h o m e i n t r o c u r r i c u l u m f a c u l t y s t u d e n t s r e s o u r c e s n e w s a p p l y
P h. D.  P r o g r a m s  i n  S o c i a l  P o l i c y  H o m e




Sharpened pencils

Social Policy Ph.D. students, 2013-2014

Ph.D. students in Social Policy pursue either the Ph.D. in Political Science & Social Policy (Government track) or the Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Policy (Sociology track). The degree field for each student is indicated in parentheses below.


First year (G-1)   Fifth year (G-5)

Kelley Ty Fong (Soc)
Blythe George (Soc)
Audrey Latura (Gov)
Nicholas Lillios (Gov)
Jared Schachner (Soc)
Jackelyn Hwang (Soc)
Vanessa Williamson
Queenie Zhu (Soc)
Second year (G-2)   Advanced (G-6+)

Brielle Bryan (Soc)
Peter Bucchianeri (Gov)
Hope Harvey (Soc)
Barbara Kiviat (Soc)
Carlos Lastra Anadón (Gov)
Alix Winter (Soc)

Deirdre Bloome (Soc)
Charlotte Cavaillé (Gov)
Anmol Chaddha (Soc)
Nicole Deterding (Soc)
Sara Sternberg Greene (Soc)
David Hureau (Soc)
Eva Rosen (Soc)
Tracey Shollenberger (Soc)

Third year (G-3)   Dissertation titles

Monica C. Bell (Soc)
Diana Draghici (Gov)
Daniel Wu (Soc)

See also dissertations in progress »
Fourth year (G4)    

Michael Hankinson (Gov)
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Gov)
Kristin Perkins (Soc)


P r o f i l e s


Monica C BellMonica C. Bell
Sociology & Social Policy, G-3

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.
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Deirdre BloomeDeirdre Bloome
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7

Deirdre Bloome is a PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard University and a graduate student fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her research interests include economic and racial stratification, social mobility, family demography, policy, and statistical methodology. Her dissertation explores the relationships between inequality and mobility in the United States using a demographic approach. Bloome holds an AM in statistics from Harvard University and a certificate in demography from Princeton University's Office of Population Research. Her research has been supported by organizations including the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.



Brielle BryanBrielle Bryan
Sociology & Social Policy, G-2

Brielle graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2007 with a triple major in Sociology, Communication Studies, and Theatre and received her MPP from Georgetown Public Policy Institute in 2012. Her master’s thesis examined the relationship between childhood welfare receipt and career and financial expectations in young adulthood. Prior to coming to Harvard, Brielle worked as a research associate at the Urban Institute on the Welfare Rules Database and as a research assistant at the Foundation Center, a nonprofit that collects data on US foundation grant-making. Her broad research interests include poverty, educational inequality, neighborhood effects, social mobility, and the transition into adulthood. Brielle is particularly interested in the long-term effects of educational interventions and childhood public assistance receipt on aspirations, perceptions of opportunity, and adult labor market and educational outcomes.



Peter BucchianeriPeter Bucchianeri
Government & Social Policy, G-2

Peter Bucchianeri is a second-year 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.



Charlotte CavailleCharlotte Cavaillé
Government & Social Policy, G-6

Charlotte Cavaillé received her M.A in Political Science (with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies) from Sciences-po Paris in 2008. She spent a year at the University of Chicago as part of her undergrad program, an experience that opened up to her the world of American academia. In her undergraduate thesis, she studied Islam and public policy in the UK, focusing on the situation of publicly funded Islamic schools. Her research interests include religion and identity politics, the political economy of immigration and the politics of post-industrial societies with a focus on welfare state reform.
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Anmol ChaddhaAnmol Chaddha
Sociology & Social Policy, G-8

Anmol Chaddha studies the political economy of racial and economic inequality. His current research examines how credit and debt have come to perform the functions of welfare policy, in the context of rising inequality and a weakened social safety net. He is broadly interested in how racial and economic inequality are shaped by direct state action, urban policy, and the political sphere. He has conducted research on racial and economic inequality within cities, including a project that assesses the role of industrial transformation in producing more unequal cities. He has also studied urban economic development, and he has examined the structure of informal work in low-wage industries in New York City and Chicago. Anmol is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and has been a visiting scholar at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He has co-authored journal articles with William Julius Wilson on the conceptualization of the ‘ghetto’ in sociological research and on urban ethnography. He earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.



