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CRA Graduate Placements


grad placements chart

TRADITIONAL ACADEMIC PLACEMENTSAbout 36% of CRA graduates take academic positions as assistant professors in departments such as: Behavioral Sciences and Education; Civil Society and Community Studies; Community and Justice Studies; Criminal Justice; Education Professions; Human and Social Development; Public Health; Social Work; and, Social Medicine.

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS About 19% of CRA graduates take post-doctoral fellowships. These appointments are often research-focused and housed in academic centers or departments. Examples include the: Fulbright Fellowship; Psychology Department at East Tennessee State University; SHARP Research Lab at University of Connecticut; University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School; Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment; and, USAID Presidential Management Fellowship.

COMMUNITY POSITIONSAbout 17% of CRA students take community-based positions associated with research, evaluation, consulting, lobbying, and/or directing. Examples include: Director of Research and Evaluation at the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; Director of Research and National Policy at Grounded Solutions Network; Founder of the Kookaburra Development + Strategy; Legislative Director for a Congressperson; Program Evaluation Advisor at the Center for Victims of Torture; Research Analyst at Equal Opportunity Schools; and, Senior Research Analyst at the Learning Desk of the Baha'i National Center.

TRADITIONAL RESEARCH POSITIONS About 14% of CRA graduates take research-focused positions as research analysts, associates, or directors in academic, private, or government settings. Examples include: Behavioral Scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology; Research Associate at the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt; and, Research Scientist at the Prevention and Public Health Group at UCSF.

POLICY POSITIONS About 14% of CRA students take policy-focused positions that are often research analysis or consulting positions in academic or governmental settings. Examples include: Research Analyst at the Metro Nashville Public Health Department; Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute for Social Reform at Brown University; Research Associate at the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation at University of South Maine; and, Social Scientist Analyst at the U.S. Department of Justice.

*The above summary is based on forty-two CRA graduates (2005-2018). Results do not include all CRA graduates during this time period.*


 Graduate Placements 

Mohyuddin, Hasina (PhD 2020) is the Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Research Associate at Vanderbilt University, Peabody College in Nashville, TN (  Dissertation title: "Understanding the Religious Identity Development of Muslim American Youths"

Bethune, Magaela (PhD 2020) is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts in Los Angeles, CA (  Dissertation title: "Exploring the Relationship Between Adolescent Media Use, Sexual Socialization and Sexual Behavior"

Gupta, Jyoti (PhD 2019) is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Vanderbilt University, Department of Human and Organizational Development in Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: "Toward Political Community: Navigating Civic Conditions and Civic Positions in the Creative Economy"

Marx, Robert (PhD 2019) is an Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University in San Jose, CA ( Dissertation title: "Queer During and After School: Understanding LGBTQ+ Youth's School Belonging and After-School Participation"

Mihaylov, Nikolay (PhD 2018) is an  Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration and Management in the Department of Healthcare Economics and Management and Healthcare Policy, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria ( Dissertation title: "Releasing the Waters: A Sociological Study of the Anti-fracking Movement in Bulgaria"

Thurber, Amie (PhD 2018) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University in Portland, OR ( Dissertation title: "The Neighborhood Story Project: Keeping More than Our Homes."

Doykos, Bernadette (PhD 2017) is a team member of the Partner, Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation at Catalyst:Ed, Portland, ME ( Dissertation title: "Everybody Say They'll Go to College, but Until You Grow Up, You Don't Really Understand": Examining the Contextual, Relational, and Networked Experiences of College Bound Students from Traditionally Underserved College-Going Populations"

Hennessy, Emily (PhD 2017) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut, The SHARP Research Lab, New Haven, CT (  Dissertation title: "Adolescent Recovery Capital and Application of Exploratory Methods"

Mann, Abigail (PhD 2016) is an Assistant Professor in Family Medicine in the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN (  Dissertation title: "Stigma, Access to Care, and Sexual Minority Women's Health"

Mokos, Jennifer (PhD 2016) is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Science in the Honors College at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC (,  Dissertation title: "Restoring the Human in the Search for Nature: Homelessness, Ecology, and the Struggle for Change"

