A member of the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station research community is headed to Washington D.C. this spring to share her thoughts on science policy.
The award recognizes graduate students in the field of biological sciences who are interested in helping to shape science-related public policy and who demonstrate related engagement and leadership skills. The competitive annual award is in its seventeenth year.
“I have certainly not met anyone as deserving of this award as Corinn in my 40 years in academia,” says KBS Interim Director Jeff Conner.
“Entirely on her own initiative, Corinn started a highly successful program of bringing policymakers here to the Kellogg Biological Station to show them the impressive facility they have in their district.”
About the award
Among other benefits, EPPLA funds a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the AIBS Congressional Visits Day, an annual event to promote advocacy for federal investment in the biological sciences. This year’s Congressional visits will take place Monday through Wednesday, April 20-22.
“The EPPLA program provides scientists with an opportunity to make their voices heard by individuals in decision-making positions,” says Rutkoski. “I look forward to meeting with my representatives, sharing my experience as an ecologist, and communicating the value of federal investment in meaningful research programs.”
“It is exciting to see a graduate student who is working already to foster communication and informed decision-making,” says AIBS Executive Director Robert Gropp. “Graduate school is a hectic time, so when a student makes engagement and education of policymakers a priority, that says a lot about the student and the program and institution in which they study.”
Corinn Rutkoski is a doctoral student in integrative biology at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station. She earned a B.S. in environmental science from Loyola University Chicago in 2017. As a student in Dr. Sarah Evans’ microbial and ecosystem ecology lab, Rutkoski explores how soil bacteria and fungi respond when native prairie plants are introduced into agricultural fields. She received a KBS Long-term Ecological Research program fellowship in 2019.
Alongside her research, Rutkoski has furthered numerous science communication initiatives through both policy engagement and art. Those efforts range from organizing policymaker visits to Kellogg Biological Station to highlight research activities to creating multimedia art pieces for science-art exhibitions at MSU and KBS.
American Institute of Biological Sciences
The American Institute of Biological Sciences is dedicated to promoting informed decision making to advance the biological sciences for the benefit of science and society. The EPPLA program is one initiative in that mission.