Cuesta College’s popular Book of the Year program is gearing up for a variety of events throughout the coming weeks.

This year’s book is New York Times bestselling novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by award-winning science journalist Rebecca Skloot. The non-fiction narrative details the little known life story of an African-American woman who died of cancer but whose cells - harvested without her knowledge or permission in the 1950s - launched a medical revolution. Two members of the Lacks family will appear at Cuesta College for a presentation and book-signing event on April 12. (Tickets are no longer available online for this April 12 event. Limited tickets will be available at 4:30 p.m. on April 12 at the Cultural and Performing Arts Center box office on a first-come-first-serve basis. Further details are available below.)

All events are open to the public; they include:

·       Cal Poly Campus Discussion on Racism in the Medical Community
February 15, 1:00 p.m., Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, room 52-E23ON

·       Nursing Faculty Present: “Ethical Dilemmas in the News”

Cuesta College nursing faculty discuss issues related to ethics and human rights and highlight current public health issues, including mandatory vaccination, right-to-die laws, and animal testing in research.
March 10, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m., SLO Campus, room 6304

·       Cuesta College Biology Instructor Dr. Elizabeth Lobo presents “Tissue Culture Today: An Introduction to Tissue Culture Techniques and Discussion on Future Uses”
March 17, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Cuesta College North County Campus, room N5006; live conferencing to SLO Campus, room 5401

·       KCBX 90.1 FM Radio “Issues and Ideas” 
Listen in for a discussion of the Book of the Year Program and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Hosted by Brian Reynolds, with guest speakers Cuesta College Book of the Year Committee member Monica Fiscalini, SLO County Regional Librarian Roz Perini, and SLO County Regional Librarian Jackie Kinsey. 
March 22, 1:00 p.m.

·       Film Showing: The Polio Crusade
This PBS film about the polio epidemic follows the story of Dr. Jonas Salk, who used HeLa cells (derived from Henrietta Lacks) as he tested the first polio vaccine in the 1950s. The resulting medical breakthrough saved countless lives. 
March 21, 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m., San Luis Obispo City Library, Community Room

·       Cuesta College STEM Club Showcase
Cuesta College’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Club invites all students, staff, and the local community to an open house featuring STEM projects, a demonstration of the Ruben’s flame tube, and a chance to meet with STEM club members.
March 23, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m., SLO Campus, room 5401

·       Film Showing: Miss Evers’ Boys
This film tells the story of the Tuskegee project, a U.S. Federal Government secret medical experiment on poor, rural African Americans from 1932-1972.
April 6, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Paso Robles City Library, Conference Room
April 11, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Cuesta Cultural Center, SLO Campus, room 5104A

·       Panel & Workshop on Science, Ethics and HeLa Cells
How do local faculty teach The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? How are students bringing what they learn from the book into their academic and professional lives? Join members of the Lacks family, Cuesta College and Cal Poly faculty, and students from various departments, who will discuss different aspects of the novel. Following the panel will be student-led breakout sessions around issues such as science, research ethics, inclusivity, and social justice.

April 12, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., SLO Campus, room 5401; live conferencing to Cuesta College’s North County Campus, room N5006. RSVP to cuestabook@gmail.com or 805-546-3190

In addition, multiple public library presentations and book discussions will take place in March and April throughout the county. For a full list of events, visit www.cuesta.edu/library/book.  

The Lacks family’s visit to Cuesta College will take place on April 12, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are no longer available online for this event. Limited tickets will be available at 4:30 p.m. on April 12 at the CPAC box office on a first-come-first-serve basis. For questions about the Book of the Year Program, please email cuestabook@gmail.com.

Parking permits are required for all events at Cuesta College except for April 12 events: $2 permits available at kiosks in campus parking lots. Click here for campus Information and maps.

The Book of the Year Program is a project of the Academic Senate of Cuesta College and organized by the Cuesta College Book of the Year Committee. For more information, please visit www.library.cuesta.edu/book or follow the Book of the Year program on Facebook and Twitter.


Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / Lauren_milbourne@cuesta.edu / Posted: 2/14/17