Emily Huang is pursuing a Communications major while actively teaching debate courses at Cogito Debate. Ms. Huang started debating in elementary school and continued throughout high school. She was a semi-finalist for NSDA Taiwan in 2018, and also competed in NSDA Korea representing Taiwan. With vast NSDA judge experience, Ms. Huang has been very involved in Cogito tournaments.
Andrew Juliano completed his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and education studies from the University of California, Irvine in 2019. His training in philosophy has fundamentally altered the way he writes, speaks, and thinks, impressing upon him the value of logically valid, structured arguments and clear communication. He speaks fluent Spanish and is conversational in Mandarin. In his free time he loves to surf, do yoga, read fantasy, and meditate. He has spent three years tutoring children at various education centers in Orange County and has had his own classroom for two years now. He taught elementary school (3rd-5th grade) English and History in the 2020-22 school year and taught ESL in 2021-22. He believes passionately that meaningful connection with young people makes us all better. He wants to help children not only to be engaged, but to fall in love with learning and with their own innate goodness.
Dominique Woods currently holds a BA in Linguistics from Cal State Fullerton and is a former speech and debate competitor for Orange Coast College. Mr. Woods has several first-place state and national titles in poetry, dramatic interpretation, programmed oral interpretation, duo interpretation, and reader’s theatre from 2010 to 2011. He’s also been awarded Best Actor in the ARTa (American Reader’s Theatre association) competition of Los Angeles in 2010 & 2011. As a former volunteer coach for various speech and debate programs from 2010 to 2017 and with his experience teaching an array of classes ranging from public speaking to creative writing, Mr. Woods aims to make lessons both fun and meaningful while developing the student’s confidence in effective communication.
Gahl Liberzon is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Creative Writing and Literature and Secondary Education. A licensed English Language Arts teacher for grades 6-12, Mr. Liberzon has over 10 years of experience teaching Literary Analysis, Composition, Creative Writing, and English as a Second Language to students of all ages and skill levels. A five-time Hopwood award-winning poet and three-time coach of the Ann Arbor Youth National Poetry slam team, Mr.
Liberzon has developed a deep belief in the power of young people’s voices and looks forward to helping young learners at Cogito to develop their writing and speaking skills, and through that their confidence to engage meaningfully with the world around them as intellectuals.
Jeffrey Lin is currently in his 3rd year at UCI working towards a bachelor’s in Political Science. He has been debating since middle school and joined a junior program for
Parliamentary Debate. Throughout his high school career, he has attended multiple local, invitational, and state tournaments competing in Parliamentary Debate and Extemporaneous Speech. He also had a quick stint coaching in the UCI debate club and has worked with people of all ages, from middle schoolers to college students. Jeffrey believes that before all else, a person must be confident about their speaking skills, so he aims to cultivate these skills in his students. Outside of debate, Jeffrey loves listening to podcasts and music.
Conner Lee is a senior at UCLA, studying philosophy and economics with a specific focus on formal logic. Starting college at the age of 13, he is expected to graduate at 18 years old. Mr. Lee has 4+ years of experience in Parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas Debate, notably being a Double Octo-Finalist at Berkeley (TOC LD) and Octo-Finalist at Evergreen (Open Parliamentary). Mr. Lee is proud to be a coach at Cogito where he once attended himself to work with the next generation of students.
Iris Gillam is a junior at the University of California, Irvine, majoring in Social Ecology with a minor in Chinese, and film and media studies.
Ms. Gillam has been doing mock trials since high school and is currently the Vice President of the UCI mock trial team. In 2023, Ms. Gillam won an attorney award, and captained a team of her own to win two consecutive first-place tournaments.
Jack Ryan holds a B.S degree in Psychology from UC Irvine, where he competed on the Mock Trial Team for all four years of college. Mr. Ryan began his public speaking career without any high school experience, starting with a very minor role on the team and working his way up over the years. In his final year, after winning multiple awards for his performances as both an attorney and a witness, Mr. Ryan was competing for UCI at the highest level in the American Mock Trial Association National Tournament. Mr. Ryan believes that exceptional public speaking is about developing your personal style until it truly shines, and is always eager to see what his students are capable of.
Michael Machhor is pursuing Business Economics and Political Science at UC Irvine. Mr. Machhor has competed on his high school mock trial team for 4 years, now actively competes on the UCI mock trial team. He was recognized as a top trial attorney in the County for Mock Trial when he was a senior in high school. .