(Below is an update on the Evans School Ph.D. program written by Professor Ann Bostrom, Faculty Ph.D. Program Coordinator)

Since graduating its first student in 2010, the Evans School Ph.D. in Public Policy & Management has grown both in size and reputation. Now with more than 24 students in residence, the program has attracted an increasing number of highly qualified and diverse applicants each year, and places alumni in excellent positions at top public policy schools and in research positions in government and nonprofits.

This year’s graduates included M. Kathleen Moore and Ryan Scott. M. Kathleen Moore’s dissertation “Rental Market Discrimination & the Housing Choice Voucher Program” implements a novel multi-metro area online experiment. Her experiment demonstrates that Housing Choice Voucher households experience significant discrimination when contacting landlords advertising rental units online; all else equal, Household Choice Voucher households are less than a fourth as likely to receive a positive response to their inquiries as other households. Dr. Moore has accepted a postdoctoral position as a National Poverty Fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin.

Ryan Scott’s dissertation “Engaging the public in management: voluntary practices, citizen complaints, and deliberating oil and gas risk” investigates “fracking” firm behavior in Colorado, with methods ranging from data scraping and text mining to qualitative interviews. Among his findings are that with local government pressure firms do engage in improved management practices. Further, citizen complaints about firm behaviors are more likely to pertain to experienced nuisances than to regulatory violations. Ryan concludes that scientific studies of such violations may not actually address the issues commonly at stake in citizen complaints. Dr. Scott will be starting as an Assistant Professor in political science at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins in August.

Ph.D. candidate Allison Kelly, currently finishing her dissertation and wrapping up several publications, has accepted a postdoctoral position at the new School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan.

Our Ph.D. students are award winning

This spring, 2nd year Ph.D. student Emmi Obara was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowship. Ph.D. candidate Josh Merfeld received the 2016-17 Wesley Endowed Fund for Political Economy & Economics Fellowship. Ph.D. candidate Sarah Charnes Paisner (with advisor Scott Allard) was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (ERS) for her dissertation research.

Evans School Ph.D. candidate Kate Crosman, together with three UW College of Environment doctoral students, wrote a prize-winning policy case for lawmakers in Washington, Oregon, and California to protect coastal communities from the devastating impacts of harmful algal blooms. Their case won the inaugural Association of Pacific Rim Universities—New York Times Asia-Pacific Case Competition, besting submissions from 31 universities across the Americas, Asia, and Australasia; and received national press coverage.

Our students regularly publish peer-reviewed publications, present their research at national and international conferences, and participate in seminars and colloquia. This past fall, four Evans School doctoral students presented at the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) annual conference. Ph.D. students also presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting, the Public Management Research Conference, and the Society for Risk Analysis annual conference, as well as at international meetings in Asia and Europe. Evans School Ph.D. candidates Ryan Scott, Allison Kelly, and Kate Crosman all contributed to the 3rd annual Duck Family Graduate workshop on Environmental Politics and Governance at the UW.

Peer-reviewed publications co-authored by Evans Ph.D. students this year included The Rise of Suburban Poverty by Professor Scott Allard and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Charnes Paisner, highlighted in eNews last fall. Other topics on which doctoral students co-authored papers with faculty include carbon nanomaterial photovoltaic devices (Ryan Scott, with Professor Alison Cullen), complex governance systems (Adam Hayes with Evans alum Assitant Professor Tyler Scott), ocean acidification and policy support for carbon emissions reduction (Kate Crosman, with Professor Ann Bostrom), and earthquake early warning  (Alicia Ahn, also with Bostrom). Hilary Wething also contributed, as part of the minimum wage team at the Evans School, to the widely publicized National Bureau of Economic Research paper, Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle.

To conduct their research, Evans School doctoral students have been recognized with fellowships, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fellowship, the UW Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE) Fellowship, the Wesley Endowed Fund for Political Economy & Economics Fellowship, the UW Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, the Program on Climate Change (PCC) Graduate Student Fellowship, the UW South Asia Fellowship, and the West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) Dissertation Fellowship. This spring, Ph.D. candidate Alec Kennedy was awarded the UW Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, the second Evans School doctoral student to win this prestigious award in as many years.   

Evans School doctoral students have also won dissertation grants to support their research, from the Decision, Risk and Management Science program at the National Science Foundation; and from the Association for Institutional Research/National Science Foundation Dissertation grant.

Evans School doctoral dissertations in environmental policy have been awarded the NASPAA Best Dissertation award (Tyler Scott, Ph.D. ‘15) and the UW Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences (Tim Scharks, Ph.D. ‘16).

