Rubino has more than 20 years of experience in project management and over 10 years in social policy research. As the lead resource manager for the Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities policy area, she supervises other project resource managers and oversees day-to-day activities across policy-area projects, including the development of work plans, staffing and deployment, and monitoring of expenditures. She also works closely with the policy area director to lead the development of new projects and strategic plans and to support capacity-building within the policy area. Prior to joining MDRC, Rubino worked for community-based organizations to develop and improve programs to enhance overall operating efficiency and effectiveness. She holds a graduate certificate in instructional design and a master’s degree in of library and information science from Long Island University.
The TANF Data Collaborative ApproachJuly, 2022
The TANF Data Innovation (TDI) project was created to expand the use of administrative data by state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies to improve program performance. This brief describes a TDI test of an approach to building staff capabilities through applied data analytics, intensive training, and technical assistance.
A college education can be a critical step towards attaining economic mobility, in part because it can translate to higher earnings. But there are differences in the benefits that accrue to Black, Latinx and White graduates. Various factors drive racial wage and income gaps, including occupational segregation, biases in who gets called back for job interviews,...Dina A. R. Israel, Frieda Molina, Donna Wharton-Fields, Samantha Wulfsohn, Stephanie Rubino, Diego Quezada
Since 2005, the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood ( HMRF ) programs have received funding from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance ( OFA ), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support services, as well as research and evaluation activities. These programs contribute to OFA ’s larger goal of...
Even in good economic times, many adults in the United States have trouble finding jobs that pay enough to support their families. Wages for those without a college degree, for example, have remained flat in real terms for decades. One policy response has been to help these workers build more skills, with promising findings from recently evaluated sector-based programs...Richard Hendra, Stephanie Rubino, Erika Lundquist, Melissa Wavelet, Johanna Walter, Edith Yang, Mark van Dok, Audrey Yu
TANF Data Innovation ( TDI ) is a national initiative to support state, local, and tribal agencies that administer Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ( TANF ) and the federal agencies that oversee this work. This initiative aims to substantially expand the routine use, integration, and analysis of TANF and employment data to improve outcomes for families and to...
Across the social sector, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations are all benefiting from greater access both to more detailed and frequent data and to a variety of options for increased computing power. With data-science tools and guidance in applying them, practitioners can harness multiple sources of data to gain new insights about the individuals they serve, the contexts in which they operate, their staff members, and their program features. When such tools are incorporated into daily operations in a responsible way, they can help practitioners improve their programs and the lives of those they serve.Carolyn Hill, M. Victoria Quiroz Becerra, Stephanie Rubino, Samantha Wulfsohn, Gilda Azurdia, Marissa Strassberger
The official poverty rate for the U.S. population is high, at 13.5 percent, and the rate among children is higher still, at 19.7 percent. The body of research examining deep poverty, severe deprivation, and stress associated with poverty in adults has grown steadily with continued interest in recent years; however, qualitative research examining the experiences and...James A. Riccio, Donna Wharton-Fields, Nina Castells, Stephanie Rubino, Keith Olejniczak, Joshua Vermette, Hannah Dalporto, Annie Utterback
MyGoals for Employment Success is a new workforce program intended to help recipients of federal housing subsidies who are not employed find work, build careers, and advance toward greater self-sufficiency. The program incorporates an innovative employment coaching model that is informed by current literature in behavioral psychology on executive functioning skills and...
Payday loans are short-term loans geared toward working-class and lower middle-class households that possess access to bank accounts and can prove sustained employment. People may use them and other alternative credit instruments to deal with unexpected expenses or simply to make ends meet between paychecks. While the loans are expensive, they may be one of the only...Nandita Verma, James A. Riccio, Donna Wharton-Fields, Betsy L. Tessler, Stephanie Rubino, David Navarro, Michelle Ware, Joshua Vermette
The Family Self-Sufficiency ( FSS ) program is the main federal program for increasing employment and earnings and reducing reliance on government subsidies among recipients of housing subsidies. Created in 1990, FSS is administered by state and local public housing agencies with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD ). In 2014, HUD...James A. Riccio, Gilda Azurdia, Edith Yang, Donna Wharton-Fields, Nandita Verma, Caroline Schultz, Frieda Molina, Cynthia Miller, Richard Hendra, Barbara S. Goldman, Jared Smith, Mark van Dok, Natasha Piatnitskaia, Betsy L. Tessler, Stephanie Rubino, Sharon Rowser
The Social Innovation Fund ( SIF ) , an initiative enacted under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, deploys millions of dollars in public-private funds to expand effective solutions in three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support. This work seeks to create a catalog of proven approaches that can be replicated...