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The Student Activism Speaker Series (SASS)

The Caltech Y Student Activism Speaker Series (SASS) follows in the footsteps of past student-run series organized through the Caltech Y, including the Leaders of America Series (1955-1979) and the Distinguished Speaker Series (1990-1993). Like its predecessors, SASS originated from students desire to provide challenging and thought provoking exploration, and finding a home under the Y's umbrella of promoting engaged responsible citizenship. 











Student Activism Speaker SERIES 

2020 Matt Barreto (UCLA) – Racial Gerrymandering & Racially Polarized Voting Webinar


2020 Dorine van der Wall and Oliver Rosenbauer (World Health Organization) – WHO and Global Policy Webinar


2020 Jonathan Katz (Caltech Professor) – Partisan Gerrymandering Science Policy Webinar

2020 Bill Colglazier (former Advisor to Secretary of State & NAS Executive Officer) – Science Policy and Diplomacy

2019 Sean McKenna – Housing Crisis in LA


2019 Reina Buenconsejo and Sarah Cohen (students) – Science Policy Opportunities for Students in DC


2019 Socialists of Caltech (club) – Rent Control


2019 Liam Dillon (LA Times Journalist) – Housing and Homelessness Crisis


2019 Scott Pace (Executive Secretary, national Space Council) – From Apollo to Artemis: Lunar Policy


2019 Francisco Donez (EPA) – Reducing Air Pollution from Heavy-Duty Diesel


2019 Emily Lakdawalla (Planetary Society) – Speaking Your Science


2019 Brigitte Roth Tran ( – Extreme Weather and Firm Return Dynamics


2019 Kate Chandler – Crash History of Drones


2019 Extinction Short Film w/ Iram Parveen Bilal (Director)


2019 Casey Dreier (Planetary Society Policy Director) – How to be a Space Advocate


2019 Brian Toon – Dinosaurs and Nuclear Wars


2019 No Mas Bebes Documentary w/ Renee Tajima-Pena - Director


2019 Asa Hopkins – A Pathway to Policy


2018 Christina Bellantoni


2018 President Tom Rosenbaum – Academics and the National Debate


2018 CA Propositions Overview – League of Women Voters


2018 Jamie Tijerina -


2018 Merchants of Doubt Documentary w/ Eric Conway (JPL Historian)


2018 Adam Winkler – We the Corporations – UCLA Law Prof


2018 Carl McPherson – College and Inequality


2018 Regina Dugan – Tech Policy Discussion – Former VP Facebook and Google; Former Director of DARPA


2018 Company Town Documentary with Producers


2018 Sam Wang – Fixing Democracy with Statistics, Science and Law – Princeton Prof


2018 Simon Wong & Boeing Shih – FBI Cyber Security


2018 Tracey Van Houten – JPL Scientist and former Political Candidate


2018 Gary Tyler – Exonerated from Death Row – with CCD


2018 Amber Cantorna – Coming Out from a "Focus on the Family" Family – with CCD


2018 Melina Abdullah – Black Lives Matter – with CCD


2017 Citizen's Climate Lobby: Dan Brotman, Glendale CC Econ Prof; Peter Kamus, JPL Climate Scientist; Carol

Kravetz, Prod. Coord; Austin Minnich, CIT ME Prof


2017 Erin Hartman – Understanding Uncertainty in Polling – UCLA Prof, formerly ran polling and analytics - Obama for America


2017 Michael Dello-Iacovo – Effective Altruism – former CEO of EA Australia


2017 Hamed Qawasmeh – Feasibility of the Two State Solution


2017 Victor Reis – Nuclear Policy – former Sr. Adv, DOE; former Dir, DARPA; former Ass. Dir, National Security and Space - OSTP


2017 Citizens Climate Lobby Panel


2017 Carl Pabo – Helping Democracy Think – Visiting Professor The World in 2050


2017 Robb Willer –Political Communication in a Polarized World – Stanford University


2017 Ron Lin – Scientists Talking with the Media - LA Times


2017 Robert Hanrahan – Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship


2017 David Wright – Domestic Nuclear Weapons Policy - Union of Concerned Scientists


2017 Michael Nacht – Nuclear Weapons Policy on a Global Stage - Berkeley


2017 Jennifer Mustos: Trafficking and Technology – with Feminist Club


2016 Minimum Wage Panel: Larry Wilson, Daniel Flaming, Abel Ramirez, and Pablo Alvarado


16-17 Science Policy Lunch Series [Jonathan Katz, France Cordova, Rush Holt]


