MEET THE PRESENTERS
Giuseppe Albanese attended the University of Vermont and received his degree in history in 1966. In 1989, after five years of intensive study, he developed a dynamic education program entitled "The Joy of Opera." For the past 30 years, he has lectured extensively on numerous operatic subjects and has produced several video documentaries. Albanese has been presenting at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU for more than 25 years.
Burton Atkins, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of political science at Florida State University (FSU). Currently, he teaches political science at FAU and Penn State University. In his 35-year career at FSU, Atkins taught a variety of courses on and wrote extensively about constitutional law and U.S. politics and served as chair of the political science department. He lived in London from 1992 to 1997 while serving as the director of FSU's London Study Center, and from 1997 until his retirement in 2006, he served as director of the FSU International Affairs Program.
John Avlon is a senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. He is an award-winning columnist and the author of Independent Nation, Wingnuts, Washington’s Farewell, and Lincoln and the Fight for Peace. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast and served as chief speechwriter for the Mayor of New York during the attacks of 9/11. He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover and their two children in New York.
Mitchell Bard, Ph.D., is the executive director of the nonprofit American‑Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and an authority on U.S.‑Middle East policy. Bard is the director of the Jewish Virtual Library, the world's most popular and comprehensive online encyclopedia of Jewish history. He earned a doctoral degree in political science from UCLA and a master's degree in public policy from Berkeley. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from UCSB and has been named one of the "top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life" by the Algemeiner Journal. He has appeared on national and international media outlets and is the author/editor of 22 books.
Zachary Bartholomew, DMA is an award-winning pianist, composer, and music educator who maintains an active performance career as one of the most heavily sought-after pianists, accompanists, and sidemen in South Florida. He has headlined national and international jazz festivals with his band, toured across the country, and has placed as one of the top three finalists in the highly acclaimed Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition on two separate occasions. He is the pianist in the Gulf Coast Symphony’s Jazz Collective, the Lake Wales Jazz Connection, and regularly performs with professional organizations such as the Naples Philharmonic and Sarasota Pops Orchestra. In addition to his active performance career, Bartholomew is a full-time professor at Florida Memorial University and is actively involved in music education and outreach. One current project is his state-funded “Jazz Access Tour,” an outreach program that aims to provide underserved communities and schools in Florida with world-class public performances and educational programs.
William Baxley, P.E. has more than 30 years of experience in ocean engineering and offshore operations, including 16 years as a U.S. Navy test engineer and diving officer. He has been involved in all aspects of ocean technology, including all class of underwater vehicles, advanced diving operations, and deployment/recovery operations of large complex systems. He is proficient in finite element cable and structure modeling and is active in several design projects for ocean energy and academic research projects. He currently serves as Chief Engineer for Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC). He is responsible for the overall planning, operation, and maintenance of an offshore ocean energy test facility, and all technical support for center users.