Marist Evening Series

Marist Evening Series

Stretch your creativity, learn something new, think globally, or explore aspects of the Christian faith. The Marist Evening Series features three evenings of captivating courses for adults taught by the accomplished Marist School faculty and staff. Invite your friends and neighbors and come learn something new during the Marist Evening Series.

General Information and Registration

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  • Dates and Times

    Please check back for more information regarding the 2021 Marist Evening Series Program. 
  • Fees

    Please check back for more information regarding the 2021 Marist Evening Series Program.              

Marist Evening Series Courses

Marist Evening Series courses cover a wide range ot topics, including religion and spirituality; art history; ceramics; photography; college planning; history and culture; film; writing; and more.

Please find the 2020 Evening Series course catalog below.

Art & Photography

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    Instructor: Dr. Michael Bieze
    This course, based on the methods and skills used in the Advanced Placement Art History curriculum, will offer participants a variety of ways to enjoy, reflect upon, and analyze works of art. The course will use artworks found in the AP Art History curriculum, as well as art from the High Museum and the Carlos Museum at Emory University.
    Session 1: Visual Analysis. The High Museum’s Romare Bearden Exhibition will be discussed.
    Session 2: Ways to analyze and discuss architecture.
    Session 3: Examine varieties of ways in which to interpret works of art.
    Michael Bieze, Chair of the Fine Art Department, has been teaching at art and art history at Marist School since 1986. He has been an art history consultant for the College Board since 1990. Among his many publications, are two books on African American art. He is currently finishing a visual companion to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and a catalog on the photographs of the Harlem Renaissance artist C.M. Battey.

    Instructor: Mr. Brian Collier

    Whether you’ve got a point-and-shoot or high-end digital SLR, this beginner’s course will cover the basics of good photography and help you get better shots by taking control of your camera. Camera-phone users are welcome, but you may need to download an app to get the controls we discuss in the course.
    Session 1:  Elements of composition, shooting techniques, using light to your advantage
    Session 2:  Taking control of your camera, what different controls do, pro secrets
    Session 3:  Buying equipment, post processing, editing programs, printing and sharing 

    Mr. Collier is Marist School’s Library Director and school photographer who has experience with a variety of photographic equipment from DSLRs to homemade pinhole cameras. He enjoys the challenge of photographing life on Marist’s busy campus.

    Instructor: Mrs. Hope Smith

    Participants will learn how to make pottery on the wheel, including glazing and decorating, and can expect to take home one or more glazed pieces. No prior knowledge of ceramics is needed. It is important for participants to wear flat, closed toe shoes as well as clothes that can get dirty.

    Session 1, 2 & 3: Will focus on technique and creating pottery pieces on the wheel
    Session 4: We will glaze and decorate the pieces we have created.

    This class will run an additional night to allow for the participants to finish their pieces completely. The price for this class will be $125.00.

    Mrs. Smith is in her second year teaching at Marist School in the Fine Arts Department. Prior to Marist, Hope worked at the Johns Creek Arts Center as a ceramics teacher while she finished out her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at Kennesaw State University. She has been a featured demonstrating artist at the High Museum of Art and has shown work across the United States. Currently, you can find her making work at Art Center West where she is continuing her exploration of the Soda Firing process.

    Instructor: Ms. LK Sleat
    "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air" Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Thus we will create in the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson and those like him, taking simple beauty of line to create volume, and using non-traditional drawing approaches. We will use natural dyes (provided by me) and watercolor to suggest color of the season.

    Session 1: What brushes to use, and how they best work for our subject, and understanding how to manipulate the pencil to emulate nature’s line.
    Session 2: You will learn how to see better, therefore transferring visual knowledge to the page.
    Session 3: Creative compositions, that are nor life is perfect and it’s amazing to bleed outside the perimeters of our everyday confined spaces.
    Additional notes: Participants will need to bring any kind of cold press water color paper. Binders Art Supplies and Frames will have the correct type set aside for this class. Everything else will be supplied by LK.

    LK Sleat was born in York, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, working for several years in advertising, before leaving to go into teaching art full time and to concentrate on her studio practice, first in Pennsylvania and then to Ashland, Oregon. LK received her MFA in Painting at the Hoffberger School of painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006, where she was Abstract Expressionist painter Grace Hartigan's assistant.
    LK currently lives in Atlanta, GA and works at Marist School where she is faculty in the Art dept.  She also works as an Advanced Placement Studio Art Exam Leader, Table Leader and Exam Reader for the College Board and Educational testing services. AS well as being a full-time artist.
    In her time outside of teaching, LK has a home studio and in Kennebunk, Maine that houses Sadie & Grace. Her Atlanta based design company features custom designs and fine art prints.

College Planning

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    Instructor: Mr. Robert Von Hagen

    There is a lot that parents need to know about preparing for and helping their children gain admission into college, paying for it, and mounting an effective and productive college search. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. This course is focused on parents of students in grades 7-11. Over the course of six hours and three class meetings, you will be better positioned to understand just how much college admission has changed from when you applied yourself.
    Session 1:  Current Trends in College Admission and Sorting Colleges: What’s going on out there and why? We’ll survey the higher education landscape, encompassing more than 3,000 colleges and universities. (Help!)
    Session 2:  Understanding the Elements of “Holistic” Admission Review and Financial Aid & Scholarships: What do colleges review for and why? How can we afford college? We’ll discuss need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, admissions, and more.
    Session 3:  Mock Admission Committee and Helpful Resources: Each participant will become part of the admission committee for a “university”, reviewing candidates and deliberating on who gets in, who does not, and why!  We’ll also review college resources and identify the good, the bad, and the ugly. 
    Mr. Von Hagen is a college counselor at Marist School for 23 years and has facilitated Marist School’s Career Connections Internship Program for twelve years. Mr. Von Hagen also coaches for both the middle school cross country and track and field teams.

English Literature

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    Instructor: Mrs. Anne Stanford
    Have you always wanted to write? Stumped about how to get started? This class will explore how to lead a writing life, whether your interest lies in fiction, non-fiction, or somewhere in between. Topics will include tips for how to make writing practice a part of your daily routine and how to write from personal experience. We will discuss how to build memorable characters, set the scene, and engage readers. Bring your favorite pen and notebook and/or laptop and be prepared to write and share (if you’d like!); each session will include prompts and active writing time.
    Session 1: Creative Writing 101: Exploring the differences in fiction and creative non-fiction; what makes stories resonate; writing exercise and discussion.
    Session 2: Writing Your Life: Mining your experiences as fodder for stories; quieting the inner critic; writing exercises and discussion.
    Session 3: Revision Equals Re-Envisioning: How to edit and revise your own work; tips for integrating writing practice into your daily routine; writing exercises and discussion; parting thoughts.
    Mrs. Stanford is the Assistant Director of Communications at Marist School, where she serves as the school’s primary storyteller. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and has taught creative writing to all ages and levels. Mrs. Stanford has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Parent, and Womenetics, among other publications. Prior to joining Marist, she served in communications roles at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Margaret Mitchell House.


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    Instructor: Dr. Justin Horton
    This is a course for movie buffs looking to take their appreciation of cinema to the next level. We’ll examine how form—cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, costumes, and sets—impacts the cinematic experience and how we interpret films. Each week, we’ll drill down into film aesthetics by studying a diverse array of clips, from silent films to contemporary blockbusters, foreign movies to classic musicals. The last half of each session will be dedicated to dissecting in close detail a movie that students will watch for homework. Think of it like a book club for cinephiles. Film selections are subject to change.
    Session 1: Cinematography and Mise-en-scene. Film selection: Rear Windo (Hitchcock, 1954)
    Session 2: Editing and Sound. Film Selection: Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
    Session 3: Genre and Narrative Form. Film Selection: The Deep End (Siegel & McGehee, 2001)
    Additional Notes: Dr. Horton will supply free online access to the assigned films.
    Dr. Justin Horton teaches courses in Journalism and Media Production at Marist, moderates the Blue & Gold student newspaper, and co-moderates the Marist Broadcasting Club (MBC). Prior to Marist, he taught courses in Film History, Theory, and Criticism at Georgia State University. His scholarly works have appeared in Cinema Journal, Cinephile, and The New Review of Film & Television Studies, among others.

History and Culture

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    Instructor: Dr. Nicolas Hoffmann ’03
    We all know the Civil War as southerners, sepia-tone pictures and the lilting tones of the Ashokan Farewell or Dixie playing in the background. However, the history that most people know is major movements of people led by the powerful men of the era, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, William Sherman, Abraham Lincoln, etc. The war on the ground was different. Disease, starvation, and exhaustion were rampant. In general, we think of the battle as between two equal forces of varying numbers with superior or inferior strategy, but this was rarely the case. Bullets tore through people, shattering bones and leaving infections, illnesses ravaged, and battles were lost. After a picture of American health, we will traipse through the trenches and see how medicine and disease affected the war.
    Session 1: Just call me ‘Doc’: Medical professionals were not always so professional. We will talk about the death of George Washington, what it took to be a doctor in the 19th century, why nurses were rejected for being too pretty, and see if you can pass a doctor's exam to earn the rank of Surgeon.
    Session 2: Off the Bloodied Ground: From malaria turning the tide at Vicksburg, to Night Blindness costing the Confederacy the Chancellorsville Campaign, we will talk about how nutrition, medicine, and treatments affected the war, how to die a “good death,” and what 19th century surgery was like.
    Session 3: Did the War Change Medicine? After hundreds of thousands of sick, wounded and dead, we look at the affects. We talk epidemics, the assassination of Lincoln, the assassination of Garfield, the disinterment of the dead, and the creation of breakfast cereal.
    This is Dr. Hoffmann’s second year teaching at his alma mater, but his thirteenth year teaching at both the high school and college level. His doctorate is in 19th century American History with a focus on medicine. He has spoken on this topic as a feature on the Professor Buzzkill Show and on his defunct podcast Doomed to Repeat.

    Instructor: Mr. Thomas Marier
    Pompeii. What can we learn from the ruins of this ancient coastal town? What tools and techniques were used in its construction? How was the traffic? How was water delivered? How did the local government work, and how was it tied to the center of power in Rome? Which cults did Pompeians favor? How important were shows and sports to them? Were they primarily producers or consumers? Do their shops offer evidence of a “retail revolution?” Why did the houses have such tiny kitchens? How many had upstairs rooms and for whom? Why the shifting trends in wall decoration? In this mini-course we’ll survey the methods and findings of recent Pompeian archaeology.
    Session 1: Infrastructure: Walls, gates, streets, water supply, waste management.
    Session 2: Politics, religion, shops, recreation, entertainment, funerary practice.
    Session 3: Houses and interior design.
    Additional Notes: Proceeds from this course will go toward books, materials, and exams for students participating in the Mythopaloosa at Marist School in February 2020. These students from PATH Academy and schools in the archdiocese with few resources commit to reading and studying for the National Mythology Exam in early March 2020.
    Mr. Marier has taught modern and classical languages at Marist School since 1998. Since 2012 he has worked with students to produce the Classical Art Exam (supported by a blog) for the Georgia Junior Classical League. Since 2018 he has also taught an elective course on archaeology.

    Instructor: Mr. Brendan Murphy
    The study of the Holocaust is a humanizing endeavor, a journey through the past that helps us reconsider how we understand ourselves as human beings. As Pope Francis said while visiting the Great Synagogue in Rome, “The Holocaust teaches us to always maintain the highest level of vigilance in order to be able to intervene immediately in the defense of human dignity and peace.”

    Session 1: The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. During this first evening we will trace the long and tragic history of antisemitism to help us confront one of the central questions to understanding the history of the Holocaust: why the Jews?
    Session 2: For our second evening together, we will look directly at the history of the Holocaust from the rise of the Nazi party to the end of World War II.
    Session 3: For our final evening, we will wrestle with trying to understand how the Holocaust was possible. How could humanity do such a thing? To help frame the evening, we will have as our guest a Holocaust survivor and discuss the book Night by Elie Wiesel.
    Additional notes: Students will need to purchase a copy of the book Night by Elie Wiesel.
    Mr. Murphy has been a social studies teacher for 25 years. He was recently awarded the 2017 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award and Marist School's Faber-McKinley-Stadler Award. In 2013-2014, he was awarded Marist School’s Goizueta Chair of Excellence. In 2009, he was named Educator of the Year by University of Notre Dame; and in 2009 and 2016, he was named Georgia Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. He also has been named a Mandel Fellow by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a Lerner Fellow by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

    Instructor: Mr. Jose Gregory
    Inhabited by advanced civilizations at the time of its discovery, enriched by European and African cultures, welcome to the kaleidoscope that is known as Latin America! In this course, you will obtain a concise overview of the region, its people, and relationship with the United States. Join us in exploring beyond colorful stereotypes, Pre-Columbian pyramids, or pristine beaches. Come discover the authentic Latin America with its dynamic cultures and rich history.
    Session 1: Modern Latin America and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. Our evening series will conclude with the main current issues confronted by Latin Americans and the role of Hispanics/Latinos in our country who now comprise the largest minority group. We will also examine the Immigration Act of 1965, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and current immigration issues. Suggested readings and homework.
    Session 2: The Complex Relationship with the United States since 1898. This class will focus on the Spanish-American War, American interventions throughout the 20th century, the Good Neighbor Policy, Alliance for Progress, Cuban Embargo, and NAFTA. Suggested readings and homework.
    Session 3: Introduction to Latin America: A Story of Conquest, Colonization, and Independence. We will discuss the main pre-Columbian civilizations, how conquistadors were able to topple these empires, and the fight for independence after a period of colonization. Suggested readings and homework.
    Mr. Gregory is in his fourth-year teaching at Marist School in the Social Studies Department.  He also coaches the Varsity Girls’ Tennis Team, moderates the 9th grade Campus Ministry Genesis Retreat, and volunteers at El Centro Hispano Marista teaching GED students.  Mr. Gregory also works as a College Board consultant for AP U.S. History.  Prior to Marist, he taught at a magnet school for the performing arts in Atlanta, DeKalb School of the Arts, and at a traditional public school in Miami, Palmetto High School, after practicing corporate law.    

    Instructor: Dr. Louisa Moffitt
    The Middle East is an area of the world that is of critical importance to the United States, yet one that is often little understood and weighted down by many stereotypes. These classes will offer a more nuanced view of the region, its religions, its people, and its political issues than what is usually found in the daily headlines.
    Session 1: Islam:  What it is and what it is not; an introduction to basic beliefs and major sects; women and “the veil.”
    Session 2: The Arab-Israeli conflict: a short history and a look at the current situation.
    Session 3: The current situation in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and the region, old rivalries and recent complications; The Kurds, ISIS, and American foreign policy.
    Dr. Moffitt has been on the faculty at Marist for 33 years, teaching both Middle East Studies and AP United States history. A longtime consultant for the College Board, she has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the Middle East Studies Association National Service Award. Her most recent publication deals with immigration in America on the World Stage, published by the Organization of American Historians.


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    Instructor: Mr. Bob Fecas
    This course will explore the classic stages of the spiritual life found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and suggest practices for advancing through these stages. All progress is God's gift, but our efforts are normally required. A fourth stage will be suggested in addition to the standard three.
    Session 1: The traditional three stages of the spiritual life will be presented with examples from the lives and writings of the saints in the different religious and wisdom traditions. Mysticism explained and illustrated. Questions entertained throughout the evening. Time for meditation on certain texts. Readings, podcasts, and YouTube sites recommended. 
    Session 2: The class will not meet this week.
    Session 3: Review of first class. Questions. A fourth stage suggested by Christian mystics (John of the Cross, the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Bernadette Roberts) and certain Buddhist texts. Discussion, time for meditation/prayer, more suggestions for growth through the stages and our spiritual lives. Conclusion.
    Mr. Bob Fecas entered the Society of Jesus after high school and worked with the Jesuits for ten years. For three of those years he taught philosophy at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. He taught at Jesuit High School in New Orleans for nine years. When he and his wife Catherine Toomer had a daughter who could not attend Jesuit (all boys school), he began his 28 years of teaching in the Theology Department at Marist. Twenty five years of that teaching involved the creation and growth of the Prayer and Meditation course, the most fulfilling work of his Marist years. Over 50 retreats with seniors crowned that course. Since retirement in 2016, Bob continues his work at Marist in various ways (Monday Night Series, retreats, days of recollection, and a men's group). He also does spiritual counseling for individuals and groups, as well as enneagram presentations. Check out his website at for other offerings.

    Instructor: Mrs. Bernadette Naro
    Have you ever felt called to take your knowledge about scripture or your commitment to your faith and put it into action? Have you ever wondered how to take your faith beyond words on a page, or lessons on a Sunday, and turn it into a lived experience? The Gospel of John Chapter 1 tells us that "the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." This seemingly simple sentence deeply informs our Catholic faith, reminding us that our faith is meant to be embodied. This course will provide an opportunity to lean in to God's call in your life, and to examine how to live it fully in the world.
    Session 1: This session provides the scriptural basis and an overview of Catholic Social Teaching as a tool for considering how God is asking us to live out our faith in the world. Participants will also begin to examine the lives of faithful people who have answered this call to action.
    Session 2: Participants will have an opportunity to begin to envision where in their own lives they can find places to apply their faith. We will examine social issues that are ongoing in our world and how we engage with them faithfully.
    Session 3: Participants will develop personal action plans to engage relevant issues in the world, drawing on scripture, Catholic Social Teaching, examples of faithful followers of Christ, and their own passions.
    Bernadette Naro, M.Div, grew up in a Catholic Worker Community, experiencing God's call to hospitality and aiming to live out Matthew 25, and the corporal works of mercy. She has been a faith- based teacher, minister, and organizer for all her life, focusing on empowering youth to build the Kingdom of God. She has taught in Catholic schools around Atlanta and was a Woodruff Fellow at Candler School of Theology where she studied from 2013-2016. Today she is proud to be a part of the Campus Ministry department at Marist where she facilitates the Peer Leader Program, as well as working with Student Council and the Share the Journey Campaign.


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    Instructor: Ms. Sarah Conn
    Things we didn’t learn (or forgot about) in Science Class
    Session 1: Human Evolution – A lot has changed since we were in school. From new discoveries like Homo naledi and the Denisovans to old favorites like Lucy, we’ll learn about current research in human evolution and learn about our ancient human cousins.
    Session 2: STEAM Tech Night – We’ll start simple in this session by using microscopes to explore the unseen world around us, play around with some drones, do some fun demonstrations of Newton’s Laws of Motion and more.
    Session 3: Sustainability Today – In this session, we’ll learn about ways you can be more sustainable, how alternative fuels are being used today and the features Marist has installed to help make the school a greener place.
    *This course requires a smartphone and the ability to download the Tello app for our STEAM night.
    Ms. Conn is a 7th grade science teacher and has been teaching at Marist for ten years. Prior to moving to Atlanta, she lived in Fairfax, Va., for six years and has been teaching for nineteen years.


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    Instructor: Mr. Martin Torres
    Have you ever wanted to know how it would feel to pilot an aircraft? This course will introduce you to the basics of taking off, in-flight maneuvers and landing a single engine aircraft. X-Plane 11 flight simulator software is used throughout the world to train student pilots to obtain their pilot’s license in general aviation.
    Session 1: Using X-Plane 11’s built-in Flight School you’ll learn the basics of flying, airplane cockpit controls and changing various aerial views. Learn to take off from a runway in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane. Participants will also be introduced to X-Plane’s free mobile app using a provided Apple iPad.
    Session 2: Train how to land a Cessna 172 on a runway. Then learn to fly a simple traffic pattern from takeoff, fly a rectangular circuit, and then land back on the runway.
    Session 3: Learn how to land a Cessna 172 using an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach with autopilot. We will then implement that new skill by landing a commercial Boeing 737-800 airliner.
    Mr. Torres has been employed with Marist School for 11-1/2 years as a Technology Support Specialist. He received his IT Networking and Information Security education at Gwinnett Technical College. He is CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certified. Although not a licensed pilot himself, he’s had a passion and interest for aviation since his youth.

Important Information

More information regarding the 2021 Marist Evening Series Program will be released in the fall of 2020. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Office at

Contact Us

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  • Photo of Katie Crowe

    Ms. Katie Crowe 

    Alumni Engagement Coordinator
  • Photo of Valerie Proudfoot

    Ms. Valerie Proudfoot 

    Special Events Manager
    (770) 936-3545

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
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(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers