Equity & Inclusion Student Fellowship 2019


The 2019 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship supports the travel and participation of up to 40 students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the 2019 APPAM Fall Research Conference, November 7 - 9, in Denver, Colorado. While at the conference, fellows will have the opportunity to formally network with each other and with members of the Policy Council and Diversity Committee at a networking reception and the Fellowship Luncheon, recognizing them and their accomplishments.

The Equity and Inclusion Fellowship Luncheon will be held on Friday, November 9 from 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm. The program will start with a welcome from APPAM President, Matthew Stagner, Mathematica Policy Research, followed by the presentation of awards by APPAM Diversity Committee Chair, John Martinez, MDRC. Following the presentation of awards, a keynote speaker will deliver an address to attendees. The event is by invite only.

The fellows will have many opportunities to informally network with other students and engage in mentoring activities with professionals during the conference, including a meetup the evening of Thursday, November 7th. The goal of this fellowship program is to introduce recipients to the world of public policy and APPAM, and foster a lifelong affiliation and engagement with both. Special thanks to the Equity & Inclusion Fellowship Selection Committee for reviewing all the applications.

We look forward to celebrating you in Denver, Colorado at #2019APPAM!

 Meet the 2019 Fellows:

  • Sana Abdelkarim, University at Albany, SUNY
  • Hala Altamimi, Georgia State University
  • Abdoulaye Ba, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Yuhao Ba, North Carolina State University
  • Felipe Blanco Sanchez, University of Nebraska,  Omaha
  • Andrea Briceno Mosquera, Virginia Tech University
  • Brianda De Leon, The University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Tina Fletcher, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dongfang Gaozhao, Florida State University
  • Denisha Hobbs, University of Baltimore
  • April Hurley, Pratt Institute
  • Francis Hwang, Brandeis University
  • Alberto Jacinto, American University
  • Bishar Jenkins Jr. , Brandeis University
  • Thomas Klemm, University of Michigan
  • Roxanne Lee, Northeastern University
  • Xia Li, The New School
  • Zhengyan Li, Indiana University
  • Jeevan Raj Lohani, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Chante Mayers-Barbot, George Washington University
  • Nicardo McInnis, Georgia State University
  • Yoselinda Mendoza, Cornell University
  • Emmi Obara, University of Washington
  • Rachel Perera, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Lam Pham, Vanderbilt University
  • Maya Portillo, New York University
  • Anna Marie Ramos, University of California, Davis
  • Mariam Rashid, Rutgers University
  • Travis Reginal, George Washington University
  • Theo Retos, University of San Francisco
  • Quentin Riser, Iowa State University
  • Natalee Rivera, New York University
  • Savannah Romero, New York University
  • Abdul Samad, Florida International University
  • Adrienne Scott, Cornell University
  • Muloongo Simuzingili, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Youngwan Song, Georgia State University
  • Victoria Sosina, Stanford University
  • Tian Wang, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Imani Wilson, University of Chicago



Sana_AbdelkarimSana Abdelkarim is a second-year Ph.D. student at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY. She is currently a fellow at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society with a placement at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Sana is interested in bridging the gap between research and practice, specifically in issues that relate to public health policy. Sana holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Health Policy from the University at Albany. Sana worked in multiple issues related to gender-based violence both in New York and her in her native Libya. Sana worked at the International Medical Corps as a Gender-Based Violence Program trainer and Child Protection Officer. In this capacity, she collaborated with experts to develop training modules designed to prepare healthcare professionals to serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault effectively. Additionally, she worked with Libyan government officials, community workers, and practitioners to develop Standard Operating Procedures to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2012 Sana earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Benghazi Medical University.


Hala_AltamimiHala Altamimi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She earned her Master of Public Administration from GSU in 2016 with a concentration in Policy Analysis and Evaluation. Her research focuses on results oriented approaches to public and nonprofit management including sector performance and efficiency measurement, program evaluation, and performance auditing. She is currently working on research that examines the dynamics of the nonprofit starvation cycle by testing the impact of overhead spending on nonprofit program outcomes. Her other studies focus on the role of performance auditing in state and local governments. Hala has received a number of awards including the Emerging Scholar Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), and the Best Doctoral Student Conference Paper Award from the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management (AOM) for her coauthored study on the impact of overhead spending on nonprofit program outcomes. Prior to her graduate studies, Hala worked with different nonprofits and international nongovernmental organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).



