Current & Former Fellows

Become a Fellow! Deadline Dec. 31st

Current Fellows

Samuel Bockenhauer, Ph.D.
2013-2014 ACS Congressional Fellow Samuel Bockenhauer received his Ph.D. at Stanford University where his research focused on single-protein spectroscopy in solution using a novel technique of trapping single proteins in solution by cancelling their Brownian motion.  Samuel is the recipient of numerous honors, including the SPIE Optics and Photonics Scholarship in 2012 and an NSF Graduate Fellowship in 2009.  Aside from his achievements in chemistry, Samuel is also an accomplished violinist who has toured with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia. Bockenhauer has accepted a position with Senator Al Franken (D-MN) where he will work on energy issues.
Kate Stoll, Ph.D.
2013-2014 ACS Congressional Fellow Kate Stoll was a AAAS Science and Technology Fellow from 2011 to 2013, working at the National Science Foundation Division of Graduate Education.  As a Fellow, she has initiated several programs designed to improve graduate education.  Kate earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2010 and conducted her post-doctoral research at the University of Washington.  Her doctoral research involved used NMR and biochemical techniques to study the structural and functional aspects of the BRCA1-mediated ubiquitination.
Katherine Weber, Ph.D.
2012-2014 ACS Science Policy Fellow Katherine Weber earned her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Cambridge in Spring 2012. Her doctoral research focused on the genetic basis of behaviour in the nematode C. elegans, a model organism for studying animal development. Katherine is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Marshall Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is excited to work on policy related to science education and its importance for U.S. international competitiveness in science and technology. Read about Katherine's fellowship experience.

Former Fellows

 Victoria Gunderson, Ph.D.

2012-2013 ACS Congressional Fellow Victoria Gunderson earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University in December of 2011. Her doctoral research focused on artificially replicating the stages of photosynthesis to inform the design of materials for use in solar energy conversion. Victoria has also worked with UOP, LLC. a multinational petrochemical company and was a Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow in the Fall of 2011. As an ACS Congressional Fellow, Gunderson worked in the office of Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and in the Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee, where she will worked on energy issues.  Read about Victoria’s fellowship experience.

Laura Pence, Ph.D.

2012-2013 ACS Congressional Fellow Laura Pence has been a chemistry professor at the University of Hartford for the past 17 years. Her research focuses on synthetic inorganic chemistry, primarily working on transition metal coordination chemistry. As a professor, she has worked to incorporate sustainability across the curriculum and to encourage technology and information literacy into classes of all levels. Pence earned her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Michigan State University in August of 1992. As an ACS Congressional Fellow, Laura joined the staff of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), where she worked on energy, environment, and natural resources management issues. Read about Laura’s fellowship experience.

