Meet Our Peer Leaders


Kendra Auberry

Kendra Auberry is the STEM Librarian at the IRSC Pruitt Campus where she helps students locate quality resources.  She teaches research skills through instructional sessions and the LIS1002 Electronic Access to Information class. She has been a proud “maker” for most of her life, spending some of her leisure time sewing, knitting, gardening, and reading. She holds a BS in horticulture from Purdue University and an MLS in library science from Indiana University. 

Sherry Bowen

Sherry Bowen earned her AA from Indian River Community College, a BA in Zoology from the University of South Florida, and a MS in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of North Dakota. Sherry also holds a certification in Molecular Laboratory Genetics from Michigan State University and a certification in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and is a nationally certified and Florida State licensed Clinical Laboratory Supervisor.  Prior to coming back to IRSC, Sherry worked for almost 30 years in the medical laboratory field as a Laboratory Supervisor and in weather for the US Air Force.

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 received her MLIS from the University of South Florida in 2007.
Nina Dockery

Nina Dockery received her Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts and has been involved in the metaphysical world for the last forty years.  She taught "therapeutic touch" in several San Diego Hospitals, was a psychic on a cruise line and has been "giving readings,'' counseling and teaching the metaphysical arts.  She has written three books, her most recent:  A Seeker's Journey:  How to Use Intuition, Emotions and Magic for Spiritual Growth.  She has also been a featured speaker at Vero Beach Book Center.


Alicemarie Donohue
Alicemarie Donohue's career included 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 things that interest her -- perhaps as she tries to "atone" for years of neglect in these areas while chasing career goals! 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 classrooms. She has led hundreds of lifelong learners on downtown walking tours. She holds a BA 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.
Stanford Erickson
Stanford Erickson is a 35-year member of the National Press Club. He has reported on and interviewed U. S. Presidents, members of Congress and world political and business leaders. He has been a reporter, columnist, bureau chief in Washington, DC, editor in New York City, publisher and CEO of Media company. He has been a journalist in San Francisco, Korea, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, London and Washington, DC. He has also authored three non-fiction books including The Kind of Women Who Can Be President of the United States and Mama’s Boy Presidents: Why Do We Keep Electing Them. He has a BA in English, MA in English and a MS in Business.
Dr. Jean Fielden
Dr. Jean Dickinson Fielden has led popular lifelong learning offerings since our program began.  She earned the BA and MA in mathematics at Duke and the PhD 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 department for over 20 years.  She also taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Cincinnati and Mercer University.  In addition to university activities, she did consulting, contract teaching for the military 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.

Dr. R. Michael "Mike" Gallagher
Peer leader R. Michael Gallagher returns to the classroom bringing 35 years of academic and clinical experience to his fellow lifelong learners. He serves as an active 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. Dr. Gallagher served as a USAF flight surgeon and retired with the rank of colonel. Dr. Gallagher resides in Vero Beach and contributes much of his time caring for indigent patients and veterans.
Katherine Geddes Lovkay, M.Ed.
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 will be presented or recommended.

Kevin Gidusko
Kevin Gidusko graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida in 2011 and shortly after began working for the Florida Public Archaeology Network.  As the Public Archaeology Coordinator for the East Central Region of FPAN, Kevin works to bring educational opportunities to the public that enrich the understanding of our shared cultural resources.  His research focus is centered on Florida archaeology, both prehistoric and historic.   Kevin is currently a graduate student at UCF focusing on ground-penetrating radar applications in archaeology.


Jimmie Anne Haisley
Jimmie Anne Haisley currently owns Gem’s Fitness and Pilates Studio and owns Renegade Ranch where she also works out with her horses.  Prior to her current endeavors, Jimmie Anne worked at IRSC for 25 years.  She served as the Executive Director of the IRSC Foundation and was the co-founder of the Lifelong Learning Institute.  

John 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.  

Catee Ingwersen
Catee Ingwersen is a Posture Alignment Specialist certified by the Egoscue University. She is a Corrective Exercise Therapist trained by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Catee is also a licensed massage therapist.  She has been a licensed massage therapist in private business in Vero Beach Florida for 15 years.
David Kapell
David shares his time between Hobe Sound, FL and Syracuse, NY.  He has a degree in History and Political Science from Tufts University.  He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan, prior to a career in computer systems development.  After retirement he served for 15 years as the China program director for a non-profit adoption agency, and spent 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.
Jim Keenan

Jim Keenan is a financial advisor with Raymond James in Vero Beach.  Before joining Raymond James, Jim spent 18 years in retail and commercial banking.  Most recently he served seven years with Bank United as Vice President, Regional Market Manager for Indian River and St. Lucie Counties. Jim is a graduate of Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  He was also a four year starter and two-time All American         selection for the Mansfield University Football Team.  He was drafted as a free agent by the Albany Firebirds, a member of the Arena Football League.

