Paul Attewell

Paul Attewell is a Professor in Sociology and Urban Education PhD Program at the Graduate Center. His research focuses on the relationship between educational institutions and social inequality in middle and high schools and colleges, the reasons for low degree completion rates in non-selective colleges, and field experiments in which lower income undergraduates are encouraged to increase their “academic momentum” in college, using monetary incentives.

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Juliana de Castro Galvao

Juliana de Castro Galvao is a PhD student in Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She conducts research in the field of social stratification. She is interested in understanding the extent, trends and determinants of socioeconomic inequalities both within and between countries. She is currently working on a project that examines to what extent some colleges in the U.S. are more effective in getting their degree-seeking students a diploma even after controlling for student body and institutional characteristics. She is also working on a project that analyzes intra and inter-cohort lifetime earnings inequality in the US from 1967 to 2016.

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Joanna Dressel

Joanna Dressel is a PhD student in Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on urban and regional development. She has been working on two connected projects related to venture capital and cities; the first analyzes the presence and impact of local preference in venture capital investment decisions, and the second looks at how cities implement ‘startup ecosystem’ development strategies and work to attract venture capital financing. She is also working on a project that evaluates student economic mobility rates at different higher education institutions in the US.

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Christopher Maggio

Christopher Maggio is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology department at the The Graduate Center. He has worked on various research for this project, including early indicators of student success, predictors of post-college earnings, and Hispanic education. In May of 2019, he and Paul Attewell published an article from the project entitled, “The Surprising Labor Market Success of Part-Time Community College Students” in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. Separately, his dissertation focuses on the local impact of racial demographic change on voting patterns, attitudes toward immigration, and perceptions of racism.


Sam Neylon

Sam Neylon is a PhD student in Sociology at CUNY Graduate Center. His work with the Project is focused on changing patterns of college enrollment, and the relationship of students and the workplace. Sam’s research focuses on the labor movement, work, and the intersection of gender and technology in the workplace.


Frederick Tucker

Frederick is a Research Assistant in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Department of Sociology, and an Adjunct Lecturer at various CUNY campuses. His research interests include the role of higher education in reducing and replicating social inequality, as well as democracy and mass movements.

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Dirk Witteveen

Dirk Witteveen is a postdoctoral research fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. His interests are centered around questions of social stratification, in particular those existent in the educational system and the labor market. He aims to understand how social forces, such as economic recessions, affect the distribution of life chances among different social groups over longer periods of time. He also studies the meritocratic power of higher education on intergenerational mobility.


Kasey Zapatka

Kasey Zapatka is a PhD student in sociology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research is focused on processes of urban inequality in the housing market and educational inequality stemming from different higher educational outcomes. His dissertation will examine the spatial patterns, causes, and implications of middle-class housing affordability across the country. He is also working on a project that investigates the value of an incomplete degree for a college dropouts.



Jay Brooks

Director of Research and Policy Studies
Illinois Community College Board

Matt Giani

Research Scientist, Office of Policy and Strategy
The University of Texas at Austin

Xiaodan Hu

Assistant Professor of Adult & Higher Education
Northern Illinois University

Tod Massa

Policy Analytics Director
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Feng Raoking

Policy and Data Analyst
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

David Walling

Research Engineering/Scientist Associate
Texas Advanced Computing Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Nathan Wilson

Associate Deputy Director for Research and Policy Studies,
Illinois Community College Board