AIP Congressional Science Fellows

Nicholas Montoni

2019-2020
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Physical Society, Optical Society
Background: 

Nicholas (Nick) Montoni received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Washington in 2018. Nick's research was primarily concerned with understanding the light-harvesting properties of metals at small scales for applications in renewable energy, cancer treatment, and information storage. Nick founded UW's chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) and is passionate about science communication and stand-up comedy.

Placement: 
Rep. David Price (D-NC)

Brian Gray

2019-2020
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
Acoustical Society of America, American Physical Society
Background: 

Brian earned his Ph.D. in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology from UC Riverside in 2013, where he studied the consequences of rapid evolution and signal loss in an acoustically communicating insect. While in graduate school, he co-developed an award-winning outreach and education program. He's held a number of leadership positions with community engagement and education programs and was a 2017-2019 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation.  

Placement: 
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Rukmani Vijayaraghavan

2018-2019
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society
Background: 

Rukmani Vijayaraghavan received a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focus has been on understanding the evolution of galaxies in the extreme environments of galaxy clusters using numerical simulations on supercomputers. From 2015-2018, she was an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia. She also founded and ran the 'Girls Exploring the Universe' annual summer camp for middle school girls at UVA.

Placement: 
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Gina Mazzuca

2018-2019
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Meteorological Society
Background: 

Gina Mazzuca received a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science in 2018 from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focused on the relationship between mesoscale meteorology and air pollution. In 2016, she interned at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in the Environment and Energy division.

Placement: 
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Shuchi Talati

2017-2018
AIP-ASA Congressional Science Fellow
American Meteorological Society
Background: 

Shuchi Talati received a Ph.D. in 2016 from Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy. Her doctoral research focused on the climate-energy-water nexus looking specifically at the impacts of domestic climate regulations and carbon capture and storage technology. She was most recently a postdoctoral fellow with the American Meteorological Society's Policy Program with research looking at perceptions of climate engineering risk and governance.

Placement: 
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Mallory Hinks

2017-2018
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Meteorological Society
Background: 

Mallory Hinks received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine in 2017. Her research focused on understanding the effect of environmental conditions on the chemical and physical properties of secondary organic aerosol. As a graduate student, Mallory co-founded the Science Policy Group at UCI to teach students about career opportunities at the intersection of science and policy. She is also passionate about science communication.

Placement: 
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Rebecca Reesman

Rebecca Reesman

2016-2017
AIP-ASA Congressional Science Fellow
American Physical Society
Background: 

Rebecca received her Ph.D. in physics from The Ohio State University in 2014. For her dissertation, Rebecca used a novel mathematical method to characterize galactic gamma-ray emission; she also put constraints on the extragalactic background light by modeling the attenuation of extragalactic gamma-ray sources. After completing her Ph.D., Rebecca began working at CNA, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center in Arlington, Virginia, where she analyzed and solved problems for government agencies.

Placement: 
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

2016-2017
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Physical Society
Background: 

Ryan Murphy received a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. For his doctoral research, he studied the origin of Galactic cosmic rays with an experiment that flew on a NASA long-duration balloon launched from Antarctica, and made two trips totalling five months to the continent. While a graduate student, he led his departments peer mentoring program and was involved in science outreach. He received a B.A. with majors in Physics and International Studies and a minor in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Placement: 
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Sara Barber

2015-2016
AIP Congressional Science Fellow
American Astronomical Society
Background: 

Sara Barber is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She received her doctorate in Physics after defending her dissertation, Planetary Remnants Around White Dwarf Stars, where she examined the properties of planetary systems in the epoch following the host star death.  Sara is also passionate about science outreach. While in graduate school, she pioneered an astronomy outreach program and hosted a department tour for her district's representative, Tom Cole.

Placement: 
House Committee on Science, Space and Technology -- Space Subcommittee, Minority Office

Rachel Carr

2015-2016
AIP-ASA Congressional Science Fellow
American Physical Society
Background: 

Rachel Carr received a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia in 2015. Her doctoral work focused on measurements of neutrino oscillations in the Double Chooz experiment, located at a commercial nuclear power station in France. Outside research, she has held science writing positions at Fermilab and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State. Her policy interests include nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear power, renewable energy, and tech industry issues.

Placement: 
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

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