Student Centered

Student Centered and SUCCESS 

Ultimately, SPDI’s aim is to train students to investigate and frame the possibilities of science policy and diplomacy and more effectively address the complex problems facing our world. Most science, health and engineering students are focused on their discipline and preparing for success as practitioners or academics in their chosen field. A core SPDI goal is to broaden students’ recognition of other avenues that employ their STEM skills with emphasis on the policy and diplomacy realms. 

Early success is beginning to emerge from these efforts. By way of example, Leah Kaplan joined the UA as an Arizona Flinn Scholar award winner given to the top 20 graduating high school students in the State and left as a Freeman award winner as one of the very top UA graduates. Her exposure to SPDI through our activities redirected her career path toward science policy. In 2017, students were enlisted to serve as conference rapporteurs to support sessions and prepare proceeding papers from the talks. Eleven students including Leah volunteered and were exposed to a new field and its leaders. One result was the conference proceedings. Further, Leah and two graduate students applied and were accepted at the AAAS Science Diplomacy and Leadership Conference in 2017. Upon graduation, Leah and Stephanie Zawada, another student rapporteur and Proceeding co-author, have taken fellows positions at the Consortium for Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University and the Heritage Foundation, respectively.

photo of leah
Read more on Leah’s story

Examples of Stephanie’s contributions can be found at:
Telemedicine: The Promise and the Performance
Articles by Stephanie Zawada on
Using Neuroscience to Prevent Drug Addiction Among Teenagers

Frances Colon with students at lunch
Dr. Frances Colon enjoys lunch with UA SPD students