PhD Alumni & Dissertations

Our first graduate completed his dissertation in 1997; below is a sample list of alumni, their dissertation topics, and current employment.

Public Policy PhD Alumni Profiles:
A-E     F-J     K-O     P-T     U-Z

Dale Allen, PhD (Year of Graduation 2012)

Dissertation: "The Economic Relationships between Institutions of Higher Education and Municipalities"

Current position: Vice-President for Community Engagement, Quinsigamond Community College

Alma Hallulli Biba, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "'Whose Goals Am IO Meeting?' Policy and Practice Dilemmas in Adult Basic Education in the Era of Accountability"

Marija Bingulac, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "Understand Romani Deprivation in Serbia: From Symbolic Inclusion Prescriptions to Meaningful Pathways to Economic Integration"

Talia Berman-Kishony, PhD (Year of Graduation 2012)

Heike Boeltzig, PhD  (Year of Graduation 2010)

Read Heike Boeltzig's profile

Dissertation: “Technology Adoption and Transformation of the Vocational Rehabilitation Process: A Case Study of Counselors within State VR Agencies” (abstract)

Current positions: Research Associate, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston
Adjunct faculty, Public Affairs MSPA Program, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Lisa Brabo, PhD (Year of Graduation 2001)

Read Lisa Brabo's profile

Dissertation: "Rural Women's Experiences in Separating from Violent, Intimate Relationships"

Current position: Executive Director, YWCA of San Gabriel Valley (CA)

Alix Cantave, PhD (Year of Graduation 2007)

Read Alix Cantave's profile

Dissertation: "Non-Governmental Organizations and Local Development in Haiti"

Current position: Program Officer, Kellogg Foundation (Miami, FL)

Jennifer Cohen, PhD (Year of Graduation 2011)

See video featuring Jen Cohen: Thinkers and Practitioners

Dissertation: "Knots of Knowledge: How Community-Based Organizations Make Social Change" (abstract)

Current positions: Adjunct Faculty, University of Haifa and Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Program Monitor and Evaluator, Sikkuy (a jointly-run [Jewish-Palestinian] nonprofit working to advance equality in Israel); Program Evaluation Consultant, Matan ("Israel's United Way")

Jean Cummiskey, PhD (Year of Graduation 1998)

Dissertation: "Risk Perception and the Generation of Public Policy: Case Analyses of Smoking and Septic System Regulations in Massachusetts"

Current position: Senior Projects Manager, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Denise Dodds, PhD (Year of Graduation 2002)

Dissertation: "The Influence of Social Capital on the Development of Sustainable Neighborhood Coalitions: The Case of Boston Against Drugs"

Current position: Senior Research Associate/Evaluation Unit Manager, Boston Public Health Commission

Elaine Donnelly, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "Regional P20 Councils: Addressing the Education Pipeline through Regional Learning and Cross-Sector Collaboration"

Emily Douglas, PhD (Year of Graduation 2002)

Read Emily Douglas' profile

Dissertation: "The Influence of Public Policies on Human Behavior: The Effects of a New Hampshire Law Stating a Presumption for Joint Legal Custody on Fathers' Involvement in Divorced Families"

Current position: Assistant Professor, Master’s Degree of Social Work Program, Bridgewater State University (MA)

Paulette A. Farmer, PhD (Year of Graduation 2000)

Dissertation: "Medicare Beneficiaries' Decision to Select a Managed Care Alternative or Remain in The Fee-For-Service System"

Current position: Case Reviewer, Massachusetts Department of Medical Assistance

Danny Garcia, PhD (year of Graduation 2012)

Dissertation: “Corruption, Democracy, Inequality, and Economic Growth: Exploring the Theoretical and Empirical Relationship in South America, 1995-2008”

Current positions: Professor and Department Chair, Macroeconomic Sciences, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Monica Garlick, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "The Case of High and Rising Healthcare Costs in Massachusetts"

Shiko (Anne) W. Gathuo, PhD (Year of Graduation 2004)

Dissertation: "A Country in Democratic Transition: Kenyan Churches in Civil Society"

Current position: Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Master of Science Program in Nonprofit Management, Urban Studies Department, Worcester State College (MA)

Paula Georges, PhD (Year of Graduation 2003)

Dissertation: "The Influence of Welfare Coalitions on Massachusetts Welfare Policy" (abstract)

Current position: Adjunct Professor, School of Social Work, Simmons College (Boston, MA)

Phillip Granberry, PhD (Year of Graduation 2007)

Read Phil Granberry's profile

Dissertation: “Individual, Institutional, and Environmental Determinants of Social Capital and its Influence on the Earnings and Health of Mexican Immigrants in Los Angeles County ” (abstract)

Current position: Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston

Amy Heller, PhD (Year of Graduation 2003)

Dissertation: "The Perceived Effect of Managed Care Organizations on Physicians Who Care For Children"

Current position: Senior Manager, Health Services Research, United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds

Charles "Skuk" Jones, PhD (Year of Graduation 2008)

Dissertation: "The Renewable Energy Industry in Massachusetts as a Complex System: Developing a Shared Understanding for Policy Making" (abstract)

Current position: Research Fellow, JFK School of Government, Harvard University

Berna Kahraman, PhD (Year of Graduation 2011)

Dissertation: "Creating Employment for the New Generations in Developing Economies: The Case of Turkey"

Current position: Research Fellow, Center for Social Policy, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Mandira Kala, PhD (Year of Graduation 2009)

Dissertation: “Decentralization in Kerala: Revealing the Deliberative Sphere, Political Agency and Citizen Well-Being"  (abstract)

Current position: Head, Legislative Engagement and Training Unit, PRS Legislative Research (an independent non-partisan research center offering legal and policy research support to Members of Parliament in India)

Robert Kramer, PhD (Year of Graduation 2010)

Dissertation: "Why Massachusetts College Students Drive After Drinking: Do Current Policies to Stop Them Make Sense?" (abstract)

Current position: Associate Director of Enrollment Research, Northeastern University (Boston, MA)

Nicole Lavan, PhD (Year of Graduation 2009)

Dissertation: “An Analysis of Students who left Boston Public Schools for Alternative Education and GED Programs”

Current position: Director of Research, Policy, and Evaluation, Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (Bronx, NY)

Maria Elena Letona, PhD (Year of Graduation 1997)

Dissertation: "State Government Provision of HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Programs Through Latino Community Agencies: A Policy Implementation Analysis"

Current position: Organizational Development Consultant, Siembra! (Boston, MA)

Michael Liu, PhD (Year of Graduation 1999)

Dissertation: "Chinatown's Neighborhood Mobilization and Urban Development in Boston"

Current position: Community Programs Coordinator and Research Associate, Institute of Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Xuhong Liu, PhD (Year of Graduation 2008)

Dissertation: "Industry Environmental Performance, Economic Growth and Environmental Regulation: Evidence from China"

Current position: Research Associate, Michigan Technical University

Lawrence J. Makovich, PhD (Year of Graduation 1997)

Dissertation: "Fiscal Policy Perversity in State and Local Government Spending"

Current position: Vice President and Senior Advisor, Global Power Group, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Inc. (Cambridge, MA)

Tiffany Manuel, PhD (Year of Graduation 2002)

Read Tiffany's profile

Dissertation: "Giving Mercenaries a Chance to Be Missionaries: Making the Case for Universal Paid Family Leave in the United States"

Current position: Vice President of Knowledge, Impact, & Strategy, Enterprise Community Partners (Columbia, MD)

Edith Mas, PhD (Year of Graduation 2004)

Dissertation: "Why Act? The Roots and Potential of Precautionary Environmental Action in Three Vermont Watersheds"

Current positions: President, Tannery Wildlife Refuge (Wilmington, VT); Commissioner, Marlborough (MA) Planning Commission

James Mcintyre, PhD (Year of Graduation 2003)

Dissertation: "An Analysis of the State Education Aid Funding Mechanism Established by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act"

Current position: Superintendent of Schools, Knoxville County, TN
Instructor, Center for Educational Leadership, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Tatjana Meschede, PhD (Year of Graduation 2004)

Dissertation: "Bridges and Barriers to Housing for 'Chronically' Homeless Street Dwellers: The Effects of Health and Substance Abuse Services on Housing Attainment" (abstract)

Current positions: Senior Research Associate, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)

Rebecca Moryl, PhD (Year of Graduation 2010)

Dissertation:  "Alignment of Economic Development Goals and Policy: Considering Economic Development Goals, their Expression and their Execution"

Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Emmanuel College (Boston, MA)

Kevin B. Murphy, PhD (Year of Graduation 2008)

Dissertation: "Factors Affecting the Retention, Persistence and Degree Attainment of Immigrant Students at Public Four-Year Higher Education Institutions”

Current position: Associate Director of Assessment and Institutional Research, Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning, University of Massachusetts Boston

Gloria Cross Mwase, PhD (Year of Graduation 2005)

Dissertation: "Participation and Community Benefit: A Case Study of the Boston Enhanced Enterprise Community, 1994-1999"

Current position: Program Director, Building Economic Opportunity, Jobs for the Future (Boston, MA)

David Nieto, PhD (Year of Graduation 2016)

Dissertation: "The Politics of Official English: Exploring the Intentions and the Outcomes Behind English-Only Policies in the United States"

Michelle Portman, PhD (Year of Graduation 2007)

Dissertation:"From Land to Sea: The Application of Land Protection Tools to the Marine Environment"

Current Positions: Assistant Professor, Environment Cluster, Urban and Regional Planning Track, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at Technion University, Israel

Kimberly Puhala, PhD (Year of Graduation 2011)

Dissertation: “Legal Services for Women Survivors of Domestic Violence: Do Public Problems Require Public Solutions?”

