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Meet the Recipients of the 40 for 40 Fellowship

September 17, 2018 09:40 AM

40_banerIn recent years, APPAM has consistently developed more resources and opportunities for our student and early career professional members. To build on that momentum as we celebrate our 40th Annual Fall Research Conference, APPAM introduces the 40 for 40 Fellowship.

This 2018-exclusive program provides funding for 40 outstanding early career research professionals to attend the Fall Research Conference – the premier research conference attracting the highest-quality work on a wide variety of current and emerging policy and management issues. The essential work from early-career professionals will shape the future of public policy research. Our goal is to provide opportunities for these scholars to grow their professional networks and share their research with the broader policy audience.

We are pleased to announce the winners of 40 for 40 Fellowship!

Congratulations to each of the Fellows:

Abigail Aiken, University of Texas at Austin
Abigail_R.A._AikenAbigail R.A. Aiken is an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a decade of experience researching reproductive health policy. Her current research focuses on the impacts of laws and policies restricting access to abortion in the U.S. and Europe, including how and why people self-manage their own abortions outside the formal healthcare setting. Dr. Aiken frequently testifies on reproductive health issues at the Texas State Legislature, and provided expert testimony to the Irish Parliament on the upcoming abortion referendum. She has consulted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and for the United Nations on issues of contraception and abortion access. Dr. Aiken’s research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the BMJ, and has been reported by the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She completed her MD at the University of Cambridge, her MPH at Harvard University, her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, and her post-doctoral work at Princeton University.

Sumaia Al-Kohlani, United Arab Emirates University
Sumaia_A._Al-kohlaniDr. Sumaia A. Al-kohlani is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the United Arab Emirates University and a fellow researcher at the Center for Public Policy and Leadership (CPPL). She used to work as an Assistant professor in the Department of the International Relation at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She also worked as the Acting Chairperson and the Coordinator of the International Relations Program at the University of Sharjah. She has a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from Claremont Graduate University in Public Policy and World Politics. She holds a Bachelor degree of Social Science in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and minor in Economics from California State University Stanislaus. She has worked on several projects in international terrorism, comparative religion, international comparative education, gender inequality, and environmental justice. Her latest publication is a book titled “Improving Educational Gender Equality in Religious Societies: Human Rights and Modernization Pre-Arab Spring” by Palgrave Macmillan.

Aziza Arifkhanova, CDC/Denver Public Health
Aziza_ArifkhanovaDr. Arifkhanova is a CDC Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Fellow assigned to the Denver Public Health (DPH) Department. Her research at DPH involves assessing the economic burden of the opioid epidemic. Dr. Arifkhanova earned her PhD in Public Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School as well as a BS and MS in Economics from Florida State University. Prior to DPH, Dr. Arifkhanova worked as an assistant policy analyst at the RAND Corporation for five years. She also taught Health Economics and Comparative Effectiveness and Cost Benefit Analysis in Health Policy at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Dr. Arifkhanova has experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative analyses from her research work in Central Asia, Europe, and the United States. Dr. Arifkhanova’s research interests are in Public Health and Labor Economics.

Philip Armour, RAND Corporation
Philip_ArmourDr. Philip Armour is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His primary research interests are in disability, retirement, income inequality, public program and tax design, and the intersections of behavioral economics with public policy. He has extensive experience studying what influences American workers’ unemployment and exit from the labor force, and the design of public programs that support these workers when not employed. As an empirical labor economist, he relies on variation in labor market trends and public policy to uncover the role of policy in individuals’ understanding of government benefits, their adaptation to changing health, their financial decision-making, and their labor market decisions. Dr. Armour’s work has employed techniques ranging from laboratory and field experiments to reduced form policy analysis to structural econometric methods, drawing on both survey and administrative data. His research has been published in academic journals, policy briefs, and RAND reports, and has been funded by various government agencies, including the Social Security Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and the Department of Labor.

Omar Asensio, Georgia Institute of Technology
Omar_I._AsensioDr. Omar I. Asensio is an Assistant Professor and Class of 1969 teaching fellow in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. His research focuses at the intersection of data science and public policy, with applications to energy systems and behavior, smart cities, vehicle electrification, and machine learning in transportation infrastructure. Dr. Asensio conducts randomized field experiments and uses evidence from big data to evaluate the causal effects of policies and interventions at regional and global scales. He is a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Data Engineering & Science (IDEaS), the Machine Learning Center, the Strategic Energy Institute and the Climate & Energy Policy Laboratory. He is a faculty advisor in the Civic Data Science REU program and the Georgia Smart Cities initiative. For more information, visit

Sebawit Bishu, University of Colorado Denver
Sebawit_G._BishuSebawit G. Bishu is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs (SPA). Her research interest center around, gender equity, urban governance, organizational behavior, and public management. Sebawit applies her research within the context of health service organizations and local governments within the U.S. and East Africa.

Brooks Bowden, North Carolina State University
A._Brooks_BowdenA. Brooks Bowden is an Assistant Professor of Methods and Policy in the Education Leadership, Policy, and Human Development Department at North Carolina State University and Director of Training at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Professor Bowden specializes in program evaluation and economic analysis, focusing on applications and methodology of the ingredients method of cost analysis. She is a co-author on the recently released 3rd edition of the primary text book on cost-effectiveness analysis, Economic Evaluation in Education: Cost-Effectiveness and Benefit-Cost Analysis, 3rd Edition. Her applied work focuses on addressing poverty through schooling so that all students can experience the full value of education.

Sayil Camacho, Vanderbilt University
Sayil_CamachoSayil Camacho received her PhD from the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and is the Scholars Strategy Network Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University. She is currently working with Dr. Roberto Gonzalez on the National UnDACAmented Research Project and her research projects are at the intersections of immigration, labor, campus climate, and migrant identity formation. During her time as a graduate student, Camacho conceptualized and implemented research praxis projects to support campaigns and processes for policy reform. She is committed to strengthening universities through research, practice, partnership, and inclusion.

Wendy Chan, University of Pennsylvania
Wendy_ChanWendy Chan is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division at the Graduate School of Education in the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in statistics from Northwestern University, where she was a graduate research assistant for the Institute for Policy Research. Her research focuses on the intellectual and statistical challenges of generalizing the results of localized randomized trials to larger populations. Specifically, her research explores applications of partial identification and small area estimation methods to estimation of population average treatment effects in the absence of equal probability sampling. With partial identification, her work examines the role of alternative assumptions to strong ignorability of sample selection in making inferences on population parameters. With small area estimation, Dr. Chan’s work considers use of small area models in improving the precision of estimators when there is limited sample size. Aside from her work on generalization, Dr. Chan’s research has ventured into power analyses and analyzed the extent to which analogies in design parameters can be made. Prior to Northwestern and Penn, she began her career in education as a member of Teach for America.

Kristen Cooksey-Stowers, University of Connecticut
Kristen_Cooksey_StowersDr. Kristen Cooksey Stowers is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Her research focuses on health policy and equity, with an emphasis on understanding how zoning policies impact inequities in diet-related health outcomes through "food swamp" environments. These projects were funded by the National Institutes of Health. She also conducts research on how nonprofit organizations in the emergency food system address diversity and inclusion at the management level, as well as manage targeted programming for historically marginalized groups.

Dr. Cooksey Stowers’ practitioner experience includes service with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and an appointment as a junior economist with the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C. Dr. Cooksey Stowers also currently serves as a board member of the Connecticut Food Bank and engages local organizations in community-engaged research projects.

Sarah Cordes, Temple University
Sarah_A._CordesSarah A. Cordes is currently an Assistant Professor at Temple University’s College of Education. Her research focuses on the ways in which the urban context, including school choice, transportation, housing, and neighborhoods affect student outcomes. Her current projects explore the effects of pupil transportation on student outcomes and school choice; the effects of diverse by design charter schools on students’ educational performance and attainment; the effects of charter schools on neighborhood and school segregation; and the effects of housing vouchers on children’s educational outcomes. Her research has been funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Walton Family Foundation. Cordes was also recently named an Emerging Education Policy Scholar by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and American Enterprise Institute.

Prior to joining Temple, she was a fellow in the Institute of Education Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis. Cordes received her PhD in Public Policy from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Prentiss Dantzler, Colorado College
Prentiss_DantzlerPrentiss A. Dantzler is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Mellon Faculty Fellow at Colorado College. He also is the Co-Chair of the Urban Studies Minor. He currently sits on the editorial board of City and Community. His research examines how and why neighborhoods change and how communities and policymakers create and react to those changes. His current research projects focus on residential mobility as a response to housing affordability, neighborhood satisfaction and decisions made by community associations. Prentiss' research has appeared in a number of academic venues including Housing Studies, Urban Affairs Review and Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change as well as popular media outlets such as The Huffington Post. He received his Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a concentration on Community Development from Rutgers University – Camden. He also holds an MPA from West Chester University with a focus on Urban and Regional Planning and Geographic Information Technology as well as a B.S. in Energy, Business and Finance from Penn State University.

Jacob Faber, New York University
Jacob_FaberJacob William Faber is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Service in New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and is an Associated Faculty member of NYU's Sociology Department. His research and teaching focuses on spatial inequality. He leverages observational and experimental methods to study the mechanisms responsible for sorting individuals across space and how the distributions of people by race and class interact with political, social, and ecological systems to create and sustain economic disparities. While there is a rich literature exploring the geography of opportunity, there remain many unsettled questions about the causes of segregation and its effects on the residents of urban ghettos, wealthy suburbs, and the diverse set of places in between.

Dr. Faber earned his PhD in Sociology from New York University and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. He also graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Master’s degrees in Telecommunications Policy and Urban Studies and Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science. Between stints at graduate school, Dr. Faber worked as a Senior Researcher for the Center for Social Inclusion, a racial justice policy advocacy organ.

Daniel Fay, Florida State University
Daniel_FayDr. Daniel Fay is an Assistant Professor in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at The Florida State University. His research interests include organizational theory, diversity issues in public management, veterans’ policy, policy diffusion and higher education policy and management. His work appears in Research in Higher Education, Social Science Quarterly, and The Journal of Technology Transfer, American Review of Public Administration, Policy Studies Journal International Journal of Organizational Theory & Behavior, and Public Administration Review.

Michael Gaddis, UCLA
S. Michael Gaddis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCLA whose research focuses on racial discrimination, educational inequality, and mental health. He often uses experiments to examine levels of discrimination in employment and housing as well as the conditions under which racial discrimination occurs. In other research, he investigates differences in mental health conditions, stigma, and use of formal and informal mental health treatment on college campuses. Overall, his research provides evidence of inequality in the U.S. related to race, social class, and education.

He recently published a book on the experimental method used to investigate discrimination titled Audit Studies: Behind the Scenes with Theory, Method, and Nuance. His research has been published in top journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Social Forces, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociological Science and has been funded by the National Academy of Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. His work has been covered by The Boston Globe, The Economist, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, PBS NewsHour, and Times Higher Education.

Y. Nina Gao, University of Chicago
Yihe_GaoYihe Gao a graduate of the Harris School of Public Policy, currently a student at the Pritzker School of Medicine, planning to specialize in psychiatry. Her research lies at the intersection of public economics, program evaluation, and mental health. Using tools borrowed from the domains of psychometrics and machine learning, along with traditional economic causal inference, she works on improving measures in mental health, guiding public policy around psychiatric illness, and facilitating discourse between patients, providers and researchers. Her work has been supported by the CTSI TL1 predoctoral training grant and NRSA T32 Predoctoral Training Grant.

Philip Garboden, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Philip_ME_GarbodenPhilip ME Garboden is the HCRC Professor in Affordable Housing Economics, Policy, and Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He received a PhD in Sociology (2018), a Master’s in Public Policy (2011), and a MSE in Applied Math and Statistics (2018), all from Johns Hopkins University.

