December Newsletter

SPG Welcomes the 2018 Executive Board

We are excited to welcome the 2018 Executive Board and thank the 2017 Executive Board for their year of service!

2018 Executive Board:

  • President – Kali Miller (Chemistry)
  • Vice President – Alif Laila Tisha (Kinesiology)
  • Treasurer – Ryan Rooney (Chemistry)
  • Professional Development Committee Chair – Libby Haywood (Microbiology)
  • Inform Committee Chair – Austin Weigle (Chemistry)
  • Advocacy Committee Chair – Robby Goldman (Geology)
  • Advertising – Katie Chiang (Comparative Biosciences)
  • Partnerships Chair – Tony Griffin (Materials Science)
  • Webmaster – Christian Ocier and Corey Richards (Materials Science)
  • Faculty Advisor – Prof. Greg Girolami (Chemistry)

2017 Executive Board:

  • President – Suds Dwaraknath (Chemistry)
  • Vice President – Courtney Ford (Chemsitry)
  • Treasurer – Ryan Rooney (Chemistry)
  • Professional Development Committee Chair – Libby Haywood (Microbiology)
  • Inform Committee Chair – Noah Schorr (Chemistry)
  • Advocacy Committee Chair – David Stevens (Chemistry)
  • Advertising – Kevin Harnden (Chemistry)
  • Partnerships Chair – Zack Gordon (Chemistry)
  • Webmaster – Kali Miller (Chemistry)
  • Faculty Advisor – Prof. Greg Girolami (Chemistry)

Join one of our committees!

All of our committees are recruiting new members! If you are interested in having an active role in planning SPG’s 2018 events, contact Austin Weigle (aweigle2@illinois.edu – Inform Committee), Libby Haywood (mayberr3@illinois.edu – Professional Development Committee), or Robby Goldman (rgoldma3@illinois.edu – Advocacy Committee) for more details!

View our newsletter online: here

Science Policy Group Call-A-Representative-Day

Call your Representative on Wednesday, November 29!

Currently, Congress is assembling tax reform legislation that will impact you and your ability to study as a student. In the House of Representatives version, tuition waivers will be taxed as income. Universities typically provide tuition waivers to graduate students in exchange for teaching and conducting research. As tuition rates soar, this becomes an increasingly important part of compensation. Counting tuition waivers as income will increase the tax burden of graduate students by thousands of dollars a year, de-incentivizing American graduate education overnight. The new tax legislation would severely limit the number of students able to pursue graduate research which in turn will limit America’s international competitiveness.

But, it’s not too late to make a difference! The Senate is voting to pass its version of the bill Thursday, so let your senator know you oppose the proposed legislation. The Science Policy Group at the University of Illinois and the Graduate Employee Organization are asking you to join us and hundreds of other students in contacting legislators to implore them to vote against the current tax legislation. Calling your Senator takes just a couple of minutes but may change the vote in Washington.

If you would like to voice your opinion about the tax legislation to your senators, either call during lunch break or stop by our CARD info booth for more information.

View the University’s official stance on HR1 here

Prairie Rivers Network: Science Policy in Action

CLSL B102, Oct 31st at 12:00 pm

Dr. Carol Hays is Executive Director of Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois’ statewide advocate for clean water, healthy rivers and wildlife. PRN is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Prairie Rivers Network works to protect rivers, wetlands and drinking water sources from threats due to industrial, sewage and agricultural pollution, dams, and aquatic invasive species. Based on sound science, PRN encourages land use practices that improve soil health, protect water quality, reduce flooding, and enhance biodiversity. Dr. Hays will discuss the challenges facing Illinois’ rivers and drinking water sources and the strategies PRN uses to address these challenges.

More details on or facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2032505960369732/

October Newsletter

2018 Executive Board Elections

We are soliciting self-nominations for the 2018 SPG Executive Board! The Executive board includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Webmaster, Advertising Chair, Professional Development Committee Chair, Inform Committee Chair, Advocacy Committee Chair, and Partnerships Chair. Descriptions of the responsibilities of each position can be found on our website. If you are interested in running for a board position and would like more information, feel free to set up a meeting with our president by emailing spg.uiuc@gmail.com.

Nominations will be accepted through October 27th. Ballots will then be sent to voting members and the results announced shortly after.

Springfield Visit

On Wednesday, October 25th, SPG is going to Springfield to learn more about the state legislative process. There will be discussions on how to advocate effectively with the University of Illinois’ Office of Government Relations and Senator Scott Bennett. We will have a chance to watch a legislative session on the assembly floor and have several meetings with Illinois Representatives and Senators.

