2014-16 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Institutes of Health
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Science
For Marishka, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship has been life changing. Before she applied to the program, she spoke with several fellows. “One sentiment stood out,” she said. “I was told that no matter what, I’d never regret it.” So, she accepted the offer.
As with any life journey, Marishka encountered obstacles along the way. Coming from an academic setting, she found the inner workings of government to be a challenge. To overcome this obstacle, “The first thing I had to do was to learn and understand the culture at NIH.”
Her perseverance paid off. “The fellowship expanded my view of what it is to be a scientist. I now know that I don’t have to be an academic investigator in order to contribute significantly to science. Before the fellowship, I had a ten foot view of biomedical research. Now, I have a 50,000 foot view which is just as rewarding.”
Marishka says her years in Washington forced her out of her comfort zone and into a field where she could experience exponential growth – professionally and personally. After her fellowship, Marishka will join the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at NIH.
“I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I could barely grasp the concept of science policy, but I knew I had to take the step. I took comfort in knowing that whatever step I took after the fellowship, that I would not regret it.”