Past NYU/IES-PIRT Fellows

Cohort of 2015-2016


Agustina Laurito completed her NYU PIRT fellowship in 2016. She is currently a 5th year doctoral student at the NYU Wagner School and a Graduate Assistant at the Institute for Education and Social Policy. She received her Master in Public Policy from Duke University where she focused on global policy issues. After graduating in 2011, Agustina stayed at Duke working a research assistant as part of a project called "Beyond Test Scores: Schooling and Life-Course Outcomes in Early Adulthood." Agustina is originally from Argentina where she majored in Political Science, and worked in higher education administration. Her research interests include the interplay between social and education policy, and how students' non-school environments affect their academic and non-academic outcomes. Her advisor is Amy Ellen Schwartz.

Joseph Mullins graduated from the Department of Economics at NYU GSAS in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Economics at Western University in Ontario, Canada. He received a 2-year fellowship in 2015 and was a one-year NYU PIRT fellow in the 2014-2015 academic year. He holds a BA in Mathematics and a BA in Economics from The University of Queensland. His research interests lie in the modelling and identification of causal mechanisms through which early childhood environments shape adult outcomes. A key component of his research program is to analyze how particular policy interventions can remediate the family environment and provide future returns in human capital. For example, one of his current projects aims to evaluate the design of welfare programs in the United States as well as the likely impact of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Previously, Joseph specialized in the application of theoretical models of the labor market to survey data in order to address relevant policy problems. His research mentor was Christopher Flinn.

Peter Rich graduated from the Department of Sociology at NYU GSAS in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Policy Analysis and Management with a courtesy appointment in Sociology at Cornell University. He received a 2-year fellowship in 2015 and a 1-year NYU PIRT fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year, and was also an NYU PIRT affiliate for the Spring 2014 semester. His research investigates how selection in school, housing, and marriage markets reproduces structural inequalities by race and class. In his dissertation, Peter finds that white parents are particularly likely to avoid neighborhoods with racially diverse schools, which has exacerbated residential segregation in the post-Civil Rights era. One chapter provides micro-level causal evidence of white parental flight and avoidance in response to mandated school district desegregation. Additional chapters analyze contemporary household sorting in the context of local school racial composition, expenditures, test performance, and neighborhood demographics. Previously, Peter coordinated a college-readiness math intervention program at a Richmond, CA community-based organization and taught mathematics as a visiting instructor in Lucknow, India. Peter received his B.A. in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley in 2004. His advisor and research mentor was Florencia Torche.

Michah W. Rothbart graduated from the NYU Wagner School in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He was awarded a 4-year fellowship in 2011 and a 2-year fellowship in 2015. Michah's research interests lie in education policy, financial management and public finance, particularly in resource allocation in education funding. For example, one of his current works in progress explores the financial implications of increased high school choice in New York City, examining the effects of competition on the level and mix of school expenditures. Michah previously served as the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Office of Postsecondary Readiness in the N.Y.C. Department of Education and before that as an Oak Ridge Fellow in the U.S. Department of Commerce: Economic Development Administration. He received a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University concentrating in Finance and Fiscal Policy. Michah’s research mentor was Amy Schwartz.


Cohort of 2014-2015


Tingting Ding received a one-year NYU PIRT fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. She graduated from the Department of Economics at NYU GSAS in 2015. Her research applies game theory and experimental economics in the design of market. Her current project is to examine how the communication among students influences their decisions and welfare in various school choice mechanisms. She is in particular interested in whether school choice program provides equal access to all students and whether the strategies that students use in school choice are different with respect to their socioeconomics status. Before starting at NYU, Tingting earned her BA and MS degrees in engineering at Tsinghua University, and her MA degree in economics at Rutgers University. Her advisor and research mentor was Andrew Schotter.

