A Washington State University doctoral graduate has been named a Congressional Fellow for 2019-2020 by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Carolina Silva, who recently earned her Ph.D. from the College of Education’s cultural studies and social thought in education program, is one of just two scholars to earn the yearly fellowship, which began in 2016.

AERA states the aim of the fellowship is to give education researchers experience in the policymaking process in Washington D.C. by interacting with a committee or Congressional member’s staff. The fellowship also gives the chance for Congress members to consider research and data in addressing issues central to their priorities and agendas.

“As a doctoral student, Carolina was dedicated to helping many of our undocumented students navigate through difficult policy hurdles to successfully thrive at WSU,” said Paula Groves Price, professor and the college’s associate dean for diversity and international programs.

Price said she expects Silva will make a difference on Capitol Hill advocating for policy changes at the federal level. Changes Price said can make a big difference.

“Carolina will truly be able to spend the next year working on her passion: creating more equitable policies that will lead to better experiences for students who have been marginalized in K-12 and higher education,” she said. “I’m so excited Carolina was selected for this early career fellowship award.”

The fellowship will begin on Sept. 3, 2019 and, after a two-week orientation, will last one year.