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Division of Continuing Education


Welcome to our diverse community of talented instructors, each bringing a unique blend of passion, expertise, and creativity to our learning environment. Our team of instructors is committed to inspiring and guiding you on your educational journey. Whether you're embarking on a creative exploration, honing your skills, or seeking personal well-being, our accomplished instructors are dedicated to fostering an enriching experience.

Denise BaudinetDenise Baudinet

Denise Baudinet, born and raised in France, is a proficient Language Consultant with over 40 years of experience instructing in Florida. She is a highly motivated, self-driven entrepreneur. She currently teaches the French language to students of all ages and at different levels. As part of her instruction, she shares her knowledge of the peculiarities of the French language, history, culture, and savoir-faire.

John Boles headshotJohn Boles

John Boles is an award-winning writer and TV & film professional with more than thirty years of experience. He has developed and taught creative writing courses for UNF as well as served as an adjunct professor in the Film Department at Jacksonville University. John currently works as an editor, writing coach, and script doctor, having mentored many novelists, nonfiction authors, poets, and screenwriters. He has also been a judge for a number of screenwriting and creative writing competitions. John has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2013.

PlaceholderKen Connors

Ken Connors, along with his wife Cee Cee, are enthusiastic, multi-talented musicians with a passion for instructing others. Ken has played guitar for almost 50 years and ukulele for almost 10 years. He also plays dobro, banjo, bass, and just picked up the mandolin. Cee Cee plays bass and assists Ken with classes, providing demonstrations and lessons for beginners. Together, they have taught ukulele workshops at the Barberville folk festivals, and for the past year have been teaching ukulele at the Southside Senior Center.

Jenny Lee CorvoJenny Lee Corvo

Jenny Lee Corvo, with a robust background in art, writing, and education, has spent years at the forefront of Generative Artificial Intelligence, focusing on its application to broaden access to creative tools. As the Director of Knowledge at Singularity University, she plays a pivotal role in educating leaders on the impact of exponential technologies, drawing on nearly two decades of teaching experience. Her expertise in GenAI, coupled with her commitment to democratizing technology, positions her as a key figure in shaping how individuals and businesses harness creativity and innovation.

PlaceholderDiana Dempsey

Diana Dempsey is a professional artist and Grumbacher-certified art teacher. Her background is in numerous art mediums including watercolor, acrylics, and fiber arts. She has taught art classes at retail centers, after-school programs, and community centers. As an art instructor, Diana fosters a fearless learning environment by encouraging students of all abilities to explore their creativity and develop artistic freedom beyond traditional methods. Diana has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2022.

Ashley Gilbert headshotAshley Gilbert

Ashley Gilbert is a financial coach, educator, and professional trader with over two decades of trading experience in the market. She has woven the art of trading into an enriching passion for coaching others. Her unique approach involves crafting trading strategies as tangible "recipes," thereby providing students with clear, concise directions to navigate the complexities of the market. Described as a calling rather than a profession, Ashley’s teaching philosophy is to empower students to take control of their investments. “The joy I experience when I see individuals in my classes at UNF DCE embrace the challenge of financial education is truly gratifying. The camaraderie among these eager learners fosters an environment of positivity and readiness to absorb the intricacies of the financial landscape.” Ashley has taught this investment series for the Division of Continuing Education since 2018.

Elinor GrabarElinor Grabar

Elinor Grabar is a Level 2 certified Iyengar yoga teacher and has been teaching all levels of yoga in the Jacksonville area for over 18 years. She teaches students how to safely and mindfully practice yoga for various structural imbalances and conditions like spinal arthritis, hip dysplasia, scoliosis, or general stiffness. Her studio classes range from beginners to advanced, online and in-person, and guides students of all ages to develop their own home yoga practice. El has taught yoga with the Division of Continuing Education since 2013.

Becky Harmon headshotBecky Harmon

Becky Harmon is an interior designer and owns Transformations Staging & Redesign School, the oldest and most awarded home staging company in North Florida. She has been transforming homes in Jacksonville as an interior designer and home stager since 1993. She teaches classes which attract students from all over the US. She speaks frequently at stager conferences and has been voted one of the 100 Most Influential People in RE Staging in the USA 4 years in a row. Becky has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2013.

