LiveTalk Lecture Series



LiveTalk is the College Preparatory School's evening lecture series for parents, students, and the community. Join us for these engaging, thought-provoking lectures by local and national experts and celebrities on intriguing topics and current events.

Learn more about our exciting 2013-14 series below.

Tickets for individual lectures are $15 each or the entire series can be purchased for $55 or for $120 you can become a LiveTalk Supporter!

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Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Events begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. We recommend you arrive 20 minutes ahead to ensure the best seating.

LiveTalk lectures are always free for faculty and students. 

October 17, 2013: Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes

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From Silent Spring to Silent Night:
A Tale of Toads and Men

Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes
UC Berkeley, Professor of Integrative Biology

Sex changes. Males frogs that lay eggs. The herbicide atrazine leeching from farm fields to waterways where frogs reside. Scientist discovers this herbicide is the cause of sexual changes. Chemical companies try to suppress these findings. Scientist mysteriously finds his funding cut.

Does this sound like the outline for a good thriller? Well it could be, but it’s not fiction. This is the true story of Tyrone B. Hayes.  Dr. Hayes, a Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, has been studying the decline of amphibians and has some startling tales to tell.  The toll of herbicides and pesticides starts at the bottom of the food chain. Dr. Hayes’ research has shown atrazine to be “a potent endocrine disrupter, that chemically castrates and feminizes exposed male amphibians”.  Atrazine exposure has been found to have other effects on frogs, such as immune suppression, neural damage and elevated stress response, all leading to increased disease and mortality.  These findings implicate the havoc that might be occurring in all species --- including humans.

The company that makes these chemicals, Syngenta, and other companies involved with that company, have tried to suppress Dr. Hayes' findings, and have launched a multi-million dollar campaign to discredit him and other scientists and people who are concerned about the effects of atrazine.

Despite industry efforts to discredit his work, Dr. Hayes has remained true to science. Please join us for an engaging evening to hear Dr. Hayes explain about his research and what he has learned along the way.

To read more about Dr. Hayes:

About Tyrone B. Hayes:
As a child growing up in South Carolina, Dr. Hayes was fascinated with wildlife, and became particularly interested in amphibians and the influences that environmental changes have on their growth, development and reproduction.  He followed this passion his entire life, pursuing his studies at Harvard, UC Berkeley, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,  & National Institutes of Health and Cancer Research Labaratories. He has consulted and done research for Novartis. Dr. Hayes has published his work in peer-reviews extensively, and has won numerous awards and honors, including "Distinguished Teaching Award" at UCB in 2002.  He has been the subject of various documentaries, including ones by National Geographic and PBS. Dr. Hayes joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1994.

February 25, 2014: Harry Chotiner


Oscar Preview Night

Harry Chotiner
Film Historian, NYU

Join us for one of the most entertaining and beloved evenings in the LiveTalk series.  Renowned film historian Harry Chotiner will guide us through an in-depth preview of Academy Awards 2013.  This annual College Prep tradition features New York University film history professor and former Twentieth Century Fox vice president Harry Chotiner.  Professor Chotiner’s informed perspective offers an inside look at the nominees, along with plenty of lively, interactive audience participation.  We add hot popcorn, soda, candies and door prizes!  Bring your opinions and get a copy of Harry’s picks for the best movies, actors, and directors of the year.

March 20, 2014: Erin Dracos Scott '89 and Phyllis Grant '88

Erin Dracos.jpg Phyllis Grant.jpg

Alumni Night

An Unexpected Career:
Taking a love of food, family, writing,
and photography from blog to book

Authors, Bloggers, and Prep Alumnae
Erin Dracos Scott '89 and Phyllis Grant '88

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College Prep Alumni Erin Dracos Scott '89 and Phyllis Grant '88 know food. Phyllis' career as a pastry cook in New York City and Erin's lifelong obsession with food have turned them both into passionate and knowledgeable cooks eager to share their experiences with a wider audience. Four years ago, Phyllis started her blog, Dash and Bella, where she shares stories, recipes, and photographs about cooking with, and for, her children. That very same summer, on the other side of Berkeley, Erin started yummy supper, a blog of (gluten-free) recipes and mouth-watering photos for the home cook.

