Organizing Committee


Autumn Horne

Autumn Horne is a third year PhD student in psychological sciences at Rice University. Her research uses a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging methods to investigate the relationships between short-term memory, language production, and language comprehension. Autumn first became fascinated by science communication as a discipline when she read the work of the great science writers Maria Konnikova, Steve Silberman and Oliver Sacks. She immediately wanted to know “How can I do that?!” Autumn also works as a graduate writing consultant at Rice’s Center for Academic and Professional Communication. Outside of work, Autumn enjoys reading a good novel, cooking, and going on long walks with her husband Justin and their dog Fred.


Emily Yedinak


Emily Yedinak is currently a PhD candidate in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University. Her current research is in converting methane to value-added products with the aim to reduce in carbon emissions associated with industrial activity and energy production. Her passion for science communication likely stems from her involvement in musical theater from high school through college (as she puts it: “If you can sing in front of an audience, you can do anything in front of an audience.”). She is an ardent advocate for empowering graduate students to seek professional development opportunities outside the lab and seeks to help her colleagues become better scientists and researchers. In her free time, she produces her own podcast called Ideas at Scale, she plays drums in a Brazilian samba reggae group called Batala, she co-leads a women’s organization at Rice called Wiki Women, and she nerds out with her lab’s D&D campaign.


Laura Montier

Laura Montier is a postdoctoral associate in the department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine where she studies the genetics of epilepsy and is a recent recipient of the Grass Foundation Young Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society. She is also adjunct faculty at St. Thomas University where she teaches a genetics laboratory course. Laura has always valued the importance of developing effective science communication skills for all science professionals, regardless of their chosen career path. She recognizes that doing good science is only the first step to any successful research program that must be followed by clearly conveying the significance and relevance of laboratory findings to a wide variety of audiences. While a graduate student at University of Houston, she attended the inaugural ComSciCon-Houston. After graduating, Laura served as a volunteer for the ComSciCon-Houston 2019 Organizing Committee. She is thrilled to continue the tradition of ComSciCon in the leadership role of Co-chair in 2020 to promote a science communication conference organized by students and trainees for students and trainees. 


Senior Lecturer

Jennifer Wilson


Jennifer Shade Wilson became the director of the Program in Writing and Communication (PWC) in 2018 and was the founding director of Rice’s Center for Academic and Professional Communication (CAPC). In her current role, Wilson oversees all programs associated with the PWC: the First-Year Writing-Intensive Seminar (FWIS) program, the CAPC, communication resources for non-native speakers of English, and Communication in the Disciplines efforts. Jennifer holds a PhD in second language acquisition from the University of Toronto and a BA in English literature (magna cum laude) from Rice. Her research interests include writing pedagogy, second language writing, college composition, and adolescent literacy. Jennifer has published five book chapters on various aspects of ESL composition, second language acquisition, socioliterate support, and adolescent literacy, as well as articles on those topics in Composition Forum and Language Teaching. Outside of Rice, Jennifer serves on the board of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston.