Eclectics  II     (Open to the Public)   Colorful lines over 2 faces

Alternate Thursdays • 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. • Mackey Auditorium

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



Language Rights

January 19

Speaker: Bonnie Williams, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Writing, CSUF     Coordinator: Janice Jeng

Williams, who joined Cal State Fullerton’s faculty in fall 2016, argues that students who speak other languages or social dialects such as “Spanglish,” a combination of Spanish and English, or “ebonics” can learn standard English without having to completely disregard their home language. “Students, especially students from different language backgrounds who are not exposed to standard English at home, communicate differently verbally and in writing.” Her research delves into language rights. In other words, students have the right to maintain their home language practices. In her “English Language in America” course, she teaches her students how to create curriculum that takes into account myriad social and regional dialects. We will hear about her comparative approach to teaching English.

An Update of the Affordable Care Act

February 2

Speaker: Shana Charles, MPP, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, CSUF

Coordinator: Janice Jeng

According to the latest data from the California Health Interview Survey, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 had significant and broad impacts in 2014 on access to health insurance and to health care services across multiple vulnerable population groups. Overall, the number of uninsured Californians ages 64 and under fell from 5.32 million to 4.46 million between 2012 and 2014—a decline of 16%. The ACA had relatively negligible impacts on employment-based coverage. Two-thirds of California’s counties increased their Medi-Cal populations by more than 2 percentage points from 2012 to 2014. Two-thirds of children enrolled in Medi-Cal had parents who were also covered through the program. But 9.6% of children in Medi-Cal had parents who were both uninsured still, even after the initial implementation of the ACA coverage expansions. This presentation reviews the early successes of the ACA in California and the significant challenges that remain to achieve the full potential benefits of the law.

Aging and Stress

February 16

Speaker: Jennifer Piazza, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, CSUF

Coordinator: Janice Jeng

Stereotypes of aging abound in our society, teaching us that with age comes inevitable decline. Beauty campaigns encourage us to fight the physical signs of aging, and movie titles such as Grumpy Old Men suggest to us that negative emotionality increases with age. Yet, research has revealed a number of upsides of aging, including improvements in emotional well-being and an increased ability to modulate responses to adverse circumstances. After a brief review of this work, Piazza will discuss current research indicating that the ability to maintain emotional well-being (particularly in the face of stressors) is beneficial not only for psychological well-being, but physical health as well, particularly in later adulthood.

Using Supercomputers to Simulate Merging Black Holes in the Era of Gravitational-wave Astronomy

March 2

Speaker: Dr. Geoffrey Lovelace, Assistant Professor of Physics, CSUF  

Coordinator: Janice Jeng

Geoffrey Lovelace is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at California State University, Fullerton. His current research interests focus on using numerical relativity to model sources of gravitational waves, such as merging black holes. He joins assistant professors Jocelyn Read and Joshua Smith in Cal State Fullerton’s Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC). Professor Lovelace will speak to us about the recent discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes, and he will discuss how supercomputer simulations of merging black holes are helping us to learn as much as we can from these and future observations.

Climate Change Action

March 16

Speaker: Kyle D. Brown is the director of the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly, Pomona (CPP) and Co-Chair for the President’s Climate Commitment Task Force at CPP

Coordinator: Jack Wheatley and Keni Cox

Since 1994, the Lyle Center has remained “committed to a future in which all people live with dignity in safe, healthy and sustainable environments.” Brown’s research initiatives include climate change action and greenhouse gas reduction strategies; participatory learning and action for ecological sovereignty; and ecological modeling for decision making. An engaging and informative speaker, Brown will share his thoughts regarding our environment and its future.

Click here for a copy of Dr. Brown's presentation. PDF File

Investigation of Food Fraud using DNA Testing

April 6

Speaker: Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Food Science, Chapman University

Coordinator: Janice Jeng

 The possibility of food fraud through product mislabeling and species substitution is an ongoing concern in the food industry. In order to detect this type of food fraud in processed products, laboratory methods such as DNA-based tests are often required. This talk will begin with an overview of food fraud, followed by a discussion of specific studies that have been conducted using DNA-based methods to detect instances of product mislabeling and species substitution.