Continuing Education Instructors

SUSAN ALEXANDER, Arts and Creativity

Ever since her first trip to Portugal, where she was captivated by the intricate pebble sidewalks and classic buildings clad in decorative blue and white azulejos (tiles), Susan Alexander has been in love with mosaic art – its movement and texture, its multi-cultural significance, its timelessness, and the endless possibilities inherent in the enduring art form. A native of upstate New York, Susan retired in 2012 from a 30-year career in non-profit resource development and now happily shares her creative spirit with private and continuing education students throughout the Puget Sound area. In her Olympia workshop and through her business, SALVAGGIO!, she creates custom mosaic jewelry and art for homes, gifts, gardens and businesses using salvaged materials, useful household items, vintage furnishings, and old architectural embellishments.

photo of Nancy BartlettNANCY BARTLETT, Special Interest

Nancy Bartlett has been part of the bridge world for over 30 years. She began playing social bridge when her children were young, and over time supplemented her social bridge with competitive duplicate bridge. Nancy obtained the level of Bronze Life Master with the American Contract Bridge League, learning from other Life Masters. She is now passing her knowledge on to other bridge players and find many of her students active in both social and duplicate bridge groups around Gig Harbor. Nancy grew up in Colorado and has lived in Washington with her husband, Albert, for the past twelve years.

MITCHELL BLOOM, Harbor Institute

Mitchell Bloom holds a PhD from University of Pittsburgh. He has spent many years extracting meaning from large amounts of data; converting qualitative information to quantitative; conducting research; and writing in a variety of applications and subjects. He has taught courses at Universities and Colleges in the region and around the world. He brings a sharp intellect, a gentle demeanor and friendly, open manner to his teaching at Harbor Institute.

MARY BOONE, Writing

Mary Boone has written more than three dozen nonfiction books for young readers. She also has several fiction projects in the works. Mary has taught writing courses at area community colleges and writing conferences. She was a writing instructor at Tacoma’s School of the Arts for 11 years. She’s currently writing about octopus wrestling and exploding whales.

fund photo of Marlene BosankoMARLENE BOSANKO, Harbor Institute

In her spare time, Marlene Bosanko, retired Dean of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and Professor of English at Tacoma Community College, volunteers with the College, the Harbor History Museum, local not-for-profit agencies, her church, and a private caterer.  She teaches in the Harbor Institute, and lectures on her various passions: food in literature and art, art forgery and antiquities theft, the mystery novel, and chocolate, her all-consuming passion and legitimate and tasty research subject for the past 30 years.  This fall, she will be teaching an introductory class on art forgery and antiquities theft, as well as a class on the Caper, a sub-genre of the Mystery novel.

NED BRATSPIS, Personal Growth

Ned Bratspis, MA, LMFT, has a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from Penn State and a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from California State University Northridge. Ned is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Washington. He has been in private practice for 17 years and teaches Mindfulness Meditation Groups on Saturday mornings for stress reduction and relaxation. Ned brings a wide range of experience to his therapy practice. Areas of specialization are:

Ned has studied Eastern Philosophy since 1971. His meditation work combining Eastern and Western psychology and practice is influenced by the works of Jack Kornfield and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Many meditation methods are explored in his Guided Meditation Class, especially breath work, imagery, body scan, progressive relaxation and other practical stress reduction techniques.

THERESA COSGROVE, Harbor Institute

Theresa Cosgrove has worked as a management analyst for the Federal government for over 25 years and is very knowledgeable about data gathering and evaluative methods.  She has applied this direct experience of fact-finding and investigative techniques to her hobby of genealogy.  She has a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded a year-long Graduate Fellowship in France.  In addition, Mrs. Cosgrove is a dual-citizen of Luxembourg and has worked in Europe for over 14 years.  A former board member of the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society, she is presently a member of three genealogical groups in the South Sound, including being a board member of the Tacoma Pierce County Genealogy Society.  She is also an Honorary Archivist for the Washington State Archives.  She has been a freelance French translator and interpreter for over 10 years.  She has been a member of the Seattle Chapter of the Alliance Française and taught French language classes at various schools and community colleges.  She presently is a member of the French American Business Group-Pacific NW, Conversations Francophiles á Tacoma, Le Club Français-Tacoma and a French conversation group in Gig Harbor, WA. Her other interests include horses and art.

