Fresno State Talks lecture series covers chemistry, camaraderie and Bob Dylan

Fresno State Talks

~ By Kathleen Schock, reprinted from

Three Fresno State professors — nominated and selected by students for their abilities to engage, challenge and inspire — will share their bold ideas and discoveries with the public during the fifth annual Fresno State Talks lecture series in February.

The free, public lectures will be Feb. 8, 15 and 22 in the Satellite Student Union on campus. Each event starts with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by a lecture at 7 p.m.

The series kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 8, with Dr. Joy Goto, a chemistry professor who last year played a key role in developing a new approach to understanding the role of environmental toxins in ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. During her presentation “Serendipity, Discovery and Joy in Chemistry,” Goto will share her story as a scientist and the experiences that have shaped her outlook on teaching, mentoring and research.

Next, the series will feature Dr. Matthew Ari Jendian, who will present “Forward Together: Valuing Differences and Mobilizing Similarities to Achieve Common Goals.” A professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Jendian is the founding director of the humanics program at Fresno State. His lecture will focus on the interconnectedness of human beings, and how people can value differences while mobilizing around common goals.

Dr. Timothy Skeen, award-winning poet and professor of creative writing, will present the final talk in the series, “The Times They Are a Changin’: Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan and the Beat Poets.” Skeen will cover Dylan’s influence on both music and literature, juxtaposing Dylan’s prose against American Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg, Diane DiPrima and Jack Kerouac. Skeen serves as coordinator of the Creative Writing Program.

The speakers were nominated by Fresno State students and selected by a student-run committee. Taylor Ball, a junior agricultural business major and the Fresno State Talks committee lead, appreciates being able to recognize and give back to his professors.

“Professors play a significant role in our lives, helping us gain knowledge that we can use in our future endeavors. Being a member of the Fresno State Talks committee is rewarding because we get to express our gratitude and honor professors for the hard work they put into ensuring our future is bright.”

Breanne Scogin, coordinator for leadership programs at Fresno State, views this event as a way to share the insights of the University’s top faculty with the larger community. “Fresno State is home to immensely talented faculty and Fresno State Talks provides a venue to showcase this talent while providing engaging and educational lectures to the community.”

For more information, contact the Fresno State Talks committee at or call the Student Involvement Center at 559.278.2741.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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