Doctoral Fellows for 2014-2015
The program selects 8-12 new Doctoral Fellows each year from the participating Harvard Ph.D. programs. Doctoral Fellows join the program in their second or third year and maintain their affiliation through the dissertation stage.
Oren Danieli, G-2
Ellora Derenoncourt, G-2
James Feigenbaum, G-5
Wei Huang, G-4
Simon Jäger, G-5
Alexandra Roulet, G-4
Ryan Sakoda, G-5
Heather Sarsons, G-3
Frank Schilbach, G-6
Benjamin Schoefer, G-6
Alejandro Ganimian, D-6
Kathleen Lynch, D-4
Ann Mantil, D-5
Abena Subira MacKall, D-3
Preeya Mbekeani, D-2
Beth Schueler, D-5
Chase Foster, G-3
Noam Gidron, G-5
John Marshall, G-5
Brendan McElroy, G-2
Daniel Moskowitz, G-2
Soledad Artiz Prillaman, G-4
Ariel White, G-5
& SOCIAL POLICY
Peter Bucchianeri, G-3
Michael Hankinson, G-5
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, G-5
Audrey Latura, G-2
Vanessa Williamson, G-6
Andrew Garin, G-3
Oren Ziv, G-6
Natalie Bau, G-5
Sarah Cohodes, G-4
Daniel Honig, G-6
Elizabeth Linos, G-4
Heidi Liu, G-3 (HLS-1)
Asad Asad, G-4
Aaron Benavidez, G-3
Kreg Steven Brown, G-6
Anny Fenton, G-5
Anthony Jack, G-7
Carly Knight, G-6
Theodore Leenman, G-4
Jeremy Levine, G-7
Christy Ley, G-5
Margot Moinester, G-3
Daniel Schrage, G-10
Jessica Simes, G-6
Benjamin Sosnaud, G-7
Jessica Tollette, G-5
Beth Truesdale, G-5
Nathan Wilmers, G-3
Holly Wood, G-7
Tom Wooten, G-3
& SOCIAL POLICY
Monica Bell, G-4
Brielle Bryan, G-3
Nicole Deterding, G-8
Kelley Fong, G-2
Hope Harvey, G-3
David Hureau, G-7
Jackelyn Hwang, G-6
Barbara Kiviat, G-3
Kristin Perkins, G-5
Jared Schachner, G-2
Tracey Shollenberger, G-7
Alix Winter, G-3
Daniel Wu, G-4 (HLS-1)
Queenie Zhu, G-6
:: African & Af-American Studies
:: Health Policy
:: Political Economy & Govt
:: Public Policy
:: Social Policy
P r o f i l e s
Asad L. Asad is a doctoral student in Sociology at Harvard University, where he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Graduate Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, and a Graduate Student Associate with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He also serves as a Resident Tutor in Fellowships at Mather House. A Beinecke Scholar, Asad graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with comprehensive honors from the University of Wisconsin in 2011 with degrees in Political Science and Spanish Language and Culture. Broadly defined, Asad’s research interests encompass the fields of crime, law, and deviance; culture; inequality; international migration; political sociology; public policy; and urban sociology. At the intersection of these fields, he explores how the interplay of policy, economic, and social contexts influences (a) internal and international migration flows; (b) urban inequality; and (c) international development. For more information, please visit his web site.
Public Policy, G-5
Natalie is a doctoral student in public policy. Originally from Pennsylvania, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors degree in economics and a secondary field in mathematical sciences from Harvard College in 2009. Before starting the doctoral program, she worked as a consultant in the Development Economics Research Group of the World Bank, researching private education and disaster relief in Pakistan and health care provision in India. She has conducted field research in India with the Centre for Microfinance. Natalie has received a Critical Language Scholarship in Hindi from the US State Department and a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Her current research interests include education economics and the intersection of development economics and industrial organization.
Monica C. Bell
Sociology & Social Policy, G-4
Monica was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Furman University, an M.Sc. in Equality Studies from University College Dublin in Ireland, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. Before coming to Harvard, Monica was an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where her primary focuses were D.C. public assistance policy and family law reform. Prior to working at Legal Aid, Monica served as a law clerk for a federal district judge. In a previous life, Monica worked on local, state, and presidential campaigns in South Carolina. Monica’s primary research interests are spaces where criminal justice and family law and policy intersect, particularly in the context of urban and rural disadvantage.
Kreg Steven Brown
Steven is a graduate student in the sociology program and a fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. Most of his work has focused on racial inequality in the workplace, specifically in regards to job finding and differences in pay and promotion. While the workplace is a predominant focus, Steven maintains interest in inequality- and social policy-related research generally. He has also conducted work on the foreclosure crisis, racial identity, and outreach among urban churches. In addition to research, he also has awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF GRFP) and the Ford Foundation (Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship).
Government & Social Policy, G-3
Peter Bucchianeri is a doctoral student in government and social policy. He grew up outside of San Francisco and attended UCLA, where he received his B.A. with highest departmental honors in Political Science in 2009. After graduation, Peter joined Teach for America and moved to Philadelphia, where he taught history, government and a little bit of everything else to high school students in an alternative education program. While in Philadelphia, Peter also completed his M.S. in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests revolve primarily around how political institutions and party competition affect urban environments, the lives of their residents and the social policies that affect them in countries throughout the world. Additionally, as a former teacher, Peter is also particularly interested in education policy and the economics of education.Peter Bucchianeri Government & Social Policy, G2 Peter Bucchianeri is a doctoral student in government and social policy. He grew up outside of San Francisco and attended UCLA, where he received his B.A. with highest departmental honors in Political Science in 2009. After graduation, Peter joined Teach for America and moved to Philadelphia, where he taught history, government and a little bit of everything else to high school students in an alternative education program. While in Philadelphia, Peter also completed his M.S. in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests revolve primarily around how political institutions and party competition affect urban environments, the lives of their residents and the social policies that affect them in countries throughout the world. Additionally, as a former teacher, Peter is also particularly interested in education policy and the economics of education.
Public Policy, G-4
Sarah Cohodes is a doctoral student in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where her work focuses on the economics of education. Her research interests include school choice, teacher effectiveness, and accountability policies. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as a research manager at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and as a research assistant at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Sarah holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College, where she also minored in educational policy and English literature, and an Ed.M. in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-8
Nicole Deterding is a 7th year graduate student in Joint Doctoral Program in Social Policy and Sociology. Her current research interests lie in stratification processes, educational transitions, and policies that aim to mediate educational inequality. Nicole's research at Harvard has focused on the educational experiences of students who are not immediately bound for four-year college. Her dissertation uses six years of survey and interview data from The RISK Project to examine how a group of economically disadvantaged young mothers navigate the increasingly complex landscape of post-secondary programs in pursuit of economic stability and social mobility. Prior to coming to Harvard, Nicole was a Research Associate at The Urban Institute, where she worked on several multi-site, mixed methods program evaluations of education interventions, in both K-12 and higher education settings. She holds a M.A. in Education Policy from The George Washington University and a B.A. in Sociology from Wellesley College.
James Feigenbaum is a PhD student in the Department of Economics at Harvard University whose primary research interests lie at the intersection of labor, development, and economic history. His current research considers both the short and long term effects of slavery in the American South, particularly antebellum slave literacy restrictions and slave insurrections. Previous work explored the relationship between campaign contributions, expenditures, and electoral viability in US presidential primaries. James received his BA with High Honors in economics and mathematics from Wesleyan University in 2008.
Anny Fenton hails from Maine and is a PhD student in Sociology. Her research focuses on economic sociology, education, inequality, race and ethnicity. She is currently focused on two research areas: (1) examining the effect changing community demographics has on nationalist parties in the UK and (2) how people's economic activity and relationships are influenced when they engage in new consumption practices like car sharing and time banks that blur the line between private and public goods and services. Prior to entering the PhD program, Anny worked as a management consultant for PA Consulting Group. She holds an AB in Sociology (magna cum laude) from Cornell University.
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Government at Harvard University. My research interests include the comparative political economy of public policy and inequality in the OECD. I also have a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where I wrote a Policy Analysis Exercise on American and European climate policy on aviation emissions. Before attending Harvard, I spent four years working as an advocate for campaign finance and voter registration reform and studied public policy at UNC-Chapel Hill. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, traveling, and observing elections in places like Belarus, Moldova, and Goldsboro, NC.