Christopher Avery, Ph.D.
2011-2012 ACS Congressional Fellow Chris Avery earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Michigan in April 2011. His doctoral research investigated the molecular interactions between synthetic antimicrobial compounds and cellular membranes. Chris also holds a Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology and Public Policy from the Ford School of Public Policy at Michigan. Prior to his ACS fellowship, Chris worked for the Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy at the National Academies, working on various projects related to economic policy, including patent reform, tax codes, standard setting and new energy technologies. As an ACS Congressional Fellow, Chris worked for Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-DE) on energy, environment and innovation issues. Read about Christopher’s fellowship experience.
Emily Grumbling, Ph.D.
2011-2012 ACS Congressional Fellow Emily Grumbling earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 2010. Her doctoral research investigated gas-phase photoelectron imaging of negative ions. In addition to her research, Emily has eight years of experience tutoring and teaching science to undergraduates. Her policy interests include energy, the environment, science education, and diplomacy. Emily worked for Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO) on energy issues during her ACS congressional fellowship. Read about Emily’s fellowship experience.
Brittany Westlake, PhD
2010-2012 ACS Science Policy Fellow Brittany Westlake earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. Her doctoral work, under the direction of Dr. John Papanikolas and Dr. Tom Meyer, focused on light-driven electron-proton transfer. Brittany has worked with the North Carolina Local Section Government Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill and district visits with Representative Price (D-NC). In addition, she has done hands-on experiments for K – 8 students while working at Augusta Georgia’s Fort Discovery and serving as a Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellow. During her Science Policy Fellowship, Brittany worked with ACS staff within the Office of Public Affairs on energy and science policy. Read about Brittany’s fellowship experience.
Jasmine Hunt Dimitriou
2010-2011 ACS Congressional Fellow Jasmine Hunt Dimitriou earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California, Santa Barbara in July 2010. Her doctoral work is focused on the synthesis and evaluation of biomaterials for pulmonary gene delivery and imaging as well as the synthesis and characterization of polyelectrolyte copolymers for hydrogel formation. She was a recipient of an ACS Scholar Award and served on the ACS graduate student symposium planning committee for the Spring 2010 ACS National Meeting. As a fellow, she worked for Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) handling energy and environmental issues. Read about Jasmine’s fellowship experience.
Dale L. Orth, PhD
2010-2011 ACS Congressional Fellow Dale Orth earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. His doctoral work focused on the inhomogeneous broadening of impurity transitions in crystalline hosts. Since 2006, he has served as chair of the Western State College (Gunnison, CO) Department of Natural and Environmental Science. In addition, he is a reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education and member of the ACS General Chemistry Examination Committee. The ACS Congressional fellowship was Dr. Orth’s sabbatical project. He worked for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Read about Dale’s fellowship experience.
Elizabeth M. Baden, Ph.D.
2009-2010 ACS Congressional Fellow Elizabeth M. Baden earned her Ph.D. in biomedical science (biochemistry and molecular biology) from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in May 2009. Her doctoral work focused on immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis, a rare protein misfolding disease that results in death within 12-18 months. She was active in her community assisting in the public engagement activity related to the formation of a DNA biobank, serving as a county political delegate, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. As an undergraduate, she served as president of Valparaiso University’s ACS Student affiliate Chapter. Elizabeth hopes her fellowship experience will help “bridge the gap between science and society.” She will be working for Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).
Mark E. Fleury, Ph.D.
2009-2010 ACS Congressional Fellow Mark E. Fleury earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering from École Polytechnique FÉdÉrale de Lausanne in June 2007. His doctoral work centered on the effects of dynamic environments on extracellur morphogen gradients. He currently serves a postdoctoral scientist under Dr. Douglas Lauffenburger at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Mark worked for seven years as a Project Engineer with Cargill Incorporated. As a fellow, he would like to pursue energy and environmental policy issues. He will be working for Senator Claire McKaskill (D-MO).
Brian Carter, Ph.D.
2008-2009 ACS Congressional Fellow Brian Carter holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University. His doctoral work at Columbia focused on developing tools for enzyme evolution in chemical biology. For the past five years he taught science at the Bard High School Early College in New York City. Prior to that he taught at the CÉsar ChÁvez High School for Public Policy in Washington, DC. Brian started his fellowship year working on science, technology, engineering, and math education policy for Senator Clinton (D-NY), and has since moved to staff a Senate committee. Read about Brian’s fellowship experience.
William O’Neal, Ph.D.
2008-2009 ACS Congressional Fellow William O’Neal earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College in June 2007. His doctoral work centered on developing a new synthesis of bacteriochlorins. He recently completed work as a research associate for the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. In 2002, Will was awarded the Southeastern North Carolina ACS Award for Undergraduate Chemistry. He is working in the personal office Representative Holt (D-NJ). Read about William’s fellowship experience.
Stephanie Herring, Ph.D.
