Susan Dynarski is a professor of public policy, education and economics at the University of Michigan, where she holds appointments at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, Department of Economics and Institute for Social Research and serves as co-director of the Education Policy Initiative. She is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. She is a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. Dynarski earned an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT.
Dynarski has been a visiting fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Princeton University as well as an associate professor at Harvard University. She is an editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, former editor of The Journal of Labor Economics and Education Finance and Policy, and is currently on the board of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She has been elected to the boards of the Association for Public Policy and Management and the Association for Education Finance and Policy and currently serves as president-elect at the Association for Education Finance and Policy. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators awarded her the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research on student aid.
Dynarski’s research focuses on the effectiveness of charter schools, the optimal design of financial aid, the price elasticity of private school attendance, the relationship between postsecondary schooling and labor market outcomes, and the effect of high school reforms on academic achievement and educational attainment. She has testified about education and tax policy before the US Senate Finance Committee, the US House Ways and Means Committee and the President's Commission on Tax Reform. She has consulted broadly on student aid reform, including at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, White House, Treasury and Department of Education and frequently consults with the Council of Economic Advisers on the college ratings system.
Brian Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, professor of economics, co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and Youth Policy Lab, and director of the Ford School’s doctoral program.
Jacob’s primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. His research focuses on urban school reform, virtual schooling and teacher labor markets; other recent work examines school choice, education accountability programs, and housing vouchers. He leads ongoing research collaborations with policymakers and practitioners, including State of Michigan Department of Education, DC Public Schools and Miami-Dade Public Schools.
Jacob received the David N. Kershaw Prize, an award given every two years to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy. He previously served as a policy analyst in the NYC Mayor's Office and taught middle school in East Harlem.
Jacob holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and an AB magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard University.
Dr. Peter Bahr is an associate professor at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Michigan School of Education. In his research, Dr. Bahr seeks to deconstruct students' pathways into, through, and out of community colleges and into the workforce or on to four-year postsecondary institutions. His recent work is focused particularly on students' course-taking and enrollment patterns in the community college and their subsequent labor market outcomes, such as employment and earnings, as well as the impact of students' varied patterns of course-taking and enrollment on the assessment of community college performance. Bahr joined the faculty of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2009. He previously held a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology at Wayne State University (2004-2009), a research appointment in the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges (2001-2003), and a research appointment in the California Department of Education (2000-2001). He received his PhD in sociology from the University of California-Davis.
Dr. John Bound is George E. Johnson collegiate professor of economics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Bound studies economic, demographic, and policy influences on the labor force participation and health status of older people in the United States. His recent research has also included studies on racial differences in earnings, employment, and health and changes in the returns to higher education. His teaching centers on econometrics and labor economics. In addition to his appointment in the department of economics, Bound is affiliated with and an active member of the governing faculty of Michigan's Population Studies Center and is the director of the Michigan Center for the Demography of Aging (MICDA) there. Dr. Bound is also a faculty associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), affiliated with the Labor Studies, and Education and Aging programs. Dr. Bound holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University.
Stephen L. DesJardins teaches courses related to public policy in higher education, economics and finances in postsecondary education, statistical methods, and institutional research and policy analysis. His research interests include student transitions from high school to college, what happens to students once they enroll in college, the economics of postsecondary education, and applying new statistical techniques to the study of these issues. His research has been published widely in education and economics journals. He is also on the editorial board of Economics of Education Review, is a contributing editor to Research in Higher Education, and is the methodology section editor for Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.
