Friday, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Library 1522

Beth Mann

Fascinating subjects will be presented by knowledgeable speakers, sometimes Renaissance members, sometimes not. These are single-subject, drop-in sessions presented in the Sac State Library, close to the Media Center. Some have proven so popular that they have been presented again for a Summer Seminar or Forum. Come early, as seating is limited.

PLEASE NOTE: No food or drink (except bottled water) is allowed in the library. 

MINI-SEMINARS are subject to schedule change. Please check with this Website or The Recorder to be sure of what's on the docket each Friday.

Sept. 2: JoEllen Arnold, Why Should I Care About Bats?
What do you know about bats? Bats live on all continents except Antarctica and are as tiny as a species that weighs less than a penny and as large as the Asian flying foxes with six-foot wing spans. We know our local bats are experts at eating insects; bats in other habitats are vital pollinators of many plants, from the baobab to cactus and other succulents. Bats are the most important "foresters" in tropical regions, reseeding the forest as they fly. They eat things you'd never dreamed they could and are beneficial and crucial links in every ecosystem they live in. JoEllen Arnold taught for 30 years with a particular passion for introducing her students to the natural world.
Sept. 9: Ed Speegle, Shia-Sunni Split
A brief history of Islam from its founding by Muhammad to the origins, history and implications of the Sunni-Shia split, and the origins of the rise of Radical Islam.
Sept. 16: Bonita Bergin, Service Dogs
Dr. Bonita Bergin of the Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rohnert Part is the founder of Canine Companions for Independence. Her presentation will focus on service dogs: How they are trained, who they help and more.
Sept. 23: Gerald Glasser, The Future of Commercial Air Travel
Gerald will present a follow-up of his previous Mini-Seminar on air travel, this time focusing on the Mach 6-plus Propulsion Concept as it applies to commercial air travel. Through his subject may sound a bit "techie," Gerald will use simple general diagrams and laymen's explanations in his presentation.
Sept. 30: Paul Helman, Where The Railroad Money Went; The Big Four
The California Associates, more commonly known as the Big Four, earned a huge fortune for themselves and their heirs in the construction and operation of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. Learn how those fortunes were amassed and then used during their lifetimes and after for furthering personal and family estates and businesses, the creation of well-known institutions and philanthropic purposes
Oct. 7: Niel Nielsen, Travel Fraud and Crime Prevention for Seniors Note: Speaker Change!
This is an overview of many of the scams and frauds targeted against seniors when they travel overseas. This class will present short vignettes about travel scenarios encountered when traveling abroad including real-life scam situations. Most importantly, you will learn how to prevent becoming a victim of a scam and how to avoid situations which endanger your safety. Niel Nielsen is a retired federal investigator.
Oct. 14: David Braun and Jessica Wohlander, What's Happening to our Food, Air and Water
When you think of California, what images first pop into mind? Ocean, beaches, mountains, healthy living. All of this exists here, but California is also the third-largest producer of oil and gas in the nation, with all the public health impacts and pollution that come with the fossil fuel industry. A short documentary, Dear Governor Brown, which examines the history and impacts of this industry in California, will be shown with discussion to follow.
Oct. 21: Chris O'Conner and Col. Wiswell, Aerospace Museum
Veteran docents from the Aerospace Museum will offer a fact-filled presentation regarding the museum's ongoing commitment to the national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education initiative. Before answering audience questions, O'Connor and Wiswell will provide an enlightening PowerPoint presentation that depicts how the museum's collection of once state-of-the-art jet fighters and aerospace artifacts provides a physical and visual record of the evolution of advancing aerospace technology. Following the STEM presentation, Wiswell will further offer a PowerPoint presentation that will allow him to call upon his extensive experience as a pilot and program manager to describe the awesome capabilities of USAF's fearsome A-10 Thunderbolt II (affectionately referred to as the "Wart Hog").
Oct. 28: Darlene Saunders, Gifted Adults? Yes, You!
Many of us here in Renaissance Society are gifted adults. Come find out about the characteristics and stages of giftedness through life. Giftedness is not something that is outgrown. Discovering your giftedness might just explain a lot of your sensitivities, intensities, in-depth thinking and being out of sync. Giftedness is not achievements but our physiology.
Nov. 4: Delores Eitel, Demystifying the End of Life Medical Options Act
The End of Life Option Act became law on June 9, making California the fifth state to have a Medical Aid-In-Dying law. Dolores will present an overview of the law and how to access it. Dolores is a Family Nurse Practitioner, a retired Hospital Administrator and university professor with more than 60 years in health care, including consulting on the first Right To Die law, working with Elizabeth Kubler Ross, serving on the Ethics Committees, implementing Hospice Services and teaching End of Life Planning.
Nov. 11:
No class. Veterans' Day.
Nov. 18: Anne Rewell, First Fleet: The journey from England to Botany Bay
In May 1787, 11 ships set sail from Portsmouth, England, bound for Botany Bay. The eight-month journey was the beginning of the world's largest penal colony and the start of a nation.
Nov. 25:
No class. Thanksgiving Holiday.
Dec. 2: Richard Rypinsky, Volcanoes in Berkeley??? The Dramatic Geologic Story of How Northern California Got Here
This presentation will cover a time journey of more than 200 million years, including episodes of volcanism that have been a part of our changing landscape. Richard is a citizen-geologist. He began his academic studies after retiring from public agency trial law. He has audited numerous geology courses at Sac State and San Francisco State, as well as participating in many professionally led field trips.