Equity & Inclusion Student Fellowship 2020 Recipients

The Equity & Inclusion Fellowship program supports the participation of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the Annual Fall Research Conference. Due to the 2020 APPAM Fall Conference going virtual, the fellowship was changed this year. APPAM has awarded 20 fellowships—instead of the usual 40-to be part recognized at the 2020 Annual Fall Research Conference, that will be held virtually in November. The 20 Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend and be recognized at the 2021 APPAM Fall Research Conference in Austin, along with the 40 fellows that will be awarded in 2021.
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 applications and selecting the recipients.
We look forward to celebrating the 2020 Fellows at #2020APPAM virtual conference as well as in Austin for #2021APPAM!
In the coming months we will feature bios of all the winners, as well as interviews and other digital content highlighting their work and backgrounds.
Congratulations to all the Equity & Inclusion Fellowship Recipients!
Mina Addo, University of Pennsylvania
Leah Awkward-Rich, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Shraddha Bandaru, Washington University In St. Louis
Clifton Cottrell, University of Maryland
Jennifer Daniels, University of Delaware
Tasminda Dhaliwal, University of Southern California
Zita Dixon, Brandeis University
Carlos Alberto Echeverria-Estrada, Claremont Graduate University
Elc Estrera, UNC Chapel Hill
Arsene Frederic, American University
William Jackson, Florida International University
Sara Jean-Francois, Brandeis University
Marilyn Markel, Western Michigan University
Brigid Olson, The Evergreen State College
Stephanie Puello, University of Colorado Denver
J'lin Rose, University of Central Florida
Tafadzwa Tivaringe, University of Colorado - Boulder



Mina Addo

Mina_AddoMina Addo, MS is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). Her research interests include precarious work and the intersection between economic insecurity, health, and wellbeing. As a PhD research fellow, Mina is involved in planning and implementation of the Partnership for Social Mobility and Impact Fund, a research-driven initiative at SP2 to identify and scale economic mobility solutions in Philadelphia and beyond.

 Mina has more than 10 years of experience as a public policy researcher and analyst. Before pursuing doctoral studies at Penn, Mina was a project manager for Urbane Development, a community development organization that promotes economic stability, revitalization, and wealth-building in underserved urban communities. Mina’s previous experience includes working as a fiscal and policy analyst at a think tank, serving as a health and education policy adviser in the U.S. Senate, and providing public policy and communications counsel to nonprofit organizations. Mina earned an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School and a BS from The University of Michigan.


Leah Awkward-Rich

Leah_Awkward-Rich2Leah Awkward-Rich (she/her) is a third-year doctoral student in Social Welfare at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Leah’s research interests center around early childhood education, child development, and education and social policy, and she is particularly interested in understanding the ability of early childhood education programs and policy to mitigate the impacts of poverty on children and families. Leah currently works as a project assistant for UW-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty and has previously worked with the Center for Research on Early Childhood Education at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. She has contributed to research projects concerning teaching quality in pre-kindergarten program classrooms and on the time parents with nonstandard work schedules are able to spend with their children. Before pursuing a PhD, Leah worked as a research assistant at HighScope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and received a BA in Sociology and Comparative American Studies from Oberlin College.


Shraddha Bandaru

Yohita_BandaruShraddha Bandaru is a master's student at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, pursuing a dual degree program in Social Work and Social Policy, a concentration in Social and Economic Development, and a Research specialization. She is interested in the workings of society namely social structures and their impact on individuals and society as a whole. Shraddha spent her early education in countries that were diverse like Egypt, Kenya, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and India. Being exposed to a variety of countries and cultures provided her with an international outlook and perspective at an early age. Shraddha's specific research interests include the psychosocial issues faced by migrant workers and their impacts on health, specifically the dynamics of return migration and health among female domestic workers in their respective country of origin.


Silvana Bastante

Silvana_BastanteAfter earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2015, Silvana’s public service background began at the Guatemalan Maya Center in South Florida as the Assistant Director of the early literacy-based, Parent-Child Home Program. Now in her last year of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Silvana is focused on the future for community resilience and development through a policy lens. Silvana is the Vice President for Nonprofit Outreach of the ASPA Central Florida Chapter and the Graduate Assistant to the Director and Assistant Director at the UCF Downtown Center for Public and Nonprofit Management (CPNM). As a first-generation Peruvian immigrant with a strong foundation in public service and applied studies in Public Administration, Silvana’s primary career interests include education, immigration, and economic development initiatives that aim to build up vulnerable communities. Whether her pursuits are through the private, public, or nonprofit sectors, Silvana's commitment to community empowerment remain at the root of her efforts.