2007-2008 ACS Congressional Fellow Stephanie Herring holds a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. Stephanie applied for the fellowship in order to explore a future career in public health and to examine the connection between science and public policy. She spent her fellowship year working on the health effects of climate change in the personal office of Rep. Markey (D-MA). Read about Stephanie’s fellowship experience.
Alexander Barron, Ph.D.
2007-2008 ACS Congressional Fellow Alex Barron earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University in the summer of 2007. Alex pursued his fellowship with an interest in environmental policy and spent his fellowship year in the office of Sen. Lieberman (D-CT), focusing on climate change legislation. Alex continues to work on climate change as a staffer in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Read about Alex’s fellowship experience.
David Noll, Ph.D.
2006-2007 ACS Congressional Fellow David Noll holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University that he earned in 1997. He is currently a research associate at Hopkins where he does research on oligonucleotide chemistry, repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks, high-throughput analyses of DNA binding specificity, and mechanistic enzymology. He is also on the Board of Trustees for a career center for unemployed women in East Baltimore. David is interested in exploring the connection between science and other societal issues during his fellowship. Read about David’s fellowship experience
Kusai Merchant, Ph.D.
2006-2007 ACS Congressional Fellow Kusai Merchant received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University in 2004. Kusai spent his fellowship year working on energy & environment issues in the office of Senator Reid. He now works for Environmental Defense Fund as a Climate Specialist on the National Climate Campaign. Read about Kusai’s fellowship experience.
Abby Schneider, Ph.D.
2005-2006 ACS Congressional Fellow Abby Schneider received her Ph.D. in Marine Estuary and Environmental Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2005. Her thesis under Dr. Joel Baker, studied Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Desorption rates from re-suspended Hudson River sediment. She is a past intern of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council where she worked on a study of the effects of trawling and dredging on seafloor habitat. Abby has placed in the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) where she worked primarily on coastal and ocean issues. Read about Abby’s fellowship experience.
David Bernstein, Ph.D.
2005-2006 ACS Congressional Fellow Dr. David Bernstein received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2004. David spent his fellowship as minority staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where he worked on issues related to NIH, stem cell research, and related topics. He is now a Senior Science Policy Analyst in the Government Relations and Legislative Affairs office at the American Association for Cancer Research. Read about David’s fellowship experience.
Julia (Warner) Jester, Ph.D.
2003-2004 ACS Science Policy Fellow Julia (Warner) Jester completed her Ph.D. work in 2003 under the direction of Dr. William Kranbuehl at the College of William and Mary. Julia worked at ACS in the (then) Office of Legislative & Government Affairs during her fellowship. She works for the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. Read about Julia’s fellowship experience.
Steve Feldgus, Ph.D.
2003-2004 ACS Congressional Fellow Prior to the Fellowship, Dr. Feldgus was a Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his Fellowship, Dr. Feldgus served as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Senator Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ). Dr. Feldgus currently serves on the Legislative Staff of the Energy & Mineral Resources Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee. Read about Steve’s fellowship experience.
Kathryn Parker
2000-2001 ACS Congressional Fellow Kathryn Parker earned a B.S. in Biology from San Diego State University and M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado. She taught chemistry at community colleges in southern California and developed diagnostic test kits for a biotech startup company. Kathryn spent her fellowship year in the Office of Sen. Jim Jeffords (R/I-VT), working on energy & environment. She then worked on ozone depletion and climate change at the EPA. She now works on education for Grand Canyon National Park. Read about Kathryn’s fellowship experience.
Ellen E. Burns, Ph.D.
2000-2001 ACS Congressional Fellow Prior to the fellowship, Dr. Burns was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. During her Fellowship, Dr. Burns covered science, technology, education, environment & transportation issues in the Office of Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI). Following her fellowship, Ellen served as a Senior Science Writer at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read about Ellen’s fellowship experience
Darlene Schuster, Ph.D.
1997-1999 ACS Science Policy Fellow Dr. Schuster holds a B.S.Ch.E. from West Virginia University, an M.S.Ch.E. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. from West Virginia University. As a fellow, she worked to education congressional staff on technical policy issues. Dr. Schuster is currently the Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Institute for Sustainability. Read about Darlene’s fellowship experience
Kristin M. Omberg, Ph.D.
1998-99 ACS Congressional Fellow Prior to the Fellowship, Dr. Omberg was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a Fellow, Dr. Omberg served on the Staff of the US Senate Committee on the Budget. Dr. Omberg is currently the Group Leader of the Systems Engineering and Integration Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Jay A. Siegel, Ph.D.
1988-89 ACS Congressional Fellow Prior to the Fellowship, Dr. Siegel was a Professor and the Director of the Forensic Science Program in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. As a Fellow, Dr. Siegel served as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Dr. Siegel is currently a Professor and the Director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program at Indiana University. Read about Jay’s fellowship experience.
Mary T. Tyszkiewicz, Ph.D.
1993-1994 ACS Congressional Fellow Prior to the Fellowship, Dr. Tyskiewicz was a graduate student at Syracuse University. As a Fellow, Dr. Tyskiewicz served on the Staff of the Research & Technology Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. Dr. Tyskiewicz is currently a Senior Analyst at the Homeland Security Institute. Read about Mary’s fellowship experience.