Profile

About

I'm an advocate and scholar with a passion for social justice, applied GIS, and poverty law. I currently live in Boston, MA and recently completed my doctorate at MIT. Prior to starting my doctoral studies, I practiced poverty law and co-managed the Race Equity Project at Legal Services of Northern California.

Interests

Social Justice Advocacy: combatting the causes and effects of poverty by combining legal advocacy with innovative technological and ground-up relationship-building practices.

Service Access: understanding how law,economics, individual perceptions and policy intersect to create create service inequity.

Low-Income Social Welfare Service Systems: understanding how we can reconstruct social welfare service systems to empower vulnerable populations and advance equity and justice.

GIS & Spatial Analysis: understanding how advocates, non-profits, and government agencies can use maps and spatial analysis to better serve vulnerable populations.

Administrative Data & Policy: understanding how organizations can leverage administrative data to better understand program administration and develop responsive policy.

Applied Quantitative Analysis: applyinging exploratory data analysis, parametric statistics, and hierarchical linear modeling to understand social phenomena.

Spoken Languages

  • English - native
  • German - highly proficient

Professional Licenses

California Bar (INACTIVE, License#: 244806)

Skills

My primary skills are related to (1) advocacy, (2) spatial analysis and mapping, (3) housing law and policy, (4) data analysis, and (5) information policy and management.

Advocacy


GIS Practice Innovation
Training
Legal Advovacy
Policy Advocacy
Outreach

Housing Law and Policy


Landlord/Tenant Law
Rental Housing Policy
Low-Income Housing Programs

Spatial Analysis & Mapping


GIS
Spatial Data Analysis
Applied Spatial Statistics

Data Analysis


Applied Statistics
STATA
Qualitative Data Analysis
MAXQDA

Information Policy & Management


Information Technology Policy
Data Management
SQL
Relational Database Design
MS Access
Spatial data standards

Experience

MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

Research Assistant

The MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC) is an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on the study of high-impact, complex, sociotechnical systems that shape our world.

Used sociological and geographic research methodologies to understand how the U.S. Marine Corps leverages civilian mental health providers to meet the mental health needs of Marines and their families. Activities included:

  • Designed, implemented, and co-authored a study on the spatial accessibility of off-base civilian mental health providers to active-duty military personnel and their families. Research study resulted in a peer-reviewed article, published in Military Medicine, and a reevaluation of mental health care policies by the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Designed, planned, and managed a large-scale empirical, multi-investigator study of the provision of on- and off-base mental health services provided to active-duty Marines and their families. The study served as the empirical basis for policy recommendations submitted to the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command.

Cambridge Housing Authority

Rappaport-Radcliffe Doctoral Public Policy Fellow
Policy and Technology Lab Program Associate

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides rental housing and rental assistance to more than 5,500 low-income families, elders, and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. CHA also provides policy innovation and community and family economic development services.

Used Geographic Information Systems (GIS), statistical, database, and data policy expertise to design and implement multiple projects that enabled CHA to better serve its client population by leveraging mapping, administrative data, and IT systems. Activities included:

  • Formulated and conducted spatio-temporal analysis of CHA's voucher housing programs using agency administrative data. Analysis allowed CHA to (1) better evaluate its provision of housing vouchers and (2) to increase the impact of economic empowerment programs. Co-authored article, published in CityScape, documenting this project in an effort to encourage other housing agencies and policy actors to leverage administrative data to support policy generation.
  • Designed and implemented outward and inward facing databases and web mapping applications to (1) increase public access to information about CHA programs, (2) support agency functions, and (3) enable CHA to make policy adjustments based on emergent trends in their administrative data.
  • Programmed a software application using MS SQL Server to extract, clean, and reshape data from the CHA's administrative data systems to allow for (1) increased potential CHA collaborations with quantitative academic researchers and (2) to make available a new source of quantitative data to support agency activities.
  • Managed the design and implementation of an interactive web-mapping application that enabled CHA staff to interactively visualize data and make evidence-based decisions related to program operations.
  • Evaluated CHA's data collection and storage procedures in light of the agency’s desire to increase their ability to make evidence-based management and policy decisions.