Clifton Cottrell

Clifton_CottrellClifton is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and studies indigenous climate resilience at the University of Maryland. In particular, Clifton is concerned with how a tribe's recognition status impacts governance, climate adaptation, and food security.

Clifton has a BA in History and Political Science from the University of the Ozarks, an MPAff from the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas-Austin, and a JD from Baylor University. He resides in Pennsylvania with his wife and daughters. In his free time, Clifton is a contributing writer on energy and natural resource economics for Native Business Magazine, an avid trail runner, and aspiring gardener.


Jennifer Daniels

Jennifer_Daniels2Jennifer Daniels is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Urban Affairs and Public Policy Program in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware (UD). Her research interests include racial equity, poverty, and racism in policy implementation. Specifically, she is interested in how race and racial attitudes are related to racially equitable policy design and implementation. Jennifer’s dissertation research aims to examine how organizational practices related to actualizing social equity may mitigate the impact of street-level bureaucrat discretion and racial bias in the implementation of social safety net policies. Jennifer recently received a competitive merit fellowship, the Graduate Scholars Award, for the 2020-2021 academic year from UD. Before her doctoral studies, as a social worker (MSW), Jennifer’s past experiences include overseeing diversity and inclusion education and training for the University of Delaware in the Office of Equity and Inclusion. In 2017 she was distinguished with the University’s Louis L. Redding award that recognizes individuals whose efforts have resulted in a significant change in the campus climate within the University community. Jennifer endeavors to pursue community-engaged scholarship upon the completion of her degree.


Tasminda Dhaliwal

Tasminda_DhaliwalTasminda K. Dhaliwal is a doctoral candidate in the urban education policy program at the University of Southern California, where she also earned her master’s degree in economics. Her research examines the ways social and economic conditions shape student outcomes and the effectiveness of policies designed to reduce inequality. She uses quantitative methods to explore issues related to student homelessness and housing instability, school discipline, and school finance. She is currently completing her dissertation, with funding from the American Educational Research Association & National Science Foundation, on examining the school and neighborhood contexts of students experiencing homelessness, and the effect of affordable housing programs on student homelessness and mobility. Tasminda's research is informed by her time as first and second grade teacher in Houston. She received a master’s degree in education policy & management from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in political economy from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has appeared in AERA Open, Peabody Journal of Education, and the American Journal of Education.


Zita Dixon

APPAM_picZita Dixon is a PhD candidate in Social Policy at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her research examines how people participate in policy creation and advocacy efforts for policy solutions that address systemic inequities. She focuses on how those most impacted–and the individuals working on the frontlines alongside them– have access to the policymaking process. She uses a critical race lens to examine how the policymaking process can be more inclusive and address racial inequities in participation.Her dissertation is a historical case study of how a NY State policy, aimed to address higher education access and degree attainment for underrepresented students of color, passed into legislation and sustained itself during early political threats. It also examines the stakeholders who made it possible. This dissertation research was supported by the AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship and the NAEd/Spencer Research Development Award. Her previous research projects focused on policy advocacy participation and teaching and examining racial (in)justice. Her work has appeared in Race & Social Problems, Social Work Education, and Human Services Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance. She received her BA from UCSD and MSW from Columbia University.


Justin Doromal

Justin_DoromalJustin B. Doromal is a PhD student in Education Policy at the University of Virginia and a 2020-21 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellow. He specializes in early childhood education policy, and his research focuses on programmatic and policy factors that promote continuity—or exacerbate disruption—in children’s early educational experiences. Justin’s current work explores the high levels of volatility in the early childhood education landscape—and specifically, the high rates of closure among child care programs and the high levels of turnover among the low-income early educators who teach and provide care for young children in these settings. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of South Florida, and a Master of Education and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia. Prior to graduate school, Justin was assistant teacher (and later, assistant director) at a franchised, after-school math and reading enrichment program for young children.


