PhD Students

Contact Us

The Graduate Program in Human Development and Social Policy

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-4329

Email: sesp-hdsp@northwestern.edu

PhD Students

Lara Altman

Altman, Lara


Degrees

  • MSW, Washington University in St. Louis, 2013
  • MPH, Washington University in St. Louis, 2013
  • BA, Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 2006
Naomi Blaushild

Blaushild, Naomi


Degrees

  • MS Education, Johns Hopkins University, 2012
  • BA Political Science, Kenyon College, 2010

Research Interests

  • Teacher recruitment, development and retention in urban schools
  • The impact of teacher social networks on retention and student achievement 
Angel Bohannon

Bohannon, Angel


Degrees

  • BA in Public Policy at the University of Chicago in 2015, University of Chicago, 2015

Research Interests

I am interested in mechanisms for systematically achieving improvement at scale, such as research practice partnerships and interorganizational networks. I am also interested in the role of leadership in facilitating the implementation of mathematics reforms in community colleges.

Eric  Brown

Brown, Eric


Degrees

  • MA, Social Services Administration, The University of Chicago, 2008
  • BA, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, CUNY, The City College of New York, 2006
Andrea Kinghorn Busby

Degrees

  • MS, Statistics, Northwestern University, 2017
  • BS, Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2012
  • MA, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2018

Research Interests

I am interested in the intersection of home and school environments and its impact on children’s development, especially among families from low-income, immigrant, or ethnic-minority backgrounds.

Claudia Castillo-Lavergne

Castillo-Lavergne, Claudia


Degrees

  • MPA, International Economic Policy and Management, Columbia University, 2011
  • BA, Journalism and Spanish Literature, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2006

Research Interests

 Claudia M. Castillo-Lavergne is pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.  Her research focuses on the psychological well-being of adolescents and young adults, with a particular focus on associations between psychological well-being and the intersection of a person’s multiple identities in different social contexts. An additional strand of her work explores the development of policies and programs associated with Hispanic-Serving Institutions at the institutional, state, and federal levels.  

Sebastian Castrechini

Castrechini, Sebastian


Degrees

  • EdM, Education Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2005
  • BS, Secondary Education, Penn State University, 2002

Research Interests

 Teacher practice in racially integrated schools; interventions to promote educational equity; policy implementation in schools; research use in policy

Sarah Collier

Collier, Sarah


Degrees

  • MA, Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College, 2013
  • BS, Psychology, Boston College, 2012

Research Interests

 stress biology; cortisol; poverty policy; welfare reform

Amanda Cook

Cook , Amanda


Degrees

  • MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
  • BA, Sociology and French, University of California, Berkeley, 2009

Research Interests

College access and success, transition from high school to college, quantitative methods

Jennifer Cowhy

Cowhy, Jennifer


Degrees

  • AM, Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, 2013
  • MPP, University of Chicago, 2013
  • BA, Sociology, University of Michigan, 2010

Research Interests

Jennifer Cowhy is interested in researching how schools can better serve students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences ad students with IEPs.  Prior to studying at Northwestern, Jen worked at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, where she studied the implementation of several policy and program implementations in Chicago Public Schools.

Varun Devakonda

Devakonda, Varun


Degrees

Kanika Dhanda

Dhanda, Kanika


Degrees

Fortunate Ekwuruke

Ekwuruke, Fortunate


Degrees

  • MS, Education, Culture and Society, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 2020
  • MS, Nonprofit Leadership, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, 2020
  • BA, Secondary Education: English, Brooklyn College, 2018
Sheridan Fuller

Fuller, Sheridan


Degrees

  • MPP, Frank Batten School of Public Policy, University of Virginia, 2014
  • BA, American Politics, University of Virginia, 2013

Research Interests

Evaluating the impact of social safety net programs on children and families; specifically early childhood education, child welfare, child support, and TANF related programs.

Nicole Guarino

Guarino, Nicole


Degrees

  • EdM, International Education Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2013
  • BA, Mathematics and English, University of Iowa, 2007

Research Interests

Interventions in higher education that promote student persistence and success; developmental education; transition from high school to postsecondary education; quantitative methods; causal methods

Olivia Healy

Healy, Olivia


Degrees

  • B.S. Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University, 2012
Julia Honoroff

Honoroff, Julia


Degrees

Ayah Kamel

Kamel, Ayah


Degrees

  • MS, Adolescent Special Education, Hunter College, 2013
  • BA, Political Science and Global Studies, Concordia College, 2011

Research Interests

I am interested in the long-term impacts of education policy reform efforts on students' educational achievement and attitudes toward education. I am also interested in the ways in which students and families understand their role in the education policy-making process., I am interested in how we define and measure school quality and in how those definitions and measurements of school quality impact what happens inside of schools.

