Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Office Hours highlights faculty research on vaping, water, elections, child maltreatment

Office Hours highlights faculty research on vaping, water, elections, child maltreatment

On October 31, a diverse group of state lawmakers, legislative staff members, legislative service agency analysts, and staff from the Governor’s office attended the fifth Office Hours at the Capitol – presented by the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and the La Follette School.

The drop-in event in the State Capitol allowed the 27 participants to chat with UW–Madison faculty members on topics of high legislative interest: electronic cigarettes, election administration and voting behavior, child maltreatment and Child Protection Services (CPS), and water quality and quantity.

Sam Austin (MPA ’08), director of the Evidence-Based Health Policy Project (EBHPP), also shared information about the collaborative effort to bridge medicine and health policy. EBHPP is a partnership of the UW Population Health Institute, the La Follette School, and the Wisconsin Legislative Council.

Associate Professor of Medicine Megan Piper shared information about vaping and brought some of the latest vaping devices and liquid refills available in retail stores. State Geologist Ken Bradbury brought rock samples and a miniature, cross-sectional display of karst landscape. He answered questions about soil types in Wisconsin, nitrates, and other water quality topics.

Professor of Social Work Kristin S. Slack discussed her research about preventing child maltreatment, specifically sharing the promising outcomes of Project GAIN (Getting Access to Income Now). Project GAIN helps families at risk for child maltreatment with accessing economic resources, reducing financial stressors, and increasing income stability.  

Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center and professor of political science, provided timely information about Wisconsin’s election administration system, and voter registration, and redistricting. Burden also is a faculty affiliate of the La Follette School.  

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.