Panelist Bios 2012
Adrienne is currently a research associate at the University of Washington in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. Her training and research can be classified under chemistry, physics, and biochemistry or biophysics. She also has experience teaching from the kindergarten through university levels since 1996. She is the chemistry editor at Double X Science. Adrienne is mother to two “tween”-age children, a daughter and son, both of whom give her great pride and joy and also consternation at times. Adrienne tweets on science, food, feminist topics, and life in general. She also keeps a food blog.
Alejandra Espino is a comic book artist, illustrator, and all around creative instigator. She lives and works in Mexico City, where she also produces and participates in Nuestra Habitación, a radio show that focuses on gender issues and pop culture. She is currently working on a graphic novel, and producing as many comic pages as her day job allows her.
Alexandra Novikova is a Pacific Northwest native. She grew up in Oregon and has lived in the Seattle area since 2006. Alexandra has a dual Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Business and is a single mom to the most wonderful 3-year-old little girl ever. In my spare time, I work for the Global Publishing team at Xbox. Though her official title is Developer Account Manager, Alexandra runs an incubation program for professional independent game development studios and she loves it. She gets to manage all the studios that are professional, but retain an indie attitude in a thriving space that hatches the most creative and innovative ideas daily.
Alice Enevoldsen is currently the planetarium supervisor at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, and volunteers as one of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors. She has been working in planetariums since 1996, has a Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy-Geology from Whitman College, and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Her fascination with the stars led her to try her hand at astronomy research in Boston and Walla Walla, where she realized that her calling in life was actually to work in museums and be a translator for scientists. Now she works hard to share her love of the stars and excitement about astronomy with as many people as possible.
Alice Marie is one of the founding members and contributing editors of Geekquality – an online magazine that was conceived at GeekGirlCon ’11. Currently living in San Francisco, Alice geeks out about sci-fi and social justice.
Alison is a senior neuroradiologist at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Smith interprets CT and MRI scans of the head, neck, and spine for diagnoses such as cancer, stroke, congenital malformations, infection, and trauma. Hands-on procedures are an important part of the workand require a knowledge of anatomy, medicine, as well as physics. The author of over 100 academic papers/presentations and contributor to several textbooks, Dr. Smith would love to answer your questions about the geek factor in various aspects of the medical profession be it physician, researcher, technologist, computer support, or medical technology.
Alyson Le’au is a Business Support Manager for Legacy Asset Servicing’s Reporting and Analytics team at Bank of America. Alyson began working for the Bank in 2005 and has had many roles supporting users, application testing and project management. Early on Alyson saw the gap between corporate strategies and low level implementation and has acted as a strong user advocate. Studying for her Masters at the UW iSchool she discovered UX design and conceptual applications, and has been incorporating different techniques into her job to create useful products gain user acceptance.
Amanda Sahli is in non-profit management. She oversees employment and education programs that help youth and adults secure jobs and obtain educational outcomes. Having developed career planning workshops and tools, Amanda will be in GeekGirlConnections to help attendees plan their next career move or get started on the path to their dream job.
Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a 4th generation visual artist who resides in the heart of Hollywood, California. She runs a handmade art business called Surly-Ramics where she creates hand-formed and hand-painted ceramic jewelry. Her “Smart Jewelry” line is inspired by science and skepticism. She often uses her jewelry to raise money for charities. Amy is a longtime contributor to the widely popular blog Skepchick.org where she writes, among other things a skeptical advice column called, “Ask Surly Amy.” She is managing editor for Skepchick’s sister site that deals with the intersection between art, science and skepticism called, Mad Art Lab. She loves to add her creative skills to the fight against pseudoscience and she attempts to expose the wacky misconceptions that run wild in tinseltown and throughout the world. When she’s not on the Skepchick network or in the ceramic studio you can find her on Twitter (@surlyamy), on Facebook or on Etsy.
Julieanna (Anna) Leung is an EPIC Reporting Analyst at Providence Health and Services and has worked in the healthcare industry for the past three years. She is a part of the EPIC Go-Live Implementation Team installing EPIC (an electronic health record information system) into 27 acute-care facilities across five northwestern states. In June of this year, she graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s degree in Information Management. Anna enjoys the UX aspect and human-centered design approach taught by the program.
Ashley Eckstein currently stars as the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated television show. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in Orlando, Florida, Eckstein grew up a true blue Disney kid with an extensive Alice in Wonderland collection. She fell in love with acting at an early age and started her career doing theater, before landing a role in a television show for Sea World called Shamu TV.
She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting full-time, and her first appearance on JAG set the stage for a promising career. Since then, she has starred in Blue Collar TV, Drake and Josh, That’s So Raven, Alice Upside Down, and Sydney White. Recognizing a need and a desire for merchandise created especially for the female fan, Eckstein founded Her Universe, a new line featuring fashionable, feminine apparel and accessories for fangirls.
Caytlin Vilbrandt has been doing art as long as she can remember. She’s a geek for comics, video games, tabletop RPGs, and other similarly geeky things! A serial optimist and all-round fabulous person, she’s the artist for the comic Walking on Broken Glass. Visit brokenglasscomic.com and check out her work.
