Penn State participates in Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

Penn Staters at COSSA Day

Penn State researchers Christian Connell, Glenn Sterner, Mary Shenk, Stephanie Lanza,  Max Crowley, Michael Donovan, Ericka Weathers, Maithreyi Gopalan, and Evan Bradley met with U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson, center, during the COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Penn State

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Penn State researchers recently attended the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., taking part in a full schedule of events to bring awareness to social and behavioral sciences. 

During the advocacy day, COSSA members met with legislators and their staffs to discuss the significance of the social sciences and to advocate open communication between COSSA and members of congress.

Attendee Michael Donovan, director of policy and outreach at Penn State’s Administrative Data Accelerator, said, “The COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day was a great opportunity for the atypical interaction of members of the Penn State research community with members of the legislative branch to generate and facilitate an ongoing dialogue.”

Along with Donovan, Penn State sent eight other researchers to meet with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, as well as Rep. Madeleine Dean. The group was able to meet with Rep. Glenn Thompson in person.

“I am encouraged by the zeal with which Penn State researchers seek to leverage their important work for impact to relevant government audiences, by minimizing the gap between government and academia and by maximizing the policy relevance of research activities,” Donovan stated. “These goals can be accomplished by fostering relationships between the sectors so that regular cross-pollination and consultation can occur, and by framing social science accessibly, so that all audiences can engage freely."

Other Penn State researchers that attended COSSA’s 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day included:

  • Christian Connell, associate professor of human development and family studies, associate director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
  • Max Crowley, assistant professor of human development and family studies, director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative
  • Maithreyi Gopalan, assistant professor of education
  • Stephanie Lanza, professor of biobehavioral health, interim director of the Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse, and director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
  • Mary Shenk, assistant professor of anthropology and demography
  • Glenn Sterner, assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State Abington
  • Ericka Weathers, assistant professor of education
  • Evan Bradley, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State Brandywine 

Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute was a sponsor of the advocacy day.