Graduate Policy Fellows, Class of 2015-2016

Eric Chung is a J.D. student at Yale Law School. His research focuses on the intersections between law and comparative social policy, including in the fields of education, health, and welfare. He is currently exploring the possible influences of legal rights, federalism, and political partisanship on social policy design, socioeconomic inequality, and intergenerational mobility. Eric has previously worked with a range of institutions in law and policy, including the Massachusetts Senate, U.S. Department of State, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, and the White House.

Eric received his A.B. summa cum laude in Government and a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy from Harvard College. He received his educator license in political science/political philosophy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“Ensuring Every Student Succeeds by Locating Rights to Education” June 15, 2016

“Locating Rights to Education for Ensuring Every Student Succeeds”  February 23, 2016 

Kelly Goodman is a Ph.D candidate in History.  She researches tax and school policy at the intersection of political economy, political history, and economic history. Kelly is currently investigating why integration was so hard in the North through a spatial history of school finance reforms and metropolitan school busing plans proposed in 1970s Detroit.

She received her B.A. in History, Political Science, and Economics from the University of Michigan.  After graduation, she worked as an education data analyst at the nonprofit Data Driven Detroit.

“Schools Alone: Poverty and Policy in the City”  February 1, 2016 

Max Krahé is a doctoral student in Political Science. He is pursuing a synthesist project on the dynamics of capitalism in the twenty-first century, looking among other things on the impact of technology, demographic chance, and globalization on socio-economic stability in advanced capitalist countries.

Max received a BA (First Class Honours) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford, and a MSc (Distinction) in Political Theory from the LSE. Before coming to Yale, he worked for McKinsey and Vivid Economics.

“The End of Free Trade or the Beginning for a New America?” June 1, 2016  

“Why Marx Has Become Relevant Again”  November 30, 2015

Tom Lyttelton is a doctoral student in the Sociology department at Yale. His research focuses on demography and inequality in America, and for ISPS he is undertaking a project that examines the geography of family structure in America.

Prior to coming to Yale, Tom studied history, and worked for London non-profits doing research on health and education.

“Relationships Matter for Poverty, But Not in Isolation”  March 30, 2015

Philip McHarris is a joint PhD student in Sociology and African American Studies at Yale University. His research interests lie at the intersection of race/ethnicity, urban sociology, inequality, and the criminal justice system. He is currently working on a research project that examines the origins and consequences of police militarization in the United States. In addition, he is presently working on a collaborative project with Dr. Robert Vargas (University of Wisconsin-Madison) that examines the causes of the growth in police expenditures in U.S. cities and suburbs.

Philip is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. He holds a B.A. in sociology from Boston College.

“Military Gear, Local Policing, and the Carceral State”  December 7, 2015

Torey McMurdo is a Ph.D. student in Political Science, focusing on U.S. foreign policy and international security. Her interests lie at the nexus of international relations, American politics and comparative politics. Her ISPS research examines Congressional oversight of the NSA, and whether this differs from the rest of the Intelligence Community. In addition to ISPS, McMurdo also serves as a Resident Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and a Graduate Affiliate at Davenport College.

Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., McMurdo worked as a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley, where she helped advise senior executives of leading global companies on investment and expansion strategies in emerging markets. As an undergraduate, McMurdo spent two years researching organizational adaptation challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community through UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.  McMurdo holds a B.A. with highest honors in political science from UCLA.

“Hello, World: The FBI, Apple, and the Emergence of America’s Cyber Industrial Complex”  March 23, 2016

Gautam Nair is a PhD student in Political Science whose research focuses on the political economy of inequality and redistribution in a broad array of contexts. He received a BA in economics from Colby College and an MA from the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Yale, he worked on the development and evaluation of behavioral finance interventions at Innovations for Poverty Action, a leading research organization in economics, and on energy solutions for the poor at the Sustainable Engineering Lab at Columbia University. His research has been published in Energy Policy and Perspectives on Politics and is currently supported by the National Science Foundation-funded Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences, as well as the MacMillan Center, South Asia Studies Council, and Leitner Political Economy Program at Yale.

“Why the Poor Don’t Soak the Rich: They Don’t Know How Poor (or Rich) They Really Are” January 27, 2016

Emily Nix is a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics department. Her research explores human capital development both in and out of the labor market, and how individual human capital choices interact with existing laws, policies, and institutions.

Emily received her B.A. in mathematics and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and previously worked at MedPlus Connect.

“The Challenges to Fair Pay for Group Work”  May 13, 2016

“Why Those Water Cooler Chats Might Be Good for Your Career”  December 11, 2015


Celene Reynolds is a Ph.D candidate student in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include social change, law, educational organizations, and gender and sexuality. Her dissertation, which recently received funding from the National Science Foundation, examines how and why the implementation of Title IX has shifted from an emphasis on gender equity in athletics to sexual harassment on college campuses.

Prior to joining Yale’s graduate program, Celene worked in philanthropic management consulting in Chicago. She completed the Master of Arts Program in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago in 2011 and earned a BA in sociology at Wellesley College in 2009.

“The Mobilization of Title IX in Colleges and Universities”  May 17, 2016

“Understanding Title IX Noncompliance” November 16, 2015

Nikki Springer is a joint degree student working toward a PhD at FES and a MBA at SOM.  Her research focuses on the interplay of environmental regulation, corporate incentives, and ecosystem planning in the context of national-scale infrastructure.

Nikki received her BS in Architecture at MIT and a Master of Urban Planning and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.  She is originally from Tampa, Florida.

“Tricky Questions on Solar Energy: Part Two”  June 7, 2016 

“Tricky Questions on Solar Energy”  December 16, 2015