Institute for Research on Poverty                 Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation               Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

National Poverty Fellows Program

The National Poverty Fellows Program is a federal government-university partnership that seeks to build the capacity of researchers to conduct high-quality policy-relevant research on poverty and inequality in the United States and to contribute to the effective use of research and scientific knowledge in the formation of public policy.

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison administers the program with support provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

The fellows are in residence at ASPE or OPRE in Washington, DC conducting poverty-related research and analysis, contributing to planning and overseeing poverty-related research and evaluation studies, and working on their own related research projects.

In addition to their work at ASPE and OPRE, the fellows receive academic mentoring from senior IRP affiliates and researchers, participate in IRP conferences, and give talks at IRP's weekly seminar series.

2015–2016 National Poverty Fellows

Three postdoctoral scholars have been selected for the second cohort of the National Poverty Fellows Program, a joint effort between the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the federal offices of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and Office of Planning, Evaluation & Research in the Administration for Children and Families (OPRE-ACF).

The incoming fellows are Nicole Deterding (PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, Harvard University), Megan Reid (PhD, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin), and Lincoln H. Groves (PhD, Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University). The fellows' individual bios follow.

Nicole Deterding

Nicole Deterding

Nicole Deterding earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her work examines the relationship between education and the labor market for disadvantaged students. She is particularly interested in the role of the growing for-profit sector in educating returning students, which she examined in her dissertation, entitled "Start, Start Again: The College Pathways of Economically-Vulnerable Mothers."  Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Nicole worked on large implementation and impact studies of higher education interventions as a Research Associate at The Urban Institute and earned a Master's Degree in Education Policy Studies from The George Washington University. Nicole's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation IGERT Program, The RISK Project, The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Nicole will be a fellow at OPRE-ACF beginning in September of 2015 and will be mentored by Sara Goldrick-Rab.

Megan Reid

Megan Reid

National Poverty Fellow
Office of Research, Planning, and Evaluation
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
370 L-Enfant Promenade
Washington, DC 20447
megan.reid@acf.hhs.gov
mreid4@wisc.edu

Megan Reid earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and worked as a Project Director at the National Development and Research Institutes before beginning her position as a National Poverty Fellow. Her research focuses on social inequalities, families, housing, and disaster. In her dissertation, she focused on analyzing the experiences of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and developed the concept of temporal domination to explain how time structures social inequalities. Her most recent project focuses on understanding parenting and partnering among low-income Black couples in New York City. In a recent article she identified the "vetting and letting" process of cohabiting step family formation. Megan will be a fellow at OPRE-ACF beginning in August of 2015. She will be mentored by IRP Director Lawrence Berger.

Lincoln Groves

Lincoln Grove

Lincoln Groves has an M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Syracuse University. He is interested in the human capital development of young adults at-risk of living in poverty, as well as the role of public policy in facilitating more favorable outcomes for these groups. In his dissertation, he investigates how three large-scale social insurance programs—AFDC/TANF, Medicaid, and Social Security's Student Benefit Program—affected the educational attainment and work experience of vulnerable young adults. Before his graduate studies in Syracuse, Lincoln worked as an economic research analyst in Washington, DC—with both the government (USDOJ, Antitrust Division) and a private sector consulting firm (MiCRA, Inc.)—and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. Lincoln will be a fellow at ASPE beginning in August 2015. He will be mentored by Timothy Smeeding.

2014–2015 National Poverty Fellows

IRP, along with ASPE and OPRE, are pleased to announce the 2014–2015 class of National Poverty Fellows:

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

National Poverty Fellow
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
(202) 260-6842
colin.campbell@hhs.gov

Colin Campbell received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina, where he was a fellow in the Royster Society of Fellows. His dissertation examines the effect of dropping out of high school on later life poverty, the influence of early life family characteristics on educational achievement in low-income households, and the social determinants of public support for anti-poverty programs. His research focuses on poverty persistence and mobility out of poverty, the lasting effects of childhood poverty, and attitudes toward anti-poverty policies. Colin served as an Associate Editor of Social Forces from 2010 to 2014.

Colin is a fellow at ASPE where his focus is on poverty analyses, income and wage mobility, and longitudinal and panel data analysis.

Melinda Petre

Melinda Petre

National Poverty Fellow
Office for Planning, Research and Evaluation
Division of Economic Independence
Administration for Children and Families
Aerospace 7th Floor
901 D Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 401-5871
melinda.petre@acf.hhs.gov

Melinda Petre earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focuses on the returns to cognitive and noncognitive skills in different labor market contexts, such as employer learning about these skills and skills as an explanation of the racial wage gap. She is interested in researching policies that help to reduce poverty and inequality by developing skills and closing gaps from an early age.

Melinda is a fellow at OPRE and works on a variety of projects related to economic mobility, geographic poverty trends, low- and middle-skills labor sector analysis, skills acquisition and development, housing stability, and safety net studies.

Shomon Shamsuddin

Shomon Shamsuddin

National Poverty Fellow
Office for Planning, Research and Evaluation
Division of Economic Independence
Administration for Children and Families
Aerospace 7th Floor
901 D Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 401-5438
shomon.shamsuddin@acf.hhs.gov

Shomon Shamsuddin received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy from MIT prior to beginning his position as a National Poverty Fellow. His research explores how housing and education policy affect urban inequality and socioeconomic mobility. His recent work examines barriers to college access and degree completion for low-income and minority students, with attention to the role of information, behavioral qualities, and institutional characteristics. He also studies how housing authorities have used different approaches to redevelop public housing into mixed-income communities and the resulting impacts on families and neighborhoods.

Shomon is a fellow at OPRE where he works on projects related to housing stability, economic mobility, geographic poverty trends, skills acquisition and development, and safety net studies.

Sharon Wolf

Sharon Wolf

National Poverty Fellow
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Department of Health and Human Services
Room FL4-422F-7
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
(202) 690-5739
sharon.wolf@hhs.gov

Sharon Wolf received her Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from New York University, where she held an Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Training Fellowship, as well as an American Psychological Foundation Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship. Drawing on theories and methods from developmental and community psychology, her research explores how poverty and inequality affect the pathways through which key settings for children's development—families and schools—influence children's academic success. Her work involves conducting both descriptive research to shed light on key levers of change within families and schools, as well as designing and testing interventions aimed at improving these levers to inform anti-poverty and education policies. Her dissertation focused on the effects of a conditional cash transfer program in New York City on adolescents and their families, and considered how inequality in schools moderated program impacts on this anti-poverty initiative.

Sharon is a fellow at ASPE engaged in projects related to early childhood care and education.