MIT Lab for Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis

Research Assistant
Independent Contractor

The MIT Lab for Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis (LRISA), led by Dr. Amy Glasmeier, conducts research on the regional and spatial components of economic development, social justice, and poverty.

Managed or worked on research projects connected to health services, poverty, and the spatial equity in differences in opportunity and access. Activities included:

  • Conducted research funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (MA HHS) and the Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services (MA DVS) on the provision of long-term care services to Massachusetts veterans. Research resulted in report published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This report sparked a state-wide effort by MA HHS and MA DVS to reevaluate how the State currently supports veterans and how it will support future veterans.
  • Constructed a spatially-located database of military veterans that is being used to support research on issues related to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Evaluated and updated the MIT Living Wage Calculator. Update included major changes to the methodology that resulted in a more transparent and relevant estimate of the living wage for small geographic areas such as counties. The calculator currently receives in excess of 80,000 unique visitors per month and the updated calculator has received coverage by various pundits, advocates, and media outlets. As reported by several national media outlets, IKEA uses the living wage calculator to establish employee compensation.

Professor J. Brower

Research Assistant

Evaluated and prepared materials appropriate for an introduction to law for masters-level planning students.

The Carolina Population Center

Research Assistant

The Carolina Population Center (CPC) conducts population-related research on more than 50 projects, most supported by federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, US Public Health Service, and US Agency for International Development. CPC's research portfolio spans social science and health disciplines and is often collaborative and multidisciplinary.

Created sampling frames for slum and non-slum areas in four cities located in Uttar Pradesh, India. Identified sampling frames using satellite imagery. Created and cleaned data layers. Produced maps for use by field survey teams in India.

The Race Equity Project, Legal Services of N. California

Irmas Fellow
Staff Attorney & Project Co-Manager

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) provides free civil legal services to empower the poor to identify and defeat the causes and effects of poverty within the 23 northern California counties it serves.

Co-managed the Race Equity Project, a special project of LSNC that develops and implements novel legal and advocacy solutions to address racial disparities in resource allocations and resource access affecting low-income households and communities of color. Activities included:
  • Collaborated with LSNC staff, non-profit organizations, and community members to define project objectives and facilitate project relevance and sustainability.
  • Worked with LSNC field offices and client communities to develop collaborative, race-based advocacy projects to address structural issues experienced by communities of color.
  • Developed and coordinated program-wide, race-based advocacy with LSNC staff.
  • Developed applied Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions for a variety of advocacy and program implementation problems. Solutions included training advocates and the public on map interpretation and the use of mapping as an advocacy tool.
  • Created curriculum and co-taught two semester-long seminars on race-based advocacy at UC-Davis School of Law. Topics covered included civil rights law, structural discrimination, community-based lawyering, mapping and data, and implicit bias.
  • Designed and conducted trainings on race-based advocacy including trainings at national poverty law conferences.
  • Created, published, and managed a one-stop web portal for resources related to race-based advocacy, community lawyering, applied mapping and data, and implicit bias. Site disseminated information about emerging race-based advocacy tools, built a virtual community to encourage and support novel tool applications, and aligned the activities of advocates and community partners.
  • Co-authored article, published in the Clearinghouse Review, documenting and explaining the use of mapping as an advocacy tool.
  • Represented individual clients in poverty-related issues with a focus on tenancy and subsidized housing program participation.

Western Center on Law & Poverty

Law Clerk

The Western Center on Law & Poverty advocates in the courts and state and federal government to secure housing, health care, and a strong safety net for low-income Californians.

Learned about poverty law advocacy and policy from a nationally recognized team of advocates and litigators. Activities included:
  • Drafted office memoranda on medical service access for low-income households, affordable housing, and inclusionary zoning.
  • Worked with advocates on legislation to increase the stock of low and very-low income affordable housing in Pasadena, CA.
  • Designed and deployed community mapping projects to support coalition building and legislative advocacy.
  • Drafted language for proposed state legislation AB 1617, a bill to dispose of excess parcels along a transportation corridor in Pasadena, CA, for development as multi-family affordable housing.

PCJP|USC Gould Law School

Certified Law Student Intern
Clinical Course Student Supervisor

The Post-Conviction Justice Project is a clinical program of USC Law that provides parole-eligible inmates serving indeterminate life sentences for murder in California with post-conviction representation.