Evans School doctoral alums continue to push research

Our alumni continue to be recognized for the excellent research, as illustrated by awards such as the Spencer Foundation Junior Faculty Research Award (Kate Destler, Ph.D. ’14) and prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, including the National Poverty Fellow position at the Institute for Research on Poverty (M. Kathleen Moore, Ph.D. ’17), a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at NOAA Fisheries (Lily Hsueh, Ph.D ’12), and the Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position at the Forest & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement network at the University of Michigan (Alison Kelly, Ph.D. expected ‘17). 

Major Area Papers completed in the past year include:

 “Which developing countries cooperate in international climate change treaties and why?”(Alicia Ahn)

 “Income Volatility for Low Income Households: A Systematic Review” (Hilary Wething)

 “Game theory and fisheries management: Review, policy applications and limitations” (Adam Hayes)

 “Advocating for change: Organizational and contextual drivers of foundation advocacy in the United States” (Kelly Husted)

 “Household Food Insecurity and Spatial Access to Food in the United States” (Sarah Charnes Paisner).

Evans School receives a large number of applicants

Five students successfully completed their general exams and have progressed to candidacy: Alicia Ahn, Amy Beck Harris, Kate Crosman, Josh Merfeld and Hilary Wething.

A record 120 applications for the Ph.D. program were received this year. Applicants had a wide range of backgrounds and interests, and hailed from 23 different countries and over 20 U.S. states. We have a fantastic entering cohort of five students, with interests ranging from nonprofit management to international development and poverty reduction interventions. 

  • Matthew Fowle: BA, Politics, University of Chester, 2014; MPA, University of Washington, 2017
    • Prior to joining the doctoral program, he earned a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School. While in the MPA program, Matt served as a research assistant for the Evans Policy Analysis Research Group (EPAR), conducting program evaluations for international development projects. Matthew also holds a Master of Science in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from the University of Chester. Matt’s research interests include poverty reduction programs, social welfare policies, rural development interventions, and program design evaluation.
  • Brenda Gellner: BA, Mathematics, Northwestern University, 2014; MPA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017
    • Prior to joining our doctoral program, she earned a Master of Public Administration from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She previously worked as a Project Manager for the Office of Economic & Workforce Development for Dane County, Wisconsin and as a Program Assistant for the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brenda also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Northwestern University. Her research interests include social and economic mobility, and evidence-based policymaking for alleviating barriers to employment. Brenda is also a recipient of the University of Washington Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) Fellowship, which full two years of her study.
  • Yulan Kim: BA, International Studies, Ewha Womans University, 2010; MS, Comparative Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2011
    • Prior to joining the program, she worked as a Research Associate at the Center for International Development at the Korea Development Institute (KDI). She earned a Master of Science in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Yulan also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Her research interests include evaluation and collaborative governance in international development.
  • Gonnie Park: Bachelor of Political Science, Korea University, 2002; MA, Comparative Politics, University of York, 2003; MBA, Boston College, 2012;  MPP, University of Chicago, 2016
    • Prior to joining the program, she worked as a Data Analyst at BallotReady, analyzing political candidates’ backgrounds and issues stances. Gonnie earned a Master of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago in 2016. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from Boston College, a Master of Arts in Comparative Politics from the University of York, and a Bachelor of Political Science from Korea University. Her research interests include managerial practices in nonprofit organizations and inter-organizational and inter-sectoral partnerships.
  • Francisco Santamarina: BA, Religion, Emory University, 2011; MPA, Syracuse University, 2017
    • Prior to joining the program, he earned a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He previously worked as a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, serving as a project manager on rail transport projects. Francisco also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Emory University. His research interests include nonprofit organization change management, professionalization of the nonprofit work force, and inter-sectoral relationships.

The Evans School Ph.D. Concentration in Public Policy and Management continues to contribute to increased class sizes and intellectual diversity in the classroom, and has contributed to broadening graduate student education at the UW. For example, Sarah Vorpahl received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in June with a Ph.D. Concentration in Public Policy and Management from the Evans School, and is going to Washington, D.C. in September as the 2017-2018 Materials Research Society (MRS) and The Optical Society (OSA) Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow (http://www.cei.washington.edu/ms-vorpahl-goes-to-washington-d-c/).

This year the Evans School also hosted visiting Ph.D. student Michelle Lofton, from Syracuse University, advised by Associate Professor Sharon Kioko.

See the Evans website for more information. Questions about the Evans Ph.D. Program can be directed to Faculty Ph.D. Program Coordinator Ann Bostrom and Program Coordinator Chloe Kinsey, at evansphd@uw.edu.