MDRC Welcomes Summer Doctoral Fellow and Interns in the Gueron Minority Scholars Program


MDRC is pleased to welcome a doctoral fellow, an operations intern, and two undergraduate interns in this summer’s class of the Gueron Minority Scholars Program (GMSP). Named in honor of former MDRC President 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 support students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the education and social policy research communities and to introduce them to MDRC.

This summer’s GMSP scholars are:

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.

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.

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.