Introducing 2019-2020 Chapter Leaders

Scholars Strategy Network is proud to introduce the researchers who will lead SSN chapters in building a nationwide culture where research informs policy at every level. These chapter leaders come from a variety of disciplines, institutions, and methodological traditions - but they share the common goal of advancing evidence-based policy and strengthening democracy in the states. This year, we also welcome 15 new chapter leaders to join their ranks. Read more about their work - and meet the leaders of all 34 chapters - below.

New Chapter Leaders

University of California-Davis

Austin’s work focuses on community development, public-private partnerships, housing, community economic development, and public finance. Overarching themes in Austin’s writings include social equity, disadvantaged and underserved communities, and women.

University of Colorado, Denver

Burciaga's research focuses on undocumented immigrant youth, specifically the role of state and local contexts in shaping their educational trajectories, work and career development, and participation in activism. Overarching themes in Burciaga's writing include immigration, college access, social justice organizing, and policies that encourage immigrant integration. Burciaga has worked with immigrant rights organizations in California, Massachusetts, Georgia and Colorado.

Hamilton College

Cannavò is an environmental political theorist. His academic interests focus on how our conceptions of and relationships with the natural world, including how we organize our spatial surroundings into coherent, meaningful places, impact on our fundamental understandings of politics and community. He is currently interested in how the civic republican tradition intersects with environmentalism and in the implications of climate change for civic virtue and democracy. 

University of Southern Maine, Portland

Dr. Deprez’s commitment is to social justice, equality and equity.  With a focus on social policy, her work unearths the politics of policy-making as well as the impact of ideology and public opinion on policy exposing the resultant social, economic, and personal consequences. Scholarship concentrated on welfare policy focuses on both its restrictive nature and its corresponding impact and effect on recipients, most particularly single-mothers pursuing post- secondary education. The power of higher education in sustaining privilege and its resultant impact on thwarting access to low-income parents emerges in these investigations.

Grand Valley State University

Downey's research focuses on the impact of natural and manmade disasters on local economic development. She also has written about the impact of tax increment financing on communities of color, as well as how different levels of government litigate against each other in disputed policy realms. Downey serves as the chair of the Housing Committee for the city of East Lansing, Michigan and on the board of Voters Not Politicians, a grassroots organization advocating for an end to partisan gerrymandering in the state of Michigan.

University of California, Berkeley

Gómez has worked as a health equity researcher with a focus on reproduction and sexuality throughout the life course. She has conducted research both in the U.S. and globally on diverse topics, including contraceptive use, abortion, HIV prevention, gender equity, transgender health and violence against women and children. Her current research focuses on three areas: (1) the measurement and meaning of pregnancy planning; (2) understanding contraceptive decision-making within social, relational and structural contexts; and (3) evaluating the impact of and evidence base for policies related to reproductive health. She also serves as a co-PI on SOLARS, a prospective, longitudinal cohort study funded by UCSF's Preterm Birth Initiative.

University of Denver

Greenfield's research focuses on the intersections of health and wealth disparities across the life course, especially through the mechanism of family care work. Through her research, Greenfield seeks to identify and test policy interventions that best support families as they balance work and caregiving. She also collaborates on projects related to economic security across the life course, the health and mental health effects of productive engagement in later life, and analysis of public policy initiatives related to health care access and economic security in Colorado. Greenfield regularly contributes to policymaking processes through testimony in state legislatures, published op-eds, and regular communication with policymakers at the state and federal levels.

Auburn University

King’s research focuses on election administration, public policy, citizen voting experiences, and race and ethnicity. Overarching themes in King’s writings include the administrative structure of rights restoration for citizens with felony convictions, citizen confidence in electoral outcomes, and the consequences of administrative discretion on voter experiences. King serves as the director of the Master of Public Administration program at Auburn University, an instructor in the Election Center Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) Program, and an Affiliated Researcher with the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA).

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Mossakowski's research focuses on medical sociology, mental health, aging, social psychology, and coping with stress. Overarching themes in Mossakowski's writings include coping with the stress of discrimination and the social determinants of mental health. Mossakowski serves as the President of the Hawaii Sociological Association 2018-2019, member of the editorial board of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (the flagship medical sociology journal of the American Sociological Association) 2019-2022, and served as advisor for and member of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Hawaii, and gave "Live your Life Well" presentations for Mental Health America Hawaii in workplaces on coping with stress and protecting mental health.

