UNM Los Alamos

Our Instructors

Our Instructors

UNM-LA Community Education classes are taught by some of the area’s most talented academic scholars and practicing professionals, giving you an exceptional value for your community education dollar.

ANDREW E. ANDREWS: Generalist, nuclear engineer (Berkeley), MBA, former art gallery owner, Internet marketer, skilled negotiator, and college instructor are among the words describing Andy Andrews. He has over forty years of experience in general management, research and development, information technology, line, program and project management, engineering and systems analysis, simulation, Internet marketing, international negotiations, and military operations. A true creative, he started and ran a cognitive systems engineering group to develop bleeding edge computer-based training and was a leader in the early development of distance learning. A West Point graduate, Andy is a retired Army officer with three graduate degrees. 

JEFF BENHAM is a freelance artist and creator of comics, among many other forms and genres of art. His work includes Peoplings, Forever All, The Salmonilla Chronicles, Huck, and Nance and Cenu. Jeff is a Board Member and Education Coordinator for New Mexico’s comics-focused non-profit, 7000 BC. And he has an Olympic Gold Medal in Art, which is just plain fun to say.

AMANDA BRAMBLE is the director at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center in Madrid, NM. She is a teacher of ecological restoration, organic agriculture, natural building, passive solar design, water conserving systems, and permaculture. She designed and crafted the infrastructure of her living learning center to cultivate respectful and conscious relationships with the natural elements that support life. Amanda teaches at local colleges and educational organizations in New Mexico and has also offered consultations and presentations across the country.

JIM CAFFREY is a professional photographer who has taught digital photography at community colleges in the area for many years. He lives in Jemez Springs where he has explored and photographed the hidden and unique landscapes for thirty-five years.

DON CAVNESS is a contemporary impressionist palette knife painter. He has studied painting with Sylvia Gormley, Ramon Kelley, Dean Howell, and Helene Pfeffer. Major influences are by artists Jim Rabby, Irby Brown, Nicolai Fechin, Lynn Boggess, David Kessler, and Jackson Pollock.

MARIANA CIVALE is a committed instructor who is fluent in the Spanish language. She has taught various levels of Spanish for UNM-Los Alamos.

JANE CLEMENTS learned to write Pysanky 30 years ago in Luba Perchyshyn’s shop in northeastern Minneapolis. She has enjoyed teaching this craft to friends and family since that time.

LAUREL CONNER is a committed instructor and practitioner of yoga. She has taught yoga for UNM-Los Alamos Community Education for many years and has a dedicated following of students.

VICTORIA ERHART has taught a variety of business skills classes at college campuses, including UNM-Los Alamos and Strayer University.

SUSANNE HARRISON, award winning painter and printmaker, was driven from an early age to create: art, chaos, order, love, and ultimately a vibrant life. She has used her art to overcome adversity in her life, both in illness and in loss. Her studies at Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Rhode Island shaped her skills and earned her a bachelor’s degree in fine art. She has been teaching art classes privately since 2000.

YANG JACOBSEN is a certified language instructor and has been teaching Mandarin Chinese from beginner to advanced levels, and to a wide range, since 2009. Her native speaker background has helped to make instruction more fluid and emphasize the practical usage of the language.

SUZETTE FOX is a local interior designer, who has designed homes since 1991 in Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. She has owned a custom cabinet shop and designed custom furniture, staged homes for resale, designed custom closets, offices, media rooms, libraries, kitchens and baths. Her current passion is Green Design for which she received her certification in 2014. She says, “Every decision we make has an impact on our environment.” Read her blogs in the Los Alamos Daily Post and on her website at suzettefoxinteriors.com.

JACQUELINE GOULD has extensive experience coaching within organizations and working with individuals. She started coaching troubled youth, moved to a coaching style as a manager, coached top talent being groomed to move into senior positions, and worked as a career coach. Now, she focuses her coaching on executives and individuals interested in planning their retirement lifestyle. She has designed a number of workshops and written guidebooks to help her clients develop and implement their plans.

LAURA KELLY has been a fitness instructor for over 20 years, teaching everything from Step and kickboxing to yoga, Pilates, and cycling. She likes to say she can teach anything except Zumba and her passion is making fitness attainable and fun for everyone.

TERA K. KHALSA has studied and practiced Kundalini yoga for over 30 years. She is a legacy teacher, who studied directly under Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the US. She is a Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) certified teacher and a teacher trainer in the Aquarian Trainer Academy. She teaches in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Espanola. 

ALANA LIGHT has been decorating houses for over two decades. She has worked as a designer and an instructor, teaching classes such as Staging Your Home for Sale, How to Be Your Own Designer, Taking Your Home from Drab to Fab, Decorating for the Holidays, and more. Alana is also host of the weekly Make Your House a HOME show on KVSF 101.5 FM, the Voice of Santa Fe. For more information on her classes, visit www.AlanaLight.com. 

PETER MURPHY, CFP®, has educated thousands of pre & post retirees on Social Security, Medicare, retirement planning, and other financial related classes. Peter currently teaches these classes at UNM LA, Santa Fe Community College, and other locations throughout Santa Fe.

ROBERT L. NOLEN: Ph.D. in chemistry in 1970 from the University of Houston; Post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State University performing a 16-step synthesis of a today used anti-tumor agent (two years); Materials Scientist synthesizing target materials (18 refereed publications and four patents) at KMS Fusion performing laser fusion for energy purposes (nine years); Member of the Board of two other international boards of directors and VP of one and elected to be president in 2013-2015; past president of nine state boards of directors; past president five years of a state affiliate of a Title 9 sports organization; Materials Scientist, Program Manager and Project Leader at LANL for 23 years in Weapons Division; owned the largest sporting goods store in Los Alamos; owns two home businesses; retired from LANL in 2008 and continues to work for a small firm in town, Mosaic VTR, on a part-time basis.

M.J. OREF has a BFA in Metal & Jewelry Design from Savannah College of Art & Design. She is a multimedia artist, who works in metal, ceramics, and welded sculpture.

MELISSA RIEDEL-ESPINOZA is a Los Alamos native, having studied voice with Karolyn Coulter before attending UNM and getting her degree in Vocal Performance. She now studies with Donna McRae in Albuquerque. Melissa has taught voice privately in Los Alamos since 1999. In her studio, she focuses on healthy singing and piano playing, and helping singers to be confident and knowledgeable about their instruments.

CLAIRE ROYBAL is a mother of four and an owner of a small marketing firm in Los Alamos, NM. She worked for the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce before branching out on her own to start a business. With clients throughout northern New Mexico, her services include marketing, business coaching, web and social media management, and graphic design.

LEANNE SANCHEZ has been a water safety instructor in northern New Mexico for over 20 years. She holds certifications in Water Safety Instructor Trainer, Red Cross CPR/First Aid Instructor Trainer, Lifeguard Trainer, and Safety Training for Swim Coaches. She also holds past certifications in Aquatic Exercise and Arthritis Program Instructor.

SASHA SCULLY has a rich background in the arts and engineering and is known for her vibrant Aspen oil paintings and her SäshaStylz™ art classes. She’s been involved in live performance art painting and has shown her work in galleries, exhibits, juried art shows, and featured publications. She has experience as a teacher, professional artist, graphic designer, 3D animator, videographer, and book illustrator. Visit SäshaStylz™ at www.sashascully.com.

JEREMY SMITH has been playing the Didgeridoo since 1998. He spent months teaching himself how to play and circular breath before he traveled to Australia to study the traditional art of the Aboriginal people and learn more about playing the instrument. In 2000, he began making and selling didgeridoos and has taught thousands of people how to play this amazing instrument.