EEPS - Emerging Education Policy Scholars

Emerging Education Policy Scholars

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute offer a unique program aimed at cultivating human capital within the education-policy sector. The Emerging Education Policy Scholars (EEPS) program brings newly minted Ph.D. scholars and Ph.D. candidates who bring to the table a keen research eye, fresh ideas, and boundless (or budding) enthusiasm for education policy to our nation’s capital to meet with education-policy experts and to share and brainstorm exciting new directions for K–12 education research. The program focuses on three over-arching goals:

  • To foster an opportunity for talented, promising scholars to connect with other scholars in their field, as well as to introduce them to key players in the education-policy arena;
  • To expand the pool of talent and ideas from which the education-policy arena currently draws; and
  • To increase understanding of how the worlds of policy and practice intersect with scholarly research in education and related fields.

The EEPS Experience

"While professional societies provide ample opportunity for within field collaboration, we often lack opportunity to bridge the silos. EEPS not only provided me with a broader perspective on education policy, it allowed me to network with folks from different fields working towards similar goals whom I might not have met otherwise.” 

- Andrew Schaper (Cohort 5)

“EEPS allowed me to expand my professional network, and to access a side of policy consideration and dissemination that I had not previously encountered in any meaningful way. Perhaps most importantly, since completing my EEPS experience I have further grown my cross-cohort EEPS network and benefited enormously from collaboration and conversations that this networking has spurred!” 

- Shaun Dougherty (Cohort 3)

“EEPS is professionally valuable, totally unique, and thought-provoking.” 

– Michael Ford (Cohort 5)

"In addition to connecting with other young scholars from across the country, the experience has expanded my view of the ways in which I can use my research to contribute to public debates currently underway in education policy. As a result of the experience, I feel better equipped to translate my research into approachable mediums suitable for broader audiences." 

- F. Chris Curran, Ph.D. (Cohort 5)

For more information about the EEPS program, please contact program coordinators Victoria McDougald and Brendan Bell or read the EEPS factsheet (which includes information on how to apply). The EEPS program is generously supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation.


Class of 2017-18

Richard Blissett        
Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University

Erica Blom     
Research Associate, Urban Institute

Travis Bristol
Assistant Professor at Boston University

Christian Buerger    
Assistant Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Susan Bush-Mecenas           
Doctoral Candidate at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education

Christopher Doss     
Associate Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation

Leslie Finger 
Lecturer on government and social studies at Harvard University

Leesa Foreman         
Doctoral Candidate and distinguished doctoral fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas

Sofoklis Goulas          
Senior Research Associate at CREDO at Stanford University

Monica Hernandez   
Postdoctoral fellow at the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University

Bradley Marianno    
Doctoral Candidate in urban education policy at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education

Anna Markowitz       
Postdoctoral Research Associate at the EdPolicyWorks Center at the University of Virginia

Amelia Peterson
Doctoral Candidate in education policy and program evaluation at Harvard University

Jay Plasman
Doctoral Candidate at the University of California Santa Barbara

Courtney Preston     
Assistant Professor of educational leadership and policy at Florida State University

David M. Quinn
Assistant Professor of K-12 Education Policy at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California

Lauren Schudde       
Assistant Professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Texas in Austin

Elizabeth Setren       
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sivan Tuchman        
Research Analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)

Katie Vinopal
Assistant Professor at Ohio State University

Previous EEPS Cohorts

EEPS Newsletters