Join Nerd Nite Orlando on Thursday, March 14th for NERD NITE DAY 2024 at the Orlando Science Center** and celebrate 11 years of “the most fun public speaking event in town”. Click here to purchase your tickets.

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Each speaker will be giving a 10-minute presentation.

Guest speakers include: 
Emilee Speck
Rachel Cooper
Eliza Harris Juliano
Sharife Gacel
Anna V. Eskamani
Jim Hobart
Joshua “TechDev” Walker
Max Jackson

Orlando Science Center
777 E Princeton St,
Orlando, FL 32803
**The event will take place in the Digital Adventure Theater.

Doors open 6:30pm

$10 pre-sale
$15 at door

BEER & WINE will be available for sale. However, there WON’T BE HOT FOOD FOR SALE this evening. So it’s recommended that you have dinner before you arrive.

Contributing Sponsors: Sampaguita Ice Cream, Romay Ethiopian Kitchen

Sponsorships available, contact

PRESENTATION #1: “Road Trippin’ to Totality” by Emilee Speck

Emilee Speck is a space journalist and FOX Weather digital producer based in Florida. Emilee’s reporting has included covering historic milestones in spaceflight such as the return to human spaceflight from U.S. soil in 2020, the Artemis I launch to the Moon and driving across the country documenting the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. She previously hosted the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious.

PRESENTATION #2: “Busting Myths About Booze” by Rachel Cooper

What you think you know about your favorite beverage might not be true. Here’s what decades of research on alcohol tell us about how alcohol actually impacts us.

Rachel is currently a PhD student at UCF, studying clinical psychology. Her research focuses broadly on sexual violence and more specifically on sexual aggression, sexual communication, such as consent and rejection, and the role substance use plays in perpetration and victimization. She is also interested in the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence as well as the development of intervention and prevention programs for sexual violence among both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities. When Rachel is not drowning in grad school work she loves doing any craft project she can get her hands on, checking out all the amazing restaurants and bars in Orlando, reading psychological thrillers and Buddhist philosophy (she was a double psychology and religion major in undergrad).

PRESENTATION #3: “Math for a Better City” by Eliza Harris Juliano

Learn how math can help us make better decisions about how we design and build our cities; and better understand how good (or bad) city planning affects your everyday life in sometimes counterintuitive ways.

Eliza Harris Juliano is an advocate for better cities. She provides professional planning services at Kimley-Horn where she works with local governments to develop community plans and rewrite regulations to enable a broader range of sustainable neighborhoods. She serves on the board of Bike/Walk Central Florida and is a former board chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism. You can find her on twitter at @myurbangen. 

PRESENTATION #4: “Cosmic Conversations:  The Overview Effect as an Analog Astronaut” by Sharife Gacel

Sharife Gacel is an Analog Astronaut, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a passion for sharing space with others. As an Analog Astronaut, she served as the Medical Officer and her ongoing research is titled  “The Impact of Crew Isolation and Lunar Simulation on Human Behavior.” Her background is in Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Veterinary Medicine, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Sharife has a private practice with her adopted greyhound, Cosmos, that she founded over 10 years ago and specializes in life transitions, anxiety, and general mental health concerns. You can learn more about Sharife and her work on her website,

PRESENTATION #5: “Florida Politics as Star Wars” by Rep. Anna V. Eskamani

Anna V. Eskamani is a UCF grad and a nonprofit professional currently seeking her PhD in Public Administration. Anna ran for public office as a first time candidate in 2018, flipped a legislative seat, and is proud to serve as a State House Representative for District 42 winning both of her re-election campaigns in a landslide. When she’s not serving the good people of Florida, she’s probably watching Star Wars (if she has time).

PRESENTATION #6: “Lights, Camera, Legacy: A Guide to Preserving Family Stories + Why It’s so Important” by Jim Hobart

This talk will focus on the technical considerations and sentimental value of creating a personal documentary of your loved ones, crafting your own treasured and irreplaceable keepsake that can be cherished for generations. Jim Hobart, the founder of Legacy Life Project, will share his passion for this meaningful undertaking and guide you through the professional process he uses to develop high-quality biographies. You’ll also learn about the importance of selecting the right interviewer to capture your loved ones’ unique stories and experiences, so you can get started on your own video documentary today.

Jim Hobart is a creative Orlando business owner with a passion for videography, stories, and a deep love for dogs. Jim came to realize the profound value of his own recordings of his loved ones after losing his father, and decided to focus his talent and experience on creating high-quality biographical documentaries through the Legacy Life Project. These video heirlooms capture the unique narratives and legacies of the everyday people who mean the world to us, preserving family histories for generations to come.

PRESENTATION #7: Amazon Web Services Explained Through Politics and $hi++y Pop Culture 2024 by Joshua “TechDev” Walker

Josh returns to Nerd Nite, ready to demystify the elusive Amazon Premiere Platform! Buckle up for another bipartisan laugh riot as he blends “shitty pop culture” and “shitty politics” (his words, not mine!) to tackle this technical beast. This talk promises to be an update to his last raved-about presentation, but instead of Steve Urkel, get ready for a wild ride through AWS, all while potentially ruffling some feathers (but hey, at least it’ll be bipartisan fun!). So join Josh as he connects the dots between the familiar and the unknown, making AWS accessible and maybe even raising some awareness along the way!

Joshua “TechDev” Walker is an Army Vet turned self-taught Cloud Solutions Architect, Diversity Pioneer, and Author of “Venti Fried Chicken”. Joshua has been featured on Deloitte’s “Uncensored” series, and Deloitte’s “On Cloud Podcast ” and has frequently been covered by the Orlando Business Journal for his work in Diversity, Equity, and, Inclusion as one of the Black Orlando Tech founders. Joshua continues to serve his clients and community to make the maximum impact through cloud delivery, online tech education, and in-person tech talks. His mantra is to train, inspire, and relate. #cloudGang

PRESENTATION #8: “Haus Wittgenstein: The Life of Meaning and the Meaning of Life” by Max Jackson

Max is a data scientist by day and an actor and improvisor by night – his lifelong passion of making people laugh and clap when he talks has taken him every stage he could stand on, from TED talks to improv comedy shows and from New York to Miami to Seattle and back.