His work focuses on how supply side actors, such as landlords and developers, respond to local, state, and Federal housing policies. Most recently, Garboden and his collaborators completed a study of landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program in Baltimore, Dallas, and Cleveland (a replication in Washington, DC is ongoing). His team has also explored dynamics of neighborhood revitalization in Baltimore, MD, conducting longitudinal systemic social observations and interviewing over 400 tenants, homeowners, landlords, and developers. His nascent work in Honolulu is designed to help craft solutions to the state’s extreme shortage of affordable housing. He has received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Georgetown Massive Data Institute, and the Hawai`i Community Reinvestment Corporation, among others.

He and his wife, Dr. Caitlin Engelhard, have three children, Clifton (7), Helena (4), and Susannah Mary (4).

Andrea Headley, University of California, Berkeley
Andrea_M._HeadleyAndrea M. Headley is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. Andrea's research interests center around police-community relations, public management, organizational behavior, and racial equity. Her research, mainly focused within the context of policing, seeks to understand how organizational, managerial, and individual level factors affect public service delivery and outcomes. Specific examples of her work include assessing police-community relations, analyzing outcomes of citizen complaints, evaluating the effects of race in police-citizen dyads during use of force encounters, as well as conducting program evaluations for police departments (e.g., body-worn cameras). Her prior research has been funded by the U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Andrea received a Ph.D. from the Department of Public Policy and Administration and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. She holds a B.S.Ed. in Community and Program Development with a double major in Criminology and a minor in Communication Studies.

Alex Hollingsworth, Indiana University
Alex_HollingsworthAlex is an assistant professor and health economist at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Arizona in 2015. His research focuses on how public policies and regulations impact health. Alex has conducted research that attempts to understand the reasons behind substance abuse and the relationships between the use of different psychoactive substances. He has examined the role macroeconomic conditions play in opioid abuse and how recreational marijuana legalization has impacted marijuana and alcohol consumption. He has also studied a variety of environmental policies related to air pollution ranging from renewable portfolio standard to excess emissions. His most recent work examines industry specific exemptions to the Clean Air Act. These exceptions allow for some industries, including off-road racing, to continue to use leaded gasoline despite the adverse health effects. This work highlights the potentially large health consequences of allowing even small exemptions to regulations of this nature.

Lauren Jones, The Ohio State University
Lauren_JonesLauren Jones is an Assistant Professor of Consumer Sciences in the department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University. Before arriving at OSU, Dr. Jones completed a post-doc at the University of Toronto, and earned her PhD from the department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Dr. Jones conducts quantitative, policy-based research on child and family wellbeing, especially in the areas of consumer protection, social policy and health. Broadly, her interests lie in understanding factors that affect the ability of children and families to flourish, and how government policy can help families get ahead. Her recent work has focused on identifying the effects of the EITC on household finances, the effects of protective legislation on car crashes and deaths, and the causes and consequences of prescription drug use. Dr. Jones is published in top journals such as the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and her work has been covered in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and the New York Times. In 2017, Dr. Jones won the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for best paper published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Brian Kisida, University of Missouri
Brian_KisidaBrian Kisida is an Assistant Professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri who focuses on education policy, experimental design, and causal inference. The dominant theme of his research focuses on identifying effective educational options and experiences for at-risk students that can close achievement gaps, experience gaps, and attainment gaps. His research has examined the broad educational benefits of school partnerships with cultural institutions and community organizations, teacher diversity, school integration, and urban school choice. His academic publications include articles in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Sociology of Education, Educational Researcher, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Economics of Education Review, and Policy Studies Journal. He has also co-authored three congressionally mandated experimental evaluation reports for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. His work has been cited in congressional testimony before the U.S. House and Senate, and it has appeared in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN.

Melissa Kull, University of Chicago
Melissa_KullDr. Melissa Kull’s research explores associations between characteristics of children’s home, school, community, and policy contexts and children’s well-being, with a focus on the opportunities for public systems to mitigate the effects of family socioeconomic disadvantage. As a Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Dr. Kull leads and supports initiatives to apply research evidence to improve service delivery to children, youth, and families. Within Chapin Hall’s youth and family homelessness portfolio, Dr. Kull focuses on using evidence to identify insights that improve the ability of systems to meet the needs of children, youth, and families; to drive informed decision-making; and to refine assessment tools. Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Dr. Kull was a Research Scientist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene working on cross-cutting research and program evaluation involving community- and school-based mental health services for children, youth, and families. Dr. Kull holds a PhD in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, a M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. from New York University.