We will be leaving campus at 8:15 am and returning to campus around 6 pm. Attendees are expected to attend the entire trip and will need to bring money for lunch. Spaces on this trip are limited. If you are interested in attending, please contact David as soon as possible!

Intersectionality within the Sciences Reading Group

Have you ever questioned how gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and disabilities play into STEM? Our Reading Group includes readings from critical race theory and feminism and will examine how the inclusion and exclusion of marginalized groups shape STEM education and scientific policy-making. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students, participants need no background in social sciences or cultural studies. Join us from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Asian American Cultural Center conference room on October 24th, November 14th, and November 28th. We will be fininsing the unit on gender in October and starting the unit on sexuality in November.

2018 SPG elections

We are soliciting self-nominations for the 2018 SPG Executive Board! The Executive board includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Webmaster, Advertising Chair, Professional Development Committee Chair, Inform Committee Chair, Advocacy Committee Chair, and Partnerships Chair. Descriptions of the responsibilities of each position can be found below. If you are interested in running for a board position and would like more information, please email spg.uiuc@gmail.com to set up a meeting with our president.

Apply by filling out this form: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/1656149. Nominations will be accepted through October 27th. Ballots will then be sent to voting members and the results announced shortly after.

DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

President

  • Call and preside over  Board meetings
  • Provide leadership and direction to the Board
  • Serve as a liaison to the faculty advisor and the National Science Policy Group
  • Prepare a detailed year-end report and conduct an annual review of the bylaws
  • Assist Board members in fulfilling their duties when they are unable to do so

Vice President

  • Provide assistance to the President in leading the Board
  • Record and distribute Board meeting minutes
  • Maintain and regularly update the voting membership list
  • Manage the SPG ListServ and the SPG Box account
  • Conduct Board elections
  • Lead the Board in the event the President is unable to do so

Treasurer

  • Maintain all financial records of the organization
  • Facilitate reimbursements
  • Locate fundraising opportunities and secure funding for the organization
  • Prepare monthly budget updates for the Board meetings and annual budget report

Webmaster

  • Serve as the administrator for the SPG website, email,  and social media accounts  (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Gmail), posting updates before and after events
  • Ensure that pictures are taken for each event and uploaded to the appropriate account
  • Use online presence to inform new members about the group
  • Work closely with Advertising Director to promote SPG events to members

Advertising

  • Create flyers for and advertise SPG sponsored events
  • Target advertising to recruit new members
  • Work closely with the Webmaster and committee members to promote SPG events to the UIUC campus

Committee Chairs (Inform, Professional Development, and Advocacy Committees)

  • Arranges monthly committee meetings
  • Manage a team that develops events and programs in keeping with the committee’s mission
  • Draft agendas and record minutes for those meetings
  • Guide committee members on event planning including:
    • Appointing individuals as leads/chairs for specific events
    • Setting deadlines for milestones of event planning
    • Facilitating discussions on project ideas and development
    • Troubleshooting and stepping in when members need assistance
  • Attends monthly executive board meetings
  • Serves as the middle-man from the board to the committee
  • Informs the board of the committees progress and plans
  • Informs the committee of directives of the board
  • Ensures no overlap in events/programs being planned by other committees

Partnerships Chair

  • Develop connections with GSOs/professional society student chapters to identify the following:
    • Existing science policy resources on campus
    • Potential co-sponsors for upcoming events
    • Opportunities to recruit new members from departments currently under-represented in SPG

Springfield Trip!

On Wednesday, October 25th, SPG is going to Springfield for a Educational and Networking trip. Fill out the short application now at the following link: https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/1365774!

There will be discussions on how to advocate effectively with both our Office of Government Relations and Senator Scott Bennett. We will have a chance to watch a session on the assembly floor and have several meetings with Illinois Representatives and Senators.

We will be leaving campus at 8:15 am and returning to campus around 6pm. Attendees are expected to be available the entire trip and will need to bring money for lunch. Spaces on this trip are limited, so get your application in now!

