Current Scholar Profiles
Dr. Bail received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University in 2011. His primary interests include political and cultural sociology, civil society organizations, and mixed-method research. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled, The Fringe Effect: How Civil Society Organizations Shape America's Imagination about Islam. As a scholar, he is studying the role of the Tea Party in shaping public opinion about the Affordable Care Act as well as the Neurodiversity Movement, a collection of advocacy organizations working to transform public understandings of autism. After completing the program, he will assume a position as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Best received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. Her dissertation documented a recent increase in social movements targeting diseases and tracked their effects on federal medical research politics. Her current research asks why lobbying for research into new medical treatments has overshadowed movements seeking research on environmental causes of disease and advocacy for expanded access to medical care. After completing the program, she will join the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor.
Dr. Geruso received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2012. His dissertation research explored patterns of selection in health insurance markets, and in particular the interaction between adverse selection and preference heterogeneity. In other work, he has examined the effect of education on teen and adult fertility behavior, and the extent to which differences in socioeconomic status can account for disparities in life expectancy between blacks and whites in the US. After the program, he will join the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Economics.
Dr. Gillion received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester in 2009, and is currently on leave from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department. His research focuses on race and ethnic politics, political participation, political rhetoric, and government responsiveness. His recently completed book project Protest's Impact on Government: Minority Activism and Shifting Public Policy (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) demonstrates the influential power of protest to inform politicians of citizens' concerns and later shape the policies our political leaders create, a theory he refers to as an information continuum. As a scholar, he will explore the executive attention to health care policies, focusing on presidential rhetoric on health care reform and childhood obesity, and the impact these actions have on dampening racial health disparities and improving the discussion of healthy living in the racial and ethnic minority community.
Dr. Hertzberg received a Ph.D. in political science at Duke University in 2011. His primary research interests are in the fields of political theory and religion and politics. His dissertation develops a political liberal ethics of citizenship that reconciles conflicting religious and civic obligations concerning political participation and deliberation. He defends norms for democratic decision-making that allow citizens to make religious and other controversial arguments in public political discussions while preserving citizens' commitments to liberal-democratic legitimacy, commitments that underlie protection for citizens' basic rights and liberties. Benjamin plans to consider the normative implications of religious conflicts in health policy while a fellow in the program.
Dr. Joseph received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. Her primary research interests include: comparative frameworks of race in the Americas, the impact of immigration on the US racial system, minority and immigrant health, and the experiences of faculty of color and women in academia. Dr. Joseph’s current project explores how documentation status influences the health and healthcare access of Latino immigrants in the Boston metropolitan area. After program completion, she will begin an Assistant Professor of Sociology position at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Kelly received his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University in 2012. His work is in the areas of American political development and comparative politics. His dissertation explores the origins and development of American scientific capacity in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. In a comparison with Great Britain, Kelly examines the ability of scientists in the American bureaucracy to expand scientific capacity through the construction of a network of public-private connections between the federal government, institutions of higher learning, industry, and private scientific institutions. His next project will look at the expansion of private insurance within Medicare through the growth of Medicare Advantage.
Dr. Lavetti received a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University in 2011. His primary research interests are in labor and health economics, with an emphasis on physician labor supply. Currently, his research investigates the effects of exclusivity and non-compete contracts on the distribution of physicians and organization of practices, the relationship between physicians’ geographic labor supply decisions and physician quality, and strategic formulary design in the Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance market. His prior research focused on the identification of compensating wage differentials, with empirical applications to the estimation of the price of occupational fatality risk and the implied value of statistical life.
Dr. Lopez-Sanders received an M.Ed. in international education policy from Harvard University, and an M.A. in social sciences and education and a Ph.D. in sociology, both from Stanford University. She conducts research in the areas of immigration, inequality, social policy, and race and ethnic relations. Her most recent project examines the ways in which health care reform influences access and the delivery of health services for undocumented Latino immigrants and other vulnerable populations at Federally Qualified Health Centers. She has received various awards and grants, including a National Science Foundation Research Grant and two American Sociological Association awards for Outstanding Graduate Student Papers. After completing the program, she will assume a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Mahoney is an economist with a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He conducts research in the fields of public finance and industrial organization and has a particular interest in health insurance markets. His research examines the implicit health insurance households received from the ability to declare bankruptcy, the effects of supplemental Medigap insurance on overall medical utilization, and the efficiency consequences of community-rating regulations. After completing the Program, he will assume a faculty position at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Dr. Michener received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2011. She specializes in the field of American politics, with a particular focus on the political consequences of economic and racial inequality. She is currently working on a book that examines how and why Medicaid matters for the politics of the poor. Following the program, she will join the faculty at Cornell University as an assistant professor in the Department of Government.
Dr. Miller received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Her research fields are public economics and health economics. Her dissertation examines the effect of the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform on emergency room use. After completing the Program, she will assume a position as Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Myers received his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University in 2011 and is interested in political psychology, political communication, and experimental methods. His research focuses on democratic deliberation as a form of civic engagement. This work draws on political psychology, political communication and game theory to examine what happens when citizens deliberate and how to design deliberative institutions. His second line of research examines the role of storytelling in political communication. He is currently working on projects examining how narratives in political communication can change attitudes, how the pre-discussion distribution of information affects the quality of deliberation, and how to optimally structure deliberative forums that are used in health policy-making.
Dr. Pedraza holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington, and currently is on leave from Texas A&M University, where he is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department. The central inquiry underlying his research is how members of marginalized groups, particularly ethnic/racial minority groups and immigrants, integrate politically in the United States. Current projects focus on trust toward government and how that relates to perceptions of health policy and health care providers. He is also working on the development of Latino political identity and political orientations.
Dr. Schneider received his Ph.D. in sociology and social policy from Princeton University in 2012. His research is in the fields of social demography, economic sociology, and inequality and focuses on the family as a key mechanism in the production of race, class, and gender inequalities. His current and recent research includes an investigation of the role of personal wealth in marriage entry, a study of the effects of the great recession on relationship formation, quality, and dissolution, and a set of papers on how gender shapes housework time. After completing the Program, he will assume a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Shor holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and is currently on leave from the University of Chicago, where he is an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. His research focuses on ideology and political parties in American legislatures. One current project focuses on how well state legislatures and congressional delegations represent the ideological preferences of citizens at the micro and macro levels. Another seeks to find the roots of political polarization at the state level, as well as its policy consequences. He is interested in explaining the voting behavior of individual state legislators in health policy, and collectively, the vastly different choice states make.
Dr. Vargas received a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 2012. His primary research interests are in the fields of urban sociology and criminology. He is currently completing a book manuscript examining the role of the State in the reproduction of neighborhood violence in a low-income Chicago neighborhood. As a scholar, he plans to study the diffusion of health information through smart phone technology in poor neighborhoods. After completing the program, he will assume a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Walker received a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University in 2012. His research consists primarily of themes pertaining to the fields of public and labor economics in the context of environmental and health policy. In his dissertation, he explores the social costs of environmental disamenities such as air pollution and how regulations to limit these pollutants interact with firm and worker behavior. Ongoing work explores the interactions between environmental policy, health policy, and social policy in the United States. After completing the Program, he will take a position as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business.