CLOSUP in the Classroom - Prior Policy Analysts

CLOSUP Policy Analysts are University of Michigan students affilliated with the Center to help carry out research and analysis on a variety of state and local policy issues. These students may be employed by the Center or participate in an independent study for course credit. The Policy Analysts listed below have completed their appointments with CLOSUP. See current Policy Analysts here.

Leah Adelman

Leah Adelman

Leah is CLOSUP Policy Analyst studying the influence of state and local siting regulations on wind energy development. She is a sophomore in the University of Michigan LSA Honors program. Her career ambition is to use her passion for environmental policy to make a positive impact. Policy regarding renewable energy and water infrastructure are of particular interest to her. She has experience working for the United Nations Foundation campaign for adolescent girls and as an intern for the U.S. House of Representatives. On campus, Leah is also a group fitness instructor for Recreational Sports and a board member for Epsilon Eta, a professional environmental fraternity.

Monika Anderson

Monika is a research assistant working on the Michigan Public Policy Survey. They are a dual degree masters student at the Ford School and the School of Social Work (MPP/MSW '21), and have a B.A. in Sociology from Western Washington University (Class of 2012). Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, Monika worked in the mental health field for nearly four years, and served in the Peace Corps, working in Morocco teaching English before that. They are most interested in mental health policy reform as well as state-level executive government.

 

Capri Backus

Capri Backus

Capri is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP’s Local Fiscal Health Project. She is a Master’s student at the Ford School (MPP, Class of 2021), and has a B.A. in International Studies and Public Policy Analysis from Washington and Jefferson College. Capri is interested in federal and state fiscal policies as well as education policies in the U.S.

 

Mayur Bandekar

Mayur Bandekar
Mayur is a Policy Analyst studying the social dynamics of wind energy sites to predict contention among prospective wind projects in Michigan for CLOSUP, the University of Michigan Energy Institute, and Program in the Environment’s senior honors thesis. He is a senior studying Program in the Environment and completing a minor in earth/environmental sciences in addition to a minor in business from the Ross School of Business. Mayur is interested in how energy policy impacts the private energy sector and how effective policy can transition society to use more sustainable forms of energy.

 

Valerie Benka

Valerie Benka

Valerie is working with CLOSUP on public opinion research focused on Great Lakes environmental issues. She is pursuing a joint masters degree between the Ford School and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (Class of 2013). Valerie is interested in the emerging field of conservation medicine, or 'one medicine,' which looks at the health of animals, humans, and the environment as being inextricably linked.

 

Nicholas Birdsong

Nicholas Birdsong

Nicholas is a Policy Analyst with the Local Fiscal Health Health Project at CLOSUP. He is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2022), and has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2015 and a B.A. in Political Science from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Nicholas is interested in the study of state institutions and the public's trust in government.

 

Emily Blackmer

Emily Blackmer

Emily works with CLOSUP's Renewable Energy Policy Initiative. She is a dual-degree master's student with the Ford School and the School for Environment and Sustainability and holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she studied environmental anthropology. Emily now focuses on natural resource policy and management, with a particular interest in the Western U.S. and finding solutions with concurrent ecological and social benefits.

 

Erin Bozek-Jarvis

Erin Bozek-Jarvis

Erin is serving as a CLOSUP research assistant working with the Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is a junior in the Ford School of Public Policy where her studies focus on environmental policy. Erin is also pursing a minor in American Culture through LSA. She is especially interested in the ways in which grassroots organizing can impact environmental policy formulation and implementation.

 

Megan Bowers

Megan Bowers

Megan is a Policy Analyst studying patterns of accuracy and knowledgeability by government officials concerning Other Post-employment Benefit (OPEB) contributions. She is an class of 2018 undergraduate student in the Residential College. She is interested in government ethics and sustainability policy.

 

Andrew Bracken

Andrew Bracken

Andrew is working with CLOSUP on background research for the Michigan Public Policy Survey. He is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013), and a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Business. From 2008 to 2011 he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde and Mozambique where he worked in water and sanitation and food security with Luxembourg Development and USAID. His research interests include African affairs, environmental issues, and food security.

