Encore students hiking

Humanities through Encore

San Juan College's Encore program offers a variety of humanities courses to suit your interests.


Try your hand at writing in our Writers’ Workshop, travel virtually with Armchair Traveler, or explore different cultures with classes like Hawaiian Culture and Navajo Rugs. If history's your thing, we've got archaeology courses and classes on influential women and First Ladies. For creatives, we offer Digital Photography and Piano Basics. There's something for everyone at Encore.

Humanities Classes

If you’ve always wanted to visit Normandy, l’Alsace, Paris, or Quebec, get ready with this staycation class. Discover the richness of French language, culture and geography through regional vignettes and practical conversations such as ordering from a menu or shopping at a farmer’s market. $10 supply fee for food sampling in class.

AGNES WALISER was born in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

Cost (including supply fee):
$16.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$67.50 residents under 65, $179.50 non-residents

2024SP HUMA 104 E12
1/11-2/29, THU, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

How do we know right from wrong? Sometimes we are so deeply immersed in a situation that what we “know” to be right may be mistaken. In the midst of the Cold War, Rod Serling created the television series “The Twilight Zone,” which challenged audiences to consider unexpected points of view. This course will use episodes of the classic series to illustrate ethical concepts such as values, relativism, utilitarianism, and moral character.

CYNTHIA RAPP SANDHU holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Boston University School of Theology.
She has taught popular Encore classes on religious literacy, Egypt, and antisemitism, as well as traditional San Juan College classes on Ethics and Western Civilization.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP PHIL 104 E10
1/17-3/20, WED, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
(no class 2/14 & 3/13)

Register today!

You don’t have to be a religion scholar to creatively and critically discuss theology. And movies don’t have to be religious to stir up reflection on the meaning of truth and matters of faith and doubt. This course will use a broad cross section of film and television to open up conversations on theological concepts such as redemption, grace, and free will. With screenings, short lectures, some accompanying reading, and ample discussion, engage in thought-provoking conversations.

MEGAN CULLIP holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, as of December 2023. She works at Basin Health Companies as a Hospice chaplain, community educator, and bereavement counselor.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP PHIL 104 E04
1/18-3/7, THU, 5:30-7:30 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

In a supportive atmosphere with inspiring prompts, meaningful feedback on your work and discussions on technique, style and publication, we’ll write and learn about writing. Fiction writers, creative non-fiction writers, as well as poets are welcome. Class will be offered online through Zoom; students should plan for some additional time during each week for self-paced class projects. Please provide your email and ask for your SJC login at registration.

TRAVIS WADE is an Assistant Professor of English and is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at San Juan College. He is also a former San Juan College graduate who grew up in Farmington and now resides in Aztec. He
completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.

2 credit hours
Cost: $10 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$112 residents under 65, $336 non-residents

2024SP ENGL 104 E05
1/19-3/29, FRI, 11 am-12:30 pm, Live Online
(no class 3/15)

2024SU ENGL 104 E10 (registration begins 2/21)
4/12-6/14, FRI, 11 am-12:30 pm, Live Online
(no class 3/15)

Register today!

Not only are some of the best writers women, many of them are in our own backyard. Read and listen to writers from Albuquerque, Farmington, and the Four Corners. Meet one day a week to discuss our reading and the second day that week to listen to those women either by Zoom, recorded interviews or occasionally in person.

TRACI HALES is a retired professor of writing and former radio show host. She interviewed numerous writers on her
show “Write on 4 Corners.”

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP ENGL 104 E20
3/19-4/26, TUE & FRI, 9:30 -10:50 am, 30th Street Education Center Room 206/208

2024SU ENGL 104 E30 (registration begins 2/21)
5/7-6/14, TUE & FRI, 9:30 -10:50 am, 30th Street Education Center Room 206/208

Register today!

Gather to write, talk about writing, and share writing with each other.

  • Have you always wanted to write but didn’t know where to start? This class is for you.
  • Do you have a half-finished novel for which you need inspiration to finish? This class is for you.
  • Do you write but wonder if your writing is any good, or want suggestions on how to make it better or publishable? This is your class.

TRACI HALES is a retired San Juan College professor of writing.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU ENGL 104 E18 (registration begins 2/21)
3/26-5/14, TUE, 11 am-1 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 206

2024SU ENGL 104 E22 (registration begins 2/21)
5/21-7/9, TUE, 11 am-1 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 206

Register today!

