affiliated with

Georgia State University


Brains & Behavior

NeuWrite Atlanta includes individual members that are welcome to attend monthly meetings. NeuWrite Atlanta’s Advisory Board consists of group leaders from multiple institutions.

Atlanta Chapter Leadership & Advisory Board

Georgia State University

Faculty Advisor

Elizabeth Weaver II, MS
GSU Associate Director, Brains & Behavior Area of Focus

Alumni Advisor

Greg Suess, PhD
GSU Neuroscience B&B Fellow Alumni

Alumni Advisor

Jennifer Gray, MS
GSU Neuroscience Alumni

Grad Student Advisor

Anna Radar
GSU Neuroscience

NeuWrite Voices in Action Project


Press Release 2023: A team of science writers, communicators, and disability advocates led by Elizabeth Weaver, a science writer and communicator and associate director of the Brains & Behavior Area of Focus at Georgia State University, will develop online resources and a docuseries for science writers and communicators focused on crafting evidence-based and empathetic patient-centered science journalism. Although the focus will be on neuroscience, the team will develop resources that will be applicable to writers covering almost any area of science or healthcare journalism.

“This grant aims to disrupt older, more outdated journalistic approaches that solely prioritize scientists’ expert testimony,” the applicants wrote. “Specifically, we aim to teach science writers how to convey neuroscience, discovery, and disease through a democratic lens, where patients’ epistemic authority is prioritized throughout the journalistic process. Furthermore, this grant will aim to scale these skills to reach more community members outside the initial training paradigm by empowering science writers in training to teach this framework to their peers.”

Funds will support an online course focused on educating professional science writers on how to implement patient-centered frameworks in neuroscience related communication (application due date Aug. 1). In addition, the team will develop a docuseries and online resources for any science writer or NASW member seeking resources on authentically incorporating patient voices and other key stakeholders into science journalism and communication. For the docuseries, the team will work with artist and Georgia State graduate student Hannah Litchenstein and cinematographer and Georgia State undergraduate student Taliyah Baptiste to interview the diversity of stakeholders involved in scientific research and communication, including science writers, patients, caregivers, allies, researchers, students, and medical providers.

Other team members include Dom Kelly and Kehsi Iman Wilson of New Disabled South, a group focused on improving the lives of people with disabilities and cultivating strong disability rights and disability justice frameworks in the South; journalist and Century Foundation fellow Ryan Prior; and Jennifer M.F. Gray of NeuWrite Atlanta.

Furthermore: We will pair Lived Experience Experts with Science Writers to each write a patient-centered journalistic piece. See our project participants below!

