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5 Things About Me: Sociologist and Congressional fellow Dennis Bogusz

Dennis Bogusz grew up in New Jersey, USA near where several sharks attacked swimmers in the early twentieth century. Now he works on Capital Hill investigating money laundering. (Photo: Dennis Bogusz)

Dennis Bogusz
U.S. Senate
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Senator Carl Levin, Chairman
Washington, D.C.

Background: I am the first Congressional fellow sponsored by the American Sociological Association to join the AAAS cohort on Capitol Hill.  I work in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which recently has conducted investigations into money laundering, tax havens, and the financial crisis.  These issues are related to my background - I worked in commercial and investment banking - and the research for my Ph.D. in sociology at Columbia University.

Questions 1: If you could have one day in another profession, what would you want to do?
I took flying lessons in small aircraft, but have always wondered what it would be like to pilot a commercial airliner, especially the Boeing 777.  The more modern 787 gives its forebear a run (or flight?) for its money in terms of fuel efficiency, but I still find the 777 to be unparalleled in aerodynamic beauty. 

Question 2: Share a lighthearted story about yourself.
I grew up near Matawan Creek in New Jersey, one of several sites of shark attacks around the Jersey Shore in July 1916.  Several sharks were hunted in a vain attempt to find the one responsible for the attacks in Matawan Creek. Almost a hundred years later, there is still debate as to which species was most probable: bull or great white. The events that summer helped sharks earn an infamous reputation, which is unfortunate considering the Jersey Shore has plenty of other more frightening things, particularly of the human variety.

Question 3: What's your favorite food? Are you a chef or a restauranteur?
I try my hand in the kitchen at hearty continental recipes inspired by family and friends: navarin d'agneau, Apfelrotkohl, zuppa gallurese. Fresh ingredients and slick cookware make the dish, but good company makes the meal.

Question 4: Whate a website/video/blog that you found that really excited you and tell us why.
The BBC's David Attenborough is a fascinating witness to nature and a reminder that age is no limit to revel in our planet's wonders. I admire his flirtation with danger in this video (advance to 06:57 to see him take on a cobra).

Question 5: If you were president for a day, what would be the first law you would want to pass?
I would be shocked if Congress could send me a bill during my daylong tenure as president.  Assuming it could, however, I would like to pass a law to permanently abolish capital punishment in the United States.

Interested in a fellowship with the American Sociological Association? Learn more here but hurry, the deadline is February 1.

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