During the PLEN seminar, students are given the opportunity to go on site visits in small groups to different organizations and government agencies. The site visits normally last an hour and give the students the chance to meet, ask questions, and receive advice from accomplished women in potential career fields while learning more about the work of the particular organization/agency. Please see below for descriptions of site visits for the 2012 seminar.
With more than 164,000 members, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization chartered by Congress, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe.
The vision of commitment to “improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry” fully complements the ACS Mission statement, which is “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.” Together, these two statements represent our ultimate reason for being and provide a strategic framework for our efforts. The Society publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. ACS also plays a leadership role in educating and communicating with public policy makers and the general public about the importance of chemistry in daily life. This includes identifying new solutions, improving public health, protecting the environment, and contributing to the economy.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century. CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking and information.
EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. EPIC publishes an award-winning e-mail and online newsletter on civil liberties in the information age – the EPIC Alert. They also publish reports and even books about privacy, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. Comprising six bureaus and ten offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities. HRSA oversees organ, bone marrow and cord blood donation. It supports programs that prepare against bioterrorism, compensates individuals harmed by vaccination, and maintains databases that protect against health care malpractice and health care waste, fraud and abuse.
Since 1943 the agencies that were HRSA precursors have worked to improve the health of needy people. HRSA was created in 1982, when the Health Resources Administration and the Health Services Administration were merged. Our mission is to improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative programs.
The Mautner Project works to improve the health of lesbians, bisexual and transgender women who partner with women (WPW) and their families by providing direct services offering support to lesbians, bisexual and transgender individuals with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses; offering various support groups: for cancer clients, caregivers, those grieving a loss, as well as health & wellness groups; educating lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals about important health issues; educating health-care providers about the needs and concerns of their lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients; working in coalition with other health organizations on lesbian, bisexual and transgender health; conducting primary research about lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals health; and educating policymakers, the press, and the general public about lesbian, bisexual and transgender health.
Because lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) individuals are less inclined to seek preventative health care in the face of discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia, Mautner Project educates sexual minority women about their health and trains health-care providers about their LBT patients, providing tools and insights on how to achieve better health outcomes.
NASA’s vision is to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind. Founded in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration works with three principal missions: Aeronautics: pioneer and prove new flight technologies that improve our ability to explore and which have practical applications on Earth; Human Exploration and Operations: focus on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit; and Science: explore the Earth, solar system and universe beyond, chart the best route of discovery, and reap the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society. NASA is designing and building the capabilities to send humans to explore the solar system, seeking new knowledge and understanding of Earth, and committing to scientific research in order to improve life.
The mission of NLIRH is to ensure the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas, their families, and their communities through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy. NLIRH is cognizant that women of color, particularly Latinas, have had very limited access to the institutions and officials responsible for setting and implementing policies that directly affect the lives of many Latinas. For this reason, NLIRH is committed to serving as an advocacy engine by which Latinas can voice their concerns and make their demands known.
In order to effect systemic change, NLIRH must utilize multiple strategies including building a sophisticated, vocal and diverse constituency base with the first hand knowledge and experience necessary to craft NLIRH’s policy positions. Through ongoing dialogue and active participation in NLIRH policy forums, we are committed to fostering open and democratic processes and increasing civic participation among Latinas. Through leadership development and community organizing training, NLIRH seeks to expand the cadre of Latina leaders and activists capable of guiding advocacy campaigns and effecting public policy change at the grassroots, regional, and national levels.
Carla Koppell currently serves as the US Agency for International Development Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and a Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator. In that role, she is spearheading enhancement of US development assistance efforts to serve and empower women around the world and ensure that programs are designed and implemented in a gender sensitive manner.
The United States has a long history of extending a helping hand to people overseas struggling to make a better life. It is a history that both advances U.S. foreign policy interests as well as reflects the American people’s compassion and support of human dignity. President John F. Kennedy signed the Foreign Assistance Act into law in 1961 and USAID was created by executive order.
Since that time, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s interests while improving lives in the developing world. The Agency carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad. USAID works in over 100 countries to: promote broadly shared economic prosperity; strengthen democracy and good governance; improve global health, food security, environmental sustainability and education; help societies prevent and recover from conflicts; and provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.