Brain Fitness Online

Fall 2023

Welcome to Brain Fitness Online Fall 2023

Quick Links for Brain Fitness Online

A site JUST for Emeritus Students

We have a website just for Emeritus students.  You can access it by going to  (  On this site, you will find:

Welcome to Brain Fitness Online

Brain Fitness Online is a class which focuses on brain health, by education as well as learning tools which may enhance cognitive functioning as we age.  There are two levels of Brain Fitness:  Basics (for first time participants) and Topics (students who have already begun their program).  This website has several sections, which can be accessed by the tabs on the website.  However, below, you will find direct links to each of these sections.  We look forward to working with you.

About the class

Brain Fitness Online is a class which combines a brain healthy curriculum with practice using a brain training tool, BrainHQ.  There are several features of this class:

Fall 2023 curriculum

Brain HQ website

Access the BrainHQ website at:

Brain Connection on PositScience

PositScience has a feature called Brain Connection.  It may be useful if you want to shake up your Brain training routine with brain teasers and more.  

You can access it by going to: 


Watch this short video tutorial on how to log in to your BrainHQ account and get access to the exercises (2 minutes).

Weekly Zoom Sessions

There are multiple Zoom sessions for Brain Fitness students.  You are welcome to attend any of these sessions for your class (basics or topics).  If you like, attend more than one to hear a different perspective on that week's lesson.  

To find more, and to see the Zoom link for your class, visit our Zoom page on this site,  The Zoom Classroom

Syllabi:  Official syllabus

about us and contact information

Image of instructor

Mindy Sloan: Basics & the Glen   

Mindy's career focus has been on using education to make the world a better place. She has served learners of diversity as a school psychologist for PK-12 school districts and the California Youth Authority, and as a faculty member and administrator at institutions of higher education. As a faculty member and administrator, Mindy pioneered several strategies to effectively engage at-risk learners, established an online Library, Writing Center, and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, provided 24/7 learning supports that increased students success, created predictive models to diagnose and prescribe specific interventions that improved student learning, and was elected as a faculty senator and faculty body President. Her graduate degrees are in Educational & Counseling Psychology, and she has been licensed as a school psychologist, clinical psychologist, school administrator, and special educator.  Dr. Sloan's first career was as a greeting card illustrator and writer.  She is a minister of metaphysical sciences.  Last and most importantly, Mindy is a mother of four amazing adults and Nene to a grandson and granddaughter. 

Image of instructor

Mary Burns: Topics

Mary Burns has been an instructor with San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) since 1987.  She holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology.  She has been teaching online since 2007, and was one of the original online instructors at SDCE.  She has developed curriculum for multiple subjects, including Health, Communicating with Technology and Brain Fitness.  She has created websites using a variety of platforms (Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas and Google Sites).  She enjoys learning and teaching about technology, and provides classes for older adults in the community.  Besides teaching, she is the technology Assistant Program Chair at SDCE, focusing on meeting the technology needs of faculty, and the training and support of online instructors.  Besides technology, she enjoys running, working in the yard, walking the dog and spending time with her husband, Kim.  

Bridget Wright:  Topics 

Bridget Wright, MPH, has a Master’s Degree of Public Health and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. She also holds professional certifications in Health Coaching, Nutrition, and Exercise. Bridget has worked for many local community organizations, including hospitals, universities, and corporations. While working as the director of a research project at San Diego State University studying the effects of providing Medicare beneficiaries with preventive health services, Bridget became passionate about helping older adults maintain their health as they age. Bridget has also served on the Speaker’s Bureau for the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Heart and Stroke Association. For the past five years, she has been an Instructor with SDCCE, teaching Nutrition and Healthy Living Courses. She and her husband have two grown daughters, and in her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and volunteering in her community. 

image of instructor

Anjali Patel: Topics 

Anjali Patel is a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in public health, research and community nutrition.  Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences, Anjali moved to a small town in Kumamoto, Japan where she taught English and spent her free time on grassroots internationalization projects centered on food and culture. It was during this work her passion for community nutrition was born. She returned to school to pursue her RD and Master of Public Health, and on the side worked in nutrition research, nutrition communications and public health programs and strategy. In 2011, Anjali moved to the United States and worked with the restaurant industry on environmental change and consumer behavior change research funded by the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health. Anjali is a food and nutrition educator who hopes to inspire and support individuals and communities with knowledge, tips and tools in healthy cooking and eating behaviors for their overall wellbeing.  She believes that food holds much more power than nourishment to the body — it’s identity, belonging and what connects us. Anjali enjoys skiing, swimming and traveling. When she is not working, you can find her with her family somewhere around the world trying different foods or in her kitchen playing with food.

Minoo Pakgohar: Topics
I have a PhD in Gerontology with over 15 years of higher education teaching and developing curriculum. I got my equivalency as master’s degree in midwifery and Ph.D. in gerontology in USA. I have a strong passion to work with older adults, and I love teaching. So, I did switch from midwifery to gerontology at one point in my career. Currently I teach a very diverse older population as an older adult instructor at College of the Canyons.

I volunteered as a case manager in long term care setting for three years while I was assistant professor at university. As a part of civic engagement activity, I volunteer to present in retirement communities.

My husband and I have one 29 years old daughter, and I enjoy baking, gardening, and volunteering in my community.

Sharon Gregory: Topics

Sharon Gregory is active in the Health and Fitness Community. She has a bachelors in Food and Nutrition from San Diego State University and is CPR certified. She has 15 years of experience working for SDCCD Emeritus Program. Sharon has taught Body Dynamics, Health Education and nutrition cooking classes at a variety of off campus locations.

At an early age, Sharon became a caregiver for her grandparents. During this time, she discovered the passion she had for helping older adults. She became very interested in keeping her grandparents active with physical exercise and brain stimulation. Now Sharon shares that information with her current students discussing fall prevention, healthy bones, better balance, and overall nutrition for optimal health!

Sharon has volunteered for over 8 years providing support in the community in a variety of outreach programs. She is a volunteer for CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team) in Poway. She is actively helping with emergency preparedness, drive-thru-food distribution events, vaccination efforts, and assisting with picking up groceries and medication for those who can't go out.

Sharon and her husband have 3 grown children that are also into exercising and staying fit. Her hobbies include traveling, gardening, hiking, biking, working out at the gym, and spending time with her family, friends and her dog Cabo.

Mari Rios-O'Brien: Topics

My name is Mari Rios-O'Brien and I am thrilled to be a part of SDCCD, Continuing Education/Emeritus Program, where I will be teaching Brain Fitness and other related courses. I am a San Diego native, a first-generation college graduate and proud of the drive, dedication and determination that my hard-working parents instilled in all 6 of their children, which was to "get a college education and do better".  I completed both my undergrad and graduate degrees from USD, was self-employed for over 25 years as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, college/career readiness counselor and mental health counselor. I worked primarily with underserved, high-risk, disabled young and older adults, helped them set and achieve academic, personal and career goals and objectives. My students' primary focus was to graduate high school, obtain a GED, pursue post-secondary education or obtain/retain suitable employment within their academic aptitudes, physical and intellectual abilities. I enjoy giving back to my community and connecting my students with valuable resources so they can strive to live meaningful lives.  As a parent ambassador for UCI, CSUF & USD, I helped students and their families get acclimated with the school community, and provide on-going support. 

My husband and I enjoy being empty nesters, traveling, being outdoors, biking, swimming, camping, cooking, dancing and watching various sporting events. We have two amazing kiddos both college grads but realizing living on their own is quite costly LOL. I also teach cycling at my local YMCA & work with members in the PEARLS Program (programming to encourage active & rewarding lives for seniors and I absolutely LOVE IT!! 

I am currently caring for my young 94-year-old sweet mom who has been healthy & active her entire life but has been on hospice for the past 7 months with CHF. Despite her physical challenges, she begins each day with a positive mindset and an "I can, I will" attitude. Brain Fitness is teaching us about the benefits of keeping our BRAINS active and fit!

Erika Peralta: Basics (bio coming soon)