Don Klein
Don Klein has been helping the beginner gain confidence and skills in their ability to 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.


Andrew Kostenacki
Andrew Kostanecki is a graduate of the Cornell University College of Architecture and an Industrial Designer by profession. His professional practice involved product strategy, invention and design and development for a distinguished list of clients, (IBM, 3M, Grumman, Owens Corning, Alcoa, AMF, General Foods, Outboard Marine and Stanley Tools, among others). The result was over 20 patents in his name. As an expert in Intellectual Property he has testified in front of American, Canadian and English Courts and the EU patent Commission in Germany. He has written and lectured on the subject of design at the Yale College of Architecture and creativity and innovation as a Peer Leader at the Dartmouth College OSHER program and the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning. He is currently writing a book about the subject of this course.
Russell J. Kratz, Ph.D.
Dr. Kratz learned Spanish in his fifties. He studied at Centro de Idiomas del Pacifico in Quepos, Costa Rica. He served as an adjunct professor for 13 years in the English and Spanish Department at Universidad Americana de Puerto Rico in San German, Puerto Rico. He taught Spanish for 12 years at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York. He holds a B.A. degree in English Education from St. John’s University, a M.A. in English from Queens College of the City University of New York and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Development from the University at Albany in Albany, New York.
Donald Larson
Don Larson has been an active participant in lifelong learning and is sure to engage you with his approach to the subject of economics and the economy. Don holds his MBA from the University of Chicago, BS from Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Executive Programs at Columbia and International Harvester. He is an avid traveler and studied both modern European History and Archeology at the University of Pittsburgh.
John Lovkay
John Lovkay is returning to the computer lab ready to help the lifelong learner move beyond technology basics. John is an enthusiastic participant a wide variety of the programs, and often in the lab as a computer coach like many of our retired engineers. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Keith B. Lyons

Keith Lyons has been a resident of Martin County, Florida for 42 years. His interest in firearms from the World War II era began with stories he heard as a child from his father’s generation who experienced these firearms firsthand. Mr. Lyons interest in firearms eventually led him to work in the field for several years as the general manager of an indoor shooting range and gun shop. Mr. Lyons has been an NRA certified rifle and pistol instructor for over thirty years.   

While no longer involved directly in a firearms related business, Mr. Lyons continues to enjoy doing firearms repair/light gun-smithing. And, as an avid hobbyist he enjoys sharing his wealth of accumulated knowledge with others.


Diane Macgowan

Diane Macgowan has a passion for genealogy and has taught beginner genealogy and online genealogy for 10 years.  She is a member of the Indian River Genealogy Society and a former board member.



Iris Madison

Ms. Madison is currently a practicing licensed psychotherapist in both Maryland and Florida who resides full-time in Vero Beach, FL. She has worked for over 35 years in the Human Services field in governmental and private settings including NIH, CDC, family counseling centers, and in private practice. She has obtained permanent licensure to practice as an LCSW in Florida and has facilitated workshops for IRSC Lifelong Learning Institute for the past 3 seasons.  She is an Adjunct Professor at IRSC and recently taught a course in the Human Services department on “Youth, Drugs, and Gangs.”  Her passions include facilitating learning to adults of all ages and helping people better understand themselves in relationship to their families, societies, and cultural identities.  She enjoys the outdoors and has a love for running, biking, swimming and other active adventures. She is eager to share ideas and discussion with other women and men interested in the lifelong learning process.

Doug Marcello
Doug Marcello is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Doug joined Edward Jones in 2014. He came to Edward Jones from a career in education and his passion for educating carries into 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. 

Sandy Marshall
Sandra Marshall, a retired educator/principal for the St. Lucie County School District, has been an active member/participant in many lifelong learning classes.  She is also an avid traveler, and credits her ongoing and varied exercises classes at Gem's Fitness, for making it possible for her to continue to participate in her often strenuous adventure travels.  Sandy is partnering with Gem’s Fitness and Jimmie Anne Haisley this season to share experiences with members of the Fielden Institute. Whether it was getting off the floor from her bedding in Roku's across Japan, climbing multiple steps in places from Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat, or snorkeling in the Galapagos, she credits being able to do these things, in great part, to Jimmie Anne's progressive training with her.


