Community Enrichment Series - Spring 2017


Since 1972, Millsaps College has offered to the Greater Jackson community a variety of opportunities through the Community Enrichment Series. These are noncredit courses which have no prerequisites and no examinations and cover a variety of special interest areas. Enrichment courses are available in the fall, winter and spring.


Arts and Crafts

** FULL ** Basic Glass Fusion Cabochons
Instructor: Laura Tarbutton
Cost: $40 (plus $40 supply fee that is payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Date: Tuesdays, May 9 & May 16 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

In this basic glass fusion class, students will create glass pendants with sheet glass and dichroic glass. Glass stringers and frit and twisties will also be used. Students will fill a tray with pieces to be fired in the kiln. The instructor will give the student ideas on how these cabochons can be used in a variety of jewelry techniques including PMC, polymer clay or glue-on bails, which will be provided to finish your pieces in class, or you can explore other options on your own. This class will be held at the instructor’s studio in Brandon, where you will have the use of the instructor’s tools and equipment.

Viking Knit
Instructor: Laura Tarbutton
Cost: $40 (plus $25 supply fee that is payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesdays, June 6 & June 13 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Viking Knit is an ancient wire-weaving technique. It is created from thin wire that is “woven” together. Learn this fun and easy technique to create bracelets or necklaces. We will learn the steps of Viking knit the first class and complete a bracelet in the second class. All supplies will be provided for $25.

Laura Tarbutton has been involved in arts and crafts all her life, but creating jewelry is her first love. Laura teaches PMC and beading classes at local craft stores and her studio. She has also taught at national bead shows and presents classes and workshops with Gem and Mineral Society chapters. Laura is a member of the Precious Metal Clay Guild and a Level II certified instructor.



Beginning Photography
Instructor: Ron Blaylock
Cost: $185
Dates: Tuesdays, April 4 – 25 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 9 – 10:30am
Dates: Tuesdays, April 4 – 25 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

This is THE photography class for beginners. You will learn how to operate your digital or film camera and compose better photographs. We will cover all of the basic principles of photography in this four week course. Topics will include exposure (F-stop, shutter speed, and ISO), camera controls, basic composition, lighting, picking the right equipment, digital photography and more.

Ron Blaylock is the owner of Blaylock Fine Art Photography in Fondren. His editorial and advertising work has been featured in numerous regional and national publications, including the Washington Post, Real Simple Magazine, Living Blues, and Mississippi Magazine. His fine art photography has been exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art and is in the permanent collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art.



Bob Ross® Painting Class: Landscape (Winter)
Instructor: Michael Hughes
Cost: $60 (plus $20 supply fee payable to instructor at class meeting)
Dates: Saturday, March 25 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 2 – 6pm
Bob Ross® Painting Class: Seascape
Cost: $60 (plus $20 supply fee – includes canvas - payable to instructor at class meeting)
Date: Saturday, May 13 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 11am – 4pm

Using the Bob Ross® wet-on-wet technique, students will be instructed in the basic application of oil paint to a canvas, will be introduced to different types of brushes, and will complete a painting by the end of the class. This class will meet at Hobby Lobby on Lakeland Drive in Flowood.

Michael Hughes Hughes is a certified Bob Ross® instructor in floral, landscape, and wildlife painting.



Calligraphy – the Art of Beautiful Writing
Instructor: Betsy Greener
Cost: $110 (plus $35 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Wednesdays, April 5 – 26 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm

Calligraphy can be both a delight to the eye and an inspiration to the spirit. In our technological age, the appreciation for the art of calligraphy has grown incredibly; it is a fun hobby, a great business and a creative art. Opportunities for beautiful lettering are vast - this class will discuss many ways to use calligraphy, both for personal satisfaction and as a lucrative source of income.

Calligraphy is an art form in which patience and attention to detail are more important than artistic talent – you don’t have to be an “artist” to be good at calligraphy!

Class limited to 15.

Betsy Greener is a wedding/special events calligrapher in the Jackson area. She holds the bachelor of business administration degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.



Fair Isle Knitting
Instructor: Donna Peyton
Cost: $70 (plus supplies)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 4 - 25 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Students will learn the Scandinavian technique of stranded knitting; that is knitting with two colors to create designs and pictures. In this class students will make a mug cozy, a hat, and an ornament. Students need to know basic knitting skills, such a knit, purl, increase, decrease, and knitting in the round.

