Community Enrichment Series - Fall 2017


Since 1972, Millsaps College has offered to the Greater Jackson community a variety of opportunities through the Community Enrichment Series. These noncredit courses are open to individuals 16 and older of any race, color, gender, national or ethnic origin. They have no prerequisites, no grades, and no exams. Enrichment courses are available in the fall, winter and spring.

We hope these courses inspires you to stretch your mind, pursue a passion, update your skills, or discover your gift or special interest. These noncredit classes for adults add to the richness of your life—sign up for one today!


Arts and Crafts

Basic Enameling
Instructor: Laura Tarbutton
Cost: $40 (plus $40 supply fee that is payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Date: Tuesdays, September 19 & 26 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Create your unique jewelry and learn enameling techniques including the importance of counter enameling, differences in mesh size, and using glass stringers, twisters and millefiori. Students will complete either a pendant or earring project in this two evening class with the option to complete more projects time permitting. The class will meet at the instructor’s studio in Brandon; a map will be mailed with the confirmation. Other optional supplies will be available for purchase for more projects (time permitted).

Precious Metal Clay Medallion
Instructor: Laura Tarbutton
Cost: $30 (plus $20 supply fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesday, October 3 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Students will create a stylized medallion using Precious Metal Clay and various tools that will be attached to a leather cord to create a necklace. Hour 1: Create the medallion using your own inspiration letting it dry and cleaning the edges. Hour 2: We will learn how to torch-fire Precious Metal Clay, clean and patina the medallion and complete the project. A supply list will be sent with the registration confirmation.

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, September 19 – October 10 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 9 – 10:30am
Dates: Tuesdays, September 19 – October 10 (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.



** FULL ** Calligraphy – the Art of Beautiful Writing
Instructor: Cathy O’Rear
Cost: $110 (plus $35 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Thursdays, September 21 – October 12 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm
Class size is limited to 15.

Experience the art of calligraphy by learning the Copperplate hand. We will use a pointed nib and dip ink to make these graceful letterforms and learn how to address an envelope, make a bookmark, or write a short poem. Step away from the keyboard for a bit while we make beautiful physical marks on lovely paper.

Cathy O'Rear has studied calligraphy since 1981 and has enjoyed helping clients with their projects (weddings, signage, family trees, etc.). It is a great pleasure for her to share her lifelong love of letters.



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, October 10 & 11 (2 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm
Dates: Tuesday & Wednesday, October 24 & 25 (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.



Beginning Knitting I
Instructor: Donna Peyton
Cost: $70 (plus materials)
Date: Tuesdays, September 19 - October 10 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

Knitting is the art of creating fabric from thread and two needles. Begun out of the necessity of creating clothing for protection from the elements, knitting has evolved into a creative hobby that produces not only practical but fashionable garments and accessories. In this beginner class instructor Donna Peyton will teach students basic knitting techniques such as casting on, knitting, purling, decreasing stitches, binding off, and seaming. Projects completed will include a washcloth, a hat, and fingerless mitts. A list of supplies will be sent with the class confirmation.

Beginning Knitting II
Instructor: Donna Peyton
Cost: $70 (plus materials)
Date: Tuesdays, October 17 - November 7 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm 

This class is a continuation of the part I class. Students will learn cable and lace stitches and knitting in the round. Projects included in this class are two scarves, a hat, and a cowl. A list of supplies will be sent with the class confirmation. 

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.



An Introduction to Observational Drawing – for the Absolute Beginner
Instructor: Richard Cawthon
Cost: $50
Date: Monday, September 18 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Would you like to gain the confidence and knowledge to begin to explore drawing on your own? This class will introduce some basic drawing techniques and you will discuss how to perceive shape, proportion and placement in order to be able to draw. The goal of this class is to give participants who may think they “can’t draw a stick man,” the confidence and knowledge to begin to explore drawing on their own. If you have never done observational drawing before, this class will introduce you to some of the basic skills and concepts in only one evening.

