Science Societies Choose Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

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The Optical Society (OSA), the Materials Research Society (MRS), and SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) have selected Christina Willis and Daniel Broberg as 2019-20 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows. The two will learn about and contribute to science policymaking.

Beginning in September, each will serve a one-year term in Washington, D.C., as a special legislative assistant for a member of the U.S. Congress or as a staff member for a congressional committee.

Christina Willis, Ph.D., (left) and Daniel Broberg, Ph.D., are the 2019-20 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows. Courtesy of SPIE.

Willis has a doctorate in optics from CREOL at the University of Central Florida and specializes in research on high-power, solid-state, and fiber-laser systems. She will serve as the 2019-20 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow.

Broberg, who holds a doctorate in materials science from the University of California, Berkeley will serve as the 2019-20 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow. His research uses theoretical methods to investigate the formation of point defects in semiconductor materials for energy applications.

As part of their fellowship, Willis and Broberg will attend a comprehensive training and orientation session facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The fellows will then interview with Senate, House of Representatives, and congressional committee staff on Capitol Hill, after which they will then select which congressional office or committee they wish to serve for their fellowship year.

The Congressional Fellowship program is designed to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress and provide scientists with insight into the inner workings of the federal government. Fellows have the opportunity, as part of their daily responsibilities, to conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare policy briefs, and write speeches.

Published: July 2019
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