Science Societies Announce 2019-20 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

The Optical Society, Materials Research Society and SPIE make final selection for prestigious appointments to learn and contribute to science policymaking in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA), the Materials Research Society (MRS) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, are pleased to announce the selection of Christina Willis and Daniel Broberg as 2019-2020 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows. Each will serve a one-year term in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., as a special legislative assistant for a member of the U.S. Congress or as a staff member for a congressional committee.

Caption: Daniel Broberg, 2019-2020 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow

Willis will serve as the 2019-2020 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, which is co-sponsored by OSA and SPIE, while Broberg will serve as the 2019-2020 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow. The two Fellows will begin their terms in September 2019.

“I look forward to applying the lessons learned in my research on semiconductor materials to science-informed policymaking on energy and climate issues,” Broberg said.

“It’s a huge honor to be selected for the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship, and I am excited to learn as much as I can about the legislative process and how science policy is crafted,” Willis said. “My background is in physics, optics and high-power lasers, and I look forward to expanding my skill set by working on a broad range of technical topics, especially the areas of energy and environmental policy, STEM education and STEM diversity.”

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 and then select which congressional office or committee they wish to serve for their fellowship year.

The Congressional Fellowship program aims 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. Typically, Fellows have the opportunity to conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare policy briefs and write speeches as part of their daily responsibilities.

Caption: Christina C. C. Willis, Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow

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