Fall 2021 Lecture Series / Bus Trip



The series begins Friday, September 17, 2021

at 10am


St. Andrew's Episcopal Church 
2301 Deltona Blvd.,  Spring Hill, F L


$ 70

Lectures begin promptly at 10:00 AM and lasts for 2 hours.  There is a 15 minute intermission.  Face masks are required for attendance.  

How to Register

Print the registration form below and mail with your check for $70 payable to Academia Hernando, Inc.

and mail to:

Bev Nuzzi

15027  Middle Fairway Drive

Brooksville, FL 34609

Important: The Registration Form must be included with your Check.
Your cancelled check is your receipt.

Fall 2021 Presentations

The History of Chinsegut Hill


Sept. 17 10am

Chinsegut Hill Historic Site has a human history that spans millennia.  Prehistoric people, Seminole Indians, wealthy American planters, enslaved individuals, political crusaders and more inhabited this ground.  We interpret this history thematically as the ‘Persistent Florida Frontier” as the Hill has come to hold different meanings for people over time.  This theme will specifically cover:

  • Pre-historic Era:  The history of Paleo-Indians that passed through the Hill.

  • The Plantation Era: The Pearson and Ederington families and ties to the Seminole Wars, slavery, and the Civil War.

  • Reconstruction and Ruin:  The Snow family and the conditions of Hernando County during Reconstruction.

  • The Progressive Era and the College Years:  The influence of the progressive Robins family, their ties to national and international events, and the later management of Chinsegut by different universities.  

Presenter Bio:

Brian Buttafuoco

Brian Buttafuoco has served as the Curator of Education for the education department at the Tampa Bay History Center since 2015, and more recently for Chinsegut Hill Historic Site. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and earned his professional certification in secondary education in the social sciences from the Florida Board of Education.

Born on Long Island New York, he has taught middle school for 5 years in Polk County Florida before transitioning to museum education. He is also a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. Through education, volunteering, and outreach, Mr. Buttafuoco has also worked with the Sierra Club Tampa Bay Group, Hillsborough County Parks, the Tampa Audubon Society, the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, and as a park ranger for the National Park Service.

The Birth of Motown


Sept. 24 - 10am

Take a trip with Angela Birdsong to the Land of Motown! Angela will take us through the history and joy that is Motown music from its creation by founder Berry Gordy to the landmark site of "Hitsville USA" in Detroit, Michigan where groups like The Temptations, The Jackson Five, and The Supremes all began their careers. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a rockin' ride!

Presenter Bio:

Angela Birdsong

Angela Clarke was an aspiring recording artist when she met Edwin Birdsong in a New York recording studio. In 1987 She married Edwin who was a recording artist and Cindy Birdsong’s cousin. He also had a famous best friend named Stevie Wonder.


Since marrying into the Motown family Angela wants to keep the legacy of Berry Gordy and Motown alive forever. 


She currently works as a Life and Health agent and helps people successfully navigate Medicare, Longterm care, and life insurance. Her OLLI USF Medicare class is very popular. Angela is also part of the Praise team at the Temple Terrace United Methodist church.

Heroes of the Holocaust: Priests & Nuns


Oct. 1 - 10am

During the Holocaust, it was exceedingly difficult to find an individual or an organization ready to help Jewish victims. Among those few who, at risk of death to themselves & those they rescued, still chose to save Jews were Catholic priests and nuns.  We will share these two strong religions by joining Professor Howard Kerner for an uplifting presentation on human goodness, as he shares the stories of these little known brave and inspiring men and women.

Presenter Bio:

Howard Kerner

Howard Kerner is a retired English professor who has spent the last 25 years researching unknown people who performed acts of kindness and nobility during the Holocaust. His latest projects involve recently discovered facts about Anne Frank and her family and America's Response to the Holocaust.


Howard’s inspiring presentations can be heard at the Florida Holocaust Museum, USF, Eckerd College, churches, synagogues, libraries, and civic organizations. He continues to create new programs that highlight noble people and the kindness in humanity.

Mel Brooks: From Borscht To Broadway


Oct. 8 - 10am

Join us in delving into the incredible life of a comedy genius and multi-talented writer, actor, and all around performer...Mel Brooks. From a comedy writer for Sid Caesar's variety show "Your Show of Shows" to his blockbuster musical "The Producers," you will be amazed at the incredible accomplishments of this extremely gifted entertainer.

