Guest Speakers Program

The Lair of the Golden Bear is honored to have esteemed members of the Cal community, including distinguished professors and faculty members, speak at each of our week-long sessions.

Talks are given at evening campfires, with two speakers each week. Parents can drop their kids off at their age group activities on Sunday and Tuesday nights, then enjoy our speakers’ presentations on topics ranging from Berkeley’s search for extra-terrestrials to STEM equity and inclusion at Cal.

2020 Speaker Schedule

Week 2: Michael Wilson, Fred Schlacter, Michael Latner and Christina Lefevre Latner

Michael Wilson
UCSF Neurologist
Topic: Next Generation Approaches to Solving Medical Mysteries

Fred Schlacter
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Topic: Autonomous Vehicles: The Promise and Menace of Self-Driving Vehicles

Michael Latner and Christina Lefevre Latner
Cal Poly Faculty members
Topic: Women in Congressional Campaigns


Week 3: Glynn Washington and Dan Kammen

Glynn Washington
Host of NPR’s Snap Judgement
Glynn Washington is the host and executive producer of Snap Judgment, heard on over 400 public radio stations nationwide (and downloaded over 2 million times each month).

Dan Kammen
UC Berkeley Professor
Topic: An Energy Plan the Earth Can Live With


Week 4: Paul Espinas and Kathleen Gronnerud

Paul Espinas
Pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente
Topic: The Crucial Relationship Between Your Health and Nature

Kathleen Gronnerud
Professor of History, Saddleback College
Topic: Modern American Political Dynasties


Week 5: Jenny Simon-O’Neill and John Leshy

Jenny Simon-O’Neill
Senior Associate Athletic Director at UC Berkeley
Topic: An Inside Look into Cal Ahtletics

John Leshy
UCSF Law Professor
Topic: TBD


Week 6: Ditas Katague and Lori Trevino

Ditas Katague
Director of California Complete Count - Census 2020 Office
Topic: Power and Money: What’s at Stake for California: Census 2020

Lori Trevino
Topic: Prop 13


Week 7: Elizabeth Rynecki and Chris Carpenter

Elizabeth Rynecki
Director/Producer/Author
Topic: Chasing Portraits

Chris Carpenter
Doctor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital
Topic: My Time in Haiti


Week 8: Munis Faruqui and Kia Afcari

Munis Faruqui
Historian in the Southeast Asian Studies Department and Director of the Institute of South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley
Topic: The Theft that Created the Modern World

Kia Afcari
Operating Principles Project Manager at UC Berkeley
Topic: How Do You Change the Culture of Administration at UC Berkeley?


Week 9: Bruce Huber and Terry Taylor

Bruce Huber
Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
Topic: Water and the West

Terry Taylor
Milton W. Terrill Chaired Professor at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Topic: Ultimate Customer Service


Week 10: Alex Filippenko and Paul Fine

Alex Filippenko
Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley
Topic: Exploding Stars and New Planets, Frontier Research and Education at UC’s Lick Observatory

Paul Fine
Professor of Biology, UC Berkeley
Topic: How California Ecosystems Have Changed Over Time


Women’s Wellness Weekend: Ronit Matabuena-Lev

Ronit Matabuena-Lev
Sexuality Health Educator
Topic: Sexual Wellness Throughout Our Lives


Sports and Recreation: Dan Mogulof

Kia Afcari
Executive Director of Public Affairs, UC Berkeley
Topic: Campus Confidential: True Confessions About Mayhem, Messaging, and Media at Cal


Guest speaker schedule is subject to change


2018 Speaker Spotlight: Chancellor Carol Christ and Athletics Director Jim Knowlton

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, Chancellor Carol Christ and Athletics Director Jim Knowlton invited Lair Day Tailgate attendees to join them at a first-of-its-kind Town Hall at Alumni House before the annual Lair Day Tailgate. The two campus leaders sat down with Dan Mogulof, UC Berkeley’s Assistant Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs, to discuss their five-year goals for Cal, address concerns about the campus budget, and answer questions from attendees.

For more details on the event and to hear what they shared, click here!


Janet Napolitano at the Lair

janet napolitano at the lair2018’s Week 5 campers and 2016’s Week 7 campers enjoyed a special guest appearance by Janet Napolitano, 20th president of the University of California. See photos and video from her visits.