Here are our club officers for the 2017-2018 academic year:

 President: Bishakha Mona

2016-07-25 Bishakha Mona

Bishakha is a graduate student in the Genetics, Development, and Disease Graduate program at UT Southwestern in the Department of Neuroscience. Bishakha got involved with SPEaC to promote public awareness of science and education through its outreach program. She aspires to be a liaison between the scientific community and the public to effectively communicate the impact of science in our daily life. Her interests also lie in learning about science policy and helping create science awareness among policy-makers and the public. As SPEaC’s President, Bishakha coordinates the club meetings and supports the officers in organizing club events. She serves as the main point of contact for the club and is the club’s representative to the National Science Policy Group.

Outreach Coordinators

Policy Co-Coordinator: Amanda Goldner

2016-07-30 Amanda

Amanda is a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at UT Southwestern, in the Green Center for Systems Biology. She believes basic science needs to be made more approachable to lawmakers and laypeople. This understanding would allow more connections to form between scientists and non-scientists and help pave the way for future societal advancements. As one of SPEaC’s Science Policy Co-Coordinators, she hopes to develop a better relationship between the scientific community and the legislators that model the policy governing it.

Policy Co-Coordinator: Peter Burnham


Peter is a graduate student in the Molecular Microbiology program at UT Southwestern in the Department of Microbiology. He joined SPEaC to explore and promote the interdependent relationship between public policy and life science research. Peter hopes to foster discussions on how government policy can guide scientific advancement and how scientific development can steer policy-making.

Educational Outreach Coordinator: Morgan Merriman


Morgan is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at UT Southwestern in the Department of Psychiatry. Morgan’s involvement with SPEaC began in her first year in graduate school to promote scientific outreach in the community. She aspires for science to be accessible to all through effective scientific communication and outreach with local communities. While most SPEaC educational outreach programs are targeted towards a younger audience, Morgan also desires to reach older individuals, especially in communities that may not have a strong scientific backbone and field. She has a passion for educating communities to understand the necessity of basic science research and how that advances our world. As the Educational Outreach Coordinator, Morgan primarily serves SPEaC in organizing events in the community, working with local organizations to host presentations and experiment demonstrations. Look for her volunteering with SPEaC at the Perot, Dallas Zoo, and local schools, or playing with dogs at local dog parks.

Communications Coordinators

Science Communication Co-Coordinator: Filipa Rijo-Ferreira

2016-07-30 Filipa lab ride dallas

Filipa is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate in the Department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern. Filipa got involved with SPEaC to engage in science communication, by promoting and learning how to better communicate with scientists in different areas of research as well as with the general public. She believes good communication of science is almost as important as the scientific advances themselves: to share the findings and therefore give back to the society. As SPEaC’s Science Communication Coordinator, Filipa creates science communication content and manages this blog, recruiting UT Southwestern writers and editors. She also manages SPEaC’s social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn group.


Communication Skills Co-Coordinator: Ashley Lakoduk

2016-07-13 ashley_ladoudek_modts1

Ashley is a graduate student at UT Southwestern in the department of Cell Biology. Ashley joined SPEaC to become more involved with science communication and education and to help develop programs and events at UT Southwestern aimed at increasing communication skills among basic science researchers. She hopes to help foster an environment where scientists can improve their technical communication skills, as well as to help researchers effectively communicate scientific information to the outside community. She believes that these skills are critical to increasing the general awareness of the benefits of biomedical research and are key to sustaining future funding for biomedical research.

To join SPEaC or volunteer for one of our activities, please contact one of the officers listed above or email us here.


Former SPEaC Officers:




Early 2014: