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“And Now for Something Completely Different” – A Faculty Sabbatical in Public Policy

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Engineering and Public Policy Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1781.1 - 26.1781.9



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Paper Authors


Judy L. Cezeaux Western New England University

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Judy Cezeaux is Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and her Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to her appointment at Western New England University, she was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, West Virginia as well as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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“And Now for Something Completely Different” – A Faculty Sabbatical in Public PolicyThe title phrase, coined and made popular by Monty Python, uniquely describes the transitionfrom engineering educator to public policy participant for a biomedical engineering facultymember partaking in a one-semester public policy sabbatical at an honorific and advocacyorganization in Washington, DC. This paper will describe experiences that included attendanceat a three day Public Policy Institute, coordinated by the host organization, that introducedparticipants to the public policy arena through presentations by government officials, leaders ofnonprofit advocacy groups, industrial governmental affairs officials, and media experts;attendance at congressional briefings related to federal funding of basic research andparticipation in STEM by women; and participation in the strategic planning process for theNational Institute for General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health. Inaddition, the paper will describe curricular changes, both implemented and planned, integratingpublic policy topics into the undergraduate biomedical engineering program at the facultymember’s home institution. For example, while most biomedical engineering programs includediscussion of policies and procedures related to the review of the safety and efficacy of medicaldevices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in their senior project or other courses,little time is generally devoted to other important policy issues such as the role of the Centers forMedicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in approving reimbursement for new medicaltechnologies, an additional step beyond FDA clearance necessary for the widespread adoption ofthese technologies. An in-depth discussion of the CMS scientific review process will now beincluded in the second semester of the year-long senior project course. Finally, the paper willinclude a discussion of the opportunities afforded by and challenges faced during a five-monthrelocation to the nation’s capital.

Cezeaux, J. L. (2015, June), “And Now for Something Completely Different” – A Faculty Sabbatical in Public Policy Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23345

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