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For Applications Received in 2017

Gulrez Shah Azhar, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Indian Summer: Three Essays on Heatwave Vulnerability, Estimation, and Adaptation

​Special Award: Martinus Nijhoff Award

Gulrez Shah Azhar is an assistant policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. A physician with community medicine residency and masters in public health, his interdisciplinary focus is on health, policy, climate, and development issues.

Laura Bellows, Duke University

Immigration Enforcement and Student Achievement

Laura Bellows is a PhD candidate in public policy at Duke University. Her work focuses on the forces that create and maintain disparities in educational outcomes. Her current research explores how recent increases in immigration enforcement affect educational disparities by immigration status and ethnicity.  

Danielle Carr, Columbia University

The Networked Subject: Data and Personhood in the Experimental Neurosciences

Special Award: Robert K. Merton Award

Danielle Carr is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University whose work is located between the history and ethnography of science. Her project examines the emergence of brain implants for affective disorder within the context of late liberal capitalism. 

Robert Collinson, New York University

The Causes and Consequences of Residential Evictions: Evidence from New York City

Robert Collinson is a PhD candidate in public policy at New York University and a doctoral fellow at NYU's Furman Center. His research interests are in public, labor, real estate, and urban economics. 

Sharon Cornelissen, Princeton University

Greening the Neighborhood: Community, Bucolic Blight, and Race in Northwest Detroit

Special Award: John L. Stanley Award

Sharon Cornelissen is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University. Her dissertation draws on fieldwork in Northwest Detroit to show how historical and present inequalities shaped disparate experiences of place. She received her Master's from the New School for Social Research and her Bachelor from University College Utrecht.

Veronica Horowitz, The University of Minnesota

Towards a Sociology of Mercy: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Commutation Release in the United States

Veronica Horowitz is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses broadly on American criminal punishment. Her dissertation explores an underused form of mercy in US criminal justice, prison release through clemency. She is involved in research on monetary sanctions, drug courts, and domestic abuse.

Surabhi Karambelkar, University of Arizona

Hydropower on the Colorado River: Examining Institutions, Conflicts, and Consequences of Changing Dam Operations

Surabhi Karambelkar is a PhD candidate in geography and public policy at the University of Arizona working at the intersection of water and energy policy. Her research examines how water, energy, and environmental laws influence hydropower generation in the Colorado River Basin, and how changes in power production impact resource users.

Michael J. Laughlin, University of Missouri, Columbia

Racial Disparity in Police Killings

​Special Award: Donald R. Cressey Award

Michael J. Laughlin earned his Master's in public affairs and began his PhD in public affairs while serving 10 years in various roles within law enforcement.  Michael is currently serving at Greenville University in the Criminal Justice Department, and completing his dissertation.

David S. Lucas, George Mason University

Alleviating Homelessness: Assessing an Alternative Approach

Special Award: Eli Ginzberg Award

David S. Lucas earned his PhD in Economics from George Mason University, where he was JIN Fellow with the Hayek Program of the Mercatus Center. He will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University starting August 2018.

Adam Markovitz, University of Michigan Medical School

Formation, Impact, and Perspectives of Accountable Care Organizations

Special Award: Irving Louis Horowitz Award

Adam Markovitz is a University of Michigan MD/PhD candidate in health policy (economics concentration). His research examines how payment reform affects health care costs and quality. Previously, he trained community health workers in Guatemala and provided legal representation to HIV+ prisoners in Alabama. He holds a BS from Yale University.

Matthew Pecenco, University of California, Berkeley

Do Rehabilitative Prison Policies Work? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in the Dominican Republic

Matthew Pecenco is a PhD candidate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. His work focuses on the role of the state, in particular, the criminal justice system, to aid or impede the lives of those who interact with it.

Isabel M. Perera, University of Pennsylvania

States of Mind: The Comparative Political Economy of Mental Health

Isabel M. Perera, a student of political science, employs comparative-historical analysis to explain why the universal impulse to “deinstitutionalize” people with psychiatric disabilities nonetheless produced different policy outcomes in different countries. In doing so, her work also reveals how public sector trade unions shape the distribution of social services for vulnerable populations.

Deepak Premkumar, University of California, Berkeley

The Ferguson Effect: Do High-Profile Fatal Encounters with Police Lead to Reductions in Arresting Intensity?

Deepak Premkumar is a PhD candidate in agricultural & resource economics at UC Berkeley. His current research examines the social costs of policing by investigating the broader effects of police use of force. More generally, he aims to provide an empirical guide to understand and alleviate crime and health disparities.

Kelly L. Russell, University of Michigan

Becoming Good Investments: Pay for Success and the Financialization of Deservingness

Kelly L. Russell is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan. Her research concerns the American political economy, with a special focus on state-market relationships in welfare provision. She is currently completing a dissertation on "Pay for Success" as a novel market-based model for social policy. 

William Schpero, Yale University

Evaluating the Marginal Benefit of Investments in the Health Care Safety Net

William Schpero is a PhD candidate studying health policy and economics at Yale University. His current research focuses on the value of private markets for publicly funded health care services, as well as the impact of Medicaid policy on access to and quality of care for vulnerable populations.

Michael J. Schumacher, Loyola University

Dying to Fight: The Individual and Social Processes of the Foreign Fighter Phenomenon

​Special Award: Harold D. Lasswell Award

Michael J. Schumacher is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He is interested in terrorism and political violence with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. His current research explores the "foreign fighter phenomenon" in historical context.

Aparna Soni, Indiana University, Bloomington

Reducing Health Disparities among People Diagnosed with Cancer: The Role of Public Health Insurance Expansions

Aparna Soni is a PhD candidate in business economics and public policy at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her research explores how policies and incentives can improve health outcomes and reduce risky behaviors in the population. Soni holds an MA in economics and BA in economics and journalism from Boston University.

Mary Ellen Stitt, University of Texas, Austin

Medicalizing Justice: Therapeutic Alternatives in the Criminal Courts

Mary Ellen Stitt is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, “Therapeutic Alternatives in the Criminal Courts,” examines the growing use of therapy as an alternative to criminal prosecution in the United States. 

Margaret Thomas, Boston University

Material Hardship, Public Program Participation, and Children’s Wellbeing

Margaret Thomas is a PhD candidate at Boston University School of Social Work. Her research centers on public policy with a focus on deprivation, poverty, and systemic issues. She completed her BA at the University of Notre Dame and holds an MSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

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