More than 30 state lawmakers and legislative staff members attended the first Office Hours at the Capitol – presented by the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and the La Follette School – on Wednesday, September 13.
The drop-in event in the State Capitol allowed participants to chat with UW–Madison faculty members on topics of high legislative interest: criminal justice and corrections, and economic and workforce development. Sam Austin (MPA ’08), director of the La Follette co-sponsored Evidence-Based Health Policy Project (EBHPP), also shared information about the collaborative effort to bridge medicine and health policy.
Associate Professor of Law Cecelia Klingele and Professor of Sociology Michael Massoglia answered questions about their research on criminal justice and corrections. Gary Green, professor and chair of Community and Environmental Sociology, and Assistant Professor of Adult Teaching and Learning Matt Hora provided information about their economic and workforce development research.
“We wanted to facilitate more connections between UW–Madison and the legislature, so it was important to host this event at the Capitol and feature experts who could answer the questions that legislators are asking today,” said Heidi Normandin (MA ’98), associate director of the Family Impact Seminars and senior outreach specialist with the La Follette School. “The feedback from legislators and staff was overwhelmingly positive and we plan to do this again.”
Participants received one-page information sheets for each faculty member, details about the EBHPP and its events, and briefing reports from previous Family Impact Seminars. The info sheets included faculty members’ top three takeaways for legislators based on their research, as well as their contact information and areas of expertise so legislators could follow up and continue the conversation.