Lived Experience Experts in Neurological Disability

Kiana Jackson is a dedicated advocate and seasoned professional, currently holding the position of Senior Research Manager at New Disabled South. With a strong commitment to uplifting underserved communities, Kiana has dedicated her career to enhancing grassroots organizations’ capacity and empowering communities, especially those in rural and minority areas. Her efforts are driven by a wealth of lived experiences and a genuine passion for fostering positive change. With over five years of extensive experience in community organizing, Kiana has honed invaluable skills in data analytics and research, leveraging them to advance her advocacy efforts. Throughout her journey in community advocacy, she has made numerous contributions as a Data Consultant and Data Strategist for local political campaigns and nonprofit organizations in South Georgia. This role has allowed her to apply her expertise in data analytics to effect meaningful change within the community. Kiana’s perspective is informed by her unique lived experience as a disabled black woman residing in rural Georgia. This firsthand understanding of the challenges and opportunities within these communities has fueled her dedication to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity. She draws from her background, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Albany State University and a Masters of Science in Data Analytics and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, to drive her mission of creating a more equitable and just society for all. 
Monique Hopgood-Willis is a fighter who refuses to let adversity define her. After
surviving Bacterial Meningitis that resulted with epilepsy and cognitive impairments ,
she continues to live life to the fullest as a dedicated wife, loving mother, and
passionate neuroscience student entering her fourth year of studies. She is committed
to helping others be educated in neurological diseases and helping people take charge
of their health. Monique shares her medical knowledge and personal triumphs with
warmth and wisdom. By detailing her own story of thriving after adversity, Monique
motivates women to tap into their inner strength. She provides an inspirational
perspective and encourages women to see each obstacle as an opportunity for growth.
R.V. Kuser lives with autism and schizophrenia. He is an advocate, author, consultant, educator and motivational speaker living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is also a Southeast ADA Trainer Member.  R.V. is on a lifelong quest for ways to overcome misperceptions about individuals living with disabilities. To let everyone know, we CAN do anything.
R.V. was awarded the North Carolina Leadership Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding North Carolina self-advocate whose work has improved the quality of life for people with I/DD. It was awarded by North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, Raleigh, NC.
His first book, “Challenged But Not Defeated – Strategies for Coping with Autism and Schizophrenia” is a short autobiography. Join him in exploring how children and adults on the autism spectrum can learn to embrace their individuality and find their voices in today’s world.
R.V. wrote his second book, with his wife, Marlene, “Weight A Minute – Lessons a Family Learns Thru the Gift of Autism”. The Kusers have written their first fiction book about the importance of family and acceptance. The “Weight” family lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Randy, the middle child is the hero of the book and lives with autism. The themes of the book are very relatable for anyone and will delight readers of all ages. The book also provides foundations for meaningful discussions both in the classroom and at home.
The first chapter of each book is downloadable. R.V. and Marlene, both give a greater insight when speaking publicly and advocating. They would love to hear from you – questions, comments,  or just to say “hello.” Contact them at
Devaki Devay is a chronically ill writer, editor, and ME/CFS awareness advocate. Their published disability-focused work can be found in The Daily Californian and the Dawn Review. 
Shane Byous is a medically disabled Registered Nurse and Paramedic from Central Georgia. Hm and his wife share two sons, both in their 20’s. Shane experienced a Grade 5 Brain Aneurysm Rupture in October of 2019. 
This was a catastrophic brain injury. Shane is blind in my right eye and deaf in his left ear. Shane also suffers from short term memory deficits. 
Shane has learned to adjust in many ways. Shane is optimistic that projects like this can help others like himself. 
Carrie McWhorter’s pronouns are she/her. She has Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADHD, and Anxiety. The has a master’s in Social Work. She has always been interested in research and disappointed by the lack of disabled-informed research and is excited to be a part of this project.
Marsha Hallager is a multifaceted producer/director. Hallager started her career in radio, at WUSL-Power 99 FM in Philadelphia, PA. She began her tenure as an intern and within two months was offered a permanent position. Not long after starting in radio, Marsha received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University where she graduated in 3.5 years.

Hallager relocated to Atlanta, Georgia for another position in radio before transitioning into television. She credits radio as her entrée into the world of television and film production. She is an accomplished independent documentary filmmaker, writer, producer and rising director with a keen sense of storytelling.

Hallager’s achievements are multi-disciplined – she has worked across various genres, including unscripted to scripted in television to horror films and feature documentaries.

Hallager served as one of the producers on the award-winning documentary, “One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal.” Hallager recently produced a music documentary featuring a GRAMMY award-winning artist.  She is in pre-production on a feature documentary and in development on a project for PBS that is very special to her. She is a visionary and looks forward to producing groundbreaking and critical content.
Sonya Rio-Glick
Saralyn Lilly

Science Writers

Isabella Cueto

Isabella is a bilingual journalist who covers chronic disease at STAT. Through her work, she explores the whole spectrum of illness, from the intimate corners of life with a chronic condition, to the scientific and medical developments that could help prevent, reduce or cure major disease.

Cueto joined STAT in 2021, as the inaugural Sharon Begley Science Reporting Fellow. Before wading into the world of science journalism, she was a reporter for local news outlets in Florida, South Carolina and California.