Represented state and federal inmates in post conviction matters including parole suitability hearings and habeas corpus proceedings.

MIT Residential Life

Graduate Resident Tutor

Graduate Resident Tutors live in MIT undergraduate dormitory hall and foster a supportive, safe, and positive living environment. They are also tasked with working with residents and MIT staff to build a community atmosphere amongst undergraduates.

Mentored and advised a community of 35 MIT undergraduate students. Initially managed a variety of crises including medical and behavioral health emergencies, inter-personal conflicts, and sexual violence. Provided non-medical counseling regarding dispute resolution, academics, and life skills.

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2010-2016
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Urban and Regional Studies


Dissertation:
  • Socio-Spatial Entanglement Theory, the I2S2A Method, and Civil Legal Services Realized Accessibility
  • Accepted August 201.
  • Dissertation committee: Amy Glasmeier (chair), Mei-Po Kwan, Joseph Ferreira/li>
Comprehensive Examination
  • Subjects: (1) Urban Information Systems & (2) Low-Income Rental Housing Law, Policy & History
  • Passed October 2012
  • Exam committee: Amy Glasmeier (chair), Philip Clay, Joseph Ferreira
Awards:
  • MIT Raab Family Fellowship
  • MIT Presidential Graduate Fellowship
  • Harvard Kennedy School Rappaport-Radcliffe Doctoral Public Policy Fellowship
Workshops and Short Courses Developed & Taught:
  • Transforming Data into Information and Knowledge
  • GIS for Justice: Using GIS in Social Justice Advocacy
  • Descriptive Statistics, Mapping, and Visualization
Teaching Assistant Appointments
  • Graduate courses: Introduction to Spatial Analysis/ Workshop on Geographic Information Systems (Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013)
  • Undergraduate/Graduate course: Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory (Spring 2015)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law
2003-2006
Juris Doctorate (JD)


Awards
  • Miller-Johnson Equal Justice Award
  • Public Interest Law Foundation Summer Grant
  • Irmas Fellowship
Journal: Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice:
  • Staff (2005)
  • Articles Editor (2006)
Honors Grades (selected):
  • Land Use Controls
  • Review of Law & Social Justice Writing:"Seeking Equality in the Provision of Municipal Services
  • Constitutional Law I & II
  • Law, Language, & Ethics
  • Property
  • Local Government
Activities:
  • Public Interest Law Foundation: Executive Board (2004-2005), Advisory Board (2005-2006)
  • National Lawyer Guild: President (2004-2005)

Wesleyan University
1997-2001
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Philosophy


Non Degree


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2009-2010
Masters of City and Regional Planning Program. Left to pursue doctoral studies at MIT.


Wadham College, Oxford University
1999-2000
Visiting Student

Research

Accessibility of Social Services amongst Vulnerable Populations

I work to understand how spatial, social, and organizational factors influence accessibility to social services. Although this work includes a large spatial component, I'm primarily interested in developing methods and theories that allow for the simultaneous exploration of the spatial, social, and organizational dimensions of accessibility. My work is strongly influenced by critical realist philosophy.


Leveraging Administrative Datasets to Support Better Policy Decisions

As a legal aid attorney, I often felt that my firm was sitting on a treasure trove of policy-relevant data about our clients despite the fact that we primarily used this data for external auditing purposes and management. Between case management and evidence-based reporting requirements, it turns out that many organizations are in the same boat. There are, however, substantial barriers to effectively using administrative data to guide policy and better organizational functioning. The largest of these barriers is that administrative data is frequently designed and structured to support program operations not policy development. A related barrier is that non-profit and governmental organizations frequently lack the in-house expertise to analyze this data even if it was in the needed form. My work explores (1) how administrative data can be reformatted and processed to support policy research and (2) what methods organizations can and should use, depending on an organization's mission and goals, to make sense of administrative data.


Publications

Contact


Address: 5 Melrose Steet, Unit 4, Boston, MA 02116
Download my resume :


Please message me via LinkedIn. For inquires about the Living Wage Calculator, please contact Professor A Glasmeier.