photo of Beverly B CoxBEVERLY B. COX, Personal Growth

Beverly B Cox, CFP® CAP ®   I have been in the financial services business for more than 25 years, the last 12 in WA after moving from Southern California. I was originally recruited through the insurance industry and soon after expanded from insurance license to Series 7 registered rep. I’ve been on my own for the past 20+ years working as a solopreneur, independent financial planner offering comprehensive financial and insurance services. I continue to move my practice to a fee based model with a core foundation of values based financial planning. I have always enjoyed both the big picture planning and facilitating the details to get the job done. I love tying the philanthropy/legacy piece in with the life planning model. It’s the big purposeful end of a meaningful life.

SARAH CURTIS, Languages

Sarah Curtis is a Spanish instructor with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Spanish from the University of North Texas and Western Washington University. A freelance writer, she has a degree in English from the University of Washington. A huge fan of foreign study, she did an undergraduate program in Mexico and graduate coursework in Madrid. Sarah enjoys introducing students to Spanish and aspects of culture through lively and fun, interactive classes. She engages learners with conversation practice and a variety of task-based games and activities. She teaches immersion-style to simulate a true language learning experience.

Prior to working for TCC Continuing Ed, Sarah taught middle school Spanish for a private school, was a Spanish adjunct at Bellevue College, and worked as a K-12 substitute teacher. Using her skills as an interpreter, she has traveled with youth and adults to Central and South America, including Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. She taught English in Brazil as well. She enjoys time with family and friends, traveling, entertaining, reading, and always coffee.

image of Daniel DaughertyDANIEL DAUGHERTY, Professional Development

Daniel Daugherty owns and operates Forklift Operator Certification Services, a leading forklift safety training company established in 2002, with locations in California, Oregon and Washington. Mr. Daugherty has been an instructor of forklift safety training at local colleges since 2004, and currently holds classes at Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College and Olympic College Bremerton. He is also the author and copyright holder of three forklift safety training manuals.

photo of Leslie DavenportLESLIE DAVENPORT, Health/Fitness/Wellness

Psychotherapist, author, speaker, teacher and consultant, Leslie Davenport, MS, LMFT is one of the early pioneers of raising awareness about the power of mind/body practices for healing. A founding member of the Institute for Health & Healing in San Francisco, one of the largest hospital-based integrative medicine programs in the country, she devoted 25 years to developing programs that integrate the best of scientific advancements with psychological and perennial wisdom practices. She continues to train professionals as faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Master’s Program in Integrative Health. She is the author of three books including Healing and Transformation through Self Guided Imagery. She also applies her experiences with healing models to sustainability themes as a consultant in Climate Psychology.

Whether seeking resources to support health and healing, reduce stress, or build greater strength and flexibility for life’s personal and global challenges, she teaches a range of mind-body tools with warmth and enthusiasm in a style that is enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

photo of Wanda DeGolierWANDA DEGOLIER, Health/Fitness/Wellness

I have worn a lot of hats in my life, but Zumba, by far is the most fun! It creates friendships, and unlike other types of fitness classes, it's great for helping memory and cognitive function. I have a BS degree in Business Administration, as well as 17 fitness certifications including ACE Group Fitness, ACE Personal Trainer, SAIL, and a host of Zumba licenses. I maintain a website with my choreography at www.creativezumba.com

DEENA EBER, Health/Fitness/Wellness

Deena Eber has been working with moving energy since the early 1970’s when she began practicing yoga. She taught therapeutic yoga in the 1990’s through the early 2000’s. She has studied tai chi since 2001 and has been teaching tai chi since 2012. She teaches the yang short form.