Originally from Senegal, Abdoulaye is a Master's in Public Policy and Management(MSPPM) student at Carnegie Mellon University. He started his undergraduate journey at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, before finishing his B.A. in political science at Jackson State University, a HBCU in the capital of Mississippi. He has worked for his local elected officials in Florida and Mississippi, and participated in various political campaigns during midterm and presidential elections. His policy interests include immigration, education and criminal justice reform. He is also interested in how technology can be used to better guide policy. Besides his academic work, Abdoulaye enjoys long-boarding, playing soccer and listening to Senegalese music.

Yuhao_BaYuhao Ba is a doctoral candidate in Public Administration in the School of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina State University. He holds a Master in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Public Administration from Tongji University. His research centers on environmental policy, non-state environmental governance arrangements, policy process, and research methods. In his doctoral dissertation, he examines the relevance and the potential of corporate-led environmental governance systems. This includes the interaction between corporate-led arrangements and environmental policy processes as well as the relative performance of alternative environmental governance systems in fostering desired environmental outcomes. He is also involved in research projects exploring the relationship between community environmental policy preferences and historical institutional dynamics as well as the global cross-system political impact on local environmental policy processes. His teaching interests are around public policy, public administration, and research methods. He is also a Graduate Peer Mentor at NC State University.




Felipe was born and raised in Mexico City, where he obtained a BA in Economics and Master's in Public Administration and Public Policy. Upon completion of his Masters, he worked as an Adjunct Professor at the Center for Teaching and Research in Economics (CIDE). At CIDE, he wrote about performance evaluation systems, and public policy and democracy, in addition to teaching graduate courses on public administration and organizational theory.
Felipe has also served as an independent consultant for federal and local government agencies in Mexico. He has collaborated on multiple research projects to analyze a variety of public policies: from national health systems with over 50 million affiliates, to smaller state-level programs to promote high school completion.
In 2016, Felipe moved to the U.S., where he worked for a nonprofit organization before starting his PhD in Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is also a craft beer enthusiast and hosts a tour in Spanish once a month at a local brewery.


Andrea_Briceno_Mosquera_2Andrea Briceno M. is from Colombia. She is a Ph.D. student in Public Administration and Public Affairs at the Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) at Virginia Tech. She received her master’s degree in Government and Public Policy from the Externado University of Colombia in partnership with the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, NY. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia. In both her academic and professional trajectories, she has focused on equity and inclusion policies, particularly in the examination of determinants of educational success for traditionally underrepresented students in higher education. In this regard, she created the VT research digital collection on Higher Education Policy for Minorities in the United States. 
Her research interests focus on higher education policy for undocumented students in the U.S. Other work includes examining the inter-governmental tension between the federal and local levels regarding immigration policy and its effects on labor market. She holds some publications related to her research. She also has experience at working with the Colombian national and local governments as well as with multilateral organizations such as the IDB and the OAS.



Brianda is a first-generation college student and a second-year doctoral student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concertation in Higher Education. Her interest in education policy grew when she attended the University of Utah and worked as a graduate assistant at a Dream Center working with Undocumented students. During her time at the Dream Center, she learned how inequitable policies limit access to undocumented students. Brianda’s primary research interests surround examining the intersections of immigration, and educational policies that shape the educational trajectories of Latina/o/x undocumented students and other communities of color.



Tina L. Fletcher is an education policy doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania where she researches minority and male teachers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in Secondary Teacher Education from Harvard University. Tina has interned with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel on behalf of the Southern Education Foundation, the Office of former US Senator Blanche Lincoln on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus and in the Office of the First Lady Michelle Obama.
Tina’s work experience includes serving as a social studies teacher at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington, DC where she was named the 2010 Teacher of the Year. She then served as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and also raised funds for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a part of her role as the Community Investment Manager for the Memphis Grizzlies. Tina's most recent professional experiences include serving as a community engagement manager and director for the city of Washington, D.C. She has been named a Visionary Arkansan by the Arkansas Times and received the Brown Girls Rock award for her work in education.