Fixing Knitting Mistakes
Instructor: Donna Peyton
Cost: $70 (plus supplies)
Dates: Tuesdays, May 2 - 23 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Students will learn how to correct mistakes they make in their knitting. Students will learn to pick up missed stiches, remove extra stitches, and fix pattern mistakes and cables. Students must have a good grasp of knitting techniques.

Donna Peyton is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. After living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in Auburn, Alabama, Donna moved to the Metro Jackson area in 2001. She has been knitting since 1993 and spinning her own yarn since 2009. A member of the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild, she has taught knitting classes for several years. She is a tech editor and pattern designer for The Defarge series of books by Cooperative Press.



Intro to Mosaics: Garden Brick
Instructor: : Teresa Haygood
Cost: $70 (plus $25 supply fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesday & Wednesday, April 4 & 5 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm
Tuesday & Wednesday, April 18 & 19 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create your own mosaic? This class will teach you everything you need to know to make beautiful mosaics for the garden. We will learn the process of mosaic design, including how to cut and shape glass, how to choose proper adhesives, and techniques to grout the final project. Supply fee will not include mosaic nippers and glass cutters but the students will be able to use tools provided by the instructor. Students will make an outdoor mosaic that they can take home at the end of the class.

Teresa Haygood discovered her passion for mosaics somewhat accidentally. After collecting leftover stained glass bits for several years, she decided to put them to use and made her first mosaic in the summer of 1998. It was love at first creation! She continued to hone her craft in this ancient art form, and in the fall of 2004, she was admitted to the Craftsman’s Guild of Mississippi. Teresa has participated in the Chimneyville Arts Festival from 2004 to present and enjoys teaching this beautiful art form to others.



Observational Drawing I - Developing the Basic Skills
Instructor: Richard Cawthon
Cost: $150 
Date: Mondays, April 24May 22 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Do you want to learn the skills of drawing from observation, but don’t know where to start? Whether you have never drawn before or you are an “advanced beginner” wanting to expand your abilities, this multi-week course will help you develop those skills. This class will be similar to the single-evening “Introduction to Observational Drawing” class from the fall and winter course listings, but will extend over five weeks, offering more thorough instruction, more demonstrations, more practical exercises, and exposure to additional materials and methods. All materials will be provided.

Observational Drawing II - Further Developing the Basic Skills
Instructor: Richard Cawthon
Cost: $150 
Date: March 20 – April 17 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Intended for those who have already taken the five-week introductory observational drawing class or who have had some previous drawing instruction, this class will offer a further exploration of basic observational drawing techniques and concepts. Topics will include perspective, observing relationships between multiple objects in a composition, and the expression of light and shadow. All materials will be provided.

Richard Cawthon has a BA in Geography from Louisiana State University and a Master of Architectural History degree from the University of Virginia. From 1985 to 2006, he worked as Chief Architectural Historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Now “semi-retired,” he works as a consulting architectural historian. He has been active as an artist for many years, specializing in drawing in pencil and in ink, but also working in watercolor, oils, and pastels. His art work includes drawings of historic buildings, still life painting, portraits in pencil, and human figure studies, and has been exhibited in Jackson and other Mississippi communities, the Shreveport area, and in commercial galleries in Jackson and Fort Worth, Texas.

Examples of his artwork can be seen on his Facebook page, Richard J. Cawthon, Artist.



Paint Like A Pro
Instructor: Latresa Enns
Cost: $160 (plus $50 materials fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Mondays, April 3, 10, 17 (3 class mtgs.)
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Learn the proper way to paint and antique furniture and cabinets at a fraction of the cost. In addition to learning antiquing concepts, you will learn different ways to achieve an antique finish on several types of surfaces. You will learn how to make your own chalk and milk paints, and you will also learn where to buy local products without a professional license. When you finish this course, you will be able to antique your furniture or kitchen cabinets with confidence for under $100. Wear old clothes. This class will be held at the instructor’s studio in Madison, and there will be a $50 materials fee that is payable to the instructor at the first class meeting.

Latresa Enns comes from a long line of artists and entrepreneurs. She has been finishing and restoring wood furniture for 35 years. Her earliest painting experience involved working for her parents in their construction and painting business where she learned to paint and wallpaper as well as learning different painting techniques. In 2005 she decided to further her career by taking professional decorative painting courses, and she also started her own business.



Watercolor Painting
Instructor: Laurel Schoolar
Cost: $125 (plus supplies)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 4 – May 9 (6 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Watercolors are rich translucent paints that create beautiful and exciting results. This course is for beginning as well as more experienced students. In this class you will learn different painting techniques and sharpen your creative and technical skills by painting still life and landscape. Composition and use of color will be stressed. A supply list will be sent with the registration confirmation.