DesJardins received a BS in economics from Northern Michigan University, an MA in policy analysis and labor economics from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in higher education with a concentration in research and evaluation methods, also from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining academia, he worked in market research in the private sector and was a policy analyst and institutional researcher for 13 years at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Ben Hansen is an associate professor of statistics in the school of Literature, Science, & the Arts. He also serves as the director of undergraduate programs for LSA and as a research associate at the Institute for Social Research. Dr. Hansen's research develops methods that aim to sharpen comparisons of subjects receiving an intervention to subjects receiving a control condition, particularly nonrandomized comparisons, and to improve communication and understanding of remaining uncertainties regarding effects of the intervention. He writes on statistical and computation issues related to matching, on diagnostics for randomized studies and for matched observational studies, on sensitivity analysis, on propensity scores and related methods of dimension reduction sensitivity analysis, and he is a co-developer of R libraries for optimal matching and associated diagnostics. Dr. Hansen earned degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Harvard College and his PhD in logic and methodology of science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Robin Jacob holds appointments as an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Education and the Institute for Social Research. She is also co-founder of the Education and Well-Being Program at ISR and a co-director of the School Reform and Beyond (SRB) initiative. She currently serves as co-principal investigator for several research endeavors centered on teaching and learning. Dr. Jacob is a skillful evaluator of educational interventions with a special interest in how policies and programs can affect instructional quality and outcomes in elementary schools. She has extensive experience conducting evaluations of education reform initiatives, measuring educational outcomes, and analyzing student achievement and other outcome data. In addition to her substantive evaluation work, she is an expert in and publishes articles on evaluation methods. Much of her work focuses on strategically leveraging school reforms designed to maximize academic outcomes for children across all ethnic groups and income levels. She is a graduate of Indiana University and received her PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Brian McCall is a professor of education, economics and public policy. He is an economist whose research interests include applied econometrics, econometrics theory, economics of education and education policy, research design and quasi-experimental research, labor economics, social insurance, and health economics. Dr. McCall studies problems in both K-12 and higher education, including using econometric methods to model and evaluate intervention program effects. He is currently studying the effects of financial aid on college outcomes, the impact of unemployment insurance rules on re-employment, and claim disputes in workers' compensation. Dr. McCall received his PhD in economics from Princeton University.
Dr. McKay is director of the LSA Honors Program and Arthur F. Thurnau professor of physics within the University of Michigan's Department of Physics. Dr. McKay will contribute to the Community College to Career project by applying his recent work to adapt expert coaching software developed in the UM School of Public Health for physics education. His team is developing a new tool called ECoach, which will provide individualized coaching to students taking introductory physics courses and advice which is aware of each student's individual background, goals, and current standing in the course. This project is supported by a Next Generation Learning Challenge grant from the Gates and Hewlett Foundations.
Matthew Ronfeldt has a PhD in education and is a member of the core faculty for UM’s predoctoral training grant. Ronfeldt seeks to understand how to improve teaching quality, particularly in schools and districts that serve historically marginalized student populations. His research sits at the intersection of educational practice and policy and focuses on teacher preparation, teacher retention, teacher induction, and the assessment of teachers and preparation programs. Ronfeldt is primarily interested in whether and how pre-service teacher education and school/district factors, especially working conditions, are related to teacher quality, retention, and other workforce outcomes.
Dr. Brian Rowan is Burke A. Hinsdale collegiate professor in education and a research professor at the Institute of Social Research. A sociologist whose scholarly interests lie at the intersection of organization theory and school effectiveness research, Rowan has written on education as an institution, on the nature of teachers' work, and on the effects of school organization, leadership, and instruction practice on student achievement. His current work includes a large-scale, longitudinal study of the design, implementation, and effectiveness of three of America's largest comprehensive school reform initiatives. Prior to joining the education faculty at the University of Michigan in 1991, Rowan was a senior research director at Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, and Chairperson of the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. He holds a PhD in sociology from Stanford University.
Dr. Kristin Seefeldt is adjunct assistant research scientist, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and assistant professor of social work, School of Social Work. Her research focuses on poverty and social welfare policies in the United States. In particular, she studies how single mothers manage work-family balance issues; the economic copying strategies of low-income families; and the prevalence and impact of personal and family challenges such as health and mental health problems, among current and former welfare recipients. Dr. Seefeldt has also examined how social welfare programs and policies get implemented and are delivered. In this work, she has examined employment and training programs, state welfare systems, and most recently, programs serving ex-offenders. She will contribute to the Community College to Careers project.
Dr. Jeffrey Smith is a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan and a faculty associate at the Survey Research Center and the Institute for Social Research. His research centers on methods for the evaluation of social programs such as job training for the disadvantaged. He has also written papers examining the labor market effects of university quality and the use of statistical treatment rules to assign persons to government programs. His research centers on experimental and non-experimental methods for the evaluation of interventions, with particular application to social and educational programs. He has also written papers examining the labor market effects of university quality and the use of statistical treatment rules to assign persons to government programs. Dr. Smith has also consulted to governments in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia on evaluation issues.
