2013: Excelsior

The 2013 TEDxMSJHS event was held on June 9th, 2013.


Youtube Talks




Robert Fuller












Robert Fuller is an international speaker on rankism—degrading assertions of rank—and its antidote—dignity for all. After teaching physics at Princeton and Columbia Universities, and serving as president of Oberlin College, he authored the best-seller Somebodies and Nobodies which argues that rankism is no more legitimate than the now-discredited familiar isms (racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and homophobia). He has recently published a novel of love lost and regained titled The Rowan Tree.


Kevin Wing















Kevin Wing is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television journalist and a communications professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a member of the communications team at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, assigned specifically to the VTA/BART Silicon Valley extension project from Fremont/Warm Springs to north San Jose. He is also a Bay Area/Northern California field producer for ABC News’ “Good Morning America”. Kevin also hosts and produces the travel series, “Catch a Wave”, and is the primary contributor of written profiles of Silver Circle and Gold Circle inductees for the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Camille Ricketts















Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about  green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women’s history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.


Kylan Nieh













Kylan Nieh is the founder and head instructor of SLI. He was a U.S. Olympic Torchbearer for the 2012 London Olympic Games and currently serves as National Board President for the Nestlé Very Best in Youth Foundation, Regional Coordinator for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and is a Project Manager Intern at LinkedIn.

Since graduating from Mission San Jose High School in 2010 as the Student Body President and Valedictorian, Kylan has taught at U.C Berkeley as the head instructor for the Public Speaking & Entrepreneurship DeCal, SLI DeCal, and as a Graduate Student Instructor for Communications for Leaders, in which he received the central campus Outstanding GSI Teaching Award.

Kylan is also a recipient of several national scholarships and awards, including those from Coca-Cola, Nestlé USA, Buick, Best Buy, and Comcast. He is a 3-time U.C Berkeley Leadership Award Scholar and a recipient of the Haas School of Business’ Jack Larson Entrepreneurship Scholarship.

This fall, Kylan will be a Senior at U.C. Berkeley studying to receive simultaneous degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Gagan Biyani















MSJ alumnus Gagan Biyani is the co-founder and current president of Udemy, a website that enables anyone to create or take online courses. He has worked as a technology blog writer, English teacher, and business strategy consultant for clients such as Cisco Systems and the Department of Homeland Security. Biyani also served as an associate product manager at Microsoft and founded MSJ’s very own speech and debate institute. He received his Bachelor of the Arts degree in economics from UC Berkeley.


Jack Boulware
















Litquake co-founder Jack Boulware is author/co-author of three books, including the Bay Area punk history Gimme Something Better, and has interviewed everyone from Spinal Tap and Michael Showalter to Bill Hicks and Tom Lehrer. He keeps forgetting to judge people based on where they grew up.


Diep Vuong















Diep co-founded PALS and currently serves as President. Since the early 90s, she has focused her effort on poverty alleviation and community participation for multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, UNDP, and international NGOs. Under Diep’s leadership, PALS has articulated its focus on women empowerment through innovative and grassroot programs, from community leadership to anti-humantrafficking. Since 2005, Diep designed and spearheaded ADAPT. Stateside, Diep has consulted for the County of Santa Clara to build capacity for its nonprofit contractors. She also accumulated experience in the private sector through positions with Silicon Valley high tech companies, urban planning firms and financial firms including Morgan Stanley. Diep is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University, San Jose State University and pursued her PhD coursework at the University of California, Berkeley.


Tim Ritchie















Tim Ritchie, a proven fundraiser credited with increasing museum attendance, installing new exhibits and introducing fresh community-driven education initiatives, served as president and CEO of the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Ala., for seven years, before assuming the presidency at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

Prior to working at McWane, Tim served for six years as the President of Louisville Diversified Services, a non-profit organization in Louisville, Kentucky that runs businesses to provide jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. From 1988 to 1997, Tim practiced law as part of the firm now known as Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff and Brandt. He left his firm to serve as the program developer for an inner-city ministry, The Center for Urban Missions. He then worked for the James Rushton Foundation, helping it buy a block in inner-city Birmingham and develop it as a community garden. Tim’s other work experiences have included clerking for the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, clerking in a poverty law clinic in Mendenhall, Mississippi, and representing defendants on North Carolina’s death row.

Tim received his B.A. from Davidson College, his J.D. from Duke Law School, and his M.P.A. from Harvard University. His wife, Christine, is a physician, practicing in the area of geriatrics and palliative care.