 

Cassarah Brown

Cassarah Brown

Cassie is a Policy Analyst studying Ohio’s hydraulic fracturing policies for CLOSUP’s Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2014), and has a Master of Engineering degree in nuclear engineering from UM in 2012 and a B.A. in physics and political science from SUNY Geneseo. Cassie is interested in nuclear nonproliferation and energy policy.

Cassie completed a CLOSUP-sponsored internship with the National Conference of State Legislature's Energy Program in the summer of 2013.

 

Erica Brown

Erica Brown

Erica provides research for CLOSUP's National Surveys on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) Initiative. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013). Prior to attending the Ford School, she worked as an environmental planner, granting permits for utility-scale energy projects in California. Her research focuses on the public opinion on hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and how experience and partisanship influence public perception of risks and benefits.

 

Alison Carey

Alison Carey

Alison is conducting a comparison of frack sand mining activity and related policies in Minnesota and Wisconsin for CLOSUP’s Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. Alison is a Master student in public policy and urban planning (Class of 2016). Prior to coming to University of Michigan, Alison worked for a DC-based government consulting firm, where she performed cost-benefit analysis for federal environment and energy regulations.

 

Elizabeth Chon

Elizabeth Chon

Elizabeth is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP’s Local Fiscal Health Project. She is a senior in the Ford School pursuing a focus area in financial regulation, and also has a minor in Business Administration through the Ross School of Business. Elizabeth is interested in the intersection between finance and government, and her past internship experiences include working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Outside of classes and research, she is the president of Beta Alpha Rho Pre-Law and Public Service Fraternity and is involved in the Roosevelt Institute.

 

 

Christian Ilarraza Colon

Christian is assisting with the Communities of Interest project at CLOSUP. He is a masters student at the Ford School (class of 2022). Prior to attending the Ford School, he served as an education volunteer in Peace Corps Philippines. In this position, Christian worked on youth development and community engagement projects on Cebu island. He is interested in the intersection of technology and public policy as it pertains to federal regulations.

 

 

Kaitlin Colyer

Kaitlin is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP. She is an undergraduate majoring in Organizational Studies through LSA with a minor in Public Policy at the Ford School. Kaitlyn is most interested in voting behavior and the impact of public opinion on policy.

 

Fanta Conde

Fanta is a Communications Research Assistant at CLOSUP. She is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Ford School. She holds Bachelors in Political Science and Philosophy from Penn State University. Prior to joining the Ford School, Fanta worked as a Development & Education coordinator at the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative where she focused on fundraising strategy development & curricular vision and execution. Fanta is interested in social policy, including public education reform, fostering dialogue for peacebuilding, and the exploration of sustainable poverty solutions for disadvantaged communities.

 

Kristina Curtiss

Kristina Curtiss

Kristina is a Policy Analyst on CLOSUP's Functioning of Democracy across the Urban-Rural Spectrum project. She is a master's student at the Ford School (Class of 2022) and has a Bachelor of Public Affairs and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Wayne State University. As a lifelong Michigander, Kristina is passionate about addressing urban-rural divides in policy including but not limited to economic and workforce development, climate change mitigation, and smart city infrastructure.

 

Meredith Days

Meredith Days

Meredith is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP’s Local Fiscal Health project. She is a senior at the Ford School (Class of 2021) pursuing a focus area in democratic access and political participation, and also has a minor in Community Action and Social Change. Her policy interests are in local government, democratic access reform, and early childhood education policy.

 

Jessica D’Itri

Jessica is assisting with event coordination for CLOSUP. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2015). Prior to attending the Ford School, Jessica completed her Peace Corps service as an environmental educator in Nicaragua, in addition to having worked in the non-profit sector and as an advocate for improved cookstove technology in Uganda. She is most interested in international development and environmental advocacy.

 

Isabel Englehart

Isabel is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst studying regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas production in the United States. She is a 2018 undergraduate in Program in the Environment, with a specialization in sustainable business. Isabel is most interested in natural resource and climate change policy.

