Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics Announces 2020-2021 Science and Politics Fellows

Seven scientists will apply their expertise to the development of state policy

Newswise — Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics announced that seven scientists have been selected for the 2020-2021 cohort of Eagleton Science and Politics Fellows. Over the next year, the Eagleton Science Fellows will serve as full-time science advisors in New Jersey state government and will assist in the development and implementation of state policy for issues ranging from COVID-19 response, clean energy, education, mental health, and others.

The Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship is part of the Institute’s initiative to bring scientists, public policymakers, and elected officials together to better address science-related policy issues. The program is inspired by the notion that public policy is more effective when science experts are involved with the policy-making process,” said Anna Dulencin, Ph.D., senior program coordinator for the Eagleton Science and Politics Initiative. “Now more than ever, as our nation and state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists are needed at the table to help inform best practices for public health policy.”

The 2020-2021 Eagleton Science Fellows were selected from a pool of candidates with Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the sciences for their accomplishments as scientists, interest in the American political system, and passion for public service. The high-caliber individuals selected all have a desire to better understand how politics affect their scientific discipline and how they can effectively engage with state leaders and institutions.

  • Krista Connelly, Ph.D., has a doctorate in neuroscience and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey Department of Corrections
  • Peter Frank, Ph.D., has a doctorate in organic chemistry and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey Department of Education
  • Kira Lawrence, Ph.D., has a doctorate in geological sciences and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Office of Clean Energy
  • Ian McLaughlin, Ph.D., has a doctorate in neuroscience and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey State Legislature, Assembly Majority Office
  • Evvan Morton, Ph.D., has a doctorate in specializes in civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering, and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey State Legislature, Senate Majority Office
  • Mai Nguyen, Ph.D., has a doctorate in psychology and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey Department of Children and Families
  • Hanna Sherrill, Ph.D., has a doctorate in neuroscience and will serve as a science aide at the New Jersey Department of Health

John Weingart, the Eagleton Institute’s associate director, expressed the Institute’s “deep gratitude and appreciation to supporters of the fellowship. This includes the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy, Governor Phil Murphy, and the New Jersey Legislature – especially Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. The fellowship would not be possible without their support.”

Learn more about the Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship Class of 2021.

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ABOUT THE EAGLETON SCIENCE AND POLITICS INITIATIVE The Eagleton Science and Politics Initiative explores: how science, technology, and American politics intersect; the political systems that connect them; and how deeper understanding and clearer communication within and across these disciplines can benefit policymakers, scientists, and the larger public.

ABOUT THE EAGLETON INSTITUTE OF POLITICS

The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University—New Brunswick explores state and national politics through research, education, and public service, linking the study of politics with its day-to-day practice. The Institute focuses attention on how the American political system works, how it changes, and how it might work better. To learn more about Eagleton programs and expertise, visit eagleton.rutgers.edu.

ABOUT RUTGERS—NEW BRUNSWICK Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.

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