Community Enrichment Series - Spring 2018


Welcome to the Millsaps Enrichment Series for Spring 2018! We hope that what you read between these pages 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!

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.


Arts and Crafts

Beginning Photography

Instructor: Ron Blaylock
Cost: $185
Dates: Mondays, April 9 - 30 (4 class mtg.) 
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Dates: Mondays, April 9 - 30 (4 class mtgs) 
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

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.



Knitting a Cotton T-shirt

Instructor: Donna Peyton 
Cost: $70 (plus materials)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 - 24 (4 class mtgs) 
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

This class is for students who have a basic knowledge of knitting.  In this class, the students will learn to make a short-sleeved cotton t-shirt to fit their own measurements.  Students will learn garment construction from the bottom up.  Students need to know basic knitting skills, including casting on, knitting, purling, decreases, and binding off.  A list of supplies will be sent with class confirmation.


Knitting a Sock

Instructor: Donna Peyton
Cost: $70 (plus materials)
Dates: Tuesdays, May 1 – 22 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

In this class students will learn to knit a top down sock. Techniques covered in this class are turning a heel, picking up stitches, and gusset shaping. Students should already know knit and purl stitches, decreasing, and how to knit in the round.  A supply list will be sent with the registration 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.




Viking Knit

Instructor: Laura Tarbutton 
Cost: $45 (plus $25 supply fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesdays,  May 1 & May 8 (2 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

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, necklaces, rings and more.  We will learn the steps of Viking knit in the first class and complete a bracelet in the second class.

The class will meet at the instructor’s studio in Brandon; a map will be sent with confirmation.


Basic Enameling

Instructor: Laura Tarbutton
Cost: $45 (plus $40 supply fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesday, May 15 & 22 (2 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m

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.  The instructor will give a demonstration on how to enamel with a torch.  Students will complete either a pendant or a pair of earrings in this two evening class with the option to do more pieces as time permits.  The class will meet at the instructor’s studio in Brandon; a map will be sent with 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.



Intro to Mosaics: Garden Brick

Instructor: Teresa Haygood
Cost: $70 (plus $25 supply fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesday & Wednesday, May 15 & 16 (2 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

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.


Intermediate Mosaics: Mosaic on Clear Glass

Instructor: Teresa Haygood
Cost: $120 (plus $40 supply fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Monday & Tuesday,  April 9, 10, 16 & 17 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Don’t you just love the way sunlight shines through a stained glass window? This class will combine the beauty of color and light with the ancient art of mosaics.  Students will create a framed clear-glass mosaic that they can take home at the end of class. A beginner level knowledge of glass cutting and shaping will be helpful to the student, but not required.  Mosaic nippers/cutters are not included in the supply fee, but instructor will provide all tools necessary for use in class. This beautiful mosaic project will be the perfect edition to any sunlit window!

Teresa Haygood discovered her passion for mosaics somewhat accidentally. After several years of working in stained glass, she collected the leftover glass bits in hopes of using them someday.  In the summer of 1998, she put them to use and made her first mosaic.  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, where she is now a Fellow member.  Teresa creates custom mosaics for the home and garden, and her greatest joy is teaching this beautiful art form to others.



New! Paint & Antique Almost Anything Like a Pro

Instructor: Latresa Enns
Cost: $200 (plus $60 supply fee payable to the instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 – 24 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 – 24 (4 class mtgs)
Time 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Learn the proper way to paint, antique, and apply decorative finishes to furniture, cabinets and other surfaces at a fraction of the cost.  This is an intense DETAILED, hands-on paint class. You will learn how to paint with water-based paint (latex), oil-based paint, crack medium, gels, wax and different sealers.  In addition, you will make your own chalk paint, learn what materials work best on different surfaces and where to purchase assorted products without a professional license.  Upon completion of this course, you will know how to paint on many different surfaces, which products to use, and how to use them on furniture, kitchen cabinets, and other surfaces with confidence for under $100.  You will have a full color, step-by-step detailed manual to take home.  Wear old clothes.  This class will be held at the instructor’s studio in Madison, and there will be a $60 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 painting, decorating, restoring furniture, cabinets and other surfaces for 35 years.  Her earliest painting experience involved working with 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 broadened her expertise by taking professional decorative painting courses.