Jessica Harding graduated from the Psychology and Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2016. She is currently a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research.  She received one-year NYU PIRT fellowships for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years. She received her BA from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 2009. Jess is interested in applying research to social policy to improve educational outcomes for low-income children. Her research explores the intergenerational transmission of educational achievement and attainment with a focus on two distinct, but related, influences on children’s academic outcomes – parenting practices and maternal education. Her research takes two main forms: a) secondary data analysis to understand these influences, and b) intervention research that aims to improve children’s academic outcomes by changing the family context. Jess's dissertation work aims to understand the influence of maternal education on children’s academic outcomes. She also works on a formative evaluation of a pilot dual-generation intervention that provides education and training to the parents of children enrolled in a New York City Head Start Program. Finally, Jess works with an interdisciplinary team including her advisor and research mentor, Pamela Morris, on launching an innovative primary and secondary/tertiary intervention to promote school readiness in very young children in low-income families through using the pediatric primary care platform to enhance positive parenting practices. She received the Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Graduate Student Fellowship from APA and the Mitchell Leaska Dissertation Research Award from NYU Steinhardt in 2015 and worked with Dr. Morris on a parenting intervention for 0-3 year olds in the pediatric primary care platform.

Jason Thompson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at New York University. He is expected to graduate from NYU in September, 2016. He received a one-year NYU PIRT fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year and is an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2014-2015 academic year. Jason received his BA in Sociology from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honor College in 2005 prior to serving as a third grade teacher with Teach For America, Phoenix.  His research interests pertain to stratification, education, and quantitative methods.  Currently, Jason is working on his dissertation which examines the role of postsecondary institutional quality in intergenerational social mobility.  His advisor and research mentor was Richard Arum.

Fangqi Wen is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Sociology at NYU GSAS. She was an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2014-2015 academic year. Her research interests include social stratification and mobility, social demography and quantitative methods with a special focus on causal inference. In previous projects, by adopting the within-family comparison approach, Fangqi examines how birth order affects children’s educational attainment, and how families make decisions about parent-child coresidence based on sibling comparative advantage. After joining the Department of Sociology at NYU, Fangqi starts a new research project that investigates the effect of labor market condition on local marriage market outcomes. In order to go one step further towards causality, a natural experiment is exploited. Fangqi holds a B.A. in Sociology from Sun Yat-Sen University (China) and an M.phil in Social Science from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her advisor is Paula England and she also works closely with Florencia Torche and Dalton Conley.


Cohort of 2013-2014


Ha Yeon Kim was awarded a one-year NYU PIRT fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. She graduated from the Developmental Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2014. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Education at Harvard University. Her NYU-PIRT advisor and research mentor was Dr. Elise Cappella. Ha Yeon’s research investigates the role of school and classroom contexts in children’s academic and social-emotional development. Specifically, her work has focused on understanding academic engagement of low-income immigrant-origin students in urban school contexts. In addition to her three-study dissertation project, titled “Academic Engagement of Immigrant Origin Children in Linguistically Diverse Urban Schools,” Ha Yeon worked on a project that examined the impact of school transitions on youth adjustment in a national sample, under the guidance of Dr. Elise Cappella and Dr. Edward Seidman. Ha Yeon received her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology and Child Development from Seoul National University, Republic of Korea.


Cohort of 2011-2012


Christine Baker-Smith was awarded a 4-year fellowship. She is currently a 6th year doctoral candidate in the Sociology of Education program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at NYU Steinhardt. She is expected to graduate from NYU in September 2016. She holds an EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University, in Leadership, Policy and Politics, an MA Stanford University in the Social Science of Education, and a BA in Sociology from Whitman College. Her interests are in academic engagement/disengagement, transitions across educational structures such as from middle to high school and the delinquency that may manifest from unsuccessful transitions. Previously, Christy worked as the Program Coordinator and Research Assistant for the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences MA program at Columbia University. Christy’s research mentor was James Kemple and her academic advisor is Richard Arum.

