Skip to main content

Four Undergraduates Awarded $2,000 for Summer Research

Back to All News

We are pleased to announce the awardees of the inaugural School of Public Policy (SPP) Undergraduate Student-Faculty Summer Research Award. This award supports undergraduate students majoring in public policy who are working on research projects with SPP faculty during the summer. Undergraduate students are provided with a $2,000 award to recognize this important work.

The following projects have been awarded for Summer 2022:


Benchmark Fundraising Report on Black-Led and Black-Benefitting Nonprofits 

Organizational Partner: The Young, Black & Giving Back Institute (YBGB)

Faculty: Ebonie Cooper-Jean   

Public Policy Student: Alyssa Cobb

Attempts to address the social and economic problems facing Black communities requires investing in the strength and sustainability of Black-led nonprofits and social change leaders. This program seeks to create a measurable growth in the percent of institutional funding given to Black-led nonprofits as well as the measurable growth in the dollars they raise. The wider benefits of the work include highlighting the structural biases that exist within the philanthropic sector and raising the profile of Black-led nonprofits. Over the long term, the research team believes strengthening Black-led nonprofits will ensure Black communities have a strong community-based infrastructure that can lead to advocacy and provide needed services that ultimately contribute to overall thriving. 


How to Bring Gender into Budget Decisions

Faculty: Juan Pablo Martinez 

Public Policy Student: Juliana Mosqueira Villegas 

Women have historically been underrepresented in policymaking processes and, consequently, the design of government programs and the allocation of public monies are often tailored to the needs and preferences of males, creating an unequal playing field. Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB) aims to promote social justice by reforming decision-making processes to explicitly account for the needs of women when designing, funding, managing, and evaluating government programs. Research on GRB remains limited and often descriptive. While the available literature has advanced in describing reforms, there is little empirical evidence on what features of GRB systems are more likely to succeed based on different contexts. The goal of this project is to determine the relative success of different tools associated with GRB reforms by focusing on a small number of case studies to analyze the relative success of different tools associated with GRB reforms. 


The Right Tool for the Job: Foreign Policy Effectiveness and Nuclear Proliferation

Faculty: Ariel Alexia Petrovics 

Public Policy Student: Cayla De Siver 

“The Right Tool for the Job” compares the risks and rewards of common foreign policies for combating ongoing nuclear proliferation. This work helps fill an important gap in international relations and statecraft. Combating nuclear proliferation has become a critical issue in international security, but existing research provides little empirical handle on these policy decisions. Foreign policies that fail to reverse nuclear proliferation not only waste political and financial capital, they weaken the international nonproliferation regime and risk initiating new weapons programs in response. Even worse, some policies may even fuel proliferators’ demand for the bomb, causing them to double down in their efforts and actually doing more harm than good. Policymakers are thus left asking, of all the imperfect policy options, which most effectively combat ongoing proliferation, and who is best equipped to implement these policies? This project helps address these questions by providing one of the first empirical comparisons of counterproliferation effectiveness.


Pandemic and Borders 

Faculty: Catherine Z. Worsnop 

Public Policy Student: Riya Dhar

The Pandemics and Borders project aims to generate new data and analysis to inform decisions regarding cross-border health measures during outbreaks and support the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in this area. Building on data collected by WHO, the research team is creating a cross national database documenting cross-border health measures during COVID-19, analyzing variation in these policies and whether and why policies align with WHO guidance, conducting systematic reviews of available evidence of the effectiveness of cross-border health measures, and carrying out case studies of government decision-making around border measures in Canada, Hong Kong and the United States (US). The Summer Research Award will support the US case study component of the project, focusing primarily on two research questions: 1) What explains continuity in COVID-19 border restrictions between the Trump and Biden administrations? 2) Did WHO guidance - and/or US commitments to follow that guidance under international law - affect US decision-making about COVID-19 border restrictions? 

For Media Inquiries:
Megan Campbell
Senior Director of Strategic Communications
For More from the School of Public Policy:
Sign up for SPP News