Lehigh Valley professor receives esteemed Jefferson Science Fellowship

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Jacqueline McLaughlin, associate professor of biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, has been appointed to serve in the 2017 Jefferson Science Fellowship program by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

According to the program's website, the Jefferson Science Fellowship was established in 2003 by the U.S. secretary of state to create a new model for engaging the American academic science, technology, engineering, and medical communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and international development programming.

Fellows spend one year at the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C., acting as science advisers on foreign policy and international development issues. As part of their assignments, Fellows also have the opportunity to travel to U.S. embassies and missions overseas.

“I am thrilled that Dr. McLaughlin received this. It is both an honor and a responsibility for her to help our country's leadership understand the scientific basis for any policy pertaining to the environmental health of the world,” said Kenneth A. Thigpen, director of academic affairs at Penn State Lehigh Valley. “Dr. McLaughlin is a great teacher and will superbly represent Penn State and this campus.”

Penn State President Eric Barron nominated McLaughlin for the Jefferson Science Fellowship.

“Serving as a science adviser will allow me to use my research skills, academic talents and experiences, creative energy and passion for conservation to help re-shape the directives and outcomes of the bureau and projects to which I am assigned,” said McLaughlin.

From this fellowship, McLaughlin is hoping to gain a better understanding of what happens at the intersection of science and public policy.

“It will inform my ability to help students address the environmental challenges of this century,” said McLaughlin.

Currently, McLaughlin has interest in restoring and protecting the biodiversity of our planet’s ecosystems and addressing the challenges of energy, air, food, water and climate change with science and policy.

McLaughlin is the founding director of Penn State’s award-winning international environmental engaged-scholarship program, CHANCE, which stands for Connecting Humans and Nature through Conservation Experiences. She has published more than 45 times in peer-reviewed books, journals, proceedings and online environments, and has accepted many awards for her successes in faculty development, international programming and education, as well as her passion — undergraduate biology teaching and learning.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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