Daisy Yuhas, President
Daisy Yuhas is a science journalist based in Austin, Texas. She is an editor for Scientific American’s Mind Matters column, which explores insights from brain and behavioral science. Previously, she was features editor for SAPIENS magazine, a digital publication that covers anthropology research, as well as a columnist for The Hechinger Report, where she wrote about the intersection of cognitive science and education. Prior to that, she was an associate editor at Scientific American, where she edited stories for Scientific American MIND. Daisy has written for multiple outlets, including The New York Times for Kids, Audubon magazine, and NBC News.
Nika Sarraf, Vice President
Nika Sarraf is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in marine science. She joined ATX SciWri in the fall of 2020 as a social media intern and continued to work with the organization as a student liaison through the spring of 2021. Her passions include getting kids excited about their local flora and fauna by spending more time outside, as well as promoting shark conservation by increasing the public's understanding of these enigmatic creatures. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a degree in marine biology or ecology.
In her previous roles within the organization, Nika diversified ATXSciWri’s social-media feed and boosted engagement through creating dynamic Instagram stories. In Spring 2021, she organized a student mentoring-mixer online to serve our student members.
Nika’s past eleven months of leadership with ATXSciWri, her excellent organization skills, and her attention to detail will allow her to excel in this role and better serve the sci-wri community.
Omar Fabian, Secretary
Omar Fabian is a writer and editor based here in Austin, where he’s lived for the past 13 years. Omar is the head script writer for videos at Research Square Company, a scientific communications organization and preprint platform. Their videos transform peer-reviewed research into bite-sized animations tailored to different audiences. Some of his freelance work includes writing columns and producing podcasts for the Materials Research Society. Omar earned degrees in materials science from MIT and UT and a degree in science & technology journalism from Texas A&M. Omar is excited and grateful to be involved with the Board of ATXSciWri, and even though times are tough right now, he is looking forward to connecting with and growing our membership!
Helene Engler, Director-at-Large
Dr. Helene Engler is a science writer, editor, and consultant for higher education and K-12, and an independent journalist specializing in environmental and medical reporting. She currently works for Sirius Education Solutions, The Science Communication Lab, and LEGO Education. Her articles have appeared in Nature, Undark, Cancer Therapy Advisor and others. She was a butterfly biologist and lecturer at UT-Austin and St. Edward’s University. B.S. in Biology, Adelphi University; Ph.D. in Zoology, The University of Texas at Austin; Postdoc in Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Helene is excited to develop events and grow ATXSciComm.
Clair Gaston, Director-at-Large
Clair Gaston holds a BFA and an MFA in Painting and Drawing. Her interests focus on natural subject matter and preferred mediums are Oil Painting and colored pencils. She draws inspiration from gardening and daily life.
Gaston is currently on faculty at The Art School of The Contemporary Austin and also has the pleasure of teaching Botanical Illustration at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.
When she is not working in her studio or teaching classes, Clair spends time in her garden caring for and observing local wildflowers and plants. She is passionate about native plants and the environment.
Julie Grisham, Director-at-Large
Julie Grisham is a science and medical writer who specializes in oncology, genetics, neuroscience, and molecular biology. She works for a number of academic research institutions. Julie has a BA in genetics and developmental biology from Northwestern University and an MS in science journalism from Boston University. She is a founding member of Austin Texas Science Communicators (when it was Austin Texas Science Writers) and previously served as vice president and president of the group.
Sarah Miller, Director-at-Large
Sarah Miller brings a background in writing edutainment-style science videos for the general public and young audiences. She currently leads a team of over 60 content developers and video producers at Edpuzzle, a K-12 educational technology company. Previously, she worked as a researcher and writer for popular YouTube channels including “It’s Okay to Be Smart” and "Mystery Doug."
Sarah has served as Director-at-Large since October 2019. She facilitated our bio-writing webinar with Susan J. Tweit in Summer 2020, and hosted our student mentoring-mixer in Spring 2021.
Audrey Stewart, Director-at-Large
Audrey Stewart is a science communicator based in Wimberley, Texas. She received her MA in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from The University of Texas in Austin and went on to explore a variety of careers in science research and education, from microbiology lab technician to environmental educator. She currently works for the City of Austin's Wildland Conservation Division as the Conservation Program Coordinator, where she runs an interpretive hike program and manages a team of volunteer researchers and restorationists. She also writes and directs art and science projects for local collaborative Animal Facts Club, and volunteers to write grant proposals for local nonprofit Measure Austin.
Alexandra Gordon, Director-at-Large
Alexandra Gordon, M.A. is a freelance medical and scientific illustrator. Her loves of science and art came together during a summer job illustrating snails for a field guide and she's been drawing science ever since! Her work has been published on popular websites and in top performing medical and higher-education titles. She is currently working on pharmaceutical discovery & development illustrations and art development for OER titles.
Nic Bennett, Director-at-Large
Nic Bennett, M.A. researches inclusion and belonging in science communication at The University of Texas as a doctoral candidate of the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations. They engage arts- and science-based research and practice to critique, disrupt, and reimagine science communication spaces. Alongside scientists and science communication trainers, they hope to expand the circle of human concern in science communication and STEM. Follow them on Instagram: @scicomm_as_healing or on Twitter: @choleness.
FOUNDING BOARD, 2017-2019
President: Emily Moskal
Vice President: Julie Grisham
Treasurer: Liz Kruesi
Secretary: Stavana Strutz
Director-at-large: Laurie Duncan
President: Julie Grisham
Vice President: Teresa Carr
Secretary: Eileen McGinnis
Directors-at-large: K. Angel Horne & Sarah Jenevein