California Poverty & Socioeconomic Inequality Fellows Program
The inaugural cohort for the Fellows Program created a forum that fostered cross-campus collaborations and research development, provided network and professionalization support to emerging researchers, and advanced the study of poverty and related inequalities while contributing to the effective use of research in the formulation of policy.
UC Davis, Department of Ecology
Madeline’s interests broadly center on human-environment interactions, how social networks shape those interactions, and environmental justice. Within the context of this program, her research Sociopolitical Behavior Across the Sociopolitical Spectrum: the fractured landscape of hydraulic fracturing focuses on the community impacts of unconventional oil and gas development, with specific attention paid to how social networks impact civic engagement by facilitating and constraining access to resources and power. Using public survey data and geospatial techniques, she explores the distributional pattern of fracking wells in California, Colorado, and New Mexico and explains why we see clustering of fracking wells in underserved communities. Madeline earned a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from Connecticut College and her research has been featured in Policy Studies Journal, Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, and Vanderbilt Law Review, among other outlets.
Jae Yeon Kim
UC Berkeley, Department of Political Science
Jae’s research encompasses topics included, but not limited to, immigration, racial and ethnic politics, inequality, social policy, social movements, and American Political Development. His research, Liberal racialization: How Have the Political Legacies of the War Poverty Shaped the Emergence of Asian and Latino Political Mobilization in California?, interrogates the War on Poverty’s enduring political legacies on racial minority mobilization. Drawing upon an original dataset of upwards of 600 Asian and Latino service organizations and archival data, he argues the War on Poverty programs played a critical role in constructing pan-ethnic identities during the 1960’s and 1970’s and contribute to our understanding of the origins of civic institutions. Jae received his bachelor’s in Political Science and English from Korea University.
UC Berkeley, Department of Sociology
Dani’s research and teaching interests lie at the nexus of immigration, poverty, race and ethnicity, social welfare, urban sociology, and qualitative methods. Her dissertation project, Navigating Aid: Latinx immigrants accessing services in a Post Welfare Reform Era, sheds light on the gendered pathways for low-income Latinx immigrants to access healthcare in California. Drawing from in-depth interviews with low-income Latinx immigrants, she focuses specifically on how Latino men access health services in the Northern California Bay Area and finds that, while women rely on co-ethnic, gendered networks for information and care in their role as mothers, men are more reticent to share information or seek care. Dani argues health care is distributed on a contingent basis as immigrants assume gendered roles of mothers and/or laborers, instead of the equitable distribution of a human right. Previously she completed her bacherlor’s in Sociology and French Literature at Pomona College and her research has been featured in Social Services Review and the Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, among other outlets.
Beth Ann Hart
UC Davis, Department of Sociology
Beth’s research program is broadly motivated by analyzing those questions related to educational inequality, social stratification, higher education, poverty and policy through a mixed methods lens. Her dissertation project, On the Verge: College Life in an Era of Precarity, builds upon the narrative that education is foundational to social mobility by examining California’s community college system and its struggle to meet measures of success like student persistence and degree completion. Drawing on theories of risk, empirical studies of poverty and inequality, and recent research about material hardship, food, and housing insecurity, she explores how community college students navigate precarity, their strategies for staying afloat, and whether they are able to maintain their aspirations in the face of such challenges. Beth received her bachelor’s in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and her work has been featured in Social Service Review and Teachers College Record, among other outlets.
UC San Diego, Department of Economics
Desmond’s fields of interest include labor economics, behavioral economics, and political economy. His research project, The Effects of Police Violence on Inner-City Students, uses clinical and survey data to estimate the impact of exposure to officer-involved killings on inner-city youths’ educational outcomes, psychological well being, and cognitive processing. Consistent with theories of fear and injustice, these negative impacts are driven entirely by minority students following police killings of other minorities. Taken together, Desmond’s findings suggest that acts of police violence exert large, previously unaccounted for costs on minority students. He completed his bachelor’s in Economics and Asian Studies at Dartmouth College and his research has been featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Health Affairs.
UC Los Angeles, Department of Sociology
Rahim’s research program broadly includes race, policing, neighborhood effects, urban sociology, stratification, and inequality. His dissertation, Grounds for Eviction: Race, mobility, and policing in the Antelope Valley, analyzes racial housing integration prompted by Federal Housing Choice Vouchers and explores how predominantly white neighbors use policing to reassert segregation as people of color move into their neighborhoods. Combining tract-level data and interviews he uncovers the structure of a policing regime designed to evict Black renters. Cumulatively, this project highlights one of the reasons why programs promoting mobility as a solution to poverty are not as successful as expected. Rahim received his bachelor’s in Political Science at UCLA, his master’s in Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences at Columbia, and has had his research featured in City & Community.
UC Davis, Department of Human Ecology / Geography Graduate Group
Cory’s research interests include mobility, inclusive and exclusive landscapes, and the creation of welcoming spaces for marginalized and disadvantaged youth. His project, Homeless Circumvention of Mobility Barriers in the California Urban Landscape, reframes the dialogue surrounding homelessness and barriers to movement/access by suggesting the remedy is not better access within the existing system, but a systematic questioning of the system, which created mobility disparities. Cory explores this line through ethnography of homeless people’s travel modes and pathways in Sacramento and Santa Cruz; he argues the structural qualities of existing transportation systems create conditions of exclusion from the city, which then requires homeless people creatively adapt living areas that transgress boundaries. Cumulatively, this project yields potential insights into a re-imagined landscape hospitable to those in poverty. Cory completed his bachelor’s and master’s of Landscape Architecture at UC Davis and the University of Washington and his research has been featured in the Journal of Transportation History, among other outlets.
UC Berkeley, Department of Ethnic Studies
Melanie’s research specialization encompasses Latino history, racial formation, racial and ethnic relations, immigration, urban sociology, urban aging, and social stratification and inequality. Her dissertation project, “No Tengo Dinero, Pero Tengo Mucha Gente” / “I Don’t Have a Lot of Money, but I have A Lot of People”: A qualitative exploration of how older Latino immigrants age in place in an ethnic enclave, contributes to a thin extant literature on the experiences of Latino senior citizens, with specific focus on how Latinos support themselves in old age, especially given how few have pensions or retirement plans. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic research in an ethnic enclave near New York City, she argues the central role of social support networks, which facilitate the resource sharing that allows financial pressures to be kept at bay and medical advice to be disseminated. Melanie received her bachelor’s in Latino & Hispanic Studies, with a minor in American Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies from Rutgers University and has been an invited speaker at St. Mary’s College and Rutgers University.
UC Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education
Lindsey’s research centers on questions relating to elementary school students’ and teachers’ beliefs about social class, the effects of poverty on children’s school readiness, and curriculum development and implementation focused on social issues. Her dissertation, Unexamined Beliefs: Understanding teachers’ reasoning about poverty, adds to the extant literature on the effects of teachers’ biases (e.g. race and gender) on education by examining poverty related biases and the interaction between poverty and racial, ethnic, and gender biases as it relates to evaluating student work. In a controlled experiment, conducted in waves, she will determine the systematic differences in teachers’ evaluations based on manipulated student demographics and the results will inform anti-bias professional development. Lindsey earned her bachelor’s in liberal studies as CSU Chico and her work has been featured in Translational Issues in Psychological Science and PS: Political Science and Politics, among other.