Fisher, Benjamin (PhD 2016) is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Louisville, KY ( Dissertation title: "School Resource Officers, Exclusionary Discipline, and the Role of Context"

Lample, Emily (PhD 2015) is a Senior Research Analyst at the Learning Desk of the Baha'i National Center, Evanston, IL. Dissertation title: "Watering the Tree of Science: Science Education, Local Knowledge, and Agency in Zambia's PSA Program"

McCormack, Mark  (PhD 2015) is Director of Research & Evaluation, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “A Christian, a Jew, and a Woman Walk into a Bar: Exploring the Nonreligious Elements of Interfaith Work”

Karakos, Holly (PhD 2015) is a Research Analyst at Equal Opportunity Schools, an education non-profit working to make student participation in AP/IB courses more equitable, Seattle, WA (; Dissertation title: “Understanding Civic Engagement among Youth in Diverse Contexts”

Geller, Joanna (PhD 2015) is a Senior Research Associate for Research & Policy at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, Providence, RI ( Dissertation title: “Re-imagining School Communities: An Exploration of the Factors Influencing Teachers’ Trust in Parents”

Brinkley-Rubinstein, Lauren (PhD 2015) is an Assistant Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (  Dissertation title: “Repeated Police Contact, Profiling and Incarceration as Catalysts for Worsened Health”

Craven, Krista (PhD 2014) is Assistant Professor, Community and Justice Studies, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC ( Dissertation title: ““No Papers, No Fear”: The Boundary Politics of Undocumented Immigrant Youth Activists in Tennessee”

Greer, Andrew (PhD 2014) is a Presidential Management Fellow with USAID, Washington, DC  ( Dissertation title: “Preventing Homelessness in Alameda County, CA and New York City, NY: Investigating Effectiveness and Efficiency”

Jones, Karl (PhD 2014) is currently working with student affairs at CSU, San Bernardino; and has taught at La Sierra University as an adjunct professor with the Department of Social Work.  Dissertation title:  “Local Inequality in the Geography of Class-Differentiated Migration”

Nwosu-Randolph, Oluchi (PhD 2014).   is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN ( title:  “Constructing Multi-Conscious Identities: Ethnicity, Socialization, and Schooling Among Sub-Saharan African Refugee Youth”

Vick, John (PhD 2014) is a Research Analyst, Metro Nashville Public Health Department, Division of Epidemiology and Research, Nashville, TN ( Metro+Public+Health+Dpt+Nashville+TN). Dissertation title: ““The Best Laid Plans:” An Ecological Analysis of Community Participation, Power, and Urban Neighborhood Planning in Practice”

Lunn, Laurel (PhD 2014) is a Program Evaluation Advisor at the Center for Victims of Torture, St. Paul, MN ( Dissertation title: “The Social Determinants of Refugee Health: An Integrated Perspective”

Robinson, Jill (PhD 2013) is an Independent Research Consultant, working in New Orleans in the areas of community development, juvenile justice, and human trafficking. Consultant with organizations on data needs and applications of data, New Orleans, LA ( Dissertation title: “Immigrants from Former Soviet Republics in the United States: Deconstructing and Decolonizing an Immigrant Population

Siankam, Ben (PhD 2012) is an International Health and Development Research Consultant, Washington, DC. Dissertation title: “Doctors Beyond Borders: Ecological and Psychopolitical Validity of the Medical Brain Drain from Sub-Saharan Africa”

Palmer, Neal (PhD 2013)  is a Senior Research Associate, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, New York City, NY ( Dissertation title: “LGBT Youth Online and In Person: Identify Development, Social Support, and Extracurricular and Civic Participation in a Positive Youth Development Framework”

Tesdahl, Eric (PhD 2013) is a Senior Biostatistician and Data Science Program Manager at SpecialtyCare, Nashville, TN, ( Dissertation title: “Out of Many, One: Participation and Collaboration in Congregation-based Community Organizing”

Thaden, Emily (PhD 2013) is the Director of Research & National Policy, Grounded Solutions Network, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “Shared Equity Homeownership: Local Perceptions, National Performance, and Considerations for Growth”

