The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Students

Catherine TanCatherine Tan - Lurie Doctoral Fellow (2015-16)

Catherine Tan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University. She received her MA in sociology from Columbia University and her BA in sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Her areas of interest include: medical sociology; science, knowledge, and technology; and qualitative methods. Her current research is on health social movements concerning autism. Catherine also works as a research associate at Tufts Medical Center, studying disparities in autism diagnosis.

Robbie DemboRobbie Dembo, MA

Robbie Dembo, MA is a PhD student interested in the health, social, and economic outcomes for families with children with developmental disabilities. Robbie is a research analyst for NORC at the University of Chicago, and has several years of experience in health policy and health services research. In his free time, Robbie engages in grassroots peace activism focused on Israel-Palestine.

Samantha DoonanSamantha Doonan - Research Assistant

Samantha Doonan, is a senior at Brandeis majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Psychology. On campus, she has worked in the Disabilities Services & Support Office and is an active member in Brandeis' American Sign Language club, Brandeis' Spectrum volunteer group, and Students for Environmental Action club.

Finn GardinerFinn Gardiner - Research Assistant

Finn Gardiner is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He is an experienced disability advocate specializing in intersectional disability justice and accessible technology. His work has involved extensive experience with communications for nonprofits and government agencies. Finn is also the web portal coordinator for the National Research Center for Disabled Parents.

Melissa GoldsmithMelissa Goldsmith - Research Assistant

Melissa Goldsmith is a junior at Brandeis studying Education and History. She has volunteered with children with special needs in summer camps, classroom settings, and personal tutoring. Her hope is to bring her passion for advocacy to education reform.

Rajan SonikRajan Sonik- Research Assistant

Rajan Sonik, JD, MPH, is a PhD student interested in studying the connections between poverty alleviation, improved health outcomes and reduced health care costs. He received his JD from Harvard Law School, his MPH from the University of California, Davis, and his BA in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College. Rajan has a background in advocating for low-income children with sickle cell disease, and he was an Equal Justice Works Fellow from 2012-2014.

Anne Valentine - Research Assistant                                        

Anne Valentine, MPH is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate.  Her research interests include mental health and substance use services research; healthcare disparities; social and behavioral determinants of health status; behavioral economics and obesity. Prior to matriculating at Brandeis, she was the project manager for the NIMH Center for Advanced Mental Health Disparities at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research. 

Yaoming Zhan

Yaoming Zhan - Research Assistant

Yaoming Zhan '18 is a junior majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. He has experience in web application development and programming in both Massachusetts and China through his many internships throughout college. Yaoming is working with the Lurie Institute on mobile application development for preparing individuals with autism for doctor's visits using social stories.

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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