Dongfang Gaozhao studies fake news on social media, striving to promote diverse information and inform governments and tech companies of policy options for combating misinformation. Along with this line of inquiry, his research primarily focuses on two areas: (a) how information and misinformation affect individuals’ attitudes toward organizational performance and policies; (b) how people accept or refuse certain information according to their ideological preference when making political decisions. His current research projects explore topics like social media, education, and policing. Dongfang is an ECUPL and Rutgers alumnus, a third-year Ph.D. student in public administration and policy at Florida State University, and a travel rewards junkie.



Denisha Hobbs is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Her research interests in public policy include health and aging policy, education policy, and drug policy. With her background in Gerontology from Towson University, Denisha has worked and advocated for the older adult community. As an advocate, she works hard to ensure those from underserved communities have a better quality of life. She also had the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, where she advocated for the continuation of funding for summer enrichment programs nationwide at the House and Senate. Denisha is also the Vice President of the Graduate Public Administration Student Association (GPASA) at UB. She is also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society- UB Circle.



Born and bred in the Bronx, April Hurley enjoys organizing her neighbors around food access, environmental concerns, and housing. She has worked in community engagement since graduating from Adelphi University in 2013. Currently, she is a City and Regional Planning Master's degree candidate at Pratt Institute. 
Ms. Hurley is Apostolic, loves plants and engaging with different cultures. Worshipping God, respecting her elders and practicing tolerance is very important to her. She is fluent in Spanish and is learning French and Arabic. 
Lately, Ms. Hurley's research has focused on sustaining marginalize communities and the solidarity economy. She hopes her work will lead to a shift in local politics towards a more equitable approach to economic and community revitalization.




Francis Hwang is a Fulbright Scholar pursuing a Master of Public Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Brandeis University. He is a Korean-New Zealander and previously graduated from the University of Auckland in New Zealand with an engineering degree. Most recently, Francis interned at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing, China, a multilateral development bank that invests in sustainable infrastructure across Asia-Pacific. Here, he helped shape and integrated disability inclusive dimensions to the Bank's existing investment strategies, policies, programs and projects. Prior to Heller School, Francis was a management consultant with Deloitte in New Zealand where he contributed to developing a new family-based approach to social policy to break the poverty cycle of the most vulnerable populations, who are often from indigenous backgrounds. His primary research foci is in health disparities, mental health, healthcare technology and delivery and good governance. Outside of formal study, Francis is passionate about civics (focused on Asian diaspora) and international relations.

Alberto_JacintoAlberto Jacinto (he/el) is a third-year doctoral student in Public Administration and Policy at American University. He holds a B.S. in Psychology from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Community Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Alberto’s research interests include education policy and issues of diversity within teaching and education administration, as well as closing achievement gaps. 

Alberto is originally from San Antonio, Texas and a first-generation college graduate. Prior to beginning graduate studies at American University, Alberto worked at the Latino Commission on AIDS, an organization committed to ending health disparities among communities of color. He writes a blog with Dr. Seth Gershenson on Brookings Brown Center Chalkboard, which you can check out here: https://brook.gs/2FVRkHh. You can also find Alberto on Twitter: @lbrtjcnt.


Bishar Jenkins Jr., is a second year Master of Public Policy candidate at Brandeis University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. His policy interests range from HIV prevention for Black and Latinx Queer/same gender loving identified individuals, cultural competency in healthcare and best practices for comprehensive sexual education reform. Bishar is passionate about HIV/AIDS advocacy and using storytelling as a means to spur policy and grassroots momentum to dismantle systems of oppression. Bishar is a proud native of Trenton, New Jersey.




Thomas Klemm is a first year joint doctoral student in Social Work and Political Science at the University of Michigan. His research Interests include Federal American Indian Policy, Native Nation building, rural/reservation poverty alleviation strategies and drug and alcohol treatment and policy. As an undergraduate he has done work as a research assistant examining the ways Native Nations distribute profits from nationally owned businesses, the suicide epidemic among Native American youth and community banking. In addition, he is currently a research assistant for the Removing Barriers project at the University of Michigan. This project is examining the ways legal barriers prevent those with Substance Abuse Disorders from seeking and completing treatment, as well as exploring the ways in which online court systems can reduce or eliminate this barrier. As an enrolled citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, he remains involved in his Nations politics, traditions and community. Thomas is dedicated to working to increase the sovereignty and well being of all the Anishinaabek and Indigenous people across North America.




