Lecturer Lends Voice to Annual Capitol Hill STEM Advocacy Event

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Georgia Tech College of Computing lecturer Mary Hudachek-Buswell recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with congressional leaders and staff members about the importance of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

She wasn’t alone. Hudachek-Buswell was one of dozens of women engineers and advocates from across the country participating in the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) annual Diversity and Inclusion Fuels STEM Capitol Hill Day.

“We had a wonderful conversation with Correspondence Director Lindsey Maxwell and other staff members from Sen. David Perdue's (Ga.) office,” said Hudachek-Buswell. “We discussed technology infrastructure, cybersecurity funding, title IX & IV funding, and the growing importance of expanding gender diversity in STEM.”

The two-day event began March 15 with congressional visit training. Attendees heard from experts about current public policy issues related to women in STEM. They also heard from congressional committee members and others to get insight into varying Capitol Hill perspectives on issues and legislation related to STEM.

Preparation for the congressional visits concluded with advocacy training and role-playing exercises, which were facilitated by a consultant.

The following morning, after breakfast – and a few additional tips from congressional staffers – Hudachek-Buswell and her sister attendees fanned out across Capitol Hill in small groups to meet with congressional delegation members from across the U.S.

“Georgia Tech is a frontrunner in supporting diversity and underrepresented students,” said Hudachek-Buswell. “These congressional visits are important because budget decisions at this level directly impact current and prospective GT students, and ultimately help to shape the future of STEM education in the U.S.”

Along with meeting Perdue’s staff members, Hudachek-Buswell and her group met with Rep. Barry Loudermilk (Ga.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (N.Y.). Loudermilk represents Georgia's 11th Congressional District and is a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

This was the third time Hudachek-Buswell has participated in SWE’s annual congressional outreach day.

SWE has more than 37,000 members globally and advocates for public policies that promote equity in research and the classroom, foster excellence and access to quality opportunities in the workforce, and ensures that women and girls graduating high school and college leave with the skills and knowledge that support success in their professional, academic and personal aspirations.


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