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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 1999

This year's class of WREI Fellows includes two midwives, one social worker, two political scientists, and one public service manager. They range in age from 25 to 41 and hail from the Midwest, West Coast, Southwest, and deep South. Two Fellows are twins; one is the mother of two college students and a college graduate.

According to WREI's Board President, actress Jean Stapleton, "The 1999-2000 class of Fellows continues WREI's excellence, diversity and energetic commitment to opening Capitol Hill's faces, places, ways and means to women." Founded in 1977, WREI is a national public policy research and educational center, whose mission is to inform and shape the public policy debate on issues affecting women and their roles in the family, workplace, and public arena. Through these fellowships as well as numerous publications, conferences, and briefings, WREI seeks to strengthen links between researchers and policymakers.

 

Jody Andrade of Minneapolis, MN and a Master's student in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, is covering immigration issues for Senator Paul Wellstone. A long-time advocate for victims of domestic violence, she worked for the YWCA of Minneapolis, the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Colorado, and as a victim advocate at the Domestic Violence Initiative of Denver. Using her experience as a grassroots organizer and community activist, Ms. Andrade has broadened access to resources for rural women, women with disabilities, and gay/lesbian/bisexuals. A semester spent studying the problems of women and learning Arabic in Palestine is certainly relevant to her Capitol Hill assignment.

 

Marshelia D. Harris is pursuing a Master's of Social Work at Indiana University Northwest. Assigned to Congresswoman Julia Carson's staff, she covers HIV/AIDS, youth violence, domestic violence, women's health and welfare-to-work issues and is organizing a town hall meeting in the Indianapolis district office focusing on AIDS prevention and assistance. Ms. Harris also coordinated support for a House Resolution to honor Serena Williams for winning the U. S. Women's Open tennis championship. As Program Service Manager at Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago, she created and monitored activities between the child welfare division and community centers. In May 1999, she completed her first field placement with the Neighbor to Neighbor foster care program. An active member of her community, Ms Harris raises funds for St. Paul Baptist Church of Gary, Indiana to support graduating youth. Using her training in graphic arts design, she produces publication materials for church activities and auxiliaries.

 

Ann Potter, a Master's student in the Public Services Management Program at DePaul University, works on health care, welfare, and women's issues for Representative Sue Kelly of New York, currently Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. Ms. Potter received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, where she also established an eating disorder support program. Ms. Potter served for a year with the Apostolic Volunteer Program on the west side of Chicago, living in the community and working at a shelter for homeless women. She then joined Deborah's Place of Chicago, a direct service nonprofit organization that provides shelter and support to homeless women in Chicago, where she worked in the adult education area. Shifting her focus within the organization, Ms. Potter moved to the development department to help plan fundraising events.

 

Kimala Price works on a wide range of education issues in Senator Ted Kennedy's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee office. She is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she taught courses and earned a graduate certificate in women's studies. There, she worked for the Women and Infants at Risk (WIAR) Project of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, evaluating a community-transition program for incarcerated pregnant women. Ms. Price also has organized conferences for the Interdisciplinary Program for Feminist Practice. Prior to graduate school, Ms Price earned a BA in political science from Tulane University. She also attended the U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing, China and worked for a number of national women's organizations, including the National Council of Negro Women, NARAL, the National Women's Political Caucus, and the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health, and Ethics.

 

Marilyn Salas of Albuquerque is one of two nurse midwife students in the class of 1999-2000. She graduated this May from the University of New Mexico (UNM) with a Master of Science degree in Nurse Midwifery. Ms. Salas previously received an Associate and Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from UNM. For the past twenty years, she has practiced maternal and child nursing in the state of New Mexico. As head nurse at University Hospital in Albuquerque, Ms. Salas was responsible for supervising a staff of 50 in a 24 hour operational facility for newborns, as well as overseeing a $1.2 million budget. Her professional interests include disability rights, perinatal substance use, and increasing the number of minority nurse midwives. The mother of three, Ms. Salas also developed a foster grandparent program with a special emphasis on substance-exposed babies. She covers a range of health and environmental issues for Representativ Bobby Scott of Virginia.

 

Megan Sullivan of Portland, the second of two nurse midwife students in this year's class, is a Masters student in the Nursing program at Oregon Health Sciences University. In addition to pursing a career as a midwife, Ms. Sullivan has been active in a variety of health organizations, including the Portland All Women's Health Center, Oregon NARAL, and Planned Parenthood. She is no stranger to the political arena, having volunteered for the campaign of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and interned for Oregon State Senator Kate Brown. Ms. Sullivan, who spent six years living in Paris, France and is fluent in French and Spanish, received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgetown University and completed her nursing degree at Columbia University. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues has invited Ms. Sullivan to join her staff to work on ERA, breast-feeding, Medicare reform and other health issues.