Chenelle Bremont has 9+ years in the game industry, her roots started as a lowly Padawan in Microsoft Game Studios with such titles as Fable and Conker: Live and Reloaded. In her current position as a 3rd Party Publishing Release Manager, she works with such distinguished publishers and developers as Bethesda (Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), Harmonix (Rock Band 1-3, Dance Central 1&2) and THQ (Saints Row: The Third). Her love of literature, video games, sci-fi/fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons makes her equal parts nerd and geek—and she can’t wait to share those passions with others.
Cheryl Lynn Rudd
Cheryl Lynn Rudd (PT, DPT, BCB-PMD) is a licensed Physical Therapist with specialized training in biofeedback-assisted behavioral therapies for elimination disorders and chronic pelvic pain. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Eastern Washington University and has acquired a specialty certification through The Biofeedback Certification Institute Alliance in Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction Biofeedback. Cheryl is also credentialed in Obstetric and Pelvic Physical Therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association. She is a highly regarded specialist who is respected for her proven and effective techniques. Cheryl’s passion lies in helping women across the lifespan. Read more about Cheryl in her blog at http://womanshealthpt.blogspot.com/
Best known as Xbox LIVE’s Trixie360, Christa worked in the video game industry for 16 years as a writer, community manager and video host. She spent her childhood memorizing names of stars and dinosaurs and examining pond water under her garage-sale microscope. Her company Trixieland Consulting provides copywriting, social media strategy, and community marketing to a variety of mostly-geeky clients. She is the author of The Sleepless Nanny and is currently working on the first book of a mystery/crime trilogy set in the video game industry.
Corrinne Yu was identified by Kotaku as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Games in the last decade. She is the only director of technology and the only engine programmer on that list.
Yu currently programs lighting, facial animation, and develops new technology for Halo 4, and the next Halo trilogy (Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo 6). She is a founding member of Microsoft’s Direct3D Advisory Board, and continues to review the designs of new iterations of Direct3D. She has also been interviewed on Tech with Tina for MSDN’s Channel 9.
Before joining the Halo team, Corrinne programmed as Director of Technology at ION Storm, creator of Anachronox and Deus Ex, and was Director of Technology at Gearbox Software, creator of Brothers In Arms and Borderlands. In addition to performing research in parallel computing and GPU simulation at NVidia, Yu has programmed on the Space Shuttle project at Rockwell International, California. She has also performed nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National laboratory. Her nuclear research won her a national nuclear physics award from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Yu won Best in Engineering internationally at GDC (Game Developers Conference) for the last 2 years in a row for her work in programming, as judged by a panel of her industry peers.
Creagh Miller (MPH, CPH, CHES) from WithinReach will be sharing how three of her organization’s projects use technology to support women’s health, especially during pregnancy and early parenting. WashingTeenHelp.org is designed to empower teen parents to access the health resources needed to build a healthy family. ParentHelp123.org connects families to health and food-focused public benefit programs and local resources. Text4baby is a free texting service that sends health tips for pregnancy and through a baby’s first year.
Dana Contreras is a systems engineer at Twitter and a licensed commercial pilot. Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Dana has called San Francisco home for the past two years. She enjoys listening to Nordic metal bands, complaining about San Francisco’s public transportation system, and geeking out about spaceflight. You can find Dana on Twitter at @DanaDanger.
Danielle Hulton is the owner of Ada’s Technical Books, a bookstore for geeks, run by geeks. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband–David, two cats–Tesla and Edison, and dog–Byron. You can follow her on Twitter as @adasbooks, on her Facebook page for Ada’s Books, or on her blog at http://blog.seattletechnicalbooks.com/.
Dawn Myers has worked at NASA for 14 years fulfilling her lifelong geek destiny. She started as a college intern doing research and has gone on to be involved in all stages of mission development and operations. She currently does operations for the Solar Optical Telescope and is also part of the education and public outreach team for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). She has coordinated educational programs at Goddard Space Flight Center and has traveled with the SDO team around the country showing the public the amazing science of the Sun. She enjoys dancing, reading, coffee, and spending time with her family.
DodiRose Zooropa is a Seattle based costume designer for theaters including Seattle Musical Theater, Burien Little Theater, and Theater Schmeater. She studied costume design at Cornish College of the Art and also designs custom corsets, fetish wear, steampunk clothing, and costumes. DodiRose was fashion show coordinator for Steamcon in its first two years and performance coordinator for the Steampunk Exhibition Ball for the past three years. You can sometimes find her at Vintage Costumers, a costume rental shop specializing in historical costumes of the highest caliber. Her passion as a designer is for historical reinvention and making large people look, and more importantly feel, good.
Donna Barr has been drawing, writing and/or publishing comics/drawn book since 1986. While she’s been friends with many high-level industry professionals over the years, she enjoys helping newcomers to share their amazing talents in a fast-developing publishing world and learning from them as well. She recently was voted “Godmother Of Not Drawing (^%!! Superheroes.” She pays only for her domain name: http://www.donnabarr.com
Edmond Y. Chang is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Washington. He studies and teaches contemporary American literature, technoculture, queer theory, and video games. He enjoys cooking, writing, role-playing games, and mohawks. He has a cat named Groosalugg.
