Week 7: HPU, Physicists, & NIST

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Friday, July 19, 2013


Nikki Sanford

This was definitely one of the most eventful weeks of the summer!

First, my alma mater, High Point University, came up to DC to learn more about my internship with the Science Committee.  It was their first time in and around Rayburn, so I got to show them around the Hearing Room and Chairman’s Lounge, and tell them about the different hearings, markups, and events that go on there. In a way, it felt like I had come full circle, from being a new intern observing Staff and learning about Committee duties, to sharing my experiences and showing others what we do.

The next big event was the Full Committee NASA Authorization Markup.  Prior to Thursday, everyone in the office worked nonstop compiling amendments and organizing materials.  At one point, we had two tables completely covered with the 30+ amendments, ready to be quickly edited or filed into the appropriate order.  My markup duty was to work the front desk, record video clips of Members, and answer any calls or questions that came through the office.  The Markup lasted 6 hours (the longest one so far this summer), and although only a few amendments passed, I’m definitely proud of the Staff’s diligence and endurance in both preparing for and working at the markup.

On Friday, Katherine and I met and had breakfast with Rep. Bill Foster and Dr. John Mather, two very accomplished physicists. Having physics degrees ourselves, it was incredibly interesting to hear about each of their work, and current science topics that pique their interests, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Later that day, all of us SPS interns went on a tour of NIST.  We got to see several labs and learn about some of the research that NIST conducts in order to aid industry and help make the US more competitive.  I really enjoyed learning about some of the biomedical and genomic research that has the potential to greatly benefit disease diagnoses.

Nikki Sanford