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Advocacy

Welcoming new congressional and executive branch policy fellows

Meet APA’s new fellows and consider applying for next year’s positions.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, October 15). Welcoming new congressional and executive branch policy fellows. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/congressional-executive-policy-fellows

Images of Sonji Jones-Manson, PhD; Shahana Koslofsky, PhD; and Erika Felix, PhD

APA’s yearlong congressional and executive branch fellowships in Washington, D.C., provide a unique opportunity for psychologists to gain experience in public policy and broaden awareness of the value of psychology research within the federal government. We are pleased to welcome our two congressional and one executive branch fellows for 2021–22:

  • Sonji Jones-Manson, PhD, is working at the Office of Innovation and Early Learning in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education as the executive branch fellow. Jones-Manson earned her PhD in community psychology from National Louis University in 2020. Her dissertation focused on the value of investigating student affect as an outcome, not just as a mediator or moderator to cognition and behavior. Before earning her doctorate, she worked in schools and nonprofits throughout Chicago for 22 years, where she learned how to translate research and policy into practical program designs. She earned her BS in education and social policy, and her MS in communication at Northwestern University. As a fellow, Jones-Manson is interested in developing collaborative methods of applying research and policy in a way that leads to capacity building and empowerment in the community.
  • Shahana Koslofsky, PhD, is working in Representative Robin Kelly’s (D-IL) office on health equity and maternal health legislation. Koslofsky is a bilingual (English/Spanish) licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor of psychology in the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University. She earned her undergraduate degree in women’s studies at Bates College and her PhD in counseling psychology at the State University of New York, Albany. Koslofsky’s professional career has focused on Latinx psychology, immigration, diversity, cultural adaptations, trauma, veterans, and interprofessional education. In 2019, Koslofsky presented her research at a legislative briefing on immigration and mental health organized by Representative Grace Napolitano’s (D-CA) office. She is the former federal advocacy coordinator for the Oregon Psychological Association and APA and the 2021 recipient of APA’s National Advocacy Leadership Award.
  • Erika Felix, PhD, is working on children’s disability issues for the Senate Select Committee on Aging under the leadership of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). She comes to this fellowship from her positions as an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a licensed psychologist working with children and families. She earned her PhD in clinical-community psychology from DePaul University. Her research has focused on understanding the factors that promote adaptation or recovery in children who have experienced trauma or stress and on improving services through program evaluation. She has published on the impact of violence on youth and families, and disaster mental health. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and several private foundations. She has 20 years of experience conducting program evaluations which includes working collaboratively with local education agencies, juvenile courts, nonprofits, and local government. Prior to her fellowship, she was active in grassroots community organizing and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels. Felix is the 2021–22 Jacquelin Goldman Congressional Fellow, a position funded by the American Psychological Foundation.

Want to become an APA fellow? Applications are now open for APA’s Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program and Congressional Fellowship Program for 2021–22. The deadline is January 3, 2022. 

For more information, contact Ben Vonachen, senior director of congressional and federal relations.