Roxanne Lee was born in New Jersey, and lived and attended school there until leaving for Boston, MA, for college. After graduating in 2018 with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in English, she entered Northeastern University’s graduate program that same year. She is currently a graduate student within Northeastern University's Environmental Science and Policy program, and is expected to graduate in December of 2019.




Xia Li is a PhD candidate in Public and Urban Policy at The New School (TNS). Her research focuses on educational inequality and the role public policy can play in promoting equity in education for marginalized and underserved groups. Her dissertation “Understanding Educational Inequality of Rural Workers’ Children in China”, examines rural parental attitudes toward the value of education, differences in education policy among cities regarding public school enrollment eligibility and their impacts on educational opportunities and social mobility of rural workers’ children. She has extensive teaching experience in quantitative research methods and data analysis by serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at TNS and an Adjunct Associate for the Applied Analytic program at Columbia University. Currently, Xia is a Teaching Fellow at TNS and an Adjunct Instructor at Fordham University where she teaches Statistics and Statistical Decision Making. In 2013, she presented her research about changes of rural governance in China at the 9th International Conference on Public Administration in Cape Town, South Africa. Xia holds a BA in Sociology from China Youth University of Political Studies, an MPA from Rutgers University and an MA in Urban Planning and Management from Renmin University.



Zhengyan Li is a PhD candidate at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. His research explores the dynamics among regulators, markets, and civil society in the formation and implementation of environmental policies. His research areas include information disclosure and voluntary regulation, environmental justice, environmental attitudes, and bureaucratic decision. Before coming to Indiana University, Zhengyan earned a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Economics from Renmin University of China.


I am a PhD Candidate in the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland Baltimore County (2018-2023). My area of specialization is Economics and Evaluation. A Nepalese Citizen, I hold 10 years of experience in policy research and evaluations in Africa and South Asia. Prior to my enrollment in PhD, I used to work as a research, monitoring and evaluation consultant. Over the years, I have worked in various sectors including early childhood development, education, public health, nutrition, gender and inclusion, local governance, migration, employment and entrepreneurship, and climate change. I am a big believer in lifelong learning, and was one of the founders of University of Third Age (U3A) movement in South Asia. My mission in life is to learn, share, and contribute to bring changes in lives of people deprived of freedom and opportunities. For my dissertation, I am studying the phenomenon of return migration, enterprise development and employment examining the applicability of permanent income hypothesis among labor migrants and Lewis theory on exchange of labor and capital. I have some research ideas that I want to work upon in coming years. I would love to collaborate with and learn from other policy enthusiasts. Reach me at jlohani1@umbc.edu.



Chante Mayers-Barbot is a second-year MPP student, concentrating in International Development at the George Washington University. Prior to graduate school, she lived in Germany as a fellow for an international organization where she examined contemporary human rights violations and explored the intersections of Germany’s history and its efforts towards restorative justice, completed a Fulbright Scholarship as an English Teaching Assistant and Cultural Ambassador in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and has worked with various NGOs focused on providing additional educational and professional development opportunities to NYC youth.



Nicardo_McinnisNicardo McInnis is a Doctoral candidate in Economics at Georgia State University. He has research interests in applied microeconomics and applied microeconometrics. His research utilizes quasi-experimental methods to study issues in health, labor, and public economics, with focus on income and safety net programs. In his dissertation, he examines the impact of income received at different stages in the life-cycle on long-term health. His work also makes methodological contributions to the application of missing data techniques, when panel surveys are conducted biennially, resulting in missing information for both endogenous and exogenous variables. He has experience working in various policy related environments. Before pursuing his PhD, he completed his BSc in economics and international relations, and his MSc in economics, at The University of the West Indies Mona campus in Jamaica.




Yoselinda Mendoza is a doctoral student in Sociology at Cornell University and Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow. She earned her BA degree in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests focus on immigration, housing, and race & ethnicity. As a second-generation Mexican-American born and raised in Santa Ana (CA), a predominantly low-income Latinx immigrant city, Yoselinda became interested in exploring how contexts of reception shape immigrant integration in varied social facets. Using a quantitative approach, her current research explores differences in homeownership by skin color. Her upcoming dissertation will center on examining how Latinx families of varying legal status experience housing insecurity.



Emmi Obara is a PhD candidate in Public Policy and Management at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She is interested in social policy with a focus on policies that affect incarceration and reentry, such as poverty and racial inequality. Her dissertation focuses on the revolving door of prison, examining cycling of individuals in and out of prison. In addition, she has worked on research projects regarding fines and fees in the criminal justice system, privatization of the criminal justice system, the intersection of child support and the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the program, Emmi worked for three years at MEF Associates, a social policy research firm. She conducted research on employment and training, reentry, asset building, child support, welfare, adult education, and youth violence prevention.



Rachel Perera is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research agenda focuses on using quantitative methods to enhance our understanding of inequities in K-12 education and examine the effects of various policies and programs implemented to address persistent opportunity gaps. She is currently working on studies related to school segregation, school discipline, teacher diversity, and school choice. Prior to joining Pardee RAND, she worked at Teach For America, most recently serving as director of research partnerships. She has an M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a B.A. in history and political science from Hofstra University.




Lam Pham is a Ph.D. student in K-12 Leadership and Policy Studies with a specialization in quantitative methods. His research primarily uses econometric and quasi-experimental methods to investigate how school leaders in persistently low-performing schools can make effective personnel policy decisions. He is particularly interested in the capacity-building policies and practices that facilitate continuous school improvement, especially the recruitment, retention, and development of teachers and school leaders. Lam primarily works with Dr. Gary Henry at Vanderbilt University and Dr. Ron Zimmer at the University of Kentucky.
Lam has been recognized as summer fellow at the RAND corporation, a Barbara L. Jackson Scholar, and a fellow for the Blended and Online Learning Design (BOLD) program. He currently holds positions on the Student Advisory Committee for the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and the Graduate Student Council for the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).
Prior to his doctoral studies, Lam worked as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam, taught math in a turnaround high school in Oklahoma City, and served as a math instructional coach with Teach for America. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard University.




Maya Portillo is currently pursuing her Masters in Public and Non-Profit Management with a specialization in Public Policy Analysis at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Maya currently works as a research analyst at an early childhood education lab within NYU Steinhardt working on projects pertaining to community literacy interventions for young children in everyday spaces within marginalized communities. Previously, Maya worked with Upward Bound and currently is a volunteer for iMentor. Maya is from Northwest Indiana and graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Industrial Labor Relations and minors in Education and Inequality Studies.
Anna_Marie_RamosAnna Marie Ramos is currently working towards a Ph.D. in School Organizations and Educational Policy at the University of California, Davis. Her research covers a variety of topics related to transitions in and out of California’s postsecondary segments. Most recently, her work has drawn on ecological frameworks to understand the influence of statewide college access policies and regional economies on community college students’ planned trajectories. She holds a Master of Arts in Education, with a focus on Educational Assessment and Measurement. Before graduate school, she worked as a research assistant at MDRC, where she primarily contributed to studies under the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness.



Mariam Rashid is a fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate studying Social Policy at Rutgers University, School of Social Work. She received her MPH in health policy from Rutgers, School of Public Health and holds a bachelors in biology, also from Rutgers University. Mariam’s dissertation focuses on measuring the perceptions of affordable housing within the United States and NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard). Her other research experience includes opioids, tobacco, and alcohol prevention and regulation policies. Mariam was an Eagleton Graduate Fellow in 2016, and USAID fellow in 2015 where she researched post-Apartheid access to sanitation in townships across Cape Town, South Africa. Mariam has a passion for bridging the gap between science and politics through her research and teaching. Her research interests focus on how social policies influence health and life outcomes. Mariam teaches various courses focusing on social and health policies, including women, gender, public health, and medicine. Through her teaching and assignments, Mariam encourages her students to be the next generation of scholars forging positive change in the world.



