Spring 2019 Lecture Series

Free Admission to All Events

You are invited to join us for intriguing and engaging discussions.

Lecture Series Details

Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis. Public parking is limited during the day at SMC. Please allow extra time when attending events. See Transportation at SMC for parking options.

Disability Accomodations LogoIf you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in any of these events, please contact Stephanie Schlatter at schlatter_stephanie@smc.edu or (310) 434-4313,, at least 5 business days in advance.


Masters of Dance

PDF File of the Masters of Dance Postcard

Ching Ching Wong

Contemporary Modern Dance

Winner of the 2015 Princess Grace Award in Dance and named by Dance Magazine in its “25 to Watch” in 2017, Ching Ching Wong began her dance training at Allegria Dance Theater under Dr. Alia Harlan Kaneaiakala, danced seven seasons with Northwest Dance Project, performed on season 15 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” and recently returned from a 10-month world tour that included restaging work for Swiss choreographer Ihsan Rustem and collaborating with violinist-looper Joe Kye, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, The Assembly, and Katie Scherman. Wong will lead a class that explores tools for use in the creation process, such as physicality, theatrical components, choices, sensations, and partnering. If participating, wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

Thursday, March 28 | 10:15 a.m. | Free | CPC 304 & 308

Sarah Anindo Marshall

African Dance

Kenya-born Sarah Anindo Marshall, a Certified Dunham Technique Instructor and a member of the Katherine Dunham Certification Board, studied West African dance with Kimoko Samo, formerly artistic director of Guinea’s Les Ballet Africains. Anindo Marshall has taught at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Dance Dimensions, University of Southern California, Lula Washington Dance Theater, and Dallas Black Dance Theater, among others, and is also a vocalist and a percussionist who studied with renowned percussionists such as Babatunde Olatunji and Mamadi Keita. She will lead a class that explores the richness of African Dance traditions, focusing on West African Djembe and Central African. If participating, wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

Wednesday, April 24 | 3:45 p.m. | Free | CPC 304 & 308

Denise Leitner

Contemporary Lyrical

Denise Leitner, internationally known as a choreographer for stage, screen, television, and music videos, is the founder of critically acclaimed Dancer’s Voice, which performs at dance festivals worldwide. She conducts workshops and master classes throughout the United States and abroad, trains dancers to work in a variety of entertainment media, has worked with Bjork and Nona Hendrix, and privately coaches performing artists such as Kate Hudson and Topher Grace. Leitner will lead a contemporary lyrical class that introduces how to dance from the inside out by embodying various aspects of dance forms, including jazz, ballet, and modern. If participating, wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

Thursday, May 23 | 12:30 p.m. | Free | CPC 304 & 308


Literary Talks & Readings

PDF File of the Literary Talks & Readings Postcard

Dana Johnson

In the Not Quite Dark and Other Stories: A Reading by Dana Johnson

Author Dana Johnson reads selections from her short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. An English professor and director of the PhD in Creative Writing and Literature Program at the USC, Johnson authored Break Any Woman Down, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and numerous publications, including Zyzzyva and The Paris Review. Additional sponsor: SMC’s Black Collegians Program.

Tuesday, February 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Adam Winkler

We the Corporations: Adam Winkler Explains How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Adam Winkler, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, is a specialist in American constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He is the author of We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (2018) and Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011) and, according to a 2016 study, he is one of the top 20 law professors for citations by the courts. He served as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2d Edition), his articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and Scotusblog, and he is a frequent commentator about legal issues on radio and TV news and talk shows.

Tuesday, March 19 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Art 214

Nina Revoyr

A Student of History: A Reading by a Southland Author

Award-winning novelist and children’ advocate Nina Revoyr reads excerpts from her recent novel, A Student of History, which explores the early and present-day dynamics of race and class in Los Angeles through the eyes of a young man navigating a world where he does not belong. Revoyr grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, and was recently executive vice president and chief operating officer of a nonprofit organization serving children affected by violence and poverty. She is also an editor, along with poet X.J. Kennedy and poet and former National Endowment for the Arts Chair Dana Gioia, of the college textbook Literature for Life: A Thematic Introduction to Reading and Writing.

Wednesday, March 27 | 6:30 p.m. | Free | HSS 104

Live Poetry Readings

Surreal Borderlines & Portals to Awareness

Join Mario Padilla and a noteworthy spectrum of writers — including David Burak, Eleni Hioureas, Grace Smith, and a selection of SMC students — for live poetry readings. Additional sponsors: SMC African American Collegiate Center and SMC’s Adelante Program.

Thursday, April 18 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Maja Mataric

Creating Robots that Care

Maja Matarić is an award-winning robotics designer whose research focuses on developing robot-assisted therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, and individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. She is a professor and the Chan Soon-Shiong chair in the USC Computer Science Department and Department of Pediatrics, founding director of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center, and codirector of the USC Robotics Research Lab. Matarić has published extensively, is the author of the introductory robotics textbook The Robotics Primer (2007), and is an associate editor of three major journals. Additional sponsors: SMC STEM Program, SMC Life Sciences Department, and SMC Global Citizenship.

Tuesday, April 23 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Science 140

Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC English Department.


Communication & Media

PDF File of the Communication & Media Postcard

A Conversation With:

Former LA Radio Personality Ben Kelly and Entertainment Project Manager Joi Hardy

Ben Kelly and Joi Hardy will talk about career strategies in radio and entertainment media. Kelly covered benchmark events like the O.J. Simpson trial and the 1992 L.A. Riots while at legendary 92.3 The Beat (now The Real 92.3), and currently serves as the Young Life College Director at the University of Southern California. Hardy works as an entertainment project manager. For NBCUniversal, she managed custom sponsorships and creative content across Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Movietickets.com, and Flixster for studio, streaming, and brand clients, including Disney, Sony, Fox, STX, and Netflix. Additional sponsor: SMC’s Black Collegians Program.

Thursday, February 28 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

​​Raha Lewis

A Career in Journalism with Entertainment Reporter Raha Lewis

Entertainment reporter Raha Lewis, an influencer for all things pop culture, fashion, and entertainment, will share her thoughts on the media business in the digital age. A former lawyer, she has written for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and InStyle, and is a familiar figure presenting exclusive stories on “E! News,” “Good Morning America,” and “Showbiz Tonight.”

Tuesday, March 26 | 7 p.m. | Free | Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180

Adele Lim

Crazy Rich Asians Behind-the-Scenes with Co-writer Adele Lim

Screenwriter Adele Lim presents behind-the-scenes stories and clips from Crazy Rich Asians, which she co-wrote with Peter Chiarelli, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan. Released in 2018, the film won the Critics’ Choice Best Comedy Award. It became the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade, while staying true to the film’s Asian and Asian-American roots. Lim, who is Chinese and grew up in Malaysia, is also a producer and has extensive TV writing credits.

Thursday, March 28 | 7 p.m. | Free | Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180

Undocumented and Muñecas

Short Film Screenings and Q&A with SMC Student and Alumni Filmmakers

Undocumented, directed by SMC alum Bishal Dutta and produced by SMC alums Lindsay Eberts and Oscar Huezo and current SMC student Dennis Sandoval, is “an elegant and devastating statement of how Dreamers and our country are both being robbed of our future,” according to Frank Stiefel, 2018 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, Short Subject. Undocumented is an official selection at the 38th International Festival of Film Schools in Munich. Muñecas, winner of the 2017 Prague Independent Film Festival Best Student Film Award, was partially inspired by writer/director and SMC student Osvaldo (Ozzy) Ozuna’s experiences growing up in Baja California, where drug-related violence remains a problem. A Q&A with the filmmakers follows the screening.

Tuesday, May 7 | 7 p.m. | Free | Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180

Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.


Business & Entrepreneurship

PDF File of the Business & Entrepreneurship flier

“Shark Tank” Entrepreneurs

Rey Ybarra

“Shark Tank” entrepreneurs take part in an informative Q&A session moderated by Rey Ybarra, a mediapreneur and author/producer of the multimedia book Conversations with Shark Tank Winners, which features powerful written, audio, and video stories with 14 entrepreneurs from the hit TV show “Shark Tank.” February program features an all-female panel of entrepreneurs who have appeared on “Shark Tank.” April program features Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who have appeared on “Shark Tank.” Additional sponsor: SMC Office of Workforce & Economic Development.

Thursday, February 28 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Thursday, April 18 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Main Stage at Theatre Arts Complex

Johnny Jeter

From Wrestler to Accountant: How SMC Changed the Life of a Former WWE Wrestler

Johnny H.R. Jeter, former professional wrestler and member of the WWE World Tag Team Title-winning Spirit Squad after Wrestlemania 22, will talk about his transition from the sports entertainment world to Santa Monica College for an education that led him to transfer to CSU Northridge and a degree in Accountancy. With help from SMC accounting professor Ming Lu, Jeter was awarded an internship at Deloitte and Touche, followed by a full-time position. Since then, he has worked on the finance and IT side of SOX Compliance and is an IT audit manager at Insight Enterprises Inc. Additional sponsor: SMC’s Adelante Program.

Thu, April 4 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Business Department, and SMC Rotaract Club.


Special Events

PDF File of the Special Event Postcard

Phat Girlz

Film Screening and Q&A with Nngest Likké

Filmmaker Nngest Likké presents a screening and discussion of her feature film Phat Girlz, which looks at the difficulties ‘large’ women encounter as they seek acceptance and love in a culture where ‘thin is in.’ Likké, an award-winning Los Angeles filmmaker of Ethiopian descent, is the director of Ben & Ara, exploring romance between two people of very different worlds. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC’s Black Collegians Program, and SMC’s Adelante Program.

Tuesday, February 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Main Stage at Theatre Arts Complex

Derric J. Johnson

Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere

Derric J. Johnson, founding director of Crossroads School’s Equity and Justice Institute, former senior deputy for public safety and justice in the Office of County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and a longtime community leader working with a variety of youth-focused programs, will talk about the importance of social justice for the advancement of society. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC’s Black Collegians Program, and SMC’s Adelante Program.

Thursday, March 7 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Senegalese Wrestling Photo Series

Q&A with Photographer Nico Therin

Los Angeles-based French photographer Nico Therin will present and discuss images from his visit to Senegal, where he documented its famed wrestling matches on the sand. Therin takes a collaborative approach to capturing intimate and colorful moments with his subjects, often in underrepresented communities, to celebrate them through movement and proximity. Sponsored by the SMC Associates.

Tuesday, March 12 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)


Black History Series

PDF File of Black History Month Flier

Phat Girlz

Film Screening and Q&A with Nngest Likké

Filmmaker Nngest Likké presents a screening and discussion of her feature film Phat Girlz, which looks at the difficulties ‘large’ women encounter as they seek acceptance and love in a culture where ‘thin is in.’ Likké, an award-winning Los Angeles filmmaker of Ethiopian descent, is the director of Ben & Ara, exploring romance between two people of very different worlds. Additional sponsor: SMC’s Adelante Program.

Tuesday, February 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Main Stage at Theatre Arts Complex

Dana Johnson

In the Not Quite Dark and Other Stories: A Reading by Dana Johnson

Author Dana Johnson reads selections from her short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. An English professor and director of the PhD in Creative Writing and Literature Program at the University of Southern California, Johnson authored Break Any Woman Down, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and numerous publications, including Zyzzyva and The Paris Review. Additional sponsor: SMC English Department.

Tuesday, February 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

A Conversation With:

Former LA Radio Personality Ben Kelly and Entertainment Project Manager Joi Hardy

Ben Kelly and Joi Hardy will talk about career strategies in radio and entertainment media. Kelly covered benchmark events like the O.J. Simpson trial and the 1992 L.A. Riots while at legendary 92.3 The Beat (now The Real 92.3), and currently serves as the Young Life College Director at the University of Southern California. Hardy works as an entertainment project manager. For NBCUniversal, she managed custom sponsorships and creative content across Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Movietickets.com, and Flixster for studio, streaming, and brand clients, including Disney, Sony, Fox, STX, and Netflix. Additional sponsor: SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Thursday, February 28 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Derric J. Johnson

Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere

Derric J. Johnson, founding director of Crossroads School’s Equity and Justice Institute, former senior deputy for public safety and justice in the Office of County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and a longtime community leader working with a variety of youth-focused programs, will talk about the importance of social justice for the advancement of society. Additional sponsor: SMC’s Adelante Program.

Thursday, March 7 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC’s Black Collegians Program.


Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series

PDF File of Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series Flier

William (Bill) Selby

Climate Change and Its Impacts on California

As human lives and billions of dollars are lost each year, which weather anomalies are the result of human-induced climate change? How might we adapt to these changes? William (Bill) Selby — SMC geography professor (emeritus) and author of Rediscovering the Golden State: California Geography (4th ed.) — discusses the scientific evidence of climate change and its impact on California’s natural landscapes, agricultural and modern industrial economies, and the quality of our living and working environments.

Tuesday, March 12 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Science 140

Jon Rynn

Why the Earth Needs a Global Green New Deal

As part of SMC’s Earth Week activities, Jon Rynn — a fellow of the City University of New York Institute for Urban Systems (CIUS) and a former adjunct professor of political science at Baruch College — will talk about the decline of the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy, and a proposal to revive it and restructure the global economy with a Green New Deal. Rynn is the author of Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The Power to Rebuild the American Middle Class and an environmental blogger for grist.org. Additional sponsor: SMC Sustainability Department.

Tuesday, April 23 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Sponsored by the SMC Associates and the SMC Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Sciences departments.


Santa Monica College Associates