UNF chemistry professor awarded exclusive fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Shelby Senesac, News Editor

UNF associate professor of chemistry, Dr. Josh Melko, has been awarded the highly competitive American Chemical Society (ACS) Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Only two spots for the fellowship were awarded nationwide. Out of a pool of applicants, Melko was granted one of those spots.

Dr. Josh Melko / Courtesy of UNF Media Relations

Melko, who joined UNF in 2014, will be working on Capitol Hill for the 2021-22 academic year in the office of a U.S. Senator, Representative, or Committee. His job will be to advise them on science-related issues.

The ACS Congressional Fellowship Program is administered by the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

The ACS states on their website that, “As part of a broader effort administered by AAAS that places more than 30 scientists per year in Congress, the program has two main goals: to provide policy-makers with high-quality information on science-related issues and to educate scientists on how government works and how science policy is made.”

Melko explained that he will help draft legislation, meet with constituents or special interest groups, write speeches, organize hearings, etc.

 “I will also be taking part in a year-long professional development program to learn about the policy-making process in our federal government, as well as how to network and communicate in the policy landscape of D.C.,” Melko said.

 According to Melko, when policymakers get in a room and discuss climate change, STEM education, public health, or any number of science-related issues, a scientist needs to be in that room.

“I’m looking forward to being that voice and helping to make science an integral and valued part of our democracy. I also am excited to meet like-minded individuals from around our nation that are as passionate about science policy as I am!” Melko stated.

UNF Media Relations stated in a news release that Melko will return to UNF in Fall 2022.


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