Mini-Seminars

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

Beth Mann, Ed Speegle

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 to be sure of what's on the docket each Friday.


Feb. 2: Emiliano Diaz: Mentoring and its Benefits in a University Setting.
The Director of Equity Access at CSUS will be discussing why mentoring works, why opportunities make a difference, and how they impact a student's graduation and career trajectory but especially life skills. Also discussed will be principles of quality mentoring.
Feb. 9: Al Wolfgang: Korea! Why are we concerned and involved?
This presentation by member Al, a retired US Army colonel, will outline a little history; discuss the current political situation; bust (correct) a few myths; hopefully create a better understanding of the issues and maybe even identify some options, short of war.
Feb. 16: Eileen Sarasohn: "And Then They Came For Me."
What happens when an entire community of American citizens is labeled a pariah, feared and called murderers of Americans, stripped of their legal rights and imprisoned without trial? Eileen Sunada Sarasohn is professor emerita of history, editor of "The Issei: Portrait of a Pioneer" and author of Issei Women: Echoes from Another Frontier. She will present a personal account and assessment of how the incarceration affected her family and the Sacramento Japanese-American community, exploring the human costs and perhaps serving as a contemporary warning.
Feb. 23: Sandra Carter: Nicaraguan Pottery Project.
The Friends of San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua, is a long-standing non-profit Sacramento organization that sells the unique Nicaraguan pottery in Sacramento and then returns the proceeds to the community in the form of scholarships and infrastructure community development projects. In this presentation, learn about the pottery, the culture and the people of San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua.
March 2: Tom Kando: The Future of Europe.
Tom Kando, Sociology emeritus at CSUS, was born in Budapest during WWII and lived in Paris slums and Amsterdam Counterculture before coming to America at age 18. He will share a recent survey by The Royal Institute of International Affairs among a cross-section of the European Union that reveals an important divide in general attitudes, beliefs and life experiences between the elites and the general public. How will this divide play out? A fascinating look at the future of Europe from someone who still has family ties there.
March 9: Nancy Thurston, Sharing Experiences about the Music and Memory Project.
Are you curious about what the Music and Memory project is? It is a program that brings music to the lives of many with dementia/Alzheimer's. Come and learn about the project and its implementation at a local nursing home, one of 30 California facilities involved in a UC Davis study evaluating the project. Hear comments made by nursing home staff regarding its positive, overall effect. Listen to one volunteer's personal experiences with residents creating personalized music playlists that are sure to touch your heart.
March 16: Tom Moy: The Beatles: Japan's First Rock Concert.
Learn first-hand what life was like as an overseas military brat in Japan during the tumultuous '60s for a teenager who came of age as a rocker in his own bands in the heydays of the Beatles and the 1964 Olympics. See family life on a military base in Japan during the Vietnam War buildup and experience campus unrest while attending college in Tokyo.
March 23:
No class. Spring Break.
March 30:
No class. Cesar Chavez Holiday.
April 6: Lee Ruth: Understanding the Baltics.
A brief overview of the history, culture and traditions of the nations that border the southern coast of the Baltic Sea (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). The session will include discussion of the bitter lessons of the past learned from exposure to Communism and the current challenges generated by Putinism.
April 13: An American-Muslim Couple's Perspective on Islam and Living as Muslims in America.
We have the opportunity to learn from Dr. Anne Kjemtrup and her husband, Kamal Lemseffer, who make their home in Davis, and are active at the Salam Center. Kamal will talk about growing up in a Muslim country (Morocco), and Anne will talk about being a convert. They will share with us what it is like being a Muslim in this country today.
April 20: Richard Lui: Growing Older with Grace and Grit: The Seven Steps for a Happier Elder Life.
Richard Lui is a local licensed individual couple and family counselor, author, local community theater actor, mindfulness meditator, grateful husband of 38 years, and father of three wonderful adult children who is growing older with grace, grit and a zest for life.
April 27: Arthur Murchison: Darwin.
Dr. Arthur Murchison will cover the influences of Charles Darwin: his family, his education, his supporters and detractors, the times and society in which he lived, his religion, his grand adventures during the voyage of the Beagle, his research and writings, the bad health he suffered and the principles on which his theory of speciation by natural selection is based.
May 4: Christopher Sanchez, Coalition for Humane Immigrants' Rights.
The DACA program and the Dreamers: An Update. Recent changes in the federal immigration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and their impact on the young immigrants covered by it.