AERA Webcasts on Communicating Locally with Federal Policymakers Now Available
AERA Webcasts on Communicating Locally with Federal Policymakers Now Available

July 2017

AERA offered two webinars in July to provide guidance and tips for members interested in visiting local congressional offices while Congress is on recess in August, to highlight the value of education research.

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine introduced both webinars, thanking participants and emphasizing the importance of seizing upon opportunities to make education research accessible to policy and practice leaders. She noted that home visits provide an excellent context for such outreach. She encouraged members to participate and keep AERA staff informed.

The first webinar, “Speaking Up For Education Research” (July 14), offered specific strategies and advice on how researchers can best prepare for such a meeting, develop their message, and follow up in a meaningful way.

AERA Government Relations Director Juliane Baron and Government Relations Associate Christy Talbot also provided updates about current federal education policy discussions on the minds of members of Congress and advised on how researchers can talk to them about their research in ways that will be most compelling. Craig Fisher, senior legislative and federal affairs officer for the American Psychological Association’s Science Directorate, detailed success stories of APA’s Stand for Science District Campaign.

In the second webinar, “Engaging Graduate Students in Education Research Advocacy” (July 21), current and recent graduate students Megan Austin, University of Minnesota; Amy Li, Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado; and Federick Ngo, Ph.D., University of Southern California, joined Baron and discussed their experiences visiting congressional offices. Austin, Li, and Ngo talked about the training they had received through the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop, convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and shared their perspectives on preparing for and following up after their meetings.

These webinars were designed to encourage and assist AERA members in making connections with their local congressional offices and building relationships with members of Congress and congressional staff.

The webcasts are available to view free of charge at AERA’s Virtual Research Learning Center. Background materials and sample documents are available on the AERA website under Policy and Advocacy.