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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
Policy and Global Affairs
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Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
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Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-334-2455

 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellows
Summer 2002 Fellow Biosketches
Summer 2002

David Dowdy (Summer 2002, IOM/CRR)  completed a joint MD/PhD at Johns Hopkins in 2008. The research for his PhD in infectious disease epidemiology focused on the cost-effectiveness and impact of TB diagnostics in developing countries, including Brazil and South Africa. After completing his internal medicine residency at UCSF, he returned to Hopkins, where he is now an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology. (Updated 2/2016)



Jennifer Dropkin (Summer 2002, PGA/BISO) has been working towards a master's degree in museum studies (natural history) at the University of Kansas, where she received a bachelor of science in systematics and ecology.  Her fellowship work at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum has included collection care in herpetology and the herbarium, but she has also worked on exhibit preparation in vertebrate paleontology.  This semester she is working on a bioinformatics outreach fellowship: she is developing a workshop to introduce grade-school children to information that they could get by querying museum databases that are available online.  She is concerned with human-caused biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption and hopes this fellowship will familiarize her with some of the institutional structures meant to ameliorate these changes.  She would have liked to have said that she has improved as a folksinger and yoga practitioner, but both endeavors have suffered since she has resumed her academic studies.

Wendy Edwards (Summer 2002, DEPS/CSTB) finished a second masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois and is currently working for National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) as a research programmer in the Health Sciences group. (Updated 8/2010)




Julie Fritts (Summer 2002, DBASSE/MSEB) is a master's candidate in public policy at Georgetown University, focusing on education policy.  She previously received her BS in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.  Julie is originally from Michigan, spent six years in England, and has lived in D.C.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, and trying to beat her husband at tennis.  Next year, Julie will work as a research assistant for a Georgetown professor while she completes her master's degree. Her career goal is to be involved in research and policy analysis regarding elementary and secondary education.  During her Mirzayan Fellowship, she worked at the Mathematical Sciences Education Board (MSEB) in the Division of Behavioral and Social Science Education (DBASSE). (Updated 4/2009)


Kristina Fuchs (Summer 2002, PGA/STEP) is currently deputy head of a unit in the Budget Directorate of the Austrian Ministry of Finance where she works on administrative reform projects and impact assessment issues. She graduated from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University with a MPA in 2003. Prior to her studies in  the US she earned a Master in Commerce from the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, Austria and worked for the European Commission, the OSCE and technical assistance programs in Southeastern Europe.  (Updated 9/2010)



Rachel Hoffman (Summer 2002, DELS/BEST) is working towards a doctorate in atmospheric/physical chemistry at the University of California, Irvine.  She has been awarded the Department of Education's GAANN fellowship and was an honorable mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.  She hopes to utilize her Mirzayan Fellowship experiences to further her career in science advising on environmental regulations and policies.  Outside of school, her greatest passion in life is world travel, which she says exposes her to a broad spectrum of people, ideas, and cultures.  Her experiences have encompassed trips on five continents, including a study abroad program in Sydney, Australia.


Jeff Kinder (Summer 2002, PGA/COSEPUP) is a PhD candidate in public policy at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Ontario.  He previously received a master’s degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University.  His undergraduate degree was in physics at Miami University (Ohio).  Jeff spent about a decade in the Washington, D.C. area, first at the Naval Research Laboratory and then at the National Science Foundation.  In 1998, he and his wife (who is Canadian) decided to pursue professional opportunities in Ottawa. Jeff works for the Canadian government and teaches and conducts research in S&T policy. (Updated 3/2010)


Jason Lee (Summer 2002, DELS/BCST) completed his PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in spring 2002.  His thesis focused on the deposition of metal oxides and metal carbonyls on silicon surfaces using solution chemistry.  He previously earned a BS with honors in chemistry from the University of Maryland.  Jason spent his Mirzayan Fellowship at the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.  He recently returned from the UK, where he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool.  His research there was part of the efforts at the Centre for Bioarray Innovation.  Jason is a native of the D.C. area and is a lifelong fan of the Maryland Terps and Washington Redskins and somehow manages to support both Liverpool FC and Everton.  (Updated 3/2010)


Alan Lund (Summer 2002, DEPS/NMMB) was a fellow with the National Materials and Manufacturing Board (formerly the National Materials Advisory Board) in the summer of 2002, shortly after his graduation with a PhD in Materials Science from Northwestern University.  Alan had also previously received a BS in materials science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  After finishing his internship, Alan departed for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher.  In 2005, Alan co-founded Xtalic Corporation with Prof. Christopher Schuh.  Under Alan's early leadership, Xtalic Corporation licensed core technologies from MIT, transformed these technologies into industrial processes, formed critical early-stage customer relationships, raised significant funding from both angel and venture capital investors, and recruited experienced and accomplished professionals for its senior management and technical teams.  Alan remains a member of Xtalic's senior management team, and is currently Xtalic's Chief Technology Officer. (Updated 8/2010)  

Parisa Morris (Summer 2002, IOM/NBH) was in the process of applying to medical school after her time as a graduate student in the biology department at Arizona State University.  She holds a bachelor's degree from ASU, and, as a graduate of the Barrett Honors College, she focused her senior honors thesis on the study of infertility and assisted reproduction and the many dilemmas that arise when new technologies come to the forefront of medical treatment.  She was also a Science and Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she gained valuable experience in science policy. 