Presenter Bio:

Rick Kistner

Mr. Kistner’s diverse series of lecture topics are a reflection of a dual career.  He spent thirty years in Law Enforcement including twenty years as a Chief of Police at cities in Ohio, Kansas, Connecticut and Florida.  Simultaneously he continued a career in the performing arts that began at the age of 16 and continues to the present appearing on stage and also in TV and radio commercials and the occasional film, a career that was profiled by Charles Osgood on “CBS This Morning”.   A voice artist, he can be heard reading many classics of literature on the Lit2Go website.  Mr. Kistner holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Wright State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Dayton.  He also studied Theater Arts at Connecticut’s prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. His deep interest in American History is reflected in his lectures on historical eras and notable personalities of the 19th and 20th centuries while his background in the performing arts forms the basis of his programs on Film and Theater topics.   Since 2007 he has delivered over 500 programs at many venues in Florida and elsewhere.  A Largo, Florida resident since 1993, he and his wife Karen have been married for 46 years, raised three children and are the proud grandparents of four (and counting).

Florida State Parks & How to Enjoy Them


Oct. 15 - 10am

The first part of the presentation will paint an overview of Florida’s state parks, what they have to offer, how to best enjoy them, and their economic impact.

Florida has 175 award-winning state parks which attract 30 million visitors a year – by comparison, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom attracts 24 million visitors annually. Florida’s state parks also contribute more than $3 billion a year to the state’s economy.

The presentation will cover the origins of the Florida park service and the diversity of the parks – from its world class beaches to its many freshwater springs, from historic homes to battleground sites, and from mermaids to buffaloes.

It will explore all the activities that state parks have to offer and how to best to enjoy them. It will also discuss the special role that state parks played and continues to play in the COVID crisis.

This part of the presentation will conclude with a scenic look at many of the state’s most popular parks.

The second part of the presentation will focus on the core missions of the Florida State Parks and the Florida State Parks Foundation. These include protecting and preserving them, increasing accessibility for all, encouraging greater use by more diverse groups and working to expand the number of parks to ensure that sites of special interest are protected for future generations.

This part of the presentation will conclude with some examples of the wide-ranging projects being undertaken within the parks. This will include details about the Serenity Garden at Wekiwa Springs State Park, a park within a park for the disabled, and the only one of its kind anywhere in the United States.

Presenter Bio:

Don Philpott

Don Philpott is now a full-time writer and volunteer. He has more than 250 books published on a wide range of subjects. In 2009 he wrote the Guide to The Wekiva Basin State Parks (reprinted in 2013) - with all profits going to the park. He has had over 5,000 articles published in newspapers and magazines.

When not writing Don is a volunteer at Wekiwa Springs State Park where he helps run the nature center and interpretive programs, both within the park and as part of the outreach program. Because of his expeditioning experience he also teaches ‘Edible Florida’ and ‘Basic Survival’ courses throughout Florida.

In 2005 he was selected as Florida State Parks Volunteer of the Year for services to the park service. He is President of the Wekiva Wilderness Trust, the park’s Citizen Support Organization, and a member of the Friends of the Wekiva River, the National Audubon Society and the National Association for Interpretation.

He has had a lifelong interest in conservation and the environment. In the UK he was a member of the Conservation Corps and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and for many years volunteered as a relief ranger and guide at Minsmere Bird Reserve, where many of Europe’s rarest species breed.

He is President of Friends of Florida State Parks, a Florida Master Naturalist (FMN) and an instructor with the University of Florida’s FMN program teaching classes in Seminole County, FL. He is also a Florida Master Gardener and a Certified Interpretive Guide.

The Haunted May-Stringer House In Brooksville and Haunted Buildings in Ybor City


Oct. 22 - 10am

May-Stringer House: Through this presentation with will learn the history and strange paranormal happenings of this house located in Brooksville, Florida.

Ybor City:  An overall look at how Mr. Ybor turned a backwater swamp into one of the biggest industry towns in all of America. Along with an amazing connection to Cuba, Ybor City will also be forever remembered for its connections to The American Dream, The Cuban-Italian crime families, and some of the most haunted buildings in America which have been visited by famous ghost hunters (we do a ghost tour as well).

