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March 5, 2018

Zitely Tzompa selected as inaugural Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellow

Ph.D. candidate Zitely Tzompa has been chosen to be among the first Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellows. The fellowship, recently created by State Representatives Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin, is an eight-week summer internship for STEM majors, where they will conduct policy research and learn more about STEM policies through seminars and industry site visits.

Public policy makers consult and collaborate with STEM experts for knowledge and advice in navigating the complex challenges of energy, water, public health and transportation. Fellows will observe this interaction and present their own capstone public policy projects, after undergoing a policy “boot camp” that will teach them about the policy-making process and the skills they’ll need to be a part of it.

Tzompa looks forward to gaining firsthand experience of how scientists can contribute to policy making.

“The best part of the fellowship is that I will have the opportunity to design, write and present my own policy proposal to legislators, industry figures and university representatives.”

Fellowship participants were sought from Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Denver, Metropolitan State and the Colorado School of Mines. Each school was allowed to place three fellows, and the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering was assigned one of the spots. Two applications were selected at the college level and submitted to Hansen and Rankin. Tzompa and another Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering applicant then interviewed with the representatives at the Colorado State Capitol Building, and Hansen and Rankin made the final selection.

“The competition was fierce, but we were very impressed by what you could bring to the program,” read Tzompa’s notification from a member of Hansen’s staff.

The program, which runs May 21 through July 13, will be based mainly at the capitol building and will include field trips, seminars, workshops and social events. Fellows will receive a stipend.

Tzompa eagerly anticipates the impact the fellowship will enable her to make.

“This is an exciting time to be a scientist, and I look forward to contributing to both the scientific understanding and the environmental policy related to air quality.”