Kyra Naumoff (Summer 2002, IOM/HSP) has been working towards a master's degree in environmental science, policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, where she had been planning to begin her PhD in environmental health science in the School of Public Health.  While her research addresses the quantitative relationship between land use change and wildlife health, her broad interest is in the application of this knowledge for improved information dissemination, decision-making and policy creation.  On-campus, she enjoys teaching both undergraduate and outreach students; off-campus, she relishes kayaking and white water rafting, camping, cycling and baking as many delectable desserts as possible.

Susan Park (Summer 2002, DELS/OSB) received her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Delaware, and her M.A. and B.A. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the Executive Director of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. She has more than 10 years of experience supporting organizations that connect science and stewardship of coastal and marine resources. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Park was the associate director of Virginia Sea Grant. She also served as a senior program officer with the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, as an adjunct professor at Trinity Washington University, and as a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. (Updated 4/2016)

Traci Powell
(Summer 2002, DELS/BLS) received her PhD from Stanford University in genetics.  She conducts research in the area of breast cancer genetics and has over seven years of experience studying the role of genetics in breast cancer and other human diseases.  She has spoken nationally at human genetics meetings, as well as delivering guest lectures on genetic neuromuscular disease.  She has served as a member of the Program for Genomic Ethics Society (PGES), which has investigated various genetic diseases and has developed recommendations for genetic testing.  Traci believes she has developed a unique perspective on scientific issues that will add to the diversity of her committee’s work during her Mirzayan Fellowship.


Katharine Rice (Summer 2002, PGA/STL) has been attending Notre Dame Law School for her JD.  She previously received a BS in biology from Pepperdine University.  She also fellowed for one year with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, working on a large toxic torts litigation.  For this litigation, she worked with a team of paralegals to organize and execute an independent medical examination program of unprecedented size and scope.  This afforded her the opportunity to work with some of the leading medical experts in toxic torts litigation.  She has been looking to couple her experience at The National Academies with her educational background in science and law for career in patent law. 


Jennifer D. Roberts (Summer 2002, DBASSE/BCYF) is an Assistant Professor at Uniformed Services University, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Biometrics, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences.  Formally, Dr. Roberts was a Senior Scientist with Exponent's® Health Sciences Center for Exposure Assessment and Dose Reconstruction (2007-2011) as well as with ChemRisk® (2005-2007).  She has more than 10 years of experience working in the fields of public health, environmental and occupational health, exposure assessment, toxicology, and industrial hygiene.  Dr. Roberts has been involved with researching and reconstructing exposures, as well as, the quantification of dose among occupational and non-occupational communities in order to assess the risk of exposure to chemicals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel, benzene, and diacetyl.  Most recently, she has examined the risks of exposure to a physical agent, specifically low frequency sound generated by wind turbines in communities.  Dr. Roberts has also been heavily engaged in research involving the risks of exposure to pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium, in a variety of urban waterways.  Dr. Roberts also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The National Academies (2004-2005), Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology in Washington, D.C., where she reviewed and contributed to the research of several projects including the toxicity review of iodotrifluoromethane and the evaluation of the current and future trends of toxicity testing.  (Updated 2/2012)

Amanda Sarata (Summer 2002, NAE/Engr. Healthcare) currently works at the Congressional Research Service as a specialist in health policy, where she works mostly on issues of health quality and has supported many legislative efforts to date, including health reform, FDA reauthorization, and the reform of physician payment under Medicare. From 2003 to 2005, she worked as staff to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society at the National Institutes of Health. Amanda received her M.S. in science policy from the University of Minnesota (Humphrey Institute) in 2000, and was a senior research analyst at the Minnesota Department of Health from 1999-2001. She received her M.P.H. in 2003 from the University of Washington (Seattle). In the summer of 2002, she was a Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies where she worked on health care quality issues. Amanda holds her B.A. in biology from Carleton College. (Updated 2/2016)

Mohan Seetharam (Summer 2002, DELS/BESR) is studing towards his doctorate in geography at Clark University, with interests in cultural/political ecologies, regional development and planning.  He previously received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Western Australia.  Mohan has traveled widely and has been working for several years on land use change and associated studies in southern India.  He enjoys listening to jazz, reading, walking, and playing pool.



Eric Sevigny (Summer 2002, DBASSE/CLJ) is an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina.  He earned his PhD in Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006.  Eric lives in Columbia, S.C. with his wife, Emily Heberlein, and two young boys, Neil, who is three, and Alec, who is 10 months old.  (Updated 8/2010)



Elizabeth Smith (Summer 2002, NAE/Engr. 20/20) completed her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Irvine. The topic of her thesis was Micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS).  She has since worked in the aerospace and energy industries.  (Updated 9/2009)