Vanessa Coca was awarded a 4-year fellowship. She is a 6th year doctoral candidate in the the Sociology of Education program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at NYU Steinhardt, and a Research Fellow at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Her work focuses on college access, choice, and completion for traditionally underrepresented college students. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Vanessa worked at the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, where she contributed to a series of highly regarded reports on Chicago Public School students’ transitions to college. She received an M.P.P. and a B.A. degree from the University of Chicago. Vanessa’s advisors are Richard Arum and James Kemple.

Maia Connors was awarded a 4-year fellowship. She graduated from the Psychology & Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2015. She is currently a Senior Researcher for Research and Policy Initiatives at the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Her research interests include early childhood education policy, large-scale systems' support of high quality early education and teachers' professional growth, and adults' support of young children's development. One of Maia's current projects focuses on identifying and understanding features of Head Start centers that are associated with variation in program impacts on key child outcomes. Originally from Rhode Island, Maia received her A.B. in sociology and education studies from Brown University in 2007. After graduating, she spent several years in San Francisco as a Research Assistant at WestEd, a non-profit education research organization, designing and implementing programs and resources to support high quality preschool throughout California. Maia's advisor and research mentor was Pamela Morris.

Keren Horn was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program and graduated from New York University with a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2012. Her primary areas of interest are neighborhood change and the intersecting roles of housing policy and school policy. Karen dissertation, titled “Essays on Housing Policy, Schools and Neighborhood Change,” analyzes how school accountability reforms and information about school quality shape neighborhoods. Karen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at UMass Boston. Her advisors were Ingrid Ellen, Amy Schwartz and Katherine O’Regan.

Dana Charles McCoy was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES program and graduated from the Psychology & Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Education and NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Dana's interests focus on exploring the relationships between environmental and biological risk factors and young children's positive development, both in the United States and internationally. Dana’s dissertation was titled “Child Self-Regulation in the Context of Poverty-Related Environmental Risk” and explored the ways that low-income children's exposure to family instability and community violence affects their cognitive, behavioral, and emotional self-regulatory skills. Dana is also interested the use of experimental and quasi-experimental methods for the evaluation of early childhood interventions, programs, and policies. She received her A.B. in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College. Her advisors at NYU were Cybele Raver and Pamela Morris.

Sharon Wolf was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2013 and was an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2013-2014 academic year. She graduated from the Psychology and Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2014. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the UPenn Graduate School of Education as well as a research affiliate at Global TIES. She was a National Poverty Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is driven by the application of the bioecological framework to understanding the mechanisms through which families and schools operate to affect children’s academic success. Her interests lie in applying such frameworks to design and test interventions aimed at improving these settings and informing policy. Sharon works both domestically and internationally, focusing on antipoverty programs in the United States and in educational program in sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation focuses on the effects of a conditional cash transfer program in New York City on adolescents and their families, and is titled "Adapting Conditional Cash Transfer Programs to Wealthy, Services-Rich Societies to Close the Income Achievement Gap: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Evidence."  Her advisor was Larry Aber, and her IES-PIRT mentors were Larry Aber and Pamela Morris.


Cohort of 2010-2011


Sarah Cordes was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2014 and graduated from the NYU Wagner School in 2015. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Temple University. Sarah's research and teaching interests are in education and urban policy, housing, public finance, and applied statistics and econometrics. Sarah's current research focuses on the spillover effects of NYC charter schools on nearby public school students, the effects of residential and school mobility on student performance, and how changes in school resources influence parents' investments in their children's education. Sarah is a recent recipient of the C. Lowell Harris Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and was selected as a finalist for the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. Sarah received her MPP from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in 2010, with a concentration in social policy. Prior to attending Duke, Sarah spent two years teaching middle school math in Washington, DC as part of AmeriCorps. Sarah's advisor and IES-PIRT mentor was Amy Ellen Schwartz.

