PRGS News and Featured Dissertations, 2009

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PRGS Alum Jack Riley Becomes RAND VP and Director of NSRD — Nov. 18, 2009

Effective January 15, 2010, K. Jack Riley will be promoted to vice president and director of RAND's National Security Research Division and director of the National Defense Research Institute, the federally-funded research and development center that RAND operates for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

Information Sessions on the PRGS PhD in Policy Analysis — Nov. 4, 2009

The Pardee RAND Graduate School is providing information sessions on their PhD Program in Policy Analysis. The sessions will be conducted at the RAND Corporation offices in Santa Monica, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. Each session will provide an overview of the program and the admissions process, and will give attendees a chance to hear current students describe their experience and share their own perspectives on the program.

PRGS Fellow Teams with RAND Researcher on Dietary Salt Study — Sep. 11, 2009

PRGS doctoral fellow, Kartika Palar, along with Roland Sturm, co-authored an important study, "Potential Societal Savings From Reduced Sodium Consumption in the U.S. Adult Population". The article, which appeared in American Journal of Health Promotion provided an estimate of the effect on hypertension prevalence, direct medical costs, and quality of life years (QALYs) saved by reductions in sodium consumption.

Member of the PRGS Board of Governors, Robert Spinrad, dies at 77 — Sep. 9, 2009

Robert Spinrad, member of the PRGS Board of Governors and retired Vice President of Technology Strategy for the Xerox Corporation, died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 77. He was a computer designer who did innovative work in automation of scientific research at Brookhaven National Laboratory. While at Brookhaven, he wrote a cover article on laboratory automation that appeared in the October 6, 1967, issue of Science magazine.

PRGS Alums Partner on Healthcare Commentary — Aug. 29, 2009

Elizabeth A. McGlynn and Jeffery Wasserman, both PRGS alums, co-wrote a commentary on the Health-Care debate. The commentary appeared in the The Tennessean and discussed the ferocity of the national debate over health care and the rhetoric that all but replaced reality. The impression of the article is that all sides of the issues seem to want anything but the facts, which is not getting the essential and important information out to the public and policy makers.

PRGS Fellow Appointed to Argentinean Advisory Council — Aug. 26, 2009

Silvia Montoya, PhD Candidate at PRGS, has been appointed to the Advisory Council for Strategic Planning for the Province of Cordoba in her native Argentina. The new organization is made up of nine prominent citizens from diverse backgrounds. Known as COPEC, it has obtained funding from the UN Development Program to support its activities. The provincial governor, Juan Schiaretti, presided over a formal launching ceremony with his cabinet at the end of August.

PRGS Alum Co-Authors Health Care Commentary — Aug. 24, 2009

PRGS Alum, Neeraj Sood, along with Dana Goldman, co-authored an important commentary, "Fix the Healthcare System (and Fight the Recession, Too)". The article, which appeared in CNN.com discussed a little-known proposition in the health care debate that states that properly controlled health care spending could generate economic growth equal to 1 percent of gross domestic product.

Co-Ops: A Very Tall Order; Commentary by PRGS Alum Elizabeth A. McGlynn — Aug. 20, 2009

Cooperatives are a very tall order: a new type of organization, never before tested on a large scale, meant to fix the apparently intractable problems of high and rising costs, barriers to access and poor quality care. Proponents can point to the impressive example of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. But how that unique organization might get replicated thousands of times over, so that all of the U.S. is served by the new, improved approach, is hard to reckon as discussed in this new commentary by PRGS alum Elizabeth A. McGlynn.

PRGS Fellow Teams with RAND Researchers on Qatar Labor Market Article— Aug. 10, 2009

PRGS fellow Jeffery Tanner joined with RAND researchers Claude Berrebi and Francisco Martorell to coauthor an article for the Summer 2009 issue of The Middle East Journal titled "Qatar's Labor Markets at a Crucial Crossroad." The article discusses the challenges faced by policymakers trying to deal with the rapid growth of the Qatari ecomony when the native labor force is lacking in the basic necessary skills, requiring the country to rely heavily on imported foreign labor. This is seen as a serious threat to the nation's economic independance and long-term viability. The article provides a detailed assessment of the economic and demographic situation, challenges, and possible policy options.

PRGS Board of Governors Member Awarded Medal of Freedom by President Obama— Jul. 31, 2009

It is with great pride that PRGS announces that a member of the PRGS Board of Governors, member of the RAND Health Board of Advisers, and former RAND Trustee, Joe Greer has been selected by President Obama to receive the Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award from our nation’s government. The recipient, Dr. Pedro Jose Greer, Jr, is a physician and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Florida International University School of Medicine, where he also serves as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society. Another PRGS Board of Governors member, James Q. Wilson, previously received the Medal of Freedom.

PRGS 2009 Defense Seminar Brochure— Jul. 13, 2009

PRGS 2009 Defense Seminar Brochure“New Security Challenges,” an intensive weeklong program offered by the Pardee RAND Graduate School, equips participants with both an understanding of the most critical current policy challenges and the most up-to-date analytical techniques for addressing them. The program aims to give participants both knowledge and tools they can employ upon their return to their organizations. This brochure describes the 2009 program, course offerings, and faculty.

PRGS Alum Discusses Healthcare Reform — Jul. 7, 2009

Kenneth Thorpe (PRGS Alum '85), Robert W. Woodruff Professor & Chair Department of Health Policy, Emory University shared his thoughts on how to reform health care in this interview that aired on CNN Video.

