Zebo Girls: Jessica Williams-Kauzer
Marine Scientist, New Mom
Earlier this year we told you about “Zebo,” the gazebo on the hill behind Room 6 that was built by an all-girl Explorations construction class 20 years ago. We introduced you to one of the six girls in that class, palliative-care nurse Katie Leonard. This week, meet another “Zebo Girl,” Jessica Williams-Kauzer.
“I have many memories of being at Meher School,” Jessica writes, “but more than individual events, I remember the feeling of being supported in exploration, creativity, and growth. That was particularly true in the [Explorations] classes I was able to take, like building the Zebo. I always looked
forward to Mr. Tim’s classes, and probably took every one that was offered, some more than once! (Tim Tacker, our building and grounds supervisor at the time, taught the Zebo class.)
“I remember lots of hammering, sawing, and so much fun! And I remember feeling proud that it was a team of all girls that built the Zebo together. There was a lot of trust and encouragement for building skills and finding what excited us.”
After graduating from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, Jessica earned a BS in marine biology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Then she was off to explore the coasts and jungles of Costa Rica and study great white sharks in South Africa. Returning to Northern California, she enrolled in CSU Monterey Bay, where she earned an MS in applied marine science.
“I’ve spent many years working both in science education and at the marine science–policy interface. My journey has been an evolving manifestation of my passion for fostering connections to each other and the natural world around us. I hope to support learning opportunities, understanding, and change for a better environment. My path has been winding, as I expect it will continue to be, as I seek to find the right balance of all of my interests.”
Jessica met Tren Kauzer on Sun Valley Swim Team. In their late teens, Tren was an assistant coach and Jessica was a junior coach. They married in 2016 and three years later welcomed their daughter, Kezia. “She’s a busy, observant, inquisitive, sweet, smart, funny, and happy little one who has brought us so much joy and many smiles over the past year and a half.
“Being a mom is no easy task, especially during a pandemic, but she makes our lives so much fuller than I ever thought possible. We hope to send her to the White Pony when she’s old enough.”
We hope they do!