Eilis Flynn has spent a large share of her life working on Wall Street or in a Wall Street-related firm, so why should she write fiction that’s any more based in our reality? Published in a number of genres, she lives in Seattle with her husband and the ghosts of spoiled rotten cats. She can be reached at www.eilisflynn.com, at Facebook at eilis.flynn, and even Twitter @eilisflynn.
Elizabeth Guizzetti loves to create. In her mind, she has the best job (or jobs) in the world. She gets an idea, runs with it until it leads her to generate whatever it is going to be. Over the past decade, she has created more than 100 paintings, three graphic novels, and a comic book series. In 2012, she debuted her first science fiction novel, Other Systems. Besides writing and creating artwork, Guizzetti’s interests include:snowshoeing in the winter, hiking in the summer, dancing badly any time, reading (preferably while lounging in the sun), and cake.Guizzetti currently lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs.
Erica McGillivray is a professional geek. She’s president and marketing director of GeekGirlCon and she works as a technical marketer for SEOmoz, an awesome Seattle start-up. Erica loves sci-fi, comic books, and technology. She contributed an essay to Chicks Dig Comics about cosplay and community building.
Ericka M. Johnson
Ericka M. Johnson is the creator of two local fund raisers: the Steampunk Exhibition Ball and Seattle Steampunk Film Festival. Having volunteered so much within the steampunk community, she’s learned a wide assortment of tricks and shortcuts for steampunking outfits on a tight budget and schedule.
Erin Lovejoy-Guron presented at her first con at GeekGirlCon ’11, and a week later was moving with her wife and son from Oakland, California to Seattle, Washington. After getting her MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College in 2008, she discovered a passion for Wonder Woman that has been briefly eclipsed by an obsession with The Hunger Games. Erin is currently a stay-at-home-mom who is raising a super-cool, geeky almost 2-year-old son.
Ethel Evans is a 29-year-old software developer who specializes in software testing. After graduating from the UW with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, she spent four years working at Microsoft before moving into the world of small technology companies. She currently works at a great tech startup called SEOmoz. When not programming or testing code, she enjoys the “standard” geek hobbies like reading and watching sci-fi and fantasy TV and movies, video games, table-top gaming, and Live Action Role Playing (she met her husband at a LARP). Ethel also has less traditionally geek hoobies like choral singing, cooking, and gardening. Andsomehow she findsplenty of time to spend with her children and husband too.
Gail Simone has written Simpsons comics for Bongo, Killer Princesses for Oni Press (with co-creator and artist Lea Hernandez), and a Rose and Thorn limited series for DC Comics. Simone is the creator of the Women in Refrigerators List, which raised awareness of the treatment of women in comic books. In 2003, she took over DC’s Birds of Prey title, turning it into one of DC’s steadiest selling and most critically acclaimed books. In 2007, she took over writing duties on Wonder Woman. Additionally, Simone’s commitment to creating diverse casts of characters led her to win a Glyph Comics Award for Best Female Character in Thomasina Lindo—one of the lead characters in Welcome to Tranquility—a creator-owned comic published by WildStorm. She returned to writing the Birds of Prey series for DC Comics and can be followed on Twitter (@GailSimone) or her Tumblr, “Ape in a Cape.”
Geekquality (the idea for which first emerged at the inaugural GeekGirlCon) is a multi-contributor site standing at the intersection of fandom and media criticism. Although the editors and contributors of Geekquality adore geek culture, they still don’t believe it’s beyond reproach or analysis. In blog posts and the occasional podcast, pop culture is frequently examined through the lenses of feminism, race, gender, sexuality, ability, and other unique perspectives. The goal is to celebrate and encourage diversity and inclusivity within the geek zeitgeist, as well as build a supportive online community. Representing Geekquality this year are co-founding editors Tanya, Lois Payne and Alice Marie, and staff writer Rick G.
Greg Rucka is a New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Atticus Kodiak series starting with Keeper, as well as hundreds of comics, including Stumptown and Queen & Country. In addition to his award-winning work for Marvel and DC, he is the creator of several properties published through Oni Press, including Whiteout, which was made into a feature film by Dark Castle Entertainment starring Kate Beckinsale. Rucka’s work has been optioned several times over, and he serves as a creative and story consultant in television, film, and electronic entertainment. Rucka lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and family.
Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard runs and owns Gypsy Audio with Alex Gilmour (www.gypsyaudio.org). Gyspy Audio is an audio drama company that does myriad shows, many of which she mixes and occasionally acts in herself. Gwendolyn also voice acts for several other companies web-wide. To date, she has performed over 300 different roles. She is also a writer of urban-fantasy and fantasy novels waiting to be published, avid gamer, geek, actor, writer, reader–wife and mother, which isn’t really last place.
