PhD Students and Recent Alumni
The following is a selection of a just a few current PhD students and recent alumni with concentrations in Child, Youth, and Family Policy at the Heller School. For more information on the full PhD program, we encourage you to visit the Heller Admissions page.
Megan Madison is currently a fifth-year PhD student studying Social Policy with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Family Policy. Her research interests include Head Start, the early childhood workforce, and the intersections of race, gender, and class. Before coming to Heller, she taught preschool at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning, a multicultural community-based family development organization located in Chicago. This experience grounds her dual passions for early childhood education and social justice. Megan graduated with highest distinction from the University of Michigan, having completed a self-designed concentration program in Studies in Religion in 2009.
Charlotte Powley is currently a first-year PhD student studying Social Policy with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Family Policy. Her research interests include female empowerment with respect to health and financial well being. She is currently a teaching assistant for Dr. Darren Zinner, assisting undergraduate Brandeis seniors in their capstone class "Health: Science, Society, and Policy" as they focus on infant mortality issues. Before coming to Heller, Charlotte pursued her Master's in Public Health at Tufts University, where she focused on biostatistics and epidemiology. Prior to doing her MPH, Charlotte was a special education math teacher at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in New York City. She worked with students with both learning and emotional disabilities. Charlotte earned her Master's in Education from Hunter College and she continues to explore her interest and dedication to students with disabilities, particularly those from immigrant backgrounds. Charlotte graduated from Columbia University in 2011 with a major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Charlotte's interests in education, public health, and gender equity have all intertwined within her greater commitment to social justice.
Robbie Dembo is a first-year PhD student interested in the health, social, and economic outcomes for families with children with disabilities. Robbie has several years of experience working on state and federal health policy issues. He is currently a research assistant at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and a senior research analyst for NORC at the University of Chicago where he focuses on health outcomes of vulnerable populations. Robbie also works with a team at the University of Michigan on a range of research projects related to Arab-Jewish coexistence.
Dr. Morgan K. Crossman, Ph.D., graduated from Heller in 2015. She is currently a Pediatric Health Services research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hosptial. Dr. Crossman previously worked as a Research Assistant in the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, the Starr Center, and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Heller. She has also worked as a Research Coordinator at Children's Hospital Boston and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Morgan has an MA in Applied Developmental and Education Psychology from Boston College and a BA in Psychology and Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island. Her concentration at Heller is in Children, Youth and Families with a focus on the well-being of families of children with disabilities and special health care needs, early intervention, as well as the prevention and effects of child sexual abuse on children and families of children with disabilities and special health care needs.