Doctoral Students

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Doctoral Students

    Dana Ponte

 Dana  is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, working with Professor Maresi Nerad. Her research is on the development of federal support for higher education on the basis of national defense in the Progressive and Cold War eras. Dana is a specialist on Russia and the Former Soviet Union. She graduated summa cum laude from  Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies in 2002, and received her master’s degree in Russian and Central Asian Studies from Harvard University in 2005. She holds a senior management position at the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research and is based in Washington, DC.


Amy Li

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Amy is a PhD candidate in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, & Organizations. Her outside concentrations are Public Policy and Statistics. She is an IES fellow and an AERA Dissertation fellow. Amy’s research is on higher education finance and policy. She examines the adoption and impact of state policies that allocate scarce resources to colleges, and how colleges respond to such policies in order to improve student access, retention, and completion. She studies state performance funding, economic declines and funding allocations, policy diffusion, and student outcomes. Previously Amy worked in study abroad and in private sector finance. She has a Master’s in Higher Education/Student Affairs and BA in Economics and Psychology, both from University of Utah. 

 Jim Pridgeon

Jim is involved in development and editing of research grants, publications and web content.  He is also involved with marketing and contributes to NIH sponsored research capacity-building efforts in Latin America by supporting grant writing and publications with the Latin American Brain Injury Consortium.  He has 30 years experience in research administration and has helped raise over $100 million for neuroscience research.


  Roxana Chiappa

Roxana is a PhD candidate in Higher Education. Her research interests encompass doctorate education, internationalization of higher education, scientific and innovation policies implemented in Latin American countries.
Currently, Roxana is working in her dissertation project, which  analyzes in what extent social class of origin influences the career path of PhD holders working in Chile.


  Ziyan Bai

Ziyan earned her bachelor’s degree from Nankai University, China, and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is currently a third-year PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Higher Education) at the University of Washington. Her research topic is exploring the interactions between institutional response to state budget cut on higher education and students’ experience in master’s programs in the United States.