Heina Dadabhoy spent her childhood in Orange County, California, as a practicing Muslim. Since 2007, she has been an active participant in secular organizations and events in and around Southern California. She has spoken and debated as an atheist on topics such as the existence of God and the psychological impact of having grown up religious. Most recently, she has joined the writing team at Skepchick.org
Henna Kermani has been a geek since early childhood, when she started reading basically every Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, R.A. Salvatore, and Terry Brooks novel in existence and began playing PC and console games (first Zelda, then Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, Final Fantasy, a little Halo). She was on AOL before it was cool, where she got hooked on the text-based MUD Dragon’s Gate and the trilling song of her 56k modem. Henna learned Japanese on the side, and became an active member of the fansubbing and scanlating community. In high schoo,l she decided to turn her interest in computers into a career, and she graduated from Caltech in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. She is currently an international engineer at Twitter in San Francisco.
Holly Csiga is the supervisor of live science stage shows and interpretive presentations at Pacific Sciece Center, where she has worked for over a decade inspiring the public’s interest in science using explosions, boa constrictors, and theatre as a vehicle. She was the main developer of Pacific Science Center’s thriving Discovery Corps volunteer and internship program for underserved teens. She is also a musician, a mother, and an urban farmer.
Jade Cheung is a self-proclaimed Purveyor of Peculiarities and dabbler in much. Her background includes studies in Ceramics (both pottery and multimedia sculpture – alas no underwater basket weaving) at the University of Washington, and graphic design. Over the years, she’s tried pretty much every medium she could afford that caught her interest: digital, traditional, alternative, and literary; 2-D and 3-D. Currently, she also serves as editor-in-chief and art director for the Rise of Æster’s (steampunk LARP) tabletop and world guide book projects.
Jamala Henderson has been working for KUOW public radio for seven years, first as an announcer, then announcer/reporter, and now as a producer for a local afternoon program, KUOW Presents. Before working at KUOW, Jamala studied film and video at The Evergreen State College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts. After several years of working in the video field, she began to pursue radio while working for the University of Washington’s television station, UWTV. She started off hosting some shows at KBCS, a volunteer radio station over in Bellevue, then worked as a broadcaster at the Evergreen Radio Reading Service for several years.
Jamala started playing the viola at the age of eight, soon after which she fell in love with the soundtrack to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. She spent a significant part of her childhood and teenage years playing the viola in many Seattle-area youth orchestras. Today, you will often see her searching shelves of used bookstores around the city, looking for treasure. She loves doing crafty stuff like making candles and wire-wrapped jewelry, and she is really into reading about mythology, fairy tales, and everything by Joseph Campbell. She also has two awesome cats named after her favorite Farscape Characters, Crighton and Jothee.
A Jill-of-all-trades and a Mistress of Thrift, Jamie McManamon (better known locally as LadyPhoenix) has been costuming since she was old enough to thread a needle. Her father, known as the “Halloween Man of Downriver,” started creating no-budget theatrical productions for their suburban Detroit neighborhood before she was 5 and learned everything she could from him on how to create characters, costuming, sets, and fantasy from the initial idea through “event day” without spending much in the process. Holding several degrees and having worn many hats professionally over the years, this military wife and mother is a happiest geeking out with her large intentional family here in the South Sound or lurking in the wings ready to capture moments with her camera. When not otherwise engaged, Jamie can also be found teaching in the sex-positive community as well as advocating for Autism & Sensory Processing Disorder awareness.
Jane Espenson was a crucial member of the Battlestar Galactica writing and producing team, as well as Executive Producer of the Battlestar Galactica webisodes, and the spin-off series Caprica. While still studying linguistics in graduate school at UC Berkeley, Espenson was able to get her “tiny foot wedged in the last open door of show business” by submitting spec episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She has worked on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls, co-created Syfy’s Warehouse 13 and has written for Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Dollhouse, Game of Thrones, Torchwood: Miracle Day, and Caprica. Espenson currently writes for ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
Husbands. Husbands is a comedy in the tradition of Mad About You and I Love Lucy: a funny and affirming look at the lives of a newlywed couple. The rave review in The New Yorker is the only review that publication has ever given to a web show. Now in its second series, Husbands is making news as life imitating art imitating life. Confirmed guests include Executive Producer Jane Espenson, Stars Brad Bell (Cheeks) and Sean Hemeon, and Director Jeff Greenstein.
Jen Van Meter
Jen Van Meter is best known as the writer of the Hopeless Savages comics and graphic novels from Oni Press, collected in a 2010 omnibus edition, Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits. Other recent work includes a Black Cat miniseries “Trophy Hunters,” a Liberty Belle/Hourman co-feature that ran in JSA: All-Stars 2-11, and Black Lightning: Year One. Van Meter is currently working on a new volume of Hopeless Savages material and has stories forthcoming from both Marvel and Dynamite, including a Red Sonja one-shot called “Break the Skin.”
As BioWare’s community manager, Jessica Merizan is a lover and not a fighter. When not working on online content for Dragon Age and Mass Effect, her cause of choice surrounds building healthier internet fandom. Outside of work, Jessica is XO at Crabcat Industries, where she’s proudly sustained several glue gun burns while making costumes and entertaining people online. Jessica is a published anthropologist and has trained with leading experts in material culture at UC Berkeley, Oxford, and University College London, where she completed her Master’s dissertation on cosplay, identity and convention culture. Rated E for everyone!
