I am currently a Fellow at Harvard, and my research interests include higher education policy, institutional philanthropy, social change strategies, fundraising, financial feasibility, and student success for underserved and underrepresented communities.
In my work, I explore the role of foundations in nonprofit advocacy and the impact of funders on social change with a social justice-informed approach. Through my research projects and community engagement, I have extensive experience with and knowledge of grantmaking strategies, reviewing criteria derived from my analyses of large, organizational grantmakers, establishing and fostering community partnerships for social justice projects, and leading teams as a project manager. I believe that the formative power of philanthropy—via the constellation of funders, donors, and other stakeholders—should be leveraged in the service of advancing outcomes grounded in social justice and equity.
Moreover, I have worked on projects examining the critical role that non-governmental and civil society actors play in international business activity relating to global human rights. I have also been involved in applied research, namely planning and conducting fundraising feasibility analysis, managing processes and guidelines for working with fundraising and academic partners, and developing prospect pipelines.
My dissertation modeled the social change strategies of major foundations in the college completion agenda, drawing on descriptive and inferential statistics, social network analysis, and semi-structured interviews to examine foundation-led strategies. During my time at Michigan State University, I contributed to an Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded evaluation study regarding the impact of postdoctoral appointments on career outcomes, providing policy and program recommendations. At the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, I worked on The Michigan Doctoral Experience Study (MDES), an ongoing study of the Ph.D. student experiences at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. MDES is one of the few quantitative studies capturing socialization processes, intending to understand how students develop from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers. Now, in my role at Harvard, I am extending my prior work into applied and theoretical research, namely planning and conducting fundraising feasibility analysis, managing processes and guidelines for working with fundraising and academic partners, and diversifying prospect pipelines. In particular, I am conducting research on non-engaged donors in university development.