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SPIE and OSA select new Guenther Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow

13 June 2011

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and the Optical Society (OSA) have selected Anthony "TJ" AugustineAnthony "TJ" Augustine to serve as the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow for 2011-2012.

Augustine, who holds a PhD in chemistry and a master's degree in public policy, will serve a one-year term working as special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or a congressional committee.

"It's an honor to receive the Guenther Congressional Fellowship," Augustine said. "I look forward to learning more about the legislative process on Capitol Hill. Hopefully my experience as a scientist and in policy will help me make a positive contribution to the Senate or House office I join."

Augustine's year will begin in early September in Washington, D.C., with an intensive orientation facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for congressional and executive branch fellows from more than two dozen scientific societies.

Following orientation, the new fellows will go through an interview and selection process with offices of senators, representatives, and committees on Capitol Hill. Offices will extend offers, and Augustine will choose the office in which he will spend his fellowship year.

The Congressional Fellowships program is designed to bring technical and science backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process, and to help broaden awareness of the value of scientist- and engineer-government interaction. Typically, fellows conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare briefs, and write speeches as a part of their daily responsibilities.

Each year, following a formal application process, finalists are interviewed and fellows are selected by committees comprised of volunteer members from OSA and SPIE. For more information on the selection process, visit the SPIE Policy Fellows webpage or OSA's website.

Augustine earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois, and completed his PhD in the lab of Edward Solomon at Stanford University.

His research involved using spectroscopic methods to study dioxygen reduction to water by the multicopper oxidase family of enzymes. The work has application to diseases involving copper metabolism and in the development of more efficient fuel cells.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants and other education programs around the world.

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Media Contact:

Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
amy@spie.org
Tel: +1 360 685 5478

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