Penn State researchers support Social Science Advocacy Day

Penn State researchers at COSSA Day outside of Capital Building

Penn State researchers Michael Donovan, Sandra Allain, Mary Shenk, Christine Kirchhoff, Koraly Pérez-Edgar, and Jenny Van Hook recently participated in COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Michael Donovan

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers recently participated in Social Science Advocacy Day, recently held in Washington, D.C., by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA).

The event brought together 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, seven Penn State researchers met with the offices of members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation including Sen. John Fetterman, Sen. Bob Casey, and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson.

Penn State organizer and attendee Michael Donovan, associate director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative (EIC) and an assistant research professor of social science and public policy, said the COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day was a great opportunity to promote the use of social and behavioral science research in creating a safer, healthier, more just, and more peaceful world.

“The effort is vital to fostering science champions in Congress, especially among the Pennsylvania delegation, 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," said Donovan.

In addition to Donovan, Penn State was represented by:

  • Sandra Allain, professor of practice, lecturer in law, and director of the Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) initiative
  • Koraly Pérez-Edgar, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies, professor of psychology, and Social Science Research Institute associate director and cofunded faculty member
  • Mary Shenk, associate professor of anthropology, demography, and Asian studies, and faculty associate of the Population Research Institute and the Center for Human Ecology
  • Christine Kirchoff, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate director of the Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) initiative
  • Jenny Van Hook, the Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology & Demography, director of the Population Research Institute, and Social Science Research Institute cofunded faculty member
  • Nicole Stokes, social sciences division head and professor of sociology at Penn State Abington

The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) was a sponsor of the event. Part of SSRI, EIC is a research center for the science of scientific impact — aiming to improve the relevance, value and use of research evidence to increase societal well-being. The EIC leverages expertise in administrative data, program design and evaluation, and researcher-policymaker relationships to optimize public and private investments.