Timothy Gachanga

Timothy is a media trainer and a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He teaches journalism and applied communication at Multimedia University of Kenya.

Amanda Heidt

Amanda is a freelance journalist and editor with 4+ years of experience tackling stories across the life and earth sciences, touching on everything from ecology and archeology to the nitty-grittiest molecular biology and the farthest reaches of space. While she finds research beautiful and compelling—and was previously a scientist herself—Amanda is also invested in sharing the complex experiences of scientists themselves, and enjoys covering issues related to DEI in academia and science history. Her work has appeared in Nature, Science, The Scientist, National Geographic, NPR, and elsewhere.

Claire Bugos
Verywell Health

Claire is a news reporter at Verywell Health, where she covers the latest in infectious diseases research, metabolic disease management, oncology, environmental toxicology, and much more. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and her health and science reporting has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine and Discover Magazine. A California native, she fosters a deep love for farmers’ markets. Now based in Brooklyn, Claire spends her time salsa dancing, biking around town, and exploring the vibrant NYC food scene.

Paul Adepoju

Paul is a freelance journalist and editor for different platforms and outlets who covers tech, health and environment issues. He has written published pieces for several outlets including: Nature, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, New Scientist, Quartz, CNN and several others. I am media trainer and a freelance journalist.

Becky Oskin
UC Davis

Becky is a writer and editor in Northern California. She oversees communications for the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, producing content for a wide range of audiences across many outlets. She was previously a science writer for the UC Davis College of Letters and Science and a science reporter for, specializing in earth science, physics and climate. Oskin also spent many years in North Carolina, working in media relations for both Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She got her start in science writing at the Pasadena Star-News, covering both Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Carson Hartlage

Carson (they/he) is a second year MD/PhD student at the University of Cincinnati. They are originally from Toledo, Ohio, and are proudly queer and transgender. Carson’s professional interests include transgender health, clinical informatics, environmental health, and health policy. Carson is also passionate about reproductive justice, science communication, and community outreach.

Judy Stone, M.D.

Judy is an Infectious Disease specialist with 40 years of experience—25 in solo practice, and then in locum tenens positions. She recently retired but remains engaged in infectious diseases as a telemedicine volunteer for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders, patient advocate, community educator, and medical writer for Forbes (and previously Medscape and Scientific American). Judy is also a working Group Member for the FDA-NIH-CPath’s project, the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC). She has a longstanding interest in Neglected Tropical Diseases and has volunteered in India. 
Dr. Stone is also the author of two books, Conducting Clinical Research, the essential guide to the topic, and Resilience: One Family’s Story of Hope and Triumph over Evil, a Holocaust memoir. She has maintained a weekly Covid newsletter since March 2020 on her website, She especially loves writing about ethical and social justice issues and their intersection with infectious diseases.

Kathryn J. McCullough

Kathryn is a science writer based in Memphis, Tennessee and a recent graduate of the Science Writing master’s program at Johns Hopkins University. Her passion for the social sciences and elevating voices, experiences, and perspectives within the disability community guide her work. She describes her approach as one grounded by words and inspired by science. Her previous work appears in The Science Writer.

In her spare time, Kathryn is either in the yoga studio, practicing aerial arts, or trying to read while snuggling with her cat, Gus.

Magdalene Walters

Maggie (she/her) and I am currently completing a PhD in epidemiology at Imperial College London. At ICL I’m working to improve the model used by most countries and published by the Joint United Nations HIV/AIDS division (UNAIDS) to estimate the number of children who are living with HIV. These estimates are used to appropriate resources and funding to national HIV programs, and I really enjoy getting to work with other academics, Ministries of Health, and intergovernmental agencies. This work requires distilling complex modelling methods and data intricacies to a variety of audiences, and I’m looking forwards to improving my written communication skills through the NeuWrite course. 

Outside of work, I enjoy reading (particularly fantasy/sci-fi/ dystopian novels!), going for a picnic with friends in one of London’s beautiful parks, and beginning crafts that I probably won’t finish.