Education (Ed.D.), 6th year
Alejandro J. Ganimian is a doctoral student in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is a Presidential Scholar, and a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas. He is the co-founder of Enseñá por Argentina (EpA), an effort to recruit the country’s best and brightest college graduates to teach in schools serving the poor for at least two years, and of Educar y Crecer (EyC), an initiative that offers remedial education in math and reading to children in slums in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He holds a master's degree in educational research from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Scholar, and an undergraduate degree in international politics from Georgetown University.
Noam Gidron is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics and received a BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 2009. His research interests lie in the intersection of party politics, political sociology and the comparative political economy of the advanced democracies. He is especially interested in the relationship between party politics and the welfare state, and how it evolved over time.
Government & Social Policy, G-5
Michael attended the University of Virginia, where he received a B.A. in Government and Environmental Thought & Practice in 2010. An Echols Scholar, Michael graduated as a Distinguished Major, receiving high honors for his thesis examining the relationship between racially-based housing policy and community vulnerability to environmental hazards in Camden, New Jersey. During his time at U.Va., Michael wrote extensively on housing and land-use policy, specifically eminent domain, exclusionary zoning, and mortgage insurance discrimination. Michael’s current research focuses on the nexus of housing policy and inequality, encompassing issues of urban development, suburban sprawl, and political representation. Away from the books, Michael enjoys rowing, cooking, Crossfit, and mastering Scriabin etudes.
Government & Social Policy, G-5
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez received his B.A. with honors in Political Science from Northwestern University in 2008. During his time at Northwestern, he spent two years researching the political economy of social and tax policy reform in Latin America. After graduation he received a fellowship from the Roosevelt Institute to work at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC with a focus on health reform, Social Security, and social policy. His current research interests include social insurance, economic policy, inequality, and the politics of welfare state reform. Alexander also enjoys attempting to cook, sailing, and marathon running.
Public Policy, G-6
Dan is a 5th year doctoral candidate in Public Policy. Dan’s interests focus on the political economy of organizational behavior, particularly the role of the discretion individuals exercise in implementing policies, be they related to the US federal social safety net or donor-catalyzed development projects in the developing world. While some component of the variance in the exercise of discretion is of course idiosyncratic and unsystematic, Dan believes that at least some of it is not, grounded instead on systematic features of who personnel are and how (and by whom) they are managed. Dan believes systematic investigation of these features will yield a better understanding of the gap between de jure rule-making and de factoimplementation. Prior to beginning his doctoral work Dan served in a variety of positions in international development, including as special assistant to the Minister of Finance (Liberia), running a nonprofit focused on youth and agricultural entrepreneurship (East Timor), and working for local and international NGOs in India, Thailand, and Israel. A proud Detroiter, Dan holds a BA from the University of Michigan and did masters’ work at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. More information and current work can be found at Dan’s personal website.
Wei Huang is a PhD Candidate in Economics at Harvard University with interests in labor economics, health economics and public economics. His previous work includes, for example, examining the relationship between height shrinkage and socio-economics status among older people, effects of education on older people's cognition, and the ethnic co-authorship in scientific journal papers within the US. He is also working on issues related to retirement, health, immigration and science policy. He received master degree in Economics in 2011 and a bachelor's degree in Physics in 2008 at Peking University.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7
Inequality & Criminal Justice Fellow
David Hureau is a student in the program in Sociology and Social Policy and a Research Fellow for the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School. David received his BA from Wesleyan University in 2001 with a major in African American Studies and History, and his MPP from the Kennedy School of Government in 2006, with a concentration in Criminal Justice Policy. His research interests include youth violence, gangs, urban neighborhoods, youth development, social networks and micro-sociology. Prior to joining the Program in Sociology and Social Policy, David served for three years as the Program Director of the New Outlook Teen Center in Exeter, NH and for two years as a Researcher in the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School. During his time at the Kennedy School, David worked very closely with Anthony Braga researching the dynamics of violent crime in Boston, and was centrally involved in many gang violence interventions in the city. A resident of Dorchester, David feels a strong connection to Boston's neighborhoods and people and is committed to the rigorous and responsible study of Boston.
Sociology and Social Policy, G-6
Jackelyn Hwang is a doctoral candidate in Sociology and Social Policy. She received a B.A.S. with honors in Sociology and Mathematics from Stanford University, where she conducted research on the social construction of neighborhoods during gentrification. After graduating from Stanford, she was a project manager for a community-based charter school in West Philadelphia. Her research projects ask how racial and ethnic inequality shapes and is shaped by urban neighborhood changes and advance new methods of measuring and understanding neighborhood characteristics. Her dissertation examines the role of immigration, and its associated racial and ethnic compositional changes, in the evolution of gentrification in U.S. cities. Her other work examines how segregation is associated with subprime lending and the foreclosure recovery.
