Sam Storey is a first year Masters of Public Affairs student at the UT LBJ School and the incoming Bryna and Henry David Fellow. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Sam graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with dual B.A. degrees in Public Policy and Feminist Studies. After his undergraduate education, Sam worked as a strategic research analyst at EMC Research, a public opinion research firm in Oakland, CA. As part of this job Sam conducted opinion research for campaigns, public agencies, and private organizations throughout the country, honing his passion for policy evaluation and reliable statistical research. Sam has an academic and moral drive to discover new policy approaches to poverty reduction and is thrilled to be honing this passion at the Ray Marshall Center. On the weekends, he can be found biking around Austin, singing along to Whitney Houston, or watching a Meryl Streep movie.
Dr. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Ray Marshall Center. He has managed and conducted quantitative and qualitative research since 2008, working collaboratively with nationally recognized experts to improve education across the K16 continuum. Most recently, he served as Director of the Texas Higher Education Policy Institute, an in-house policy research center at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that provided critical input to policymakers in their efforts to meet the goals of the state’s higher education plan. Dr. Holcombe worked with stakeholders to identify critical research needs, developed action plans to respond to the identified needs, and presented results to stakeholders from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the state legislature, and the Governor’s Office. The areas of inquiry cut across the higher education spectrum, examples of which include improving developmental education, increasing participation and success among traditionally underrepresented groups, increasing efficiency and productivity, improving the effective distribution of state grant dollars, and developing a strategic model to estimate what higher education should cost.
Previous to his position at the Texas Higher Education Policy Institute, Dr. Holcombe managed and conducted numerous mixed-methods research and evaluation project at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin. He began his career in education as a secondary math teacher in El Paso, Texas. He was awarded his doctorate in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.
Tanlyn is currently a Masters of Global Policy Studies student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. At the Ray Marshall Center, she assists with measuring the effects of two-generational approaches to poverty relief. She has over three years experience in the field of adult education and recently assisted with a program evaluation of an education-focused nonprofit in Ghana. In 2010, she received her BA from Southwestern University and in 2011 was the recipient of a Fulbright grant in Berlin, Germany.
With over 15 years of evaluation and research experience, Kristin joined RMC in 2012. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work and has continued her research education through non-credit statistics programs, including a Specialize Certificate program in Biostatistics at the University of California, San Diego Extension. She has extensive experience in conducting surveys and performing qualitative and quantitative analysis. She is also a SAS® Certified Base Programmer. Her current projects include the evaluation of a sectoral workforce development program in Tulsa, OK, analyses of data for the Texas Workforce Data Quality Initiative, and the evaluation of Travis County workforce development services.
Amna Khan joined the Ray Marshall Center in August 2013 as a Social Science Research Associate and has over 5 years of experience evaluating federal and state programs’ implementation. She is currently evaluating three Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants —in North Dakota, along the Texas border, and at Austin Community College—using site visits, focus groups, detailed interviews with program partners, and quantitative and qualitative student data. She earned her Masters Degree specializing in Economics and Social Policy in 2011 from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her Bachelors Degree in Economics was earned in 2008 from Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.
Ashweeta Patnaik joined the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources (RMC) as a Social Science Research Associate in May 2013. Ms. Patnaik has eight years of experience conducting program evaluations, needs assessments, epidemiological research, health surveillance, and survey research. She specializes in quantitative research methods, statistical programming and administrative data linkage. She has a Masters degree in Public Health from The University of Texas Health Science Center, and she is a certified SAS Base Programmer.
Currently at the Ray Marshall Center, Ms. Patnaik is conducting impact evaluations for two federally-funded multi-year workforce development projects in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi: (1) Growing Regional Opportunity for the Workforce: Expanding the Border for Lower Skilled Adults (GROW), funded by a WIF grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, and (2) Gulf Coast IT Pathways Consortium, funded by a TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. She is also providing programming and analytical support for evaluations of human service programs such as the Texas Integrated Child Support System, funded by the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Office of Child Support Enforcement, and the Urban Fathers Building Assets Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement.
Prior to joining the Ray Marshall Center, Ms. Patnaik was a research associate at the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University. As a graduate student at The University of Texas Health Science Center, she worked at the Southwest Center for Occupational Health, where she was involved in the implementation and internal evaluation of the Sacred Vocation Program, a workplace change program. She also interned with the Environmental Epidemiology & Injury Surveillance Group at the Texas Department of State Health Services where she led a study on the epidemiology of drowning injuries in Texas.