Bazuin, Joshua (PhD 2013) is a Post-doctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “Religion in the Remaking of Rwanda after Genocide”

Collins, Leslie (PhD 2012) is an Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Education, Fisk University, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “Revealing Privilege: Examining Manifestations of Race, Class, and Gender in Health and Human Service Organizations”

Cooper, Daniel (PhD 2012) is a Co-Executive Director, Institute on Social Exclusion, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL ( Dissertation title: “Beyond Dollars and Cents: Non-financial Impacts and Implications of the Foreclosure Crisis for Low-income Minority Communities”

Mayberry, Lindsay S. (PhD 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Public Health, Center for Health Behavior and Health Education, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “Family Processes in the Context of Housing Instability and Intensive Service Use: Implications for Parenting and Caregiver Well-Being”

Nelson, Michael (PhD 2012) is Founder, Kookaburra Development + Strategy, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “What causes racially segregated residential communities? Testing agent-based and institutional explanations for the locational decisions of homebuyers”

Voight, Adam (PhD 2012) is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Foundations and Director of the Center for Urban Education, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH ( Dissertation title: “Youth Civic Engagement in Urban Middle Schools: Agency and Wellness across Ecological Levels”

Voorhees, Courte (PhD 2012) Associate at Community Science, Gaithersburg, MD ( Dissertation title: “Promoting Environmental Empowerment: Environmental Justice Policy, Participatory Planning, and Empowerment in Response to Environmental Threats”

Redvers-Lee, Peter (PhD 2011) is an Editor at Communications Development, Inc, Washington, DC ( Dissertation title: “The Serpent without Shame: Economic Development and Change in the Afro-Ecuadorian Communities of Northwestern Esmeraldas”

Davis, Donna J. (PhD 2009) is an Attorney, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, Bentwood, TN ( Dissertation title: “Fraying at the Edges: Qualitative Insight into the Experiences of CPS Caseworkers and the Issue of Voluntary Employee Turnover”

Hoffman, Cheri (PhD 2009) is Director, Division of Children and Youth Policy, at ASPE (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, DC ( Dissertation title: “Young and Homeless in Nashville: The Scope of Runaway and Throwaway Youth and the Experiences of Homeless Youth”

Pullmann, Michael (PhD 2009) is a Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Washington School Mental Health Assessment, Research, & Training (SMART) Center , Seattle, WA ( Dissertation title: “Predictors of Criminal Charges for Youth in Public Mental Health Services During the Transition to Adulthood”

Suiter, Sarah (PhD 2009) is an Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of the Community Development and Action Program, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “Freedom Means”

Christens, Brian (PhD 2008) is an Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of the Community Research and Action Program, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (( Dissertation title: “Vehicles of Change: Context and Participation in Power-Based Community Organizing”

Freedman, Darcy (PhD 2008) is a Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences with a Secondary Appointment in the Mandel School of Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH ( Dissertation title: “Politics of Food Access in Food Insecure Communities”

Jones, Diana (PhD 2008) was an Associate Professor, Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA ( Dissertation title: “Organizing Through Congregations: Mediating and Moderating Roles of Spirituality”

Taylor, Kelly (PhD 2008) is a Research Scientist, Prevention & Public Health Group, Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco ( Dissertation title: “Caregiver Strain among African American and Caucasian Family Members Caring for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Problems: the Role of Race”

Jacobs-Priebe, Lynette (PhD 2007) is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE), Pittsburgh, PA ( Dissertation title: “The Social Norms Approach to Preventing Violence Against Women : The Role of Ambivalent Sexism”

Armstead, Theresa (PhD 2006) is a Behavioral Scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA ( Dissertation title: “Exploring Synergic Power and Network-Based Leadership in a Community Organizing Context”

Bess, Kimberly (PhD 2006) is an Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN ( Dissertation title: “The Challenges of Change in Human Service Organizations : Identity, Values, and Narratives”

Evans, Scot (PhD 2005) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Major in Human and Social Development, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL ( Dissertation title: “From Amelioration to Transformation in Human Services: Towards Critical Practice”