Speakers – Fall/Winter 2022

Adult Speakers


Maya Guzdar, Scholar on Global Affairs

Maya Guzdar is a scholar of global affairs. She studied international relations at Stanford University and is fascinated by the intersection of U.S. politics and foreign policy—particularly in relation to issues of social justice and democratic resilience. She interned at the Department of Defense and has published pieces advocating for policy reform and increased diversity within the national security space. She is currently living in Beijing working on her masters in U.S.-China relations as a part of the Schwarzman Scholarship.



Collette Yee, Detection Dog Methodologist

A Detection Dog Methodologist with expertise in wildlife conservation and the growing application of detection dogs for multidisciplinary problem solving. A Bay Area native, and Cal Berkeley graduate, Collette left the bustling city in pursuit of a quieter life working in conservation. From forest to sea, Collette will take you out of the city and into the wilderness to share about the powerful partnership between her and Jack, the detection dog that changed the way she saw the world.


2020_11_DavidBreslauer_Headshot_SquareDavid Breslauer (’97), CTO and Co-Founder, Bolt Threads
David leads innovation and R&D at Bolt, creating, incubating, and optimizing biomaterials for improved consumer products. His obsession with biomaterials began with graduate research on silk during his Bioengineering Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and UCSF. David has an orange belt in Krav Maga and is a great admirer of stencil graffiti.





2020_09_DanWidmaier_Headshot_Square (6)Dan Widmaier (EB Parent), CEO and Founder, Bolt Threads
Dan Widmaier is the Founder and CEO of Bolt Threads. Dan earned his PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from UC San Francisco, where his graduate research involved designing genetic circuits to control microbial organelles. In 2009, he and his two co-founders founded Bolt Threads, which is creating the next generation of materials using biotechnology. Harnessing his experience in both science, and business development, Dan has grown Bolt Threads from an incubator start-up to a biomaterials platform company with 75 employees. He has led BoltThreads through multiple fundraising rounds, created lasting partnerships with iconic global brands like Stella McCartney, and launched commercially available materials including MyloTM – a mycelium-based leather alternative – with a select group of partners including adidas, Kering ,lululemon, and Stella McCartney.


Student Speakers

EBG7A-JosephineByloChacon5958832 (1)Josephine Chacon

Josephine Chacon is a talented visual artist in the 8th grade. She will do a performance that fits with the theme “Belonging in the World”


EBG7A-EmmanuelEzeba6446700 (1)Emmanuel Ezeba

Emmanuel Ezeba is an 8th grade student. He’s preparing a talk on the influence of Wakanda, and helps us imagine if it it were a real place.


EBG6E-SophiaGarcia-Becerra5958798 (1)Sophia Garcia-Becerra

Sophia Garcia-Becerra, a 7th grade student, invites us to explore how it feels to be in the shadow of an older sibling, and what we can do to find a sense of self.


Monique_headshotMonique Hightower-Gaskin

Monique Hightower-Gaskin is a highly skilled and experienced 12-year-old musical theater actress. Identified as gifted in theater as a Kindergartener in New Orleans, she is also fluent in French and a competitive swimmer. Monique has trained and starred in several plays at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, and French Woods Camp in Hancock, NY. Most recently she starred as Chloe at Theater Rhinoceros, “How Black Mothers Say I Love you” and young Betty in The San Francisco Bay Area Theater Company, “Sign my name to Freedom: the Unheard Songs of Betty Reid Soskin.

EBG7A-MaximilianLaGatta5958841 (1)Max LaGatta

Max LaGatta, an eighth grade student, delves into the complicated and nebulous world of immigration, and how it affects specifically immigrants coming to the United States.


Noëmie Lassalle & Charlotte Dison

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 3.24.52 PMA lot of us love animals, and many of us adopt them for companionship and comfort, and unfortunately, some of us end up giving them away. G7 students, Charlotte Dison and Noemie Lassalle, will talk about the importance of loving your pets, properly taking care of them, and in the extreme cases of giving up your pet, how to do it in the best possible way. Noemie and Charlotte both have pets at home, they each have 2 cats and Charlotte has a dog.


Valentin Robert & Joseph RossScreen Shot 2022-11-16 at 8.55.32 AM

Valentin is an 8th grader who was born in France. He spent 7 years there before moving to the United States Of America. He enjoyed adapting to the American culture, and nowadays people won’t guess he is French. Joseph is 13 years old and is in 8th grade. He is really interested in sports and history. They will be talking about biculturalism and its importance in the world. 

luca waughLuca Waugh
Luca Waugh moved to Berkeley when he was 5, where he started at EB. Now in the seventh grade, his talk will be focused on small scale farming and its place in the world.