Laurel Schoolar holds a B.F.A. from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has taught drawing and watercolor painting classes for over 25 years, and her works have been exhibited throughout the Southeast.



Irish Céilí and Set Dancing
Instructors: Alex McCord, Margaret Cupples, and members of Jackson Irish Dancers
Cost: $20 per class
$50 for all three classes (*Plus an annual JID membership, if not already a member. Memberships are payable to JID.)
Dates: Sundays, April 23, May 7, and June 4.  (Take one, two or all three classes; each will cover different material and all are beginner-friendly.)
Time: 35pm

Céilí and set dancing are traditional Irish social dancing, but you don’t have to be Irish or even a great dancer to enjoy them! If you’ve seen Irish dancing at CelticFest Mississippi or elsewhere and wanted to give it a try—or if you have participated in one of our previous classes in this series—then these Sunday-afternoon classes are for you. You don’t need a partner, and beginners are welcome—we’ll also have new material for those who have taken prior classes. Join us for one, two, or all three of these classes, which are a fun family activity (ages 16 and up) and a great way to meet some new people in a relaxed environment … not to mention that it’s great aerobic exercise that’s much more fun than going to the gym!

Participants should bring water to drink, and wear clean, smooth-soled shoes and comfortable clothing. Irish dancing is fun for all experience levels from novice to expert; but it’s also high-energy and can be high-impact. As with any new fitness activity, you are encouraged to check with your doctor before beginning if you have any special health concerns.

About Jackson Irish Dancers: Since 1998, Jackson Irish Dancers has brought classes, performances, and Irish dance events to Mississippi and beyond. We perform, teach and sometimes even compete from Ireland to Dallas and from New Orleans to Memphis – and especially right here at home. We’re not focused on competition like many Irish dancing schools; instead, we do this for the craic – in Irish, the good fun of it all. These classes are taught by founding members of JID – Margaret Cupples and Alex McCord, with help from other experienced dancers. More information is available at

*A JID membership is $25/year for family memberships and $15/year for individual memberships. The membership year runs from September 1 to August 31, and memberships are half-price from March 1 to August 31. JID will provide membership forms and the required release form so they can be completed and brought to the first class meeting (if information is not already on file with JID).



Adult Ballet Class
Instructor: Kathryn Gurtler Wilson
Cost: $50 per person
Dates: Mondays, March 20 – April 10 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 10 – 11:30 am
Dates: Mondays, April 17 – May 8 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 10 – 11:30 am
Dates: Mondays, June 12 – July 3 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 10 – 11:30 am

The Adult Ballet class will utilize the Vaganova Technique and Vocabulary. Classes will be designed to expand the participant’s knowledge of classical dance vocabulary, coordination, musicality, strength, and flexibility. Each class will consist of a warm up, barre exercises, center work, and a cool down. Prior dance experience is not required. 

Kathryn Gurtler Wilson holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Dance from Belhaven University. She has danced with Sarasota Contemporary Dance (formerly Fuzion Dance Artists), Intersect Dance Collective, and co-founded her own company, Kinetic Etchings. She served as the assistant stage manager for the International Ballet Competition USA 2014, and currently teaches for the IBC through their City Dance Program. Kathryn also teaches and choreographs for other dance schools in the metro Jackson area including The Studio, Epic Dance, and Repeat Performance. 



Health and Fitness

Boxers Rebellion® - Hybrid Kickboxing®
Instructors: Jeremy Gordon and Staff
Cost: $160
Date: Wednesdays, April 5 – June 7 (10 class mtgs.)
Time: 7 – 8pm

Boxers Rebellion®, a cutting edge modern fighting arts organization led by founder, Master Instructor Sifu Jeremy Gordon, introduces Hybrid Kickboxing® and Jeet Kune Do. This course is designed to give the participant the foundation of Martial Arts as it pertains to the modern world. No martial arts background required. You will learn the basic self-defense tactics to stop an attacker and also gain insight into the basic philosophies, theories, concepts, and principles of Hybrid Kickboxing®. All Boxers Rebellion® courses improve a practitioner's physical attributes, or "bio-motor abilities," which include strength, power, speed, balance, flexibility, agility, endurance, and coordination.