Music enriches our community, and under the leadership of Music Director Thomas Heuser, the San Juan Symphony’s concert season is sure to delight. Discover the beauty of music where once you only heard sound and appreciate your symphony experience as never before, with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Rediscover old musical favorites and deepen your understanding with cultural information and pre-concert symphony talks. For information on the San Juan Symphony’s 2024 schedule and tickets, visit sanjuansymphony.org. Students should purchase symphony tickets on their own.

LEVI BROWN has a Bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College in Music Performance, Piano, and has performed
numerous times in the San Juan Symphony on violin.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP MUSI 104 E02
1/23, 1/30, 4/2, 4/9 & 4/23, TUE, 6-8 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
San Juan Symphony Pre-Concert Talks & Concerts: 2/11 & 4/21, SUN

Register today!

Have you ever wondered about how Jesus lived? What were common customs regarding clothes, food, birth, burial, and a person’s livelihood in that era? From farmers to merchants to soldiers, how did people provide for themselves and their families? How did the Jews live differently than the Romans? Focus on everyday things in the first century CE, with an emphasis on Greco-Roman and Jewish traditions and an occasional slip over to Egypt or up to Britannica.

URSULA MESSANO holds a Masters of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister and has taught from elementary ages to college students.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP HIST 104 E21
1/29-4/1, MON, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
(no class 2/19 & 3/11)

Register today!

Scriptures are sacred to and at the heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Join this fascinating exploration of the origin of these scriptures, the languages behind them, their essential teachings, their development, and their final forms. Just as interesting is how they each came to us in the English language and the challenges of translation. You may be surprised by the parallels and intrigued by the contrasts.

MARK REDDY has studied comparative religion and has presented many workshops, classes, and study sessions
on world religions.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP HIST 104 E36
1/30-3/26, TUE, 1-3 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
(no class 3/12)

Register today!

In today’s environment of increasing censorship by community libraries and school boards, understand which books are being banned and for what reasons. Read three books currently banned for high school age students and engage in thoughtful, respectful discussions about the value of the book as literature, as educational tools, and for encouraging critical thinking in young adults. We will read: 1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, 2. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, 3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Books available at local libraries or online.

GEORGINA DAVIS has taught for many years at SJC in both the School of Business, Information Technology and Social Sciences and for Encore. She also served on the New Mexico Publication Education Commission for four years, with a focus on the continuing improvement of public education.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP ENGL 104 E12
2/1-4/11, THU, 1-2:40 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 206
(no class 3/14)

Register today!

Travel with us from the classroom as we visit Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Discover the histories and rich cultures of Central Europe and sample their foods. $10 supply fee for food sampling in class.

AGNES WALISER was born in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

Cost (including supply fee):
$16.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$67.50 residents under 65, $179.50 non-residents

2024SP HUMA 104 E01
3/7-5/2, THU, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
(no class 3/14)

Register today!

Cultivate hours of enjoyment by building your piano skills. Designed for students who read music but need more instruction in the techniques of piano, chording, and intervals, learn in a supportive group environment and engage in exercises to strengthen your hands and brain. $9 supply fee for class book payable at registration.

MEGAN JACK teaches individual lessons both privately and at San Juan College.

Cost (including supply fee):
$15.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$66.50 residents under 65, $178.50 non-residents

2024SP MUSI 104 E14
3/7-5/2, THU, 4-6 pm, Henderson Fine Arts Center Room 9207
(no class 3/14)

2024SU MUSI 104 E08 (registration begins 2/21)
5/9-6/27, THU, 5:30-7:30 pm, Henderson Fine Arts Center Room 9207

Register today!

Take an extended trip through American history with the lives of some of the most fascinating and influential people on record—the women who were/are members of one of the most exclusive clubs in the nation, the wives (and occasionally sisters and daughters) of America’s presidents. Part Five will take the story from Hillary Clinton through Jill Biden and then review over 200 years of American History, ranking First Ladies on issues of innovation and change. Two books below are strongly recommended for the structure and detail necessary for this series (please
purchase prior to the first class): First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women by Susan Swain and C-Span, ISBN 978-1-61039-566-3, and First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli, ISBN 978-0195392852; both available online. Both past and new students are welcome for this First Ladies finale.

DR. JIMMY MILLER is a Professor Emeritus of History at San Juan College and his wife Sylvia works with him to create a highly praised and delightful classroom experience.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP HIST 104 E04
3/14-5/2, THU, 1-3 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

Travel with us from the classroom as we explore Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Greece, Scandinavian countries and more. Discover the rich culture, history and geography of these countries. No previous classes required. $10 supply fee for food sampling in class.