CHRISTOPHER EBERHARDT, Harbor Institute

Chris Eberhardt, originally from Tacoma, Washington, holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The New School for Social Research. His dissertation looks at how Chinese youth make sense of climate change in their daily lives. He was a 2008 India China Institute Student Fellow researching the use of new media for environmental protection in China. Chris lived in Beijing from 2010-2015, seeing up close the challenges China faces balancing economic growth with environmental protection. While in China he conducted research, taught and the last two years worked for a sustainable hotel at the Great Wall.

photo of Gordon EvansGORDON EVANS, Special Interest

Master Craftsman of all house trades. Cabinet and furniture designer and builder. 50 years in trades and mechanical design. Dive and sailing instructor. Just back from Maui specializing in resort furniture, tiki bars and kiosks. 4th generation Gig Harbor.

photo of Patty FinniganPATTY FINNIGAN, Arts and Creativity

Patty Finnigan knew she wanted to be an artist from a very young age and has been doing art of some sort for most of her life. She pursued a more academic course in college, graduating from Whitman College with a B.A. in Psychology. Several years later art called her back and she attended The Art Institute of Seattle earning an A.A. degree in Visual Communications. She has been a commercial artist for 30 years.

She enjoys art in many forms but her favorite medium is watercolor. She currently teaches art in the elementary and middle schools on the Key Peninsula through Two Waters Arts Alliance, at TCC Gig Harbor in the Continuing Education department, and at local retirement communities. Her goal is for students to gain confidence in their own artistic abilities.

DL FOWLER, Writing photo of DL Fowler

Award winning author DL Fowler created and teaches Psychology of Stories, a course for aspiring and published authors offered by Tacoma Community College’s Harbor Institute. He also hosts an online community of writers’ focused on exploiting the power of psychology in storytelling and leads discussions on writing craft for Kitsap Writers Forum.

Also known as the Lincoln Guy, he authored Lincoln Raw, a biographical novel, which is curated in the Lincoln Collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. His other works include suspense novels, Ripples and Lincoln’s Diary, and a book on writing craft, Transform Your Fiction.

photo of Mary Ellen GilmourMARY ELLEN GILMOUR, Arts and Creativity

Mary Ellen Gilmour has a BFA and MA in Theatre, Acting and Directing. She has studied Theater at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and the University of Washington professional actor program.

She has acted professionally, taught Acting and directed productions for adults and children for over 30 years.  She has taught many levels of Acting and has had an award winning theatre program in which several of her students have won State and National awards.

photo of Kit KapphahnKIT KAPPHAHN, Personal Growth

Kit Kapphahn holds a PhD in Celtic Studies from Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. Her academic specialty is medieval Welsh literature, and she also has experience in broadcasting, from radio to voice acting. She worked as an announcer for Northwest Public Radio and studied Communication at Washington State University.

She has taught medieval literature and public speaking in Wales and England before returning to Gig Harbor where she grew up, and especially enjoys helping students of all ages find their own voice. In her free time, she enjoys writing, photography and traveling.

photo of Warren KerrWARREN KERR, Arts and Creativity

Mr. Kerr has over 39 years of directing experience in both civic theatre and public schools. His experience includes comedies, dramas, musicals, plays for children, and one-acts. He has also designed lights and sets for theatre productions and auditioned 100’s of student actors.

photo of Margarita KnowltonMARGARITA KNOWLTON, Special Interest

Margarita Knowlton, RVT, KPACTP, is a professional dog trainer and a registered veterinary technician. She has over 17 years of experience working in the animal field as a veterinary technician, animal shelter worker and a dog trainer. She obtained her accreditation as a dog trainer from Karen Pryor Academy for Training and Behavior and constantly continues to further her education in animal training and behavior by attending workshops, seminars and online classes. She has taught a variety of dog training classes at animal shelters, private facilities and at her own business; and has helped hundreds of dogs become calm, well adjusted and happy members of the family.

photo of Patty LeePATTY LEE, Personal Growth

Patty Lee, Ed.D., Retired Educator/Consultant   I have been a teacher most of my life, enjoying students of all ages in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and now Washington. I moved to Gig Harbor in 2016 after 13 years in Santa Fe, NM, where I taught at the Community College in Teacher Education. I have a passion for learning and helping others learn. Throughout my educational career, I became fascinated by the importance of effective communication in speaking, listening and writing. I have developed skills in facilitating adult groups in many areas which include: Journaling with Meaning and Purpose, Self-Reflection and Mindfulness, Teaching Strategies that make classrooms fun, Teacher-to-teacher Support Groups and Book Study Groups.

I look forward to continuing taking classes at TCC as well as teaching.

photo of David LisauskasDAVID LISAUSKAS, Special Interest

David Lisauskas, Intro Class Instructor, has been teaching and training in some capacity for over 15 years. His voiceover career started from a need in his corporate jobs voicing training videos and phone systems. This led to an interest in the craft, taking classes, getting coaching, and starting his professional voiceover career. David’s love for travel took him, his wife, 2 cats and a Mini Australian Shepherd on the road for a year traveling the US in a 36 foot motorhome. With his home studio setup in the RV he was able to record voiceovers on the road! He has voiced animation products, eLearning, and corporate narration for companies such as Price Chopper, GTM Payroll Services, and Insight Diagnostics to name a few. When not doing voiceover work, David loves to be teaching, writing, performing, and recording music or other digital media for video productions. 

Find out more about David at www.davidlisauskas.com

photo of Joe MachcinskiJOSEPH MACHCINSKI, Special Interest

February will mark 20 years that I’ve been in the landscape industry. After my stent with the Navy and getting honorably discharged, I didn’t know what field of work I wanted to do. I had a couple jobs. One was for a pest control company working for the owner, doing odd jobs around his home and was about to work for the company when I left. I put my resume into a couple different companies. One was a carpet wholesale place and the other was a landscaping company.

Just as I accepted the carpet job, the owner of the landscape company told me "you don’t want to work inside breathing carpet fumes do you?" So I changed my mind and went with the landscape job. I knew the outdoors was my true love. Being an Eagle Scout and as a kid, I loved being with nature. Now I can help create outdoor spaces. I worked for that company for 6 years, mostly doing maintenance and learned the proper way to mow turf. While working there, I took the master gardener class and became a master gardener and before I left that company, was working on getting landscape-industry certified. I joined another landscape company which had a nursery as well as the landscape department. Plants and plant care was starting to be my interest. I was getting more educated on how plants grow and learning the correct way of pruning. I still felt like I needed to do more. Working for companies was starting to get old! I had lots of ideas that I couldn’t bring to the table. I had a yearning to do something more. 

In 2008, I applied for my business license. I quit my job and was scared at first. I didn’t have enough jobs to support my household. So I did my own stuff part time and applied at a nursery part time. I worked a full season learning the nursery trade: helping people choose the right plants for their homes. Unfortunately, that nursery closed it’s doors. This provided me the opportunity to work full time in my business. I started with approximately10 customers and grew to over 60! 

Through the years I earned the landscape industry certification as well as my commercial pesticide applicators license. Being active in the master gardeners, landscape industry certification, and having my pesticide license I take classes every winter to keep up on all landscape related issues and laws. 

So with my company I now can do what I want and how I want. I strive to help people learn the correct way to take care of their plants. My company is an organic and natural garden  care company. I’m a gardener. 

Another love is being an active member and referred gardener of plant amnesty. Garden coaching and care is what I do. So if you want to create a low maintenance garden with little care that’s what I aim to do! This fall i got a gig to teach classes on pruning and natural yard care. I’ve done that a number of times in the past and really enjoy it! 

Yes, I love what I do and I keep active memberships in two professional landscape clubs as well as three chamber of commerce’s. As a garden coach, I will teach you to create a yard that you can enjoy, instead of getting caught up working more in the yard with wrong plants and battling issues like disease and insects. Happy gardening!

ERIC NESS, Finance and Planning

Eric Ness is a CPA, CMA, and Quickbooks ProAdvisor with a love for assisting business owners to build the business they dreamed of, when they first started out.  He has over 20 years of experience in Operations and Finance/Accounting, working for publicly traded companies in the United States and Asia.  Eric and his company, Ascent Accounting Solutions, LLC, provide bookkeeping services, develop growth plans using their Functional Forecast™ system for business owners who are interested in improving their business, and assist business owners as they prepare to sell their business.  Located in the south Puget Sound, he supports businesses as far north as Edmonds, down to Lacey.  Bringing the expertise from working with publicly traded, international companies, Eric has developed a system of customizable services that can be combined to provide the exact level of service each business owner needs.

photo of Reid OzakiREID OZAKI, Arts and Creativity

 “...Ozaki has become one of the area's most respected potters.”  ~Matthew Kangas; Ceramics Monthly, November 2009

“My ceramic vessels are informed by my interest in and love for the natural world and an interest in the aesthetics of the Japanese Tea ceremony.  My work endeavors to synthesize these ideas with Western techniques and materials.”

Over the years, my interest in the traditional Japanese arts has grown.  At first my interest, probably going back to my grandfather’s influence, was in gardens.  This quite easily transitioned to an interest in  Ikebana (flower arranging), and then to Chanoyu (tea ceremony) and its influence on pottery.  As I’ve learned more about the Tea ceremony, I have realized how central that  aesthetic is to Japanese art.  While my work has changed several times during my career, this aesthetic is the underlying foundation to it all.

photo of Ben PaganelliBENJAMIN PAGANELLI, Special Interest

Ben holds a B.S. in International Affairs from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.S. in International Relations from Troy University. He has been on the faculty of the Air Force Academy, Tufts University, and TCC, where he taught American Government, National Security, Cross-organizational Operations, and Introduction to Political Science. He has lectured at many programs including the Technion of Israel, the Belgium War College, Boston University, the University of Colorado, The US Air Force Special Operations School, Seattle University and many more. He has worked and conducted research in more than 20 countries and advised and briefed cabinet ministers and senior NATO leadership. He and his wife Susan lead Viable International Applications Unlimited, LLC, a consulting firm, and have three children.

image of Joe PiscatellaJOE PISCATELLA, Health/Fitness/Wellness

President of the Institute for Fitness and Health, he is one of the leading experts in the country on lifestyle habits and health.

Joe has authored 17 best-selling books, hosted three PBS television specials on heart health, is a “guest expert” for WebMD, and has had numerous appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN & Fox News.  He is the creator of a successful community wellness program – 6 Weeks to a Healthier You. ® In one program, 650 people lost 4,200 pounds.

Joe is a popular national speaker with clients ranging the Federal Reserve Bank to the Mayo Clinic.  Over 2 million people have attended his programs.  He has served as the only non-medical member of the NIH Expert Panel on Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Joe had coronary bypass surgery at age 32.  Today he is one of the longest-lived survivors of that surgery in the country…41 years and counting.  Dr. William Roberts, Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Cardiology, says “Joe Piscatella knows more about healthy living than anyone I know.  He is a national resource.”

photo of Donn RochlinDONN ROCHLIN, Arts and Creativity

Composer/ Pianist/ Educator   Born in Los Angeles, CA., Donn grew up pursuing music--first playing French horn--on his way to a Juillard scholarship when he decided that reading other people's music wasn’t how he wanted to spend his time. At that point he switched to guitar and then taught himself piano as he started composing his own music. He has worked as a composer for numerous dance theater companies, created soundtracks, two CD's , as well as maintaining a schedule of concerts and live performances. In addition has toured over 65 cities teaching his Just For Fun Piano workshops and continues to teach private lessons. 

photo of Walker Sandlin next to smoking grillWALKER SANDLIN, Special Interest

Walker Sandlin comes from the Southwest where the only way to cook is on a grill. He learned indirect cooking methods when he inherited his father’s Charbroil grill about 35 years ago. He figured out smoking with the right cut of meat and the right spices can produce unique results. Sourcing your meat and spices are very important to him. Paying attention to every detail and preparing assures the desired outcome. You can’t rush through something that can take hours to cook. When he is not cooking, Walker is a Principal and Portfolio Manager at a Stonebridge Capital Management NW, LLC.

photo of Jeff SaxonJEFF SAXON, Arts and Creativity

Jeff is currently teaching ukulele at Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, and South Puget Sound Community College (where he also teaches acoustic guitar) and also conducts music workshops at public libraries.  Prior to relocating to Washington state in 2018, Jeff taught songwriting and music business classes at many colleges and universities and music schools in California and New Jersey.

Jeff also offers private and online music lessons via Skype, etc.

Jeff has released 5 recordings of his original music, all available at iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, Apple Music, etc. and is an award-winning singer-songwriter, winning 3 best music video awards from film festivals and many more from various international songwriting and music competitions.  Jeff's music has been (and continues to be) heard in film, TV, plays, video games and other applications. 

His latest 2018 album, The Ukulele Project,  has quickly drawn critical praise, with Uke Planet describing it as "simply magnificent... nothing but praise for Jeff’s album and indeed talents." 

For more info, please visit jeffsaxonmusic.com  

photo of Candice SchmidtCANDICE SCHMIDT, Personal Interest

Candice has had a passion for animals for as long as she can remember. She knew from an early age that she either wanted to be a beautician or a veterinarian. She soon realized that she didn't have the “stomach” it takes to be a veterinarian.

Candice pursued a career in the beauty industry with a year of formal education in Provo, Utah. During this time she realized that she liked her career choice, but didn’t love it. She needed to be around animals again to really enjoy her career. She aggressively sought employment in the animal grooming industry, and got a job based on her experience working with people in the beauty industry. During her first years of employment, her mentors often said that she had an ability never before seen by them. She knew she was right where she belonged. Candice loved her career choice. 

“I truly love Pet Grooming. I have been Pet Grooming since 2002 I can’t believe how time has flown by. I guess when it is your passion it doesn't feel like work.” -Candice Schmidt  For more info, please visit elitepetsalon.com

photo of David SnapperDAVID SNAPPER, Personal Growth

David Snapper gave forty years to professional writing, counseling and teaching, with a special interest in forgiveness. As a speaker he has created and told thousands of stories. He has coached people through the traumas and tragedies of life, as well as the joy and victories. He now turns that career into the joy of creative writing. Now he wants to help you tell your stories.

Now in retirement, David has a passion for creative writing with a focus on credible plot lines, clear organization, and emotionally-satisfying characters.  He believes the writing experience should be rich and rewarding for the author and the readers. As a student of creative writing, David is learning as well as producing. He is excited to share the experience with other developing writers.

Now that he has told thousands of stories, David wants to encourage you to tell yours.

David began creative writing in earnest in 2001 when a professor at Olympic College refused to admit him into a speech class she was teaching -- because he was too experienced for the refresher course. In consolation, his wife suggested he pursue his long-time hobby of creative writing. He's been writing every day since. Not surprisingly, David is thinking of moving closer to Gig Harbor's TCC.

photo of Sean Van DommelenSEAN VAN DOMMELEN, Arts and Creativity

Sean Van Dommelen is a local freelance photographer taking advantage of the beautiful Pacific Northwest and capturing as much as possible with his lens. Mentored by several local photographers, he often photographs landscapes. Sean also owns Sean Van Dommelen Photography as a freelance business. He is a graduate of  the Tacoma Community College Human Services program and obtained his Bachelors at The Evergreen State College. Sean lives in Tacoma with his Fiance. 

photo of Cathy WarnerCATHY WARNER, Special Interest

Cathy Warner, MFA, has lead writing workshops for almost 20 years. Author of the poetry volume Burnt Offerings, Cathy has received the Steinbeck and SuRaa fiction awards, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays. She is literary editor of Image journal’s “Good Letters,” and her fiction, short memoir, and essays have appeared in dozens of print and online journals and several anthologies. In addition to teaching, writing, and editing, Cathy is a home renovator, real estate broker, and enjoys nature photography. Find her at cathywarner.com.