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Joel Butterly, JD 

Co-founder, Scholar Launch; Co-founder &CEO, InGenius Prep

Joel Butterly got his J.D. from Yale Law School and B.A. from Dartmouth College. 

Joel's passion is helping other students attain their goals in higher education. He is the co-founder of Scholar Launch and Ingenius Prep.  

Joel gave a parenting workshop at NextGen Edu Forum:  "The Power of Student Research Experience: How to Win Admission to Elite Universities through Research Programs".  

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Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D.

Water Conservation and Watershed Expert 

Elizabeth Dougherty is a seasoned executive director and project manager. She completed her PhD in anthropology of natural resources at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Currently, Elizabeth is the director of Wholly H2O, an Oakland-based nonprofit providing education on watershed health via water conservation and water reuse.

Deborah taught kids about watershed and ecosystem at NextGen Edu Writing Taskforce

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Deborah Kennedy

Poet & Artist 

Deborah Kennedy presents her work in the United States and  Europe. Her recent work, Nature Speaks, won numerous awards including the 2017 Eric Hoffer and Nautilus poetry book awards.  She is also noted for creating four large-scale installations on the Berlin Wall six months before it was torn down. This work was an inspiration to thousands who witnessed art in the service of social change and has been featured in books and newspapers in Germany and the U.S. 


Deborah shared her nature poems with art at NextGen Edu Writing Taskforce

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Eran Magen, Ph.D. 


Eran received PhD in psychology and MA in Education from Stanford University, and completed post-doctoral training in population health as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society scholar. He then served as the research director for the department of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Eran has worked as a consultant and trainer for some of the largest school districts in the USA (helping teachers form stronger relationships with students), as well as with some of the most prestigious medical schools and hospitals in the USA (helping doctors form stronger relationships with patients). He's the founder and CEO of a wellness monitoring / suicide prevention service called Early Alert. He is also the founder of Parenting For Humans, a relationship-first approach to parenting. 

Eran's workshop at NextGen Education Forum:


Heather McCutchen

Senior Counselor, Ingenius Prep

Heather is an internationally produced playwright and novelist with 26 years of experience in Ivy League admissions. She was a former admissions reader at Dartmouth College. She earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop and was a Senior Fellow in playwriting at Dartmouth College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude.  

Heather's workshop at NextGen Education Forum

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W.N. Man, Ph.D. 

Full tenured professor in Physics 

Professor Man entered the Gifted Youth Program at Jilin University at the age of 15 and later got her physics Ph. D. degree from Princeton University. She is a tenured full professor with 10+ experience in teaching physics.  The scientific research team she leads is conducting research on soft condensed matter physics, disordered materials, quasicrystals, photonic bandgap materials, and nonlinear optics. She published many papers in top scientific journals such as "Nature", "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", "Physics Review Letters",  and "Nature Communications". She also won CSU's course-redesign award for teaching General Physics using active-learning strategies. 

Professor Man's workshop at NextGen Education Forum:


Gerald McKeegan

Astronomer and Chabot Space & Science Center Board Member

Gerald serves on Chabot’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the Eastbay Astronomical Society. Gerald holds a Master of Science Degree in Space Studies, and has over 40 years experience working in the space industry, where he was involved with numerous spacecraft projects, including the Space Shuttle, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars InSight, Solar B, Juno and many others. In 1988, he was awarded the NASA “Silver Snoopy” award by the NASA Astronaut Office for his work in support of the Post-Challenger Space Shuttle Return to Flight program. Gerald also heads Chabot’s near-Earth asteroid search and tracking program, and has made more than two thousand asteroid observations using Chabot’s 36-inch telescope.

Gerald's workshop for the NextGen Edu/ NASA Lunabotic design challenge: "A Field Trip to the Moon":

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Will Peters 

Counselor; Former Admissions Officer , Univ. of Southern California 

  • Former Assistant Director of Admissions, Univ. of Southern California 

  • MED, Secondary English and Language Arts, Univ of Notre Dame

  • BA, English Major, College of the Holy Cross 

Will's workshop for the NextGen Edu Forum: "Help your Children Explore Interests and Find Passion with Early Planning"

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William Rubel 


William is founder of Stone Soup and the Children’s Art Foundation. He is also an author specializing in traditional foodways, the history of bread, and Early Modern British kitchen gardens. His book on hearth cooking, The Magic of Fire (2002), was a World Gourmand Cookbook award winner and a James Beard nominee. 

William taught a workshop at NextGen Education Writing Taskforce in Oct, 2021. 

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