AVMA names 2014-2015 congressional fellows

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The three veterinarians chosen to participate in the 2014-2015 AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship Program were announced in May.

Starting this August, Drs. Elise Ackley, Chase Crawford, and Carolyn La Jeunesse will spend a year in Washington, D.C., as scientific advisers to members of Congress, helping to shape legislation and regulations affecting animal and public health and the veterinary profession.

Dr. Ackley
Dr. Elise Ackley
Dr. Crawford
Dr. Chase Crawford
Dr. La Jeunesse
Dr. Carolyn La Jeunesse

Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the AVMA fellowship program places veterinarians in congressional offices where there is a need. More than 55 veterinarians have participated in AVMA’s congressional fellowship program.

“The AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship Program is a unique way for veterinarians at all stages in their careers to learn about the legislative process and take part firsthand in developing public policies that will have a national and global impact,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, AVMA Governmental Relations Division director.

“Not only will Drs. Ackley, Crawford, and La Jeunesse serve their country by providing advice on a wide range of pressing scientific, national issues, but they will also be able to network with officials in all branches of the federal government, which will hopefully open up new career opportunities for them.”

AVMA fellows serve in a congressional office or on a congressional committee where they advise policymakers on legislation spanning food safety, public health, research, and small business issues. This September, the new fellows will receive their year-long placements and then begin supporting the activities of that office full time. AVMA fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.

The 2014-2015 AVMA congressional fellows were selected out of 20 applicants for the program, which included a three-phase, competitive selection process.

Dr. Ackley of Shreveport, Louisiana, is a 2014 graduate of Louisiana State University and a former Student AVMA president. Throughout her veterinary education, she worked for a number of congressional offices and regulatory agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Dr. Ackley previously served as a student extern in the AVMA GRD.

Dr. Crawford of Houston, Texas, is a 2014 graduate of Texas A&M University. As a student, Dr. Crawford focused on issues related to one health and has worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as well as the World Health Organization.

Dr. La Jeunesse of Port Orchard, Washington, is a 1983 graduate of the University of California-Davis and past president of the Washington State VMA. As a clinician, she primarily practices in the area of small companion animal emergency and critical care. Dr. La Jeunesse writes, educates, and consults in areas related to career development, communications, professional wellness, biomedical ethics, and end-of-life issues for those working in caregiving professions.

Visit goo.gl/e6TcY2 to learn more about the AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship Program.