The OK Policy Research Fellowship program is intended to recognize and support top-performing graduate students who are conducting promising research on public policy issues. Research Fellows are each expected to contribute two OK Policy blog posts on issues related to their research and experience. They will also assist with organizing an OK Policy event over the course of the year. OK Policy provides each fellow a $500 stipend.
Research Fellows also become part of the Scholars Strategy Network, a national initiative that brings together scholars to address pressing public challenges at the national, state, and local levels.
The 2013-14 Research Fellows are:
JeVonna Caine was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, and currently resides in Oklahoma City. She holds a B.S. in Health Education & Promotion from Oklahoma State University. JeVonna is pursuing a Masters of Public Health in Health Administration and Policy from the OU Health Sciences Center, while also working at the State Department of Health in the Health Planning & Grants department. She has an extensive background in community health education and research with previous positions at Georgetown University and Youth Services of Tulsa. Her future aspirations include working at the federal level of government as a health policy analyst concentrating on health disparity issues and quality access to healthcare. See her guest blog posts on Medicaid funding and Oklahoma’s primary care physician shortage.
Ryan Miskell moved to Oklahoma in 2009 to join Teach For America and teach in Tulsa Public Schools. In his fifth year with the district, Ryan teaches English Language Learners at Grissom Elementary School. Ryan is also working on his PhD in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Oklahoma. At the university, he works as a research associate with the Oklahoma Center for Education Policy, contributing research and writing to the center’s team of researchers. In 2012, Ryan earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision from the University of Oklahoma. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from American University in 2009. See his guest blog posts on the A-F grading system and on a better way to understand and improve school performance.
- Bailey Perkins is a second year Master of Public Administration student at the University of Oklahoma and Graduate Assistant for the Carl Albert Center Women’s Leadership Initiative. In 2012, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. Bailey’s passion for community empowerment, political engagement, social justice, and educational equity influences her involvement in various social, community, political and academic organizations. She serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy as the advocacy chairman and completed a summer fellowship studying education facility disparities through the Southern Education Foundation. See her guest blog post on education funding.
- Breanca Thomas is a PhD student in Health Promotion Sciences in the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She earned an MA in political science with an emphasis in public policy and administration from Texas A&M University, and a BA in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She works as a research assistant with the American Indian Diabetes Prevention Center, helping develop an intervention to reduce diabetes-related behaviors among American Indian children. Her research interests are in social and political determinants of health behaviors related to obesity and health disparities, and her previous research has incorporated policy areas such as education, privatization, race, gender, and poverty. She intends to pursue a research career focusing on effective methods of reducing health disparities among at-risk groups. See her guest blog post on the diabetes epidemic and the debate over e-cigarettes.
- Jia Wang is a fourth year PhD student in Economics at the University of Oklahoma. Her beautiful hometown, Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, is well known for its natural springs in China. Her research interest lies primarily in public economics which studies the role of government in a market economy. At present, she is particularly into government expenditure/taxation policy and economic development incentive programs. For the former, she is especially interested to uncover if there exists fiscal policy interdependence among local governments. For the latter area, she is hoping to better understand the impacts of such business incentive spending on the provision of public goods. Besides research, she works as a teaching assistant for Principles of Macroeconomics which covers topics including unemployment, inflation, and how budget deficit/surplus affects short run and long run growth patterns. See her guest blog post on economic development incentives.