PRGS Welcomes Largest Ever Entering Class

FALL 2005 - PRGS welcomed 26 new fellows this fall, the largest incoming class in the history of the school. The class consists of 14 women and 12 men and includes students from ten different countries of origin.

Oleksiy Balabushko was a consultant with the World Bank, working on Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. He has worked with the Economic and Social Research Center in Austria. He earned an MS in economics at Florida State University, under a Muskie Graduate Fellowship, after a BS in economics and commerce with high honors at National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy, where he had a perfect GPA and won the best debater award.

Elizabeth Brown was senior project manager at Collaborative Economics in Mountain View, California focused on designing collaborative strategies for economic development in regions across the U.S. She has managed the production of the authoritative Index of Silicon Valley since 2001. She received a BA in cultural anthropology from Skidmore College, and an MA in international comparative education from Stanford University. An avid athlete, Elizabeth was ranked tenth in the U.S in extreme skiing and now occaisionally competes in triathlons and surfs recreationally.

Benjamin Bryant was a research assistant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he modeled the impacts of wildfires. He also worked as a mathematics tutor. He has been an intern with the Union of Concerned Scientists, working on clean and renewable energy, and a scientific programmer with the Southwest Research Institute. He received a BS in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, where he was awarded the Stavros Busenberg Prize in applied mathematics. He was a Los Angeles Philanthropic Foundation Scholar, Edmund Maxwell Scholar, and Harvey Mudd Merit Scholar. His hobbies include competitive cycling, piano, and jazz drumming.

Yuanyuan (Vivian) Chen completed a masters in economics at Indiana University, Indianapolis, where she held a University Fellowship and did research at the Center on Philanthropy. While an undergraduate in Beijing, she worked with the Policy and Development Institute of Information Industries on the plan to create a contestable telecommunications market in China. She won second prize in the National Mathematics Modeling Competition in China.

Myles Collins is the first RAND-UCLA School of Public Affairs Fellow. He completed his MPP at UCLA, where he was the Fisher Fellow and the student representative to the School's Advisory Board. He has worked with the Southern California Gas Company's Energy Resource Center and with a trekking company in Guatemala. He is the general manager of a semi-pro soccer team and a certified raft guide. He earned a BS in environmental engineering from Northwestern and is a certified engineer in training (EIT).

Lindsey Daugherty completed an MA in applied economics at the University of Michigan, where she did research on the importance of work experience to wages in younger and older workers. She has worked at the Committee for Economic Development and as an intern for Kirlin Securities. She earned her BA in economics with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also played intramural basketball and softball.

Diana Epstein earned an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, where she was a policy analyst with the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy in Sacramento and a graduate student instructor in both economics and biology. Prior to that she worked in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps doing national service throughout the southern United States. She earned a BS in applied mathematics-biology magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where she won the Kidwell Prize in genetics and population biology. Her publications include "A mutant Drosophila insulin receptor homolog that extends life-span and impairs neuroendicrine function" in Science.

Meena Fernandes was assistant analyst with the Congressional Budget Office. Prior to joining PRGS she was a summer intern at the World Bank. She has also worked at the Center for Population Economics and Euro RSCG Healthview. She received her BA in economics, with honors, from the University of Chicago. During her college years, she received a FLAG Grant to study German at the Goethe Institute in Munich. Her papers include "The Convergence of Tuberculosis Mortality in the United States." She has played the violin since the age of six and now specializes in "old-time fiddle."

Sarah Gaillot taught English at the Seogwipo Girls' High School in the Republic of Korea on a Fulbright teaching grant prior to joining PRGS. She received an honors BS from The Pennsylvania State University with a double major in psychology and in human development and family studies, Phi Beta Kappa. While at PSU she spent semesters at the University of Ghana and the National University of Singapore and was named an Academic All-American in synchronized swimming. She is a certified counselor and has worked in the areas of domestic violence and rape prevention. Her hobbies include SCUBA diving and dancing.

Eric Gons is this year's RAND-U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent's Fellow. He finished his BS in economics at the Air Force Academy. During his undergraduate years, he attended the German Air Force Officer's School for a semester, and he held a National Defense Industrial Association internship. His extracurricular activities have included the Cadet Chorale, playing the trombone for the Blue Bards, the club squash team, and intramural tennis and rugby.

Ítalo Gutiérrez was an analyst in the Economic Studies Unit of APOYO Consultoria in Lima, a think tank in economics and public policy. His research covered a variety of economic topics, from public finance to private investment. He also taught economics at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. He received a diploma of specialization in applied statistics at the Pontificia Universidad Cat—lica del Peru in April 2005. He earned a bachelors degree in economics at Universidad del Pacífico, in Peru, and a certificate in international business administration at Tilburg University, in the Netherlands.

Sara Hajiamiri completed an MSc in engineering and policy analysis at Delft University of Technology, where her thesis dealt with integrated water management. She has worked as an engineer with two consulting companies. She earned a BSc in civil engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology, in Iran. Apart from Farsi, she speaks English, French, German, and Dutch.

Seo Yeon Hong is the first RAND-Korea Development Institute School Fellow. She finished her MBA at the KDI School, where she won the award for outstanding thesis. Her research includes studies of corporate governance in Korea. For two years she worked as a systems engineer for the electronics firm LG-EDS. She received her BA in economics from Sungkyunkwan University, where she won the University Scholarship for Academic Excellence and founded a club for volunteer work.