Current Position: Associate Vice President, Institutional Research and Assessment, Quincy College (MA)

O. Steven Quimby, PhD (Year of Graduation 2008)

Dissertation: "Metropolitan Growth and Inequality: The Impact of Regional Governance Structures"

Current Position: Entrepreneur/Consultant, Steve Quimby Consulting (specializing in research, grant writing, workforce development project management and evaluation, strategic planning, and report writing)

Jennifer Raymond, PhD (Year of Graduation 2009)

Dissertation: "From Our House to the State House: Understanding the Impacts of Goodridge v. Public Health on the Attitudes, Lived Experiences and Political Participation of LGBTQ Individuals in Greater Boston"

Current position:  Faculty, Union Institute & University (Ohio), Interdisciplinary  Studies (Public Policy and Social Change) PhD Program; Adjunct Faculty, Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies Departments, Bridgewater State University (MA)

E. Lee Rosenthal, PhD (Year of Graduation 2003)

Dissertation: "The Sustainability Dance: Lessons to Learn for an Emerging Force in Community Health: Community Health Workers"

Current position:  Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion, College of Health Science, University of Texas El Paso

Laurie Ross, PhD (Year of Graduation 2002)

Dissertation: "Rebuilding Communities, Shaping Identities: The Impact of Participatory Neighborhood Planning Process of Young, Low-Income Adolescents"

Current positions: Assistant Professor, Department of International Development, Community and Environment and Coordinator of Community Development and Planning Master’s Program, Clark University (MA)

Ana Maria Sanchez Rodriguez, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "Civil Society Organization Practices to End Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities in Mexico"

Alvine Murielle Tchuathi Sangang, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "Addressing University Graduates' Employability in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Cameroon"

Jennifer Shea, PhD (Year of Graduation 2008)

Dissertation: "Inside the Black Box of Devolution: A Model of Devolved Governance through the Community-Integrated Intermediary: The Case of the Compassion Capital Fund and the Field of High-risk Youth Services in Boston"

Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, San Francisco State University

Mary Spooner, PhD (Year of Graduation 2001)

Dissertation: "Women Under Subjection of the Law: A Study of the Legal Responses to Women's Abuse in the English-Speaking Caribbean"

Current position: Research Assistant Professor, Feinberg Medical School, Northwestern University (IL)

Doreen Stern, PhD (Year of Graduation 2002)

Dissertation: "A Study Examining Local Implementation of New Hampshire's Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (1994-1997)"

Current Position: Entrepreneur: President, The Life Docktor, LLC; Speaker, Writer and Coach

Shelley Tinkham, PhD (Year of Graduation 2011)

Dissertation: "The Value of Getting Out: The Impact of School Leaders' International Experiences"

Current position: Director for Academic, P-16, and Veterans Policy, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education

Carson Tsao, PhD (Year of Graduation 1999)

Dissertation: "Regional Coincident Economic Indexes: The New England States' 'State of the Economy'"

Retired: Policy Consultant/Researcher

Michael Tutty, PhD (Year of Graduation 2012)

Dissertation: "Health Reform Challenges: Understanding Low-Income Massachusetts Residents Who Remain Uninsured"

Current positions: Director, Office of Health Policy and Technology, Center for Health Policy and Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School;
Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Udaya Wagle, PhD (Year of Graduation 2005)

Dissertation: "A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Poverty: Economic Well-Being, Capability and Social Inclusion in the City of Katmandu"

Current positions: Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Western Michigan University

Mei G. Wang, PhD (Year of Graduation 1998)

Dissertation: "Outcome Measurement in Health Care: Assessing Hospital Quality Using Mortality Outcomes of Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction in Massachusetts Hospitals"

Current position: Science Officer, Government Task Leader, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Boston, MA)

James K. West, PhD (Year of Graduation 1999)

Dissertation: "Smoking-Attributable Mortality of Consumers of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Services: 1989 through 1996"

Current position: Demographer, Division of Epidemiology and Immunization, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Ryan Whalen, PhD (Year of Graduation 2017)

Dissertation: "Performance Management and Decision-Making in State Agencies: The Case of Massachusetts"

Randall Wilson, PhD (Year of Graduation 2009)

Dissertation: "Finding the Will and the Way: Applying the Framework of Commitment and Capacity to the Implementation of Career Ladders in the Long-term Care Sector"

Current position: Senior Project Manager, Jobs for the Future (Boston, MA)

Jean Winsor, PhD (Year of Graduation 2009)

Dissertation: "Increasing Integrated Employment Outcomes: How are States Using Commitment, Capacity building, and Choice to Impact the Distribution of People in Day and Employment Services?"

Current position: Research Associate, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

Richard Wright, PhD (Year of Graduation 2004)

Dissertation: "Protection or Illusion? A Policy Analysis of Federal and Massachusetts Sex Offender Legislation"

Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Bridgewater State University (MA)

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