Irish Céilí and Set Dancing

Instructors: Alex McCord, Margaret Cupples, and members of Jackson Irish Dancers
Cost: $60 (*Includes an annual membership in Jackson Irish Dancers for those not already members.)
Dates: Mondays, April 9 - 30 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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 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 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! The class will meet at Applause Dance Factory in Ridgeland.  A map will be sent with class confirmation.

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, April 23 – May 14 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Dates: Mondays, July 23 – August 13
4 class mtgs)
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

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

Essential Oils 101

Instructor: Rebecca Laney-Meers
Cost: $50
Date: Thursday, April 19 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Date:  Thursday, May 24 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Curious about essential oils? Don’t know where to start? Start here! Learn the basics and proceed with confidence on your essential oil journey. We will cover how essential oils 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.



Boxers Rebellion® - Hybrid Kickboxing®

Instructors: Jeremy Gordon and Staff
Cost: $160
Dates: Wednesdays, April 4 – June 6 (10 class mtgs)
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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.



T'ai Chi (Taiji)

Instructor: Mike Chadwick
Cost: $150
Dates: Thursdays, April 5 – May 24 (8 class mtgs)
Time: 6:15 - 7:45 p.m.

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
Date: Tuesdays, April 17 – July 10 (12 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:15 – 7:30pm
Class will not meet July 3.

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


A Brief Architectural History of Woodland Hills

Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, April 5 (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 Woodland Hills neighborhoods. 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 architecture 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.


NEW! Mississippi’s Greek Revival Architecture

Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, April 12 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

From the well known National Historic Landmark Old Capitol to simple farmhouses and country stores, the Greek Revival was the dominant architectural style of Antebellum Mississippi.  Many people are familiar with the iconic white columned Plantation Houses that to many exemplify this style, even if they don't know what to call it.  However, few understand the complexity of this style that dominated Mississippi's architectural landscape from the 1830s until the 1870s and beyond.  In fact, it can be said that Mississippian's love for this style has never really gone away.

In this class we will discuss the academic background and history of the Greek Revival.  Then we will go on an architectural tour of the state showcasing many of the landmark buildings constructed in this style as well as many lesser known examples.  We will discuss where the style originated, when it first arrived in Mississippi and why it remains so popular after all these years.


NEW! The Architecture of Antebellum Jackson

Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, April 19 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Many people interested in the architecture of Antebellum or Civil War Jackson know about the devastation that the war brought to Jackson.  In fact, the devastation was so severe that many people have believed that the city was totally, or very nearly, destroyed.  This belief, supported by the eyewitness accounts of some soldiers during the war who referred to Jackson as "Chimneyville", has helped perpetuate this myth. But is this the whole story?

In this class we will discuss the architecture of Jackson, from the earliest structures built, including the surviving landmarks, to those completed right before the devastation of the war.


NEW! Fondren: A Brief Architectural History

Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Date: Thursday, May 3 (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Fondren was originally known as Asylum Heights due to its proximity to the original State Mental Asylum.  After a post office was established in the 1890s, the settlement took the name of the Fondren family, early settlers in the area who were instrumental in developing the community we know today.   From these early beginnings, through the prosperity of the mid 20th century to its current revival, Fondren has remained a strong and vibrant community.

In this class we will discuss the architectural history of Fondren, one of Jackson's best known neighborhoods.

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.


Language and Literature

How to Edit What You Write

Instructor: Gerard Helferich
Cost: $110
Dates: Mondays, April 2 - 30 (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



How to Sell What You Write

Instructor: James L. Dickerson
Cost: $150
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 – May 1 (5 class mtgs)
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

This course is designed to help writers and would-be writers sell what they write to editors. It is suitable for unpublished writers and professionals who want to sell books and magazine articles to national publications. The instructor will provide one-on-one evaluations of nonfiction book proposals, magazine query letters, synopses and first chapters of novels. Also discussed will be selling to the movies and what to expect from movie contracts.

James L. Dickerson, award-winning author of more than 30 published books and more than 2,000 magazine and newspaper articles, is the founder of Sartoris Literary Group, a traditional book publisher. He is a former staff writer with The Commercial Appeal and a contributor to various magazines, including Good Housekeeping and BookPage.



