Jay A. Siegel, Ph.D.
ACS Congressional Fellow, 1988-1989
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 Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I applied for the ACS Congressional Fellowship because of my interest in public policy and how it is affected by the Congress. I also have a particular interest in criminal justice and forensic science. I am to the Fellowship Program knowing that I would return to my position at Michigan State University at its conclusion.
I wanted to work in the Senate because of the strange way that it operates by suspending its own rules. I wanted to work for the party in power (the Democrats) at the time because I felt I could have the most impact during my one year. I wanted to work for a Senator, rather than a committee so I could have a variety of experiences. Senator Conrad was a freshman Senator with no science expertise on his staff and I felt that this would be a good fit.
I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I had a chance to staff the energy committee for the Senator and there were several important issues before the committee including the Superconducting Supercollider and drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR). I had a chance to write legislation and saw it introduced on the floor of the Senate by the Senator. I met and interacted with other Senators. I staffed hearings and met with many North Dakota citizens who came to D.C. to meet with Conrad. The two week orientation that I had from the AAAS was excellent. I am a native of DC and I learned more about my city from those two weeks than I ever had known!
The ACS Congressional Fellowship was an extremely rewarding experience. The ACS staff were very helpful and accommodating. I recommend this experience to any ACS member.