Dr. Kevin Stange is an assistant professor of public policy. His research interests lie broadly in empirical labor and public economics, with a focus on higher education and health care. He is currently doing research on college choice and changes in the health care workforce. In the past, he has studied educational uncertainty, fertility timing, college quality, and the determinants of participation in social insurance programs. Prior to joining the Ford School, he was a Robert Wood Johnson scholar in health policy research at the University of Michigan. He received undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and economics from MIT and his PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Megan Tompkins-Stange is a lecturer of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Her research and teaching interests center on the influence of private sector and philanthropic actors within the nonprofit sector, particularly the focus on the role of private philanthropic foundations in the field of public education. Other projects examine how foundations manage advocacy-related activities in the context of legal regulations, and how funders played a central role in the creation and diffusion of management organizations within the charter school movement in the U.S. At the Ford School, she teaches three master-level courses, public management of nonprofit organizations, values and ethics, and qualitative methods, and a bachelor-level course, philanthropic actors in the public arena. She is one of the Ford School's faculty representatives to the faculty steering committee of the Nonprofit and Public Management Center. She received her PhD in education policy and organizational studies from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.
Christina Weiland's research focuses on the effects of early childhood interventions and public policies on children's development, especially on children from low-income families. She is particularly interested in the active ingredients that drive children's gains in at-scale public preschool programs. Currently, she serves as Principal Investigator on a large-scale, Institute of Education Sciences-funded study of the longitudinal impacts of the Boston Public Schools Prekindergarten program on children's reading and mathematics skills, grade retention, and special education placement through the end of third grade and of variation in these impacts across student subgroups and schools. She is also a 2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow. She holds an EdD (Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education) and a MA from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Julie Monteiro de Castro is the administrator and program manager for the Education Policy Initiative and the Youth Policy Lab. In this capacity, Julie directs the financial and administrative functions for the group, and leads fundraising, outreach and communications efforts.
Julie's prior experience includes serving as forecasting, consulting, and business development director and establishing South American operations in São Paulo, Brazil for J.D. Power and Associates, as well as working with other multinational corporations in the United States and Chile. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and serves as editor with the Documentation Center of Cambodia. Julie holds a master of public policy from the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a bachelor of science from the Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business.
Tedi Anne Engler is a Research Area Specialist and provides research assistance and data analysis and management to multiple research projects. The topics of these projects have included the coping strategies of low-income populations, the effects of the recession, prisoner reentry, and housing instability. She has experience conducting focus groups and conducting qualitative and structured interviews. She holds a bachelor of science in economics, with a minor in mathematics, from the University of Michigan.
DeVanté Rollins supports the Education Policy Initiative's administrative operations and research projects. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science and a minor in Asian studies. Throughout his undergraduate career he has interned for Michigan's Senator Carl Levin and Congressman John Dingell, where he worked closely on economic and education related issues. DeVanté previously interned with the Education Policy Initiative, when he contributed to the Michigan Charter School study, and is now working on a project that examines the impact literacy programs have on student achievement.
Sarah Cannon is a postdoctoral fellow with the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative. Her research interests focus on education policy, and how the rural social context affects individuals and communities. She holds a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from Carleton College. Previously, she taught high school math through Teach for America in South Dakota.
Silvia Robles is a postdoctoral fellow with the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative. Her research interests include the economics of education and labor studies. Her work focuses on the transition between high school and college, and on barriers to higher education among under-represented minority and low-income students in the U.S.
Silvia received a PHD from the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked for two years for Innovations for Poverty Action implementing large scale randomized trials of microcredit interventions in Peru. She is currently working on an evaluation of summer programs for under-represented students in STEM.
Meredith Billings is a doctoral candidate in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) at the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on college affordability, state higher education financing policies, and tuition setting for public colleges and universities. Prior to coming to Michigan, Meredith worked as an institutional researcher at Tufts University for three years. She holds a bachelor of science in neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and a master's of arts in higher education from the University of Maryland.
Stacey Brockman is a doctoral student in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan and an IES predoctoral fellow. She studies teacher education and development, focusing especially on efforts to improve teacher preparation and teaching quality in schools that serve historically marginalized students. She earned both a bachelor of science and master of science in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, and a master of arts in education from Stanford University. Before beginning her PhD, Stacey taught high school history and academic interventions in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years.
