Headlines for September 7, 2017
News from CCST
During his Sacramento tour on August 10th, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) visited with CCST --- an organization he helped create while serving as California State Senator. In 1988, then-State Senator Garamendi and then-Assemblymember Sam Farr ushered ACR 162, which resolved to create a "California Council on Science and Technology" to respond "to the Governor, the Legislature, and other entities on public policy issues related to science and technology."
"It's absolutely thrilling for me to see what's happened," said Rep. Garamendi to the CCST team, after meeting CCST Science Fellows and alumni and asking about their career paths from science to policy. We are honored by Mr. Garamendi's words of encouragement for CCST's continuing mission, and we are grateful for his time with us!
Retired California State Senate Principal Consultant and longtime CCST Program Advisor Doug Brown was among the 11 career staffers honored on August 31st by the California Legislative LGBT Caucus and the Capitol LGBTQ Association.
The evening featured remarks by caucus chair Assemblymember Evan Low, association president Bish Paul '17, and association board member Dharia McGrew '12. They recognized the tremendous contributions that these honorees have given to the State Capitol community, serving as caring mentors and friends to many young staffers and rising colleagues.
Doug Brown has advised the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program since its inception --- helping train each year of fellows --- and we are most proud to have him as our colleague and friend. Please join us in celebrating his career of public service to the State of California!
Our CCST Science Fellows
The CCST Science Fellows Alumni Network launched its Professional Development Seminar Series on August 11th with former California Lieutenant Governor Mona Pasquil, who now serves as Appointments Secretary for Governor Jerry Brown.
Alongside longtime colleague and friend Annette Porini --- former Appointments Director for the California State Senate Rules Committee --- Ms. Pasquil dazzled, challenged, and encouraged our CCST Science Fellows and alumni to pursue public service in the Executive Branch. She shared both wisdom and laughs with our PhD scientists-turned-policy professionals, who left with a deeper understanding of the appointments process and the myriad possibilities for serving the Governor of California.
Our sincere gratitude to Lt. Governor Pasquil for her generous time and encouragement --- and for being such an inspiring role model for mentorship to our CCST Science Fellows.
Angee Doerr '15 is currently a Research Scholar at the Center for Ocean Solutions --- an interdisciplinary science and policy organization based in Monterey, California, and Stanford University --- where she focuses on marine resources policy at the intersection of human and natural systems. In our latest "Fellows Profile" Q&A, Angee shares how her fellowship year with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water propelled her career.
Photo courtesy of the Center for Ocean Solutions.
Hand-Built Lasers, Baby Seals, and Film Festivals: 2017 CCST Science Fellows Share PhD Pasts
Our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows bring some amazing life experiences with them to the California State Capitol. In the first of our "Life Before #CAleg" series, 2017 CCST Science Fellows Mike Peterson (Senate Natural Resources), Laura McWilliams (Assembly Utilities), and Bish Paul (Assembly Elections) share their past adventures in science and beyond.
Photo courtesy of Sarah and Mike Peterson.
Recent and Upcoming CCST Science Fellows Events:
This summer, computer science teacher Arthur Lopez was appointed by the California State Board of Education to its Computer Science Standards Advisory Committee (CSSAC).
Lopez teaches at Sweetwater High School in San Diego County, and is a current member of the CCST California Teacher Advisory Council. Notably, he participated in the White House "Computer Science For All" summit in September 2016, at the invitation of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.
CCST in Pictures: August 2017
California State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) spoke at the August 8th "Science Advice for State Legislators" panel hosted by CCST at the 2017 NCSL Legislative Summit in Boston. [More photos at CCST on Facebook and CCST Science Fellows on Facebook]
CCST Science Fellows and alumni enjoyed the Solar Eclipse Watch Party at the State Capitol on August 21st, an event co-hosted by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), the California Public Utilities Commission, and CCST. Laura McWilliams '17 helped organize the event. [More photos at CCST Science Fellows on Facebook]
The 2017 Class of CCST Science Fellows were recognized for their service during the State Senate floor session on August 28th and the State Assembly floor session on August 21st. Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) introduced the fellows in their respective chambers. Screen captures courtesy of CalChannel. [Senate photos on Facebook | Assembly photos on Facebook]
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Inside the halls of the California State Capitol, praise isn't given lightly. Trust must be demonstrated through thoughtful action, and respect must be earned through dedication and clear thinking. The bar is set doubly high for those new to the policy arena, like the PhD scientists who enter our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship each year.
That is why I feel such immense pride whenever I hear gracious words spoken of our CCST Science Fellows by our state legislators.
In August, our 2017 Class of CCST Science Fellows were recognized during State Assembly and State Senate floor sessions for their service to the California State Legislature. Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) introduced the four Science Fellows serving his chamber. "To the Fellows, it is an honor to be with you today," Mr. Cooley remarked. "It's been a privilege for the Assembly to host you, and your contribution to our deliberations. We hope you are receiving as much benefit from the experience as we have received."
Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) introduced the five Science Fellows serving his chamber. "These five accomplished individuals have not only contributed to science, but they've also spent the past year helping this chamber make crucial policy decisions. We appreciate their willingness to lend us their intellectual prowess, and we wish them well in all their future endeavors."
Of course, CCST is equally grateful for the generous mentorship of legislators like Mr. Cooley and Mr. Wieckowski --- whose offices have hosted multiple CCST Science Fellows. Mark Elsesser (Class of 2013) served the Assemblymember's personal office, as did Emily Berry '16, who remains on his staff. Dharia McGrew '12 served Mr. Wieckowski during his chairmanship of the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee, while Laurie Harris '15, Dan Brumbaugh '16, and Anna Reade '17 served under his current chairmanship of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
The trust that our Science Fellows engender have lasting implications.
We recently received an unexpected letter from Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who wrote us to commend the work of Mike Peterson '17, currently in service to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, which Senator Hertzberg chairs. In fact, as Senator Hertzberg reminded us, Mike isn't the only Science Fellow he has on staff. On any given day he can also tap the counsel of Michael Bedard '11, who serves as his chief of staff, and Katharine Moore '10 (our inaugural class), who serves as a consultant in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.
That our CCST Science Fellows are trusted and relied upon --- and then asked to continue serving the people of California --- is the best praise we could ever hope for.Sincerely,
Amber Mace, PhD
California Council on Science and Technology