Ms. Patnaik has substantive expertise and training in quantitative research methodologies, including hypothesis testing, advanced regression analysis, propensity score matching, difference-in-differences estimation, structural equation modeling and decision tree analysis. She has designed and conducted multi-modal surveys in a variety of settings, including schools, colleges and universities. She has compiled and analyzed large demographic and sociological data sets, including data from the U.S. Census and data from state agencies (Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Department of Education, Texas Higher Education Board, Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General). She is adept at mastering and applying new software and analytical methods.
Ms. Patnaik also has experience with qualitative research methods, including facilitating and conducting focus groups, community listening sessions, and key informant interviews. She has also conducted text analysis of qualitative data using SPSS Text Miner and Atlas.TI. In addition to preparing presentations, white papers, research briefs and evaluation reports for state and federal agencies, Ms. Patnaik has also authored articles for academic journals and presented at national conferences.
Dr. Kelly S. Mikelson, Research Scientist, joined the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources in October 2013 and left in 2015. Dr. Mikelson has over a decade of experience evaluating the efficacy of social policies including workforce development, children’s health disparities, welfare reform and income support policies, and examining the relationship between public policies and individual behavior. She is responsible for leading and contributing to research projects evaluating workforce development and educational programs and developing policy recommendations. Dr. Mikelson conducts both quantitative data analysis – statistical analysis of survey data and administrative data and records – and qualitative field research and has experience developing and conducting surveys. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Mikelson was a Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute and an evaluator at the U.S. GAO, both in Washington, DC. She received her A.B. in Sociology from Harvard/Radcliffe College, her Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and her Ph.D. in Public Policy from The University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Matt worked at the Ray Marshall Center as a Social Science Research Associate from June 2013 until September 2014 when he accepted a professorship position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to that, he worked as a graduate research assistant for the Education Research Center at the University of Texas (www.utaustinerc.org) for the past four years. During his time at the ERC, he served as the lead data analyst on a number of projects, including a multiyear study of the postsecondary pathways and outcomes of Houston-area students and a quasi-experimental analysis of the impact of dual-credit course taking on students’ college access and success rates. He is currently working on the Gulf States Project, a multiyear study funded by the Department of Labor investigating the impacts of a newly designed IT pathway program being implemented by a number of community colleges in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as the Student Futures Project.
Matt earned his Bachelors Degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin before completing a Masters Degree in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University. Matt received his Ph.D. at UT-Austin in the Educational Policy and Planning program in the Department of Education. His dissertation research sought to estimate the influence of socioeconomic status on various stages in the postsecondary pathways of high-ability, low-income students. He hopes that his research will help to reduce socioeconomic disparities in postsecondary outcomes in order to promote a more just and equitable distribution of higher education.
Rachel Douglas is a Consultant with the Ray Marshall Center and a second year Ph.D. student studying U.S. social program evaluation, family policy, family demography, and human capital development. She also works as a research assistant with the Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) and a teaching assistant for graduate microeconomics courses at the LBJ School. Rachel earned her B.S. in economics from Louisiana State University in 2006 and her master of public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2010. Prior to joining the Ray Marshall Center, Rachel held policy research positions with the Texas House of Representatives’ Human Service Committee and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
Dr. Prince is the Ray Marshall Center’s director and a research scientist. He has over fifteen years’ experience in the education and workforce development fields as a researcher, project manager, policy analyst, and evaluator. Currently, Dr. Prince serves as principal investigator on multiple research and evaluation projects involving statistical analyses of confidential administrative records data on education and the labor market. He is also principal investigator for a United Nations Research Institute for Social Development study examining post-Arab Spring policies and programs addressing youth unemployment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Oman. He has written, published, and presented extensively on domestic and international employment and training programs and policies, postsecondary education, and poverty reduction.
Dr. Prince also consults for various international development NGOs, including the One Acre Fund and Nuru International, and has participated with a team of hydrologists, geologists, and volunteers addressing the need for potable water in and around Cevicos, The Dominican Republic. His research into multidimensional poverty and youth unemployment policy has led to invited conference presentations in Peru, Cameroon, and, most recently, Lebanon.
Prior to joining the RMC, Dr. Prince was a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, where he focused on labor policy, and a Master’s degree and PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management. His dissertation research focused on measuring the drivers of change in multidimensional poverty in developing countries.