Kreisman Graduate Fellows: 2018-2019

Jerel Ezell

Jerel Ezell

Ph.D. Program in Sociology

Jerel Ezell is a mixed methods researcher‚ currently enrolled in the sociology doctoral program at the University of Chicago. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (M.P.H., 2010), where he had his first experience in the housing sector working at New Destiny Housing Corporation, a nonprofit which develops supportive, sustainable housing for low-income survivors of domestic violence. Jerel applies lessons from this and related experiences through quantitative and qualitative data analysis addressing complex housing and infrastructure policies. Jerel is particularly passionate about using research to engage underserved and hard-to-reach populations that are in need of housing (e.g., individuals with serious mental illness and homeless or insecurely housed individuals). More broadly, Jerel is deeply interested in interdisciplinary, prevention-based work – he provides mentoring to underserved youth, including through the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. He has published 13 peer-reviewed articles (first author on eight) and has independently conducted over 100 qualitative interviews. His current work involves evaluating urban planning efforts and health policy in Flint during the city’s ongoing water crisis.

Jesús Israel Ramírez Franco

Jesús Israel Ramírez Franco

M.S. Program in Computational Analysis & Public Policy, Harris School of Public Policy

Jesús Ramírez Franco is a Computational Analysis and Public Policy graduate student with strong interest in urban development, specifically in housing policy. He has an M.A. in business administration from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) where he specialized in finance and planning; and a B.S. in economics from the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE), where he focused on poverty measurement and, as a result, was awarded the 2007 National Prize of Economic Students. Before attending the University of Chicago, Jesús worked in the public sector for eight years, first in the Government of the State of Morelos as Director for Investment Attraction in the Economic Development Secretariat and then as Governor Advisor for Programs Evaluation. In those positions, he participated in the design of myriad social policies and programs; designed the strategy for investment attraction; managed programs of subsidies and obtained federal funds for infrastructure. Jesús also worked for the National Housing Commission in Mexico City as Project Leader. Most recently, in 2018 he participated in the Cook County Summer Fellowship, where he worked in the Economic Development Department, conducting data cleaning and analysis in collaboration with the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation to identify priority markets.

Inés Escobar González

Inés Escobar González

Ph.D. Program in Anthropology

Inés González is a Ph.D. Candidate in the University of Chicago’s Anthropology Department whose research aims to understand the precise ways in which mortgage finance is impacting the lives, livelihoods, and social reproduction practices of low-income Mexicans, all within the transition from informality to finance-driven “formal” homeownership. Her work is chiefly ethnographic and collaborative, striving to be in interdisciplinary conversation across the qualitative/quantitative divide. At the University of Chicago, she has relished teaching, holding an Ignacio Martín-Baró Prize Lectureship at the Center of Latin American Studies and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights (“Development and the Right to Housing in Latin America: A Critical Appraisal”), the Ethnographic Methods Starr Lectureship granted by the Anthropology Department, and a Lectureship in the Power, Identity, and Resistance sequence within the College’s Social Science Core. Before coming to Chicago, Inés received her B.A. from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge (2010) and an Anthropology Master’s in Research from University College London (2011). Beyond the academy, Inés has consulted for the Inter-American Conference on Social Security and co-authored the Mexican Background Paper for the 2013 World Development Report. Inés loves exploring cities, getting to know neighborhoods and people officially deemed to be off the map, and striving for understanding across class lines.

Cosette Hampton

Cosette Hampton

M.P.P, Harris School of Public Policy

Cosette Hampton is a Master of Public Policy candidate, pursuing certificates in data analytics, computational social science and survey research. She focuses on poverty alleviation policy and advocacy, specifically related to housing access and affordability, homelessness, workforce development, community development, and decarceration. Her research and internship experiences have provided her experience in family and poverty policy analysis and data manipulation using a variety of visualization, quantitative and qualitative tools. Cosette worked throughout her undergraduate career at the University of Chicago Poverty Lab on technical assistance projects related to homelessness and youth poverty. She recently worked as a Summer Fellow at Georgetown Law Center on Poverty & Inequality’s Economic Security & Opportunity Initiative, updating a massive dataset on deep poverty in the U.S. and drafting multiple chapters of a report/proposal for a federally subsidized youth employment program. Cosette has extensive experience with community engagement through her work with Demoiselle 2 Femme (Young Ladies 2 Women), a Chicago-based nonprofit organization, and grassroots organizing and advocacy against police violence, mass incarceration, violence against Black women and community disinvestment as the Organizing Chair of the Black Youth Project 100 Chicago chapter. She is a Native Chicagoan from the far South side, and has done human rights work in South Africa on land redistribution and in Beijing on women’s issues in the workplace. At the Harris School, she is the Fellows Manager for the Community Action Bureau (CAB).

Meghan Jarpe

Meghan Jarpe

Ph.D Program in the School of Social Service Administration

Meghan Jarpe is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) who focuses on human services organizations, and their position at the intersection of policy and practice. Prior to pursuing doctoral study, she received her M.S.W. from the University of Pittsburgh in Human Services Management, has managed peer-to-peer outreach programs, and has worked extensively with adolescents in a variety of capacities and localities. One common thread that spans this youth work has been housing instability and youth homelessness. In her doctoral study, she has worked to address this social problem by developing a research agenda focused on youth-serving organizations, human services workers, and their interactions with clients at the front lines of service delivery. Her dissertation examines the impacts of funder-driven demands on the population of organizations that provide services to homeless youth. During her time in the doctoral program, she has also worked on research projects investigating the advocacy role of Homeless Continuums of Care (CoCs) and interventions to improve workers’ schedules in retail firms.

Chris Palencia

Chris Palencia

M.B.A., Booth School of Business

Chris Palencia is an M.B.A. student at Chicago Booth focused on real estate and infrastructure. Chris started his career at Morgan Stanley on the New York-based Latin America M&A team before moving to São Paulo to help build out the firm’s Brazil fixed income and project finance practice. On returning to the U.S., Chris joined Sunrun to help lead new market growth, culminating with Sunrun becoming the nation’s largest residential solar developer. At Booth, Chris has worked on housing investments in the U.S. and in emerging markets at CIM Group and Equity International. An architect by undergraduate training, Chris was a Mellon Mays Fellow while at Yale University, pursuing research on housing relief for natural disasters in Central America and urban transportation systems in Brazil. Chris is originally from Los Angeles, and is focused on issues relating to California’s ongoing housing crisis, including densification via Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and technology strategies that lower the cost of housing production.

Ross Tilchin

Ross Tilchin

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

Ross Tilchin is a Master of Public Policy student at the Harris School of Public Policy. He is interested in the intersection of affordable housing, urban planning, economic development, and social mobility. Before arriving at the University of Chicago, Ross was a Senior Policy and Research Assistant in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, where he focused on a wide range of urban policy topics, including transportation, housing, education, workforce development, the creation of innovation ecosystems, and intergovernmental issues. He has also worked on urban policy topics internationally, serving as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Geography and Urban Planning and as a Summer Associate at the Amsterdam Economic Board, the Amsterdam region’s non-profit economic development agency. At Harris, Ross is the co-founder and President of the Urban Policy Student Association and was recognized as the Harris School’s 2017-2018 Community Leader of the Year. Ross received his B.A. in Government and History from Lafayette College, which he attended on a scholarship from the Posse Foundation.