Doctoral Fellows

Asad L. Asad

Asad L. Asad

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Asad L. Asad is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Harvard University, where he is a Beinecke Scholar, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Graduate Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, and a Graduate Student Associate with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

His primary research interests encompass the fields of im/migration, race/ethnicity, urban sociology, and inequality. His current research seeks to understand contemporary patterns of unauthorized migration from Latin America in spite of unprecedented levels of enforcement at the U.S. border and beyond. His dissertation relies on ethnographic observations and longitudinal interview data with a sample of immigrants living in Dallas, TX in order to interrogate the conditions under which legal status—or a lack thereof—affects migrants' everyday experiences.

Another project relies on large-scale survey data from the Mexican Migration Project in order to understand how ethno-racial processes in Mexico shape individuals' opportunities for lawful migration to the United States.

In both endeavors, Asad seeks to illuminate previously-overlooked social processes that explain the remarkable persistence of the unauthorized migrant population in the United States across time. 

Angie Bautista-Chavez

Angie Bautista-Chavez

Ph.D. student in Government

Angie M. Bautista-Chavez is a doctoral student in the Department of Government and a Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University. Angie’s research focuses on the domestic and foreign politics of immigration regulation and control. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Policy Studies from Rice University in 2013. In addition to research, she is currently the Teaching Fellow for Survey Research Methods. Angie is also Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow.

Alexander  Bell

Alexander Bell

Ph.D. student in Economics

Alex's research addresses questions of how resources are allocated within society with a focus on equality of opportunity. Past research explores factors influencing kids to enter high-skilled occupations and the role of parent income in producing a misallocation of talent.

Alex holds a Bachelors of Science from Brown University in Computer Science and Economics, where he graduated magna cum laude and was awarded the Gordon Lindsay Prize for Outstanding Honors Thesis. 

Monica Bell

Monica Bell

Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy

Monica was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Furman University, an M.Sc. in Equality Studies from University College Dublin in Ireland, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Before coming to Harvard, Monica was an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where her primary focuses were D.C. public assistance policy and family law reform. Prior to working at Legal Aid, Monica served as a law clerk for a federal district judge. In a previous life, Monica worked on local, state, and presidential campaigns in South Carolina.

Monica’s primary research interests are spaces where criminal justice and family law and policy intersect, particularly in the context of urban and rural disadvantage.

Aaron Benavidez

Aaron Benavidez

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Aaron Benavidez is a doctoral student in Sociology. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Rhetoric (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.

He continues to explore his interests in race, poverty, urban sociology, gender, violence, and suffering.

James Biblarz

James Biblarz

Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy
Inequality and Wealth Concentration Ph.D. Scholar

Jimmy Biblarz is a doctoral student in Sociology & Social Policy. Originally from Los Angeles, Jimmy is a 2014 graduate of Harvard College (Social Studies and English) and the resident LGBTQ tutor in Eliot House. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Jimmy is interested in links between equity-focused public policies, features of neighborhoods and schools, and children’s chances of upward intergenerational mobility. His current project traces the rise and fall of racial integration as the ideological focus of social policy, and the subsequent emergence of competing ideologies. More generally, he is interested in stratification and inequality including discrimination processes, urban poverty, race, immigration, social networks, and continuity and change in values and attitudes.

Kristina Brant

Kristina Brant

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Kristina Brant is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Harvard University and a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy.  Prior to coming to Harvard, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Economics.

Kristina’s research interests focus on the structural and cultural factors which condition transition to adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in how criminal justice and education policies and programs affect young people’s social-cognitive processes, including self-awareness, information processing, and decision making. In her research, she hopes to combine in-depth fieldwork and quantitative analysis to study these effects.

Kristina also works as a Research Assistant for the National UnDACAmented Research Project, studying the effect of Deferred Action on undocumented youth's life trajectories and perception of self.