 

Amelia Esenstad

Amelia is a Policy Analyst studying the taxation of wind turbines and their effect on local government budgets and finances for CLOSUP's Renewable Energy Policy Initiative. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2019) and has a B.A. in sociology from Tulane University. Prior to attending the Ford School, she was a Policy Analyst at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. She is interested in public finance and the impact of budget and funding decisions on policy outcomes.

 

Austin Fisher

Austin works at CLOSUP as an undergraduate research assistant on the Michigan Public Policy Survey. He is a freshman at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with plans to study Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School. Austin takes great interest in the effect of modern communications on public opinion as well as electoral reform, education policy, and urban planning.

 

Alexa Goldstein

Alexa is a Policy Analyst helping with data analysis and marketing for CLOSUP’s Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is an undergraduate student in the College of Literature Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan (Class of 2024). Her interests include the interaction of federal, state, and local policy as well as the impacts of entrepreneurship and immigration on these policy decisions.

 

Alissa Graff

Alissa is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP's research on Communities of Interest in support of the Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission. She is a dual-degree masters student at the Ford School and at the UM School of Information (Class of 2020). Prior to attending the Ford School, Alissa was an Admissions Counselor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and has since interned with The Kresge Foundation, City of Detroit, and has managed a political campaign. Originally from the Detroit area, she is most interested in urban and housing policy, and has focused most of her academic and professional pursuits in Detroit. Alissa holds a B.A. in urban studies, anthropology, and international relations from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.

 

Alexandra 'Sasha' Greer

Sasha is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP studying the differences in county-specific opinion among local government leaders in comparison to state average opinion concerning fiscal health and community well-being. Sasha is an 2019 undergraduate in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She is specifically interested in political advocacy and human rights.

 

Sarah Gruen

Sarah is a Policy Analyst studying the community of interest criteria of Michigan's new legislative redistricting law for CLOSUP. She is a first-year masters student at the Ford School, and has a B.A. in geography and international development from the University of Washington. Sarah is a sustainability expert with a background in local and regional policy. Her recent work includes carbon emission accounting and reporting, and stakeholder engagement processes to determine sustainability priorities for governments.

 

Augusta Gudeman

Augusta is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst researching how renewable energy policy and community benefits models can improve equity in clean energy programs. She is earning her M.P.P. at the Ford School and her M.U.R.P. at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. She has worked with the City of Ann Arbor, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is interested in social justice and sustainability in state and local policy.

 

Christina Hajj

Christina works on various research projects, and assists with CLOSUP's lecture series and events. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013), and a graduate from the University of Miami. Prior to attending the Ford School, Christina worked for the State of Florida House of Representatives as a District Aide, and, in 2009, I joined the Peace Corps as a TEFL Education Volunteer in Southwestern China.

 

Hillary Hampton

Hillary provides research focusing on public opinion about climate change for CLOSUP's National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) Initiative. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013). Before graduate school, Hillary worked as an economic policy analyst at a Washington, D.C. think tank and as an AmeriCorps court advocate at a crisis center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

 

Rachel Hampton

Rachel provides research on state oil and gas severance taxes as well as state trust funds tied to energy taxes for CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. She has co-authored several publications with Barry Rabe on the political economy of energy severance taxes and revenue use, including Taxing Fracking: The Politics of State Severance Taxes in the Shale Era, Trusting in the Future: The Re-emergence of State Trust Funds in the Shale Era, and Leaving Money on the Table: Pennsylvania Exceptionalism in Resisting Energy Severance Taxes (forthcoming). Rachel is currently a third year law student at the University of Michigan Law School. She attended the University of Michigan as undergraduate (Class of 2014), where she studied Political Science, German, and minored in Sustainability.

 

Kristine Hartman

Kristy's research examines public opinion of hydraulic fracturing in Michigan and Pennsylvania, as well as the role of state and local governments in taxing and regulating the industry. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013). Kristy's previous experience includes serving as a congressional affairs liaison for the National Nuclear Security Administration and as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy. Kristy is interested in how energy development and sustainability relate to national security issues.

