MDRC Welcomes Two Doctoral Fellows for Summer 2016


MDRC is pleased to welcome two doctoral fellows who have joined us for the summer: Raúl Chávez and Rosalía Zárate.

The fellowships are supported by the Judith Gueron Fund Minority Scholars program, which seeks to engage and encourage individuals from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the social policy research community. The fellows will receive the advice and support of MDRC’s staff in completing their dissertations and will participate in the intellectual life of MDRC by attending seminars and project meetings.

Raúl Chávez is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California–Berkeley. His dissertation focuses on how Hispanic male youth develop an identification with work — to gain a better psychosocial understanding of their largely disproportionate employment outcomes. A graduate of the University of Southern California with a master’s in law and diplomacy from Tufts University, Chávez has worked at the city, county, and federal levels, including for the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs.

“Receiving MDRC’s doctoral fellowship is something I hoped to accomplish since beginning my doctoral studies and learning about MDRC’s research,” said Chávez. “The award is a true honor, and I am excited to join MDRC as a doctoral fellow and to learn as much as I can from its many experts.”

Rosalía Zárate is a PhD student in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, where she is an Institute of Education Sciences fellow. Her dissertation explores the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, and social class in relation to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) major intent and STEM career pathways — with a focus on high school and community college students. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences, Zárate has interned at the U.S. Department of Education and worked with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation; the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement program at UC-Santa Barbara; and several programs that serve historically underrepresented students in STEM.

“During this summer, I hope to have the opportunity to expand my knowledge on high school and community college students’ experiences in terms of their math and science pathways into STEM,” said Zárate. “I hope to further explore the role that math achievement and math self-efficacy — as well as gender, race/ethnicity, and social class ­— play in students’ interest in and decision-making about STEM.”