Browse the Presenters


Hagood, Taylor

Taylor Hagood, Ph.D., is a professor of American literature at FAU. He has published several books, including “Faulkner; Writer of Disability”, (winner of the 2014 C. Hugh Holman Award for Best Book in Southern Studies), has lectured in venues throughout North America and Europe and was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Munich (2009-10).

Hennekens, Charles H.

Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., DrPH, FACPM is the first Sir Richard Doll Professor of Medicine and Senior Academic Adviser to the Dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine (COM) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Queens at age 10 and graduated from Queens College Phi Beta Kappa where he was inducted into the Achievement and Athletic Halls of Fame and the baseball stadium was dedicated in his name. He graduated from Cornell University Medical College and completed his residency in internal medicine at The New York Hospital. After 2 years as Lieutenant Commander as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention he went to Harvard and became the first John Snow Professor as well as the first Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and first Chief of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was ranked #81 in the history of the world for having saved over 1.1 million lives, ahead of Jonas Salk (83) and Henry Heimlich (101).

Herman, Helene

Helene Herman recently retired as President of a 400-member lifelong learning club in Florida that evolved from Brandeis Women and now lectures on a variety of historical and cultural topics both in person and via Zoom. Herman has more than 30 years of executive-level experience in global marketing for a variety of American manufacturers in diverse product areas. She earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from NYU; her background in cultural anthropology was instrumental in putting her on the path to her marketing career and her career as a Lifelong Learning lecturer.

Hoffman, Avi

Avi Hoffman was recently awarded Congressional recognition, was invited to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, and was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame for his lifetime work advancing Jewish culture, Yiddishkayt, and Holocaust awareness through the charity he founded the Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc. ( As an actor, he was nominated for a NY Drama Desk Award for his Yiddish language portrayal of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. He is best known for his Too Jewish Trilogy: Award-winning one-man shows Too Jewish, Too Jewish, Too! (PBS, Performer of the Year '95 - NY Press Magazine; L.A. OVATION award - Best Actor In a Musical 2001; NY Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award nominations) and his latest show Still Jewish After All These Years. On TV, he was featured as Sid Raskin in the Starz TV series Magic City, as well as on Netflix’s Bloodline, A&E’s The Glades, and the NBC series Law and Order. He starred in the International Award-winning short Yiddish Film: Shehita (Best Thriller - HollyShorts Festival) and the motion picture – The Imported Bridegroom. He was seen in the PBS documentary "They Came For Good: A History of the Jews in the US". Hoffman has performed all over the world, has numerous acting and directing credits, and has received multiple awards and nominations.
MacDonald & the Humdingers

Humdingers, Rod MacDonald & the

Rod MacDonald, guitarist inspired by many musicians, became one of Greenwich Village’s top singer-songwriters during the 1980s and today performs throughout North America and Europe. In South Florida, he has been named “Best Local Acoustic Artist” by New Times and one of the "Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County" by The Palm Beach Post, who named his 2014 CD, "Later That Night", "Best Local CD of 2014.” He has been a Music Americana instructor at FAU since 2006. Bill Meredith, drummer, is the backbone of several Palm Beach County rock and roll bands, including Big Brass Bed and Illumination. He has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada and appears on more than a dozen CDs. Brad Keller, keyboardist, has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and with Maynard Ferguson and the Ink Spots, is the jazz piano instructor at Palm Beach State College and has taught music in Palm Beach County public schools for twenty years. He is also the co-author of the Jazz Cats books used internationally to introduce young students to jazz. Doug Lindsey, bass and vocalist, has been playing in South Florida bands for 30 years. John Smotherman, lead guitarist, plays with Big Brass Bed, Illumination, and several Palm Beach County bands. His exquisite solos caused the Palm Beach Post to label him one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County.”