Researchers

Samantha Astudillo
Research Assistant
Samantha Astudillo is a doctoral student in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Her research interests include college persistence and completion for low-income, first-generation students. Read more...
Arely Avilez
Research Assistant
Arely earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine, and her master’s degree from UCLA. Her research interests include the factors that contribute to the academic persistence and resiliency of historically underrepresented students... Read more...
Samantha Bernstein
Research Assistant
She received her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 2009, and thereafter worked as an associate in litigation and appeals at a special education law firm in NYC. Read more...
Edward Chi
Research Assistant
Edward is an Urban Education Policy Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. He is assisting Tatiana Melguizo, his advisor, in understanding the paths taken by community college students before and after enrollment. Read more..
Thomas DePaola
Research Assistant
Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Purchase. His research interests include the community college as a site of civic engagement and student politicization, developmental education reform, assessment and accountability structures.Read more...
Joanna Drivalas
Research Assistant
Joanna Drivalas is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Prior to pursuing degrees in education, Joanna had the privilege of teaching at the community college and high school levels. Read more...
Elizabeth Holcombe
Research Assistant
Elizabeth Holcombe graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in Political Science and Spanish in 2008. After teaching elementary school in Atlanta with Teach for America, she moved to NYC to pursue a Master's degree in Politics and Education at Teachers College. Read more...
Liane Hypolite
Research Assistant
Liane Hypolite is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education studying Urban Education Policy with a focus in Higher Education and is conducting research with Dr. Darnell Cole. Read more...
Suneal Kolluri
Research Assistant
Suneal earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and his master’s from Stanford. His research interests include college access and persistence for low-income youth and underrepresented youth of color. Read more...
Michael Lanford
Research Assistant
Michael Lanford serves as a Research Assistant for Dr. William Tierney, studying international higher education, interdisciplinary research and writing, and college readiness. Read more...
lanford@usc.edu
Federick Ngo
Research Assistant
Federick Ngo is a doctoral student in Urban Education Policy at USC. As a Pullias Center researcher, Federick works with Dr. Tatiana Melguizo studying math education in community colleges and currently has several ongoing projects examining developmental math. Read more...
Elizabeth Park
Research Assistant
Elizabeth Park is a Ph.D. candidate focusing on higher education policy at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked as a senior research assistant at Research for Action. Read more...
Antar Tichavakunda
Research Assistant
Antar Tichavakunda was born and raised in Washington, DC. He attended Brown University and majored in Education Studies/Policy. In college he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was heavily involved in Black affinity groups and mentoring programs. Read more...
David Velasquez
Research Assistant
David Velasquez is a doctoral student in Urban Education Policy program at the USC Rosier School of Education where he is conducting research with Dr. Tatiana Melguizo. His research interests include college access, persistence, completion.. Read more...
James Ward
Research Assistant
James is a doctoral student at USC Rossier. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Cornell University. James spent the last five years in Washington, DC and Boston working as an education consultant for Hanover Research and ASR Analytics. Read more...
Marissiko Wheaton
Research Assistant
She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine, and her master’s from NYU. Her research interests include college student social identity development, student activism and the impacts of campus climate. She will be working with Dr. Darnell Cole. Read more...