In 2018, I was honored to be selected as a fellow in the Health and Aging Policy Fellows (HAPF) program and the American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellowship Program.
These programs offer fellows an in-depth, year-long immersion in federal policy. The HAPF program aims to create a cadre of leaders focused on creating and implementing policies that affect older Americans. The APSA program aims to enhance public understanding and engagement in the policymaking process.
As part of this policy training, I participated in lectures, seminars, and talks from a range of experts, including congressional scholars, congressional staff, policy experts (including health and aging policy experts), and health care advocates. Topics included:
Key issues in health and aging policy
Understanding Congressional oversight
Bicameralism: House and Senate Procedural Differences
Introductions to the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office
The highlight of these policy fellowships is a nine-month long placement in a federal or state governmental agency. I was honored to be accepted as a fellow in the Senate Special Committee on Aging, working for ranking member Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). As a fellow in the Committee, I was tasked with everything from writing legislation to meeting with advocacy groups to working across the aisle on the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.
Together, these policy fellowships have led me to have a rich understanding of how Congress works. Viewing this experience through my research translation lens, I understand how academic researchers and advocates can better work to influence policy and engage with policymakers in a meaningful and substantive way.