Reshmina William has been awarded an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF) as a science advisor for the Federal Judicial Center (FJC). William is a three-time alumna of the Grainger College of Engineering (Civil & Environmental Engineering B.S. '14, M.S. '15, Ph.D. '19) and a former member of SAGE ('17-19), the Graduate College's student advisory board.
The 2021-22 fellowship class has 284 fellows sponsored by AAAS, the Moore Foundation, and partner societies. These highly trained scientists and engineers will spend a year serving professionally in federal agencies and congressional offices as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow. William will be serving as the sole Judicial Fellow at the FJC, the research and education division of the federal courts system.
"I realized early on in my engineering career that understanding people and how they interact with my designs is critical to ensuring that the cities we design are sustainable and equitable for all people." William added, "The AAAS STPF Fellowship gives me a unique opportunity to leverage my interests in this nexus and my skills as a science communicator to create concrete policies that are forward-thinking, equitable, and science-centered."
William credits her Illinois journey in preparing her for this opportunity by broadening her research interests and horizons beyond STEM. Her Illinois mentors encouraged her to think outside the box to pursue research in law and policymaking.
"My experience working with SAGE and as an executive member of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Science Policy Group provided me the opportunity to work with a broad swathe of different disciplines." William continued, "Representing UIUC at the 2018 AAAS CASE (Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering) workshop cemented my desire to put my skills to use in the public sphere."
The AAAS program aims to support evidence-based policymaking by leveraging the knowledge and analytical mindset of science and engineering experts, fostering leaders for a strong U.S. science and technology enterprise. Fellows represent a whole spectrum of disciplines, backgrounds, and career stages.
More information about the fellowship is available at www.aaas.org.