TAM 2012: The First 6 Grant Recipients

I have been raising money to pay for registrations for women to attend the Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas this year. I have so far raised enough for six registrations! That’s SIX women who normally would not be able to attend the event but now they will be there! I’m SO freakin’ excited and proud! THIS IS SO GREAT!

This post is to help us remember that this is not just some idea, these are REAL people we are helping. And that by doing this we are literally changing the environment of our conferences. When there are more women on stage and in attendance it will create a more welcoming environment for women in general and will pave the way for more women to get involved.

We can, and are making a difference.

So are you ready to meet them?


Georgina Capetillo lived in Nicaragua for 14 years before attending high school in Belmont, MA. She is a Howard University Alum where she studied philosophy and political science. She just started graduate school for conflict resolution in Umass Boston, with a concentration on gender and race conflict. She strives to be a human rights activist, concentrating her efforts women’s rights and separation of church and state. She is most passionate about LGBTQ, women’s and human rights. She loves animals, science, nature, food and to travel.







Aimee Kuzenski likes to think of herself as a study in contrasts. She has a degree in acting at the UWSP and another in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She writes highly technical manuals for a living, but would prefer to write in the sci-fi realm. She can’t dance all that well, but has four years of training in Filipino stick fighting. She lives alone, has two house rabbits as pets, and can’t wait to meet all the fabulous people of TAM.

*Aimee gave me a choice of two photos to use in this post. One with a black eye and one without. How could I NOT pick this one?! The ladies of skepticism are also bad-ass stick fighters! You have been warned. ;)



Sarah Hamilton has a BA in Visual Arts and French. She is a born-again science enthusiast, kerning skeptic messages one letter at a time while MacGyvering clever ways to promote science through art and graphic design. Self-appointed ice cream connoisseur and snarksmith. She is an artist who hopes to take a more active role in communicating art and science to the masses and looks forward to attending her very first TAM.








Kate Baker is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego, specializing in optics. She will never stop being fascinated by what can be accomplished through the manipulation of light and will happily talk your ear off about popular misconceptions of lasers. Kate has been interested in science and skepticism for a long time, but this will be her first TAM. She is particularly interested in promoting critical thinking and skepticism in engineering as well as science outreach for kids, especially girls.






Vanessa Lin is a Southern California native returning to school to study Microbiology. She is working toward entering the MS program in Epidemiology at UC Irvine in order to participate in their chronic diseases research on cancer/ HIV. She enjoys hiking, traveling, photography, gaming and is a complete nerd for the latest gadgets and electronics. She is fairly new to the skeptics community but believes it is a great community that fosters critical thinking for young aspiring researchers such as herself! She is excited for this wonderful opportutnity that the Surly Womens Grants has given her.



Amanda Baraldi received her B.S. in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her M.A. in clinical psychology from Columbia University. She is currently a PhD student at Arizona State University studying quantitative psychology. Broadly, quantitative psychology is concerned with the design and analysis of research pertaining to psychological data and other social sciences. Amanda believes that quantitative psychology is vital to keeping the “science” in “social science”. Specifically, Amanda’s research pertains to missing data analyses, mediation analyses (e.g. X causes M causes Y as opposed to just an X to Y relationship), longitudinal growth modeling, and prevention research. Besides her academic work, Amanda enjoys crafting, board games, musical theater, and, of course, science and skepticism.



Random fact: NONE of these women have EVER attended a TAM meeting. THIS is how we help bring new faces into organized skepticism. You are watching it happen in real time.


Here is the part where I remind you that there are SO MANY more applications that have been turned in. And all of the applications are wonderful. I really wish I could send EVERYONE who wants to go.

If you can donate anything please consider it. You can go here to place a tax deductible donation or you can go to my shop and buy a YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE necklace.

There is still time to apply as well. I promise I will send at least one more person. I am determined. :)


See you at TAM.

PS: If you know any millionaire-skeptics please ask them if they wouldn’t mind sending all the rest of the applicants. Thanks.

Surly Amy




Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. A wonderful first group, Amy! I’m so glad Georgina contacted you. She’s one of our enthusiastic and active members here in the CFI DC community and, while we’ll miss her as she moves to Boston for grad school, it’s good to know that she’ll be expanding her involvement in the organized skeptical movement by attending TAM. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Eskrima, but that’s basically just semantics. Hello!! Very excited to be here.

    1. Seelix was a grant winner last year and now she is a SUPERSTAR! (Who I am proud to now call my friend.)


  2. Congratulations ladies! I was also a grant winner last year, and TAM was even more amaz!ng than I expected.

    Now I need to go buy one of those Surlys to help somebody else go.

  3. Great job! I was one of the grateful recipients last year, and I am SO fortunate to be able to afford my own way this year, so I’m off to go buy some Surlys to help others! Pay it forward, y’all! :)

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