Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy

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ICYFP Staff

Dolores Acevedo Garcia

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Ph.D., MPA-URP, Director

Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia  is Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Her research focuses on the social determinants (e.g. residential segregation, immigrant adaptation) of racial/ethnic inequities in health; the role of social policies (e.g. housing policies, immigrant policies) in reducing those inequities; and the health and well-being of children with special needs. She received her B.A. in public administration from El Colegio de Mexico (Mexico City), and her MPA-URP and Ph.D. in Public Policy with a concentration in Demography from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She is Project Director for diversitydatakids.org, a comprehensive database of indicators on child wellbeing and opportunity by race/ethnicity across multiple sectors (e.g., education, health, neighborhoods) and geographies, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Dr. Acevedo-Garcia is an investigator and member of the Steering Committee on the Housing and Children’s Healthy Development Study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the MacArthur Foundation. She was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Housing and Families with Children (2009-2014). Her professional activities include invited presentations at the National Conference on Housing Mobility (2015, 2012, 2010), the HUD/MacArthur Foundation “How Housing Matters” Conference (2011, 2012), and at the White House conference on the Future of Rental Housing Policy (2010). She served on two national expert panels convened by the Centers for Disease Control (Housing and Health, and Social Determinants of Health), and on the expert panel for the award-winning PBS documentary series “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making us Sick?” She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Problems and Cityscape. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Contemporary Families, the Advisory Board of the National Center for Children in Poverty, the board of PolicyLink, the Social Science Advisory Board of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Research Advisory Panel of the National Coalition on School Diversity, and the National Hispanic Advisory Council of the March of Dimes. She has served on the board of directors for the Fair Housing Center for Greater Boston, and the Committee on the Analysis on Impediments to Fair Housing (Boston Office for Civil Rights). 

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Maura Baldiga, Research AssociatePhoto of Maura Baldiga

Ms. Maura Baldiga is a Research Associate at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Her current projects focus on equity issues related to family and medical leave, affordable housing, and affordable childcare. Prior to joining ICYFP, Maura graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and earned her master’s degree in City Planning from University of California (UC) Berkeley. As a graduate student, she examined urban displacement in the Bay Area with UC Berkeley’s Center for Community Innovation. Throughout graduate school, Maura crafted and piloted tools to assess small business employment practices and to plan for incremental increases in job quality for ICA, an Oakland, California-based CDFI. Her research interests center on inequality relating to work and employment conditions, family policy, and neighborhood change. 

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Kimberly GeronimoKimberly Geronimo, Research Associate

Kim Geronimo is a Research Associate at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. She provides policy equity assessment and related indicator development for diversitydatakids.org, a project on racial/ethnic equity in child well-being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She also provides geospatial descriptive work and analysis as part of a Child Care Research Partnership Grant evaluation study sponsored by the federal Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Her current work focuses on early childhood education and parental leave, with a special emphasis on Head Start, child care subsidies, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Prior to joining ICYFP, Geronimo worked at ACCION USA, a nonprofit, domestic microfinance organization. Her work with clients emphasized income growth and credit improvement for small business owners who were unable to access traditional financing. Geronimo graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in political science and Spanish. 

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Erin Hardy PhotoErin Hardy, MS,  Fellow and Lecturer

Erin Hardy is a Fellow at the Institute for Child, Youth & Family Policy (ICYFP) at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. In her current role, Erin serves as Principal Investigator for the project, "Child-Focused Community Profiles of WKKF Priority Areas", a data research project for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Erin also serves as Research Director and Co-Investigator for the diversitydatakids.org Project--a project focused on using data to advance child wellbeing and racial/ethnic equity. She also serves as Co-Principal Investigator for the Evaluation of the Child Care Voucher Eligibility Reassessment Policy Change in Massachusetts, 2013 Child Care Research Partnership Grant (CCRPG) sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). 

Erin’s content and methodological expertise is in (i) how racial/ethnic stratification shapes children’s developmental contexts (neighborhoods, educational settings), access to opportunities, and outcomes, and relatedly, (ii) how to account for these connections in the analysis and development of U.S. social policies. Her work has a strong quantitative focus that blends a combination of measurement, evaluation, spatial statistics/Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and mixed-methods research expertise. Prior to Brandeis, Erin worked as a Fellow for the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University and as a Research Associate for RTI International conducting evaluation work for a federally-funded, community-based family strengthening initiative. Early in her career, Erin spent half a decade working in corporate and public finance investment banking serving Midwest private and public sector clients. Erin earned a Master of Science in Political Science at MIT and a BA in Government and Economics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Most importantly, Erin is the proud mother of an exuberant eight-year old girl and three-year old boy. 

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Pamela K. Joshi, ICYFP Sr. Research Scientist and Associate DirectorPam Joshi, Ph.D. '01, MPP, Senior Research Scientist, Associate Director

Dr. Pamela K. Joshi, Ph.D. '01, is a Senior Research Scientist and the Associate Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy. Her 15 years of expertise includes policy implementation research, evaluation of community-based interventions, systematic reviews, welfare, housing and family support programs, parental working conditions and nonstandard work shifts, and race/ethnic health disparities. Currently, Joshi is the Director of Policy Analysis for the diversitydatakids.org project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which targets data collection, analysis and policy implications for low-income and vulnerable families and children. The diversitydatakids.org project is a data-driven project to document disparities in access to opportunities, their outcomes and the variation in state level child policies, and to conduct systematic reviews and case studies of interventions that improve the lives of vulnerable children. A parallel project is a systematic review of faith-based organizations’ capacity and management practices in emergency preparedness and response efforts in vulnerable communities. Prior to Brandeis, Joshi spent 4 years in social policy evaluation at RTI International leading systematic reviews and policy evaluation funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, and 6 years at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Research Scientist on Welfare, Children and Families: A Three City Study. She received her B.S. in economics from Miami University, M.P.P with a concentration in poverty and inequality from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She was the Heller School’s first Sol C. Chaikin dissertation fellow in child, youth and family policy.

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Photo of Frank LiFrank S. Li, MFA, Research Associate

Frank Li is a Research Associate at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He works primarily on the Child-Focused Community Profiles project, building detailed indicator data dashboards on childhood inequity in several cities and counties across the country. The project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Previously, Frank worked for a GIS software company supporting, testing, and developing sales territory design software and cartographic data. He holds a B.A. in Urban Planning and Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, an M.F.A. in Composition and Theory from Brandeis University, and a GIS Technician Certificate from San Diego Mesa College.

Outside of ICYFP, Frank is a composer, writer, and visual artist interested in the intersections of art, technology, and sociopolitical issues. His creative work tends toward the abstract, interdisciplinary, experimental, and digital. Frank also enjoys drinking coffee, learning astrophysics, playing board games, and sailing boats.

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Photo of Clemens Noelke Clemens Noelke, Ph.D., Research Director

Clemens Noelke is a Research Scientist and Research Director at the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Administration, Brandeis University. Prior to joining ICYFP, Clemens was David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Mannheim, Germany. His doctoral thesis examined determinants of youth unemployment in Eastern and Western Europe, focusing on the causal effects of education systems and employment protection legislation. His post-doctoral work focused on the impact of recessions and job loss on cardiovascular disease and mortality, and the impact of global warming on emotional well-being. Clemens has published in leading social science journals, such as American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, European Sociological Review and Environmental Research.

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Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson photoLaurie Nsiah-Jefferson '80, Ph.D. '06, Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer

Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson '80, Ph.D. '06, holds faculty and senior scientist positions at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the African and Afro-American Studies Department and the Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) Program. She chairs the MPP Diversity Committee, serves on the Heller Diversity Steering Committee, and is the coordinator for the MPP/WGS Joint Degree Program, and advises joint degree students. Furthermore she is currently a Davis Teaching and Learning Fellow working with a cohort of Brandeis faculty to explore innovations in pedagogy for effective teaching and student learning. 

Nsiah-Jefferson earned a joint Ph.D. in Social Policy with a concentration in Health Policy/Health Services from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and an M.A. in Women's and Gender Studies from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University. She received an M.P.H, in Health Services Administration from the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.  In addition she holds a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies and Politics from Brandeis University. 

Nsiah-Jefferson’s research interests relate to the simultaneous intersections between aspects of social difference and identity (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, immigrant status, ability, etc.), and forms of systematic oppression (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) at micro and macro levels, and its impact on various social outcomes. She is also interested in the relationship between health and wealth inequities and its impact on the well-being of women of color and young children; the role of racial and ethnic discrimination on health status; and disparities in health care quality and services. Her current research projects are focused on health workforce diversity, nursing home report cards for diverse populations, the role of philanthropy in reducing health disparities, and the impact of racism/discrimination on health outcomes.

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Lindsay Rosenfeld

Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, Scientist and Lecturer

Dr. Lindsay E. Rosenfeld is a social epidemiologist with research interests in program and policy design that focus on the health impacts of “nonhealth” policies and programs, particularly concerning the built environment, urban planning and design, housing, neighborhoods, education, (im)migration, and health literacy. In addition to her work with the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Northeastern University's Institute on Urban Health Research & Practice as well as a Scholar in Health Literacy Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. At the Heller School, Rosenfeld co-teaches HS502A: Child, Youth, and Family Poverty - Research & Policy as well as HS329F: Introduction to Epidemiology. In the Health: Science, Society, & Policy Brandeis undergraduate program, she teaches HSSP100b: Introduction to Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Population Health, HSSP112b: Perspectives on Child Health and Well-Being, and HSSP120bj: Health Care Landscapes, a course in the Food, Lifestyle, and Health Justice Brandeis Semester. At Harvard, Rosenfeld will co-teach two health literacy modules in January 2015 and has previously taught Health Literacy there as well. She has also taught Race, Ethnicity, and Health at Northeastern University. Throughout her career Rosenfeld has served in numerous research, policy, teaching, and community social-service capacities—she is passionate about the utility of research for program and policy application. Examples include being a founding member of the Boston Child Health Impact Assessment Working Group, a second-grade teacher in Compton, California, co-founder and coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Urban Planning and Public Health, a participant in the Boston Affordable Housing Design Competition and Fit City Boston, and a mentor to many students and young professionals. Currently, she is working on 3 main project areas: child equity and policy with diversitydatakids.org [WK Kellogg Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Brandeis University], NOURISH (Nutrition Opportunities to Understand Reforms Involving Student Health) [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard School of Public Health], and The Meaning and Impact of Limited Literacy on the Lives of People with Serious Mental Illness [National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Northeastern University]. Rosenfeld earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Brown University and both her master’s degree and doctorate in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

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Kate Giapponi Schneider, Post-Doctoral Research AssociatePhoto of Kate Giapponi

Kate Giapponi Schneider, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Dr. Schneider is interested in the fields of early education and care, public assistance and child welfare. Her current work at the Institute is focused on child care subsidy policy, including conducting research on state variation and equity issues in child care subsidy administration, application and use under the diversitydatakids.org project. Dr. Schneider is also conducting research under two U.S. Office of Program, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) grants, the Child Care Research Partnerships Grant and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Planning Grant (for which, she serves as a Co-Principal Investigator). As a doctoral student, Dr. Schneider was awarded OPRE’s highly competitive Early Care and Education Research Scholars Grant, for her dissertation research investigating predictors of provider participation in the Massachusetts child care subsidy system. Prior to joining Brandeis, Dr.Schneider worked for over six years at Public Consulting Group, consulting for various state and local human services agencies.  In this capacity, she conducted projects involving survey research, program evaluation, needs assessment, revenue maximization, and business process review. Dr. Schneider holds a PhD and MA in Social Policy from Brandeis University, an MBA from Clark University and a BA in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross. 

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