Jacob Brown

Jacob Brown

Ph.D. student in Government and Social Policy

Jacob earned his BA in Political Science from Emory University in 2012 and an MSc in Urban Studies from the London School of Economics in 2013. At Emory and LSE, Jacob devoted his studies to racial divides, and how these conflicts influence political participation and translate into inequitable policy. As a Ph.D. candidate, he plans to build on these research experiences to study intergroup conflict’s effect on voting behavior, local elections, and urban infrastructure projects. The American electorate’s growing diversity increases intergroup conflict’s salience, and Jacob is interested to explore how demographic change transforms our understanding of social cleavages. 

Kreg  Steven Brown

Kreg Steven Brown

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Steven is a PhD candidate in the sociology department. He received his bachelor's degree in sociology (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. His primary area of research addresses racial inequality in the workplace and in the labor market, but he has also completed work and maintains interest in housing disparities and residential segregation. 

His dissertation-in-progress examines potential root causes of racial differences in job loss and experiences of unemployment. The three empirical chapters consider career trajectories before job loss, differences in reasons for separation at job loss, and the how conditions at separation influence employment outcomes after job loss. 

In addition to being a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program, he is also the recipient of both the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. 

Brielle Bryan

Brielle Bryan

Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy

Brielle Bryan is a doctoral student in Sociology and Social Policy. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a triple major in Sociology, Communication Studies, and Theatre and completed a Master’s of Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy in 2012. Her master’s thesis examined the relationship between childhood welfare receipt and career and financial expectations in early adulthood.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Bryan worked as a research associate at the Urban Institute on the Welfare Rules Database and as a research assistant at the Foundation Center, a nonprofit that collects data on US foundation grant-making.  

Her research interests include poverty, incarceration, youth, social mobility, educational inequality, and neighborhoods.  Her current research investigates the implications of mass incarceration for children and families in the US.

Peter Bucchianeri

Peter Bucchianeri

Ph.D. student in Government and Social Policy

Peter Bucchianeri is a Ph.D student in government and social policy. His research interests include U.S. elections, state and local politics, and the political economy of various social policies. Prior to attending Harvard, he received his B.A. in political science from UCLA and his M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jack Cao

Jack Cao

Ph.D. student in Psychology

Jack Cao is a PhD candidate in social psychology. His research begins with the premise that underlying inequalities -- whether in employment, education, or criminal justice -- are beliefs about the social groups that differ and why such differences exist. What are the cognitive mechanisms that result in these beliefs? When are why are some beliefs impervious to new and relevant information? And how might these beliefs be updated to better reflect reality?

To address these and related questions, Jack conducts large-scale behavioral experiments that draw on theory and methods from implicit social cognition and Bayesian computational modeling. This work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Before beginning graduate school, Jack received a BA in psychology and government from Cornell University and taught high school science in New Orleans, LA through Teach For America.

Olivia  Chi

Olivia Chi

Ph.D. student in Education
Olivia Chi is a Ph.D. student in Education with a concentration in Education Policy and Program Evaluation. Her research interests include the economics of education, teacher labor markets, and policies that reduce educational inequality.
Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as a research analyst at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and as an elementary school teacher in New Haven, Connecticut. Olivia holds an A.B. in Economics and Public Policy (magna cum laude) from Brown University.
Ashley  Craig

Ashley Craig

Ph.D. student in Economics
Inequality and Wealth Concentration Ph.D. Scholar

Ashley Craig is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Economics, specializing in public and labor economics. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Sydney in 2009. Before coming to Harvard, he worked as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia and as a research assistant at the University of Sydney. The research issues that he is most passionate about relate to inequality and discrimination, including policies that can be used to counter them. His current work focuses on inequality by race, gender and income in the context of education.

Allison Daminger

Allison Daminger

Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy

Allison Daminger is a doctoral student in Sociology & Social Policy. Her current research centers on using both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the mechanisms by which childhood poverty affects later life outcomes. Originally from New Jersey, Allison studied anthropology and global health at Princeton University and wrote a thesis on HIV/AIDS treatment in Guatemala City. After graduation in 2012, she worked first for an urban agriculture nonprofit and later for a nonprofit consulting firm that uses insights from behavioral science to solve social problems.