Climate change, revered black author subjects of Sierra College Insights |

Climate change, revered black author subjects of Sierra College Insights

"Griffin's Way" is among many novels written by Frank Yerby.
Courtesy image |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Where do distinguished educators facilitate insightful discussions and share interesting information?

The same place where complimentary refreshments sponsored by the Truckee Starbucks are served: the Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee campus located at 11001 College Trail Road in Truckee.

“Sierra College Insights is one of the many links between our college campus and the broader community,” says Executive Dean Dr. Kim Bateman. “The series inspires dialogue between outstanding professors and attendees, and the conversations often continue at home.”

On Sept. 11, professor Lyndah Walsh unveils “Science or Prophecy: The Catch-22 of the American Science Adviser.”

Dr. Walsh will address some of the key controversies in the history of American science policy-making, and will identify a thread that runs through all of them — namely, the tendency to treat scientists as prophets.

Expect to hear about and ask questions regarding the language around DDT, nuclear proliferation, and climate change.

“Rachel Carson, Carl Sagan and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were all put in a curious double-bind as a result of public advocacy,” explains Dr. Walsh, who teaches writing classes at the University of Nevada, Reno. “They were expected to speak with certainty about uncertain matters. To cope with this dilemma, they all resorted to an ancient template for manufacturing certainty in crisis — prophecy.

“But of course, this strategy created problems for their scientific reputations, and it continues to complicate our science-policymaking in the U.S.”

Naomi Tickle, a face reading expert and career consultant, has appeared on CNN, NBC, BBC, Good Morning America and numerous television and radio shows around the world. She will present “Reading Faces to Understand People” on Oct. 9.

“The face reading system we use has been well researched since the 1940s. It is a great tool for sales, coaching, career assessments, team building, and understanding children,” says Tickle.

Returning by popular demand, the highly engaging and humorous Dr. Justin Gifford will share anecdotes, research and personal experiences that have shaped his study of African American literature during “Frank Yerby: King of the Costume Novel.”

Gifford will follow up on his biography of pimp-turned-writer Iceberg Slim to tell the story of one of the most fascinating and reclusive black writers of the 20th century on Nov. 6.

“Frank Yerby is the highest-selling African American writer in history, with over 60 million books sold,” said Gifford. “However, he has been almost lost to literary history. The author of over 30 historical romances that feature swashbuckling pirates, Southern damsels in distress, and other archetypal genre characters, Yerby made a fortune passing for white and appealing to white audiences.”

Visit to reserve a seat for one or all of the autumn 2015 offerings. Visit to learn more about the college.

Nicole Cheslock is Tahoe-Truckee’s Career Education Liaison for Sierra College. She can be reached at

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