Update: after graduating from the Ford School, Kristy joined the National Conference of State Legislatures as a senior policy analyst focused on energy policy. Kristy has been quoted in national media, such as this Bloomberg article.

 

Kelly Higgins

Kelly is a Policy Analyst studying agricultural runoff policy and Lake Erie harmful algal blooms for CLOSUP. She is a current senior in LSA (class of 2021) studying political science and water and the environment through PiTE. Alongside her role at CLOSUP, she currently serves as the Vice President of Students for Clean Energy on Michigan's campus. She is interested in a wide range of environmental policy but is most passionate about policy issues impacting the Great Lakes.

 

Karl Hoesch

Karl is a Policy Analyst studying state-level renewable energy policy for CLOSUP's Renewable Energy Policy Initiative (REPI). He is a masters student at the Ford School (2020) and the Science and Technology in Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program and holds a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish (Hope College, 2007). Karl is passionate about Energy Justice and the intersection of affordable housing and energy policy.

 

Christian Hunter

Christian is a Policy Analyst studying urban/rural divisions and connections in Michigan for CLOSUP’s Functioning of Democracy across the Urban-Rural Spectrum project. He is a master of urban and regional planning student at the Taubman School of Art and Architecture (Class of 2021), and has B.A. in political economy and urban studies from The University of California, Berkeley. Christian is interested in studying urban and local policies, particularly in economic development and transportation, and their social and physical effects on the built environment.

 

Kseniya Husak

Kseniya is CLOSUP Policy Analyst studying the influence of state and local policies on wind energy development in Wyoming. She is a second-year master's student in the University of Michigan School of Public Policy and School of Information. Outside of her classes, Kseniya is also involved in a student-led interdisciplinary sustainability project through the Dow Sustainability Fellowship. Prior to graduate school, Kseniya helped install residential solar in low-income communities across the US. And although her main academic and professional focus has been on renewable energy, her interests are wide-ranging, spanning from transportation policy and shared mobility to experimental economics and data mining

 

Jacob Ignatoski

Jacob works with CLOSUP as an assistant with the Michigan Public Policy Survey. He is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2014). Before coming to the Ford School, Jacob worked at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County in Grand Rapids, MI as a grant and financial analyst. He has also completed a year of service in the AmeriCorps program. In his studies, he focuses on state and local policy issues, including community development and public budgeting.

 

Claire Kaliban

Claire is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst studying state climate policy in the Trump era. She is a member of LSA class of 2019, studying Environment (PitE) with a focus in environmental policy and minoring in Spanish. Claire is particularly interested in climate policy as well as international environmental policy.

 

Charles Kargman

Charley is a Policy Analyst studying the fiscal condition of Michigan municipal and county governments for CLOSUP's Local Fiscal Health Project. He is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2020) and holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago. Prior to Ford, he worked as a program associate at American Jewish World Service, a human rights nonprofit, where he supported AJWS's grassroots grantmaking and international education portfolios. Charley is interested in state/local policy, economic development, and nonprofit management, and how immigration intersects with all three.

 

Prabhdeep S. Kehal

Prabhdeep is working at CLOSUP on the Michigan Public Policy Survey with data entry and coding. He is a MPP and MA Higher Education candidate (Class of 2015) at the Ford School and the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, focusing on organizational theory and management in his studies.

 

Cheyanne Killin

Cheyanne is a research assistant with the Michigan Public Policy Survey, through U-M's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. She is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with the intent to major in Public Policy. Her policy interests primarily are focused on poverty and human rights.

 

Sujin Kim

Sujin is a research assistant working in event planning and coordination for CLOSUP. She is in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts pursing a double B.A. in political science and psychology (class of 2022). Sujin is also a research assistant in the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program at Ford, and is interested in social welfare policy and human rights law.

 

Heather Kirkpatrick

Heather is studying environmental and energy policy for CLOSUP. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying Program in the Environment (PitE), Earth and Environmental Sciences, and minoring in history. She is interested in both the science and the politics behind the formation of environmental and energy policies as well as the role that states play in this growing issue.