Sustainability and Science Policy Workshop

The Science Policy Group and the Students Sustainability Committee will be offering a day-long workshop that will help students learn more about how science and sustainability policies are developed, implemented and advanced. The workshop will include lectures and interactive sessions led by facilitators from a range of backgrounds. Registration for the interactive sessions is required and can be found at https://illinois.edu/sb/ sec/8366689. Registration is on a first come, first served basis and is limited to 50 people! Morning and afternoon lectures are open to the general public.  This event will take place throughout the day on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 10:30am to 5:00pm at the Illini Union (314 A & B). See the SPG website for a more detailed schedule: https://publish. illinois.edu/ sciencepolicygroup/2017/09/07/ sustainability-and-science- policy-workshop/

Pictures from the event:

Intersectionality within the Sciences Reading Group

Have you ever questioned how gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and disabilities play into STEM? Come to our Reading Group affiliated with the Science Policy Group. Introducing readings from critical race theory and feminism, we will examine how the inclusion and exclusion of marginalized groups shape STEM education and scientific policy-making. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students, participants need no background in social sciences or cultural studies. Starting September 12, we will have bimonthly meetings every second and fourth Tuesday of the month to discuss the readings.  For more information, including the reading group schedule, visit the Science Policy Group Reading Group website.

  • 5:30-6:30 pm in the Asian American Cultural Center conference room
  • September 12th
  • September 26
  • October 10
  • October 24
  • November 14
  • November 28

August Newsletter

Full newsletter can be found here: http://illinois.edu/emailer/newsletter/137775.html

Fighting Gerrymandering with Blue Waters

Professor Wendy K. Tam Cho from the Departments of Political Science, Statistics, and Asian American Studies will be discussing her research on analyzing and reforming redistricting to prevent gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is when politicians manipulate district lines within a state to gain an advantage over the opposition party. Politicians can use redistricting to aggregate voters in one district that benefit their own political platform. Alternatively, they can neutralize a person’s vote by aggregating them into a district that will ensure their vote becomes part of the minority group of people.

Gerrymandering has a palpable consequence for eligible voters. Political parties in charge can keep their power even after losing a popular vote. This causes representatives to not properly represent their constituents, furthering the partisan divide.

This talk discusses how the computational power of Blue Waters, along with mathematical methods, can tackle the problem of gerrymandering. Additionally, it will illustrate how STEM disciplines, which are unrelated to politics, can be used to address political issues.

Thursday August 31, 2:30 PM, CLSL B102

Intersectionality within the Sciences Reading Group

Have you ever questioned how gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and disabilities play into STEM? Come to our Reading Group affiliated with the Science Policy Group. Introducing readings from critical race theory and feminism, we will examine how the inclusion and exclusion of marginalized groups shape STEM education and scientific policy-making. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students, participants need no background in social sciences or cultural studies. Starting September 12, we will have bimonthly meetings every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM in the conference room, Asian American Cultural Center to discuss the readings.  For more information, visit the Science Policy Group Reading Group website.

Sustainability and Science Policy Workshop

The Science Policy Group and the Students Sustainability Committee will be offering a day-long workshop that will help students learn more about how science and sustainability policies are developed, implemented, and advanced. The workshop will include lectures and interactive sessions led by facilitators from a range of backgrounds. Registration for the interactive sessions is required and will be filled on a first come, first served basis up to 50 people! Morning and afternoon lectures are open to the general public.

Thursday September 21, 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Illini Union 314 A & B

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM (Lecture) Introducing Scientists to Science Policy

2:00 PM to 3:45 PM (Interactive Sessions) Effective Lobbying Strategies & Economic Trade-offs of Creating New Policies

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Lecture) Sustainability in Research and Policy

Executive Board Elections in October

Elections for the 2018 Science Policy Group Executive Board will take place in October.  In order to run for a position or cast a vote, you must have attended 2 SPG events in the calendar year or served on a committee for 6 months.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact Courtney (clford2@illinois.edu).

Interested in joining one of our committees?  Visit our website for more information!

Fighting Gerrymandering with Blue Waters Supercomputing

The Science Policy Group at UIUC is hosting a presentation by Prof. Wendy K. Tam Cho, of the departments of Political Science, Statistics, and Asian American Studies. She will present her interdisciplinary research that utilizes Blue Waters, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, to develop a standard for partisan gerrymandering. This work focuses on analyzing and reforming redistricting in a way that is tightly coupled with the framework that the Supreme Court has outlined over the past five decades. Her work draws from many fields, including statistics, operations research, computer science, high performance computing, math, law, and political science.

Join us Thursday, August 31st at 2:30 p.m. at B102 CLSL (Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory)!

Read more about Prof. Cho’s research: here

See our Facebook event for more updates: here