Jill Naiman combines the newest technologies from the world of electronics with the oldest from the world of sewing. Combining skills learned as an astrophysicist with the burning desire to wear the coolest of clothing, she creates LED garments which are programmed to interact with their surroundings through sound and motion cues. She is part of the open source movement and endeavors to bring the knowledge of blinky clothing to the public.
Jo Jo Stiletto
Jo Jo Stiletto, the Professor of Nerdlesque, is a performer, producer and historian from Seattle, Washington. As a producer, Jo Jo describes her shows as “nerd spectacles of epic proportion!” Her sold out events have included Whedonesque Burlesque, a tribute to Joss Whedon, and a popular series of shows featuring the talents of the Rat City Rollergirls. Her productions have been mentioned or reviewed by Wired.com, Penny Arcade, the Seattlest.com and The Mary Sue. As a performer, her most memorable burlesque routine involved a misbehaving giant calculator and the music of Kraftwerk.
Joanna is a Vancouver, B.C.-based actor, writer and producer, and the creator of the award-winning comedy-fantasy webseries Standard Action. Joanna’s long-time love of Dungeons & Dragons and nerd culture inspires the intelligent, quirky writing of the series, and she has been praised for penning strong female roles and compelling characters. She was recently nominated for Best Writing in a Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy in the 2011 Indie Intertube awards.
Julie Hoverson, long known for her audio drama series 19 Nocturne Boulevard, her gaming zine Serendipity’s Circle, and for her quirky taste in costume contest entries, is turning into a media empire, somewhat against her will. The shows in her feed keep multiplying – from her students, guests, and an insane amount of her own.
Karin Weekes is a Senior Editor at BioWare Edmonton, where she has edited text for Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 3, and Mass Effect 3. She has a Journalism MA from Stanford University, and Communication BA from the University of New Mexico. When she’s not editing games, she’s playing them or reading, singing, dragon boating, and enjoying the home fires–with her husband Patrick (a Senior Writer at BioWare), her two marvelous sons, and a small herd of rescued dogs and cats.
Kat Ogden doesn’t know much about writing bios, but loves to make movies. She works as an Actor, Assistant Director, and Producer and is still amazed that she gets to do these things for a living. She produced the geek-friendly webisode series Journey-Quest (www.Journey-Quest.com) which is now in its second season. She loves roller derby, comic books, and coffee She hates answering the question, “What you’re favourite movie?” because she can never come up with a good answer.
Katelyn Bruhn spends too much time deconstructing genre television through the lens of post-modern third-wave feminist theory, and making crude double entendres. If you would like to know her thoughts on science fiction, disability advocacy, comic books, LBGT rights, Commonwealth television, feminism, hockey, or her Unified Comedy Field Theory, follow her at @GoFlyAKate.
Katie Lane has the best job in the world. She teaches independent artists, freelancers, and non-profits how to be “Negotiation Ninjas.” An experienced contract negotiator and lawyer, Katie launched WorkMadeForHire.net in 2009. Using loads of Star Trek references and an unabiding love of all things nerd, the blog explains the secrets of negotiation in easily digestible posts, and provides suggestions on how to start practicing good negotiation skills in your creative business and day-to-day life. Katie lives in Portland, Oregon, and works with comics professionals, actors, and authors of every stripe.
Kim Steadman (JPL/NASA) is a Flight Operations Systems Engineer with the Cassini-Huygens Mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She previously worked on the X2000 Project and the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at JPL. She holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.
Kris Schoneberg has been a Level Designer at BioWare for 6 years – 16 months of which were spent completing her internship through the University of Alberta Computing Science department. Majority of Kris’s work has been featured in the Mass Effect franchise, beginning with Purgatory and Korlus in Mass Effect 2, the final Cerberus Base in Mass Effect 3, and most recently the Extended Cut.
Kristen Nedopak is a creator, actress, and host of several popular web series and films, including The Skyrim Parodies, Fight Class, Think Hero TV, Outta This World, and The Wheel of Time News. She’s the cover girl of Faery World Magazine, as well as featured in publications such as Cupcake Pin-up Magazine, Girls of Geek 2012 calendar, The Mary Sue, GirlGamer, Game Tyrant and more. Kristen is the creator of the popular ‘Geek Girls Create’ panel and one of this year’s ‘Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con’ panelists. And yes… she knows how to wield a sword!