Fernando Furquim is a doctoral student at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and an IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. His research interests include adult students in higher education, for-profit higher education, the effectiveness of accreditation and accountability systems for colleges and universities, and college affordability. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science at Macalester College, and earned a Master in economics and public policy at DePaul University.
Max Gross is a doctoral student in economics and an IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. His fields of interest include the economics of education, labor economics and public policy. While at Michigan, he has worked on projects related to school closings, school finance reform and non-cognitive skills in education. Before coming to Michigan, he earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Maryland.
Julian Hsu is a doctoral candidate in economics at the University of Michigan whose research interests lie in analyzing college course choices and their relation to college majors and graduation time. As a Junior Fellow at the University of Michigan's Learning Analytics Fellows program, he uses administrative transcript data from the University of Michigan Data Warehouse to study college course selection.
Daniel Hubbard is a doctoral student in the economics department at the University of Michigan. His current projects include an evaluation of the effects of plant closings on college attendance and choice in Michigan and a study of the factors contributing to teachers' decisions to change jobs. He previously earned a bachelor degree in economics and Spanish from the University of Michigan in 2010. Before returning to Ann Arbor, he worked as a research coordinator at Columbia Business School's Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate.
Andrew Litten is a doctoral candidate in Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. His research fields include labor and public economics, with a particular focus on the relationship between federal, state, and local policies in financing education. His job market paper looks at how regulatory limits on public section unions in Wisconsin affected teacher compensation. Using administrative teacher data, along with variation in collective bargaining agreement termination dates by school district, he finds the policies reduced teacher compensation by about 8%. Prior to coming to Michigan, Andrew received a Master's in Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
Meghan Oster is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) and IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on higher education financing policies, student loans, and community colleges. Prior to attending Michigan, Meghan worked as an institutional researcher at Northern Virginia Community College for two years. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from DePauw University and a master of science in education in higher education and student affairs from Baylor University.
Stephanie Owen is a second year doctoral student in economics and public policy and an inaugural member of the University of Michigan's Predoctoral Training Program in Causal Inference in Education Policy Research. Her interests include poverty, economic inequality, and the economics of education. Before coming to Michigan, Stephanie worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution and as a research associate at the Urban Institute. She holds a BA from Vassar College, where she studied economics, French, and math.
Anna Shapiro is a second-year doctoral student in educational studies in the School of Education and IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include early childhood education policy, early intervention for students with disabilities, and special education policy. Prior to attending the University of Michigan, Anna worked as a data coordinator at Washington D.C. Public Schools. She holds a BA in educational studies and French Studies from Emory University and an MA in urban education policy from Brown University.
Andrew Simon is a doctoral student in economics and IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. His main research fields are labor economics and the economics of education. Before Michigan, he worked as a research professional at the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago and studied economics and mathematics at Cornell University.
Carrie Xu is the first joint doctoral candidate in economics and information science at the University of Michigan. Her main fields of interest are labor, behavioral and experimental economics. Carrie's current research examines peer effects using experimental methods in contexts such as college education. She received a bachelor of art in economics with a minor in applied mathematics from Shanghai Jiaotong University in 2011.
Xiaoyang Ye is a docotoral student in higher education at the Univeristy of Michigan. His research interest is the economics of education. He is now working on the Michigan Charter School Project and the Michigan Middle School Project. Xiaoyang's other current research examines the dynamic impacts of high school course-taking, endogenous school choice and college choice and the political economy of Chinese education policies. He recieved a B.A. in economics and a M.A. in the economics of education at Peking University, China.
Kate is a
master of public policy student at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She is currently working with Brian Jacob and MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization, on a study of the Detroit Promise Path campus coach pilot program.
Robbie is a recent graduate from the Ford School's undergraduate program. He is currently working under EPI faculty Megan Tompkins-Stange and Kevin Stange on projects evaluating Michigan's No Child Left Behind waiver program, disparities in school facility condition, and the evolution of teacher quality within policy discourse. In his next academic program, Robbie intends to focus on the topics of school accountability and education inequality.
Steven Hemelt is assistant professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Hemelt was an IES postdoctoral research fellow at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. His fields of interest include education policy, economics of education, labor economics, and program evaluation.