PRGS Fellows Attend PMBC Summer Program — Jun. 9, 2009

PRGS Fellows Sarah Gaillot and Meena Fernandes attended the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Summer Institute (PMBC) for a course on “Behavioral Medicine Interventions” that was held May 26-30, 2009. PMBC offers an annual summer institute to provide basic training to junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows in mind-body science and health and the topic alternates each summer. The 2010 Summer Institute will be on “Basic Pathways Linking Behavior and Disease.” Sarah and Meena were part of a team from RAND that also included Associated Behavioral Scientist Christine Vaughan.

Matthew Solomon (PRGS Alum) Study Featured in HealthDay News — May 1, 2009

Rising co-pays may be forcing the chronically ill from seeking potentially lifesaving medications according to a study by Matthew Solomon (PRGS Alum), a medical resident at Stanford University School of Medicine. His report, featured in the April 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, goes on to say that the problem is likely to get worse as the economy unravels.

PRGS Policy Insight — Apr. 29, 2009

PRGS is pleased to announce volume 3, issue 2 of Policy Insight. Published on a bimonthly basis, each issue will highlight a major public policy challenge in the USA or the world, along with analysis by PRGS fellows and faculty that will help policy makers address these challenges. This issue: "Improving Patient Safety: Addressing Patient Harm Arising from Medical Errors "

PRGS Fellow to Attend ICPSR Summer Program — Apr. 1, 2009

Silvia Montoya, PRGS Continuing Fellow, will be attending the Hierarchical Linear Models course in June at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. She was awarded a fee-waiver to attend the course in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1963, the ICPSR Summer Program is recognized throughout the world as the preeminent forum for basic and advanced training in the methodologies and technologies of social science research.

Larry Picus (PRGS Alum) Featured in ABC News Article on LAUSD Class Size — Mar. 31, 2009

One of the big worries of the California budget crisis is schools being forced to increase class sizes. The Los Angeles Unified School District is already making plans for that. High schools will be the hardest hit. In an article and video on the Los Angeles ABC News web site, Professor Larry Picus (PRGS Alum) of the USC Rossier School of Education says that the move could undo the gains the state has seen in test scores of the last several years.

PRGS Fellow Provides Commentary on Congressional Approval of AmeriCorps Expansion — Mar. 25, 2009

The Senate should pass bills expanding AmeriCorps and other national service programs, writes PRGS continuing fellow Diana Epstein in a commentary that appeared in the online edition of the Santa Monica Daily Press. The bills provide greater volunteer opportunities, public service activities, and careers. "Americans are ready to serve," Epstein wrote. "Applications to AmeriCorps in February were triple the number they were over the same month last year." Epstein is currently completing her dissertation on "Evaluating the Long-term Impacts of AmeriCorps Service on Participants".

PRGS Fellow awarded 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award — Mar. 2, 2009

Meena Fernandes received award

Meena Fernandes, PRGS Fellow, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award of the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB). The selection was based on her paper, The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Obesity Trajectory, co-authored with Roland Sturm, Senior Economist and PRGS Faculty.

Pictured are Chloe Bird, RAND Senior Behavioral/Social Scientist and PRGS faculty, congratulating Meena Fernandes on receiving the 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award.

The Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award recognizes early-career health behavior research that is innovative and rigorous, and makes an important contribution to science or practice. The award will be presented on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the AAHB conference.

PRGS Policy Insight — Feb. 29, 2009

PRGS is pleased to announce volume 3, issue 1 of Policy Insight. Published on a bimonthly basis, each issue will highlight a major public policy challenge in the USA or the world, along with analysis by PRGS fellows and faculty that will help policy makers address these challenges. This issue: "Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers in the United States: Business Practices and Investor Understanding"

Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies — Feb. 23, 2009

PRGS Professor Chloe Bird's book, "Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies," was recently reviewed in the March 2009 issue of CHOICE Reviews Online and both the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. The book focuses on gender differences in health and aims to reshape the research agenda with regard to differences between men's and women's health.

Arthur Brooks (PRGS alumni) heads the American Enterprise Institute — Jan. 30, 2009

Arthur C. Brooks has been selected as the 11th president of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. AEI, founded in 1943, is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. Dr. Brooks' PRGS dissertation, Arts, Markets, and Governments - A Study in Cultural Policy Analysis, was submitted 7/11/98.

PRGS Findings — Jan. 12, 2009

The latest issue of Findings introduces the new dean Susan L. Marquis, provides highlights from the Politics Aside weekend, lists recent dissertations, and more. Findings is the alumni newsletter.

PRGS Fellow and Alumni contribute to article on China and India education and health — Jan. 9, 2009

PRGS alumni, Sai Ma and Neeraj Sood and PRGS Fellow, Ying Liu contributed to the article "Asian Exchange: China and India Trade Lessons in Education and Health" that appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of RAND Review. The article was picked up by the USC US-China Institute in their January 8, 2009 issue of the US-China Today Daily Update. Key to the article is since China and India account for more than 40 percent of the world population, the health policy choices of these two countries not only will affect their citizens but also could give policymakers around the world ideas for coping with their own health care challenges.

PRGS Fellow awarded Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Award — Jan. 9, 2009

Meg Blume-Kohout, PRGS Fellow, has been awarded a Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Award in the amount of $20,000. Her dissertation proposal, "Assessing the Impact of Federal R&D Funding on Pharmaceutical Innovation " was selected by a panel of reviewers as one of the fifteen best submissions from among a very competitive pool of more than one hundred proposals.

Alcohol Environments and Disparities in Exposure Associated with Adolescent Drinking in California — Jan. 6, 2009

An article on the sociodemographic disparities in alcohol environments and their relationship with adolescent drinking co-authored by PRGS alumnus Khoa Truong '07 and Professor Roland Sturm was published by the American Journal of Public Health, and has been picked up by internet news sites in the United States. Truong and Sturm found that alcohol outlets are concentrated in disadvantaged neighborhoods and can contribute to adolescent drinking.

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