Lacey Leavitt is an independent producer whose first two narrative features, The Off Hours and The Catechism Cataclysm, both premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. She is the Executive Producer of The Immortal Augustus Gladstone, a transmedia project directed by Robyn Miller, co-creater of the groundbreaking games MYST and RIVEN, currently in post-production. Lacey co-produced Safety Not Guaranteed, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance ’12 and is in theaters now, and Touchy Feely, starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Josh Pais, Ellen Page and Allison Janney, currently in post-production. She also produced and co-directed the women’s roller derby documentary Blood on the Flat Track and produced Dan Brown’s award-winning short film Your Lucky Day, starring Rider Strong. Lacey was the 2011 Sheila C. Johnson Sundance Creative Producers Lab fellow with her upcoming project, Sadie, written and to be directed by Megan Griffiths. She started her production company Leaky Pictures in 2011 and has various projects in devlopement, including a roller derby web series, a faux documentary about a T Rex that fought in WW2, and a lot of other projects that make her very happy to get up and go to work each day. You can follow Lacey on Twitter @laceyleavitt
Lana H. Ayers
Lana Hechtman Ayers, originally from New York, made her way to the Pacific Northwest via New Hampshire where she obtained an MFA in Poetry and a Masters in Counseling. Lana works as a manuscript consultant and workshop facilitator and is an editorial consultant at Seattle-based literary journal, Crab Creek Review. She also runs two chapbook presses, Concrete Wolf and MoonPath Press. Lana’s most recent poetry collection, A New Red (Pecan Grove Press, 2010), is a contemporary feminist re-imagining of the Red Riding Hood fairy tale.
As the Human Resources Manager at SEOmoz, Leah Candelaria-Tyler’s goal is to both attract and retain awesome talent for her company. SEOmoz looks for people who are passionate about the exciting and challenging problems we have to solve–from engineering to copy writing. And those who are super geeky–with strong adoration for things like unicorns and hilarious YouTube videos. SEOmoz is also looking for those who are passionate about TAGFEE. Don’t know what TAGFEE is? Check out the SEOmoz mission (http://www.seomoz.org/about/mission). It’s how we stay fun, successful and generous.
Lisa Phillips has 15 years of experience in Internet technologies with an emphasis on systems and database administration, distributed systems and technical operations management. Lisa worked on open source systems for early blogging companies Live Journal and Six Apart and is now a Mysql DBA for Twitter. In her spare time Lisa enjoys coaching the Seattle Derby Brats, Seattle’s premier Junior Roller Derby league.
M.J. McDermott is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist on Q13 FOX News This Morning. She has a degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington where she is the first woman to win its annual Forecasting Competition. She also has a degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland. A self-proclaimed Geek Girl, M.J.’s favorite subjects in school were math and science, and she loves science fiction books, film and television. She continues to work on math education issues in Washington State and is a part of the group “Where’s the Math?” Her YouTube video on math education is nearing one million hits. She hopes that being a TV meteorologist will inspire girls to love and study science.
Writer, editor, and artist, Mariah Huehner has been in comics for over a decade. She cut her editorial fangs on such notable works as Fables, Lucifer, and The Sandman: Endless Nights. Other notable editorial works: Womanthology: Heroic, The Last Unicorn, and Angel based on the Fox TV series. She’s written comic book adaptations for licenses such as True Blood and Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones. She’s a strange, mysterious, and mostly human creature who loves stories and monsters.
Martha Wawro is the project lead for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) education and public outreach (EPO) team. In this role she has organized and supported a number of programs both at Goddard Space Flight Center and around the country focused on creating fun informal settings for the public to interact with science in a meaningful way. SDO education programs are designed to foster young people’s curiosity and interest in science as well as giving the EPO community an opportunity to showcase some of their hands-on activities and work with the public. Martha’s educational background is in science and foreign languages and her professional background is in project management, training and education. In her free-time Martha enjoys learning obscure Eastern European languages, traveling with a rubber chicken, and shopping for hot sauce.
Mary Kirby possesses a degree in Creative Writing and a superhuman addiction to coffee. She worked as a writer on Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Dragon Age II. A professional Minion of David Gaider, she hopes to be promoted to Henchman one day.
Mary Sturgeon lives in the Pacific Northwest and when she isn’t working on her latest speculative novel or short story, she is busy educating her two kids or indulging in her gaming habit (Dungeons & Dragons, Magic:The Gathering, MMOs, console RPGs; and many more!)
Melanie Fleming is a Localization producer at BioWare and has also worked in English Voice Over casting and production during her five years with BioWare. She is mother to one beloved and precocious toddler and a wife to the best and kindest human ever formed. Before game design, she was a high school Chemistry teacher, and also has taught music, english as a second language, mathematics, and sailing.
Melinda Rose is a 3d computer graphics artist currently working at Microsoft Games Studios. In her spare time she enjoys researching and re-creating historical fashions and making costumes.
Meredith Slota is a research scientist and data whiz at the University of Washington Tumor Vaccine Group. She plays roller derby with the Rat City Rollergirls under the name Kitty Kamikaze, and enjoys knitting while her bruises heal. She is currently working on her Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington.
Mike Madrid is the author of The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and is featured in the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The former advertising executive is a native San Franciscan, a lifelong fan of pop culture, and an urbane geek. More info at www.heaven4heroes.com.
