Kreisman Graduate Fellows: 2021-2022

Meet the 2021-2022 class of the Kreisman Graduate Fellows Program, a cohort of University of Chicago graduate students from across fields of study who are committed to pursuing careers in housing research or practice. Read more about the Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy.

Jack Carey

Jack Carey

M.P.P., Harris School of Public Policy & M.B.A., Booth School of Business

Jack Carey is a joint degree graduate student at the Booth School of Business and the Harris School of Public Policy, focused on the way governments can work with the private sector to promote equitable economic development and affordable housing‚ especially in the City of Chicago. Before starting graduate school, Jack lived in Chicago and worked in management consulting, where he helped solve problems for companies across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, retail, and grocery. As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, he has focused his classwork towards better understanding cities, taking courses on topics from urban sociology to municipal finance. Through Harris Community Action, Jack researched and analyzed crime data for a neighborhood organization in Chicago, and additionally is now on the board of the Urban Policy Student Association, serving as the Director of Communications. He is currently a graduate intern for the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing, supporting the Construction and Compliance bureau on various strategic, operational, and policy initiatives. Outside of work and school, Jack enjoys skiing, rollerblading down the 606 trail in his Wicker Park neighborhood, and reading books on urban planning and Chicago history.

Spencer Caro

Spencer Caro

J.D., Law School

Spencer Caro is a second-year law student, interested in how data science can aid  institutional change via legal reform. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in  Statistics from the University of Georgia. His senior thesis, “Knowledge, Probability,  and Legal Proof,” concerned the moral permissibility of using different kinds of statistical evidence in criminal prosecution and civil litigation. In summer 2021, he worked as a research assistant on a project with Professors Scott Nelson (UChicago  Booth), Winnie van Dijk (Harvard), and John Eric Humphries (Yale), assisting with an  empirical study of how court filing fees impact rates of eviction litigation. Spencer  also worked as a research assistant to Daniel Wilf-Townsend (UChicago Law) during winter 2021, helping with a statistical analysis of high-volume debt collection  litigation in state courts. Spencer is also passionate about criminal justice reform.  He has interned with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, in the Legal  Resources Division, assisting with post-conviction work. He also volunteers with non-profit advocacy group Restore the Fourth, helping with amicus briefs in appellate cases involving novel Fourth Amendment issues. Outside of academics, Spencer enjoys podcasts, ethical hacking, and learning the piano.

Anthony Ivy

Anthony Ivy

M.B.A, Booth School of Business

Anthony Ivy is an MBA graduate student focused on finance, data analytics, private equity, and entrepreneurship. Prior to his studies at the University of Chicago, he gained his  master’s degree in real estate from Roosevelt University. He is the founder of the  Community Builders Group, which is a real estate acquisitions firm with a focus on  revitalizing urban core communities. During his time at Booth, he has interned as a  real estate acquisitions associate for Beacon Capital Partners a real estate private  equity firm based in Boston. In Anthony’s downtime he enjoys spending time with  friends, powerlifting, and attending live music events.

Bethel Kifle

Bethel Kifle

M.S.W., Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Bethel Kifle is a graduate student studying for her master’s in social work at the University of Chicago, and focused on carceral issues such as mass incarceration, e-carceration, and reentry challenges and solutions. She is a native Chicagoan, born and raised in Uptown to immigrant Eritrean parents who arrived to the United States as refugees in the early 1990s. Her childhood and family history framed her understanding of migration, poverty, and the importance of housing stability and prompted her to study Sociology at Bates College as an undergraduate student. Following her time at Bates, she was an Americorps VISTA in Lewiston, Maine where she facilitated community engagement programming and mobilized students to support local initiatives and led a city-wide World Refugee Day event. She returned to Chicago and worked as a Crisis Supervisor at the National Runaway Safeline, providing human-centered crisis intervention and services. She later transitioned to PURE Insurance as a claims adjuster where she handled hundreds of homeowner insurance claims for clients nationwide. From her insurance experience, she learned that anyone encountering housing instability can experience feelings of precarity, the difference, however is access to quality resources and the quantity available. The clear wealth disparity prompted her to enroll at the Crown Family School of Social Work and focus on supporting formerly incarcerated populations. In Chicago, she is a LINK Unlimited mentor, Assata’s Daughters volunteer, and assists mutual aid efforts across the Chicagoland area.

