Congressional Visit Days 2016

Meet The Team

Guest Blog by Cassie Rosen

Twenty-four MIT students will be travelling to Washington, D.C. to meet with Representatives on April 13th as part of SPI’s Congressional Visit Day (CVD), talking about science, research, and funding. But who is SPI sending? Let’s meet the team! Everyone’s been to D.C. before, and a third of them have been on a type of CVD in the past. The student breakdown amongst the group looks something like this (see right) – a lot of experienced PhD’s, but also some fresher faces too!

Those going have a diverse set of technical interests too (see below)! Although there’s a large contingency experienced in biotechnology and bioengineering, topics cover environment, energy, aerospace, and cyber security.


A big focus of our CVD will be on funding for STEM research. So, we were curious where our delegates were getting their funding from. Although private funding from industry constitutes a significant portion, funding from government agencies dominates, at almost two thirds. Within this subsection, the NSF and NIH are prominently represented, as well as a sprinkling of other agencies such as the DOD, DOE, EPA, and NASA. 

Where are our lovely delegates coming from? It turns out we have ties to 26 states - not bad for a group of 24!

Going into politics and lobbying a bit more, we were curious to see how many in our group had interacted with their representative before. It turns out we have a group of people who are quite new to such interactions! This should make for a trip full of learning.

How does this group keep up with the latest political happenings? Although social media is used, typical news is not dead! Twitter and Facebook seem to be popular on the social media end. And some are even keen enough to be subscribed to newsletters from their local representative – awesome! 

Lastly, when thinking to the future, we wanted to know what people hope to do upon graduation. It would be neat to see how delegates see this CVD experience playing into their development as a both within the Institute and beyond (see below). We hope this teaser of info-graphics has caught your attention! Follow our blog for more info about our upcoming CVD trip!