AGNES WALISER was born in the French speaking part of Switzerland. This class expands upon her popular French for the Armchair Traveler classes.

Cost (including supply fee):
$16.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$67.50 residents under 65, $179.50 non-residents

2024SP HUMA 104 E14
3/18-5/6, MON, 5-7 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

There are reasons one gets burned at the stake. We won’t be doing that, but we will be examining thinkers who were martyred for their beliefs, underappreciated or mocked. Theological rebels and philosophers are those whose ideas shook the status quo and rocked their surrounding culture and institutions. Learn about great thinkers such as Socrates, St. Francis, Dorothy Day and many more. Plan to read primary sources and immerse yourself in and discuss with your classmates the rebel in their own words.

MEGAN CULLIP holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master’s of Public
Health from Johns Hopkins University, as of December 2023. She works at Basin Health Companies as a Hospice chaplain, community educator, and bereavement counselor.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU PHIL 104 E14 (registration begins 2/21)
3/21-5/9, THU, 5:30-7:30 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, with an estimated 1.8 billion adherents. Explore the life and times of Muhammad, the Qur’an and its teachings, major Muslim practices, and Islam’s relation to Judaism and Christianity. Gain a basic understanding of this major world religion, its background, teachings and influence in history, as well as how it compares and contrasts with the more familiar Judeo-Christian heritage in the west.

MARK REDDY has presented many workshops, classes, and study sessions on world religions.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU HIST 104 E02 (registration begins 2/21)
4/2-5/21, TUE, 1-3 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

A new film, Oppenheimer, and Criterion Channel documentaries have brought renewed attention to the Manhattan Project, Trinity Test and resulting Cold War. The Trinity Site, designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) and located on the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is open to the public only two days a year. Avoid the fall crowds and register now for a guided tour of the Trinity Test Site by an archaeologist/historian who walked and recorded the area and helped author a technical report and executive summary for the recommended expansion of the NHL boundaries. Students are responsible for all education-discounted interpretive fees, accommodations, and meals for this immersive two-night/two-day field trip. Please contact the instructor for additional details at swjourneys@icloud.com. Register no later than 4/2. Course fee of $59 payable at registration.

MICHAEL J. LAWSON has a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Arizona State University. He has been leading unique trips with local experts for over two decades.

Cost (including course fee):
$65.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$116.50 residents under 65, $228.50 non-residents

2024SP HIST 104 E06
4/5-4/7, FRI/SAT/SUN, two-night field trip

Register today!

We all know about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, right? But what about the other Gospels, the ones that didn’t make the cut? Survey the less controversial of these texts and take an in-depth look at some of the more controversial non-canonical Gospels. The class will include video presentations, and the opportunity to actually read the texts of documents such as The Gospel of Thomas. The class will meet in two parts; part one is not necessary for part two.

URSULA MESSANO is both a Certified Teacher and an Ordained Minister, with a Master’s of Divinity degree from
Phillips Theological Seminary.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU HIST 104 E21 (registration begins 2/21)
4/8-6/3, MON, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208
(no class 5/27)

2024SU HIST 104 E16 (registration begins 2/21)
6/10-7/29, MON, 10 am-noon, 30th Street Education Center Room 208

Register today!

Take your imagination back in time to the beginning of the 1900s and the early days of the science of Southwestern Archaeology. What did sites and landscapes looked like back then and how the heck were they found? If this scratches your imagination bug, join us on an exploration of portions of McElmo Canyon and Cajon Mesa (Hovenweep) in Colorado and Utah and learn about Sylvanus Morley and Jesse Walter Fewkes. Camp at Hovenweep National Monument or on public BLM land nearby for two nights; camping at Hovenweep is on a first-come, first-served basis and includes RV and tent sites. Launch explorations each day much the same as those early explorers,
orienting with the landscape and a crude map, often traveling the same wagon roads to spectacular vistas and significant national treasures to ponder what it was like when the Ancestral Puebloan People lived there and what it might have been like in those scientific minds to make sense of what they found. Four-wheel drive or riding with others with four-wheel drive will be needed; plan to contribute gas money to drivers. More information provided during classroom time.

KRISTIE ARRINGTON is a retired archaeologist from the Bureau of Land Management with over 35 years of experience in the Four Corners area.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SP ANTH 104 E06
4/8 & 4/15, MON, 6-8:30 pm, 30th Street Education Center Room 206
4/17-4/19, WED-FRI, field trip

Register today!

