Three Students Receive Horowitz Foundation Awards

Catria Gadwah-Meaden, Priya Gandhi, and Jonathan Lamb, photos by Diane Baldwin/RAND

Catria Gadwah-Meaden, Priya Gandhi, and Jonathan Lamb

May 31, 2024

Catria Gadwah-Meaden, Priya Gandhi, and Jonathan Lamb each received a doctoral research grant from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, and Lamb's project was selected for the Trustees' Award for the most innovative approach in theory and/or methodology. They were three of only 20 recipients selected from a pool of 771 applications.

Gadwah-Meaden's dissertation topic, "Disabled Veterans' Access to and Use of Safety Net Programs: An Examination in the Context of SNAP," is a quantitative study with two aims. First, it explores disabled veterans' risk of experiencing material hardship and their broader program participation behaviors. It then turns to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and employs quasi-experimental methods to examine how changes to benefit eligibility differentially impact veteran populations.

Gandhi's topic, "Exploring the Impact of Horizontal Hospital Consolidation in Rural Communities on Equitable Health Care Outcomes," explores the impacts of how horizontal hospital consolidation (HHC), or mergers and acquisitions, impact rural communities’ access to health care. Her dissertation leverages mixed methods and community engagement, enabling rural communities to design responsive policies to help inform more equitable future HHC events.

Lamb's topic, "Inclusive and Sustainable Cities: Policy and Well-Being under Incremental, Evolutionary, and Transformational Change," consists of three papers that explore the dynamics between economic, environmental, and social aspects of urban well-being and their implications for planning at different scales: how households value different types of urban amenities, the holistic effects of greenspace subsidies and a land value tax as “bottom-up” strategies, and a proposal for computational backcasting to support long-range planning.

“The awards are competitive,” said Horowitz Foundation chairman Ayse Akincigil. “The twenty applicants who are receiving awards this year represent less than 3 percent of those who applied. Although many of the proposals were on topics of social and political importance, the Foundation’s Trustees consider these proposals to be particularly strong, and vibrant examples of how policy research can help meet the challenges of today’s complex society.”

The aim of the Horowitz Foundation, which was established in 1997 and issued its first awards in 1999, is to support the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences. More specifically, the foundation provides small grants to aspiring Ph.D. students at the dissertation level to support the research they are undertaking for their project. Awards are granted for policy-related research in all major areas of the social sciences.

Many Pardee RAND students have received Horowitz Foundation grants in past years, but never three in one year. Past winners include:

  • 2023: Jonah Kushner, "Exploring the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Workforces: A Mixed Methods Approach"
  • 2022: Max Griswold, "An Evaluation of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances" (Max also received that year's Donald R. Cressey Award)
  • 2020: Tim McDonald, "Developing and Testing a Consumer-Driven Approach to Changing Incentives in American Healthcare"
  • 2019: Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez, "The Governance of Artificial Intelligence" (Carlos also received that year's Martinus Nijhoff Award)
  • 2018: Gulrez Shah Azhar, "Indian Summer: Three Essays on Heatwave Vulnerability, Estimation, and Adaptation" (Gulrez also received that year's Martinus Nijhoff Award)
  • 2016: Ashley Muchow, "Local immigration enforcement: Have local initiatives made us safer or driven us apart?"
Learn more about the Horowitz Foundation