Leisure Instructor Biographies

Lauryn Axelrod, MA, CCHC
Lauryn is a Certified Holistic Health Coach specializing in mind- body nutrition. She is the owner of Arise Natural Health and leads workshops and classes, and coaches private clients locally and internationally.

Suzanne Dunning
Suzanne has been studying and working with plants and their essential oils since she was a child. Her passion for herbs and aromatherapy is based on years of formal training and personal study as well as working directly with plants. She studied Cross-Cultural Healing at U.C. Berkeley and simultaneously began teaching about herbs through the university. After college, she continued her study of plants at the Northwest School of Botanical Studies. Her passion grew into a business when she began an aromatherapy-based line of body products, called Quince. Her passion for aromatherapy is truly contagious.

Phillip Lazzar
Phillip teaches many classes for Center Activities including our home buyer and seller classes, and Einstein's Relativity Theory. He is a California licensed real estate broker with over 30 years of local experience.  He's a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Humboldt Co. MLS. He's been teaching Special Relativity for several years at middle and high schools as well as Olli and Center Activities.  He makes the subject easy to understand in a fun atmosphere. 

Corey Lewis
Master Lewis is a 7th Dan Black Belt, Ph.D., and Internationally Certified Tae Kwon Do Instructor. He began training under Grand Master Chae Sun Yi in 1983, at the age of eleven. Since that time he has won a number of National Form and Fighting Championships and competed with the US Tae Kwon Do Team and Olympians from all over the world. Master Lewis has been teaching Martial Arts to men, women, and children of all ages, at both private martial arts academies and universities since 1993, and brings a knowledge of injury prevention and rehabilitation, sports nutrition, behavioral psychology, world philosophy, and mind-body connection to his teaching and practice. Master Lewis also has over 25 years of Mixed Martial Arts experience, and has trained in a wide variety of styles from Wrestling, Boxing, and Muy Thai, to Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, and Judo. In addition to his Martial Arts certifications, Master Lewis is a professor of English at Humboldt State University.

Leo Marella
Leo has been an American Red Cross Health and Safety Instructor for 14 years. He began as a Lifeguard and Swim instructor in his teens in San Diego, CA. Throughout the years, he expanded into an instructor for many Red Cross classes while attending college and working for the Arcata Community Pool as well as Center Activities. When not teaching CPR and First Aid classes, he works as a chocolate maker and enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and if time allows, baking.

Sandra Nakashima
Sandra is the co-owner and founder of Drakes Glen Creation, a small artisan chocolate manufacturer located in Arcata. She began teaching chocolate classes in 1999, and loves sharing the joy of chocolate making with others. Sandra has taught chocolate making classes for the North Coast Co-Op, C-CAT, and for other special events.

Neill O’Brien
Neill is currently certified with USA Archery and US Collegiate Archery Association (USCA) as a coach. He has been the head coach of Humboldt State University's (HSU) Intercollegiate Archery Club since 2012; he was previously an assistant coach for the club. He also teaches archery classes at Humboldt State. He trained the 2013 California State Indoor Barebow Champion through HSU's archery program.  As a student he was an accomplished archer and held the post of President and Vice President of his team. Most notable, in 2010 he placed third in the men's recurve division at the Tulare Invitational/ Collegiate National Indoor Championship.

Jerry Olofsson
Jerry received a Bachelor's Degree from Humboldt State University in both Music Education and Music Performance. Though his academic endeavors focused on classical guitar, his passion for Rock and Blues was greatly increased during his six-month course at Musicians Institute. He is also proficient at live and studio engineering, His passion for music technology has helped him take his musical skills to another level, allowing him to compose, record, and perform both original and non-original material.

Jacob Pressey
Beer Brewing 101 is taught by Jacob Pressey, he is the owner/brew master of Humboldt Regeneration Brewery & Farm in McKinleyville.  Jacob graduated with an Environmental Science degree focusing on Soils and Alternative Agriculture in 2010 from HSU.  He worked as a brewer for Eel River Brewing Company for over seven years before starting Humboldt Regeneration, and has been farming beer since 2010. 

Robert Sherman
Robert Sherman has been studying Isshinryu Karate for over 40 years.  He began his study in l973 under Master Brian Fitzgerald and Master Don Nagle, and his current rank is eighth-degree black belt.  He earned his masters degree in biology at Humboldt State University.  Robert has been teaching Isshinryu Karate at HSU continuously since 1979.  The HSU Isshinryu Karate class is a member of the American Isshinryu association.  Other black belt students assisting with instruction include Eric Lien, sixth-degree; Nicole Doan, third-degree; and Micah Daw and Jamie Garrison, first-degree black belts.

Ryan Woempner
Ryan has been a student of jazz for the past four years. Since his arrival at HSU he has participated in many academic jazz ensembles including the AM Jazz Band and the HSU Jazz Combos. He is currently working as a professional jazz bassist.




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