Allison Friedman-Krauss was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2014 and graduated from the Developmental Psychology program in 2015. She is currently an Assistant Research Professor in the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Her research interests include the impacts of early childhood education programs and interventions on children's development in cognitive, social-emotional, and self-regulation domains. Allison has worked on projects about the bidirectional influences between child behavior problems, classroom quality, and teacher stress in preschool classrooms. She worked on projects examining different types of instability in children's school and ECE settings on school readiness skills and academic achievement. She is involved in work on the reanalysis of the Head Start Impact Study, focusing on the role of classroom quality. Allison is also interested in poverty-related risk as it relates to children's experiences in school and school success. She is interested in the policy implications of her work. Allison is originally from Long Island, NY, and worked at the National Institute for Early Education Research before coming to NYU. She has a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University and an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Allison's research mentors were Cybele Raver and Pamela Morris.

Karly Ford was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2012 and graduated from the Sociology of Education program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at NYU Steinhardt in 2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Penn State University. Karly’s research questions focus on the relationship between schooling and social stratification. How do educational institutions perpetuate or interrupt patterns of inequality? Looking beyond our national obsession with test scores, what other social outcomes do schools produce? How can we thoughtfully and precisely measure school related indicators? Her dissertation, titled “Seeking their Own Kind: Educational Homogamy 1975-2009,” focuses on educational homogamy. Karly is tracking how educational credentialing is quickly becoming a social boundary with strong influence, not only in the labor market, but also the marital market. Her research interests also include causal quantitative methodologies, especially as they are used to influence educational policy decisions. Her advisor and IES-PIRT research mentor was Richard Arum.

Daisy R. Jackson was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2012 and graduated from the Counseling Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinardt in 2013. She is currently a clinical psychologist at the Reeds Center. Daisy’s research focuses on bridging mental health and education, with specific attention to the effects of students’ executive function and behavior difficulties on overall classroom processes. She was an extern at the NYU Child Study Center where she does neuropsychological evaluations with children and therapy with parents and children with oppositional defiant disorder. Her dissertation title is “Exploring the Social Dynamics of Peer Aggression in Middle Childhood.” Jacqueline Mattis was her advisor and Elise Cappella was her IES-PIRT research mentor.

Jeannie Kim was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2014 and is currently a 6th year doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at NYU GSAS. Her research interests include education, race, and stratification. Before starting her doctoral program at NYU, she taught middle school mathematics in Brooklyn as a New York City Teaching Fellow and worked as a program coordinator for the Education Research Program at the Social Science Research Council. Her dissertation is tentatively titled, "Racial Mix and Match in Schools: How Student Race and School Racial Composition Influence Teachers' Perceptions and Expectations of Student Success." She received her BA in History from Brown University and her M.Ed in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her advisor is Florencia Torche and her IES-PIRT research mentor was Richard Arum.

Johanna Lacoe was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2012 and graduated from the NYU Wagner School in 2012. She is currently a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. Her dissertation, titled “The Causes and Consequences of Crime and Disorder in Urban Schools and Neighborhoods,” examines the impact of neighborhood crime and contact with the juvenile justice system on youth outcomes. Johanna was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Housing at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate/ USC Price School of Public Policy. Her advisor was Ingrid Ellen and her IES-PIRT research mentor was Patrick Sharkey.

Meghan McCormick was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2014 and graduated from the Psychology & Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardtin 2015. She is currently a Research Associate at MDRC. Originally from New Jersey, Meghan received her A.B. in public and international affairs from Princeton University in 2007. After graduating, she spent three years as a research assistant at MDRC, a non-profit social policy research organization, working to implement and evaluate a large-scale randomized trial of a relationship education intervention. Using rigorous quantitative methods, Meghan's research examines how interpersonal relationships and social processes influence students' academic and social-emotional development. Her dissertation, entitled “Insights into Social-Emotional Learning and Achievement: An Approach for Strengthening Causal Inference,” uses a range of rigorous methods to evaluate mechanisms and heterogeneity of impacts of the INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament intervention. In addition to working as the data manager and co-investigator on the INSIGHTS project, Meghan works with Dr. Elise Cappella on the Friend project, using social network analysis to understand the role of peer relationships in classrooms and schools and with Dr. Erin O’Connor on a project examining effects of student-teacher relationships on student outcomes in middle childhood and early adolescence. Meghan was recently awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship and an APF Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Dissertation Fellowship. Meghan's research mentor was Erin O'Connor and her advisor was Elise Cappella.