Jay Horwitz was a senior analyst in the Technology Group of Jupiter Research, where he worked on the strategic implications of changes in information and telecommunications technology. He received an MS in policy analysis from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University, where he had a 4.0 GPA and was W.W. Cooper Scholar, and a BA in economics from Columbia University, where he competed on the varsity lightweight crew team. His papers include "Fog of Experience: C3 Systems for Public Safety in New York City."

Jianhui Hu completed her MPP at Pepperdine University while working full time as program research coordinator in a health care center for the elderly. She worked for five years in the tax bureau for Yunnan Province in China, where she was named an Advanced Public Servant in the field of Policy Research. She is a member of the Chinese Institution of Certified Public Accountants. She earned her BS in business administration from the PeopleÕs University of China, where was a student leader and the university tennis champion.

Yimin (Gloria) Lou completed an MA in demography at the University of Western Ontario, where she has worked on health policy and passed Canada's Actuarial Examination on the mathematical foundations of actuarial science. She also completed a BA double majoring in sociology and economics at Peking University, where she was active in student government, edited a student-run sociology journal, and won the General Electric Scholarship. As a volunteer, she helped launch China's first database on bone marrow available for transplants.

Naveen Mandava was a research associate at the Centre for Civil Society, a think tank in New Delhi. He earned a BE from PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore. He shifted from electronics to applied microeconomic research when he saw the ability of public policy solutions to influence the quality of life. Naveen recently served as co-editor and research coordinator of Law, Liberty and Livelihood: Making a Living on the Street. He coordinates CCS's internship program, "Researching Reality," and has guided more than 30 interns' research projects. He likes to grapple with the "what ifs" and "why nots" of public policies.

Christopher McLaren completed an MA in applied microeconomics at San Diego State University, where he also completed a BA in economics, with distinction. His MA thesis was entitled, "Increasing Parental Eligibility for Public Health Insurance, and its Effects on Children's Public Health Insurance Coverage Rates." He worked as an intern at the San Diego World Trade Center. He interests include health care reform, nonparametric and nonlinear modeling techniques, and competitive golf.

Chung Pham completed an MA in development economics in a combined program of the Institute of Social Studies (the Netherlands) and the National Economics University (Vietnam). He has done research on many aspects of the Vietnamese economy, including wage differentials, fiscal decentralization, and the shrimp industry. He has worked as a project coordinator with the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, working with street children. He earned a BA in economics from the National Economics University. One of his papers is "Solutions to Illegal Motorcycle Racing Problems in Vietnam."

Yuyan (Sabrina) Shi is this year's RAND-Tsinghua University Fellow. She completed her masters degree in public management at Tsinghua University. Her research has included several studies of the roles of government and business in China, including the mobile phone and automobile industries, supported by China's National Natural Science Foundation. She earned bachelors degrees in economics and in administrative management from Peking University, where she won the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award and several other honors.

Brooke Stearns was a program officer with Relief International, and completed a master's degree at the Institut d'Etudes Politique de Paris (Science Po), where she was a Rotary World Peace Scholar. She has worked on HIV/AIDS in France, South Africa, and the United States, and has also worked with the Grameen Global Network in Senegal, South Africa, and the United States. She earned a BA in international studies from Willamette University, where she was the American Association of University Women's Senior Woman of the Year.

Farrukh Suvankulov was with the Public Finance Management Reform Unit of the Ministry of Finance in Uzbekistan, where he helped to coordinate public finance reforms. He received an MA in international and development economics from Yale University, where he studied under the Uzbekistan President's UMID Scholarship. He received a BS in international economic relations from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. He completed several global research projects with the Global Development Network (USA) and the Economic Education and Research Consortium (Russia). His publications include "The Uzbek Paradox: Growth without Neo-Liberal Reforms."

Jeffery Tanner was a researcher with the World Bank's Development Economics Department, working on the World Development Report 2006 on Equity and Development. He worked in the Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department on social capital in Ghana and Uganda, and with De La Rue plc, in London, on the rollout of the Euro. He has founded several organizations, including Help International, an NGO working on microfinance in Latin America, and Action against Poverty, in Tegucigalpa. He holds an MPA in International Development from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he was the Dean's Fellow, and a BA with University Honors from Brigham Young University in economics.

Anna-Marie Vilamovska was a researcher in the World Bank's Southern Asia Region, with a current focus on the Maldives. Her work portfolio includes strategy papers on pension reforms in Jordan, Kazakhstan, and Romania, and a comparative study of public welfare systems in central and eastern Europe. She received an MA in development economics from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, and both a diploma in international affairs and a baccalaureate in history from Sofia University in Bulgaria, where her dissertation was on Namibia's road to independence. She enjoys dancing, kayaking, theater, and a good sense of humor.

Zhen (Frank) Wang completed his MS in healthcare policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. He was a research assistant with the University of Pittsburgh's Cancer Institute, and has also worked with the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh studying childhood obesity. He earned a BS in tourism management at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

Mengjie (Maggie) Wu finished a business degree at Fudan University, where she was a McKinsey Scholar and winner of the Hang Seng Bank Scholarship. She studied arts management at the University of Helsinki and worked as an intern with Ernst & Young. She has been a teaching assistant in "Cross-cultural Management" and was one of twelve Chinese student delegates to the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford University. She is an award-winning writer in English.