Kevin Johnson
Mayor Kevin Johnson Addresses Forum


Friday, 3 to 4 p.m., Campus Locations

Following the afternoon seminars each Friday, an "open forum" is held from 3-4 p.m.

The Forum features invited speakers of note, usually from outside Renaissance, who share their views on varied topics with members, followed by lively question-and-answer sessions. The locations vary depending on CSUS availability, so check below. The speakers and locations can change due to campus scheduling, so check here right before each Forum.

Feb. 5: Steve Swatt, Political Analyst
Del Norte 1004
2016 Elections: President, Senate and House. Steve Swatt is a Sacramento-based political and media consultant. Previously, he spent more than a quarter-century in journalism. For 23 of those years, Steve served as a general assignment and political reporter for KCRA, Sacramento's NBC affiliate. He also contributed to NBC Nightly News, the Today Show and various PBS political and public affairs programs. Before joining KCRA, Steve was a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and United Press International. While a broadcaster, Steve covered every major ballot proposition, presidential and gubernatorial campaign and 10 presidential nominating conventions, as well as issues in the California Legislature and the administrations of governors Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson. For many years, Steve held the distinction of being California's only full-time television reporter covering the state Capitol. His work won him the Northern California Emmy Award, the National Health Journalism Award, California State Bar Award and several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Sacramento Bee once referred to his election commentary as "the best on local television." Steve has taught Political Communications at California State University, Sacramento, and has served on boards or in advisory capacities for numerous political and journalism organizations. Steve received a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
Feb. 12: Heather Young, Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, UC Davis
Del Norte 1004
Healthy Aging: Enabling Technology. Dr. Young is also Dignity Health Dean's Chair and Professor in Nursing Leadership at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She is a nurse leader, educator, scientist and nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing. She is a member of the Redesigning the Health System work group of Gov. Jerry Brown's Let's Get Healthy California Task Force. Her recent research includes the use of telehealth and community-based innovative strategies to promote health for older adults. Her presentation will explore technologies to allow individuals to become engaged in managing their own health and healing themselves. Dr. Young will especially showcase mobile technologies and telehealth. Learn to be savvy in accessing quality online health information and common interest chatrooms. Consider Rosie Robot and other devices that will help you to care for a loved one or yourself. You will not want to miss this engaging presentation.
Feb. 19: Richard Shek, Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies, California State University, Sacramento
Del Norte 1004
What's China Up to Now? A native of China, Dr. Richard Shek is a keen observer and analyst of China's role and the growing part it wants to play on the international stage. Dr. Shek attended college in Japan and received his PhD from UC Berkeley. A faculty member at Sac State since 1976, he has specialized in China's history, Asian humanities and comparative religions.
Feb. 26: Barbara O'Connor, Retired Professor of Communications Studies, California State University, Sacramento
Del Norte 1004
Unlikely Allies: What's Brewing in the Upcoming Election. Dr. Barbara O'Conner will share insights on media and upcoming election. Featured in Newsweek as one of 50 people setting policy and direction for global communications, Dr. O'Connor cuts a national figure in political communication and telecommunications. She has served as chair of numerous high-profile organizations and committees. Her consulting resumé includes prominent media markets, corporations and U. S. government entities.
March 4: Dr. Robert Nelsen, President, California State University, Sacramento
Del Norte 1004
Sacramento State: Now and the Future. Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, Sacramento State's eighth permanent president, comes to Sacramento with his wife, Jody Hawkins Nelsen. His experience in public higher education spans nearly three decades, most of it spent in the University of Texas system. He was president of UT-Pan American from 2010 to 2014 and most recently served as special advisor to UT's executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.
March 11: John Lescroart, Author
Del Norte 1004
Twenty Years to Overnight Success. Called a National Treasure by the Huffington Post, New York Times best-selling novelist John Lescoart will recount his road to success. John Lescroart is the author of 26 novels, 18 of which have been bestsellers. His books have been translated into 22 languages in more than 75 countries. His short stories appear in many anthologies.
March 18: Helene Dillard, Dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis
Del Norte 1004
Hungry Planet: Tackling the Challenge of Providing Sustainable Nutritional Security for 9 Billion People. Dean Dillard is an expert in the field of agricultural and environmental sciences. She leads the program at UC Davis that has been ranked No. 1 in the world three years in succession for agricultural and environmental research. She is a scientist, educator, researcher and a national and international leader in sustainable agriculture in the presence of global climate change and other challenges. Her presentation will discuss new technologies that are in development to address the many facets of food nutritional security. Topics will include access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs for a healthy life, as well as food waste, and ways to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable way while protecting the environment.
March 25:
Spring Break. No Forum.
April 1: Dolores Eitel, Family Nurse Practitioner
Del Norte 1004
The California End-of-Life Option Act: How to Access the Law. Last October, California became the fifth state in the nation to allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill patients to end their lives. The law takes effect this summer. This presentation will be a discussion on the requirements of the law and what you need to do to access it. Dolores Eitel, BSN, MA, NYc FNP, serves as a Member-at-Large on the Board of the Renaissance Society. Dolores has more than 50 years experience in health care, as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Trauma and Critical Care, Nurse Executive, Hospital Administrator, Forensic Nurse Examiner, Nurse Consultant, heath care activist and advocate. Dolores was the first Family Nurse Practitioner in New Jersey and had a 25-year Independent practice in three states. Dolores has served as president and board member, on many professional organizations, including the Connecticut State Nurse Association and the State Board of Nursing.vShe is the founder of the New Jersey Critical Care Nurse Association. She has extensive administrative and clinical practice in hospice care and has taught hospice nursing. Dolores has had faculty positions at several universities, teaching nursing and medical students. Dolores has served on many national health related Boards i.e.: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association. Dolores was a consultant on the Right to Die: Karen Ann Quinlan New Jersey Supreme Court case. She served on the first Healthcare Ethics committees in New Jersey. Since moving to California a few years ago, she has worked with the legislators to bring the California End-of Life-Action Act into law.
April 8: Dr. Ayad Al-Qazzaz, Professor of Sociology, California State University, Sacramento
Del Norte 1004
The U.S. and Allies Are Facing Challenges of Violent Extremism in the Middle East. Will Foreign Policy Response Meet the Threat? Ayad Al-Qazzaz was born in Iraq and lived there until coming to UC Berkeley as a graduate student in 1963. He specializes in Middle Eastern politics and stays in touch with relatives, friends and scholars in Baghdad.
April 15: Melissa Brown, Attorney and Legal Clinic Director
Del Norte 1004
Appealing Medicare Decisions. Professor Brown is a partner at the Sacramento law firm of Farrell, Fraulob and Brown who has devoted much of her career to advocacy for the rights of the elderly and disabled. Her book, Advising Elderly and Disabled Clients (Warren Gorham and Lamont), co-authored with Lawrence Frolik, is widely used by attorneys and law students as a desk reference and elder law guide. She has produced film and video materials on the subject for attorneys in four states, lectured extensively and testified in legislative hearings on recommendations regarding injured workers, elderly persons and disabled people. A State Bar of California certified legal specialist in workers' compensation law, she is a past president of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association. A member of the LexisNexis California Workers' Compensation Editorial Board, she has been listed among Sacramento's 40 Top Lawyers in The Best Lawyers in America publication for more than 10 years. An expert in Elder and Health Law, Professor Brown serves as the supervising attorney in the Elder Law and Health Clinic and teaches the seminar accompanying the clinic and the law school's course on Elder Law and Social Policy.
April 22: Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board
Del Norte 1004
California's Leadership Role on Global Warming and Air Pollution. Global warming and air pollution are two of the greatest problems facing the state, the nation and the world. California is widely recognized as a leader in addressing these issues. Mary Nichols will highlight key areas where great progress has been made. She will also describe California's ongoing leadership role in confronting the challenges that still lie ahead. Mary Nichols has chaired the board since 2007. Previously she served as Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Secretary for California's Resources Agency; and Director of the Institute of the Environment at UCLA. She also served as Chair of the Air Resources Board from 1979-1983.
April 29: Leslie Gielow Jacobs, Professor of Law, McGeorge
Del Norte 1004
The Supreme Court: What Happens Now with High-Profile Cases with the Current ​​​​​​ Vacancy?Professor Jacobs is a constitutional law scholar who has authored a substantial and important body of scholarship on constitutional doctrine, governance, national security and government speech. She serves as the director of the Capital Center for Law and Policy, dedicated to studying issues of Federalism and government structure and aiding government policy makers. Professor Jacobs graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, and served as a law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell in the same year that the late Justice Scalia was confirmed by the Senate. Her article, Scalia's Impact Felt beyond His Written Opinions, can be read in The Sacramento Bee on Feb. 21.
May 6:
No Forum.