Presenter Bios:

Bonnie Letourneau &

Max Herman

Bonnie Letourneau: Bonnie has been doing the night tour sessions since 2004 at the May-Stringer House. She will give us the inside scoop about all the paranormal occurrences that have happened at the house over the years.

Max Herman:  My father and I both knew the amazing history of Ybor City, a National Historic District that didn’t have a year-round tour available. So we put our minds together and launched the tour company in 2010. Since then, it has grown to be the biggest tour company in Tampa, FL and one of the Top 5 tours in Florida! TripAdvisor has named us a “Must Do” when visiting Florida (reviews available on TripAdvisor.com) and I have been featured in newspapers, tv news, as well as many social media accounts for famous travelers. 

Memphis, Tennessee: A Rich Legacy of Music, Culture, and History!


Oct. 29 - 10am

 As a native Memphian, Joy Katzen-Guthrie is passionate about Memphis—a city that celebrated its 200th birthday in 2019. She brings an exploration into the city’s rich culture and history — as home to Southeastern Indian tribes such as the Chickasaw to its heartbreaking role on the Trail of Tears, its connection to Spanish and French exploration, the slave trade, steamboat travel, and cotton. With a history of both social strife and civil rights, the city today takes deep pride in the legendary Beale Street, Sun Studios, Stax Records, Graceland, WDIA (America’s first all-black music format) and pioneering deejays. From its early status as the “filthiest town in America” and devastating Yellow Fever epidemics, this city literally rose from the ashes to become an international model of medical care and research and a state-of-the-art transportation hub. Learn of the city’s landmarks and significance through photographs, videos, and Joy’s rich discussion and personal memories.

Presenter Bio:

Joy Katzen- Guthrie

Composer-lyricist, concert artist, writer, keynote speaker and educator, Joy Katzen-Guthrie is devoted to uplifting, empowering, and inspiring through the arts and cultural studies. Joy is a Memphis, Tennessee native who settled in the Tampa Bay area in 1981 and resides in Palm Harbor. She has created and served as scholar-in-residence for seven Jewish heritage tours in China and Turkey and has developed heritage tours to Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Cuba, and Alaska. She has been a Cantorial Leader and Music Director for Florida congregations since 1990, has published 14 recordings, and is a longtime instructor for Eckerd College OLLI and the University of South Florida OLLI, Elderhostel, Road Scholar, Learning Inn and other adult learning series. With her husband Mark, she operates a professional recording studio, Tune-of-the-Century Music®, has received appointments to the Florida Artist Residency Directory, has been awarded two arts resource fund performance arts grants from the Pinellas County Arts Council. Joy received BFA and BA degrees in music and broadcast communications from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Prior to her music career, she served Tampa Bay's WPLP/News-Talk Radio as Executive Producer and Operations Manager in addition to serving as a broadcaster for Classics 92, WDAE, and W101 Radio. Since June 2019, she has been programmer/host of Tampa Bay’s longtime broadcast, The Sunday Simcha, on WMNF Community Radio Tampa 88.5 FM and WMNF.org. Visit her website at https://joyfulnoise.net/ 

Chocolate: Discover Chocolate's Fascinating History


Nov. 5 - 10am

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a choc-aholic? Discover chocolate’s fascinating
history. It originated in Meso-America as a drink for religious rituals and medicinal purposes.
Through the age of exploration and trade, it became a delectable drink reserved for royal
Europeans and the privileged class, and with the introduction of manufacturing, it is now
readily available in multiple varieties, both solid and liquid, for all to enjoy. Through each of
these stages, chocolate has served as the subject for artists and artisans. This class will examine
the history of chocolate as well as trace its depictions in art and artifacts.

Presenter Bio:

Dee Dee Aleccia

Dedee Aleccia holds graduate degrees in both literature and art history and has taught in both subject areas for over 30 years. She has held professorships at Broome Community College and Montgomery College and has served as adjunct professor at Binghamton University, the University of Baltimore, and Eckerd College. During her tenure she chaired a Middle States Accreditation committee, directed a 3-campus Honors Program, and served as a Smithsonian Institution research fellow. She received a Faculty Outstanding Service award as well as a national [NISOD] Excellence Award in teaching and retired with professor emerita status. She currently lectures for OLLI at Eckerd College, the James Museum, and Academia Hernando.

Mystery Bus Tour



Trip to be announced at a later date.