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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the selection of six current and recent Ph.D. candidates as new fellows for its first Summer Fellowship Program, which will enable them to gain skills evaluating federal labor policies, protections and programs.

Administered by the department’s Chief Evaluation Office, the inaugural program offers its fellows the opportunity to gain valuable experience, to learn about the wide range of work performed by the department’s agencies, and to complete and present a research project relevant to their dissertation or on a labor topic. Fellows will learn as they work with the office’s Evaluation & Research or Data Analytics teams and support evaluation-building research activities.

“Our Summer Fellowship Program underscores our commitment to fostering future research leaders who can help advance labor in the future,” said Chief Evaluation Officer Christina Yancey. “These fellows will gain invaluable experience related to their fields of study and support the Chief Evaluation Office’s work to instill the social science discipline outlined in the Department of Labor’s Evaluation Policy principles.”

The Evaluation and Research fellows are:

  • Evan Murphy: a social psychologist with a background in applied research and experience in policy and program evaluation research. Murphy is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Interdisciplinary Social Psychology program.
  • Evgenia Kapousouz: a Ph.D. candidate in Survey Methodology at the University of Illinois’s Department of Public Administration, whose dissertation examines social desirability bias as a questionnaire, personality and cultural trait and its potential association with other response styles.
  • Kendal Lowery: a Ph.D. candidate in the Pennsylvania State University’s departments of Sociology and Demography, and T-32 trainee in Social Environments and Population Health at the National Institute of Health. Lowery’s research is broadly focused on immigrants, their health and their integration into U.S. society.

The Data Analytics fellows are as follows:

  • Meifeng Yang: a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan who worked as a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Yang earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California.
  • Wenchen Wang: a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. A former data and policy analyst in the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, Wang also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to evaluate the economic effects of Humphrey-Hawkins Act and as a local government interpreter in China. 
  • Xue Wu: a Ph.D. candidate at the State University of New York’s Department of Economics, whose current research largely applies PSM-DID experiments to estimate the effect of losing access to hospital-based obstetric care in the rural U.S. and the magnitudes of policy-relevant factors affecting rural mothers’ health outcomes.

Learn more about the Chief Evaluation Office’s Summer Fellowship Program. The department’s Chief Evaluation Office sponsors independent evaluations and research.

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