The Judith Gueron Minority Scholars Program

Judith Gueron

The Gueron Minority Scholars Program offers paid internships for undergraduates and master’s-level students and doctoral fellowships (with stipends) for students engaged in dissertation research. The program is designed to introduce students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the education and social policy research communities to MDRC. All interns and fellows participate in the intellectual life of MDRC by attending seminars and project meetings, and have the opportunity to attend trainings to develop specific skills and knowledge areas. At the end of the 8-week program, interns and fellows also have an opportunity to give a presentation on their summer experience at MDRC. Each GMSP opportunity is described below:

The GMSP Undergraduate Internship

The GMSP Undergraduate Internship invites rising undergraduate seniors of diverse backgrounds to be part of multidisciplinary teams developing evaluation research on current social policy issues at our NYC office. The eight-week internship provides the opportunity to work with MDRC teams on a range of organizational and analytical tasks, as well as participate in regular meetings to network and learn more about the context of MDRC’s policy work. Interns will also have the chance to attend trainings and talks to develop specific skills and knowledge areas.

2019 Gueron Undergraduate Interns

  • Maria Alicea, Undergraduate Intern: Maria is a rising senior at the University of North Florida (UNF) majoring in sociology and minoring in digital marketing. At MDRC, Maria will be working on projects across multiple policy areas and departments, as well as with the MDRC Diversity Council. Maria has a special interest in survey design and served as the survey design team leader for a program evaluation of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at UNF. She is passionate about the public school system and is looking forward to learning more about qualitative research methods during her internship. Maria was born in Queens, NY, but she moved to Jacksonville, FL, when she started high school in 2011.
  • Amanda Martin-Lawrence, Undergraduate Intern: Amanda is a rising senior at Pitzer College, majoring in sociology with a minor in legal studies. She plans to pursue a career as an education policy researcher and will spend her summer learning contributing to several projects across the education pipeline. During her academic career, Amanda has focused on both national and international education policy. She studied how policies affected the diversity of New York City secondary schools and conducted research on the education system in post-apartheid South Africa. At Pitzer, Amanda mentors students from underserved communities on the college application process. She also served as a student senator, where she created an initiative to increase awareness of financial aid policies among the college’s faculty.
  • Video interview with 2016 Undergraduate Interns Neena Rouhani and Raymi Echavarria
  • An interview with 2018 Gueron Undergraduate Intern Talia Scott

The GMSP Operations Internship

The GMSP Operations Internship is open to master’s degree candidates who have work experience in a non-research field and who would like to be exposed to working in a research setting. Placement will be in our NYC office. Interns work closely with senior-level staff with expertise in program design, program assessment, evaluation start-up, and technical assistance on program implementation. At MDRC, this important function is referred to as “operations” work; operations staff work closely with program sites and MDRC researchers to ensure the organizations participating in our evaluations have strong programs.

2019 Gueron Operations Intern

  • Mohammed Alkurd, Operations Intern: Mohammed is a Fulbright Foreign Student Scholar pursuing a master’s in special education at East Tennessee State University. At MDRC, Mohammed will work on projects in our Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment Policy Area and Postsecondary Education Policy Area, as well as with our field liaisons in the Operations Work Group. Prior to graduate school, Mohammed led youth education projects in Palestinian communities that used role-playing teaching approaches, like storytelling and expressive writing, to enhance classroom inclusion.

The GMSP Doctoral Fellowship

The GMSP Doctoral Fellowship brings Ph.D. candidates pursuing independent, self-directed research on economic and social problems affecting low-income Americans to both our NYC and California offices. There is also the possibility of being placed in the DC office. Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend, work on their doctoral dissertation, and have the opportunity to receive feedback on their dissertation content and methodology.

2019 Gueron Doctoral Fellow

  • Brittany Fox-Williams, Doctoral Fellow: Brittany Fox-Williams is a PhD candidate in sociology at Columbia University. Her research specializations include inequality, race and ethnicity, education, and urban sociology. Brittany uses quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze inequality in young people’s relationships with authority figures in the education and justice systems. Her dissertation, Trust Matters: Race, Relationships, and Student Achievement, examines the role of trust in student-teacher relationships, the salience of trust for student outcomes, and racial differences in trust. To study this topic, Brittany draws on longitudinal survey data from the NYC Department of Education and a yearlong interview study of two public high schools in Manhattan. Her dissertation research is supported by the National Science Foundation and MDRC. Brittany has authored an article in Sociological Forum on gender differences in youth responses to law enforcement, which won an award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Brittany completed her undergraduate studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where she was class valedictorian. She also holds a master of public administration degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Where Are They Now? (Second Edition)

Below is a series of Q&As with past participants in MDRC’s Gueron Minority Scholars Program. Click the links to read their reflections on their experiences at MDRC and to learn what they’re up to today.

  • Delia Kimbrel, Director of Research and Analysis at ImpactTulsa, GMSP Doctoral Fellow 2012.
  • Micaela Mercado, Visiting Faculty Member at Arizona State University, GMSP Doctoral Fellow 2011.
  • Christian Villenas, Senior Director of Research, Evaluation, and Measurement at the National School Climate Center (NSCC), GMSP Doctoral Fellow 2011.
  • Awilda Rodriguez, Assistant Professor at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, GMSP Doctoral Fellow 2012.

Where Are They Now? (First Edition)

Click on the image below to see a collection of short GMSP alumni updates and reflections from May 2018.


Commitment to Diversity

In 2018, MDRC released the organization’s official Commitment to Diversity. You can view the full statement here.