Erica McCoy

Class of Fellows is the largest cohort in the program’s history—nearly 20 percent increase

Erica McCoy of University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine has received a 2009-2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. She will be working as an AAAS Energy, Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Fellow with the USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service. The fellowship begins Sept. 1 with a two-week orientation in Washington, D.C.

Funded by science societies and government agencies, the 190 doctoral-level scientists and master’s- and doctoral-level engineering Fellows will complete their year-long fellowship in congressional offices or federal departments such as the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense. The Fellows learn about science policy while providing valuable science and technology expertise to the government. They are taking up their posts at a time of renewed interest in and attention to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“I am so honored to have been selected for this fellowship and am looking forward to learning about science policy,” said McCoy. “I hope to use my education and experience to serve our country by participating in the policymaking process.”

Prior to the Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, McCoy was a post-doctoral Fellow in Obstetrics & Gynecology at CU Denver’s School of Medicine. Her interests include health care reform, food safety, public understanding of research, science funding, renewable energy and biological threats.

“With the new presidential administration emphasizing evidence-based policymaking and a call to service, we received a record number of applications for the 2009-2010 fellowship year,” explained Cynthia Robinson, director of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. “This class of nearly 200 Fellows, a jump of almost 20 percent, is the largest cohort in the program’s 36-year history.”

Fellows represent a spectrum of fields in the sciences and engineering. In the 2009-2010 class, Fellows list climate change, renewable energy, food security, sustainable development, health and disease, and science education among their policy interests. Robinson noted that over 60 incoming Fellows will be working on energy, environment, agriculture and natural resources issues. “It’s the year of the environment, with this class,” Robinson said.

“Host offices gain scientific and technical expertise and analytical capabilities to inform policy, as well as talented individuals with energy, drive and fresh perspective,” Robinson said. “Fellows gain the opportunity to learn first-hand how policy is deliberated, developed, regulated, evaluated and to understand how science may be applied in the policy realm to make a difference at local, national and international levels.”

Since the program began in 1973, nearly 2,200 Fellows have worked in Congress and executive branch agencies and departments, seeding virtually every corner of Capitol Hill and beyond with a high caliber of scientific know-how. After the fellowship, some Fellows return to academia. Others stay in policy and go to work at government agencies or enter careers in non-profit and private sectors.

About University of Colorado Denver’s School Of Medicine
The University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine faculty work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The University of Colorado Denver is located in Denver on the Downtown Campus and on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. CU Denver offers more than 100 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. For more information, visit the CU Denver Newsroom.

About AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( and Science Signaling ( In October 2009, AAAS also will begin publishing Science Translational Medicine ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, , the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

Contact: Caitlin Jenney, 303.315.6376, [email protected]

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