CCST S&T Policy Fellows

California Policymakers Signify Enduring Value of CCST to the State by Investing in Fellows
The 2022 CCST S&T Policy Fellows standing in front of the California State Capitol dressed in formal attire.
California Invests in CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program, Placing PhD-level Scientists, Engineers, and Social Scientists in the Legislature, State Agencies, and Offices of the Governor. SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom this week, the 2022 California State Budget allocates $10 million for the California Council on Science and Technology’s […]
The Keyword? Adaptability. Making the Career Transition from Science to Policy.
A photo of Montrai Spikes, PhD, is a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the title of his blog post and CCST logo on a blue background
  The last few months have introduced a lot of new things into my life. I moved from the Midwest, where I had lived most of my life, to California with my partner and our menagerie of animals. I began working nine to five instead of the sporadic hours of an academic. Most notably I […]
Making the Move (Literally): From Science to Science Policy in Sacramento
Title card of Hannah Frye's blog post with a blue background and photo of Hannah
  Hannah Frye, PhD, is a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the California State Senate Business, Professions, & Economic Development Committee. From Missouri, Hannah studied the role of genetics and sex on memory mechanisms underlying opioid use disorder risk. She earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis […]
Alumni Encourage Future Science Policy Talents on Fellowship Celebration Day
Screen shot of photo tweet by CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow alum Meron Tesfaye PhD. She is seen with short hair, an ample scarf, and smiling in front of a California State Senate framed commendation on a wall. It's hashtag CCST week & yesterday was at CCSTFellows Day! My experience as a CCST fellow at CAlegislature has changed the trajectory of my career. It's also hashtag Black History Month   & I'm beyond grateful for all the Black fellows that came before me! hashtag SciPol at Black In Sci Pol at BlackInSciComm
Our annual CCST Science & Technology Weeks (S&T Week) are a celebration of science-informed policymaking in the great state of California — how scientific expertise can play an important role as we guide the future of California’s economy, society, and environment. So naturally, any #CCSTweek would have to give a big shoutout to our CCST […]
Watch: Science Policy for a More Resilient California: CCST Sessions at the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting
AAAS graphic with headline Empower with Evidence hashtag A A A S m t g. Illustration shows various scientific motifs encircled by the outline of a cell wall or virus casing with protein spikes.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—From extreme heat to wildfires, California faces a variety of complex, interacting scenarios in adapting to climate change. The type of science policy advice and resources required to plan and act on these disaster resilience scenarios was the focus of CCST events during the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement […]
Introducing the 2022 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows
Headshots of the 2022 Fellows in a grid on a blue background
  SACRAMENTO, CA—We are excited to introduce the 2022 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows. Now celebrating its 13th year, the program places PhD level scientists, engineers, and social scientists in Legislative and Executive Branch offices, training them for careers in public policy while helping to equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff. These sixteen PhD scientists […]
From Fellow to 40 Under 40: Alum Spotlight with Dr. Debra Cooper
Photo of Debra Cooper with the blog title in orange lettering and over a blue background
This fall, 2015 CCST S&T Policy Fellow Debra Cooper, PhD, was recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Sacramento Business Journal, a highly competitive achievement that recognizes outstanding young professionals. In the SacBiz profile, Debra reflects on her professional accomplishments, lessons learned, and her motivation to inspire Black girls, including her daughter. As […]
Applications for CCST’s Science & Technology Policy Fellowship in Sacramento, California
Update: The 2023 Application cycle is now closed. SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Puneet Bhullar The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and Executive Branch offices.  Applications are Due March 1st. CCST is recruiting and […]
Watch: CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship 2023 Application Webinar Series
A graphic with the title of the briefing in yellow on a blue background with headshots of the 3 panelists
  Fellows Application Webinar Series   SACRAMENTO, CA—Each year, the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program recruits a cohort of fifteen PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and leadership training within the California State Legislature and Executive Branch. The application for the upcoming 2023 Fellowship class opens December 1st, 2021 and closes […]
Communicating Science to Policymakers: From the Lab Bench to the Legislature
A title graphic of Marika's blog post featuring the blog title and subtitle on a blue background with a photo of Marika in the foreground
Marika Nell is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials. Originally from Maryland, Marika earned a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. In her research, she studied the water quality impacts of fracking operations by searching for known and unknown […]
Finding Balance: Learning to Let Go of Impossible Standards
Image with blue background and title of the blog in orange with a photo of Nichole and CCST logo.