The Ohio State University

Nuñez’s research and teaching focus on promoting access to and success in postsecondary education, particularly for groups historically underrepresented in higher education. Much of her work addresses college attendance and completion for Latino, first-generation, and migrant students in the U.S. More recently, she has been focusing on how higher education accountability policies and ratings systems influence equity in higher education. In addition, Nuñez studies how Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) contribute to postsecondary advancement in the U.S., particularly for Latino populations.

University of Texas at Dallas

Piquero's research focuses on crime policy, crime prevention, crime rates, immigration/crime, and sports/crime.

 

Piquero will lead a new chapter forming in Dallas this year.

University of South Florida

Prouty's research employs system dynamics (SD) modeling which is a computational technique where factors and dynamics are reflected by mathematical equations to simulate the behavior of a system over time. This kind of research makes a particularly unique contribution to the field of applied environmental engineering as it employs a mixed method, community-informed approach (i.e. surveys, interviews, and participatory observations, water quality analysis, and process-based mass balance analysis) to populate the SD models and evaluate their simulated behavior.

University of Utah

Sanders’ expertise is in reproductive epidemiology, contraception and abortion. Her research focuses on issues of public health, obstetrics, and gynecology.

University of Oklahoma

Dr. Urick's research interests include school improvement in the areas of principal and teacher perceptions of leadership, school structures and equitable opportunity, and teacher retention. She specializes in research design, advanced statistical methods and the use of large databases. Her work informs K12 educational leaders and policymakers on the topics of accountability, academic standards, teacher workforce, school reform and education funding.

University of North Carolina - School of Social Work

Sarah Verbiest is a Clinical Associate Professor at the UNC School of Social Work and the Executive Director of the Center for Maternal & Infant Health in the UNC School of Medicine. She is also the CDC Senior Consultant for the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative and the director of the Every Woman Southeast Coalition, a regional preconception health initiative. In addition to teaching courses on health equity and policy, she directs several programs addressing the needs of women, pregnant women, new mothers and their infants.

All Chapter Leaders







Alabama



University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham







Bay Area



University of California, Berkeley
University of California, San Francisco







Boston



Salem State University
Fitchburg State University
Harvard University







Central Florida



University of South Florida
University of South Florida







Central New York



Syracuse University







Central Ohio



The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University







Chicagoland



Northwestern University
University of Illinois at Chicago







Colorado



University of Colorado, Denver







Confluence



University of Missouri-St. Louis
University of Missouri-St. Louis







Connecticut



Yale University
University of Connecticut







Finger Lakes



Cornell University
Cornell University







Georgia



The Georgia Institute of Technology
Emory University
Georgia State University







Hawaii



University of Hawai'i at Manoa
University of Hawai'i at Manoa







Indiana



Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue Climate Change Research Center and Purdue Center for the Environment
Purdue University
University of Arizona







Los Angeles Unified



University of California, Los Angeles







Maine



Maine SSN Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Southern Maine, Portland
University of Maine
University of Maine







Michigan



Michigan State University
Grand Valley State University
Michigan State University







Minneapolis-St. Paul



University of Minnesota







Mississippi



Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University







Nevada



Nevada State College
Nevada State College
Nevada State College







New Jersey



Rutgers University-Camden
Rutgers University-Camden







New Mexico



University of New Mexico
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation







New Orleans



Tulane University
Newcomb College Institute
Loyola University New Orleans







New York City



City University of New York
City University of New York
City University of New York







North Carolina



North Carolina State University
Duke University
University of North Carolina - School of Social Work
Center for Maternal & Infant Health, UNC School of Medicine







Northeast Ohio



Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University







Oklahoma



Oklahoma State Department of Education
University of Oklahoma
Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education







Oregon



Brandeis University
Boston College
Portland State University







Sacramento



University of California-Davis
Sacramento State







San Diego



San Diego State University
San Diego SSN Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, San Diego







Tennessee



Vanderbilt University
University of Tennessee







Utah



University of Utah
Utah SSN Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Utah
University of Utah







Washington



University of Washington-Seattle Campus
University of Washington







Wisconsin



University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee