Eclectics   (Open to the Public)   electics 1 photo

Alternate Tuesdays • 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. • Mackey Auditorium

A wide variety of topics of interest to OLLI members and guests are presented by experts recruited and hosted by coordinators.


Topic, Date, Speaker


Life Extension: Is Living Longer a Waste of Time?

January 15

Speaker : John Davis, Professor, Department of Philosophy, CSUF

Reputable mainstream scientists who specialize in the biology of aging now believe that we may soon find methods to slow or halt human aging, thereby living in a youthful condition much longer than we do now. However, life extension, as it’s called, is controversial. Many people say they are not interested in living an extended life, believing that it would be boring or meaningless. Others worry that making life-extension available would have bad social consequences, such as overpopulation, or the injustice of longer life for the rich but not for everyone. Professor Davis, author of “New Methuselahs: The Ethics of Life Extension” (MIT Press, 2017) will provide an overview of these issues .

Coordinator : Janice Jeng

Lifestyle Medicine: A Whole Food Plant Diet

January 29

Speaker : T.C. “Joseph” Lee, M.D.

Dr. Lee will discuss Lifestyle Medicine and how it involves the use of evidence based lifestyle therapeutic approaches to treat chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease. This includes a whole food plant based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management and avoidance of risky substances, all to prevent, treat and often reverse lifestyle related chronic illnesses. Dr. Lee is boarded in Emergency Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine and has been in practice with Kaiser Permanente for 22 years.

: Janice Jeng

A Divided Korea

February 12

Speaker : Kristine Dennehy, Ph.D., Professor, Department of History, CSUF

Why was the Korean Peninsula divided in 1945? Why and how have the two states, the Republic of Korea (south) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (north) developed along such radically different paths since their founding in 1948? What role did the Korean War (1950-53) play in perpetuating this division? What are the prospects for reunification today? Dr. Dennehy will address these questions while providing insights into the historical context of these political changes in the wake of Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule (1910-45) in the early 20th century.

Coordinator: Janice Jeng


February 26

Speaker : Thomas Sanger

On the first day of World War II, September 3, 1939, a German submarine torpedoed the British passenger ship, Athenia. Today, few people know of this tragic event, despite its historic significance. More than 100 innocent civilians from the United States, Canada and England were killed in the attack. Lecturer Tom Sanger, whose grandmother survived the incident, conducted several years of research and interviewed international survivors to write a book about the event, “Without Warning.” Mr. Sanger’s informative presentation incorporates PowerPoint photos, animations and video to illustrate events in the months leading up to the start of the war, circumstances surrounding the German U-boat attack, and the rescue of survivors.

Coordinator: Janice Jeng

Tree-Rings and the Climate of the Southwest

March 12

Speaker : Trevis J. Matheus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, CSUF

The discipline of dendrochronology (the study of tree-rings) has aided in archaeology, climatology, hydrology and more since the early 1900s. Dr. Matheus’ research primarily focuses on examining past climates utilizing tree-rings. The strength of using tree-rings to date structures or reconstruct climate lies in its finely resolved temporal resolution. Tree-rings are one of only a few proxy records with annual resolution. Recent work has been able to improve the resolution to a sub-annual scale, consisting of warm (May through September) and cool (October through April) season. In this talk, Dr. Matheus will elaborate on the methodology used to examine sub-annual rings including novel methods he has developed. He will also present his research on utilizing these methods to examine droughts, snowpack, and other regional paleoclimate phenomena.

: Janice Jeng

How to SHIELD Ourselves from Alzheimer’s Disease

March 26

Speaker : Math Cuajungco, Professor and MARC Program Coordinator, Department of Biological Science, CSUF


 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is linked to the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and tangles of protein fibers in the brains of patients. What could we do to stave off or minimize the possibility of getting AD? Are we doomed if no effective drug against AD is every discovered? Professor Cuajungco will provide a brief overview of the brain, the areas of the brain ravaged by AD, the mechanisms involved in the formation of plaques and tangles, and some promising drugs. He will also discuss the concept behind SHIELD (Sleep, Handling stress, Interacting with others, Exercise, Learning new things, and Diet) that is being promoted by leading AD researchers in the field, and how these activities could be applied to our daily lives to maintain and improve brain health.

Coordinator : Janice Jeng

Eclectics, Special Session: Homelessness: Facts, Figures and a Path Ahead

Thursday, April 11 only • 2:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m. • Mackey Auditorium

Speaker : David Gillanders, Executive Director, Pathways of Hope, and CSUF Adjunct Professor

Homelessness is growing rapidly in all of our communities. While currently navigating the situation with interim solutions, there is a pressing need for a coordinated, more permanent approach. This presentation will share data on homelessness trends and review the current strategies and collaborative efforts to address this issue.

Coordinator : Janice Jeng