Continuing Education Instructors

SUSAN ALEXANDER, ARTS AND CREATIVITY

Ever since her first trip to Portugal, where she was captivated by the intricately designed pebble sidewalks and ubiquitous buildings clad in gleaming blue and white tiles, Susan Alexander has been in love with mosaic art – its agelessness, its multi-cultural significance, its movement and texture, and the endless possibilities inherent in the enduring art form. An art minor in college, she retired in 2012 from a 30-year career in non-profit resource development and now is happily sharing her essential creative spirit with Continuing Education students throughout the Puget Sound area. In her Olympia workshop and through her business, SALVAGGIO!, she creates custom mosaic jewelry and one-of-a-kind mosaic art for homes, gardens and businesses using salvaged materials, vintage furnishings, old architectural embellishments, and useful household items.

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.

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 government analyst 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 Europe and has worked over there for 14 years. Therefore, she had the opportunity to travel to many European countries. A former board member of the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society, she is presently a member of 3 genealogical groups in the South Sound. She is also an Honorary Archivist for the Washington State Archives. In addition, 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 and two French conversation groups in Gig Harbor, WA.

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.

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.

GORDON 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.

PATTY FINNIGAN, ARTS AND CREATIVITY

From a very young age I always knew I wanted to be an artist. The desire to draw and create has always been a defining force in my life. I pursued a more academic course in college but art called me back several years later and I attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

I enjoy art in many forms, from fine art painting to computer graphics, and paper sculpture to jewelry making. Watercolor is my favorite medium but in recent years I have discovered a new passion in teaching art. I currently teach in the Key Peninsula elementary and middle schools and TCC’s Continuing Education department. I hope that students leave my classes with new confidence in their own artistic abilities.

Art, for me, is a celebration of beautiful color, graceful line and engaging light. I am an avid gardener and bird watcher and find all of my inspiration in the natural world.