An event series beginning Sept. 14 will offer a new way for UCLA’s emeriti faculty and retired staff to stay engaged with some of the campus’s leading scholars.

The series, UCLA Conversations, will be curated and hosted by Stuart Wolpert, a 40-year veteran of UCLA’s media relations office who retired in 2022. Events will be presented at the UCLA Faculty Club by the UCLA Emeriti Association and UCLA Retirees Association in partnership with UCLA’s Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center.

“These will be conversations — not lectures, not PowerPoint presentations — with outstanding UCLA experts on important topics, followed by an audience question-and-answer period,” Wolpert said. “I’m very excited about all of these programs, and about offering unhurried, unscripted, engaging conversations that can enrich our lives.”

(View all upcoming UCLA Retirees Association events.)

Seven afternoon programs will be presented free of charge and open to emeriti and retirees, as well as current faculty, staff and students; registration in advance is recommended. Each of the afternoon programs will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m.:

Thursday, Sept. 14
Alan Castel, psychology professor and author of “Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging,” will discuss lessons he has learned from his research and from the personal accounts of older Americans, including John Wooden, UCLA professor Jared Diamond, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Maya Angelou, Warren Buffett, Vin Scully and Bob Newhart.

Thursday, Oct. 12
David Schaberg, professor of Asian languages and cultures, who was dean of the UCLA College Division of Humanities from 2011 to 2022, will discuss the role of the humanities in the training of students and the making of societies. 

Thursday, Dec. 7
Christel Aragon, director of UCLA Alumni Travel, and Dolores Dyer, director of travel for the UCLA Retirees Association, will answer questions about the UCLA Alumni Travel and UC Retirees Travel programs.

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024
Inna Faliks, professor and head of the piano department at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, will perform on the Faculty Club’s Steinway B piano and read from her new memoir, “Weight in the Fingertips: A Musical Odyssey from Soviet Ukraine to the World Stage.”

Wednesday, March 13
Sara Melzer, professor emeritus of French and Francophone studies, will speak about mindfulness and how it can improve people’s relationships, health and lives.

Thursday, April 11
Ming Guo, UCLA’s Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Professor of Neurosciences and is a professor of neurology, molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the NIH-funded Aging Center at UCLA, will discuss aging and the brain.

Thursday, May 30
Jacob Foster, a professor of sociology, computational social scientist and co-director of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute and external professor of the Santa Fe Institute, and Daniel Snelson, an assistant professor of English and design and a writer, editor and archivist will discuss the implications of artificial intelligence, including how it may impact creativity, art, culture, education, jobs and more.

Three dinner programs will be open only to emeriti association members and their guests; there will be a charge for meals. Each event will be held from 4:45 to 8:30 p.m.:

Wednesday, Nov. 15
Neil Garg, distinguished professor, Kenneth N. Trueblood Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, former chair of UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the only UCLA recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, will discuss the art of teaching.

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024
Lynn Vavreck, UCLA’s Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy and author of the acclaimed books “The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy” and “Identity Crisis,” will discuss lessons from the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, her thoughts on the 2024 elections and the state of American democracy.

Wednesday, May 15
Amy Rowat, UCLA’s Marcie H. Rothman Professor of Food Studies, will discuss the intersection of science and food. A National Science Foundation BRITE Fellow, Rowat is the author of more than 50 scientific papers.