General Info:


Leave behinds:

NAGPS Overview

Higher Education Act



Open Access



Introduction and NAGPS Legislative Priorities

Federal RD Overview Update and Outlook

Careers in Public Policy Introduction

Effectively Talking to Congress Navigating Capitol Hill and Telling Your Story



Speaker Bios:

Jon Fansmith, Associate Director, Office of Government Relations American Council on Education
Jonathan S. Fansmith represents ACE and its members on matters related to the federal budget and appropriations process, focusing on student aid funding. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Committee for Education Funding, a 100-member coalition of national education associations, and coordinates the efforts of the Student Aid Alliance, a coalition of over 80 higher education organizations. Fansmith also serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Education Investment. Fansmith earned a BA in history from Georgetown University and an MA in government from The Johns Hopkins University. He held positions in the academic and nonprofit sectors before joining ACE.

Matt Hourihan, Director, R&D Budget and Policy Program American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)
Hourihan joined AAAS as director of the R&D Budget and Policy Program in December 2011. Prior to joining AAAS, he served as a clean energy policy analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). While at ITIF, he tracked federal energy R&D investments and innovation activities, and authored several white papers and policy briefs exploring the role of innovation in solving the nation’s energy and climate challenges. He also regularly coordinated Congressional briefings, conferences, and events bringing together leading experts in government, industry, and academia. Previously, he served as Jan Schori Fellow at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a coalition of energy firms and utilities working to engage policymakers for market-based solutions to sustainable energy development and climate change. As a student, he interned with the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Congress. He earned a masters degree in public policy with a focus on science and technology policy at George Mason University, and a B.A. in journalism from Ithaca College. Prior to graduate school, he spent five years working as a cause communications professional at the Ocean Conservancy and SEIU, and as a journalist.

Heather Dean, PhD, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) Fellow National Science Foundation
Inspired by her father, an electrical engineer, Heather went to Caltech to study engineering. Like him, she was interested in neutral networks and was quickly enticed by the program in computation and neutral systems. After completing a research project studying the circuitry underlying insect olfaction, she earned her Master’s degree in CNS along with her undergraduate electrical engineering degree. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Duke University, using electrophysiology to study spatial representations in the monkey brain. Heather then built on that training in a postdoc at New York University studying the neutral basis of hand-eye coordination. In her free time, Heather enjoys exploring the food and theater options in New York City and traveling abroad.

Florencio Aranda III, Congressional Intern Representative Pete Gallego (D-TX)
Florencio U. Aranda III is a frontera native from Presidio, Texas/Ojinaga, Chihuahua, México. Florencio, a First Generation College student, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Political Science and a Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages from Texas Tech University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education, with an emphasis in Policy, and a minor in Spanish, from Texas Tech University. His dissertation research is guided by the Latino Critical Race (LatCrit) theoretical framework in order to analyze U.S. Latino Male Policymakers (Elected Officials) and the policies influencing Higher Education. Florencio’s professional goal is to become a leader in the educational field, whether it is at the university setting or an educational governmental agency, where he can use his diverse background, knowledge, and leadership experience in education policy, social justice topics, political, and multi-linguistic education to further shape policy. He currently interns for U.S. Congressman Pete Gallego, representative of the 23rd Congressional District of Texas.

Carly Robinson, PhD, AAAS Congressional Science Policy Fellow
Carly Robinson earned her Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Colorado, in 2013. Her research involved investigating water uptake on atmospherically relevant mixed particles, for inclusion in radiative transfer models. Carly also holds a M.S. in atmospheric chemistry from the University of Colorado and a B.S. in applied physics from Michigan Technological University. In addition to her Ph.D. studies, Carly was active in CU-Boulder’s overall student government, serving as the student body vice president and in other positions. Serving in the student government led to her interest in applying science to policy, specifically energy and climate change policy. This summer, Carly participated in the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium and served as a legislative aide in the University of Colorado Office of Government Relations.