Travis Reginal is an MPA candidate in George Washington’s Trachtenberg School and is a research analyst at the Urban Institute where he conducts criminal justice and education research. He is a graduate of Yale University where he studied sociology and education studies. His research focuses on the role of government, nonprofits, the private sector, and faith communities in promoting racial reconciliation and equity. He discovered his passion for research while conducting an independent study at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where he worked on a project to make social and emotional learning culturally relevant for diverse populations. Mr. Reginal has in-depth knowledge of issues facing youth and minority populations. He has written and spoken on the topics of the K- 12 and higher education systems, as well as diversity issues for several outlets including the New York Times, NBC, American Radio Works, and the Korean Broadcast System.



Theo Retos is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration with a specialization in Health Services at the University of San Francisco. His research area is focused on clinical information, programming and policy work for queer and transgender individuals. Theo specializes in queer and trans health, particularly regarding long-term health issues following medical transition, hormone use and ensuring continual comprehensive care for queer people. Theo has 5+ years working in public and private healthcare, including a reimbursement consulting firm that specialized in product commercialization. Theo also runs a small grassroots non-profit organization in the Bay Area that does direct service outreach to transgender and gender non-conforming people to assist them in completing their legal paperwork. The organization helps individuals complete their legal name and gender change, and provides microgrants towards their court fees. After his program, Theo is seeking employment in health programming or policy work, ideally with LGBT individuals.



As an undergraduate, Quentin earned degrees in accounting and economics. He is currently entering his fifth year in the Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. program at Iowa State University where he is pursing applied research at the intersection of economics and education. While at Iowa State, he began working on a line of research that built upon the work of his advisor, Dr. Heather Rouse, but extended to the understudied population of American Indians using nationally representative data. Quentin is interested in approaches to designing rigorous studies, soliciting funding for such studies, and applying advanced methods to empirically test theoretical models. During his tenure at Iowa State, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate research fellowship. As a fellow, he has explored a number of untapped data sources (e.g., administrative data, opportunity data) that can serve as alternatives to more traditional forms of data (e.g., designed data), and these sources are often more cost effective. He has been able to spend time with state partners learning about their data. Quentin is interested in acquiring data collected for one reason and repurposing it to conduct research designed to inform policy and help state partners make data-driven decisions.



Natalee Rivera is a born and bred New Yorker from the Bronx pursuing her MPA with a Public Policy Analysis specialization at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Natalee is a David Bohnett Public Service Fellow and the current Chair of the Association of Latinx Students and Allies in Public Service at NYU Wagner. She has worked for the New York City Council Women's Caucus as a Legislative Intern and as a Graduate Fellow at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. Before starting graduate school, Natalee worked as a Project Associate with Crime Lab New York, a University of Chicago-based social policy research organization. Natalee previously worked at the National Urban League, a civil rights organization devoted to the economic empowerment of disadvantaged urban areas and at the Columbia Population Research Center, supporting the creation of the Robin Hood Foundation's poverty measurement tool, the Poverty Tracker. In 2013, she graduated from Columbia University with her BA in Anthropology and a minor in Ethnicity and Race Studies.



Savannah is a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe from the Wind River Reservation. She is pursuing a Master’s in Public Affairs and Public Policy from NYU Wagner with a focus in quantitative methods and evaluation. Before graduate school, Savannah worked at the U.S. House of Representatives as a Legislative Correspondent for a Washington State Member of Congress and later as a Program Manager for the National Indian Education Association. Before moving to D.C., she worked at a youth mentoring non-profit in Seattle while finishing her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Washington. Savannah has taught and engaged in numerous youth empowerment and adversity programming across the U.S., including delivering keynote addresses for the College Success Foundation, the Costco Diversity Scholarship Foundation, and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. As a first-generation student, former foster youth and Native American woman, she is a passionate bridge-builder across unlike communities with a profound dedication to public service. While at NYU, Savannah is honing analytical and quantitative skills to better create and assess policy responses to important public policy issues that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities.



Abdul Samad is a doctoral student in the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University (FIU). His research primarily focuses on issues related to anti-Muslim hate, race, religion, social equity, and public participation of marginalized communities. At FIU, he serves as the leader of the Public Affairs Student Association and is currently the president of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA). In the community, Abdul aims to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners by contributing knowledge to policy debates involving important social problems faced by marginalized communities. Abdul was the recipient of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Founders’ Fellows Award (2015), ASPA International Young Scholar award (2018), Muslim Public Service Network fellowship award (2018), and the Dewey W. Knight JR. Memorial Scholarship (2019). Outside of his research, he enjoys playing tennis, cooking, traveling, and most of all learning new languages. In addition to his experience and educational background, Abdul has a strong passion for youth leadership development. He is fascinated by language. Being fluent in English, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi, can speak basic Arabic, and an enthusiastic beginner in Chinese and Farsi.

