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HFES Launches Science Policy Fellowship Program

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Caroline Cao, Wright State University; Carisa Harris-Adamson, University of California, San Francisco; and Holly Handley, Old Dominion University, have been named the 2018–2019 Science Policy Fellows for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. 
Together with the Government Relations Committee and Lewis-Burke Associates, HFES’s government relations firm, the Science Policy Fellows will develop policy statements and perform outreach to government decision makers on Capitol Hill and within government agencies. 
According to Mica Endsley, chair of the Government Relations Committee, “The Science Policy Fellowship program is a key mechanism for HFES to grow a cadre of members with expertise in working effectively with government agencies and Congress to improve the inclusion of human factors and ergonomics in government programs.”
Caroline explained why she wanted to become involved in this new program. “My personal and professional goal is to be an agent of change. Learning about the process of science policy making, and participating in the process through advocacy, outreach, and building relationships with decision makers, is one way to achieve my change objective, which is to enhance the visibility of HFE in STEMMS (science, technology, engineering, math, medicine, and social science)."
The first step for the Fellows was training. They met with representatives of Lewis-Burke in Philadelphia to gain more understanding of public affairs, advocacy, and the issues of importance to HFES. “Lewis-Burke’s training and guidance in this area provided a strong foundation for this important program,” said Mica. “The Science Policy Fellows will use this training to work on customized messages and policy statements and will meet with congressional representatives to deliver those messages.”
“The training was a great refresher on how the budgeting cycles for the U.S. government work, and how we can be involved to influence lawmakers by providing them with factual information to support science-based initiatives,” said Holly.
Carissa agreed. “The Science Policy Fellowship meeting was an excellent introduction to becoming an advocate for HFES in Washington.”
The Science Policy Fellowship is a three-year program. Fellows will participate in the Government Affairs Committee, help write policy statements, and travel once a year to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and regulators.
The new Fellows share Carissa’s enthusiasm for their work. As she said, “I look forward to getting more engaged with and effective at communicating with decision makers who can bring HF/E experts into critical conversations.”


About Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,500 members globally. Its mission is to promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of the systems and devices of all kinds. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, practitioners, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them.