NEW!  The Jane Austen Book Club: The Paradox of Persuasion

Instructors: Carolyn J. Brown and Susan Allen Ford
Cost: $40
Date: Wednesday, April 18  (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

In the latest installment of the Jane Austen Book Club, we look at Austen’s final novel, Persuasion, on the 200th anniversary of its publication. Persuasion has been described as both “the warmest and the coldest of Jane Austen’s works, the softest and the hardest.” How can a novel be both? Led by Carolyn Brown, Regional Coordinator for the Mississippi Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and Susan Allen Ford, professor of English at Delta State University and editor of Persuasions, the scholarly journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America, the class will examine the characters, backgrounds, themes and critical questions that create the paradox of Persuasion.

Dr. Carolyn J. Brown has taught at UNC-Greensboro, Elon University, and Millsaps College, and currently teaches high school English at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. 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 her most recent book, 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 what Austen’s characters are reading.



The Power of Story: Women Owning Their Voices

Instructor: Catherine Gray
Cost: $150 (plus $5 materials fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Thursdays, April 5 -  May 10 (6 class mtgs)
Time: 6:30 – 8pm

We all carry stories. In this class for women, we will mine our stories through writing exercises that help us learn about ourselves, embrace our individual journey, and write our own daring endings. We will explore what it means to “own our story” and experience how honest storytelling creates a path to courage and connection. Get the words out of your body and onto the page. Experience your voice on the page becoming your voice in the world.

Catherine Gray is an experienced writing teacher who empowers people to find their voice and process their experiences through writing.  She is the author of the blog Unsilenced Woman, where she shares her own journey of the hard work of transformation, connecting with readers across the world.  Her writing and editorial experience includes work with Portico Jackson magazine and The Jackson Free Press, as well as serving as editor-in-chief of The Purple & White newspaper at Millsaps College.  She holds an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi and has trained at the Teachers College Writing Institute at Columbia University.



To Tell the Truth: The Art of Creative Nonfiction

Instructor: Ellen Ann Fentress
Cost: $110
Dates:  Mondays, April 2 – May 7 (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, Scalawag and other literary journals, as well as on state public radio. The producer-director of the documentary film Eyes on Mississippi, she is an M.F.A. graduate of Bennington College.  In 2018, she is Visiting Writer in the Mississippi University for Women’s low-residency MFA program in creative writing.



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)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 – May 8  (6 class mtgs)
Time:  6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

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
Dates: Mondays, April 2 - 30 (5 class mtgs)
Time: 5:30 – 7pm

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 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.


NEW!  Facebook Advertising

Instructor:  Sophie Wolf 
Cost:  $50
Date:  Tuesday, April 10  (1 class mtg)
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Familiar with the mechanics of social media, but want to up your Facebook advertising game? This class will help walk you through placing ads on Facebook and targeting to various markets.


Beyond the Basics: Advanced Social Media Workshop

Instructor: Sophie Wolf
Cost: $50
Date:  Tuesday, April 17 (1 class mtg)
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, Creative Content Manager 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 and Explore LeFleur magazines, and has done freelance work in Mississippi and nationally.



Beginning Harmonica

Instructor: Scott Albert Johnson
Cost: $100 (plus harmonica)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 - 24 (4 class mtgs)
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

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)
Dates: Thursdays, April 5 – May 10  (6 class mtgs)
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

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.



Understanding Your Dreams: A Brief Introduction

Instructor: Karen Mori Bonner
Cost: $45
Date: Saturday, April 14 (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!

Instructor: Gretchen Cook
Cost: $125 (+ $15 materials fee payable to instructor at first class meeting)
Dates: Thursdays, April 5 - 26 (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, April 7 (1 class mtg)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, June 2 (1 class mtg)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, July 7 (1 class mtg)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, August 25 (1 class mtg)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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.



Dance for Parkinson’s

Instructors: Krista Bower, Phoebe Pearigen and Mariah Henry
Cost: $40 per couple
Dates: Mondays, April 9 - 30 (4 class mtgs) 
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

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.

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.

Mariah Henry will graduate with a BFA in Dance from Belhaven University in May of 2018.  She has taught ages six to adult in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and modern dance at various studios since 2013.



The Art of the Home

Instructor: Rick Griffin
Cost: $130
Dates: Tuesdays, April 3 -  May 22 (8 class mtgs)
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

This 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.


Contact Us

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