Recent Public Policy PhD Program alumna Rachel Drew ‘14 has earned the Tessie Agan Award from the Housing Education and Research Association (HERA) for a paper based on her dissertation, “Constructing the American Dream: How Beliefs Influence Decisions about Homeownership.” The purpose of the annual competition is to recognize and reward exemplary graduate student scholarship in housing. With this honor, Drew earns a $750 award which she will receive this month in Kansas City at the HERA annual conference.
Drew’s dissertation advisor, Professor Michael Johnson nominated her for the award and comments on her achievements. “To me, the Tessie Agan Award is a recognition of Rachel’s exceptional analytic and writing skills, her ability to communicate to academic as well as practitioner audiences, and her deeply-felt desire to use research to enable America to more fully share the promise of high-quality and affordable housing–whether rented or owned–with all of who live here.”
Department chair Christine Brenner shares in the accolades. “We are delighted that Rachel has received this richly deserved recognition for her research.”
Already an experienced professional after seven years as an analyst with the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, Drew enrolled in the PhD program in fall 2014. Since then, she has enjoyed multiple accomplishments during her time at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School. She has served as lead research assistant for Professor Johnson on a National Science Foundation-funded grant on foreclosed housing decision models, has co-authored three papers and a book chapter, and was the lead author on another article.
Following completion of her dissertation, Rachel Drew returned to Harvard as a post-doc studying housing policy at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.