Eileen R. Carlton Parsons, associate professor of science education, has been awarded a fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science to work at the National Science Foundation during this academic year.
The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship allows Parsons to work at the NSF in Arlington, Va., assisting the agency in addressing presidential and Congressional mandates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
“Participation as an AAAS Science Policy fellow will assist me in preparing future educational researchers and scholars who understand policy and who are able to conduct research and scholarship that informs it,” Parsons said.
S&T Policy Fellows contribute their training and expertise to the U.S. government while learning first-hand about policymaking and implementation at the federal level, said Cynthia Robinson, director of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.
“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, and evaluated and to understand how science may be applied in the policy realm to make a difference at local, national and international levels,” she said. “It’s a win-win-win scenario, for the U.S. government, for the S&T Policy Fellows, and for the nation.”
Since the program began in 1973, more than 2,300 Fellows have supported congressional offices and executive branch agencies and departments. After the fellowship, many Fellows return to academia to teach and mentor new generations to understand the policy context for research and the importance of communicating science.
Parsons teaches in the Culture, Curriculum, and Change strand of the Ph.D. in Education program. Before coming to Carolina, she taught physical science, chemistry and math in North Carolina public schools and worked as an assistant professor at Lenoir-Rhyne College and N.C. State University.
Parsons received her B.S. from Carolina in science teaching, and an M.S. and her Ph.D. in science education from Cornell University.