Community Dialogues

CSU Monterey Bay plays an important role in regional, cultural and economic development. The Community Dialogues (Formerly The President's Speaker Series) advances that effort.

The Community Dialogues keep with Cal State Monterey Bay's role as a community resource, providing forums for thoughtful and provocative discussions that can impact thought and action on issues important to our community and our nation.

2017-2018 Season

Community Dialogues on Immigration - Bane or blessing?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
5:30pm — 7:30pm
CSUMB at Salinas City Center


Please join President Eduardo M. Ochoa for a facilitated dialogue on the issue of immigration in the United States. Spanish-speaking facilitators will be available.

Previous 2017-2018 Community Dialogues:

Community Dialogues on Health Care

Monday, October 16, 2017
5:30pm — 7:00pm
University Center


TITLE: "Obamacare: Mend it or end it?" Please join President Eduardo M. Ochoa for a facilitated dialogue on the issue of health care in the United States.

2016-2017 Season

Immigration Now: Workforce & Education Impacts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
3:30pm — 5:00pm

Dr. James Canton, Futurist and Author

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
3:30pm — 5:00pm

President's Speaker Series: Richard Wolffe on Globalization

Thursday, October 27, 2016
3:30pm — 5:30pm
World Theater

Globalization: The real impact on our nation, California and the Monterey Bay region.

2015-2016 Season

Transportation: Imagining the Path to Success!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 2:30 p.m. - Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting 3:30 p.m. - President's Speaker Series Presentation CSUMB @ Salinas City Center 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901 Free Event. RSVP Required.


Please join President Eduardo M. Ochoa for the final installment of the 2015-16 President's Speaker Series. We will kick off this final event with a Grand Opening of CSUMB @ Salinas City Center. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony that will begin at 2:30 PM, with the presentation on transportation beginning at 3:30 PM. A reception will immediately follow the presentation. CSUMB works to make events accessible to all. To request special accommodations or for more information, please call CSUMB @ Salinas City Center at 831-772-7021 or email

Industry and policy experts will explore the challenging transportation issues facing the Monterey Bay region. The panel will look at the major local highways and how to develop a mixed regional approach of car, bike, bus and light rail use, improving pedestrian routes, and what's necessary to entice drivers to carpool, walk or bike.

Featured Speakers

Drusilla van Hengel

Drusilla van Hengel

Drusilla van Hengel has more than 20 years of academic and practical transportation planning and operations experience. She focuses on bicycle and pedestrian master planning and capital project development, project evaluation, healthy communities, and safe routes to schools and parks. Her academic background and public sector work in land development, traffic operations, and community planning provides a unique perspective for communities as they decide how to make walking and bicycling viable options for people of all ages and abilities. While working for the City of Santa Barbara, Dru’s efforts doubled the number of bike lanes, initiated the Safe Routes to School Program, and earned the City both Walk Friendly and Bicycle Friendly Community Status.

Karen Frick

Karen Frick

Dr. Karen Trapenberg Frick is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. She also is Co-Director of the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC) and Assistant Director of the University of California Transportation Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT). Karen is an expert on sustainable transportation and community-based policies and strategies as well as major infrastructure projects. Prior to her University position, Karen was a transportation planner at the San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission for nine years where she worked on a wide range of activities including the agency's award-winning Transportation for Livable Communities program, congestion pricing, transport funding, and legislative analysis.

 Bryan Jones

Bryan Jones

Bryan Jones is Principal at Alta Planning + Design. He has held leadership positions within the Public Works Departments for the Cities of Carlsbad, Fremont, and Fresno where he has inspired and developed big campaigns and aligned them with a strategic implementation plans that delivered numerous pedestrian, bicyclist, and complete and livable street projects. He also serves as a voting member of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee appointed by the State of California DOT to represent bicyclists and pedestrians statewide as it pertains to standards, guidelines and policies in the California Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He received his civil engineering degree from UC Davis and his MPA from Norwich University.

Building the Workforce of the 21st Century

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

3:30 p.m.

A thriving Monterey Bay region requires a skilled, educated workforce to power the future high-tech, high-value, sustainable industries of the 21st century. How can we identify career paths for both academic and vocational institutions to help us achieve these goals? Which are the new educational and training paradigms that leverage technology to connect students and workers with the jobs and companies of the future?

CSUMB works to make events accessible to all. To request special accommodations or for more information, please call the World Theater Box Office at 831-582-4580 or email

Featured Speakers

Rick Antle, CEO Tanimura & Antle

Rick Antle, CEO Tanimura & Antle

Chris Benner, Ph.D.,  Professor of Environmental Studies at the UC Santa Cruz

Chris Benner, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Studies at the UC Santa Cruz

Tim Rainey, Executive Director California Workforce Development Board

Tim Rainey, Executive Director California Workforce Development Board founders, Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. founders, Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin.

From Bootstrapping Start-up to Leader in Online Learning

The Story

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 3:30 p.m.

Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin are the founders of, a leading site for online learning purchased by LinkedIn in June 2015. Weinman and Heavin are spouses, business partners and visionaries. Their incredible story begins in Santa Barbara, building a company for years with no outside financing in a small market. They will talk about the inspiration for, key start-up challenges, the early subscription model, growing the company into a world leader, the synergy and cultural match with LinkedIn, lessons learned, the future of online learning and working together as a couple. Locations: * Colligan Theater Tannery Arts Center (Santa Cruz, CA) * CSUMB World Theater (Simulcast)

Panel: Affordable Housing in the Tri-County Area

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 3:30 p.m.

Carol J. Galante

Carol J. Galante - Professor and Faculty Director in Housing and Urban Policy, UC Berkeley

Jennifer LeSar

Jennifer LeSar - An expert in community development and real estate finance

Owen Lawlor

Owen Lawlor - An expert in real estate development and environmental design


A thriving region requires not only job creation and a trained workforce, but also an adequate supply of housing that the workforce can afford. The Monterey Bay region is in the midst of a housing crisis in terms of available stock and affordability. Only 15-percent of the Santa Cruz County and 27-percent of the Monterey County population can afford to own a home. How can the Monterey Bay region ensure this essential component of a productive regional economy? What are the appropriate policy levers in zoning and strategic planning? What other economic elements, such as alternative funding sources, must be present? Join us as three experts discuss solutions for affordable housing in the Tri-county area.

2014-2015 Season

David Helvarg Headshot

Executive Director, Blue Frontier Campaign

David Helvarg

The Golden Shore - California, the Pacific and the Future of our Coast and Ocean April 27, 2015 3:30 P.M.

David Helvarg is an author and Executive Director of Blue Frontier Campaign. In addition to his books, David is editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards and Blue Vision Summits for ocean activists. He is the winner of Coastal Living Magazine's 2005 Leadership Award and the 2007 Herman Melville Literary Award. Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covered a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he has produced more than 40 documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel and others. His print work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Sierra. David is a licensed Private Investigator, body-surfer and scuba diver.

Leo Chavez Headshot

Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine

Dr. Leo R. Chavez

Why Immigration Reform is so Difficult to Achieve March 27, 2015 3:30 P.M.

Dr. Chavez has studied immigration for more than 25 years. He has conducted numerous studies on immigrant families, motives for migration, labor market participation, social integration and access to medical services. He is the author of Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society; Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation; and The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation.

Manuel Pastor Headshot

Professor of Sociology/American Studies and Ethnicity, USC

Manuel Pastor

America fast forward? Demographic Shifts, Economic Challenges, and the Future of California January 30, 2015 3:30 P.M.

The social and economic changes in California in the last few decades foreshadowed what is now happening in the nation as a whole; indeed, the demographic change in the state between 1980 and 2000 is what the U.S. is projected to experience between 2000 and 2050. In our passage, rising immigration, widening inequality, and a strained fiscal system challenged the state (and now the nation), but we are now at a critical turnaround as our demography stabilizes, our economy catches its breath, and public finances are finally on (slightly) firmer ground. What’s ahead for the Golden State? How do we ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability for the next generation of Californians? And what are the lessons for a nation experiencing widening divides by income, geography and politics?

Paul Saffo and Eduardo Ochoa

Futurist, Stanford University

Paul Saffo

Innovators, Upstarts, and Mythmakers: The Deep Origins of Silicon Valley November 4, 2014 3:30 P.M.

Dr. Saffo is a forecaster with more than two decades of experience in helping corporate and government clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale change. He poses the question: Why does Silicon Valley produce one revolution after another? Conventional wisdom credits big visions, great management and a history of success. Conventional wisdom is wrong Dr. Saffo says. Silicon Valley’s unique edge is built on the rubble of failure, poor management and a crucial third ingredient that leads us to innovate relentlessly against the odds. That crucial element is inextricably tied to the history of Monterey Bay.

2013-2014 Season

2013-2014 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
3/4/2014 Mary Jo Waits
3/28/2014 David Kennedy
4/9/2014 Jeff Edmondson

2012-2013 Season

2012-2013 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
11/16/2012 Candace Thille
3/27/2013 Sebastian Thrun
4/25/2013 Jaime Merisotis

2011-2012 Season

2011-2012 President's Speaker Series
2011/2012 Speaker
9/27/2011 Belva Davis
10/13/2011 Mike Merzenich
11/1/2011 Tobias Wolff
2/21/2012 Barbara Martinez Jitner

2010-2011 Season

2010-2011 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
8/28/2010 Ed Begley Jr.
11/30/2010 Jeff Sheng
2/23/2011 Diane Ravitch

2009-2010 Season

2009-2010 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
9/2009 Brian Greene
2/2010 Junot Diaz

2008-2009 Season

2008-2009 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
10/2008 Matt Bai
12/2008 Irshad Manji
2/2009 Charles Fishman
3/2009 Sandra Steingraber

2007-2008 Season

2007-2008 President's Speaker Series
Date Speaker
9/2007 Dr. Philip Zimbardo
10/2007 Mark Beaker
11/2007 Daniel Ellsberg
2/2008 Dr. Robert Curry
2/2008 Thomas DeWolfe
3/2008 Sharon Hays
4/2008 Sherman Alexie