The Master Instructor is Sifu Jeremy Gordon, who will be assisted by Boxers Rebellion® staff. Gordon has been training in the martial arts for over 30 years and is the founder of Hybrid Kickboxing®. He is a second generation Bruce Lee student in the art of Jeet Kune Do and was taught by his protégé Ted Wong. He is an instructor in the art of Jeet Kune Do and is a second generation Bruce Lee student under Grandmaster Joe Lewis who also promoted him to Black Belt. He holds Blackbelt (Dan ranking) or certification in the following: Jido Kwan Taekwondo, Hapkido, crime prevention, self-defense, Shorin-Ryu Karate, Pressure Points and Control Tactics (PPCT) instructor, Defensive Tactics instructor for Law Enforcement, and is a certified law enforcement officer. Jeremy graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. 



Essential Oils 101
Instructor: Rebecca Laney-Meers
Cost: $50
Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 6 – 8:30pm 

Curious about essential oils? Don’t know where to start? Start here! Learn the basics and proceed with confidence on your essential oils journey. We will cover how essential oil are made, why sourcing is important, how to choose a quality oil, methods of use/application (diffusing, topical, internal), safety concerns (using oils on pets, the frail, children), and more. Plant medicine has been used throughout history!

Rebecca Laney-Meers is a Mississippi native and fitness/wellness enthusiast whose experience spans over 40 years. Beginning at age 16, Rebecca began her wellness search and never lost momentum. She has reached the highest level of yoga training recognized by the Yoga Alliance and by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Most recently she has expanded her education to the field of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils and plant medicine.



Mindful Eating: Toward Sustainable Lifestyle Behavioral Changes
Instructor: Danille M. Font
Cost: $120
Dates: Tuesdays, April 4 – May 9 (6 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm 

This course is aimed at providing an integrative approach toward sustainable improvement and minimizing the behavioral risk factors that often thwart progress in the efforts toward health optimization. Students will learn tools to help establish healthy and sustainable eating behaviors.

Danille M. Font has nine years of experience teaching and developing curriculum at colleges and universities. She brings a diverse background in the arts, wellness education and community outreach having designed and led community-based courses and support groups utilizing both in-person and online training tools



T'ai Chi (Taiji)
Instructor: Mike Chadwick
Cost: $150
Date: Thursdays, April 13 - June 1 (8 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:15 - 7:45pm

This course is designed to be an introduction to the Yang Short Form, which is one of the world’s most popular forms of exercise. Participants will learn about and practice Yang Style T'ai Chi with an emphasis on health, stress management, relief from arthritic pain, increased balance, and full range of motion. Qigong (or warm-up exercises), Wu Ji (a standing form of meditation), an introduction to the Yang Short Form, and closing exercises will be taught. New students are welcome.

Class size is limited.

Mike Chadwick, a University of Mississippi graduate, has been studying Tai Ji for 17 years. He studied the Yang Family Style Taiji under Michael Bishop, John Symonds Vanderwell, and Rusty Williard. He studied the Chen Family Style Taiji under Stanley Graham and actively practices both styles of Taiji at this time. Additionally, he has trained in Dragon Claw Kung Fu and Tai-Kwan-Do. Chadwick also teaches the 108-posture Yang Long Form and the Chen Essential 48 Posture Form.



Yoga for Everyone
Instructor: Sally Holly
Cost: $150
Dates: Tuesdays, April 25 - July 18 (12 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:15 – 7:30pm

Please note: Class will not meet July 4.

Restore, awaken and renew the body, mind and spirit. This yoga class is a blend of postures designed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and release stress. You will be introduced to techniques in breath awareness while combining movement and alignment principles to emphasize flexibility and injury prevention. This class will enable the more advanced student to be challenged, while encouraging those new to yoga or looking for a gentler class to participate at his/her own level. Modifications will be given according to the student’s needs. Standing, seated, mild backbends, balancing, and relaxation poses will be introduced in a positive and nurturing way. Home practice will be encouraged and supported with personalized guidance.

Please note: Bring a yoga sticky mat and a firm blanket. Mats and blankets can be purchased from local merchants or online. Please come to class on an empty stomach and wear comfortable clothes.

Sally Holly has been teaching fitness classes since 1981 at health clubs in and around Mississippi. Her certification list is extensive, and she has studied yoga for many years with various teachers. In addition to her other certifications, Sally is a RYT 200 Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. Sally’s teaching style mixes fun with vast experience and knowledge while offering encouragement and inspiration to her students.


Heritage and History

Jackson’s North State Street – An Architectural History
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Thursday, April 27 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

This class will cover the architectural history of what was Jackson’s premier residential street from the 1840s until the 1920s. We will look at photographs of many long gone houses and institutional and religious structures as well as photographs of those that have survived. In so doing, we will try to understand what happened to this once beautiful thoroughfare that caused it to decline from one of the greatest streets in Mississippi to just another busy traffic artery.

Belhaven: A Brief Architectural History
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Thursday, April 13 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Most people who live in or near Jackson, from lifetime residents to recent arrivals, are familiar with the Belhaven neighborhood. As with any place, Belhaven means different things to different people. To longtime Jacksonians it means fond memories of family and friends; of who lived where and what parties happened here or there; where they went to school or church, and so on. To more recent arrivals, Belhaven means beautiful tree lined streets and stately old houses and possibly the university located near its center.

In this class, we will examine the built environment of this, arguably Jackson’s most revered historic neighborhood, focusing on the rich variety of architectural styles found there. We will discuss the defining characteristics of these various styles as well as what time period these styles were most popular. We will also touch briefly on why and how Belhaven developed and how it has remained a vibrant neighborhood. We will also discuss the role that historic preservation has played in the neighborhood. 

Jackson Houses by Hays Town
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, April 20 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Many people who are familiar with the architect Albert Hays Town know about the elegant houses he designed in the last quarter of the 20th century based on the historic vernacular architecture of his native Louisiana. These houses were built all over Louisiana and into neighboring states including Mississippi. But did you know that he actually began his architecture career in Mississippi during the 1920s working for one of Mississippi’s greatest architects, N.W. Overstreet? And did you know that his first brush with fame as an architect came with his, and Mr. Overstreet’s, design for a very modern school building constructed in the 1930s?

In this class, we will look at Mr. Town’s earliest designs which reflect the modern architecture of the day.  We will also examine how his involvement with the Historic American Buildings Survey during the Great Depression, where he helped to document many antebellum houses in Natchez, influenced his architectural style shown in the many houses for which he is so well known. We will end our discussion of Mr. Town’s architecture by looking at many of the great Mississippi houses he designed in the 1980s and 90s.

Todd Sanders has a B.A. in history and a master’s degree in architectural history from Mississippi State University. He has worked as an architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 1999.



Military Medicine During the American Civil War
Instructor: William Hanigan
Cost: $60
Dates: Tuesday & Thursday, April 4 & April 6  (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 5:30 – 8pm

These lectures will give a comprehensive view of military medicine during the American Civil War. Responses of the Union and Confederate medical service to military operations and changes in political conditions will emphasize the interrelationships of military medical care and issues of total war in the 19th century.


William Hanigan is a retired neurosurgeon who writes and lectures extensively on the development of military medicine from 1840 to 1939. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and taught at the University of Illinois and University of Mississippi medical schools. He holds an MD degree from the Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine and an MS and PhD in neuropharmacology from Loyola-Chicago. He has recently published articles on military medical care in East Africa, Salonika, and North Russia, and aviation medicine during World War I. He is co-founder of the section on history of the Association of Neurological Surgeons and the U.S. branch of the Western Front Association.



Mississippi During World War II
Instructor: Jeff Giambrone
Cost: $75
Dates: Thursdays, April 6 – 20 (3 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7pm

World War II had a profound impact on the state of Mississippi, and this class will explore how the greatest conflict of the 20th century affected the Magnolia State. The first class will focus on the over 240,000 Mississippians who served in the military during World War II, and discuss the experiences they had while fighting in a global conflict. The second class will discuss life on the Mississippi home front during World War II, and explain the economic and social changes brought about by the war. The third class will concern the military installations built in Mississippi during the war, and the impact made by 1,000,000 men and women from all over the United States coming to work and train in the state from 1942 - 1945.

Jeff T. Giambrone is a native of Bolton, Mississippi, and has a B.A. in history from Mississippi State University and an M.A. in history from Mississippi College. He worked as a historian at the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg for 9 years, and as a historian at Communication Arts Company in Jackson for 7 years. Jeff is currently employed as a Historic Resources Specialist by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History in Jackson. He has published four books: Beneath Torn and Tattered Flags: A Regimental History of the 38th Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A, Vicksburg and the War (co-authored with Gordon Cotton), An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign & National Military Park, and Remembering Mississippi's Confederates.


Language and Literature

How to Edit What You Write
Instructor: Gerard Helferich
Cost: $110
Dates: Wednesday, April 5 – May 3 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Published authors will tell you that most of their time and effort is spent not in writing but in revising. In this hands-on class, writers of fiction and nonfiction will learn how to go from first draft to finished manuscript. Each session will focus on a specific topic — conciseness, precision, style, overwriting, and structure — and will include time for editing exercises. We will also analyze the work of past and present masters of the craft. At the end of the course, students will have a list of questions to consider as they review their future work.