Anthony Abraham Jack is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. He received his B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religion (cum laude) from Amherst College. His research interests include race and ethnic relations, cultural sociology, sociology of education, and urban poverty. His work examines (1) the changing composition of the student body population at elite undergraduate institutions as they adopt class-based affirmative action measures and (2) the role class and culture plays in shaping the experiences of lower-income undergraduates therein. Anthony also researches antiracism strategies of stigmatized groups in the United States (along with Michele Lamont, Harvard University).
Simon is a PhD candidate in economics. Prior to coming to Harvard, Simon studied economics at the University of Bonn and at the University of California, Berkeley graduating with a BSc and an MSc from Bonn. His research interests lie at the intersection of public, labor, and behavioral economics. His work is aimed at understanding the sources and consequences of inequality in the labor market.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-3
Barbara Kiviat is a Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy. Her research interests revolve around household finance and public policy, and include consumer credit and rental housing. Kiviat holds a B.A. in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in journalism from Columbia University, and an M.P.A. from New York University, where she was a David Bohnett Public Service Fellow. As a research associate at NYU’s Financial Access Initiative, Kiviat helped launch the U.S. Financial Diaries, a longitudinal study of the economic lives of 300 American families. Previously, Kiviat was a staff writer at Time magazine. She has also written for Fortune, Money, The Miami Herald, The Arizona Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reuters, and TheAtlantic.com, among other outlets.
Carly Knight is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and a graduate affiliate with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Prior to joining the department, she graduated from Duke University with a double major in Economics and Political Science. She is currently a Doctoral Fellow with the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her current research focuses on American law and economic inequality.
Theodore is PhD student in sociology. His research interests are situated at the intersection of education and politics. In particular, he seeks to addresses the sources of socioeconomic and racial inequalities in these two systems. With respect to education, he is currently analyzing how congruence between parenting and teaching strategies affects students’ classroom participation and test scores. His interest in politics is motivated by the question of how minority and impoverished (socially and economically) groups gain “voice” in electoral and policy outcomes. Most recently, he is engaged in research combining these two bodies of work that seeks to determine how the framing of education policies that would presumably benefit disadvantaged students affects the programs’ political feasibility. Theodore received his A.B. (summa cum laude) from Cornell University where he also completed minors in Spanish, International Relations, and Inequality Studies. He hails from West Haven, Vermont.
Jeremy received his B.A. in History and Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2008. He has received previous fellowships to work with a non-profit community development corporation in Detroit, and the Mayor’s Office in Boston. Jeremy is currently working on three research projects: The first investigates the geography of interorganizational resource networks in the inner city; the second analyzes the relationship between neighborhood racial composition and requests for public goods; and the third, his dissertation, is an ethnography of local politics and inner city redevelopment. Each project shares a focus on inequality, urban neighborhoods, and local political processes.
Christy Ley is a PhD student in Sociology. Her research focuses on gender inequality and cultural dynamics in organizations and work. Her current research projects, in particular, examine the relationship among presentation of self, occupational choices, and career experiences. Prior to entering the PhD program, Ley worked as a legal analyst at BlackRock, the New York-based investment management firm. She holds an AB in Sociology (magna cum laude) from Cornell University.
Public Policy, G-4
Elizabeth is a PhD student in Public Policy, focusing on public sector reform and public goods provision. She is particularly interested in how to improve public service delivery by studying the motivation and performance of civil servants. She also conducts research on how community-level demographics affect the demand for public goods and services. Prior to joining the PhD Program, Elizabeth was a policy advisor to the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, focusing on social innovation and public sector reform. She has also worked on evaluations of social programs in Bangladesh, France, Morocco and Pakistan.
Public Policy, G3 (HLS-1)
Heidi Liu is a doctoral student in Public Policy. Her interests are in the application of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics, and labor economics to law and public policy. She seeks to understand how to help individuals overcome both institutional and cognitive barriers towards their long-term goals, with an eye towards alleviating educational and gender disparities. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a research assistant for the book "Nudge" and worked as an analyst at Cornerstone Research, an economic consulting firm. She received her A.B. in economics from Harvard and is part of the coordinated J.D. /Ph.D. program at Harvard.
Education, 4th year
Kathleen Lynch is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she is a Presidential Scholar and Spencer Foundation Early Career Scholar in the New Civics. Her research interests include education policy and strategies to reduce educational inequality, particularly in mathematics. Kathleen holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was a FLAS and Pforzheimer Fellow. Kathleen graduated with high honors from Harvard College.
Abena Subira Mackall
Education, 3rd year
Abena Subira Mackall is a doctoral student concentrating in Culture, Communities, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Abena currently serves as an Editor for the Harvard Educational Review. Broadly, her research interests concern education and the reproduction of social inequality. Abena taught 6th grade special education in New York City and currently works as an instructional coach for teacher residents in Boston. Additionally, Abena has a deep commitment to improving the educational opportunities for incarcerated men and women. Abena has worked as health instructor and academic mentor in correctional facilities. She is currently researching the effects of in-prison education on pre- and post-release civic health outcomes. Abena holds a MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies from the London School of Economics, a MSEd in Special Education from Hunter College, and an AB in Politics from Princeton University.
Education, 5th year
Ann Mantil is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds a BA from Williams College in political science and an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Prior to coming to HGSE, she worked for nine years as a classroom teacher and administrator at charter schools in Oakland, CA and Washington, DC. She is broadly interested in the distributional effects of educational policies and practices. Her research focuses on how district and school-level structures such as student assignment policies, tracking and within-class ability grouping, and high-stakes testing impact the achievement of low-income children.
My research is focused in the area of political economy. I am particularly interested in how education and information affect political behavior, how politicians choose what information to provide to voters, and how economic outcomes and policies affects political behavior. My work typically employs the tools of game theory and statistical analysis. I am currently working on a variety of exciting projects, including with some excellent coauthors: how education affects partisanship in Britain and the US; how education affects civic and political participation in Nigeria (with Horacio Larreguy); the role of media sources in information updating in Denmark (with James Alt and David Lassen); the politics of trade adjustment assistance (with Hye-Young You); and how income inequality affects party platform ambiguity.
Margot Moinester is a PhD student in Sociology. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, she graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. Prior to joining the department, Margot led a regional assessment of access to healthcare in northeast Montana as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and conducted research with the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) in Chicago. Her research interests include health, inequality, criminal justice, and immigration.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-5
Kristin Perkins is a PhD student in Sociology and Social Policy. Originally from Indiana, Kristin earned a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She spent two years as a researcher at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she examined the effects of concentrated foreclosure in New York and the impact of the agency's subsidized housing on health outcomes of its residents. Her research interests include housing and neighborhoods, residential stability, and community and urban sociology.
Solé is a graduate student in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on comparative political economy, the politics of the welfare state, and economic development. She is interested in the political consequences of poverty reduction, focusing on the effects of global development initiatives on public policy, and in particular on the provision of public social services and redistribution. Her research aims to gain a deeper understanding of the politics of redistribution in the developing world and to determine how modern development initiatives alter the incentives to welfare state development. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Texas A&M University in 2011.
Alexandra Roulet is a PhD student in the Economics department. Her research interests lie at the intersection of labor economics, public finance and macroeconomics. Prior to joining Harvard University, she studied in France at the Ecole Normale Superieure and at the Paris School of Economics. She is the author of a book with Philippe Aghion on how government intervention can foster economic growth and innovation and yet promote a cohesive society “Repenser l'État. Pour une social-démocratie de l'innovation" (Seuil, 2011).
Inequality & Criminal Justice Fellow
Ryan grew up in Huntington Beach, CA and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2003 with a B.A. in economics. After college, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2004-2006 where he taught economics and English to high school and college students. In the 2006-2007 academic year, Ryan completed the M.Sc. in economics at the London School of Economics as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon his return to the U.S., Ryan began law school at Yale where he received his law degree in 2012. Ryan plans to dedicate his academic career to learning how policing, sentencing policy, and prisons affect poverty and inequality in America.
Frank Schilbach is a PhD candidate in economics with primary interests in development and behavioral economics. His work focuses on the role of understudied correlates of poverty -- alcohol consumption, physical pain, and sleep deprivation -- in the lives of the poor, as well as the generation and diffusion of information about optimal agricultural inputs in sub-Saharan Africa. Frank graduated in 2008 from Mannheim University with a Diplom in Economics and earned an M.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley in 2009.
Benjamin Schoefer is a PhD candidate in economics and focuses on public finance, labor economics and finance. He graduated with an AB in economics, with a minor in government, from Harvard College in 2009. He is currently also a fellow at Harvard's Project on Justice, Welfare and Economics and an NBER Nonprofit Fellow.
Dan Schrage studies labor market discrimination, the spatial distribution of labor markets, and statistical methods aimed at improving research in these and other policy-related areas. He received his A.B. in computer science from Harvard in 2001, where he focused on computational economics. Before coming to graduate school, he spent four years doing research in artificial intelligence at a think tank in Cambridge. He is currently working on a project exploring the effects of a variety of hiring and recruitment practices on diversity in the managerial workforce. He is also examining the spatial mismatch hypothesis in urban labor markets. Dan grew up in the rural town of Salem, Illinois, then spent his adolescence trying to get his head around city life in downtown Phoenix. He was socialized at an early age into a lifelong passion for the St. Louis Cardinals, and in his spare time he enjoys spinning, producing, and dancing to the blips and bleeps of electronic music.
Education, 5th year
Beth is a 5th year doctoral student in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice concentration at Harvard's Graduate School of Education and holds an M.A. in Politics and Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her research interests relate to the role of out-of-school contexts, such as neighborhoods, families, afterschool, and summer programs, in influencing children’s academic outcomes. Beth formerly worked on legislative affairs for a New York City Councilmember representing West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. Before moving to the East Coast, she was Director of Operations for an academic summer camp company based in California and coached competitive policy debate at the high school and college level.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7
Tracey Shollenberger is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology and Social Policy program. She studies the effects of social policy on children and families, with a focus on public education and criminal justice. Her dissertation examines the use of out-of-school suspension in U.S. public schools and its relationship to academic achievement, delinquency, and arrest. She also contributes to collaborative projects on prisoner reentry, gang violence prevention, school value-added measures, employment trends among households with children, and housing stability. Before arriving at Harvard, Tracey worked as a high school teacher in Baltimore, MD, and as a research associate at the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center in Washington, DC.
Jessica Simes is a PhD student in Sociology and a Graduate Affiliate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Originally from Arcadia, CA, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Critical Theory and Social Justice in May 2009. Her senior honors thesis focused on the implications of white flight patterns from racially diverse suburbs in California, particularly those with large Asian communities. Her current research agenda addresses the spatial dynamics of incarceration in the United States and the ways social policy regulates the relationship between imprisonment and neighborhood structures.
Benjamin Sosnaud is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Duke University. His research interests include social stratification and inequality, health inequalities and population health, social policy, and political sociology. His dissertation explores socioeconomic inequalities in infant mortality in the United States. Other research projects include an examination of linkages between class inequalities and voting behavior and an analysis of the effects of living wage ordinances in U.S. cities.
Jessica Tollette is a doctoral student in Sociology. Originally from California, Jessica earned a B.A. in Communication and with a minor in Hispanic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, she spent two years as a management consultant in New York City. Her research focuses on race, ethnicity and immigration. Previous research examined the intersections between migratory status and new demographic contexts in shaping racial attitudes and intergroup relations for low-income African-American women from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She is currently investigating the role of race in Spain's policies and strategies for the incorporation of nonwhite immigrants. She is interested in how race influences the social, political and economic integration of nonwhite immigrants, particularly in times of economic crisis.
Beth Truesdale is a doctoral student in Sociology. Her academic interests include labor markets, education policy, and urban sociology, and her current research examines the choices workers make as they age. Before coming to Harvard, Beth worked in London as a journalist and researcher. She also spent several years at a start-up company, where she led teams of analysts in creating reports that helped to shape UK public policy on the future of the BBC, regional spatial planning, the use of generic drugs by the National Health Service, and other controversial topics. Beth's previous degrees are in chemistry, English, history, and theology. She studied at St. Olaf College and at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Ariel White is a graduate student in the Government department, with research interests in race, representation, voting rights, and incarceration. She received a B.A. in Government and Economics from Cornell University in 2009. Before entering the PhD program, she worked at a legal services office in Ithaca, NY.
Government and Social Policy, G-6
Vanessa Williamson is a PhD candidate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University. Her dissertation examines American public opinion about taxation. She is also the author, with Theda Skocpol, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (Oxford University Press, 2013). Before coming to Harvard, she served at the Policy Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She received her BA in French language and literature from NYU, and her MA from NYU's Institute of French Studies.
Nathan Wilmers is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. His research interests lie in the areas of economic sociology, labor markets and institutions, corporate governance, income inequality, sociology of the welfare state, and social theory. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago, studying German idealism and its social theory aftermath. He turned to sociology in hopes of developing the tools necessary to understand the confusing path of economic change.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-3
Alix received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Health and Societies. Her thesis focused on the effects of adolescents' perceptions of their futures on their current smoking behaviors. She then spent two years as a Research Assistant at the Understanding Autism project at Columbia University, where she analyzed statewide, administrative data and contributed to multiple peer reviewed articles. Her research interests include neighborhood effects on social and economic outcomes of well-being and social stratification in urban settings.
Holly Wood received her B.A. with High Honors in Sociology from Wesleyan University in 2008. Her honors thesis at Wesleyan addressed the continually limited representation of low-income students at America's most elite private colleges, examining how cultural capital translates into advantage within the college admissions process despite the proliferation of institutional initiatives to increase student diversity. This project heightened her interest in examining the familial anxiety surrounding class status reproduction and how individual-level processes manifest into macro-level consequences. Thus, Holly's main academic interests revolve around identifying the social mechanisms which perpetuate inequality and stratification. This interest compels her to examine how welfare and other aspects of social policy are experienced in America today. Currently, she is investigating how families navigate public housing policy options in inner-city Boston.
Tom Wooten is a doctoral student in Sociology. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Studies from Harvard in 2008, and he spent the subsequent four years teaching and conducting research in New Orleans. Tom served as a Research Fellow for the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and as a 2009 Teach for America corps member. Wooten is the author of two critically acclaimed books about disasters and disaster recovery. His first, co-written with his college roommate Utpal Sandesara, is called No One Had a Tongue to Speak (Prometheus 2011). The book is a narrative history of the 1979 Machhu Dam Disaster in Gujarat State, India. Tom's second book, We Shall Not Be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina (Beacon 2012), follows five neighborhood-based recovery efforts in New Orleans. In the coming years, Tom plans to pursue his interests in disaster recovery and modern education reform. He is currently working on a book of Gulf Coast disaster recovery case studies with Henry Lee and Doug Ahlers. Tom also plans to undertake ethnographic work with New Orleans youth, qualitatively probing the role that school culture plays in shaping students' life outcomes. When he is not conducting research, Tom enjoys spending time in Quincy House, where he is a resident tutor.
Sociology & Social Policy, G-4 (HLS-1)
How do organizations strategize and navigate socio-political institutions in order to implement and change policies that address the structural roots of urban inequality and build more resilient communities? In our increasingly privatized state, public policies are not simply implemented by state actors, but are materialized in coordination with private entrepreneurs. These actors must navigate not only economic but also cultural and political realms. Dan explores how they do so effectively (or ineffectively) and what implications their actions have for public policy as it happens on the ground. To examine these actors and their impacts, Dan connects micro-level analyses of these organizations with their strategies on political fields. For his current project, Dan examines how social benefit corporations, such as nonprofits that develop affordable housing, navigate urban redevelopment politics and innovate their strategies. These actors understand and respond to changing demographic and increasingly hostile contexts. Due to this empirical interest, Dan draws from social movements/organizations, organizational behavior, and learning theories.
Sociology and Social Policy, G-5
Queenie Zhu is a doctoral student in Sociology and Social Policy. A native of Los Angeles, CA, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Sociology and in Human Development, and a minor in Education Studies. Prior to joining Harvard’s department, she was actively involved in research at UCSD’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) and worked at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) on issues of educational opportunity and access. Broadly, Queenie’s academic interests include educational inequality, stratification, immigration, race and ethnicity, and urban sociology. Her current work examines how school composition contributes to educational outcomes, the ramifications of the suburbanization of poverty, and the transition to adulthood among inner-city youth.
Political Economy & Government, G-6
Oren is a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics track of the PEG program. His research focuses on urban and social economics, trade, and political economy. He graduated magna cum lauda with a BA from Columbia university with a double major in Economics and Philosophy. He is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a New England University Transportation Center fellow.