Susan Mathews, Ph.D.
Susan Mathews, Ph.D., began her career as an RN working in ICU for 20 years. Subsequently, she launched the third largest managed care program in the US for the NYS Government Employees Health Plan hosted by Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Then, in 1988, she founded Corporate Health Dimensions (CHD) and while serving as its President, CHD 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 and has spent the past few years lecturing and writing on bioethical issues. She has served on over 20 Boards and recently joined the Board of the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard where her focus will be on medicine and ethics.

David Michaels, Ph.D.

David 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 received her Master’s degree in Anthropology from East Carolina University in 2001 where she developed archaeology education programs at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina. Upon graduation from ECU, Ms. Miller supervised field and lab projects with public involvement for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, as well as reviewing compliance projects for the Kentucky Heritage Council. She now serves as Director for FPAN's Northeast and East Central Regions, statewide coordinator and 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 public archaeology, historical archaeology, municipal archaeology and historic cemeteries.

Jenifer Mina
Jenifer Mina is a retired business librarian. In Connecticut she had her own library management business, going to various accounting, law, and architecture, corporate and Federal libraries on a weekly basis.  She has an American Studies Degree from St. Joseph College and a Master’s Degree in Poetry from Wesleyan University.  She has taught poetry writing at several Community Colleges, and has been writing poetry since age 12.  Jenifer is a Certified Florida Master Naturalist, and her volunteer activities include singing in a choir, acting as a nature guide, tutoring and volunteering at a farm that feeds the hungry. 
Dr. Richard Mulanax

Dr. Richard Mulanax served twenty years as an Air Force officer in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He resided for two years near Adana, Turkey, and has studied the history of Turkey and Africa.  His PhD from Florida State University was in American Diplomatic History, with a concentration on American interaction with the nations of Africa, including the Arab nations of North Africa.   He retired after serving for twenty years at IRSC as a Professor of History and International Relations.

Angie Neely-Sardon

Angie Neely-Sardon is the Reference Librarian for Indian River State College’s Mueller Campus. She works with student and community patrons at the Brackett Library, helping them find resources and use technology. She teaches information literacy and research skills through instructional sessions and 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.

Lois Patton

Lois is back to continue leading lifelong learners in the process of their own writing. She retired from a career in marketing, sales management and business consulting with extensive experience in workshop facilitation. Before turning her attention to a memoir of her childhood, A Bowl of Cherries, she authored newspaper columns, professional sales and management training manuals and three editions of Musings, a collection of humorous essays. Lois participates in writers’ groups both in Florida and Wisconsin, her summer home. Her winter residence is in Fort Pierce, Florida where she is working on a compilation of short stories.

Ed Pryor

Ed Pryor has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and did graduate work in geophysics and submarine geology at Columbia University in New York. He has been deeply involved in the causes of coastal erosion, and lately he has been writing and lecturing on global warming and our energy future.
Judie Rappaport

Judie Rappaport is a nationally recognized expert, author and columnist on caring for the elderly and those with Alzheimer’s disease. Rappaport wrote Eldercare 911: The Caregiver's Complete Handbook for Making Decisions in 2008. The book has been recognized as a go-to reference guide for families struggling with dementia and non-dementia care issues of loved ones. Rappaport has shared her insights in articles for the CSA Journal and Marquette University Law School’s Elder Adviser and in a regular column to Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers. She serves as Chair on the Board of Directors for Alzheimer’s Community care.

Dr. Sheldon Rabin
Dr. Shel Rabin is a retired educator from Broward County. After careers in the health and business fields, he gravitated to his true passion of teaching science. He taught high school chemistry, astronomy, biology, anatomy and physiology. He has also taught post-graduate education courses at St. Leo College, FAU, and Broward College, and has presented workshops at several science and education venues.

His love for science and astronomy began at age ten, after his first visit to the Franklin Institute planetarium in Philadelphia, PA. He pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies at Temple University, where he received his DDS degree.

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. Listening to, explaining, and empowering all women, 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 over 10,000 women since its inception in 1991.

Michael Reynolds, Ph.D.
Dr. Michael Reynolds joined the mathematics faculty of IRSC in 2014. He has a passion for helping all learners to comprehend, and even appreciate, math concepts. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, all from the University of Central Florida. His doctoral research was focused on identifying the causes of math anxiety in adult learners. He greatly enjoys his association with the Fielden Institute, since he fervently believes that the lifelong pursuit of knowledge is the greatest opportunity that a person can have.

Arthur Rosen
Arthur Rosen is a past-president of Adventures in Learning at Colby-Sawyer College and a past chair of OSHER@Dartmouth’s Curriculum Committee. He has been a study leader for thirteen years.  Art has returned to studies in history and has prepared a series of OSHER@Dartmouth courses. 

Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum
Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum is an evidence-based, holistic clinical pharmacist. She received her B.S. in Pharmacy from Ohio Northern University, her PharmD from the University of Cincinnati, her MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and is a Certified Health Coach.  Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum is a member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, the American College of Medical Quality, the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, the Association of Natural Medicine Pharmacists, and the Blue Ash Cancer Support Center Professional Advisory Board.

Rebecca Shearer
Rebecca Shearer is the Theatre Manager and Box Office Director for Indian River State College. Rebecca began her career at IRSC in the Performing Arts Department as a Production Manager in 2001 and was promoted to her current position in 2008. Rebecca is a graduate of the IRSC Theatre Program, earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Florida Atlantic University, and Master’s Degree from Amberton University in Business Administration. She serves on the Board for the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce and is a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club. She resides with her husband and twin boys in St. Lucie County.

Dr. Alexander Shelby

Dr. Alexander Shelby holds an MA 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, and he has rudimentary knowledge of Farsi and Hebrew. Alex has conducted research throughout the Middle East focusing on the impact of American foreign policy during the Cold War. In the past, Alex has worked for the Fulbright Institute of International Education and the U.S. State Department as FSU representative to the Iraqi Fulbright scholars who were invited to the United States in order 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, Alex plans to do a study on the rise of Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL).

Anna Marie Staudenmaier
Anna Marie Staudenmaier has a passion for creative discovery and challenge.  During her career as an educator, she developed curricula and numerous programs that addressed a wide variety of educational needs and was recognized at the local, regional and state levels for her accomplishments.  She discovered the Zentangle® Method in 2011, embraced the process, and is now a Certified Zentangle Teacher, CZT®. She holds a B.A. (Ohio Wesleyan University), an M.S. (The Ohio State University), and a M.Ed. (Wright State University). Now a year-round resident in Sebastian, she has many interests and activities, among them   piano, fiber arts, foreign language, pickle ball, travel, and bicycle touring.

Ben Taggie, Ph.D.
Ben Taggie is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts. His academic specialization is medieval and classical history.  Ben holds a Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University and was a post-doctoral Fellow at Brown and Harvard University.  Following retirement he continued to serve as director and lecturer in the University of Massachusetts Summer Sicily Program at the University of Messina. He and his wife Louise founded MSA Cultural Tours in 2004, which conducts educational tours each year to venues such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.  Ben has researched extensively in the field of history resulting in numerous publications and was co-editor of the prestigious journal MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES published by Penn State University Press.

Debra Terrio
After retiring from a career as a Nurse Practitioner, Debra pursued her passion for art.  While still living in Minnesota, she attended art school at Normandale College.  Since moving to Florida two years ago, she has found new energy for her art.  An award-winning artist, she is a member of numerous local art groups, has participated in art exhibitions, and also shows her work at art markets.  She particularly thrills to teaching art to others in group and private sessions.  She specializes in Inner Artist Discovery.  Debra is the owner/manager of Terrio Art Design.

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 MLIS from the University of South Florida in 2012. 

John Walcott
John M. Walcott (A. S. B. A.) is a 35 year veteran of the healing and martial arts. He started his training in 1977 with the Grandmaster Alan Lee’s Kung-fu Wu-su association. He is an instructor in Chinese, Japanese, and afro-Brazilian styles of martial arts.  Mr. Walcott has trained in four major schools of Qigong healing; the International Institute of Medical Qigong, Three Treasures Healing Temple with Dr. Lisa Van Ostrand, Isable Gatto Method of Therapeutic Acupressure, the Center Place in Boulder, Co., and the Qigong Institute of Rochester with Lisa B. O’Shea . He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Qigong association ( He is the founder of the Cloudwalker mind/body healing system and Chief instructor with the Vero Beach Qigong society.

Robert Whitehead
Robert E. Whitehead is a career Foreign Service Officer who entered the United States Foreign Service in 1983.  Ambassador Whitehead is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and has received the Department’s Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.  He speaks French and Romanian. Mr. Whitehead graduated from Taylor University in 1972 and earned an M.A. in English Literature and linguistics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he was a graduate fellow. From 1976 to 1980, he was a volunteer and a Fulbright lecturer at the National University of Zaire.


Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning: Distinguished Lecture Series 17-18

Congratulations! Timothy Girard, President of Girard Equipment, Named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year

Leslie Candes Named IRSC's 2017 Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Angie Bailey Named 2017 Harriett Kirk Crago Faculty of the Year

Planned Giving

IRSC Alumni Association

IRSC Scholarships For 2017-2018 Academic Year