Castleman-Smith is an operations associate in MDRC’s Postsecondary Education policy area. She brings her expertise as an education practitioner, project manager, and program implementation lead to her role providing technical assistance and engaging with research sites. She has served as a report production manager and contributed to projects across different policy areas, including the Expanding Children’s Early Learning Network. Her current work includes supporting postsecondary institutions in building comprehensive student supports programs with evidence- based best practices. Prior to joining MDRC, Castleman-Smith served as the senior manager for community partnerships and outreach at Girls Who Code. In this role, she developed and implemented outreach strategies and organizational systems to drive national program expansion.Castleman-Smith holds a BA in Psychology from Pomona College in Claremont, California and an MPA from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Opportunities for Investing in EquityMarch, 2021
This brief summarizes recent findings that show how a lack of access to high-quality summer programs may contribute to disparities in children’s learning and development during the transition to kindergarten. It identifies future research needed to ensure that equity-focused investments in summer learning pay off for children from underserved groups.
ProjectsMichelle Ware, Alexander Mayer, Colleen Sommo, Leigh Parise, Elena Serna-Wallender, Jálynn Castleman-Smith, Shawna Anderson, Rae Walker, Melissa Wavelet, Katie Beal, Melissa Boynton, Diane Wren, Sumner Perera
The COVID -19 pandemic has dramatically affected colleges’ operations and students’ educational experiences, severely strained budgets, and created unprecedented financial and emotional stress for students, faculty, and staff. As colleges adapt to an evolving landscape, they need immediate solutions to support and retain students, as well as to continue to focus on...JoAnn Hsueh, Sharon Huang, Meghan McCormick, Michelle Maier, Rebecca Unterman, Desiree Principe Alderson, Barbara Condliffe, Amena Sengal, Sonia Drohojowska, Ilana Blum, Marissa Strassberger, Marie-Andrée Somers, Noemi Altman, Alexandra Bernardi, Mirjana Pralica, Mervett Hefyan, Jálynn Castleman-Smith, Mallory Undestad, Samantha Xia, Emily Davies, Sharon Rowser, Amy Taub
With broad support across the political spectrum, states and localities throughout the country are expanding preschool programs for low-income children. While the public will is strong and the experience to date is encouraging, there is a need for firmer evidence on the most cost-effective ways to produce lasting impacts for children, especially when programs operate...