Associate Professor Jessica McIlvane receives Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

June 25, 2010

Jessica McIlvaneJessica M. McIlvane, associate professor in the School of Aging Studies at USF’s College of Behavioral & Community Sciences (CBCS), has been awarded a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The fellowship, which falls under the AAAS Health, Education & Human Services program fellowship area, will be served in the Office of Science Policy and Public Liaison (OSPPL) at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

The highly competitive AAAS fellowship helps to establish and nurture critical links between federal decision-makers and scientific professionals to support public policy that benefits the wellbeing of the nation and the planet. The Fellowship is designed to educate scientists and engineers on the intricacies of federal policymaking and provide scientific expertise and analysis to support decision-makers confronting increasingly complex scientific and technical issues, while empowering scientists and engineers to conduct policy-relevant research and other activities that address challenges facing society; and increase the involvement and visibility of scientists and engineers in the public policy realm.  McIlvane is looking forward to beginning the fellowship and states, “I applied for this fellowship because I am at a point in my career where I feel I can use my experience and expertise to make a more direct, positive impact on the lives of older adults. I would like to apply my experience conducting community-based research on diverse older adults with chronic illness in the policy realm.” McIlvane, who is particularly interested in addressing issues related to illness prevention and health promotion in underserved groups wants to help set the agenda for healthcare for an increasingly diverse aging population, and wants to move into the policy arena in order to have a more direct impact on the lives of older adults.

McIlvane, who has been with USF since 2003, teaches courses on human development and psychology of aging. After receiving her PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University in 2001, she was awarded a 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, in “Psychosocial Factors in Mental Health and Illness” at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. McIlvane has conducted clinic- and community-based research in medical and service settings. Her research experiences include examining older adults coping with vision impairment, quality of and satisfaction with medical care at the end-of life, and older adults’ satisfaction with community services. At the CBCS School of Aging Studies, McIlvane has focused on coping with stress and chronic illness, and racial/ethnic arthritis health disparities. Her other interests include families coping with mild cognitive impairment, impact of daily stressors on health, and social relationships. In 2006, she received the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2007, she received the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award given by the Florida Education Fund on behalf of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program, which supports minority students to obtain doctoral degrees in underrepresented disciplines.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) “is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.” AAAS also publishes the journal “Science”.

Established in 2008, the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral & Community Sciences (BCS) re-aligned existing schools and departments in related disciplines to achieve the University of South Florida’s strategic goals for becoming a top research university with local to global impact. BCS provides intensive, practical, state-of-the art and rigorous educational experiences for students. Graduates are well prepared to enter diverse behavioral, health and social care sectors, thus providing the highest quality of community services possible. BCS focuses on developing and implementing innovative solutions to the complex conditions and behaviors that affect the well-being of people and their communities.