The Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellowship is a first of its kind program in Colorado, inspired by an experience I had during my undergraduate studies.

The fellowship is designed to give policy-making experience to undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The goal of the fellowship is to increase the presence of individuals in public policy that come from a science and engineering background as well as develop the next generation of policy and science leaders in Colorado and beyond.

Throughout the fellowship, each student conducts his/her own policy research project in addition to learning more about STEM policy through seminars and industry site visits. Last year’s site visits included the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Google Boulder Campus, Noble Energy, and the National Wind Technology Center. Last year’s speakers included Bob Randall, the Executive Director the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Jack Ihle, ‎the Director of Environmental Policy for Xcel Energy, Thad Kurowski, the Senior Policy Advisor for Tesla, and Mark Dyson, Principal with the Electricity Practice at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Fellows’ projects ranged from water management and wind power generation to homelessness as an environmental issue and economic development in coal communities.

"It's really changed the course of my career in a lot of ways. It has made policy an option I'm willing to pursue. Even if I decide not to pursue it, I have a much deeper understanding on how policy and the state government play a role. No matter what, I'm able to be a more engaged citizen in the state of Colorado."
Isaiah Koolstra
University of Colorado Boulder
"I love the fact that this internship is hands on. You have the opportunity to talk to legislators and staff at the Capitol and put your ideas into something that can become a law. Having a STEM background, most of us don't realize one of the paths we should be taking is science policy. To me, this was an incredible opportunity to apply what I've been researching for 6 years now and boil it down to something that can change the future in Colorado."
Zitely Tzompa
Colorado State University