Dr. Allison Coffin is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, where she studies acoustic communication and hearing loss. She has more than 10 years of experience teaching communication workshops to a variety of scientific and professional audiences and was the Audience Choice winner at the 2014 U.S. FameLab Finals, a science communication competition hosted by NASA and National Geographic. Dr. Coffin runs the science communication website communicatalyst.com and is a long-time member of Toastmasters International. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alexandria Hudson is a Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience at Washington State University – Vancouver. With her background in Biochemistry, Alex’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of hearing loss with the goal to develop a hearing loss therapeutic. She has over four years of experience teaching communication workshops and giving seminars on graphic design and storyboarding. Alex has won awards for her poster designs and for communicating her research, and she placed second in her institution’s Three Minute-Thesis Competition. Alex is also a past Secretary for her local chapter of Toastmasters International and serves as an editor for Communicatalyst.
Dr. John Harkness is a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of Dr. Barbara Sorg, at the WSU Vancouver campus. In the lab, he studies extra cellular matrix aggregations in the regulation of neural processes associated with sleep, memory, and cocaine seeking. John also serves on the Board of Directors for NW Noggin, a Portland-based neuroscience outreach group. Additionally, John is the founder and CEO of Rewire Neuroscience (RewireNeuro.com), a WSU startup that is developing artificial intelligence-powered research tools.
VP of Content
Steven Sobieszczyk is a scientist and storyteller. In his day job he studies water quality, landslides, and sediment transport. Steve is heavily involved in public speaking, science communication, video production, media relations, and public engagement - especially with Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. At night he doodles on napkins for his kids. With his free time, he runs a website highlighting how parenting can improve public speaking.
VP of Public Relations
Kirsten Sanford, Ph.D., is owner of Broader Impacts Productions. Dr. "Kiki" is a freelance science presenter and reporter who loves media. She studied molecular, cellular, and integrative physiology and has over 10 years experience producing and hosting radio and television programming with companies such as PLoSOne, WNBC, and The Science Channel/Discovery Communications. She currently hosts the "This Week in Science" podcast.
VP of Marketing
Jermaine Reid is Vice President of Communications and Events at Emulate, Inc., based in Boston. In her current role, she takes a scientific data-driven approach to develop communications and marketing strategies to promote Emulate's Organs-on-Chips technology. Prior to this, Jermaine held positions leading a range of communications, marketing, and events initiatives for HUBweek and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village Program, and she has built homes in Portugal, Brazil, Thailand, Argentina, and Fiji. Jermaine has a B.S. from Bridgewater State University and a M.S. from Brandeis University.
VP of Programming
Lewis Taylor directs communications for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon. A former newspaper reporter, Lewis worked as a senior writer and editor at a regional public relations firm before joining the UO’s Central Communications team. Trained at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, he empowers scientists and scholars to communicate complex topics in clear, vivid and engaging ways in order to reach the public, the media, elected officials and others outside their areas of expertise.
Logistics Committee Chair
Lisa Wald is a geophysicist and science communicator for a federal science agency. She has given public lectures, led teacher workshops, created web-based educational materials and resources, and served as a scientific consultant for several earthquake science books for children. She is currently a web designer and web content manager, and she writes web-based articles for general audiences about current earthquake research.
Program Committee Chair
Amanda Thomas owns and operates Via Productions and is a purveyor of fine science entertainment. Her latest endeavor, Science on Tap, is essentially a science lecture with beer that happens once a month in both Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA. She plans to continue running educational events for adults until there are no more speakers or the heat death of the universe…whichever comes first.