Jesse Kremenak, South Central Director of Legislative Affairs, NAGPS; National Issues Coordinator of the Graduate Professional Council at the University of Missouri
Jesse is a 4th year Ph.D. student in experimental physics at the University of Missouri. He earned his B.S. in physics and art from Ursinus College and then was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. As a Watson Fellow, Jesse spent a full year independently exploring Australia, China, Czech Republic, India, and Japan, while examining the cultural and environmental influences on automobile customization. After his solo travels, Jesse returned to the U.S. and rejoined Westlake Pharmaceutical Services as a field service engineer, repairing mass-spectrometers around the country. In addition to serving his second term as the National Issues Coordinator of the Graduate Professional Council at the University of Missouri, Jesse is also currently the NAGPS Southcentral Region’s Director of Legislative Affairs.

Kristofferson Culmer, South Central Regional Chair, NAGPS; Chair- Inter-campus Student Council University of Missouri Kristofferson Culmer is a 3rd year PhD student stdying computer science at the University of Missouri. He served for three years as the President of the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) of the the University of Missouri, and is currently the Chair of the Inter-campus Student Council (ISC) for the University of Missouri System. Kristofferson hails from Freeport Grand Bahama, Bahamas; and received his undergraduate education at Central Methodist University, Fayette Missouri, where he was a double major in Computer Science and Business.

German Cadenas, Vice President of External Affairs Graduate and Professional Student Association, Arizona State University
German Cadenas is a third year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University. He also holds an MA in Counseling Psychology, a BA in Psychology, and a BS in Business Administration from ASU. His research focuses on career development and academic outcomes of disadvantaged students in relation to social justice, advocacy, and immigration. German has been involved in various advocacy groups in AZ and nationwide since 2009. He was in the founding leadership team of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, a group that has been instrumental in moving the immigration debate forward. German is the Vice President of External Affairs for the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), where he represents over 14,000 ASU graduate students. He recently became the State Advocacy Coordinator for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). German has been featured in several local, national, and international media outlets such as CNN, CBS, ABC, Univision, Telemundo, The Arizona Republic, etc.

Lisa Conn, Northeast and Midwest Organizing Director, FWD.US
Lisa joins the team as the Organizing Director for the Northeast and Midwest working to build a political infrastructure in the tech community. Lisa’s background is in community organizing and electoral politics. She spent two years working for president Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, first in Los Angeles, and then as the Regional Field Director in the critical region of Broward County, Florida. From there, she served as Campaign Manager for a competitive and victorious City Council race in Los Angeles. Lisa is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies, and Metropolitan Studies.

Heather Joseph, Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Heather Joseph has served as the Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) since 2005. In that capacity, she works to support broadening access to the results of scholarly research through enabling open access publishing, archiving and policies on a local, national and international level. Ms. Joseph is also the convener of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of universities, libraries, patient advocacy groups, consumer groups, and student organizations who work to ensure that results of publicly funded research are openly accessible to the public. The group has been a leading voice on U.S. open access legislation, including landmark policy issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prior to coming to SPARC, she spent 15 years as a publisher in both commercial and not-for-profit publishing organizations. She served as the publishing director at the American Society for Cell Biology, which became the first journal to commit its full content to the NIH’s pioneering open repository, PubMed Central, and subsequently served on the National Advisory Committee for the project. Ms. Joseph serves on the Board of Directors of numerous not-for-profit organizations, and recently completed a term as the elected President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. She is a frequent speaker and writer on scholarly communications in general, and on open access in particular.

James Tsai, J.D., Specialist Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting
James Tsai is a public policy specialist in FaegreBD Consulting’s insurance and financial services practice group where he assists insurance and other financial services entities with federal legislative, regulatory, public policy, corporate, insolvency and compliance matters. James works on Capitol Hill and federal agency strategy and helps associations, companies and individuals navigate the post Dodd-Frank Act environment. Before joining FaegreBD Consulting, James practiced bankruptcy law in a Virginia law firm. At the Centers for Law and the Public’s Health, James served as a senior researcher for health regulatory, model, public health and emergency preparedness policies and laws. He also has intellectual property law firm experience, including writing patent applications for computer software technologies. James has served as law clerk to the Honorable Nancy V. Alquist of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland and as federal judicial extern for the Honorable Stephen S. Mitchell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Other government experience includes working as a legislative intern for Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) and an extern for the Federal Trade Commission’s East Central Regional Office, and clerking for the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of General Counsel. Prior to attending law school, James was a software engineer at CACI Management Systems & Technology.