Courtenay Kessler

Kessler, Courtenay


Degrees

  • MA, Public Health , Harvard University, 2008
  • BA, Women's Studies, Harvard University, 2003

Research Interests

Research interests include early childhood development, social determinants of health,
resilience, multi-generational interventions for health and education, and program evaluation methods
(especially collaborative/community-based methodologies and mixed methods approaches).

Sebastian Kiguel

Kiguel, Sebastian


Degrees

Jiffy Lansing

Lansing, Jiffy


Degrees

  • AM, University of Chicago, 2007
  • BA, Tufts University, 2002

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring the institutional mechanisms and practices that foster adult identity development and influence education and work trajectories during the transition to adulthood, with a focus on juvenile justice and community college systems.

Meghan Leggero

Leggero, Meghan


Degrees

Research Interests

Meghan is interested in examining policies and incentives that impact under-served communities.

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Lin, Phoebe


Degrees

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Mackevicius, Claire


Degrees

Matias Martinez

Martinez, Matias


Degrees

Heather McCambly

McCambly, Heather


Degrees

    • MA, Educational Leadership & Policy, Portland State University
    • BA, Communications, Portland State University

Research Interests

Heather draws on a range of analytic and interpretive methods to study the influence of aspiring change agents on institutionalized racial inequities in higher education policy. Constructs central to Heather's work include: racialized organizations, institutional persistence and change, racial frames, political development and racial backlash, and organizational sensemaking.

Dissertation Title

Change Agents or Same Agents?: Grantmakers and Racial Inequity in U.S. Higher Education
Lynn Meissner

Degrees

  • BA, Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2011

Research Interests

Sociology of Education, educational attainment and employment outcomes, high-school-to-work transition, high school career guidance, Career and Technical Education (CTE), community colleges

Connections between research, policy, and practice. Mixed-methods research. Intervention and implementation science.

Julissa Muniz

Muniz, Julissa


Degrees

  • Ed.M., Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2016
  • B.A., Ethnic Studies2014, University of California, Berkeley, 2014

Research Interests

Juvenile justice policy; justice centered reform; carceral education; adolescent development; racial/ethnic identity formation

Zina Noel

Noel, Zina


Degrees

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Oullet, Leah


Degrees

David Rompilla

Rompilla, David

Research Project Coordinator


Degrees

  • MA, Experimental Psychology, Towson University, 2017
  • BA, Psychology, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania , 2015

Research Interests

 Emotion Regulation, Emotion, Motivation

Jacquelyn Stephens

Stephens, Jacquelyn


Degrees

  • BA in Psychology, DePauw University, 2014
Carolyn Swen

Degrees

  • MA, International Relations, University of Chicago, 2009
  • MA, Public Policy, University of Chicago, 2009
  • BA, Politics, Princeton University
  • MA, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2016

Research Interests

Intersection of vocational psychology and sociology of work, sense of calling in the work role, meaning, purpose, vocation, narrative identity, cultural discourses about work and motivation, work orientation, adult development, generativity, pro-social work, educational leadership, artists, gig economy, precarious work

Karla Thomas

Thomas, Karla


Degrees

Timea Viragh

Viragh, Timea


Degrees

  • MA, Economic Policy in Global Markets, Central European University, 2015
  • BSc, Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest, 2013

Research Interests

Early childhood education; female labor force participation; causal methods

Cora Wigger

Wigger, Cora


Degrees

  • MPP, Quantitative Methods in Education Policy, Vanderbilt University, 2016
  • BA, International Relations/Economics, The College of Wooster, 2011

Research Interests

 Economics of Education and Housing, Desegregation Policy, Social and Emotional Learning Outcomes, Causal Methods

Beiming Yang

Yang, Beiming


Degrees

Contact Us

The Graduate Program in Human Development and Social Policy

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-4329

Email: sesp-hdsp@northwestern.edu