KC Science Policy Workshop

Learn from experts how to effectively engage with decision-makers to advance evidence-based policy in Topeka, Jefferson City, and Washington.

April 23, 2019 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM

SkillPath Center for Professional Development
6900 Squibb Road, Mission, KS 66201


Workshop Agenda:
5:30 PM – Science Policy 101

The workshops begin with a brief presentation on how the policy-making process works and how science can be used to inform policy. We cover policy-making on a local, state, and federal level, and highlight differences among these levels of government. While this portion of the workshop is fairly basic, many of us have not had a refresher on the branches of government, separation of powers, federalism, or how bills become law since a young age. This presentation helps to set the stage for the materials to come.

6:00 PM – Panel Discussion with Engaged Scientists and Elected Officials
During the panels, elected officials, legislative staff, and engaged scientists, discuss their experiences working to bridge gap between science and policy. Experts highlight the value of building relationships, story-telling, and sustained contact. During the panel, legislative staff also discuss how constituent feedback is handled at the various levels of government.

Meet our Panelists



Lindsey Constance
City Councilmember, Shawnee, Kansas

Lindsey is an award-winning elementary school science and math teacher in Shawnee, KS who now serves the teachers of the Shawnee Mission School District as an Instructional Coach. She was born in Shawnee, graduated from the Shawnee Mission School District, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Kansas. In 2017, Lindsey was elected as a city councilmember for the 4th ward in Shawnee and played a crucial role in the development of the Metro KC Climate Action Coalition.

Tim Freeman


Tim Freeman
Missouri Grassroots Manager
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) – pronounced A-C-S CAN

Mr. Freeman works to organize and execute advocacy efforts in support of cancer patients, cancer prevention, and cancer research. His responsibilities put him at a crucial intersection of organizing entire events and mobilizing their volunteers/constituent base with the goal of influencing policy for the betterment of the ACS and ACS CAN mission. His expertise on encouraging participation in advocacy and organizing advocacy efforts will provide a distinct and insightful perspective.



Dr. Debra Leiter
Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri – Kansas City

Debra Leiter is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Her research examines the intersection of information, voters, and parties, primarily in European Electorates. Dr. Leiter received her PhD in political science from the University of California – Davis.



Ailey Pope
Community Liaison, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (MO)

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Ailey graduated from Wiley College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion and Philosophy and a Master’s from Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology in Theological Studies. Ailey previously worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Blunt before moving back to Missouri to begin a new path working with communities in each region of the state. While working on Capitol Hill, she was a member of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus and the Women’s Congressional Staffer Association.



Ron Seeber
CEO, Kansas Grain and Feed Association

Ron Seeber was hired as president and CEO of Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and Renew Kansas Biofuels Association in October 2017. A knowledgeable association executive, Seeber’s main responsibility is to guide and coordinate association activities and maintain a professional relationship with government, other associations, allied industry, educational institutions and the general public. Seeber earned a Political Science Degree from the University of Kansas and has previous professional experience working for Senator Bob Dole, Governor Bill Graves and a private government relations firm.

7:00 PM – What’s Next? 
Finally, the workshops end by providing participants with tangible ways to better communicate with their elected officials, such as making phone calls, scheduling in-person visits, and interacting on social media. We discuss the effectiveness of various techniques and how that effectiveness differs in Jefferson City and Washington, DC.