Brenda Li

Brenda Li

M.S.C.A.P.P., Harris School of Public Policy

Brenda Li is a computational analysis and public policy graduate student focused on leveraging data science and technical tools to perform socially impactful work. Last spring, Brenda worked with the Mansueto Institute on their entry for NSF’s Civic Innovation Challenge, compiling data sources and employing geo-spatial models to examine the spatial mismatch between housing affordability and access to jobs and amenities. For her summer internship, Brenda was a Civic Digital Fellow at the Bureau of Labor Statistics where she explored the use of alternative data sources for calculating the import and export price indexes. Prior to the University of Chicago, Brenda worked as a research programmer for Mathematica Policy Research, where she worked on policy evaluation and implementation projects across various fields including education, nutrition, health, and employment. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys spending time outdoors and secretly planting potatoes in her apartment’s rooftop planters.
Marc David Loeb

Marc David Loeb

M.S.C.A.P.P., Harris School of Public Policy

Marc David Loeb is a public policy and computation analysis graduate student focused on urban housing and  transportation policy, and their effects on labor allocation, affordability, racial inequality, and the environment. Marc wrote and researched housing position papers for the Congressional campaigns of Perry Gershon and Grace Haaf, and the  New York City Council campaign of Billy Freeland. He completed a summer internship at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change‚ a multifaceted think tank  and consultancy‚ and an academic year internship at the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, serving as an aide to the head of One Summer Chicago, a youth summer employment program. Born and raised in New York City, Marc is a dedicated home cook and a learning baker, pit master, and pickle maker. Marc composes transit expansion maps for cities across the globe in QGIS; doodles fantasy maps in class; closely follows international political developments and polling data; plays miniature wargames; reads fiction and historical non-fiction; and spends too much time watching TV. He loves biking, skiing, hiking, on-foot urban exploration, and doing things normally derided as “touristy.” He enjoys listening to classical music‚ the early romantics in particular‚ and will milk his student discount at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for as long as he can.

Bennett Miller

Bennett Miller

M.A.P.S.S., Social Science Division

Ben Miller is a history graduate student studying U.S. social and racial history after 1945. His research focuses on the lived and imagined realities of race in the post Civil Rights era, specifically around suburbanization and community identity. He has contributed to projects for the National Archives, American Historical Association, Norton & Company, WETA-TV, the Chicago Covenants Project, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. His non-academic pursuits include cooking, hiking, and rooting for the increasingly moribund Washington Nationals.
Fern Ramoutar

Fern Ramoutar

Ph.D. in Economics, Booth School of Business

Fern Ramoutar is a third year Economics Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business focused on economic and racial inequality, gentrification, and urban development. Before starting her doctoral studies at UChicago, Fern provided research assistance on a range of research projects relatedto discrimination, and housing and economic inequality, at the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the Vancouver School of Economics, and the Munk School of Global Affairs. She has also co-authored articles and reports on sustainable housing and green financing initiatives. Fern holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia. During her free time, she loves to play chess, tennis, and guitar. She is also committed to mutual aid work, in support of collectives and organizations working on the South Side of Chicago.

Patricia (Sabaha) Lee Round

Patricia (Sabaha) Lee Round

Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Patricia Lee Round is a doctoral candidate at the Crown School focused on youth homelessness legislation, ethics, and the history of social work. She has earned an M.A. in social anthropology from The New School for Social Research and an M.A. in social services administration from The Crown School at the University of Chicago. She hasworked with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to stabilize housing through direct financial assistance for low-income families. She has also been a direct service worker for shelters and drop-in centers in the Chicagoland area. In her free time, Patricia enjoys DIY projects, visiting new cities, and riding her bike around Chicago.
Forum Shelat

Forum Shelat

M.P.P., Harris School of Public Policy

Forum Shelat is a Master’s of Public Policy student at the Harris School, focused on urban and inequity policy at the state and local level. Having previously studied political science and economics, Forum is fascinated by data utilization for policy decisions and served as a Greater Houston Community Foundation Data Fellow to help the city council allocate $115 million in pandemic funding and resources to low-income neighborhoods based on data from insurance coverage, access to healthcare facilities, and household income. With a background working as a policy advisor for a U.S. House Representative, Forum pivoted to a role focusing on advocating for getting low-income, unhoused, and formerly incarcerated individuals in Texas registered to vote through Project ID. During her time with Project ID, Forum obtained documentation and driver’s licenses for over 150 people in Houston and also launched the Vote by Mail in Jail campaign to give incarcerated individuals an alternative means to vote. Currently, Forum is a volunteer debate coach with Chicago Urban Debate League, teaching high schoolers the fundamentals of public speaking and empowering them to find their voice and become leaders in their community. In her spare time, Forum enjoys running, critiquing politics podcasts, and going on walks with her dog.

View the Kreisman Graduate Fellows brochures to learn more about previous cohorts: