Graphic poster with information about event
Friday, February 1, 2019

New Social Science Speaker Series Brings Diverse Perspectives to Campus

This semester, a new speaker series called, People, Place, and Power brings together the diverse perspectives of Bay Area academics, practitioners, activists, and community stakeholders—exploring emerging issues across the social sciences. We sat down with co-collaborators of the project, Assistant Professor of political science, Katherine E. Michel, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of geography, Adam Levy P.h.D. to find out more.

How did you get this series together? Why did you do it?
After observing and working with the college community during our first two years teaching at Ohlone, we began to reflect on how we could help our students focus on key issues of power in the Bay Area. The program of guest lectures is designed to provide a platform to engage the remarkable expertise and experiences of Bay Area academics, practitioners, activists, and community stakeholders in the space of Ohlone College. The series brings together diverse perspectives that consider a breadth of contemporary topics ranging from gangs, gender, and gentrification to nature and nationalism.

What’s the goal of this series?
Under the intentionally-wide umbrella of “people, place, and power,” our aim is to bring together diverse perspectives that consider a breadth of contemporary topics. As two academics with many years of colloquia experience in our respective fields, we hope to introduce Ohlone stakeholders to excellent, groundbreaking, motivating speakers. Bringing such scholars to our community college will challenge and expand students’ analytical perspectives about people and their powers to make and manage places like the Tri-Cities today.

How did you get the speakers lined up?
After soliciting input from across the Social Sciences Division, we reached out to academics, professionals, and associations doing robust work in and on the Bay Area from an array of perspectives. Using leading institutions like UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford University we invited vibrant speakers doing important work to share their approach to thinking about big social problems.

What impact will it leave on students?
By exposing students to cutting-edge work in the social sciences, our proposed series aims to: (a) recruit students who might not (yet) realize the power of social science perspectives, (b) deepen connections between courses and field-based studies for budding social scientists, (c) promote more robust community-building among students, and (d) raise the profile of Ohlone College and its students among local universities, high schools, and surrounding industries.

The first talk in this speaker series will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at the Ohlone College Smith Center from 12:45-1:45 p.m. All events are FREE and open to the public. Parking on campus is $4.
For more information and details, visit