Elena
Serna-Wallender
Research Associate

Serna-Wallender plays a variety of roles in projects within the K-12 and Young Adults and Postsecondary Education policy areas. She serves as a project manager, leads site recruitment and study start-up efforts, provides strategic technical assistance to programs, and conducts qualitative research activities. Before joining MDRC, Serna-Wallender was a caseworker for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, where she supported a caseload of over one hundred mentorship pairs and managed the agency’s participation in a large-scale random assignment study. Serna-Wallender has a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.