2016 Miles Corwin – (Author: And Still We Rise) - on Educational Access


2016 Morgan Kousser – Supreme Court and the 2016 Election


2016 David Baltimore – Ethics of Genetic Engineering – with SEPAC


2016 Mike Nelson & Kathleen Doherty – (Science Advisor; US Ambassador to Cyprus) National & International Politics and Power


2015 David Cruz (USC Law Prof) – Civic Rights, Civic Equality, and Religious Liberty


2015 Space Entrepreneurship Panel (Rob Hoyt, Michael Rubel, Chris Vorhees; Sergio Pellegrino Moderator) w/KISS


2015 Scott Pace (GW Space Policy Institute) Lecture and Lunch w/ KISS


2015 Hank Jones (former Black Panther) – Lunch


2015 Alex Joel (US Civil Liberties Protection Officer) - Lunch


2015 Betty Medsger (Journalist), John and Bonnie Raines (burglars)


2015 Wendy Kohlhase (bio medical ethicist – Ebola Ethics) - Lunch


2014 Alex Joel (US Civil Liberties Protection Officer) - Lunch


2014 Kim Shriner (Tanzania Project – Huntington Hospital) – Lunch w/ CMA


2014 Wendy Kolhase (bio medical ethicist – Huntington Hospital) – Lunch w/PMA


2014 Susan Herman (ACLU President)


2013 Boots Riley (musician and activist)


2013 Jaimala and Hitesh Gupta (Indian NGO's) – w/OASIS


2013 Gerald Kominski (UCLA Health Policy Research)


2013 Elizabeth Calvin (Human Rights Watch – juvenile justice and foster care systems)


2012 Rich O'Toole (JPL Legislative Affairs)


2012 Jared Rivera (Latino Labor and Voting Activist) w/ CCD


2012 Suzie Baldwin (MD, Human Trafficking)


2012 Tavis Smiley (Broadcaster, Author)


2011 Jeremy Scahill (Journalist – Afghanistan)


2011 Shukry Cattan (International Rescue Committee - Refugees)


2011 The Yes Men (Impersonators, Activists)


2011 Jim Fruchterman (Benetech) w/ Caltech Entrepreneur Club


2011 Steve Koonin (Under Secretary for Science) w/ CMA


2011 Hidden Documentary - Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) w/Amnesty


2010 Ira Leifer (NASA Gulf Oil Spill Response) w/ CMA


2010 Alexis Madrigal (Journalist – Clean Tech History) w/ESW


2011 Science Policy Lunch Series [Nate Lewis, Hall Daily]


2010 Matt Gonzalez (Civil Rights Attorney, Green Poltician)


2010 Jeremy Scahil (Journalist - Blackwater)


2010 Kalaya'an Mendoza (Amnesty International)


2010 C.I.C.L.E (Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange)


2010 Karim Sadjadpour (Carnegie Endowment - Series on Iran)


2010 Abbas Millani (Stamford Professor – Series on Iran)


2009 Gary Blasi (UCLA Professor – Homelessness)


2009 Roger Cohen (NY Times Foreign Editor – Series on Iran)


2009 Sakura Kone (Common Ground – New Orleans)


2009 Jackson Katz (Violence Against Women Prevention)


2009 Friends of the LA River (Hike)


2009 Emily Pilloton (Project H Design )


2009 Jim Fruchterman (Benetech)


2008 Sam Childers (Angels of East Africa)


2008 Andy Bales (LA Rescue Mission)


2008 Morgan Simon (Responsible Endowments Coalition)


2008 Chris Mooney & Matthew Nesbit (Framing Science)


2008 Paul Polak (Out of Poverty – When Traditional Ways Fail)


2008 Sufyan Omeish & Abdallah Omeish (Occupation 101)


2008 Nelson, Foster, Paradise and Kennedy(JPL vs. HSPD12 )


2008 Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar (Made In LA)