After starting their blogs on a whim, with no pretense whatsoever of embarking on new careers, Phyllis and Erin now find themselves deeply engaged in a vibrant global community of food writers and photographers. Erin’s cookbook yummy supper: fresh, luscious, honest recipes from a {gluten-free} omnivore will be released by Rodale Books, early fall 2014; Phyllis’ family food memoir will be published by Clarkson Potter, fall 2015.
Join us on March 20 to hear Phyllis and Erin discuss cooking, recipe development, writing, photography, social media and their passion for food!

About Erin Dracos Scott '89 and Phyllis Grant '88:
In the years she spent working in the fashion and design industry - from Elle Magazine to "August", her own lifestyle shop in Oakland - Erin Dracos Scott never imagined that she'd end up spending her days in the kitchen. Yet, combining a deep passion for the visual world with a lifelong love of cooking now makes perfect sense. Erin finds the greatest joy in cooking and photographing the bounty from her backyard veggie patch.

Phyllis Grant worked in pastry at New York City’s Bouley, Michael’s, and Nobu. She tired quickly of sugar and burning her forearms and never sleeping, and retired to a chaotic life in Berkeley of parenting, blogging, photographing, and writing a food memoir (Clarkson Potter, 2015).

May 6, 2014: Dr. Laura R. Graham

Lauren R. Graham.jpg

An Anthropologist's Collaboration with Native Amazonian People

Dr. Laura R. Graham
University of Iowa
Associate Professor of Anthropology

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Many of us have read about the people of the Amazon, but how do we know what they are thinking? Have we heard their voice? And if we did, how we would understand them? What issues keep them up at night, and how can they get anyone to listen to their concerns?

These are just the issues that concern Laura Graham, an anthropologist who teaches at the University of Iowa.  Dr. Graham's work emphasizes collaboration with indigenous peoples of the Amazon so that they can broadcast their own story, rather than have others report on them. She has recently completed a film called “Owners of the Water: Conflict and Collaboration over Rivers” with two Native American filmmakers, David Hernández Palmer, a Wayuu man from Venezuela ,  and Caimi Waiásse, a Xavante man from central Brazil.

The filmmakers collaborate to tell the tale of an indigenous campaign to protect a tributary to the Amazon from the devastating effects of uncontrolled Amazonian soy cultivation.  In the process, stunning ethnographic footage of their intercultural encounters and indigenous attempts to build networks across nations is recorded.

Dr. Graham will show the 34 minute film, and talk about the complications and successes of her work collaborating with Native Amazonians to support their efforts to preserve their culture and give voice to their concerns. Much of this work focuses on facilitating their use of media technologies to reach a broader public.

To see a preview and learn more about her film:

About Dr. Graham:
Dr. Graham has devoted her career to the study of Native South American cultures and languages. Her published works include two books, including the award-winning book, Performing Dreams: Discourses of Immortality among the Xavante Indians of Central Brazil, and numerous articles and book chapters. She has been Director of the Xavante Education Fund since 1994, and has served as a consultant for World Wildlife Fund and UNICEF. “Owners of the Water” has won awards in two International Film Festivals. She has been invited to show her film in numerous organizations, universities and colleges, from Global Health Conferences to Stanford and Grinnell. Dr. Graham speaks four languages, and is conversant in Xavante.

Parents' Association Calendar


Parents' Association Meeting

7:00 PM

LiveTalk - Dr. Laura R. Graham

Buttner Auditorium
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Event Website


New Parent Evening

Buttner Auditorium
6:00 PM

Parents' Association Meeting

7:00 PM

Memorial Day