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Fall 2011 Fellowship Focus

Fellow Features

Combining a Passion for Astronomy and Policy

On 8 July 2011, Chris Martin, took time from his hectic Capitol Hill schedule to enjoy a front row seat at the launch of Atlantis for the final U.S. space shuttle mission. He cheered along with a crowd of nearly one million people at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the shuttle began its final flight at 11:29 am that morning.

"It was a bittersweet experience," said Chris. "It was exciting to be there and see it go up, but everyone was very aware that it was the end of this storyline."

Click here to read more of Chris' story.


Veterinarian Supports Biosafety and Biosecurity Efforts

When Jean Richards reveals to contacts in the biosafety and security policy realm that she is a veterinarian, sometimes she receives a quizzical look. Most don't expect that background outside of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet, her expertise in infectious and zoonotic diseases enables her to support policy addressing public health and agricultural disaster prevention, preparedness and response. 

 Click here to read more of Jean's story.  


Innovative Analysis Establishes Benefits of Federal Brownfields Program

Kevin Haninger, a 2009-11 S&T Policy Fellow in the Energy, Environment & Agricultural (EEA) program, who brought a background in quantitative policy analysis, contributed his skills to explore the impacts and societal benefits of programs within the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"I was able to use my background and expertise to conduct a rigorous program evaluation," said Kevin. "I was able to carry out a project from start to finish while collaborating with several major players within EPA, learning about the needs of individual offices, and observing how they function."    

Click here to read more of Kevin's story.   


Evidence-based Humanitarian Response

Priya Shete, a medical doctor and a 2010-12 S&T Policy Fellow at USAID in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, uses her medical background to advise on policy issues. She provides technical guidance and assistance for the analysis of potential public health risks to populations in disasters and humanitarian emergencies worldwide.

"A big part of practicing medicine is learning how to figure people out and read situations," said Priya. That informal training translates well to working in policy. "It built my capacity for identifying critical stakeholders, which has been very useful."

Click here to read more of Priya's story.   


Program Updates

First Former Fellow Receives Robert C. Barnard Lecturership

On 11 July 2011, Dr. Francesca Grifo, senior scientist and director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, delivered the 2011 Robert C. Barnard Lecture. From 1990-91 she was a AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at USAID, and she is the first former AAAS Fellow to deliver the Barnard lecture. Dr. Grifo's presentation titled Science and Democracy: Meeting the Challenge, addressed the complex relationship between science and U.S. democracy. She  currently works to mobilize scientists and citizens to defend the integrity of government science from political interference. The endowed lectureship honors the late Mr. Barnard for his contributions to environmental and public health law, and his many years of service on AAAS Fellowship selection committees.

To find out more about the Robert C. Barnard Lecture and to watch a recording of Dr. Grifo's lecture, please visit the Fellowships website.  


2011-12 Class Sets Records

The 2011-2012 class of 255 S&T Policy Fellows is  the largest in the program's 39-year history. The group includes 35 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellows® in assignments on Capitol Hill, and 220 Executive Branch Fellows placed in nearly 20 federal departments and agencies. There are 185 first-year Fellows and 70 who have renewed for a second year of service in the executive branch. 

The class includes individuals from a broad range of disciplines spanning the biological and physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, mathematical and computational sciences, health and medical fields, and engineering. They also span career stages, ranging in age from 28 to 69. Two-thirds of the class have come to their fellowships from the academic sector, and the rest have arrived from industry, nonprofits, government labs and international entities.

Read the full story on the AAAS website.  


Agency Anniversaries

We're pleased to announce that the 2011-12 fellowship year also marks the 30th anniversary of AAAS Fellowships at the Environmental Protection Agency, and the 5th anniversary of AAAS Fellowships at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This year, the EPA is hosting 16 Fellows and NOAA is hosting five Fellows.

In the News

Two Congressional Fellows Sponsored by ACS Featured in C&EN

Two 2010-11 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® sponsored by American Chemical Society, Jasmine Dimitriou, office of Senator Richard Durbin and Dale Orth, office of Senator John Rockefeller, were featured in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). In the article "From the Lab to Capital Hill," Jasmine and Dale discuss what it was like to be a chemist working in a Congressional office and what they learned during their year on the Hill. Read the full article on C&EN's website.      

Umesh Thakkar Awarded the Science Prize and Publishes Article in Science Magazine

Umesh Thakkar, 2011-12 S&T Policy Fellow sponsored by IEEE at the Department of State and 2009-11 S&T Policy Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a winner of Science magazine's Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) award. An article on his project titled, "Facilitating Scientific Investigations and Training Data Scientists" was published in the 29 July 2011 issue of Science magazine. Both the article in Science magazine and the AAAS news release are available online.

New State Department Advisor Started Career as a AAAS Congressional Fellow

E. William Colglazier, 1976-1977 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow® in the office of Congressman George Brown, was named the State Department's new adviser on science and technology. Read more about his new position on ScienceInsider's website.

Article in Acoustics Today Describes a Fellow's Two Years as a Scientist in Washington, DC

Jeff Fox, 2010-11 S&T Policy Fellow at the State Department and 2009-10 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow® sponsored by AIP, published an article in the April 2011 issue of Acoustics Today. This was a special edition featuring scientists working in public policy and service from the Acoustical Society of America, one of the co-sponsors of Jeff's Congressional Fellowship. Please download a full PDF of the article on Accousitcs Today.

Former Fellow Publishes First-Author Manuscript in Science

Alice Luo Clayton, 2009-11 S&T Policy Fellow at NIH, published her first-author manuscript from her post-doctoral work in the 15 July 2011 issue of Science magazine. The article entitled, "Linking Context with Reward: A Functional Circuit from Hippocampal CA3 to Ventral Tegmental Area" is available online on the Science magazine's website. Click here to read the article.