Gerard Helferich is the author of four critically praised books, including High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta, which won the Authors Award for Nonfiction from the Mississippi Library Association. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he publishes reviews in the Wall Street Journal. He is on the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York and has presented workshops at the San Miguel Writers Conference. Before turning to writing in 2002, he was an editor and publisher for 25 years at companies such as Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, and John Wiley. For more, please visit



The Jane Austen Book Club: Celebrating 200 Years of Jane
Instructors: Carolyn Brown and Susan Allen Ford
Cost: $40
Date: Wednesday, April 12 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

This year Janeites all over the world mark the bicentennial of Jane Austen's death on July 18, 1817. In our next meeting of the Jane Austen Book Club, we will discuss Austen herself: her life and her legacy. Join Dr. Carolyn Brown and Dr. Susan Allen Ford as we read letters, biographical excerpts, and critical essays to learn more about our beloved author. What questions do you have about Jane Austen’s life? Here’s your opportunity to ask. Questions or areas of interest will be solicited from those registered two weeks before the class meeting, and readings for the class will be selected on that basis. Please contact Susan Allen Ford at or Carolyn Brown at using the subject line Jane Austen Book Club. 

Dr. Carolyn J. Brown earned her Master’s and Ph.D. at UNC-Greensboro and has taught at UNC-Greensboro, Elon University, and Millsaps College. She is the Regional Coordinator for the Mississippi Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her publications include articles in Notes on Mississippi Writers, College Language Journal, Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal, and the Eudora Welty Review, as well as three biographies: A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty (2012), Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker (2014), and The Artist’s Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark.

Dr. Susan Allen Ford is on the faculty of the Division of Languages and Literature at Delta State University, where she teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, particularly in composition and British literature. Since 2006, she has served as editor of the journals of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line. She is the author of many articles on Jane Austen and her contemporaries, and she is currently at work on a book about Austen.



Writing and Selling Short Stories Part I
Instructor: John Floyd
Cost: $110
Date: Mondays, April 3 – May 15 (7 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

This introductory course in how to write short fiction and get it published is intended for beginning writers as well as for established writers who want to hone their skills. The course will cover two areas: writing (first four sessions) and marketing (next three sessions). The overall course goal is to create a short story suitable for submission to a publication.

Writing and Selling Short Stories Part II
Instructor: John Floyd
Cost: $110
Date: Tuesdays, April 4 – May 16 (7 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

This follow-up course in how to write short fiction and get it published is intended for writers who have already completed the introductory course “Writing and Selling Short Stories Part I.” The class will cover advanced writing and marketing techniques, narrative structure, and the analysis of both literary and commercial short fiction. The overall course goal is to submit a previously written short story to a publication and to create and submit another by the end of the class.

Please note: Prerequisites for this class are a completed or nearly-completed short story to bring to the first class session and having completed Writing and Selling Short Stories Part I.

John Floyd’s work has appeared in more than 200 different publications, including The Strand Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and The Best American Mystery Stories 2015. A three-time Derringer Award winner and Edgar Award nominee, John is the author of six books: Rainbow’s End, Midnight, Clockwork, Deception, Fifty Mysteries, and Dreamland.



Transformational Writing: How to Find Your Voice
Instructor: Jean Farish
Cost: $110 (plus $15 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Date: Tuesdays, April 4 – 18 (3 class mtgs.) 
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

This course will provide an overview of transformational writing and will help emerging writers sharpen their skills, develop their unique voice, and discover their stories. A variety of writing forms will expand the student’s creative skills and talents. Literary works will be showcased in the classroom forum.



Money and Business

Basics of Investing
Instructor: Mark Maxwell
Cost: $80
Date: Mondays, April 3 – May 1 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm

Learn about ways to grow financially. Mark Maxwell will attempt to demystify stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds, options, timing, markets, taxation, tax shelter, and qualified plans. Using the internet for research and investing and point and figure stock charting will also be covered.

Please note: The material presented in this course is intended to inform but not to advise.

Mark Maxwell has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi, is an investment broker, and works in all areas of investments, including stocks, bonds, and retirement planning. He began his career with J.C. Bradford & Company as an investment broker in 1993 and is now associated with Morgan Keegan.