Introduction to Observational Drawing - Developing the Basic Skills
Instructor: Richard Cawthon
Cost: $150 
Date: Mondays, September 25 – October 23 (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, but will extend over five weeks, offering more thorough instruction, more demonstrations, more practical exercises, and exposure to additional materials and methods.

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.



Watercolor Painting
Instructor: Laurel Schoolar
Cost: $125 (plus supplies)
Dates: Tuesdays, September 19 – October 24 (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. Watercolor paints are portable and offer easy clean up. They are economical and classes are comfortable and fun. 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 BFA 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. Laurel is a professional artist who draws and paints daily.



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, October 8, November 5, and December 3 (3 class mtgs.)  (Take one, two or all three classes; each will cover different material and all are beginner-friendly.)
Time: 3 – 5pm

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, September 18 – October 9 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 10 – 11:30am
Dates: Mondays, October 16 – November 6 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 10 -11:30am
Dates: Mondays, November 13 – December 4 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 10 -11:30am

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. 



Introduction to Ballroom Dancing
Instructor: Mike and Lisa Day
Cost: $100 per person
Dates: Mondays, October 2 - 23 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm

This four week course, which will be taught at Dance Connection Ballroom Dance Center in Pearl, teaches the basics of six of the most popular social dances:  Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Cha-Cha, and Single Step Swing. Sandals and backless shoes are not recommended.

Mike and Lisa Day teach at Dance Connection, central Mississippi’s largest and most popular social/ballroom dance studio. Please visit their website:



Health and Fitness

Introduction to Tennis (Adult Group Class)
Instructors: Millsaps Varsity Tennis Team under the directorship of Coach Jason Box
Cost: $130
Date: Mondays, October 2 – November 20 (8 class mtgs.)
Time: 5:30 – 6:30pm

Get weekly instruction from Millsaps varsity tennis players under the supervision of Head Coach Jason Box. This adult group class is for beginners who have never picked up a racquet or for anyone wanting to increase the skills they already have. You will learn all the strokes, how to keep score, match strategy, and doubles play.  

This is your opportunity to learn the basics of a wonderful life-long sport. Get weekly instruction from Millsaps varsity tennis players under the supervision of Head Coach Jason Box. This adult group class is for beginners who have never picked up a racquet or for anyone wanting to increase the skills they already have. You will learn all the strokes, how to keep score, match strategy, and doubles play. Classes will be one hour long and will consist of drills, point play, and games. You must bring your own racquet and water bottle.

Advanced Tennis
Instructor: Coach Jason Box
Cost: $130
Dates: Wednesdays, October 11 – November 15 (6 class mtgs.)
Time: 5:15 – 6:15pm 

This class is open to adults who have a USTA NTRP rating of 4.0 or higher. It is also open to students who are currently on a varsity college tennis team. We will teach match strategy, advanced technical skills, and have video analysis. Classes will be one hour long and you must bring your own racquet and water bottle.

Jason Box, who has been the Millsaps Men's and Women's Head Tennis Coach since 2011, is a former two-time All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tennis player and captain at the University of the South. Box’s players have earned 14 All-conference awards for the men and 12 for the women, including Malte Schick recognized as the SAA Men’s Player of the Year in 2013 and Diego Marti-Vertiz earning the Men’s Newcomer of the Year award in 2015. In 2012 Box was selected the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Women’s Coach of the Year and in 2015 he was named the SAA Men’s Coach of the Year.



Boxers Rebellion® - Hybrid Kickboxing®
Instructors: Jeremy Gordon and Staff
Cost: $160
Date: Wednesdays, September 20 – November 29 (10 class mtgs.) (Please note: class will not meet November 22)
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 B.S. degree.



Essential Oils 101
Instructor: Rebecca Laney-Meers
Cost: $50
Date: Monday, September 25 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6 – 8pm 
Date: Thursday, October 26 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6 – 8pm 

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! Learn how!

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.



** FULL ** T'ai Chi (Taiji)
Instructor: Mike Chadwick
Cost: $150
Date: Thursdays, October 5 – November 30 (8 class mtgs.) (Class will not meet November 23)
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, September 19 – December 5 (12 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:15 – 7:30pm

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.



