The Pardee RAND Graduate School Alumni Newsletter — Spring 2021 | Web version

Spring 2021


Message from the Dean

Susan Marquis

After a grueling year, we’re getting there. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is looking brighter by the day. With vaccinations come hope and excitement (and a bit of lethargy, but thankfully only for a day or so). I will admit to skipping — yes, skipping — from the clinic after I received mine.

As the academic year draws to a close, we look with gratitude and excitement to the summer and fall. As you'll see, we’ve been able to get back together this spring, cautiously, outdoors. Some classes resumed in person, and more people are present on campus and at RAND. Our externs in Sitka learned even more about working in partnership with communities, and our Los Angeles externs are excited to work with mentors in person this summer. We were even able to hold a hybrid meeting of our Board of Governors, with many in person and some online—and, what a joyous occasion it was!

Of course, we appreciate what the pandemic has taught us about remaining close regardless of distance. About resilience and the importance of grace and second (and sometimes third) chances.

As we emerge from the fog, I wish you a safe and fun summer, with plenty of smiles and happy reunions.


Susan Marquis
Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean
Pardee RAND Graduate School

From UN Researcher to “Audio Storyteller”

Sinduja Srinivasan hosts the UNcomplicated podcast

Sinduja Srinivasan hosted the UNcomplicated podcast, photo courtest United Nations

Alum Sinduja Srinivasan Cohort '09 now works for FiveThirtyEight as a podcast producer and describes herself on LinkedIn as an Audio Storyteller, but she started her career as a United Nations researcher. She credits Pardee RAND for preparing her for both careers, and for her career pivot. We caught up with her for a Q&A while she was working with Career Services on its (Virtual) Student Research Showcase, helping Pardee RAND students transform their innovative research into compelling stories. More »

Phil Armour and students hiked Zuma Canyon

In-Person Activities Gradually Resume

Once Los Angeles began easing its COVID-19 restrictions this spring, Pardee RAND took careful, tentative steps toward in-person and on-campus activities. One course resumed in-person meetings in the courtyard, and faculty and staff organized several fun outdoor events for students. More »

Jalal Awan and Keren Zhu in Sitka

Interview: Externs Discuss Work in Sitka

Students Jalal Awan Cohort '17 and Keren Zhu '17 are two of the latest students to hold six-week externships in Sitka, Alaska; Awan is working with the Sitka Conservation Society and Zhu with the Sitka Food Co-op. They spoke with local public radio station KCAW about their experience. More »

Tech and Society podcasters

Student Podcast Explores Future Tech & Policy Scenarios

Students in Pardee RAND's Tech + Narrative Lab are exploring the implications of emerging technology through a podcast set in 2030. Using a future lens, they consider decisions being made today. More »

Summer reading recommendations

Dean Hosts Second Policy Reading Circle

For many years, Dean Susan Marquis has sent incoming students a summer reading list to set the stage for their academic experience. This year, topics include climate change, the print media, and the Black experience and migration in America. More »

Marquis Honored with Endowed Scholarship

Susan Marquis at Board dinner

At Dean Susan Marquis's final Board of Governors meeting, Board chair Jim Lovelace and RAND president and CEO Michael Rich honored her by announcing the establishment of a $1 million scholarship endowment, the Susan L. Marquis Endowed Scholarship, to support future Pardee RAND students. More »

Student Research & Commentary

Critical care capacity tool

Pedro Nascimento de Lima Cohort '19 and Lawrence Baker '20 worked with Professors Raffaele Vardavas, Jeanne Ringel, Robert Lempert, and Carolyn Rutter on a RAND perspective and working paper using Robust Decision Making to find optimal, Pareto-efficient re-opening strategies for California and other regions as COVID-19 vaccination becomes more available.

Michele Abbott Cohort '14 and alum Leslie Mullins '12: "Use of Tobacco Products Among Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness," a RAND research brief summarizing multiple reports

Hannah Acheson-Field Cohort '18: Streamlining Cost Estimation for Large Department of Defense Organizations, a RAND research report

Annie Chen Cohort '19 and Hamad Al-Ibrahim '18, and alum Denise Quigley '91: Societal Impact of Research Funding for Women's Health in Alzheimer's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease–Related Dementias, a RAND research report

Katie Feistel Cohort '19 and Heather Gomez-Bendaña '19: How Are Teachers Educating Students with Disabilities During the Pandemic? a RAND research report. They also teamed with Melissa Diliberti '19 on "The American Rescue Plan Is a Chance to Support Students with Disabilities. Here Are Some Investments Worth Considering," a commentary in The 74

Diana Myers Cohort '19: The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP): Policy Alignment Between the Department of Defense and the Services, a RAND research report

Nabeel Qureshi Cohort '18 and alum Denise Quigley '91: "Provider and Coach Perspectives on Implementing Shadow Coaching to Improve Provider-Patient Interactions," in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Hilary Reininger Cohort '16: Countering Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections a RAND research report; she also worked with Rouslan Karimov '15 on Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories, a RAND research report

Max Steiner Cohort '19: Independent Evaluation of the Transportation Working Capital Fund, a RAND research report

Ashley Woo Cohort '18: Did Experience with Digital Instructional Materials Help Teachers Implement Remote Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic? a RAND research report

Keren Zhu Cohort '17: "Food is a Shaman: A Two-Part Commentary on a Community Based Externship in Sitka, Alaska," published in the American Society for Public Administration's newsletter, PA Times (part 1 can be read here)

Explore all student publications and blog posts.