Nichole Holm, PhD, is a 2021 CCST S&T Policy Fellow placed on the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee. Nichole’s doctoral research focused on the genetic changes in neurodegenerative disease and the use of genetics in clinical practice. She earned her PhD in Genetics from UC Davis and a BS in Biology from Eckerd College.   […]
Yes, I Belong Here: How To Recognize The Skills And Value You Bring To The Table
A photo of Bianca conducting on site research with the title and a current photo as a Fellow.
  Bianca L. Gentil, PhD, is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Bianca’s PhD research focused on identifying the economic characteristics of resilient prehispanic settlements in the face of economic, ecological, and demographic pressures. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Penn […]
From Oil Spills to Energy Bills: My Path from Science to Policy
Photo of 2021 Fellow Jane Park with her blog title.
Jane Park is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the Assembly Committee on Utilities & Energy. From Northern California, Jane studied multigenerational impacts of crude oil exposure on development in natural fish populations. She earned her PhD in Integrative Genetics and Genomics from UC Davis and a BA in Biological Sciences […]
Finding the Right Fit: Taking on Toxic Substances in My Science Policy Placement
Photo of 2021 Fellow Grant Hisao and his blog title.
Grant S. Hisao is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Grant earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying biological molecules associated with infectious diseases. He conducted postdoctoral research in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Grant holds a […]
Update: The 2022 Application Cycle is Now Closed
Fellows Application for 2022 Class Photo and banner
  SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Jeffery Song The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and California state agencies.  Applications are Due March 1st. CCST is recruiting and accepting applications for the 2022 Class of CCST Science & […]
Translating Manure Research to Environmental Policy: Q&A with 2021 Fellow Rylie Ellison
Photo of Rylie with the blog title and picture of her collecting wastewater.
Rylie Ellison is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed on the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. Originally hailing from Washington State, in her graduate research Rylie developed treatment methods for dairy manure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make it a better fertilizer. She earned her PhD in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry […]
Top Five Lessons Learned: Delivering a Virtual Fellows Training Program During COVID-19
Title Card Top 5 Lessons Learned with photo of Jeffery Song
Jeffery Song is the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program Manager. In this role, he provides end-to-end administration of all aspects of the Fellowship program, from recruitment and selection to training and coordinating placements. Jeffery worked most recently as a Transportation Policy Postdoctoral Researcher at University of California – Davis. Prior to that, he […]
Update: The 2022 Application Cycle is Now Closed
Fellows Application for 2022 Class Photo and banner
  SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Jeffery Song The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and California state agencies.  Applications are Due March 1st. CCST is recruiting and accepting applications for the 2022 Class of CCST Science & […]
Introducing the 2021 class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows
2021 CCST S&T Policy Fellows group shot
  SACRAMENTO, CA—We are excited to introduce the 2021 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows. Now celebrating its 12th year, the program places PhD level scientists and engineers in Legislative and Executive Branch offices, training them for careers in public policy while helping to equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff. Applications are currently being […]
Update: The 2022 Application Cycle is Now Closed
Fellows Application for 2022 Class Photo and banner
SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Jeffery Song Start your application today. CCST is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and California state agencies.  Applications are Due March 1st. The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is recruiting and accepting applications for the 2022 Class of CCST […]
Asking the Right Questions: Identifying Racial Disparities in Policy and Research
Asking the Right Questions, by Maria Montchal
Maria Montchal is a 2020 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow who was placed in the California State Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Maria received a PhD in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine. From New Jersey, Maria’s dissertation work focused on understanding how the brain allows us to remember when events occurred. She received a BA in […]