The School of Public Policy Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

Meet the faculty who joined the Public Policy team

Meet the four new faculty members in the School of Public Policy:

Cecilia Ayon

Cecelia Ayon

Cecelia Ayon

Cecilia Ayon, associate professor of public policy, received her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2008. Her research broadly examines factors that promote and hinder Latino immigrant families’ wellbeing, health disparities, and intervention development and evaluation. Her research has been funded by the Silberman Foundation and the Foundation for Child Development. She is currently carrying out a large, mixed-methods study on the ethnic-racial socialization process among Latino immigrant families. The study examines the impact of restrictive state-level immigration policies and discrimination on parenting practices.

Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner, professor of economics, earned his Ph.D from City University of New York. He is currently a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and an affiliated scholar of the Urban Institute. His areas of research interest are the economic and social determinants of health, health demography, and health, labor and social policy evaluation. He has published more than 100 articles in academic journals. Recent studies have been awarded Article of the Year by AcademyHealth in 2011 and the 2012 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize for the best publication in Social Services Review.

Benjamin J. Newman

Benjamin J. Newman

Benjamin J. Newman

Benjamin J. Newman, associate professor of public policy and political science, earned his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 2012. His research focuses on race and ethnic politics, class and income inequality, and urban politics and policy. In the area of race and ethnic politics, his research focuses on the political consequences of demographic change, and explores this theme within the topical areas of immigration policy and public opinion on immigration, as well as gentrification and its impact on majority-minority communities. He is also interested in the racial politics of policing in the U.S., and race- and class-based inequality in the criminal justice system. In the area of class and inequality, his research explores the effects of local income inequality on citizens’ support for redistributive policies. His work has been published in a wide range of journals.

Francisco Pedraza

Francisco Pedraza

Francisco Pedraza

Francisco Pedraza, assistant professor of political science, earned his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Washington-Seattle. His research centers on political attitude formation and political behavior, with a special emphasis on the attitudes and behaviors of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. His research draws on sociological, psychological, and policy processes theoretical frameworks to better understand individual-level policy preferences, electoral candidate preferences, political knowledge, and other political orientations like trust in government. His substantive research interests also include the relationship between immigration policy and health policy.

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