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Jennifer Brookes is a PhD candidate in Physical Chemistry at the University of Washington where she has worked under the direction of Prof. Munira Khalil. She will soon defend her thesis which has focused on understanding the local solvent environment of biologically relevant iron-nitrosyl systems using two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy. Originally from Oregon, she holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Portland.
In addition to her scientific pursuits, Jennifer has served the University of Washington community in various capacities. She volunteers with the UW Science Explorers which is an outreach group facilitating STEM activities at an afterschool program for elementary students. Jennifer has been active with UAW Local 4121 representing academic student employees as an elected member of the Bargaining Committee and as Steward. She is an officer in the newly-reformed UW Chapter of OSA Student Affiliates helping to shape the future direction of the group. Her other positions include Social Chair in the Chemistry Graduate Student Club and Safety Officer for the Khalil lab. She has also recently interned in the Seattle office of US Senator Maria Cantwell.
Jennifer is excited about the opportunity to represent OSA and SPIE with the 2015-2016 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship. She looks forward to combining her scientific and technical background with her interest in policy to help elected officials make complex policy decisions. She is particularly interested in issues regarding energy, natural resources, STEM education at all levels, and the advancement of underrepresented demographics in STEM fields.