Agustin Leon-Moreta, University of New Mexico
Agustin_LeonMoretaAgustin Leon-Moreta is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. A former Fulbright Fellow, he received his PhD in Public Administration and Policy from the Askew School at Florida State University. His research has been published in a range of scholarly journals, including Urban Studies, State and Local Government Review, the American Review of Public Administration, Public Administration Quarterly, and Public Administration Review, and he has refereed articles for the Journal of Urban Affairs, Urban Affairs Review, Urban Studies, the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and Urban Geography. A nationally awarded scholar, his work has been sponsored by local and national grants, including awards from the Department of State, Department of Education, and the American Political Science Association. His published research covers the interaction of social context, institutional capacity, and the delivery of municipal services. His recent research includes policing and conservation programs in U.S. municipalities.

Jiaqi Liang, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jiaqi_LiangJiaqi Liang is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received a Ph.D. in Public Administration, with a second major in Comparative Politics, from the School of Public Affairs at American University in 2014. Liang’s research interests encompass public policy process, public management, bureaucratic politics, social equity, diversity in the public sector, and environmental and energy policy, in both the U.S. and China contexts. One section of her research agenda explores the effects of policy design and public management strategies on government agencies’ environmental policy implementation practices for minority and low-income communities in the U.S., as well as the implications of the adoption of equity-oriented policies for government’s program management under environmental federalism. Another section of her research examines questions related to bureaucratic motivation, performance incentives, and opportunistic behavior in China’s results-based management strategies in environmental policy.

Daniel Mallinson, Penn State Harrisburg
Daniel_MallinsonDaniel Mallinson, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Penn State Harrisburg. He completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University in 2015. Prior to his academic career, Dan also served as a Program Analyst at the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an Information Specialist at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Dan’s primary research focus is on the spread of innovative policies among the American states. He studies both the broad dynamics of policy diffusion and the circumstances surrounding the spread of specific policies. He also has ongoing research with collaborators on marijuana liberalization and state responses to the opioid epidemic, which engage with the Multiple Streams and Advocacy Coalition Frameworks. Finally, Dan also conducts research on methods for teaching the next generation of public servants.

Claire O'Hanlon, RAND Corporation
Claire_E._OHanlonClaire E. O’Hanlon is an AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellow at the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs and an adjunct policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. O’Hanlon is a health services, economics, and policy researcher experienced in applied quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Her research interests include health care markets, aging and the end of life, and emerging health technologies. She has authored 12 peer-reviewed articles, including serving as lead author of publications in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Systematic Reviews, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Clinical Therapeutics, and Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice. Her work has been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, congressional testimony, and numerous health care trade publications and military news sources. O’Hanlon holds a doctorate in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School, a certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

Victoria Perez, Indiana University - Bloomington
Victoria_PerezVictoria Perez is an assistant professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington. She earned her Ph.D. in managerial science and applied economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation focused on the effects of private managed care on Medicaid. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Pennsylvania. Perez’s research interests include private and governmental financing of healthcare, insurance economics, and fraud enforcement regulation. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Health Economics, Health Services Research, Health Economics and the International Journal of Services, Economics and Management. She has also worked as a research assistant and programmer in the health policy division at Mathematica Policy Research.


Ashley Price, Duke University
Ashley_PriceAshley Price, Ph.D., MPH is a Research Program Leader at the Department of Community & Family Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Price focuses on policy-relevant applied social science and clinical research. She specializes in research covering the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programs, food and nutrition policy and programs, and health care delivery innovations. Additionally, her research pays particular attention to the intersection between poverty and patients’ health care and health outcomes, the integration and role of technology in health care delivery, and the differing effects of public policies, programs, and health interventions on vulnerable populations. Her previous research has included examining the implementation of evidence-based programs and its varying impact among differing populations, health outcomes for seniors in poverty, the use of nutrition and food programs by seniors, social policy and program implementation, food security, and the use of emergency food assistance. Dr. Price received her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Missouri in 2017.

