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

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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.




 Preservatives in Food: The Good, Bad and Ugly

September 21

Speaker : Lilian Were, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Food Science Program, Chapman University, Schmid College of Science and Technology    

Coordinator : Janice Jeng


No month goes by without a restaurant, grocery chain or a food company announcing it’s no longer going to be using an ingredient that they have traditionally used or that their competitors currently use. A major food ingredient category targeted for reformulation are the food preservatives. This talk will address the advantages and disadvantages of chemical preservatives to address the shift in food labelling where companies are highlighting what is not in their product (the negatives) as opposed to highlighting the beneficial nutrients in their foods (the positives).

Background reading to inform discussion:

“Fungal Bungle”: Whole Foods—and Lebonon—prohibit natamycin. But should you really be concerned about this natural cheese preservative? Click here to read article. 

Click here for the 2016 Food & Health Survey Executive SummaryPDF File

 Dance & Dance History

October 5

Speaker : Alvin Rangel-Alvarado, Associate Professor of Dance, CSUF

Coordinator : Janice Jeng


For over 20 years, Rangel has enjoyed a career as a performer, choreographer, educator and artist/scholar. He began his professional career in his native Puerto Rico. Rangel is currently faculty at CSUF, teaching dance composition, improvisation, modern dance and dance history. Rangel maintains an active schedule teaching master classes across the country, performing with his own company In-Version Dance Project, and as a guest artist with Charles O. Anderson’s Dance Theatre X and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). He performed in March 2016 at Lincoln Center in New York City with DCDC and the Paul Taylor Company. Professor Rangel will talk to us about his dancing, choreography and teaching experiences.

 First Print and Now Broadcast? How the Internet Is Weakening Reliance on Traditional Media Platforms

October 19

Speaker : Brent Foster, Director (interim), Undergraduate Studies &
General Education, CSUF

Coordinator : Janice Jeng


The nexus for this discussion stems from a recent eureka moment Brent Foster had while speaking with his mom who lives in Missouri. His parents are organic farmers and his mom decided she wanted to create a YouTube channel with edited videos of the workings on their farm. Even though our speaker is an expert in the field of broadcast production, she didn’t ask him for help. She just used her phone and a cheap editing platform to create videos and post them on her channel. Within a few days she had hundreds of views and positive feedback among other things. What our speaker realized at that moment was that, just as the internet had encroached on peers in the print world, bringing most newspapers to their knees, so was a similar paradigm shift happening in his home discipline of broadcast. In this presentation, he will discuss and forecast the current and future significance of broadcast offerings and usage.

 Malls, Discounters & Amazon: Retail Competition in the Internet Age

November 2

Speaker : Ray Young, Professor Emeritus and Retired Urban Planning Consultant   

Coordinator : Janice Jeng


Retail landscapes have long been fraught with competitive change, reshaping where we shop and what dominates our consumer interests. This special class examines retailing dynamics over the past 60 years, with vivid examples from the Orange County area. Distinctive phases are revealed, ranging from the “Magical Mall” era of the 1960s and ʼ70s, to the subsequent arrival of the “Big Box” and major discount chains in the 1990s, the more recent spread of low-end discounters, and now competition from major online retailers. Learn what promotes the continued successes of several malls while Sears and JC Penney are considered terminally ill. How influential are grocery sales to Walmart and Target? What does that suggest about the prospects for traditional supermarket chains? And, of course, learn about today’s e-retailing sector—where Amazon and other online firms fit—and hear why those are unlikely to completely destroy traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Click here for Ray Young's presentation. PDF File

Art, Revolution & the Romantic Movement

November 16

Speaker : William J. Havlicek, Ph.D.     Coordinator : Janice Jeng


 This beautifully presented, full-color audio-visual lecture was originally delivered as a “Bowers Museum Distinguished Opening Lecture.” by Dr. Havlicek at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, and has since been presented with much acclaim in a wide variety of other venues. Dr. Havlicek provides a unique and vibrant overview of the essential ideas and artists of 19th century Europe (among them Goya, Blake, Turner, Friedrich and Delacroix). Dr. Havlicek will show how the great poets and writers Schiller, Shelley and Goethe helped frame our understanding of the word “romanticism” and how it was exemplified by the artists examined in this lecture. It is a fascinating story of the liberation of human emotion, political and social upheaval, and a powerful spiritual and artistic awakening that was a precursor to the modern art movement.

Click here to view the video of Dr. Havlicek's presentation

 Political Women: Recording Stories of Local Women Making Change

December 7

Speaker : Natalie Fousekis, Director, Center for Oral and Public History, Associate Professor, Department of History, CSUF

Coordinator : Janice Jeng


 This talk will share reflections and analysis from the Center for Oral and Public History’s “Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project,” which focuses on the political lives and actions of Southern California women from the 1960s to the present. These oral histories highlight how, as individuals and collectively, women have made a difference in the types of policies enacted by county and municipal governments in Los Angeles and Orange County. These interviews also help us understand the reasons why women decide to take political action and, perhaps, shed light on why a gender gap still exists in Americans’ political ambitions (men are still far more likely to run for office than women). This project also explores the important role women have played in influencing politics and policy in Southern California from outside—as leaders and members, for example, of women’s organizations, environmental organizations, and groups that advocate for workers, the poor, and the disabled.