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Colorado Science & Engineering Policy Fellowship
Colorado Science & Engineering Policy Fellowship

Colorado Science and Engineering
Policy Fellowship

May 21 - July 18, 2018


The Colorado Science and Engineering Fellowship is designed to give policy making experience to undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Throughout the session, each fellow will conduct his/her own policy research project in addition to learning more about STEM policy through seminars and industry site visits. Fellows will work with Colorado State Representatives Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin.

The upcoming session will take place from May-July 2018, for which 12-15 fellows will be chosen. Fellows will be given a $4000 stipend to cover cost of living in the Denver Metro Area and travel.

2018 Fellowship winners announced

Colorado Science & Engineering Policy Fellowship

CU Engineering’s Michelle Lin, Sage Sherman and Abby Oglesby are the 2018 fellowship winners

Over the course of the fellowship, Michelle, Sage, and Abby, along with students from institutions across the state, will learn about the policy-making process at the Capitol while splitting their time between outside activities. These add-ons include visiting institutions where technology and policy intersect, sitting in with committees aligned with the policy interests from their applications, and lastly, researching their own policy proposal.

As part of their fellowship they’ll take part in a legislative boot camp at the Capitol and visit NREL, Google’s Boulder campus, Panasonic, Xcel Energy, National Wind Technology Center and more. They’ll close their capstone research with a presentation day at the Capitol in July.

Michelle Lin has been highly involved with STEM education in her community since moving to Colorado from Taiwan at age 9, from founding a STEM club at her high school to bridge the socioeconomic gap among students interested in STEM to promoting equitable educational opportunities for under-resourced students through the Greenhouse Scholars program. Michelle is a freshman pursuing a double major in aerospace engineering and engineering physics, with a minor in applied math. She hopes to one day set foot on Mars.

“The nexus of STEM and policy gives rise to the opportunity to solve complex, multifaceted challenges,” Michelle said. “I’m incredibly honored and excited to be part of this inaugural class of fellows”.

Sage Sherman is a BS/MS concurrent student in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department. His master's focus is in bioastronautics, and his research interests are in aerospace biomedicine, space habitat design and artificial gravity solutions. He is a native of Colorado and enjoys backpacking, hiking and reading.

“I am excited to learn how we can use STEM public policy to impact individual lives,” Sage said.

Abby Oglesby  is pursuing a degree in engineering, and is also incredibly interested and passionate about environmental and social issues. She holds a strong foundation that those in the government and in positions of power should be completely informed on the principles behind the policy by which they are enacting.

"I have always been incredibly interested in both politics and policy as well as the math and sciences of engineering, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized these two passions do not have to be mutually exclusive. I am incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellowship as it will help me explore a passion and interest that could one day develop into a career path."

This is just the start of a growing focus on policy in STEM field here at CU Boulder. To learn more and get involved contact phillip.larson@colorado.edu.


Syllabus Overview
May 21 - July 18, 2018

This fellowship will enable talented STEM students to gain exposure to the public policy arena. As our state increasingly faces complex challenges related to energy, public health, and transportation, technical expertise in government are essential to create effective, fact-based policy. This fellowship will allow scientists and engineers to contribute their expertise to the legislative process in Colorado, and give these students a greater appreciation for the important role that policy plays in solving technical problems. This should provide a broadening experience for the fellows, as well as create a conceptual bridge between the STEM disciplines in Colorado, the host institutions, and the policy-making process at the state level.

Format: The fellowship will open with an introductory boot camp, during which fellows will learn about the policy-making process at the Capitol and acquire the skills they will need to be part of it.

Fellows will then divide their time between three separate activities. First, there will be a number of visits to relevant external sites and stakeholders. These will span a wide variety of institutions where technology and policy intersect. Second, fellows will be attached to a particular committee that reflects the policy interests outlined in their proposal. There are a wide range of issues being discussed in depth in committee over the summer, from air quality to water security. Fellows will learn their issue and the relevant players first-hand. Finally, fellows will get the time, space, and resources to research their own particular policy proposal. During the last week of the fellowship, they will deliver their policy pitches at a Capitol open day to legislators, industry figures, university representatives, and each other.

Guest speakers from the Colorado General Assembly will also visit the cohort weekly for Q&A style sessions. Throughout, State Representatives Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin and their offices will manage the fellowship and be the fellows’ first point of contact.

Fellowship Schedule

Regular events:
Monday: 9am check-ins
Tuesday (and sometimes Thursdays): Site Visits
Wednesday: 12-1pm speakers

Week 1 (May 21-25)
May 21: Opening Dinner
Legislative Boot Camp: How Policy Development Works
May 25: Capitol Tour

Week 2 (May 28-June 1)
Visit: NREL

Week 3 (June 4-8)
Visit: Google Campus, Boulder

Week 4 (June 11-15)
Visit: Metro Denver, CRES; Panasonic Storage

Week 5 (June 18-22)
Visit: Xcel Power Plant; State Office of Broadband

Week 6 (June 25-29)
Visit: Noble Oil and Gas; Vestas Company

Week 7 (July 2-6)
Visit: National Wind Technology Center

Week 8 (July 9-13)
July 11: Closing Dinner
July 13: Capstone Research Presentation Day; Capitol

Colorado Science & Engineering Policy Fellowship