Vincent Reina, University of Pennsylvania
vincent_reina_2Vincent Reina is an Assistant Professor of Urban Economics and Housing Policy in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on urban development, low-income housing policy, household mobility, and neighborhood change. Reina's work has been published in various journals, such as the Journal of Housing Economics, Urban Studies, and Housing Policy Debate, and he was the recipient of the 2016 dissertation award from the Association of Public Policy and Management. Reina is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and was a 2018 Lincoln Institute for Land Policy Scholar. He was previously a Fellow at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University (NYU), a Research Associate at the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California (USC), a Coro Fellow, and worked at LISC and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He holds a PhD in Public Policy and Management from USC, an MBA with a concentration in Economics and Real Estate Finance from NYU, an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and a BS with honors in Urban Studies from Cornell University.

Stephen Roll, Washington University in St. Louis
Stephen_RollStephen Roll is an assistant professor of research at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his PhD in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University and his B.A. in Economics and English Literature from Indiana University. Dr. Roll’s research centers on issues relating to consumer financial programs and policies, specifically the ways in which nonprofit and public programs can impact financial behaviors, credit outcomes, asset-building, and other financial indicators for lower-income or financially distressed households. His recent research includes a series of briefs conducted in partnership with the Aspen Institute on the impact of income volatility in low- and moderate-income households, the impact of health insurance expansion on income volatility and employment stability, and evaluations of the Refund to Savings Initiative—the largest savings experiment conducted thus far in the United States. His other research has centers on consumer credit counseling and has provided one of the only rigorous evaluations of credit counseling programs to-date.

Eva Rosen, Georgetown University
Eva_RosenEva Rosen is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. She received her Ph. D from Harvard University. Rosen studies social inequality and poverty in the urban context. Her current work focuses on low-income housing and landlords in four cities. Rosen's book, forthcoming with Princeton University Press, examines housing voucher holders in Baltimore. She has published papers in academic journals including the American Sociological Review, City & Community, and The Journal of Urban Affairs. She is a member of the Scholar Strategy Network.

William Schneider, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign/Northwestern University
Will_SchneiderWill Schneider earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, his Master’s and PhD in Social Work from Columbia University, and his post-doctoral training at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Will's research examines the influence of macroeconomic factors, family complexity and fatherhood, and interventions in the promotion of child well-being and the prevention of child maltreatment. ​

Sarah Tahamont, University of Maryland
Sarah_TahamontSarah Tahamont is an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. She earned her PhD at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned a Master’s in Public Policy. While in the Bay Area, she served on the faculty of the Prison University Project teaching in San Quentin State Prison. Prior to joining the faculty at UMD, Dr. Tahamont was a post-doctoral fellow at the School of Criminal Justice and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY and an Embedded Scholar at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Broadly, her research interests include corrections, causal inference, longitudinal patterns of criminal justice contact, and methodological advances in Criminology and Criminal Justice. One of the major concentrations in her research portfolio is to examine the ways that prison policy shapes individual outcomes both during incarceration and post-release. She is co-principal investigator on a grant to fund the first experimental evaluation of higher education in prison. Her work has been published in Criminology and Public Policy, The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and The Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Tian Tang, Florida State University
Tian_TangDr. Tian Tang is an assistant professor at the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy of the Florida State University. Her research studies how energy and technology policies promote the innovation of sustainable technologies and other smart city technologies. Her work evaluates the effectiveness of such policies and highlights the importance of intergovernmental and cross-sectoral collaboration in the implementation of these policies. Her research has been published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Environmental Research Letters, Energy Policy, and Government Information Quarterly, among other outlets. She received her Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 2016. She was selected as a Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow to conduct her research on renewable energy technology innovation at Harvard University's Sustainability Science Program in 2014-2015.

Emilia Tjernström, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Emilia_TjernstromEmilia Tjernström is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs and Agricultural & Applied Economics. Her main research focus is development economics, including work on technology adoption and agricultural productivity; how individuals form and update beliefs about potential outcomes under uncertainty; the relationship between incentives, bias, and quality in the media; and political budget cycles. Methodologically, her research employs econometrics, field experiments, and lab-in-the-field experiments to study these issues---all with an eye towards better understanding heterogeneous impacts and optimal design of public policy. She has ongoing research projects in Kenya, Nicaragua, Fiji, and Ghana.

Tjernström earned her B.A. in economics from Colby College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. She received the 2015 Gordon A. King Award for Best Dissertation from all University of California-Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics PhD. dissertations filed in 2015.

Rebecca Unterman, MDRC
Rebecca_UntermanRebecca Unterman is a Senior Research Associate in the K-12 Education Policy Area at MDRC. Currently, she serves as a lead investigator on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded study of Small Schools of Choice (SSC) in New York City; an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded study of the effect of Boston Public Schools’ prekindergarten program on students’ academic achievement in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade; an IES-funded study of Career and Technology Education programs in New York City; and an evaluation of Success Academy Charter Schools. As a member of the SSC project team, she has coauthored a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and three widely disseminated MDRC publications (one of which was awarded the “Best Policy Brief/Paper in 2013” distinction by the Society for Research on Adolescence). Unterman holds a doctorate in quantitative policy analysis in education and a master’s in education policy and management from Harvard University. She holds a BA from Northwestern University. Before graduate school, she worked as a social studies teacher in a Chicago public school.

Bukola Usidame, University of Massachusetts Boston
Bukola_UsidameDr. Bukola Usidame holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree (Public Policy) from the University of Massachusetts Boston; MPA from Clark University and a BSc (Physiology) from the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She joined the Virginia Commonwealth University’s iCubed program (Health and Wellness in Aging Population) as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2018. Her postdoctoral fellowship involves transdisciplinary research with a focus on tobacco-policy related work in older adults. Her interest in public health policies, specifically tobacco control, started as an intern with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010. She was involved in collaborative research on socioeconomic disparities in tobacco use, organizing and attending one-on-one meetings with policymakers to discuss changes in tobacco-related policies. Following her role in WHO, Dr. Usidame has been actively involved in global tobacco research and has co-authored thirteen peer-reviewed articles focused on socioeconomic disparities in tobacco use, tobacco advertising, smoking initiation, smoking cessation and evaluation of smoke-free policies primarily in parts of Africa and Europe. APPAM provides her with the opportunity to network with the highest-quality public policy researchers from around the world.

Katie Vinopal, The Ohio State University
Katie_VinopalKatie Vinopal is an Assistant Professor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on vulnerable children and families. She is particularly interested in issues of representation, social and economic inequality, and poverty. Dr. Vinopal received her Ph.D. in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.S. in mathematics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to her academic career, Vinopal worked as a research assistant in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. There she conducted research on issues, policies, and systems impacting vulnerable families. Vinopal also worked on national and local hunger and food security issues in the nonprofit sector for the Food Research and Action Center in Washington, DC.

James Dean Ward, University of Chicago
James_Dean_WardJames Dean Ward is a postdoc research fellow in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. His research examines the impact of funding, financial aid, and regulatory policies on postsecondary opportunities for historically underserved students. His work spans the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and encompasses federal, state, and institutional policies. Ward earned a PhD in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California and a BA in Economics and History from Cornell University. Prior to graduate school, Ward spent five years in Washington, DC and Boston working with institutional leaders and policymakers on issues related to higher education.

Di Xu, University of California, Irvine
Di_XuDi Xu is an assistant professor of educational policy and social context at the University of California, Irvine. She is also a research fellow with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Her research uses experimental and quasi-experimental designs to examine the impacts of postsecondary education programs and policies aimed at improving college students’ academic performance and engagement, with a particular focus on students from low-income and underrepresented groups. Some of her current projects seek to identify effective strategies to better support teaching and learning in online coursework, and to understand the economic returns to various post-secondary pathways and programs. Di has a Ph.D. in economics and education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


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