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MRS Press Release

OSA, SPIE and MRS announce 2013-2014 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

May 07, 2013
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society
WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA); SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics; and the Materials Research Society (MRS) are pleased to announce their 2013-2014 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows.

Carly Robinson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), will serve as the 2013-2014 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow co-sponsored by OSA and SPIE, and Sydney Kaufman, also a Ph.D. candidate at CU-Boulder, will serve as the OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow.

Each will serve one-year terms working as special legislative assistants on the staffs of U.S. congressional offices or committees in Washington, D.C. Robinson and Kaufman will formally begin the program in early September, starting with a comprehensive training and orientation process facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS Congressional and Executive Branch Fellows are sponsored by more than two dozen scientific societies. The new Fellows will then go through an interview and selection process with offices of senators, representatives, or committees on Capitol Hill before choosing the offices in which they will serve.

The Congressional Fellows 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 conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare policy briefs, and write speeches as part of their daily responsibilities. Each year, following a formal application process, finalists are interviewed and Fellows are selected by a committee comprised of volunteer members from OSA, SPIE, and MRS.

For more information on the selection process and fellowship criteria, visit the SPIE, MRS, or OSA websites.

About the 2012-2013 Fellows
At CU-Boulder, Robinson is studying atmospheric chemistry. Her research with Margaret Tolbert involves investigating water uptake on atmospherically relevant liquid-liquid separated particles for inclusion in radiative transfer models. In addition to her Ph.D. studies, Robinson is also active in CU-Boulder’s student government, serving as the student body vice president and other roles. One of her main causes with the graduate student government has been to promote open access to research. Robinson holds an M.S. in atmospheric chemistry from CU-Boulder and a B.S. in applied physics and mathematics from Michigan Technological University. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Physical Society, OSA and SPIE. During her fellowship Robinson hopes to serve as a resource to policy makers on science-related issues, particularly climate change, and to be able to educate fellow scientists on how they can impact science policy.

Kaufman is currently completing her Ph.D. in chemical physics at CU-Boulder. Her research, under the direction of J. Mathias Weber, is in photodissociation spectroscopy of transition metal salts. Outside the lab, Kaufman serves as a contributing editor to online publications Novus Light Today and Solar Novus Today, covering topics such as photonics and solar energy policy, as well as associated environmental, trade, technological, and economic issues. Kaufman is also co-director of the CU-Boulder chapter of the Forum on Science Ethics and Policy (FOSEP), an organization that works to promote dialogue between scientists, policy makers, and the public; co-director of Women in JILA, which organizes seminars to discuss professional development and work/life balance issues; a graduate student representative on the JILA Graduate Student Committee; a science mentor with Earth Explorers; and a volunteer with the Partnership for Informational Science Education in the Community (PISEC), which hosts science education activities at local elementary schools. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from McGill University. During her fellowship, Kaufman is interested in working on energy development policy and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in the STEM fields.

About OSA
Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

About SPIE
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2012. See www.SPIE.org for more information.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.