Emilyn Ruble Whitesell was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2014 and is graduated from the NYU Wagner Graduate School in 2015. She is currently a Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. Emilyn's research and teaching interests are in the areas of education policy and program evaluation. Her current research focuses on how school accountability influences parent, teacher, and student perceptions of their schools, large-scale program evaluation, and the spillover effects of student mobility. Before coming to NYU, Emi taught high school English as a Teach for America corps member in Indianapolis. Emi holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University and a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Her advisors were Leanna Stiefel and Amy Ellen Schwartz.


Cohort of 2009-2010


Jonathan Bearak was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. He completed the IES-PIRT program in 2013 and graduated from the Department of Sociology at NYU GSAS in 2015. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute. He was also an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2013-2014 academic year. His research focuses on how adolescents' school experiences affect the life course. Studying education and stratification, some of his current projects look at the effects of accountability systems and standardized testing, or at the effects of status and deviance, on education and health outcomes. More generally, Jonathan's research interests include stratification, education, family, quantitative methods, demography, and organizations. His dissertation title is “Heterogenous treatment effects or heterogenous treatments? Educational attainment and earnings inequality.” Paula England was Jonathan’s adviser; Jennifer Jennings was his IES-PIRT research mentor.

Juliette Berg was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2011 and graduated from the Developmental Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology NYU Steinhardt in 2013. She is currently a researcher at American Institutes for Research. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses onschool-based and community-based prevention programming in low-income neighborhoods; contextual influences on children’s social-emotional adjustment; social and educational policies. Her dissertation, titled “An Ecological Approach to Assessing School Climate and Its Relationship to Academic Processes and Outcomes,” examine key dimensions of school settings obtained from multiple perspectives in the context of a whole-school social-emotional and literacy intervention and their impact on child academic and social-emotional outcomes. Larry Aber was Juliette’s advisor and Pamela Morris was her IES-PIRT mentor.

Jessica Boccardo was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program and graduated from the NYU Wagner School in 2013. She is currently working as a consultant in the public sector at the Boston Consulting Group in Washington, DC. Her primary areas of interest are education policy analysis and quantitative methods. Jessica is particularly interested in understanding the links between education, innovation and the role of public policy, particularly in developing countries. Her dissertation title is “Inside the ‘black-box’ of schools: Empirical evidence on the different dimensions of learning.” Prior to NYU she worked at the Evaluation Office (OVE) at the Inter-American Development Bank and the Poverty Reduction Unit (PMRED) at the World Bank and received a Master in Public Policy with a concentration on International Development from Georgetown University. Her IES-PIRT research mentor was Amy Schwartz.

Erin Cocke Roth was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program and graduated from the Sociology of Education program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at NYU Steinardt in 2011. Erin is currently an Associate Research Scientist at NCES. Her primary areas of interest are education policy analysis and quantitative methods. Her interest in education policy was cultivated while she was a public school teacher in North Carolina, teaching in both kindergarten and Head Start classrooms. Her dissertation, titled “Teachers & Accountability: Impacts on Teacher Practice and Sorting,” focuses on schools as organizations and teacher career paths. Sean Corcoran was Erin’s advisor and Marc Scott was her IES-PIRT research mentor. 

Rachel Cole was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2013 and graduated from the International Education program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at NYU Steinhardt in 2015. She is currently a Senior Research Associate in the NYC Department of Education. She is interested in intergenerational transfer of educational attainment and school quality measurement in Sri Lankan education. She taught for six years and was an administrator in NYC schools for two years, completing a MS in Education at Bank Street and in Educational Administration at Baruch. In her apprenticeship with Jim Kemple of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools she did an evaluation of School of One and worked on analyses of the NYC Schools Survey and the Achievement Reporting and Inovation System (ARIS).

Justina Kamiel Grayman was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2013 and was an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2013-2014 academic year. She graduated from the Psychology and Social Intervention program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2015. After graduating from NYU, Justina founded the Degrees of Freedom Research Program for High School and Undergraduate Students. Justina's research interests include community empowerment, community organizing (especially education organizing), and collective action. Specifically, she is interested in how social contexts impact people's attitudes about social justice and their propensity to engage in collective action. In her dissertation, she worked with parent organizing groups in New York City to examine organizing strategies that are most effective at mobilizing parents to fight for public education reform in New York City. Justina's faculty mentor is Dr. Erin Godfrey.

Emily Rauscher was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2011 and graduated from the Department of Sociology at NYU Steinhardt in 2012. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on Stratification, Education, and Adolescence. Her dissertation, titled “Can expansion equalize opportunity? Educational expansion and intergenerational mobility 1850-1930,” explores the relationship between compulsory schooling and social mobility at the turn of the century. Following multiple cohorts over time, it questions the link between educational attainment and labor market outcomes as a given level of education becomes nearly universal. Dalton Conley was Emily’s advisor and Florencia Torche was her IES-PIRT research mentor.

Alexandra Ursache was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2013 and graduated from the Developmental Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2014. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the NEED Lab at Columbia Medical School. Her focus is on the development of executive function and its relation to academic performance throughout childhood. She is especially interested in how early environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status and stress, influence executive function and neural development. Her dissertation title is “Do bottom-up aspects of self-regulation predict executive functioning?: Testing a bi-directional model of self-regulation and applying it to home and school contexts.” Clancy Blair was Alexandra’s IES-PIRT research mentor and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda was her advisor.


Cohort of 2008-2009


Jake Leos-Urbel was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. He completed the IES-PIRT program and graduated from the NYU Wagner School in 2012. Jake’s research interests focus on education, and child and youth policy. His dissertation title is “Looking Beyond the Classroom: Understanding Broader Efforts to Promote Children’s Education and Development.” After graduating from NYU, Jake accepted a position as Assistant Professor, Public Policy at the Claremont Graduate University in California. He is currently Associate Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University. His advisor and IES-PIRT research mentor was Amy Ellen Schwartz.

Karen McFadden was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2010 and graduated from the Developmental Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt in 2012. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education/Art Education at CUNY Brooklyn College. Karen’s dissertation title is: “The Nature and Correlates of Low-Income Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children: Associations to Children’s Pre-Academic School Readiness Skills.” She is currently an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Art Education at CUNY Brooklyn College. Her advisor was Catherine Tamis-Lemonda and Pamela Morris was her IES-PIRT mentor.

Doreet Rebecca Preiss was awarded a 4-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT program in 2012 and was an NYU PIRT affiliate for the 2013-2014 academic year. She will graduate from New York University with a Ph.D. in Sociology in 2014. Doreet's research focuses on students' perceptions of their teachers' authority, and how these perceptions impact educational outcomes. Her dissertation title is “Questioning School Authority-How Race Class and Gender Mediate Student Perceptions of Teacher Authority.” With Richard Arum, she is currently working on a manuscript that explores student understandings of their due process rights and their associations with students' perceptions of school disciplinary climates. Richard Arum was her IES-PIRT research advisor and Lawrence Wu was her IES-PIRT mentor.

Melissa Velez was awarded a 2-year IES-PIRT fellowship. She completed the IES-PIRT and graduated from the Department of Sociology at NYU GSAS in 2010. She is currently a Senior Analyst in the Social and Economic Policy Division at Abt Associates, Inc. While at NYU, Melissa's work examined the relationship between school disciplinary climate and academic achievement, the impact of adversarial legalism, and the longitudinal effects of education reform on urban school districts. Her research interests focus on stratification and the sociology of education. Melissa's previous professional experience includes conducting educational data analysis for MDRC, the Social Science Research Council, and the New York City Department of Education. Her dissertation title is “Time Use, Social Class and Academic Achievement.” Richard Arum was her advisor and Dalton Conley was her IES-PIRT research mentor.