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Spring 2024 Lecture Series / Excursion



The series begins Friday, January 12, 2024
at 10am


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


$ 80

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

How to Register

Print the registration form below and mail with your check for $80 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.

Spring 2024 Registration Form

Spring 2024 Presentations

Groucho, Harpo, Chico (and sometimes Zeppo)


Jan. 12 10am

A fun filled look at the comedy careers of the Marx Brothers from their early days in vaudeville to success on Broadway and in Hollywood. Laugh along to their antics and anecdotes. 

Presenter Bio:

Jason Fortner

Jason returns to Academia Hernando for another fun filled look at entertainment history. A 25+ year veteran lecturer with Eckerd College, Road Scholar and Osher Lifelong Learning, he has spoken on hundreds of entertainment topics. He also has served as Artistic Director for Clearwater's historic Francis Wilson Playhouse for over a decade, having directed over 100 productions there. 

Fighting the Rise of Diabetes


Jan. 19 - 10am

About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes. Diabetes is a silent epidemic that kills nearly 1.5 million of us each year. The CDC’s  2023 National Diabetes Statistics Report estimates the number of people with diabetes and prediabetes in the United States to be 133.3 million people!  The more you know about diabetes, the more you can do about preventing it, delaying it or lessening its harmful effects. It’s all about connecting the diabetes dots and taking control of your life instead of allowing diabetes to control you, after all, you are the captain of your own boat when it comes to Diabetes!

Presenter Bio:

Laura Gamba

Laura Gamba had over sixteen years of experience with Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), the Medicare Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), spanning four scopes of work and five innovation projects with the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIN-QIO. She served as the HSAG Task Chair for the CMS diabetes contract and director for the Florida diabetes task. Laura, a certified Master Senior trainer with the University of Illinois Chicago’s Diabetes Empowerment Education Program™ (DEEP™), has trained 11 senior trainers, 80+ lead trainers and 400+ peer educators in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and Texas, in addition to providing Diabetes Empowerment Education Program™ (DEEP™) classes for 500+ community members and their supporters throughout Florida. Previous work at HSAG included oversight and management of a CMS Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) project to detect incidence and decrease progression of CKD among Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare beneficiary education, outreach campaigns throughout Florida and implementation of evidence-based weight loss programming for Florida African American, Hispanic, rural, and low, socio-economic communities. She has co-authored published abstracts for the American Public Health Association and the American Society of Nephrology.  When not conducting DEEP™ Training of trainers, she provides no cost, community-based DEEP™, Matter of Balance, Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance, and Tai Chi for Arthritis Classes throughout Florida for departments of health, area agencies on aging, physician practices, hospital networks and area health education centers.

Catherine the Great of Russia


Jan. 26 - 10am

Born into a minor noble family, she married the heir to the Russian throne. She became empress by sheer determination and used principles espoused by Enlightenment philosophers to guide her rule over her vast empire. For more than 3 decades she controlled Russia's government as well as faced domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and political change. She westernized Russia and brought it into full participation in Europe's political and cultural life. She championed the arts, reorganized the Russian law code, and took steps to improve the welfare of the people, and was Russia's longest reigning empress.

Presenter Bio:

Dedee Aleccia

Dedee Aleccia taught both literature and art history for over 30 years, 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, served as a Smithsonian
Institution research fellow, received both a Faculty Outstanding Service award
and a national NISOD Excellence Award in teaching, and retired with professor
emerita status.
Since she retired, Dedee has been lecturing for Eckerd College’s various lifelong
learning programs: the Road Scholar Program, The Osher Lifelong Learning
Institute (OLLI) and the Program for Experienced Learners (PEL), a fast-paced
degree program.
Dedee has enjoyed being a key member of American Stage’s Learn series which
presents informative insights and analyses of upcoming plays. At the James
Museum of Western and Wildlife Art she has lectured on both works in the
permanent collection as well as temporary exhibits. She also enjoys doing
presentations for centers such as Royal Palms of Largo and Academia Hernando.
As a life-long learner, she intends to keep researching and lecturing because she
believes it keeps her young.

K9 Partners For Patriots, Inc.--The Healing Power of Service Dogs


Feb. 2 - 10am

Dedicated to reducing the alarming rate of veteran suicide by empowering veterans with service-related challenges through expertly trained service dogs. We provide invaluable support, enhancing mental well-being and fostering independence. K9 Partners for Patriots creates life-changing bonds that restore lives and inspire hope.

Mary Peter, CMDT

Founder/ Executive Director 

Some people see a need and use their training and skills to meet that need. Mary Peter is one such person. Ms. Peter, a certified master dog trainer (CMDT) with more than thirty years of experience, started K9 Partners for Patriots (K9P4P) in 2014 because she believed that properly trained dogs could save the lives of many veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress.

Americapalooza: Talk About Our Generation


Feb. 9 - 10am

With the backdrop of history, we will take a tour of the music and movies, fashion and fads, television and radio of the "1950's" when we were all "younger, so much younger than today.” Remember the pioneer days of television? Lucy and Desi, Uncle Miltie, Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob? Perry Mason, Leave it to Beaver, Dobie Gillis. What about the movies portraying teens as juvenile delinquents? Then of course, there was Marilyn.  And the music revolution, from Bill Haley, to Elvis, to Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and so many more. We will see and hear all of them in this course.

Presenter Bio:

Michael Hayes

With degrees from Purdue University and Lehigh University, and after a 40+ year career in the food industry with companies such as Kraft Foods and ConAgra Foods, Michael Hayes has been an OLLI-USF instructor for the past 4 years. He has specialized in pop culture topics and this lecture is taken from a 6-week,12 hour long course covering the 1940s - 1970s, those “wonder years” when the Baby Boomer Generation was coming of age. He also recently completed an OLLI-USF course about the Beatles in 1964, in commemoration of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, the “Night that Changed America, and the World, Forever.”

Coastal, Inland & Freshwater Florida


Feb. 16 - 10am

A Nature walk from Pensacola to the Florida Keys.

Presenter Bio:

Don Philpott

Don Philpott has over 40 years' experience as an award-winning writer, journalist, marketing
consultant, public relations practitioner and passionate campaigner for conservation and the
For 20 years, he worked for the Press Association-Reuters, the international wire service
traveling the world as a senior correspondent, covering major events and news stories. He also
participated in many expeditions as the sole media representative, and has backpacked,
climbed, canoed, ridden, and skied throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, the Arctic,
Australia, and New Zealand.
In 1988 in London, he founded Mediawise Communications, a specialist writing and PR firm, and developed an international client list. In 1994 he became President of Mediawise U.S., based in Orlando, and remained in that position until the company closed in December 2009. Clients included Walt Disney World, NASA, Northrop Grumman, Edelman Public Relations, Icelandic Tourist Board, International Red Cross, Sara Lee, and Wrangler.
In 1980 he co-founded and edited Footloose, the first environmental outdoors magazine in the UK. From 2004-2010 he was editor of Homeland Defense Journal and the International Homeland Defense Journal.
From 1997-2000 he was a board member of the non-profit Mustard Seed and helped raise more than $10 million for a state-of-the-art warehouse and headquarters complex for the organization.
Don Philpott is now a full-time writer and volunteer. He has more than 250 books published on a wide range of subjects. 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 expedition experience he also teaches ‘Edible Florida’ and ‘Basic Survival’ courses throughout Florida.
He is President of the Wekiva Wilderness Trust, the park’s Citizen Support Organization, a director of the Florida State Parks Foundation, and vice president of the National Association of State Parks Foundations. He is 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. In 2023, he was awarded the
President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service, having logged more than 30,000 hours with Florida
state parks.

A Visual History of Mapmaking


Feb. 23 - 10am

Explore maps from prehistoric to the present. See primitive maps carved in stone and world maps that constantly changed as knowledge of the glove expanded. Learn about GPS systems of mapping. Study influential cartographers and maps of art and advertising. You will view more than 200 maps. 

Presenter Bio:

Sheryl Long 

Sheryl Long graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mass Communications. In her youth she managed an independent bookstore on Sanibel Island, worked as an artist assistant for Robert Rauschenberg, and produced an international television series for WEDU PBS, among other jobs. Her last 17 years in the workplace were in Communications and Marketing. She has lectured at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Mastering the Possibilities, Academia Hernando, Tampa Bay History Center and other venues. She has a curious mind and loves a good story.

The Science of Star Trek


Mar. 1 - 10am

Do you remember Star Trek? We marveled at its optimistic vision and futuristic technology. In the decades following its launch in 1966, which Star Trek "gadgets" or processes became a reality? Let us trek where no one has gone before and explore the strange new worlds of transporters, replicators, PADDs, time travel, warp drive, and artificial intelligence and see how much remains science fiction.

Presenter Bio:

Bruce Gobioff

Bruce Gobioff has an M.S. in Management of Technology from MIT and spent 50 years in the IT

industry in both management and technical positions. He is a member of OLLI-USF and is on the board of that organization. He has been a big fan of the Star Trek TV Series ever since its inception in 1966.

Bus Excursion


Mar. 8

To Be Announced

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