Fundamentals of Baseball
Instructor: Coach Scott DeLoach
Cost: $130
Dates: Mondays, September 18 – November 27 (10 class mtgs.) 
Please note: Class will not meet October 9.

Time: 4:30 – 5:30pm

This class is for college level and above players as well as high school and college coaches.

The class will cover different gameplay techniques (from player and coach view) as well as different methods/theories of situations. Video analysis techniques will also be covered.

Scott DeLoach returned to Millsaps in 2014 as an assistant baseball coach and the recruiting coordinator after one season at East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi.

In his first two-year stint at Millsaps from 2012-13, DeLoach assisted with recruiting, oversaw the catchers and helped with the hitters. He coached Millsaps catcher Wes Perkins to first team All-American status in 2013. Also in 2013, DeLoach was a member of the Southern Athletic Conference (SAA) and south region coach of the year staff that helped the Majors win the SAA regular season, tournament championship, and south region en route to the College World Series. Prior to Millsaps, DeLoach played three years for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He started his senior season as a catcher and led the team with a .353 average including seven doubles, one triple, one home run, and 21 RBIs in 47 games played. DeLoach was a member of the MSU team in 2007 that reached the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

DeLoach was a two time SEC Honor Roll recipient and graduated from Mississippi State in the Fall of 2009 with a degree in physical education. He earned his Master’s in 2011 in sports administration.


Heritage and History

Jackson’s North State Street – An Architectural History
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Thursday, September 21 (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, October 26 (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.

A Brief Architectural History of Woodland Hills
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, October 5 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

As with any place, Woodland Hills 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, and so on. To more recent arrivals, Woodland Hills means beautiful tree lined streets and magnificent mansions, including one designed by one of America’s most famous architects

In this class, we will examine the built environment of one of Jackson’s most architecturally significant historic neighborhoods, 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 discuss the famous architects involved in the design of several of these houses.

The Great Antebellum Mansions of Natchez: A Behind the Scenes Tour
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, October 12 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Have you ever visited the great antebellum mansions of Natchez and wanted to learn more about them? For example, what architectural style are they? Who were the designers and builders who created such beautiful places? Why, and how, have they retained so much of their historic character?

In this class, we will examine in detail the architectural history of many of these great mansions and discuss the architects/designers who produced them. We will also delve into the history of many of them and discuss the changes that they have undergone. Many of them originally looked quite different than they do today while some have survived with very little alterations. All of them have interesting stories that deserve to be told.

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, November 7 & 9  (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 M.D. degree from the Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine and an M.S. and Ph.D. 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, September 21 – October 5 (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: Mondays, October 30 – November 27 (5 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

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 the tools they need to revise their own 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 staff 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: Making Sense of Sanditon
Instructors: Carolyn Brown and Susan Allen Ford
Cost: $40
Date: Wednesday, November 8 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

On March 18, 1817, apparently too ill to continue writing, Jane Austen stopped work on the manuscript of the eleven-chapter fragment we call Sanditon. Join Dr. Carolyn Brown and Dr. Susan Allen Ford to discuss this intriguing novel set at a seaside resort struggling to become fashionable. We’ll consider Austen’s take at the end of her life on hypochondria, economic speculation, and romance, and we may speculate ourselves on what direction this novel—and Austen’s career—might have taken.

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 WritersCollege Language JournalPersuasions: 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 (2017).

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.



To Tell the Truth: The Art of Creative Nonfiction
Instructors: Ellen Ann Fentress
Cost: $115 (plus $5 materials fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Date: Mondays, September 18 – October 23 (6 class mtgs)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

In this class, participants will explore nonfiction forms, including memoir, personal essay, humor, and criticism. We'll look at ways to generate potential topics and explore narrative writing basics. Not only will participants write two major pieces but they also will develop sharper eyes as readers and stronger everyday skills as writers.

Ellen Ann Fentress's essays have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Oxford American and other literary journals, as well as on Mississippi Public Radio. The producer-director of the documentary film Eyes on Mississippi, she is an M.F.A. graduate of Bennington College.