 

Clare Knutson

Clare moved to the Detroit area from Canada in 2016 to work as an engineer in the automotive industry. Clare attended McGill University in Montréal where she received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. After working as a design engineer on electric vehicles, she decided to switch gears and return to school to pursue a career focused on community improvement. She is passionate about community-based policy, focused on neighborhood-specific solutions to address inequality. She is currently working with CLOSUP to identify Communities of Interest to help inform the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission as they begin the new redistricting process in Michigan. In her spare time, Clare enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee, baking, and spending time with her two greyhounds.

 

Michael Lerner

Michael is studying policy and public perception related to hydraulic fracturing in Quebec, Canada for CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying Political Science, French and minoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Before joining CLOSUP, Michael interned with the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program in Washington, DC.

 

Michael Lerner

Michael is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst investigating the influence of state and local siting regulations on wind energy development. He is a Ph.D. student in Political Science and Public Policy studying comparative environmental politics, with a focus on adaptation to environmental change. His research examines the responsiveness of government, policy innovation and diffusion, and disaster recovery and prevention. Michael earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science and French from the University of Michigan and has worked for the Environmental Law Institute and as an independent consultant to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Environmental Strategies International LLC, and Integra LLC, among others.

 

Kerry Lindquist

Kerry is assisting CLOSUP with event coordination and marketing. She is a member of the freshman class of 2021 at the University of Michigan in the college of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Kerry has a strong interest in ethical approaches to healthcare policy-making and infectious disease control/prevention.

 

Emma Maack

Emma is working on CLOSUP's joint American –Canadian public opinion survey on Great Lakes issues. She is a dual-degree masters student at the Ford School and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (Class of 2014). Her policy interests include land and water conservation at the local-to-regional scale and poverty and social justice issues.

 

Anthony Martinez

Anthony is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst investigating local government fiscal health in the State of Michigan. He is an undergraduate at the Ford School of Public Policy (Class of 2020) and looks forward to continuing his studies following graduation. Anthony’s policy areas of interest include tax policy, environmental policy, and foreign affairs.

 

Ian McKenny

Ian is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst researching how the siting of renewable energy infrastructure is treated under state farmland preservation policies. He is an undergraduate student at the Ford School (Class of 2019) with minors in environment and music. Ian is interested in urban & regional planning and environmental policy.

 

Safiya Merchant

Safiya is a Policy Analyst for CLOSUP's project on communities of interest and the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. She is pursuing a Master in Public Policy degree at the Ford School, and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. A Chicago native, Safiya previously worked as a government, crime and education reporter at the Daily Herald in the Chicago suburbs, and as a K-12 and higher education reporter for the Battle Creek Enquirer in West Michigan. Most recently, she worked as a storyteller for the University of Michigan's communications team. Safiya is interested in K-12 education and housing policy, with a specific focus on issues relating to school segregation, homelessness, and equitable education funding strategies.

 

Kerri Metz

Kerri provides research on the current state of cap-and-trade and carbon taxes in New Zealand for CLOSUP. She is studying environmental policy, planning and sustainability as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan’s School of Literature, Science, and the Arts (Class of 2015). She will be graduating with Honors in the Program in the Environment, and a Minor in Political Science, and will then progress on to a Masters degree. Her interests include the interconnectedness of policy, climate change, and renewable energy sources.

 

Lucas Misera

Lucas is a Research Assistant preparing Michigan Public Policy Survey data for public use. He is a master's student in the Ford School (Class of 2020) and previously attended Kent State University, receiving B.B.A.s in economics and finance. Lucas is most interested in small business development and credit access.

 

Rio Mizuno

Rio is a policy analyst at CLOSUP, assisting with research on wind energy policy. She is a Class of 2019 undergraduate student in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, studying Environment (PitE) and International Studies. Rio is especially interested in climate change policy and global health.

