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OSA / MRS Congressional Fellowship

Materials Research Society / The Optical Society


Term: 2011-2012
Laura Povlich

Laura K. Povlich earned her Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2011 as a Rackham Merit Fellow and an NIDCR Tissue Engineering and Regeneration Training Grant recipient. Her thesis work, with advisers David C. Martin and Jinsang Kim, involved the development of new conducting polymers to interface neural prosthetic devices with nervous tissue. In 2009, Laura moved to the University of Delaware with Prof. Martin’s research group and finished her Ph.D. research as a visiting scholar in Delaware. Laura was actively involved in the MRS student chapter at the University of Delaware and was one of the founding officers of the ACS Polymer Chemistry campus chapter at the University of Michigan. As a graduate student she also enjoyed training and working with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the research lab.

In 2006 Laura received her B.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, where she first began her research career as a freshman through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Besides exploring many different areas of research, Laura was also very active in the ballroom dance community at Michigan, serving as the President of the Ballroom Dance Club and competing with the Ballroom Dance Team. Recently, Laura has been interested in endurance sports and participated in the half-marathon fundraising program Team Challenge through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Laura’s interest in science policy developed in graduate school at Michigan and while researching in Delaware. While attending the Science Outside the Lab program through the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, Laura was able to learn about the wide variety of organizations involved in forming and implementing science policies and solidified her desire to develop a policy career. Laura’s interests in policy include education, healthcare, science and the funding of developing technologies, but she is excited to learn about a broad range of policy topics and to get hands on experience in a congressional office.