Nicole DeterdingNicole Deterding
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7

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. 
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Diana DraghiciDiana Draghici
Government & Social Policy, G-3

Diana Draghici is a third-year graduate student pursuing a joint doctoral degree in Government and Social Policy. She holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg, and has been a visiting student at the University of Michigan and University of California, Berkeley. Prior to enrolling in the graduate program at Harvard she worked as a research officer for quantitative data analyses in a large-scale longitudinal project at the University of London (UK). Diana’s substantive research interests are located at the intersection of macroeconomics, political science, and social policy. A research question of particular interest for her is how governments of different partisan affiliations in advanced OECD countries leverage social policy instruments to address the increasingly salient trade-offs between economic efficiency and redistribution under economic globalization. Diana’s methodological interests span a broad array of econometric and psychometric statistical techniques, both parametric and non-parametric. She has worked with various types of data configurations (survey, longitudinal, multilevel, and cross-sectional time-series data), and has programming experience with various statistical software packages, including Stata, SAS, SPSS, AMOS, R, Econometric Views, and MLwiN. Among her prominent methodological interests are data visualization, the implementation of advanced programming techniques to automate computational procedures, and statistical software development.



Kelley FongKelley Ty Fong
Sociology & Social Policy, G-1

Kelley is a first-year doctoral student in Sociology and Social Policy, concentrating on poverty, education, and family life. She is interested in how low-income families and communities navigate social systems and supports, including education, child welfare, juvenile/criminal justice, and the social safety net. She received a B.A. in American studies and in history from Stanford University. Her undergraduate thesis used in-depth qualitative interviews to explore homeless parents’ interactions with their children’s schools. Before coming to Harvard, Kelley spent two years at MDRC contributing to research on community college reforms, and two years working on child welfare system reform efforts. She also has volunteer experience working with homeless families, youth in foster care, and self-represented litigants in housing and family law clinics.



Blythe GeorgeBlythe George
Sociology & Social Policy, G-1

Blythe George graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 with a BA in Sociology. At Dartmouth, she won the national Beinecke scholarship as a junior and was one of two students to complete the College’s interdisciplinary Senior Fellow opportunity. As part of this extended yearlong project, she conducted quantitative and qualitative research on Native student performance in northern California and has continued this research after graduation as a data consultant for area schools. She is particularly interested in neighborhood effects and how culture and structure intersect to reproduce poverty in understudied Native and rural low-income communities. These communities face serious data availability constraints and further research is necessary to better understand how issues like poverty, chronic unemployment, and substance abuse impact academic performance and social mobility.



Sara Sternberg GreeneSara Sternberg Greene
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7

Sara graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.A. in Political Science. Sara then attended Yale Law School, where she was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal and an Articles Editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review. Before starting her PhD, Sara clerked for a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge in Chicago and practiced law at a small firm in Boston focused on affordable housing law. Sara's scholarship broadly concerns the relationship between law and inequality. Specifically, her current work focuses on the impact of financial laws on low- and moderate- income families, and her interests span bankruptcy, commercial law, contracts, tax, and health law. Sara's article, The Broken Safety Net: A Study of Earned Income Tax Credit Recipients and a Proposal for Repair, is forthcoming in the NYU Law Review. Sara has several articles in progress, including an article on repeat bankruptcy filers, an article on predicting success in chapter 13 bankruptcy, an article on debt management strategies of low-income workers, and an article on culture and access to civil justice.



Michael HankinsonMichael Hankinson
Government & Social Policy, G-4

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.



Hope HarveyHope Harvey
Sociology & Social Policy, G-2

Hope is a PhD student in Sociology and Social Policy.  After she received her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Carleton College, she spent a year in AmeriCorps working at a nonprofit in Austin, Texas as a case manager for people facing homelessness.  In 2012, she earned her Master of Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Hope is interested in studying how disadvantage is transmitted across generations and how policy can increase intergenerational socioeconomic mobility.




Alex Hertel-FernandezAlexander Hertel-Fernandez
Government & Social Policy, G-4

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. 



David HureauDavid Hureau
Sociology & Social Policy, G-6

David Hureau is a sixth-year 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.