 

Jason Morgan

Jason is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst researching implementation of the Michigan Lead and Copper Rule in partnership with the University of Michigan Water Center and Safe Water Engineering to provide education materials for municipal leaders, community groups and other engaged citizens, and technical assistance to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division. He is earning his M.P.A. at the Ford School of Public Policy. He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Northern Michigan University. He currently serves as a Washtenaw County Commissioner and has worked for Congressman Bart Stupak, Congressman John D. Dingell and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. He also worked for Washtenaw Community College as the Director of Government and Community Relations. He is interested in economic and social justice, transportation, public health, economic development and youth engagement.

 

Jacqueline Mullen

Jacqueline is assisting with various projects for the Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2018). She earned her bachelor's degree in comparative cultures and politics from Michigan State University. Recently, Jacqueline has worked on research projects for Global Detroit and Education Trust-Midwest. She is interested in state-level policy on a number of topics, including education and rural development.

 

Nick Najor

Nick is a member of the student team researching the implementation of Michigan's new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Ford School. Nick is passionate about the local contractor workforce and neighborhood development in Detroit.

 

Douglas Noe

Doug is a Policy Analyst studying state-level renewable energy policy for CLOSUP's Renewable Energy Policy Initiative (REPI). He is a dual MBA/MS student at the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (Erb Institute). He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University (2011). His prior experience includes mergers & acquisitions consulting and financial auditing. Doug is passionate about renewable energy and the intersection of policy and business in the energy space.

 

Kyle O'Meara

Kyle is a Policy Analyst researching global emissions trading systems and EPA's Clean Power Plan for CLOSUP. Kyle graduated the Ford School in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in public policy and a minor in economics. He is most interested in environmental policy and state politics. CLOSUP congratulates Kyle as the recipient of the 2015 Daniel Rosenthal Legislative Intern Award for his outstanding work interning for Michigan State Representative, Al Pscholka. The award selection is made each year by representatives from the Michigan House, Senate, and Michigan State University’s Legislative Student Intern Program.

 

Lyndsay Pals

Lindsay is a Policy Analyst assisting with event coordination for CLOSUP. She is a masters student at the School of Social Work (Class of 2016). Prior to attending the School of Social Work, Lindsay worked in community development interacting with mental health policy and housing policy, while exploring the power of improvisational comedy in therapy and advocacy work. She is most interested in policy research concerning socio-economic inequality, gender, and mental health.

 

Priyanka Panjwani

Priyanka is a Policy Analyst working with the Michigan Public Policy Survey data. She is a masters student at the Ford School (class of 2022), and holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to attending the Ford School, Priyanka worked as a research assistant for the Center for Economic History at Northwestern University. She is most interested in welfare policy and overcoming obstacles to providing social services at the local level.

 

Noelle Polaski

Noelle analyzes data and conducts research related to the Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is a ‘15 Master’s of Public Policy student and is interning at the Executive Office of Governor Snyder. Prior to attending the Ford School, Noelle was a 2011 Teach for America Corps Member in Detroit Public Schools. Noelle is interested in state and local policy, Michigan politics, education policy, and the revitalization of Detroit.

 

Jaikishan Prasad

Jaikishan is assisting in event coordination and marketing at CLOSUP. A current sophomore at the University, Jaikishan is pursuing an environment major with a specialization in natural resource and energy management. He is interested in environmental policy and global development issues.

 

Zach Pritchard

Zach is a Policy Analyst working with Sarah Mills to study the factors that shape community acceptance of renewable energy. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and holds an M.S.E. in Chemical Engineering (UM, 2019), a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Science, Technology, and Public Policy (UM, 2019), and a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Georgia Tech, 2014). Zach is interested in using science to shape policy and using policy to shape science.

 

Gerson Ramirez

Gerson is a Policy Analyst studying proven practices to support the state's new Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission. He is earning a Master in Public Policy (MPP-20) and has a BA in Sociology from North Park University. His policy interest includes local government and k-12 education finance reform.

 

Carolyn Rice

Carolyn researches the question of local versus state authority regarding hydraulic fracturing policy across states for CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. She recently graduated from the University of Michigan (2015), where she majored in Political Science and Spanish. She is particularly interested in policy research concerning gender and race inequality, as well as environmental advocacy.