Stephen Knifton headshotStephen Knifton

Stephen Knifton previously produced news for network television for 15 years and ran an independent production company. He won a Peabody and an Emmy for his work. He now focuses on mobile production, teaching courses and workshops on smartphone production and post-production. Stephen has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2021.

Rosan LarizzaRosan Larizza

Rosan Larizza is a trained and certified intuitive hypnotist. She completed training with Goldlite Hypnosis Institute and became certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists in 2007. She has completed numerous courses in specialized areas, such as regression, anger management, weight loss, irrational fears, and smoking cessation. Rosan has successfully guided clients through hypnosis to help them make positive changes, so that every day in every way, their lives will get better. In addition to practicing hypnotism (in both English and Spanish), she has taught writing, literature, English as a second language, accent reduction, and Spanish. Rosan has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2017.

Karen O'BrienKaren O’Brien

Karen O’Brien is a licensed agent in FL, GA, NC, SC, TN, ME, AZ, PA, and DE. She has worked in the insurance industry since 1995 and specialized in Medicare solutions since 2012. As a teacher of Social Security and Medicare classes, her goal is to ensure students have the information they need to make informed decisions for their healthcare. Karen has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2014.

John Reed headshotJohn Reed

John Reed is a professional photographer with over 18 years of experience teaching in the classroom and in-the-field workshops. He has been widely published in local and national magazines and websites. He has been awarded honors for his photographs locally and nationally. His images are displayed nationwide in a variety of professional offices, healthcare facilities, military bases, and more, including many private homes. John has taught photography and digital editing classes with the Division of Continuing Education since 2008.

Rita Richa headshotRita Richa

Rita Richa is the founder and executive Producer of Reignite Media. She has an extensive background in developing B2B podcasts, content-based networking, and brand strength capitalization. Rita has managed podcast production for clients in fintech, marketing, manufacturing, and technology industries during which she has led a team of writers, audio engineers, videographers, and graphic designers. She has fostered relationships with industry influencers to enhance marketing strategies for clients. In her free time, she also hosts her podcast Bippity Boppity Business.

Franklin Ritch headshotFranklin Ritch

Franklin Ritch is an independent filmmaker who writes, directs, and edits with a passion for unique ideas and sharp storytelling. His career began in 2012 with a long roster of short films and web series that were released to critical acclaim from festivals. His first feature, The Artifice Girl, won the Golden Audience Award for Best International Feature and quickly became the #1 Independent Film on iTunes. Franklin has since been named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. Franklin is currently developing an ambitious follow-up feature film, with several more projects on the horizon. Additionally, Franklin has been teaching screenwriting through several literary workshops in and around Florida. In 2023, he was hired as an Artist in Residence at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and has been helping students in the Cinematic Arts Department polish their screenplays and produce their films.

Tim Robinson headshotTim Robinson

Tim Robinson is a professional photographer and teacher with 30 years of experience in photography. His work can be seen in local hospitals and doctor offices across Northeast Florida and is being used in art therapy and patient recovery. Tim has taught with the Division of Continuing Education since 2013.

Tim Robinson headshotTim Robinson

Sensei Tim Robinson is a black belt certified teacher in 5 different martial arts with 30 years of experience. He has 20 years of experience teaching martial arts and currently trains with SWAT, the US Marshals, Homeland Security, and the Jacksonville Beach Police Department. Tim has taught mixed martial arts self-defense workshops with the Division of Continuing Education since 2013, and locally within various communities, companies, organizations, and various neighborhoods since 2015.

Linda VaccaLinda Vacca

Linda Vacca is a gourd artist and retired Social Studies teacher. For the past 14 years, she has transformed dried gourds into crafty works of art. As a retiree, she enjoys sharing her love of gourd art with others and offers classes in gourd decorating. She is a member of the American Gourd Society and the Florida Gourd Society and has won awards for her gourd art.