Introduction to Social Media and Content Strategy: The Basics
Instructor: Sophie Wolf
Cost: $50
Date: Tuesday, April 4 (1 class meeting)
Time: 6 – 9pm

People are talking about social media more than ever! This introductory course will cover all the basics of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms for businesses along with some tips for personal use. Is every platform right for you and your company? We’ll discuss best practices and how to strategize resources to make social platforms work for your specific needs.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Social Media Workshop
Instructor: Sophie Wolf
Cost: $50
Date: Tuesday, April 11 (1 class meeting)
Time: 6 – 9pm

Familiar with the mechanics of social media, but want to workshop with other professionals and learn new tricks? Our advanced social media workshop will discuss advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn; strategies for Snapchat; ideas for campaigns; how to work with other influencers to boost reach, useful apps and more.

Sophie Wolf, Marketing Coordinator at Millsaps College, earned a bachelor of liberal arts in journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi and a graduate certificate in the Millsaps Business Advantage Program. She has worked at the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the editor of Find It In Fondren magazine, and has done freelance work in Mississippi and nationally.



Beginning Guitar
Instructor: Jimmy Turner
Cost: $100 (plus guitar and a $12 materials fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Thursdays, April 6 - 27 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

You can learn to play the guitar! Its simplicity has made it one of the world's most popular musical instruments. In contrast to “concert classical guitar,” which may take a lifetime to master, simple "chord" strumming can be learned in just a few weeks. If you are interested primarily in learning to play casual “living room/campfire” guitar, all you need is a guitar, the desire to learn, and a little practice. This course will teach the basic skills of guitar accompaniment: the most common major, minor, and 7th chords, various strumming patterns, chord groupings, and a representative selection of folk songs. (Reading will not be taught in this course.)

Jimmy Turner has performed extensively throughout the South and Midwest. He has performed with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Opera, and The Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Turner has been heard in recital on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and he has served as an adjudicator for the Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs. He maintains an active private studio and a busy performing schedule. He serves on the adjunct faculty of Millsaps College and also teaches the Guitar Workshop through the Millsaps College Summer Enrichment Program.



Beginning Harmonica
Instructor: Scott Albert Johnson
Cost: $100 (plus harmonica)
Date: Mondays, April 3 - 24 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm

Ever wanted to learn to play the harmonica? The humble "harp" has become an integral part of many genres of contemporary music, from blues to rock, bluegrass to jazz. Whether you want to play songs around the campfire or trade licks with a blues band, now's your chance to get started with an instructional course from one of today's top rising professional players, right here in Jackson. In this beginner’s class, you will learn the rudiments of playing single notes, the differences between melodic and blues playing, the technique of bending notes, and basic songs and phrases.

Scott Albert Johnson was recently named one of the "Hot 100 Harmonica Players" worldwide by the Harmonica Company, a top UK-based harmonica retailer and website. He has shared the stage with such musical legends as Marty Stuart, James Burton, Dorothy Moore, and Mike Mills. Scott was voted "Best Musician" by the readers of the Jackson Free Press in 2009 and 2010. He won a Performing Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission for 2013-2014. Read more at


Personal Development

Jump Start Your Career with Volunteerism
Instructor: Jean Farish 
Cost: $100 (plus a $15 workbook fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Date: Saturdays, April 8 – 22 (3 class mtgs.)
Time: 10am – 12pm

This course will provide an overview of the concept of volunteerism, necessary skills, and ethical implications to become an effective volunteer, and how to transfer volunteer skills to the workplace. Students who are interested in volunteering and/or required to engage in service learning activities will learn skills to become competent and effective in various work environments.

Jean Farish, Ph.D., CRC, earned a B.A. degree at Tougaloo College, M.S. at Jackson State University and Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. At JSU, she has served as department chair and professor for School, Community and Rehabilitation Counseling; and Honorary Consultant at Universiti Sains Malaysia. She has specialized in community engagement and volunteerism and is a Life Care Coach. Dr. Farish is an award winner of the 4th global Transformation Author Experience (TAE) writing contest and has been inducted into the Bestselling Authors International Organization.



Personal Growth and Leadership Development
Instructor: Angela Butler
Cost: $100 (plus book purchase)
Dates: Thursdays, April 6 – May 4 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm

This personal growth class will be led by Angela Butler, a certified John C. Maxwell Coach. The session will help individuals become aware of their strengths, maximize their potential, and surmount challenges effectively while they learn to live with purpose.

You will need to purchase the book "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" by John C. Maxwell. The paperback book can be purchased online or from Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million for less than $20. The attendees should read the first three chapters of the book before the first meeting in April.

Angela Butler is a John C. Maxwell certified speaker, coach and trainer and provides personal and leadership training using practical principles to help individuals define purpose, surmount challenges and maximize untapped potential.



Understanding Your Dreams: A Brief Introduction
Instructor: Karen Mori Bonner
Cost: $45
Date: Saturday, March 25 (1 class mtg)
Time: 9am - 1pm

What are these images and stories that come in our sleep?  Do they mean anything?  Yes! If you want better self-understanding, better relationships and more inspiration and energy, come learn what your deeper wisdom is showing you in your dreams!

Karen Mori Bonner, MS, LPC, is a licensed counselor practicing in Ridgeland whose particular interest is in dreams and how understanding them can lead to health and wholeness. With a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Mississippi College, she sees individuals in her private practice, facilitates groups, and leads workshops on dreams. She is also affiliated with Three Oaks Behavioral Health as a group therapist specializing in dream work and journal therapy.



Special Offerings

ACT Test Prep Course
Instructor: Leonard Blanton
Cost:  $70
Date: Saturday, April 1 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 10am – 3:30pm
Date: Saturday, June 3 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 10am – 3:30pm

This test prep course is a fast-paced presentation of test-taking strategies designed to help college bound students to test nearer to their ability levels on reasoning tests such as ACT, SAT, etc. The course will assist students in identifying and addressing obstacles to optimum performance, including starting too late, no or incorrect information about the test, fear, fatigue, perfectionism, and/or lack of experience at solving counterintuitive problems. This common sense approach to improving scores includes subject matter connection, time management tips, and ways to build confidence. Students will be allowed two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch.

Please note: This course will NOT be a review of subject matter per se.

Leonard H. Blanton began working with test prep with his own children and has been giving ACT/SAT workshops for 30 years. He retired as an interconnection specialist after 36 years with BellSouth.



Backyard Astronomy
Instructor: Jim Waltman
Cost: $110 (plus $5 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 11 – May 9 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm 

Astronomy is one of the most challenging, beautiful, and rewarding hobbies! This is your chance to learn about the subject in non-pressured, instructor-led meetings and through “hands-on” experience. Surveying some of the simpler concepts of astronomy, this intro class also focuses on what can be observed, the tools used, types of observation specialties available, and the strategies for a successful observing session. Resources are identified to continue the learning process and for help along the way. A field trip to the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, located in downtown Jackson, is planned toward the end of the course. 

Retired computer consultant Jim Waltman is a past president and newsletter editor of the Jackson Astronomical Association, a member of the Planetary Society, and a member of the Astronomical League. A former adjunct professor of computer science, he has participated in the workshop for Mississippi astronomy educators at French Camp and has been an award-winning participant in local and regional Star Gatherings. Jim has 30 years experience in amateur astronomy.



Dance for Parkinson’s
Instructor: Krista Bower, Melissa Lea, Phoebe Pearigen
Cost: $50 per couple
Date: Mondays, May 15 and 22, June 5, 12, and 19
Time: 6 – 7pm

Millsaps College offers a program that incorporates music and dance for individuals with movement related disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). This program is led by professional dance instructors who have been trained by the founders of Dance for PD™ from the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson’s Group. Dance for PD classes are offered in over 100 communities and 9 countries, and we are fortunate to have the program here in Jackson, MS. This fun and interactive activity is designed to help individuals with PD improve their motor coordination and to provide a rich social environment to improve mood and cognition. Participants have described this activity as refreshing, stimulating, creative, and that it has facilitated friendships among the group. Classes are designed to assist individuals with a diverse range of motor abilities, as instructors teach dance phrases from both seated and standing positions. No prior dance experience is necessary. 

This program is offered one evening a week and caregivers are encouraged to participate alongside. Please join us in our growing community of friends. Please inquire at for information about scholarships.

Dance for Parkinson’s classes are partially supported by a fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Krista Bower, M.F.A., is a Specialty Instructor of Dance at Belhaven University and is the co-founder / co-director of Front Porch Dance in Jackson, MS. She is also owner and director of the Yazoo City School of Dance, where she teaches students of all ages. In 2013, Krista participated in a Dance for PD teacher training course, and she has enjoyed co-teaching weekly Dance for Parkinson’s classes at Millsaps since September of 2013.

Melissa Lea is Assistant Dean of Academic Advising and Student Support and associate professor of psychology at Millsaps.

Phoebe Pearigen has been involved in dance most of her life. She received her BA in Dance and Business Administration and an MFA in dance from Southern Methodist University. A community volunteer, she currently serves on the USA IBC Board of Directors.



Contact Us

For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education,, 601.974.1130.