Adrienne_Scott_PhotoAdrienne Scott is a PhD student in American Politics in Cornell University’s Department of Government. She received her BA in Political Science from Brooklyn College (CUNY). Adrienne’s research focuses on how redistributive policies influence economic and political outcomes, paying attention to recipients from marginalized populations, most specifically for communities of color and women. She is interested in anti-poverty programs at varying levels of government and examining the inconsistencies and inefficiencies that may arise. At times, her interests extend beyond the US, covering OECD countries, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Prior to graduate school, Adrienne held positions as a Program Associate for New York Cares, a Program Assistant for New Visions for Public Schools, a member in AmeriCorps Jumpstart program, and a legislative intern at City Council where her work focused on developing children’s education programs. In these roles, she nurtured her interests in education policy, received training in and developed early childhood education programs, and provided administrative support for Curriculum and Instruction, Library, and College and Career Readiness teams.




Muloongo Simuzingili is a PhD student at Virginia Commonwealth University studying Healthcare policy and research. Her passion is to provide evidence-based policy solutions to improve health service delivery and outcomes for low-income populations, especially for women and children. Muloongo has previously worked at the International Growth Centre as a Country Economist and as a Programs Manager for the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction in Zambia. She completed a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Namibia and a Master’s in Applied Economics from the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include global health, healthcare financing, income inequalities, population health and maternal and child health.



Youngwan Song is a fifth-year Ph.D. Student in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. His research interests center on the studies of education policy and school finance reforms intended to promote student achievement. He is working on three research that examines the effects of Georgia’s merit-based scholarship (HOPE) on high school students’ motivation and their post-secondary outcomes, the impacts of New York City’s weighted student funding on school-level resource allocation patterns and student achievement, and the relationship between voters’ preferences, educational spending, and student achievement through New York school districts’ annual budget referendum. He wants to provide evidence on how particular resource allocation methods and policy tools can mitigate disparities in student achievement. He received BA and MA in Political Science from Chung-Ang University at Seoul, South Korea, and MPA from Florida State University.



Victoria is a doctoral student in the Sociology of Education program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and an IES Fellow. She graduated with an A.B. in Sociology from Harvard University in 2012 and a Master’s in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2015. Before beginning her doctoral program, Victoria taught English in the Dominican Republic as well as general and special elementary education in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Victoria’s research uses quantitative methods to explore how racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic context matter for educational inequality. With a particular focus on racial/ethnic segregation and socioeconomic inequality, Victoria’s work explores inter-group disparities in educational inputs and experiences that evidence suggest matter for student well-being.



Tian Wang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston. Her dissertation focuses on how Asian American human service nonprofit organizations engage in the policymaking process and advocate for their communities. She would like to use this study to expand the nonprofit policy studies and contribute to the understanding of Asian Americans by revealing their stories of policy advocacy and their experience in this process. Her areas of interests also include immigration and culture policies. Previously, Tian worked in a performing art nonprofit organization and holds a Master’s degree in Arts Management.



Imani Wilson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2018, she received her bachelor’s degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, Imani founded an organization aimed at engaging high school students in philanthropy and social justice, mentored first generation college students, and conducted research on the use of restorative justice practices in schools. Her senior honors thesis was a qualitative research study about the experiences of black high school teachers. 
Imani is currently a candidate for a Master’s in Social Work at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Upon graduation, Imani plans to work with students of color as a school social worker. As a school social worker, Imani intends to implement programs and build relationships that allow schools to reach their fullest potential. She desires to help create schools that are both sites of community and resistance. Recognizing that schools can also be sites of inequality and oppression, Imani would eventually like to use her clinical training and work experiences to inform her work as an education researcher and/or policymaker.

For more information about the 2019 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship, please contact Leslie Ofori at lofori@appam.org.