About CVD 2014
Congressional Visits Day, organized by Material Advantage, is set for April 7 – 8, 2014, in Washington, DC. The CVD is an annual event that brings students to Washington to raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and technology. Don’t miss this vital opportunity to emphasize the long-term importance of science, engineering and technology to the Nation through meetings with Congressional decision makers.
The Congressional Visits Day event will begin with an opening reception in the Minuteman Ballroom B at The Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center, 4 – 7 p.m. on Monday, April 7. A catered reception will be held with light hors d’ouevres and a cash bar. A budget overview and update will be given by guest speaker, Kei Koizumi of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. After the budget overview, Deborah Koolbeck of the Council on Competitiveness, will speak on effective communication with Hill staff, and Megan Brewster, the 2013-2014 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow, will present on why she chose life in an office on the Hill.
During the reception, a fun and interactive role play session will also be conducted to prepare the students for their visits the next day. The visits will be held all day on Tuesday, April 8.
Making Congressional Appointments
Students and faculty, participating in CVD on April 7 and 8, will be making appointments with their representatives in Washington DC. This must be done prior to departure for CVD. There are three ways to make contact for a meeting: phone calls, email, and some members of congress have online request forms on their websites. The “scheduler” is the key point of contact when making Congressional appointments. Here is a helpful link to find Senate and Representative contact information: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/.
Participants should provide information about who they are and why they would like to meet with a staff member. A draft email (which could also be used as a template for a phone call) is shown below.
Thank you for your service to our state, (Name your state), and for taking the time to consider this request for a brief visit with you or your staff. I am a student in materials science and engineering attending ______ University (in your Congressional district?—mention if true). I am from (your Congressional district?—mention if true) and am writing to introduce myself in the hope that I might be able to schedule a time where I can visit your offices and discuss the importance of your support for education and research in physical sciences and engineering to the long term employment outlook of myself, our state, and our Nation.
I want to let you know about the upcoming Congressional Visits Day (CVD) for the Material Advantage Student Program on April 8.
Several of my fellow students and I (can mention number here) would like to take this opportunity to visit with you (or one of your staff) about the importance of continuing your strong support for education and research in our chosen field. Through your votes on funding for NSF, DOE-Office of Science and ARPA-e, NIST, and other critical programs, you can continue the advancement of science and technology at our university that depends on this funding, now more than ever. As students who want to work hard in jobs that boost the advanced materials and technology advantage of our country’s manufacturing sector, we sincerely appreciate your helping hand for our classroom learning and laboratory experiences.
I hope to convince you or reinforce your belief that the best hope of maintaining the United States of America’s technological edge over the rest of the world is for the continued support of funding in all areas of scientific research and technological advancement. I would really appreciate it if you would be willing to fit me into your busy schedule so that we can have this conversation about this critical issue.
Webinar Training Sessions
Material Advantage is organizing two (identical) webinar training sessions for participants. It is required for each participant to attend a one hour live training webinar in preparation for CVD. On the webinar, CVD participants will be given preparation materials that have an emphasis on funding for the materials science and engineering field. The training will also include general tips on organizing your visits, rules for congressional meetings, and how Congress works. In addition to the prep materials, participants will be required to let the facilitators know who they have contacted and gotten a response from, what their congressional schedule is so far, and who is still pending.
The webinar dates for 2014 are Thursday, March 13, at 1 p.m. (Eastern), and Monday, March 24, at 6 p.m. (Eastern). As mentioned above, CVD participants are required to attend a webinar training session. Contact Tricia Freshour with the webinar date and time that works best for you.
When you’re active in a Material Advantage student chapter, you gain access to activities that can help you launch a successful career, whether you’re pursuing metallurgy, ceramics, materials science and engineering, or a related engineering or scientific field. Here are a few examples:
Attend a technical presentation by a leading local or national expert. After the presentation, stick around to meet and talk to the presenter and other members.
During guided tours of their facilities, see first hand how companies put technology to work. Plant tours enable you to learn more about a particular material or process from the people who work with it every day.
Meet and network with other members of your chapter (as well as other societies) at special events. Popular chapter events are Awards Night, which recognizes individual accomplishments; Guest Night, a social meeting to recruit new members and meet new contacts; and Career Night, held for high school students to introduce them to careers in the materials industry.
By communicating frequently with your local ACerS Section, AIST Member Chapter, ASM Chapter or TMS Section, technical meetings and educational seminars can be jointly sponsored by both groups. This is an ideal opportunity for you to meet and network with materials professionals who can help you find your way in the local job market. We encourage student chapters to use our suggested program calendar as a guide for effectively planning chapter activities during the academic year.