 

Christen Richardson

Christen is a CLOSUP Policy Analyst focused on developing a deeper understanding of the fiscal health and the fiscal challenges of local governments in Michigan by working with the Michigan Department of Treasury. She is a masters student at the Ford School of Public Policy with a concentration in Data Science. She is a proud product of the James Madison College, a rigorous public policy program, within Michigan State University. Prior to attending the Ford School, Christen worked as a tax accountant at a consulting firm specializing in state and local government tax and tax provisions. She is most interested in public finance, housing policy, and criminal justice reform. Her career ambition is to merge the public and the private sector to fuel economic development.

 

Natasha Robertson

Natasha is a part of the University of Michigan undergraduate research opportunities program (UROP) working with CLOSUP as a research assistant on the Michigan Public Policy Survey Program. She hopes to major in Political Science and Economics within the college of LSA (Class of 2022). She is most interested in studying the criminal justice system and education policy.

 

Noah Rothstein

Noah is a Policy Analyst assisting with methane taxation and governance. He is a junior at the Ford School focusing on climate change and energy. Prior to joining CLOSUP, he interned on the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee where he focused on public lands energy governance. This summer, he worked for a solar energy company in Uganda, an opportunity that provided an international perspective on expanding clean energy adoption. He is especially interested in the role of renewable energy in climate policy.

 

Katelyn Rourke

Katelyn is a Policy Analyst researching natural resource sovereign wealth funds for CLOSUP. She is an undergraduate student in the College of Literature, Science, & the Arts, studying Political Science and Environment. Katelyn is interested in environmental justice, climate policy, and carbon pricing.

 

Julie Rubin

Julie is a research assistant studying access to information for CLOSUP's "Functioning of Democracy across the Urban-Rural Spectrum" project. She is a masters student at the Ford School and has a Bachelors of Arts in Public Policy from Vanderbilt University in 2014. Prior to attending the Ford School, Julie completed her AmeriCorps VISTA service at a social services agency in Columbus, OH, in addition to having worked in the non-profit and labor sectors. Julie is interested in social policy and state/local government.

 

Miranda Schaffer

Miranda is a Research Assistant assisting with event coordination and research for CLOSUP. She is an undergraduate at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology (Class of 2020). Miranda is most interested in educational programming and advocacy for equitable education.

 

Patrick Sier

Patrick is working at CLOSUP on the Michigan Public Policy Survey preparing data sets for public use. He is a senior in the undergraduate program at the Ford School, focusing on public-private partnerships. He is interested in working in local government and technology policy.

 

Nick Simon

Nick is a policy analyst working on the connection between public opinion and state legislation on net energy metering, using data from CLOSUP's National Surveys on Energy & Environment (NSEE). He is an undergraduate student at the University with declared majors in Program in the Environment (PitE), German Studies, and International Studies. Nick is interested in energy policy, specifically state level policies that deal with low-income residential solar installation.

 

Hannah Smith

Hannah is a Policy Analyst at CLOSUP working with CLOSUP Director Barry Rabe. She is a 2017 undergraduate in Program in the Environment, with a specialization in Environmental Policy and a minor in Sustainability. She is interested in the intersection of environmental policy and urban planning.

 

Yu Jun Soh

Jun is assisting in CLOSUP's Michigan Public Policy Survey, through the University of Michigan's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). She is doing a double major in Political Science and Economics at the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (Class of 2016). Jun is most interested in contemporary American politics and international politics.

 

Ruth Tabak

Ruth provides research for CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy (EEPI) Initiative. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2013). Prior to attending the Ford School, she worked on Capitol Hill for the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways & Means. She also worked for a health care consulting company, primarily assisting clients with Medicare policy. She graduated with an A.B. in Public Policy and American Institutions from Brown University in 2006.

 

Nina Tannenbaum

Nina provides CLOSUP with research on the status of cap-and-trade and carbon taxes in New Zealand. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan (Class of 2015), and is double majoring in the Program in the Environment and Spanish within Michigan's School of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Her specialization within environmental science is in environmental policy and law.