Writing and Selling Short Stories Part I (Intro Class)
Instructor: John Floyd
Cost: $110
Date: Mondays, September 18 – October 30 (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 (Advanced Class)
Instructor: John Floyd
Cost: $110
Date: Tuesdays, September 19 - October 31 (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 250 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, September 19 – October 10 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

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. Publishing opportunities will be shared. 


Money and Business

Basics of Investing
Instructor: Mark Maxwell
Cost: $80
Date: Mondays, September 18 – October 16 (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 shelters, 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 BS 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, September 26 (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, October 3 (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, October 5 - 26 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm

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, October 9 – November 6 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm
Class will not meet October 23.

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 a featured guest artist with the Boston Pops in May 2017. He won a Performing Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission for 2013-2014. Read more at



Instructor: David Womack
Cost: $100
Date: Mondays, September 18 - October 9 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm

A lighthearted look at the craft of songwriting, this course includes constructing lyric/music; learning about copyrights/contracts/licenses; making a song a hit; and producing demos that attract music publisher/producers. Writing for the theater and how to create a “jingle” for radio/television advertising will also be discussed. A general knowledge of music and chords is helpful.

David Womack is an ASCAP award winning songwriter/publisher. He is the two time recipient of the Eudora Welty New Play Series Award and received a Parents Choice Award for his children’s CD Hold Your Nose When You Swallow A Goat. He is the children’s music teacher at Galloway United Methodist Church and performs in various venues around the state. He has had songs recorded by John Conlee, Stella Parton, Lou Reid, and Don Henry.



NEW! Music and the Mind: Listening Intelligently to Symphonic Music
Instructor: Dr. Tim Coker
Cost: $150
Date: : Thursdays, September 21 – November 9 (8 mtgs)
Time: 6 – 8pm

This new class will give you an overview of major musical organizational principles. Dr. Tim Coker will help you hone the skills you need to listen to classical music, especially orchestral music. You will begin to understand repetition constructs from music and get lots of practice in hearing.

Participants will need to download music from iTunes ($0.99 - $1.50 per song).

Timothy Coker, Emeritus Professor of Music at Millsaps College, taught music theory, conducting, symphonic literature, church music literature, music: as a way of knowing, and was chair of the music department for fifteen years. He conducted the Millsaps Singers and Millsaps Chamber Singers and has made numerous national and international tours with these ensembles. A past member of the board of directors of Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and a former chairman of the board, Coker continues to pursue his interest in assisting concertgoers to hear better and appreciate more deeply works presented by MSO at the Bravo Series concerts. This has led him to explore how the mind and music intertwine, especially how music can be used to improve mental health and extend quality of life for persons with dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.


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, September 23 – October 14 (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.



Mindfulness, Compassion and Buddha’s Way
Instructor: Bebe Wolfe 
Cost: $110
Date: Thursdays, September 21 – October 26 (6 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 8pm

The class is an introduction to The Buddha’s core teaching of The Four Noble Truths and how this conceptual framework relates to ‘mindfulness’ meditation. The course is geared toward experiential exploration though class discussion and guided meditation practices, rather than focusing solely on philosophical or historical overview. The class will introduce practical applications of meditation in everyday life and ‘Metta’ or ‘Lovingkindness’ practice. Homework will be offered for the week between class meetings.

Elizabeth Wolfe, “Bebe”, as she is called, grew up in an environment that was rich in creative potential. She is the daughter of two artists, Karl and Mildred Wolfe. She attended the Portland School of Art in Portland Maine from 1980 -1984, and received a BFA in painting.

Bebe and her husband David Weidemann moved back to Jackson in 1985 to help Bebe’s mother Mildred with the studio business. The Wolfe Studio is today a full time business, employing many talented artists from the area.

Bebe’s interest in Buddhism and meditation began twenty years ago with an introduction to Zen practice. In 2002 she and David designed and built the Meditation Dojo on their property to provide a place for the Jackson Zen Group to practice. Bebe served as the facilitator for the Jackson Zen Group from 1995 to 2012. She is now helping to facilitate practice for the Jackson Insight Meditation Group. She also acts as host to two other meditation groups that use the Dojo every week as a place of practice.



15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
Instructor: Angela Butler
Cost: $100 (plus book purchase)
Dates: Thursdays, September 21 – October 19 (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 3 chapters of the book before the first meeting.

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, October 7 (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.



Organize Your Life: The Full Length Course
Instructor: Gretchen Cook
Cost: $125 (+ $15 materials fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Date: Thursdays, October 19 – November 9 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

This is the year you were going to get organized, isn’t it? It’s not too late! As participants in this workshop will learn, organization has more to do with how you think than how many shelves you have in your closet or how many tabs you have in your DayTimer. With a little practice and the right thinking tools, anyone can learn how to become more organized, resulting in less stress in daily living. This four-week class will equip you with principles you can put to work immediately to conquer areas of chaos in your life. By meeting weekly for four weeks and completing homework assignments, participants will learn and employ organizational principles in their lives. The objective is to create an opportunity for real behavioral change during a month-long adventure into great organization.

This class will meet at the instructor’s office. A map will be sent with the confirmation.

Gretchen W. Cook, a former academic library director and publisher of Parents & Kids Magazine, developed methods to assist coworkers in organizing work areas, processes, and projects. These same skills can be applied to any setting from home to church to work.


Special Offerings

ACT Test Prep Course
Instructor: Leonard Blanton
Cost:  $70
Date: Saturday, August 26 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 10am – 3:30pm
Date: Saturday, October 21 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 10am – 3:30pm
Date: Saturday, December 2 (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, September 19 – October 17 (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, Phoebe Pearigen
Cost: $100 per couple
Date: Mondays, September 18 – November 27 (10 class mtgs) (Class will not meet October 9)
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, MFA, is the Chair of the Dance Department at Belhaven University and is the co-founder / co-director of Front Porch Dance in Jackson, MS. She is also owner / director of the Yazoo City School of Dance. 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.

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.



NEW! The Art of the Home
Instructor: Rick Griffin
Cost: $130
Dates: Tuesdays, September 19 – November 7 (8 class mtgs.)
Time: 6 – 7:30pm

This new class will focus on your home’s overall look. In past classes Rick focused on the function and now he is turning his focus on your home as a piece of art.

These areas of the home will be discussed from the standpoint of a work of art: placement of your home on the landsite, decorating your home with plants, balancing hard and soft, understanding line, form, color and texture, and lighting. You will be introduced to the art of master planning and space planning and choosing and placing the most suitable furnishings for your home. This class will meet at Latitudes, 1491 Canton Mart Square, Jackson on six Tuesdays. Two classes will meet at residential homes and will showcase what the art of the home encompasses. Directions will be provided.

Rick Griffin is a landscape architect in private practice. He received his bachelor of landscape architecture degree from Mississippi State University, where he was named the first outstanding alumnus in the School of Landscape Architecture. His work has been featured in Southern Living, Mississippi, Family Circle, Delta, Mississippi Gardener, Landscape Architecture, Stages, Portico, and VIP magazines and the Clarion Ledger newspaper. His hobbies include painting and gardening. Rick is also an owner of Latitudes Design Center, a unique home furnishing and accessories store in Jackson.



NEW! Wine and Home Gardening Tips
Instructor: John Malanchak
Cost: $100 (plus $25 supply fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting)
Dates: Thursdays, September 21 – October 12 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 5:30 – 6:45pm

Come join professional geologist John Malanchak as he discusses Wine and Home Gardening Tips.

As a Certified Sommelier, John will guide us through a tasting of twelve wines from around the world with discussion on the geology, soils, and climate of each wine region. Additionally, we will go through the steps in evaluating a wine for quality.

As a Certified Mississippi Master Gardener, John will discuss home gardening tips such as soil preparation, how to select and maintain your turf grass, what you need to know before you buy shrubs, control of insects, plant diseases, weeds, and pruning techniques.

John Malanchak is a professional geologist, certified sommelier, wine instructor and consultant, certified Mississippi Master Gardener, and certified Mississippi Master Naturalist.


Contact Us

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