Lecture Series

Spring 2019

To register for lectures over the phone, please call (619) 260-4815.

Directing Traffic at the Intersection of Family Dynamics and Family Money

Tuesday, February 19, 10-11:30 a.m.

Beyond the first generation, family members have their own ideas about the best use of family money; so much so, most families tend to completely shy away from legacy planning. Doing so can lead to misunderstandings and bad feelings that fester over time and manifest themselves into heated, defensive positions at the death of one or more of the parents, tearing the family apart. James F. (Buddy) Thomas, Jr. CFP, AEP, founder of a 37 year La Jolla family office, will discuss how preparing for the transition can make all the difference between family harmony and family war.

On Wings of Peace

Wednesday, March 27, 10-11:30 a.m.

A lecture/demonstration introducing four Sacred Works by Bach, to be performed April 6, 2019 at the Angelus 2019 Lenten Concert in Founders Chapel

Bach’s music is about humanity and its quest for peace. Cantata 44 focuses on Lenten themes; suffering, guilt, and being caught in darkness are juxtaposed with longing for amity. Cantata 27 considers the inevitability of death and how to embrace it without despair. Motet 229 asks for the presence of Jesus to console humankind, while Cantata 93 suggests that Christ, on “wings of peace,” in His Crucifixion and Resurrection, shows the path of redemption. Bach’s music presents this dramatic arch, from desperation to confidence to trust, in riveting choruses, moving arias, dramatic recitatives, and communal hymns. The Department of Music’s Dr. Marianne Pfau, Director of the ‘Angelus Series of Sacred Music,’ will introduce music and text—and provide a demonstration of some of the historical instruments involved. The lecture provides a preview of the ‘Angelus Series,’ which will be performed live on April 6, 2019 in Founders Chapel.

The Shape of the Universe

Wednesday, April 3, 10-11:30 a.m.

The shape of our Earth is a sphere, but what is the shape of our Universe? And how can we possibly understand its shape when we are always inside it? Join Dr. Satyan Devadoss, Fletcher Jones Chair and Professor in the Department of Mathematics, and find out the answers based on the simple idea of multiplying pictures. The entire talk is heavily infused with visual imagery, and no background of any kind is needed.

Understanding Brain Functions: An Exploration of Memory and Behavior

Tuesday, April 16, 10-11:30 a.m.

Animal models are widely used to study diverse brain functions. Examining performance on different tasks enables us to better understand various cognitive functions, including memory and decision making. Further, animals that have pathological changes, similar to what is seen in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, can be used as models for examining the neural decline of cognitive functions seen in such neurological disorders. USD McNair Scholars Alexandra Unapanta and Larissa Olivas work in the labs of two USD professors, Dr. Rachel Blaser and Dr. Jena Hales, where they use rat models to explore the brain-basis of memory and behavior. Join Alexandra and Larissa as they describe their research projects examining the performance of rats on complex memory tasks as well as naturalistic tasks in which various functions of the brain are explored.

The Importance of Freedom of Press in a Democracy

Wednesday, May 1, 10-11:30 a.m.

Join Dr. Mary Brinson, from the Department of Communication Studies, as she returns to Bridges Academy. In her previous Bridges Academy lecture, Dr. Brinson discussed fake news and filter bubbles, providing a perfect connection and introduction to this upcoming lecture. In this lecture, Dr. Brinson will explore the importance of a free press and how it is an essential component of democracy and what our founding fathers had intended for us. The U.S. Constitution and the Republic that was created for us come with responsibilities for maintenance. We the people, as well as the press and the government, all have specific responsibilities as intended by our founding fathers—and we will look at how well we are currently doing.

The Non-Native Parrots of San Diego’s Urban Jungle

Tuesday, May 14, 10-11:30 a.m.

At least 13 introduced species of parrots are living in the wild in Southern California. One of these species is the Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis), native to northeastern Mexico and classified as endangered in its native range due to habitat loss and capture for the exotic pet trade. Parrots have been reported in Southern California since the 1960s and are escaped or released pets that have been thriving in our urban spaces. Join Dr. Janel Ortiz, from the Department of Biology, as she discusses her collaborative research with Biology undergraduates in estimating populations and highlighting important habitat characteristics of San Diego’s parrots. Monitoring efforts of these parrots are necessary to track the fluctuations of their population, possible expansion, as well as potential effects they may have on us, the environment, and native wildlife. Join us to explore how you can get involved in learning more about our noisy neighbors!