In one strand of current research, Hemelt is examining the effects of different policies or programs on students' performance in high school, transition into college, and longer-run college outcomes (e.g., persistence, credit accumulation, and graduation). In a second line of work, he is exploring the impacts of K-12 accountability structures, consequences, and supports on a variety of student outcomes. In the past, Hemelt has studied the impacts of failure to make “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on subsequent student achievement, the effects of additional learning time on student performance, and the usefulness of college double majors in the labor market.
Hemelt earned his PhD in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He holds a master and undergraduate degree in economics and a bachelor degree in Spanish.
Joshua Hyman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut, with a joint appointment in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Neag School of Education. Hyman's fields of interest are in labor economics, public finance, and the economics of education. His research examines the effects of education policies implemented during primary and secondary school on reducing economic inequality in educational attainment. In past and current work, he has examined the effects on educational attainment of a variety of policies, such as class size during elementary school, Michigan's requirement that all high school students take the ACT college entrance exam, and Michigan's 1995 school finance reform. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Connecticut, Hyman was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Hyman earned his Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy and his M.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He earned his B.A. in Quantitative Economics from Tufts University. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a research assistant at Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA.
Daniel Kreisman is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Georgia State University. Kreisman previously served as postdoctoral research fellow with the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative. His research addresses topics in labor economics, education finance and education policy, including: vocational education, K-12 funding, student loans, community colleges and labor market discrimination. His research has been published by The Review of Economics and Statistics and the Brookings Institution, and has been cited in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has received grant and fellowship awards from the Institute for Research on Poverty, the American Education Research Association and the Institute of Education Sciences. He has PhD in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in History and Philosophy from Tulane University. Before graduate school Dan taught high school English in New Orleans.
Katherine Michelmore is an assistant professor of public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University's Maxwell School. Katherine’s work centers around issues of public policy and family demography. Her two main types of research involve descriptive analyses documenting differences by socioeconomic status in areas such as educational attainment, family formation and dissolution, and evaluating the causal impact of public policies on the well-being of low-income families. Her work as an IES postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan involved documenting gaps in education outcomes by socioeconomic status, and then designing a randomized-controlled trial intended to increase the representation of low-income students at the University of Michigan. Her work in this area has recently been funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.
Her other main area of interest is in evaluating how the U.S. social safety net affects the well-being of low-income families. In particular, she has conducted numerous evaluations of how the largest tax credit for low-income families, the earned income tax credit, has impacted the educational attainment of low-income youth, the family formation patterns of single mothers, and the household finances of single mothers. Using quasi-experimental methods, she asks questions such as: how have the expansions to the EITC over the last several decades impacted the educational attainment of the low-income youth that are exposed to these policy expansions?
Prior to her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Katherine completed a BA in economics at Wesleyan University, and a PhD in Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University.
Nathaniel Schwartz is the director of research and policy at the Tennessee Department of Education. His primary research interests include large-scale instructional intervention, teacher accountability, and student mobility. Dr. Schwartz earned his PhD from the University of Michigan's School of Education, his master of public policy from the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and his bachelor of arts from Harvard College. Previously, he taught high school science through Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta and served as a founding teacher for the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago.
Lesley Turner is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Maryland, faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, CESifo research affiliate, and a faculty associate of the Maryland Population Research Center. Her research applies theory and methods from labor and public economics to topics in education economics and broadly considers the role government should play in providing and financing education. Her work on K–12 education policy has examined the impact of school accountability measures on student achievement, of incentive pay for teachers on student achievement and teacher effort, and of school and classroom gender composition on student achievement. Regarding higher education, Turner has studied how postsecondary institutions strategically respond to need-based student aid to estimate the economic incidence of the Pell Grant Program, the impact ofPell Grant aid on educational attainment and borrowing, and how price shocks affect undocumented students’ educational attainment. She was awarded the Upjohn Institute Dissertation award for the best PhD dissertation in labor economics in 2012 and received theCESifo Distinguished Young Affiliate Prize in 2015.
Mark Wiederspan is an assistant professor of higher and postsecondary education at Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. His areas of research include higher education policy, with a focus on financial aid, economics of education, educational pathways to college, and program evaluation. Wiederspan earned his PhD and MA in higher education administration from the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. He earned a BA in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Prior to graduate school, Mark worked as a policy analyst for the National Student Loan Program in Lincoln, NE.