2007 Kevin Sites (War Journalist – Author)


2007 Chris Mooney (Science Journalist - Author)


2007 Reagan Demas (International Justice Mission)


2007 China Blue Documentary (Fair Trade)


2007 Kevin Sites (War Journalist – Author)


2006 Rev. George Regas (All Saints Church vs. IRS)


2006 Invisible Children Documentary (Sudan)


2006 Enrique Devalos & Rogelio Vencia


2006 Black Gold Documentary (Fair Trade)


2006 Jack Duvall (International Center on Non Violent Conflict)


2006 Nikki Giovanni (Author - Racism)


2005 Steve Barr (Green Dot Schools)


2005 Chris Mooney (Science Journalist - Author)


2005 Ralph Nader (Green Presidential Candidate)


2005 Peter Dreier (Fair Trade)


2005 Kurt Gottfried (Union of Concerned Scientists)


2005 Ka Hsaw Wa (Burmese Activist)


2004 Science Policy Forum [David Baltimore , Janet Hering, Vasavada, and David Goodstein


2004 Chuck Collins (United for a Fair Economy)


2004 Mike Farrell (Death Penalty Focus)


2004 Bernie Sanders (Independent US Congressman)


2003 Gerard Ungerman (Plan Columbia)


2003 Rahul Mahajan (Author)


2003 Peter Camejo (Green / Latino Candidate for Govenor)


2003 Tahmeena Faryl (RAWA)


2003 Theodore Postol (Missile Defense – MIT)


2003 Huwaida Arraf & Adam Shapiro (Int. Solidarity Movement)


2002 Scott Ritter (former UN Weapons Inspector – Iraq)


2002 Hunter Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institute)


2002 Tim Wise (Anti Racism Activist)


2001 Jose Ramos-Horta (Nobel Peace Prize – E. Timor)


2001 Michelle Mascarenhas


2001 Mike Dolan


2000 Amy Goodman (Radio Host - Democracy Now)


2000 Jody Williams


2000 Adam Werbach (Sierra Club)


1999 Dolores Huerta (United Farm Workers)

The Distinguished Speaker Series

1992-93 Judy Gorman


1992-93 Igor Nlimov 


1992-93 Paul Orfalea 


1992-93 Vladamir Kovalenko


1992-93 Nikki Giovanni 


1990 Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu

The Leaders Of America Series


Paul McCready LOA 78-79


Harlan Ellison LOA 78-79


James Whittaker & Diane Roberts LOA 78-79


Stansfield Turner LOA 78-79


William F. Buckley, Jr. LOA 78-79


John Andelin LOA 77-78


Richard Wilcox LOA 77-78


Ivor Richard LOA 77-78


Edmund "Pat" Brown, Jr. LOA 77-78


Morris Udall LOA 76-77


Edward Teller LOA 76-77


Jess Marlow LOA 76-77


Joseph Rhodes, Jr. LIA 75-76


Jeremy Stone LIA 75-76


H. Guyford Stever LIA 75-76


James D. Watson LIA 75-76


Harrison Jack Schmitt LOA 73-74


Linus Pauling LOA 73-74


Shirley M. Hufstedler LOA 72-73


Julian Bond LOA 72-73


Arthur W. Golstan LOA 72-73


D.C. James LOA 70-71


Paul Goodman LOA 66-67


Rosemary Park LOA 66-67


Abraham Kaplan LOA 66-67


Saul Alinsky LOA 65-66


Ted Sorensen LOA 65-66


John Ciardi LOA 64-65


Simon Ramo LOA 64-65


Ralph Helstein LOA 63-64


Lukas Foss LOA 63-64


Roy Wilkins LOA 63-64


David Reisman LOA 62-63


Barry Goldwater LOA 62-63


Sidney Hook LOA 61-62


James A. Pike LOA 61-62


Margaret Mead LOA 60-61


Archibald Macleish LOA 60-61


Carl Rogers LOA 59-60


Norman Cousins LOA 59-60


James B. Conant LOA 58-59


Abraham Maslow LOA 58-59


Martin Luther King, Jr. LOA 1958


Ralph Bunch LOA 55-56


William O. Douglas LOA 55-56


Paul G. Hoffman LOA 55-56

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