 

Karley Thurston

Karley is a Policy Analyst on CLOSUP’s "Functioning of Democracy across the Urban-Rural Spectrum" initiative. She is a master’s of public policy student at the Ford School (Class of 2022), and has a BA in economics and mathematics from Western Washington University. Prior to attending the Ford School Karley performed workforce development research in metro Detroit, and she is interested in the relationship between the social safety net and employment.

 

Emma Uebelhor

Emma is a Policy Analyst working with Sarah Mills to study community responses to proposed solar projects throughout the Great Lakes region. She is currently a sophomore in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (Class of 2023). Emma is most interested in renewable energy and environmental mitigation policy.

 

Emily Upton

Emily is a Policy Analyst studying fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards in the U.S., and severance tax revenues in relation to state trust funds. She is a masters student in the Climate and Space Engineering Department (Class of 2018), and has a B.S.E. in earth systems science and engineering from the University of Michigan. Emily is interested in international sustainable development and climate change policy.

 

Tom Van Heeke

Tom is a policy analyst studying fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards in the United States. He earned his BA degree in political science, graduating with honors from Grinnell College. Prior to enrolling in the Master of Public Policy program at the Ford School, Tom researched and wrote extensively on an array of state and local policy issues at Frontier Group, a think tank in Boston. One of Tom's primary interests is transportation policy.

 

Emily VanDusen

Emily is currently assisting with data collection for CLOSUP's biannual Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is an undergraduate student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (Class of 2014), and has interned at the United States Department of Education and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She is also signed on to intern for Representative John Dingell's Ypsilanti office during the summer of 2013. Along with Michigan politics, Emily is especially interested in civil rights law and policy.

 

Samantha VanDyke

Samantha is Policy Analyst working with Sarah Mills and the Renewable Energy Policy Initiative. She is researching and developing a paper on how the policy landscape is affecting renewable energy development in Minnesota. She is a Master's student within the School for Environment and Sustainability (Class of 2020) studying sustainable systems and environmental policy. She graduated with a B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. She is interested in the role that federal and state renewable energy policy plays in mitigating the effects of climate change.

 

James VanSteel

James is a Policy Analyst studying the application of "Community of Interest" criteria in Michigan's new redistricting law for CLOSUP. He is a dual masters student at the Ford School and Taubman College studying public policy and urban planning (Class of 2021). Prior to attending the Ford School he worked as an energy market analyst for the State of Michigan. James is interested in the intersections of social, urban, and environmental policy.

 

Kate Watkins

Kate is a Policy Analyst at CLOSUP through the University of Michigan's Undergradaute Research Opportunity Program (UROP), studying differing opinions among local government officials for the Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is a 2020 undergraduate student in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She is interested in educational and climate change policy.

 

Shannon Weaver

Shannon is a Policy Analyst studying local government fiscal health in Michigan. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2020), and earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science at Grand Valley State University. Prior to attending the Ford School, Shannon worked in nonprofit program evaluation, and in international development. She is most interested in housing and urban policy.

 

Jane Wentrack

Jane is a research assistant to Dr. Sarah Mills on a project entitled 'Community Acceptance of Wind Energy.' She is a sophomore in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Jane is majoring in International Studies and the Program in the Environment and is interested in international environmental policy.

 

Ryan Woock

Ryan is a Policy Analyst studying communities of interest with CLOSUP's Michigan Redistricting Project. He is a senior BA at the Ford School with a minor in business. After graduation, he would like to pursue a career in East Asian economic and security policy

 

Jongeun You

Jongeun is a Policy Analyst studying Texas wind energy policies for CLOSUP. He is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2018), and has a B.A. in Economics from Seoul National University. At SK Engineering & Construction, a leading company in oil & gas plant and infrastructure industry, he contributed as a strategist for six years, supporting many business projects including growth portfolio management, new business development, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures. Jongeun hopes to identify and implement public policies that will lead the private sector to produce more sustainable outcomes in the energy and environment arena.

 

Have any questions?

Contact