When Governor Manuel Armijo fled to Chihuahua in the opening salvos of the Mexican-American War, General Kearney ordered U.S. forces to proceed down both the Rio Grande and thence to California along the Gila River. Protecting his supply lines, Kearney appointed as Territorial Governor Charles Bent, co-owner of the influential Bent’s Fort on the Santa Fe Trail, who had wedded socially prominent Maria Ignacia Jaramillo. Her younger sister, Josepha, married Kit Carson. On the morning of January 19, 1847, Bent faced at his Taos home an angry crowd who opposed
U.S. occupation, and the mob killed him and other territorial officials. At home during the attack, Ignacia and the Bent children escaped the carnage. On the field trip, visit the Charles Bent Home & Museum and the Kit Carson Home & Museum, resting places for Kit and Josepha, and take in a private group tour of Taos Pueblo, including the historic church of San Gerónimo de Taos, where U.S. forces directed cannon fire upon its adobe walls, killing about 150 rebels who had sought refuge within. Students are responsible for all education-discounted interpretive fees,
accommodations, and meals for this immersive two-night/two-day field trip. Please contact the instructor for additional details at swjourneys@icloud.com. Register no later than 4/22. Course fee of $59 payable at registration.

MICHAEL J. LAWSON has a Ph.D. in U.S. History (Indian History) from Arizona State University. He has been leading unique trips with local experts for over two decades.

Cost (including course fee):
$65.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$116.50 residents under 65, $228.50 non-residents

2024SP HIST 104 E11
5/3-5/5, FRI/SAT/SUN, two-night field trip

Register today!

To take great photographs is an artistic achievement of its own, but to create three shots that tell a story requires critical thinking, discipline, and control of your camera and your scene. Whether beginner, intermediate, or professional, hone your craft through this creative and powerful process, including understanding basic camera/phone camera operations, camera equipment, natural lighting, some light Photoshop editing, printing, and photo presentation. Students need a digital camera; DLSR cameras are preferred, but point and shoot cameras or phone cameras are acceptable for this class.

DEAN HOWARD is an accomplished local photographer and teaches 35mm B/W Film Photography and Digital Photography at San Juan College. In his free time, he enjoys hiking with his camera and photographing our beautiful landscapes here in San Juan County.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU PHOT 104 E01 (registration begins 2/21)
5/13-5/31, M/W/F, 2-4 pm, SJC Room 1921
(no class 5/27)

Register today!

Discover the past and present of the Zuni people from their voices, art, and artifacts. Walk among the Pueblo village architecture and sample their traditional foods. Learn about the sacred Zuni (A:shiwi) origin and migration stories at the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center and Zuni Visitor Center. Walk along paths depicting rock art at the
Village of the Great Kivas –a Chacoan outlier (ca. 1000). Experience the traditional ceremonial murals in the Old Zuni Mission Church (ca. 1670s), which is now open for visitation linked to a preservation fund. For overnight accommodations, we’ve booked the historic Inn at Halona, a bed and breakfast located in the heart of Zuni, offering a “genuine cultural discovery in a welcoming yet private, unique setting.” Students are responsible for all education-discounted interpretive fees, accommodations, and meals for this immersive two-night/two-day field trip. Please contact the instructor for additional details at swjourneys@icloud.com. Register no later than 5/13. Course fee of $59 payable at registration.

MICHAEL J. LAWSON has a Ph.D. in U.S. History (Indian History) from Arizona State University. He has been leading unique trips with local experts for over two decades.

Cost (including course fee):
$65.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$116.50 residents under 65, $228.50 non-residents

2024SU HIST 104 E12 (registration begins 2/21)
5/24-5/26, FRI/SAT/SUN, two-night field trip

Register today!

Whether it’s game day or photographs of the dance recital, capture the action! Learn how to freeze action in any setting that captures movement, on either a digital camera or phone cameras with manual settings. Spend some time in the computer lab to enhance your photographs with some light Photoshop editing, printing, and photo presentation.

DEAN HOWARD is a local Sports Photographer for Hutton Broadcasting; has a local Weddings, Portraits, 2D and 3D Photography business; and freelances for local businesses and organizations.

Cost: $6.50 residents 65 and older (first 10 credit hours)
$57.50 residents under 65, $169.50 non-residents

2024SU PHOT 104 E04
6/3-6/19, M/W/F, 2-4 pm, SJC Room 1921

Register today!

Contact

encore@sanjuancollege.edu
Phone: (505) 566-3214

30th Street Education Center
3401 E. 30th St. | SJC 2nd Floor Entrance

M-F 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.