Phillips makes political pilgrimage


IVCC geology professor Mike Phillips (right) poses with Representative Adam Kinzinger during his recent visit to Washington, D.C. where he spoke to Illinois legislative staff about funding for the sciences.

Illinois Valley Community College geology professor Mike Phillips recently visited Washington, D.C., to speak to Illinois legislative staff about funding for the sciences and how grants benefit him as a scientist and teacher.

Phillips was contacted by the American Geophysical Union, a professional organization of over 60,000 members that promotes discovery in earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.

During the AGU-funded trip, he met with staffers of Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Representatives Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky and Bob Dold. He also met personally with Rep. Kinzinger, whose district includes IVCC.

Phillips spoke about the National Science Foundation, United States Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

He also discussed the importance of grants he has received, especially grants that allow him to travel to conferences and bring back information to his students.

“It was a very rewarding experience and I got to learn the process of sharing information with their offices and was able to offer myself as a resource to them in the future,” said Phillips.