ABINGTON, Pa. — Two Penn State Abington education faculty met with members of Congress to champion the research community and its impact on society during Social Science Advocacy Day, organized by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA).
Rachael Eriksen Brown, associate professor and program chair of the elementary and early childhood education program, and Boni Wozolek, assistant professor of education, met with five members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation: Sen. Robert Casey, Rep. Madeleine Dean, Rep. Fred Keller, Rep. Glenn Thompson, and Sen. Pat Toomey.
Brown and Wozolek met the legislators as a team with Brown focusing her comments on how her research supports teachers through professional development.
Wozolek’s goal was to raise awareness of the social sciences and how her role as an educator fits into the social sciences.
“We outlined our research agendas, and I specifically spoke about LGBTQIA+ youth, youth of color, and women who are survivors of intimate partner violence,” she said.
Wozolek was grateful for the opportunity COSSA provided her to engage as an advocate and an activist due to the “inherently political” nature of education.
“I believe as professors it is important that we are involved not just on our campus or in our programs but also across sociopolitical spaces. We need to use our privilege to advocate with and for minoritized youth and communities,” she said.
We need to use our privilege to advocate with and for minoritized youth and communities.
—Boni Wozolek , assistant professor of education
The COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day is an opportunity for the research community to demonstrate the value of the social sciences directly to policymakers. The effort is vital to fostering science champions in Congress and is an important experience for the researcher participants who must hone their message to the policymaker audience, bridging the gap between policy and research.
COSSA’s eighth annual Social Science Advocacy Day brought together 70 social and behavioral scientists from across the country to meet with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for the research community. This year, advocates from 22 states met virtually with 88 different congressional offices to discuss the value of the social and behavioral sciences to issues of importance to policymakers. Click here to learn more about Penn State's involvement in the event, which was sponsored by the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State.
About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With more than 3,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 23 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics and more.