Carlos Alberto Echeverria-Estrada

Carlos_Alberto_Echeverria-EstradaCarlos Echeverría-Estrada is a policy analyst with a long experience on program and policy evaluation working with governments, inter-governmental agencies, and non-profits in a dozen countries in the Americas, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is a doctoral candidate in public policy and evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. His research and policy interests focus on international migration and migration governance, outcomes measurement, data analytics, social policy analysis, evidence-based decision-making, and data visualization. His academic training and international experience influence his practice permanently interested in learning from other colleagues and team members, especially those who have diverse backgrounds and perspectives to understand social reality more comprehensively. His approach to evaluation practice is hands-on and through significant engagement of stakeholders to promote the actual use of findings and strengthening the trust in evidence among policymakers.

Mr. Echeverria holds a master’s degree in public policy and evaluation from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. He enjoyes running, cinematography, science fiction, and visual arts.


Elc Estrera

Elc_EstreraElc Estrera is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Public Policy at UNC Chapel Hill; Data Fellow with the Strategic Data Project at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University; and the Director of Data, Strategy, and Analytics at the Wake County Public School System. He strives to apply techniques for causal inference to problems around the human capital (talent) pipeline and more generally to research questions originating in the education production function and focused on students in grades K-12. He is interested in teacher mobility as well as student well-being (broadly construed). He works with administrative datasets and with data from nationally representative surveys, including the SASS/NTPS, the PSID, and the various NLSY. In prior years, Elc was a researcher at NORC at the University of Chicago, in the Academic Research Centers. He also taught through Teach For America at a traditional public school in the Upper Ninth Ward of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. He earned an MPP from The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, an MA from Virginia Tech, and a BA from Goucher College.


Matt Fowle

UW_Headshot_-_Matthew_FowleMatt Fowle is a PhD student in Public Policy and Management at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington. His research interests focus on the roles of race, place, and poverty in shaping housing security among low-income households. His dissertation examines the causes and consequences of racial disparities in homelessness, specifically the role of US institutions and public policies in concentrating the social conditions that make communities of color disproportionately vulnerable to homelessness.

Matt is a co-founder of, a community research project to collect nationwide data on mortality among people experiencing homelessness. Prior to his doctoral studies, Matt worked for a philanthropic organization investing in youth-serving institutions and as an assistant policy officer for a local government in the United Kingdom. Matt holds a Master of Science in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s in Politics and Law from the University of Chester.


Arsene Frederic Jr.

Arsene_Frederic_Jr.2Arsene Frederic Jr. graduated from the American University School of Public Affairs with a Master of Public Administration. He served as the 2020-2021 Editor of the peer-reviewed Public Purpose Academic Journal. Inspired by the public service of Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, Arsene worked with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, preparing technical reports for the Single-Family Housing program policies and procedures. When he is not busy writing about Afro-Futurism, he enjoys taking Hip-Hop dance classes and delivering political seminars about organized interests.


William Jackson

William_T._Jackson_FIU_Spring_2019William holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Florida State University and a Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of Phi Alpha Alpha Honor Society of the National Association of Schools for Public Affairs and Administration. William currently is a Public Affairs Ph.D. student at Florida International University and serves as a Graduate Research Assistant within the Public Policy and Administration Department. He is committed to serving individuals, families, and communities that have limited access and opportunity due to political, economic, and social factors.

Mr. Jackson served 2 years with the FIU Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center as a Graduate Research Assistant and 12 years with the Urban League of Broward County. In his last role at the Urban League, William led and managed the Community Justice Division. In addition, William has served on the Broward Diversion Coalition as Co-Chair; Southeast Florida Crime Prevention Association; Florida Crime Prevention Association; Florida Department of Juvenile Justice - Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) Committee; Florida Restorative Justice Association as Board Vice-President; and Founder of The Justice Project of South Florida. He is also a member of the NACRJ.


Sara Jean-Francois

Sara_Jean-FrancoisSara Jean-Francois is from the Boston Area. She is a recent graduate of Providence College in Rhode Island. Sara gained a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Management and a Bachelors of Art in Psychology. After graduating in 2019, Sara went on to purse her Masters in Public Policy at the Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy. Her research at heller, focuses on issues of college access and inclusion within the Higher Education space. Ultimately Sara hopes to leverage her experiences working with students and administrators within Higher education to develop more inclusive and equitable practices within the education field.


Marilyn Markel

Marilyn_MarkelMarilyn Markel is a Doctoral Candidate in Applied Economics at Western Michigan University. Her research interests focus on the intersection of Labor Economics and LGBTQ studies. Specifically, she examines the differences in poverty, earnings, and suicide rates between sexual and gender minorities and their heterosexual counterparts. Marilyn is currently working on a labor outcomes survey that allows participants to identify their sexual orientation and gender identity in an open response format. She recognizes that when sexual and gender identities are present on a survey, very few categorical options exist. This lack of representation does not capture the rich and diverse nature of these identities. Marilyn has recently been recognized as an Outstanding Research Fellow Awardee at the American Economic Associate Summer Program (AEASP), hosted at Michigan State University. She has also recently been recognized at Western Michigan University as a: Dissertation Completion Fellowship Awardee, Department-Level Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Awardee, and Department-Level Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awardee. Marilyn is a first-generation college student and a member of the LGBTQ community. Outside of formal study, she is passionate about cultural humility and sexology.


Brigid Olson

Brigid_OlsonBorn on Guam,Brigid moved to Washington state after graduating high school to pursue her dreams of attending college. While life may have side tracked the path she saw herself on,she never gave up and in 2007 she received her BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She worked with incarcerated youth and realized that what she wanted was to reach and work with youth before they got to the point of being incarcerated. After another life transition she began working with homeless youth and then at risk/under served youth. During this time she was strongly encouraged to pursue her masters degree and decided to pursue her MPA. With her Masters degree is is hoping to keep working with the under served youth and to help be part the change that she wants to see in the world for the future.


Stephanie Puello

Stephanie_PuelloStephanie Puello is a third-year PhD student at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs. Her research agenda generally explores the government and public sector’s role in ensuring equity via social and education policies. She is also interested in public engagement in civic affairs and the role of public opinion in American democracy. More specifically, her research interests include election administration, voting and election laws, bureaucratic discretion, and representative bureaucracy. In addition to being a 2020 APPAM Equity and Inclusion Fellow, Stephanie is a 2019 Pforzheimer National Civic League Fellow and 2019 Public Administration Theory Network Fellow. She is currently researching disenfranchisement policies and civic engagement among returning citizens in Florida. Ultimately, her objective is to continue developing her research and scholarship as a faculty member after earning her PhD. Stephanie also serves as a mayoral-appointed Commissioner with the City & County of Denver’s Women’s Commission. She earned a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration where she further developed an interest in public policy. A proud Miamian and Golden Panther alumna, she earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Florida International University.

J'lin Rose

Jlin-Rose-ProfileBorn in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, J’lin Rose knew from a young age of his passion for helping people, which stemmed from his grandma’s love towards bringing people together and helping them succeed. When J’lin moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida, he immediately began to get involved in the community and engage with his peers. These experiences allowed for numerous avenues he never could have imagined, and he was able to connect with different groups on campus. From Orientation Team and helping thousands of students navigate college life, to handling three different study locations while training and managing hundreds of student employees, to volunteering for numerous nonprofits and community organizations, J’lin was able to learn about himself through his involvement. With these experiences and lessons in mind, he eagerly started his Master’s in Public Administration and added a certificate in Social Justice, knowing that he wants to work with underrepresented communities in the future. In his free time, you will find J’lin producing music, being involved in the arts, playing basketball, all while spending time with his loved ones.


Tafadzwa Tivaringe

Tafadzwa_TivaringeTafadzwa Tivaringe is a doctoral candidate whose work explores how education-based policies and programs can be used as effective levers for addressing inequality. His three-article dissertation, "The Possibilities and Limits of using Education as a Lever for Structural Transformation", employs a range of methodological frameworks including econometrics to examine the use of education in advancing human development in South Africa and the Unites States.

In addition to his substantive interests, Tafadzwa has a burgeoning interest in research methodology, in particular: discrete choice models, temporal models, hierarchical linear models, social network analysis and causal inference. An interdisciplinary scholar, Tafadzwa’s work has been published in numerous journals, including the Agenda: Journal for Social and Economic Policy, and Education Policy Analysis Archives.

Tafadzwa has received numerous honors including an American Education Research Association SIG best student paper in 2020. Prior to joining CU Boulder, he had his undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Cape Town in South Africa where he was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and a recipient of competitive research awards from the National Research Foundation as well as the Social Sciences Research Council.