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Announcing the inaugural class of MOST Policy Fellows

Published on June 29, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (June 29, 2020) – Five post-doctoral fellows have been selected to serve as independent science advisors to the Missouri General Assembly. The fellowship program is coordinated by MOST Policy Initiative at the University of Missouri Graduate School. Fellows will cover health, agriculture, education, transportation, and public safety policy topics for the 101st General Assembly.

The selected fellows join the program from universities across the country and from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

Jill Barnas – Jill finished her PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri in 2020. She will be serving children, families, and seniors committees. 

Jenny Bratburd - Jenny is currently at University of Wisconsin-Madison, finishing her PhD in Microbiology. She will be serving transportation, public safety, energy and environment committees. 

Elena Galata Bickell - Elena is at University of Missouri, finishing her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics. She will be serving agriculture, natural resources, and some economics committees. 

Josh Mueller - Josh is at University of California-Santa Barbara, finishing his PhD in Dynamical Neuroscience. He will be serving health and mental health committees. 

Brittany Whitley - Brittany finished her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Washington-Seattle in 2019. She will be serving education and workforce committees. 

Fellows will assist in scientific, rather than legal, research before bills are written, and also help to inform senators and representatives on benefits and consequences of pending statutes and regulations. The fellows are funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The program is coordinated by Dr. Rachel Owen with advice and guidance from the MOST Policy Fellows Advisory Board. Find more information at https://mostpolicyinitiative.org/fellows.

MOST Policy Initiative is a nonprofit corporation aimed at bringing scientists and policymakers together to improve livelihoods for people and communities in the Midwest. In addition to placing scientifically-trained fellows at the state capitol to provide scientific resources for policymakers, MOST Policy Initiative connects science to policy through policy initiatives, empowering scientists, and public engagement activities.

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