Ingrid E. Albrecht
Ingrid Albrecht has a Fine Arts Degree from the American Academy of Art, and a MA and BS from Southern Illinois University. She is a nationally awarded artist and has taught workshops and classes globally. Her pieces were also recently exhibited at the Illinois Watercolor Society, the International Signature American Water Media Exhibition, and the National Watercolor Society.
Jeanette De La Cruz
Course(s): Tarot for Intuition
Jeanette De La Cruz is a tarot reader and astrologer, who hopes to de-mystify the world of spirituality. Her goal with tarot is to create a better understanding of self for her clients. She is also the creator and host of a weekly astrology and wellness podcast, Wabi Sabi Wellness. Prior to entering this world, she was a high school teacher in Chicago.
Course(s): Wheel Throwing
Courses(s): Introduction to Bachata Dance, Introduction to Swing Dance
Cate is a life-long dancer with over 30 years of experience, beginning with ballet/jazz in her hometown of Seattle. After her first swing dance lesson in college, she fell in love with social dancing and has spent nearly 20 years learning and teaching many genres including salsa, tango, swing, and bachata. Now calling Chicago home, Cate is excited to continue spreading her love of dancing in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Course(s): Creative Writing
Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy nominated filmmaker and Fulbright recipient. He is sought throughout Asia, North America, and Europe to speak on creativity. His film credits include the acclaimed animated documentary "Freedom Dance" with Golden Globe Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay and "Old School New School," a personal study on creativity with Emmy-winning actor Brian Cox and Grammy Award winner McCoy Tyner among many other internationally acclaimed artists.
Since 2021, Steven has presented courses in acting, cartooning, video editing, and creative writing at Northwestern University's Norris Center.
Course(s): Wine Appreciation, Modern Cocktail
A graduate of Northwestern, Mark Gruber has been teaching with Mini Courses for over thirty years. Mark is a local celebrity in the wine and spirits industry, and his students have returned time and again.
Anne Howard is a Northwestern alumna and is currently pursuing her master’s at Boston University. She has been teaching knitting with Mini Courses since 2003. Lately, she has been knitting a lot of socks and pretends food!
Jennifer Huang is a Taiwanese-American conductor currently serving as Principal Conductor of the Northwestern Medical Orchestra and Music Director of the Merit School of Music Chamber Orchestra. Her most recent engagements include Assistant Conductor of the Northwestern University Symphony and Associate Conductor for the Chicago City Wide Symphony Orchestra. An accomplished violinist, pianist, and vocalist, Huang has performed under the baton of world-class artists such as Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, and David Robertson. While the majority of her work focuses on standard orchestral repertoire, Huang is also an active opera conductor and a strong advocate for new music performance, working closely with composers from around the world. As an educator, she is passionate about making classical music more accessible to listeners of all backgrounds. In 2016, she graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a dual degree in Molecular Cell Biology and Music, and in 2023 completed her Master’s in Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music.
Kevin Hughes Hunter
Course(s): Introduction to Dark Room Film Photography
My primary field is Chemistry where I am an Assistant Professor of Instruction. Outside of this, I have been practicing film photography for over 10 years. After developing an interest in the field in college, I have focused on medium and large-format photography, largely in black and white. I also have developed courses that focus on the chemistry of the processes involved in alternative film processes such as caffenol development and cyanotype printing.
Course(s): Pole Dancing, Lap Dance
Brittany is a pole dancer, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and fitness mentor. She started pole dancing in 2007 and fell in love with the movement. Soon after signing up for classes, she quit her day job to become a pole dance instructor. Realizing that she couldn't teach pole full time, she started to cross-train in yoga and other fitness disciplines. Over the past 10 years, she has been certified in yoga, spin, barre, and became a certified personal trainer. She's gained knowledge from teaching a variety of people over the years from stay-at-home parents, students, and athletes, to the occasional celebrity. Seeing the enjoyment on her students' faces after a great class is why she loves teaching pole and fitness. The pole industry is fast-moving in the fitness world and has evolved so much over the years. Like yoga, pole is for everyone. There is a certain kind of freedom in the movement. Pole dance is a fun way to work out, enhance your flexibility, increase your strength, and reconnect you to your sensual self.
Courses(s): Introduction to Shotokan Karate
Shotokan Karate Mini-Course Margaret Lo, 3rd Dan Chicago Karate Club (“CKC”) has as its instructor Margaret Lo, 3rd dan of the Japan Karate Association. Lo sensei was born in Shanghai, China and came to the US as a child. She began Shotokan Karate training in Boston in 1988, and has been teaching karate since 1995. Lo sensei is dedicated to helping students improve intellect, strength and courage through karate. The CKC is a member of Shotokan Karate-do International, which is a US affiliate of the Japan Karate Association, the home of Shotokan Karate
Course(s): Coffee Appreciation
Sam started his coffee journey in 2008 as a barista in his hometown of Greencastle, Indiana. His work continued through his time at Indiana University Bloomington, helping the coffee program at the Runcible Spoon Restaurant and Cafe. After moving to Chicago in 2014, he partnered with Allegro Coffee, opening 12 cafes before joining Allegro’s small-batch coffee roasting program as a roaster. In his time with Allegro, he led coffee evaluation courses, guest lectured at local coffee conventions, and traveled to coffee farms in Central America. Sam now works as a roaster and green coffee buyer for Evanston’s Backlot Coffee.
Course(s): Wheel Throwing I (Beginner)
Patty Marfise-Patt, a native Chicagoan and practicing ceramic artist, received a B.A. in History from Northern Illinois University in 1986 and an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994. She began working with clay at age nine at the Chicago Park District’s Ridge Ceramics Studio on Chicago’s south side and has enjoyed playing in the mud ever since! Currently, Patty serves on the board of the Glenview Art League board and teaches ceramics at Lillstreet Art Center. She is currently exploring ways to incorporate technology into her work.
Courses(s): Asian Spirits Guided Tasting, Food and Wine Pairing
Course(s): Wheel Throwing I (Beginner)
Tomoyasu Nakano completed his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021. His works focus on expanding his craftsmanship skills with ceramics, screenprint, and mixed media. Nakano enjoys expanding his artistic skills to incorporate other mediums into his art practice and considers the process of art-making as a path connecting with larger communities in the vast world of art.
Courses(s): Introduction to Contemporary Dance
Course(s): Public Speaking: How to Speak with Confidence and Impact
Tom Rosenak is a senior consultant with over twenty-five years’ experience in leadership communication with a focus on the persuasive arts of sales, presentation, executive presence, and influence without authority. He works with clients to expand business performance through relationships, influence, and communication strategies. Tom is the author of Your Momentum Playbook – How to get unstuck and release greater flow personally and professionally. Tom’s coaching style is engaging, constructive and encouraging while ever challenging the participant to improve. He has broad client experience, from small not-for-profit, to Fortune 500 firms.
Course(s): Adventures of Cosplay: A how-to Cosplay 101
Course(s): Pocket Billiards for Beginners
Larry Schwartz is a 27-year Billiards Digest monthly columnist and an author of 8-Ball Handbook for Winners. He has also been selected as top 150 players for the International Pool Tour, is 7-year live-action pool commentator, had a cameo appearance in the movie The Color of Money, and was the 1st place North American 8-Ball Championship for 3 consecutive years along with many other Championship titles.
Course(s): Cross Stitching
Rebekah has been cross-stitching for twenty years, completing projects ranging from one-nighters to a cross-stitched landscape that took six years to complete. She loves teaching others about what she considers the most accessible, customizable, and easy-to-learn craft! When not cross-stitching, Rebekah continues to be a lifelong learner – having recently completed the MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program at NU and regularly takes both piano and sewing lessons. Rebekah works in the Department of Communication Studies as the Undergraduate Program Administrator, where she has worked for six years. Additionally, Rebekah is the 2022-2023 Association of Northwestern University Women President.
Course(s): Wheel Throwing (Workshops)
A native Singaporean, Sylvia was a ceramic apprentice at Jono Pandolfio studio in New Jersey, and a ceramic instructor in Singapore. Her artwork includes sculptural and functional wheel-thrown pieces, all largely inspired by nature and animals. She is also the graduate assistant for arts and programming at Norris University Center. She holds a BS and MS in mechanical engineering with a minor in Art and is currently a PhD student at Northwestern's mechanical engineering department.
Rachel "Ranch" Ward
Course(s): Wheel Throwing II (Intermediate), Introduction to Sculpture
Rachel “Ranch” Ward is a Chicago-based Ceramic artist and a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their large-bodied work encompasses important memories as a way to physically work through trauma in a healthy and respectful way. Ward hopes to inspire others to use physical forms of art, such as ceramics, to work through difficult and uncovered issues. The process of making their work allows for navigation in the world of gender and identity while inspiring others to appreciate queer bodies as beautiful. Teaching at Gnarware Workshop and Lillstreet Art Studios, Ward prides themselves on their open and conceptual teaching style. With a successful small business selling their personal work and recently receiving the position of Studio Technician at Northwestern University, Rachel “Ranch” Ward is a practicing artist ready to share their experience and learn with you.
Course(s): American Sign Language
Peter Wujcik is a Licensed Deaf Interpreter, American Sign Language Instructor, and Theatrical ASL Director, born to Deaf parents. His ASL teaching credits include: Currently ASL Instructor, Teacher Assistance and Tutor at Columbia College Chicago since 2014, (8) years at Bell Elementary School, (5) years at the Art Institute of Chicago, and (14) years at City Colleges of Chicago (Wright College, Harold Washington and Olive-Harvey). He acted as Emcee for the 100 years celebration of the Chicago Chapter of the Illinois Association for the Deaf in 2008. His past theater experience includes ASL Consultant (for both actors and interpreters) for Bell School`s production of GUYS AND DOLLS JR and for Steppenwolf Theater`s THE WHEEL, TRIBES, THE WAY WEST, THE QUALMS, NIGHT ALIVE, THE HERD, GRAND CONCOURSE, and CONSTELLATIONS. Also Sign Language interpreting for DePaul Reskin Theater`s PROSPERO`S STORM, THE KID WHO RAN FOR PRESIDENT, CINDERELLA: THE REMIX and JUNIE B JONES IS NOT A CROOK, and Eclipse Theater Company`s THE LITTLE FLOWER OF EAST ORANGE.