Remembering Martin Iguchi, Marty Wachs

Martin Iguchi and Marty Wachs

Long-time professors Martin Iguchi and Marty Wachs passed away this spring. Iguchi was director of Pardee RAND's redesign and former director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. Wachs taught Pardee RAND's Transportation Planning elective course and was a senior principal researcher and director of RAND's Transportation, Space and Technology program. More »

Alumni News

Members of Cohort '15 give a career talk

Twelve Alumni Present Career Talks

Alumni near and far shared their experiences with current students this spring through interactive Career Services webinars and discussions, taking advantage of one silver lining of our virtual world. More »

Screenshot of Kimberly Hale participating in Total Force Datathon

Hale Wins "Datathon"

Maj. Kimberly Hale Cohort '09, a senior data scientist and Air Force Reservist, proposed a way to use AI to help pilots optimize scheduling. Her solution won the second Total Force Datathon hosted by the Department of the Air Force Chief Data Office. More »

on your new job or career milestone

Carolinda Douglass

Carolinda Douglass
Cohort '89

Carolinda has retired from Northern Illinois University, where she was vice provost for institutional effectiveness.

Jordan Fischbach

Jordan Fischbach
Cohort '04

Jordan is now director of planning and policy research at The Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge, LA.

Bill Gelfeld

Bill Gelfeld
Cohort '14

Bill is now a professor of political science and international relations at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (a.k.a. Tecnológico de Monterrey) in Mexico.

Jakub Hlavka

Jakub Hlavka
Cohort '14

In addition to his academic position at USC, Jakub is now a research consultant for the Committee on Improving Representation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Clinical Trials and Research with The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Maren Leed

Maren Leed
Cohort '95

Maren is now executive director at National Spectrum Consortium and remains an adjunct professor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Ying Liu

Ying Liu
Cohort '04

Ying was named a 2021 Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association. She is a senior director and franchise lead, US value and access, DUPIXENT, at Sanofi.

Yang Lu

Yang Lu
Cohort '04

Yang was just granted tenure at Cal State University Long Beach, where she is an assistant professor of health care administration.

Arash Naeim

Arash Naeim
Cohort '99

Arash was named the first professor to hold the Neria and Manizheh Yomtoubian Endowed Chair in Cancer and Risk Sciences at UCLA.

Alex (Oleksandr) Rohozynsky

Alex (Oleksandr) Rohozynsky
Cohort '00

Alex is now a principal, MERL (Monitoring Evaluation Research & Learning), at International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc.

Alumni Research & Commentary

People pose for a photo after being vaccinated at the FEMA-supported COVID-19 vaccination site at Valencia State College in Orlando, Florida, photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Reuters

New alum Christine Chen Cohort '15 finished her timely dissertation, Dissemination of Vaccine Misinformation on Twitter and Its Countermeasures and also worked with Professors Luke Matthews, Andrew Parker, and Jeanne Ringel on a RAND perspective, Messaging Strategies for Mitigating COVID-19 Through Vaccination and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions.

Bruce Bennett Cohort '75 and Myong-Hyun Go '04 were both interviewed on Arirang News about the presidential summit between Joe Biden and South Korean's Moon Jae-in.

Gordon Bitko Cohort '02 wrote "The Emerging Biden Administration Cyber Strategy," a commentary published in Forbes, and was interviewed about ransomware attacks by CBS News.

Meena Fernandes Cohort '05 wrote "Combating Gender based Violence: Cyber Violence," a study published by European Parliamentary Research Service.

Arash Naeim Cohort '99 is leading a research project on incentives for COVID-19 vaccination that was featured in "$100 as Incentive to Get a Shot? Experiment Suggests It Can Pay Off," in the New York Times.

Yuyan Shi Cohort '05 was the lead author of "The associations between prenatal cannabis use disorder and neonatal outcomes," published in the journal Addiction.

David Schulker Cohort '07 was the lead author of Can Artificial Intelligence Help Improve Air Force Talent Management?, a RAND Report, and was interviewed about it by Federal News Network.

Kenneth Thorpe Cohort '80 wrote "Biopharmaceutical industry exceeded wildest expectations," a commentary published in the Boston Globe.

Ben Vollaard Cohort '00 wrote "Bias in expert product reviews," for the Centre for Economic Policy Research's CEPR Discussion Papers series.

Read more Alumni news, research, and commentary online!

Newest Alumni

Christine Chen

Christine Chen
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Dissemination of Vaccine Misinformation on Twitter and Its Countermeasures. Christine is an Artificial Intelligence Fellow at Insight Data Science.

Bilyana Lilly

Bilyana Lilly
Cohort '16

Dissertation: Defending Democracies in the Cyber Wild West. Bilyana is a manager, Cyber Commercial, at Deloitte.

Bryan Tysinger

Bryan Tysinger
Cohort '01

Dissertation: The Design, Validation, and an Application of the Future Adult Model: A Dynamic Microsimulation Model of Health-related Outcomes in the United States. Bryan is director of Health Policy Microsimulation at USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy, Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Recent Events


TNL Hosts Panel on Narrative, Storytelling

Tech + Narrative Lab director Todd Richmond moderated an expert panel that included student Hilary Reininger Cohort '16 in a discusion of the American narrative, conspiracy theories, misinformation, and what can be done to change the narrative. Watch »

Mickey Kantor speaks with Angel O'Mahony and Karishma Patel

Kantor Discusses U.S.-China Relations

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative Michael "Mickey" Kantor, joined Assistant Dean Angel O'Mahony in a robust discussion of the West’s relationship with China, as part of the Pardee RAND Distinguished Speaker Roundtable. Watch »

Pardee RAND Events

Join us — in person! — a year from today for Commencement and Alumni Weekend: June 17-18, 2022!

View all Pardee RAND events »

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