Event Santa Cruz features talks by UCSC professors and alumni

Three UC Santa Cruz social science professors and three alumni who have started businesses in Santa Cruz are featured speakers at the next Event Santa Cruz set for 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at the Nickelodeon Theatres.

The line up includes Catherine S. Ramírez, associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies and director of the UCSC Chicano Latino Research Center; Steve Whittaker, professor of psychology, and Chris Wilmers, associate professor of environmental studies. They'll talk along with alums Steve Benz (2010), chief executive of Five3 Genomics; Robert Singleton (2012), chief marketing officer and founder of Civinomics; and Jeff  Emery (1981), proprietor of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

Event Santa Cruz features short talks about living and working in Santa Cruz and about what makes it a hub for interesting people and interesting endeavors. "There are so many interesting people in town and I wanted to showcase their stories in a fun way," said founder Matthew Swinnerton.

The March 19 event is the sixth and is billed as "Bridging the Gap between UCSC and Downtown." It will include talks on tracking pumas in the Santa Cruz mountains, how humans interact with computers, and founding a business and doing business in Santa Cruz.

Swinnerton said he is interested in how the university and local entrepreneurs can work together.  "There is so much talent up there; how do we bridge the gap?" he said. "Hopefully we can open up a dialog."  

Started six months ago, Event Santa Cruz initially featured local business owners and entrepreneurs. "I wanted to find out what drives them, what motivates them," Swinnerton said. "I love entrepreneurism."

Since then the evenings have featured a mix that includes artists and athletes. "People told me I was going to run out of people," he said. "I have a list that will last me three years."

Tickets are $10 and may be obtained at eventsantacruz.com