Purple Reign is a crime fighter in the Rain City Superhero Movement along with husband Phoenix Jones. Purple has recently taken her crime fighting mission from the streets of Seattle to a domestic level as a costumed activist. The Purple Reign Campaign: Everyday Heroes Against Domestic Abuse was launched to aid those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence. “As a survivor of abuse, I wear the color purple to symbolize my determination to speak up for domestic violence victims. I use my ‘superhero persona’ to raise awareness about this cause. It is my dream to inspire victims and to give them the resources and strength to transform into survivors as a hero once did for me.” Purple organizes fundraisers and charity events in addition to speaking publicly about abuse and bullying. Whether she is out patrolling the streets of Seattle or giving aid to the abused, her mission at all times is to protect human life and transform victims into survivors.
Rachelle Abellar is a graphic designer, illustrator, Whovian, and the Associate Design Manager for GeekGirlCon. Her work has been featured on geek culture and news sites like GeekWire, Tor, and Geekosystem, and is best known for her Doctor Who-themed Valentine’s Day cards. She spends her spare time dreaming about time travel and henching for the Mighty Monarch.
Rachel Edidin edits comics and prose at Dark Horse Comics. She’s also a freelance editor and writer, an academic expat, and a general-purpose rabble-rouser, and can be found abusing Twitter as @RaeBeta.
Raylene Deck is a video game level designer on the Mass Effect franchise in BioWare, Edmonton. She came from a computing science background and has been at BioWare close to 5 years. Besides playing video games, in her spare time she enjoys playing sports, riding her motorcycle and hitting up the slopes in the Canadian Rockies for snowboarding.
Rebecca leads a team of skeptical activists on the Skepchick Network, which includes Skepchick.org, Teen Skepchick, Swedish Skepchick, Esceptica, Queereka, and Mad Art Lab. She also co-hosts the weekly Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, one of the most popular science podcasts in the world. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it.
Regina McMenomy, PhD, is a recent graduate of the American Studies Program at Washington State University. As a media critic, her areas of specialization include feminist performance theory, identity formation, and online representation. After finishing her Ph.D., she launched a podcast based on and furthering her research exploring identity and game culture. You can listen to the episodes at gameongirl.com or download from iTunes. Regina teaches composition, literature, and education courses at Washington State University and Concordia University Online.
Renae de Liz
Renae De Liz has accomplished a lot in her first five years in comics. She illustrated the New York Times bestselling graphic novel adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn for IDW, as well as other adaptations including Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones.
In 2011, she created and managed Womanthology a 350-page comic anthology created entirely by women with all proceeds going to charity. She raised $109,000 on Kickstarter becoming the most successful comics project and 25th most successful Kickstarter of all time. She lives in Maine with her husband, sons, and cats.
Roberta is well-known for her lengthy career writing and drawing the sorts of comics that nobody else does, from her first self-published comic, Dynamite Damsels, in the 1970s, to all 40 issues (and several collections) of Naughty Bits, starring the unforgettable Bitchy Bitch, plus unique works like Winging It, Artistic Licentiousness, etc. Recently, she published Follow Your Art in 2010, and appeared this year in the anthologies Graphic Canon Volume 1 and No Straight Lines. She is in progress on Truecattoons.com, more travel comics, the Mother Mountain four-book epic, a Bitchy graphic novel, and many other creations she can’t wait to read. Visit her at robertagregory.com
Ruth Burr has been doing search engine optimization (SEO) since 2006. She is currently the Lead SEO at SEOmoz, maker of SEO software and home to the web’s most vibrant SEO community. Ruth loves karaoke, grilled cheese sandwiches, the Internet, and using data to make business decisions. She has a yellow lab named Ozzie.
Sammy Ng, aka SmallRiniLady, has something to wear for any occasion: Fifteen wigs, a closet full of Victorian Gowns, Lolita ensembles, Kimonos, and Malformed pants, over thirty pounds of scrap fabric, and a box full of cat ears is all leading up to her completing her 100th homemade Cosplay outfit.
Sara Weisenbach is the Washington and Alaska representative for the International Quidditch Association as well as the co-captain and co-founder of the Cornish Quidditch team. She plays beater/chaser for her team and has a broom named Leonidas. Her goal is to create a larger Quidditch presence in the Pacific Northwest and to one day take her team to the Quidditch World Cup.
Sarah Davies is a web developer for the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in PHP and Drupal development with an emphasis on user-centered design and information architecture. She holds a Master of Science in Information Management from the University of Washington.
With a background in Animation Art and Design, Sarah Hayward spent many years in Vancouver’s Film and Game industry as a post FX artist before starting at BioWare. As a Cinematic Designer, Sarah has worked on Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker, Dragon Age II, and Mass Effect 3. Her most noted work has been with Fenris from Dragon Age II, and numerous Mass Effect 3 follower relationships.
Sarah Kuhn is the author of the geek romantic comedy novella “One Con Glory,” which has earned kudos from io9 and USA Today/Pop Candy and is in development as a feature film. She has written about everything from financial aid to Vulcan mating rituals for such publications as Back Stage, IGN.com, Geek Monthly, The Hollywood Reporter, and StarTrek.com. She is also part of the Alert Nerd collective (AlertNerd.com) and has served on such popular panels as San Diego Comic-Con’s “Geek Girls Exist.” In 2011, she was a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award.
Sheryl Chee is a writer at BioWare whose credits include Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and the Dragon Age: Origins expansion “Awakening.” She came to Canada from a faraway land packed in a small styrofoam crate marked “Perishable.” Since then, she’s earned the titles “Minion of David Gaider” and “Splinter of Madness” in the DA Writers’ Pit. Her favorite pastimes include playing video games, baking, and baffling friends and family with non sequiturs.
Sophie Hirschfeld is the host of the radio show “Tumbling Brain Matter” on Public Reality Radio (WPRR), comic book fan, writer, science advocate, member of the skeptic community, editor of SheThought.com, owner of SexAndScience.org (which is currently undergoing some changes), a professional in the adult industry, and educated in a wide range of topics from Health Education (the subject of her degree) to various sciences. She is also a costume designer, seamstress, milliner, and random textbook reader.
Stevi Costa is a graduate student at the University of Washington. She studies 19th and 20th century American literature, and is interested in literary freaks.
Susie Rantz spends her days at GMMB, a communications company that works with clients who address important social issues, from education to global health. She also serves as PR manager for GeekGirlCon. Outside of work, she volunteers for organizations such as EarthCorps and YouthCare–and she loves hanging at the library, sci-fi/fantasy novels and movies, documentaries, her two rotten rescue dogs, and sports (including soccer and fantasy football).
Tammy Oler is a wordslinger who has written about feminism, fandom and pop culture for numerous publications including Bitch, Geek, and New York magazine’s Vulture blog. She’s the co-founder of StellarEngine, a Brooklyn-based consulting firm that provides marketing and organizational strategy to brands and organizations. In 2005, she co-founded the Denver Roller Dolls, a top-ranked, non-profit women’s roller derby league. Find her at www.tammyoler.com.
Hailing from T-town in Washington, Tammy Vince Cruz is a self-proclaimed Japan-o-phile, obsessed with pandas and dreams one day of being a toy designer. A graduate from Henry Cogswell College with a degree in Digital Graphic Design, her senior project consisted of a line of dolls featuring Japanese street fashion – complete from branding, to packaging and full prototypes. Graphic influences include color combos from Kimono, Swiss typography, and The Bauhaus. She rocks special graphics projects for the Tacoma Weekly by day, and manages the GeekGirlCon Graphic Design Team by night. Pantone Color is 7514 C and CMYK Values are C=16 M=37 Y=43 K=0.
Teal Sherer is an actor, producer, and advocate for performers with disabilities. In addition to her recurring role as “Venom” in the hit web series The Guild, her credits include HBO’s Warm Springs (where she also served as an advisor to Kenneth Branagh), a starring role in the Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof, and most recently a commercial for Disneyland. Teal has produced a number of plays and web videos – like Oracle Addresses the DC Comics Reboot and Elf Sabers. Teal’s original comedy web series, My Gimpy Life, is about to launch it’s first season. Find out more at www.TealSherer.com
Teresa Jusino is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. At the end of last year she was selected as one of the Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011 by the blog Geek To Me at Chicago Redeye. Her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on many websites like ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! 2012 will see Teresa’s work in an upcoming non-fiction sci-fi anthology. Get Twitterpated with Teresa (@teresajusino), “like” her on Facebook, or visit her at her blog, The Teresa Jusino Experience.
Tricia Barr is a licensed Professional Engineer who works as a project manager designing roadway and signalization infrastructure projects. In 2011, she started FANgirl Blog, which focuses on Star Wars, The Hunger Games, Wonder Woman, and other genre storytelling with strong female characters. Tricia also has written articles on Star Wars and its fandom for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com, ActionFlickChick.com, and Geek Girl Network, and Star Wars Insider magazine. Her first space fantasy novel, Wynde, will be published later this year.
Trina L. Ray
Trina L. Ray (JPL/NASA) is an astronomer with the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn operated out of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In her current position she coordinates all the Titan science opportunities for the Cassini Mission. She is an active public speaker for NASA, invited to give many talks around the nation.
Trish Loyd is an actor by first love, and was raised a fan of sci-fi and fantasy. She has appeared in multiple local independent plays, independent film and commercials and industrials for Events & Adventures, Microsoft, University of Washington School of Nursing and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She was also a member of Bare Knuckles Acting, a dramatic improv group, and currently a member of Effective Arts, a training organization that uses improvisational actors. Trish taught herself story structure and character development and began writing. She is currently finishing her first full length novel. The basic premise of the web series “The Collectibles” was Trish’s brainchild, and she portrays the under-appreciated psychic receptionist, Receiver. Trish is an Executive Producer on the cable series-in-development Ordinary Angels and has a daughter with husband Dan Heinrich.
Wendy Van Norden
Wendy is the formal education lead for the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory education and public outreach team. She develops solar science resources for K-12 classrooms, does class visits all over the Washington, DC area, and will soon be writing a children’s book about the Sun’s role in the water cycle! Wendy has been teaching for over six years and is a certified math teacher. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, traveling to national parks, and hanging out with her loving rescue dog, Roxy.