Urban Research Corps Members
Meet members of the Institute’s Urban Research Corps. The URC is a research incubator that produces relevant insights about the fundamental processes driving urban change and develops tools to help build more sustainable, equitable, and connected cities. URC participants develop, test and deploy computational methods and design scalable tools to accelerate the practice of sustainable urban development at the local and global scales.
Oleksandra (Sasha) Filippova
Sasha Filippova is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP) program at the University of Chicago. Prior to graduate school, she spent time as a Data Analyst in the private sector. More recently she worked in the non-profit space supporting both governmental and non-governmental organizations in FL and OH. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from South Carolina State University.
Sarah Lueling is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, Sarah researched global educational reform at the ETH Zurich and worked in housing policy implementation at KPMG. Sarah holds a B.S. in economics and management from King’s College London.
Manuel Martinez is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy (CAPP) program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, Manuel worked as a research assistant for Christopher Neilson and John Eric Humphries, both economists whose research focuses on topics in applied microeconomics within the larger context of educational markets and their outcomes through market design and educational policy. Additionally, Manuel works as a data scientist for ConsiliumBots, an NGO that leverages economic theory and technology to make navigation in education markets easier for families and students. Manuel holds a B.A. in economics from Southern Connecticut State University.
Monica Nimmagadda is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy (CAPP) program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, Monica worked for the city of Baltimore as special assistant to the housing commissioner and, most recently, data lead for the mayor’s innovation team where she led quantitative research for the implementation of free public wi-fi in the city. Monica holds a B.A. in computer science and environmental studies from Amherst College.
Michael Alan Plunkett
Michael Plunkett is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy (CAPP) program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Before his enrollment at the University of Chicago, he worked as a software engineer for ten years. His work during that time focused on various topics, including biotech, freight logistics, educational technology, and e-commerce. He also worked as a graduate research assistant in a bioinformatics lab at the University of North Texas, vetting new tools for the lab’s bioinformatics pipeline and editing grant proposals. Michael holds a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in biology from the University of North Texas.
Arjun Venkatesh is a graduate student pursuing a master’s of science in analytics (MScA) within the Data Science Institute of the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. Prior to graduate school, Arjun gathered experience for 4+ years in the tech industry as a data analyst. As a data professional, Arjun helped various departments leverage large customer and product data sets. He helped them to gain insights from data, guide their decisions, and enhance their processes and products. Most recently Arjun worked as a product analyst at Blend, where he assisted the product team in successfully launching two new product lines. Arjun holds a B.A in economics and psychology from the University of Chicago.
Graduate Policy Researcher
Ally Hardebeck is a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Originally from Baltimore, she has held research and policy advocacy roles with a Maryland-based workforce development nonprofit, a DC think tank, and anti-hunger organizations in Portland, OR and Washington, DC. At UChicago, she serves as a Harris Writing Fellow and the President of the Urban Policy Student Association. She holds a B.A. in public health and sociology from Johns Hopkins University.
Communications Research Assistant
Kristan Wong Karinen is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. She worked as a Communications Specialist for the Engineers and Scientists of California, Local 20, before coming to graduate school. In that role, she was responsible for developing strategic communications to support bargaining and representation for the union’s 8,500 represented professional workers. She was also previously the Executive Assistant for IFPTE Local 21, a public sector labor union in San Francisco, CA, and prior to that, worked as a K-12 teaching assistant in France and the U.S. Kristan holds a B.S. in Public Policy from Oregon State University and a B.A. in French from University of Illinois at Chicago.