financial advising. He enjoys helping people understand their investments and how they align with their financial goals. He appreciates working closely with clients and their CPA, attorney and other professionals to determine the most appropriate financial strategy.

Susan Mathews, Ph.D.

Susan Mathews, Ph.D., began her career as an R.N. working in ICU for 20 years. Subsequently, she launched the third largest managed care program in the U.S. for the NYS Government Employees Health Plan. In 1988, she founded Corporate Health Dimensions (CHD) which became the country’s largest management company for medical and pharmacy services for Fortune 500 companies. In 2008, Walgreens purchased CHD. In 2014, she completed a Masters in Bioethics. In 2017, she completed the Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics at Yale.  Dr. Mathews currently serves on various boards of directors, is a columnist for, a 501c3 in Chicago, and is a study group leader for Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

David Michaels, Ph.D.

Dr. Michaels is a Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller holds a Master’s in anthropology from East Carolina University. She has developed archaeology education programs at Tryon Palace in North Carolina and she has supervised field and lab projects with public involvement for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. She currently serves as Director for Florida Public Archaeology Network's Northeast/East Central Regions, statewide coordinator/leadership team member for Project Archaeology, Chair for the Society for Historical Archaeology's Public Education and Interpretation Committee, and sits on the Historic Resource Review Board for St. Johns County. Her specialties include historic cemeteries and public, historical, and municipal archaeology.

Jenifer Mina
Jenifer Mina is a graduate of the University of Florida’s Master Naturalist program.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph University and a Master of Liberal Studies in Poetry from Wesleyan University.  She is from Connecticut, where she owned a library management business.  She lives with her husband in Sebastian.

James F. Miskel, Ph.D.

Dr. Miskel has specialized in online and in-person education as a professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College and as an adjunct professor in master’s programs at several universities, including the Naval War College program.  He worked in Washington, D.C., at the National Security Council during the Reagan and first Bush Presidencies.  He earned his undergraduate degree at Boston College and his M.A. and Ph.D. at State University of New York.  He has developed and taught courses on terrorism, homeland security and international conflict resolution.

Richard Mulanax, Ph.D.

Dr. Mulanax, a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force, served in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; taught at the U.S.A.F. Academy; and was Chief of the Africa Branch of the U.S.A.F. Special Operations School. He was an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer and Foreign Area Officer and served at United States embassies in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Kenya, and Somalia.  He earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University and retired from Indian River State College after 20 years as a professor of History.

Angie Neely-Sardon

Angie Neely-Sardon is the Reference Librarian for Indian River State College’s Mueller Campus. She teaches information literacy and research skills through instructional sessions and serves as an instructor for the courses Electronic Access to Information and Introduction to Internet Research. She earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University in 2008.

Mel Ratcliff

Mel Ratcliff, Financial Advisor and Founder of the boutique investment firm Blue Chip Divas, Inc. has been ‘Making Wall Street work for Women’ since 1988. Mel is well known for the creation of the popular EXPLORE & EXPLAIN© library of educational programs that assist women in navigating the various transitions of their unique financial journey. “Women on Wall Street,” one of the most popular programs, has graduated more than 10,000 women since its inception in 1991.

Ned Schwartz, J.D, CPA

Ned is a professor emeritus from Western New England University in Springfield, MA. Ned taught courses in Strategic Management and Integrated Business Operations in the College of Business. Ned's motto is “Learn something new every day.” His passion is sharing information with others while encouraging lively discussions and the pursuit of thoughtful analysis. In retirement, Ned's eclectic view of the world continues to include pizza-making, plausible science fiction, and current events, which he incorporates into his novels and music.

Alexander Shelby, Ph.D.

Dr. Alex Shelby holds an M.A. in American History from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. in Middle East and Islamic History from Florida State University. Alex is fluent in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, with rudimentary knowledge of Farsi and Hebrew. He has conducted research in the Middle East focusing on the impact of American foreign policy in the region during the Cold War and has worked for the Fulbright Institute of International Education and the U.S. State Department as Florida State University representative to visiting Iraqi Fulbright scholars to promote international education and cultural understanding. His latest research project focuses on American-Egyptian relations during the Yemeni Civil War. For his next project, Dr. plans to do a study on the rise of Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL).

Bill Solomon

Bill Solomon serves as Chair of the Human Environmental Science Department at IRSC, which oversees the Culinary Institute, the Culinary Operations Apprenticeship Program and Early Childhood Education degree programs.  Bill has an A.S. in restaurant management & culinary arts, a B.B.A (Accounting) and a M.A. in Career & Technical Education.  He is pursuing a doctorate in hospitality management at Iowa State University.  He is a Certified Hospitality Educator from the American Lodging Association, a certified instructor for the National Restaurant Association, and coach for the medal-winning IRSC Culinary Olympic Team.

Ben Taggie, Ph.D.

Dr. Taggie, professor emeritus at the UMass Dartmouth, taught medieval and classical history and served as dean, provost, and vice chancellor. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State and was a post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard and Brown. He founded MSA Cultural Tours which conducts annual tours to Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He has served as Executive Director of the Mediterranean Studies Association, teaching life-long adult education classes in Florida and Massachusetts, and has researched and published in the field of history and served as editor of the prestigious journal Mediterranean Studies.


Mia Tignor

Mia Tignor is the Emerging Technologies Librarian at Indian River State College and helps students, staff, and community patrons navigate the sometimes tricky world of traditional and tablet computing. She received her M.L.I.S. from the University of South Florida in 2012.

Paul Trudeau, Ph.D.

Dr. Trudeau has been involved in treatment of psychologically diagnosed people since 1960 when he began working on an in-patient psychiatric unit as a Psychiatric Technician. During his career, Dr. Trudeau treated and/or consulted in hospitals, schools, private practice with myriad ages, diagnoses, techniques.  Now retired, Dr. Trudeau enjoys using his experiences to encourage others to have a little fun watching films in another way.

Maggie Turmel

Maggie enjoyed a long and successful career in the healthcare industry as a Nurse Practitioner.  Through her career, she witnessed first-hand the benefits from yoga and meditation.  She holds a teaching certificate in Yoga and has experience in leading courses in both yoga and meditation practices.

Dowling Watford

Dowling Watford, Jr. is a 5th generation Floridian and Life-long Okeechobee resident. He graduated from Okeechobee High School and Florida Southern College. He currently serves as Mayor of the City of Okeechobee and is an active member of the First United Methodist Church, the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee, the Okeechobee Historical Society, and the Okeechobee Battlefield Friends.

Brett Williams

Brett Williams is a reference librarian at the Indian River State College Pruitt Campus. He assists students, staff, faculty, and St Lucie County Library users with their library needs and information searches. Brett received his M.L.I.S. from Valdosta State University, in Valdosta, Georgia, in 2011.

Katie Williams

Katie Williams is the Reference Librarian at Indian River State College where she teaches information, news, and digital literacies in active, engaging environments. Katie received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science in 2012 from the University of South Florida, and her Master’s degree in Education in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University in 2016.


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