MDRC Welcomes Summer Interns and Fellows

This summer, MDRC is pleased to welcome six interns and two fellows in the Gueron Scholars Program and one intern in New York City’s Ladder for Leaders program.

The Gueron Scholars Program (GSP) offers paid internships for undergraduates and master’s-level students and doctoral fellowships (with stipends) for students engaged in dissertation research. The program is designed to introduce students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the education and social policy research communities to MDRC.

The Gueron Scholars Program, which runs from June 17 to August 9, is implemented in partnership with The Policy Academies, which hosts the scholars on a field visit to Washington, DC, to meet with policy leaders.

MDRC is pleased to welcome the following GSP interns and fellows this summer:

Undergraduate Interns

Undergraduate interns work with MDRC teams on a range of organizational and analytical tasks, as well as participate in regular meetings to network and learn more about the context of MDRC’s policy work.

Christian Herald Christian Herald, born and raised in Washington, DC, is a rising senior at the University of Richmond, where she studies leadership studies and sociology as a Richmond Scholar and Oliver Hill Scholar. She is passionate about racial equity, particularly in the classroom, and sees research and policy as key tools in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools. Before coming to MDRC, Herald worked with The African American Policy Forum, New Leaders Council, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and as a research assistant at the Jepson School for Leadership.
Hana-Lei Ji Hana-Lei Ji is a rising senior at Northwestern University studying social policy and cognitive science with a minor in Asian American studies. Originally from the Big Island of Hawai’i, Ji’s work is inspired by her lived experiences from home. From her time in high school to college, she has been involved in efforts for educational equity and justice and looks forward to further exploring education policy in conversation with child and family, housing, and immigration policy.
Diamond Russell Diamond Russell, born and raised in the West Side of Chicago, is a rising senior at the University of Missouri‒Columbia studying educational leadership with minors in social justice, leadership, and public service, and human development and family science. She has personally experienced the effects of education funding and social welfare programs. She believes that public policy can empower individuals to engage in discussions, work towards solutions, and contribute to a more informed and responsive society.
Annamarie Warnke Annamarie Warnke is a rising senior at William & Mary (W&M) majoring in data science and minoring in educational studies. They are passionate about policies related to equity and socioeconomic mobility in K-12 and postsecondary education. Warnke is currently the student director of the Global Education Observatory project in W&M’s geoLab and participates in two research projects at W&M’s School of Education. They hold leadership positions in W&M’s Wesley Campus Ministry and Food for All, sing in the W&M Choir, lead campus tours, and tutor at local schools through W&M’s Griffin School Partnerships program.

Operations Interns

Operations interns are master’s-level students who work closely with senior-level MDRC staff on program design, program assessment, evaluation start-up, and technical assistance on program implementation. 

Kelsey Alanna Brown Kelsey Alanna Brown is pursuing a master’s in higher education policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in contributing to policy focused on maximizing college affordability and breaking down barriers to quality education for historically marginalized populations. Brown graduated summa cum laude from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She has prior experience as a research associate at the Maryland Institute for Literacy and Equity, where she conducted research and data analysis to support evidence-based literacy practices in Maryland schools.
Elizabeth Wood Elizabeth Wood is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of education in higher education administration from North Carolina State University. Driven by equity and a commitment to learning, Wood works to cultivate inclusive environments for all to grow and thrive. She has experience in K-12 college access with a nonprofit organization affiliated with her alma mater, the Carolina College Advising Corps. Currently, Wood engages in qualitative research with mixed methods, including ethnography and case studies. She has previous experience in quantitative research and data analysis. 

Doctoral Fellows

Doctoral fellows pursue their own independent, self-directed research on economic and social issues faced by people with low incomes.

Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson is a doctoral candidate in the education policy PhD program at Michigan State University. He is an education policy researcher with experience in quantitative and mixed methods, including causal evaluation and policy analysis. His areas of research span PK-16 and include the economics of education, decision-making, and student success and persistence. For his dissertation, Johnson is conducting an evaluation and critical policy analysis of an institution’s college retention grant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in education policy and leadership from American University. Before his career in education policy research, he was a middle school math teacher.
Da’Quallon Smith Da’Quallon Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the psychological foundations of the social and political forces that drive and maintain societal hierarchies and deepen inequality. In his doctoral study, Smith unravels the intricate layers of gentrification and its challenges for the residents. He zeroes in on the repercussions of contemporary urban transformations in historically marginalized neighborhoods, probing into their effects on the perceptions and attitudes of both entrenched and newer residents. Smith is also an urban planner who has done consulting in the US, Brazil, and China.

Ladders for Leaders Intern

From July 8 to August 16, MDRC is also pleased to be hosting an intern in New York City’s Ladders for Leaders program, which offers outstanding high school and college students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in New York City:

Elven Li Elven Li is from Flushing, New York, and is a recent graduate of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. During his time at Stony Brook, he participated as a full-stack web developer in multiple web application projects. During his summers, he taught summer school, giving lessons on chemistry and mathematics to rising high school students.