Jackelyn HwangJackelyn Hwang
Sociology and Social Policy, G-5

Jackelyn Hwang is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and Social Policy. She received her B.A.S. with honors in Sociology and Mathematics from Stanford University in 2007. Her senior thesis, which earned the Stanford Firestone Medal, focused on racial divisions in perceptions of neighborhood boundaries during gentrification. After graduating from Stanford, she worked in education management for a community-based charter school in West Philadelphia. Her research interests include community and urban sociology, neighborhood effects, urban inequality, segregation, race and ethnicity, and education. Her current projects examine the role of racial and ethnic context in gentrification and the recent foreclosure crisis and develop alternative methods for detecting gentrification and neighborhood reputations.



Barbara KiviatBarbara Kiviat
Sociology & Social Policy, G-2

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.




Carlos Lastra AnadonCarlos Lastra Anadón
Government & Social Policy, G-2

Carlos Lastra is a second-year doctoral student in government and social policy was born and raised in Asturias (Spain). He did his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Oxford and has worked as a consultant for several years, both for private companies and governments in Spain, Latin America and the Middle East. His research interests lie mostly in education and the role it can have in pursuing desirable societal outcomes (e.g. innovation, business creation) as part of an integrated economic policy. He is further interested in the institutional setup for the delivery of those policies and the role of governments in it versus the role of market players. His other interests lie in the Comparative  Political Economy of European countries and of European integration and the impact of trade relations on politics.



Audrey LaturaAudrey Latura
Government & Social Policy, G-1

Audrey Latura is a first-year doctoral student in Government and Social Policy with a focus on Comparative Politics.  She received an MA in International Relations from Yale University in 2012 and a Yale Fox International Fellowship to do field research in Brazil and Argentina during the 2012-2013 academic year.  Her research interests center on comparative work family policy and female professional advancement, particularly in the United States, the Southern Cone, and the Iberian Peninsula.  Audrey earned a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Departmental Distinction, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.



Nicholas LilliosNicholas Lillios
Government & Social Policy, G-1





Kristin PerkinsKristin Perkins
Sociology & Social Policy, G-4

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.



Eva RosenEva Rosen
Sociology & Social Policy, G-7

Eva graduated from Barnard College in 2005 with a BA in Political Science and French and Francophone Studies. Before graduate school, she worked at the Center for Urban Research and Policy at Columbia University, doing research on topics including public housing and relocation in Chicago, gangs, the informal economy, and prisoner reentry. Eva conducted ethnographic research with sex workers in Chicago, examining sex work as a supplement to, or replacement for low-wage labor, as part of strategy to make ends meet. Since coming to Harvard, Eva has been involved with several research projects, including Professor Mary Waters' study of low-income mothers before and after Hurricane Katrina, as well as the ten-year qualitative review of Moving to Opportunity (MTO) in Baltimore with Professor Kathryn Edin. Eva's research interests include neighborhood effects, urban sociology, cultural sociology, migration, and crime and re-entry, and ethnographic methods. Her qualifying paper uses data from the PHDCN to examine heterogeneity in how residents experience disorder in Chicago neighborhoods. Eva’s dissertation looks at Baltimore neighborhoods with high rates of section 8 voucher concentration that have arisen in the wake of public housing demolition.



Jared SchachnerJared Schachner
Sociology & Social Policy, G-1

Jared Schachner is a doctoral student in Sociology & Social Policy. Originally from Los Angeles, Jared received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philosophy, Politics & Economics and Urban Studies. After Penn, he spent four years as a management consultant at the Monitor Group, where he advised nonprofit and for-profit clients, including the United Negro College Fund, INROADS, and Friendship Public Charter School, in crafting strategic plans to amplify their social impact. Jared plans to conduct research at the intersection of urban sociology and educational policy, exploring how educational interventions propel or impede economic opportunity within low-income urban communities.



Tracey ShollenbergerTracey Shollenberger
Sociology & Social Policy, G-6

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.  



Vanessa WilliamsonVanessa Williamson
Government and Social Policy, G-5

Vanessa Williamson is a PhD candidate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University, and a coauthor, with Theda Skocpol, of the forthcoming book, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Her primary research interest is the politics of taxation. 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.
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Alix WinterAlix Winter
Sociology & Social Policy, G-2

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.



Daniel WuDaniel Wu
Sociology & Social Policy, G-3

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 my 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.



Queenie ZhuQueenie Zhu
Sociology and Social Policy, G-5

Queenie Zhu is a fifth-year 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.


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