CHURP Leadership

Dr. Haydar Kurban


Dr. Haydar Kurban is a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Director at Howard University Center on Race and Wealth (CRW). Dr. Kurban has worked on research projects in the areas of racial and wealth equity, payday loans, financial security, retirement, family stability, gentrification, vulnerable populations and climate change, education property taxes, valuation of weather forecast products, and urban renewal programs.

Dr. Kurban's research projects have received funding from Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF), National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Social Security Administration (SSA), and DC Department of Human Services (DHS) through awards and subcontracts.

Dr. Kurban has published articles in Regional Science Urban Economics, National Tax Journal, Review of Black Political Economy, Cityscape, Economic Development Quarterly, Journal of Housing Economics, Economics of Education Review, Review of Public Finance, and other academic journals. His research papers have also been published as book chapters, reports, and discussion papers.  

For additional information, please visit

Dr. Kurban's Howard University Profile

Dr. Kurban's Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Omari H. Swinton

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Omari H. Swinton is an associate professor in the Economics department at Howard University where he teaches Introductory, Intermediate, and Urban Economics. He is currently the Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Economics Department. Additionally, he serves as Division Chair for the Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Swinton's research interests include labor economics and education. He has published papers examining the teenage labor market, the benefits from attending HBCUs, and returns to a college education. He coauthored a report for National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) entitled "The State of Blacks in Higher Education.” He is currently working on projects that examine the returns to effort for students, the obstacles to faculty diversity in higher education, and benefits of attending an HBCU. He is the director of the AEA Summer Training Program and Scholarship Program which has increased diversity in the field of economics by preparing talented undergraduates for doctoral programs in economics and related disciplines. He is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union. Dr. Swinton owns a Right at Home Franchise in Baltimore, Maryland that was just recognized for its performance as a President's Circle Member.

Dr. Swinton earned his B.S. from Florida A & M University in 2001, and his doctoral degree from Duke University in 2007. He resides in Upper Marlboro, MD with his wife, Phyllis, and four children, Omari Jr., Nyla, Jamir, and Nasir.

For additional information, please visit

Dr. Swinton's Howard University Profile

Dr. Sandra E. Crewe

Co-Principal Investigator

Sandra Edmonds Crewe, MSW, PhD, ACSW, has dedicated her career and life to improving the quality of life for African Americans across the life span. Her early experience desegregating her high school has informed her practice and scholarship. Dr. Crewe currently holds three social work degrees. Her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees are from the Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service and her Ph.D. in social work is from Howard University. Dr. Crewe worked for 20 years in the State of Maryland in the field of public and assisted housing as a social worker and held senior leadership roles including executive director that she assumed in her early thirties. Currently, she is dean and professor of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC. She is also former director of the Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center and former Chair of the NASW Aging Specialty Practice Section.

During her tenure as dean since 2013, she has initiated three social work dual degree programs, Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH); Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) and Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA). Additionally, she launched the Fred Taylor Roll Away the Stone Human Services Leadership Certificate Program in 2021. In 2022, she also started an online MSW program. Under her leadership, the Howard MSW social work program is ranked in top 5% of Graduate Social Work programs nationally by US News and World Report.

Dr. Crewe is a board member of the National Association of Social Work Deans and Directors (NADD), Maryland Affordable Housing Trust, American Association of Service Coordinators, and Home Care Partners. She is also consultant for Volunteers of America and the National Alliance of Resident Services in Assisted and Affordable Housing (NAR-SAAH). Dr. Crewe is founding Vice-President for the Open My Heart Foundation, an organization focused on education on heart disease for African American women and broader community. Dr. Crewe is a NASW Social Work Pioneer© and received the 2020 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award for excellence in education and inspirational leadership. Dr. Crewe is recognized as an expert in housing and caregiving—with an emphasis on quality of life across the life span. Additionally, she has scholarship addressing historical accomplishments of African American women. She also has scholarship that addresses disparities in the welfare system and health care. She is a co-lead of the Social Isolation Grand Challenge for Social Work. She is currently editing a book addressing racism within and outside the social work profession. Dr. Crewe serves on editorial board of Reflections Journal and Urban Social Work.

Currently, she has research and training funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Additionally, she is Co-Principal Investigator of US Department of Housing and Urban Development grant which established the Howard University Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP). In that role, she focuses on leadership in public housing. Dr. Crewe also has partnerships with local human services organizations.

Considered a public intellectual, Dr. Crewe has been guests on such outlets as AARP E Street; Howard University WHUR, The Journey; WHUT-Vocal Point; and Mandela Fellow Washington. Dr. Crewe has numerous publications and is a widely sought public speaker on caregiving, cultural competence, and quality of life. Dr. Crewe resides in Largo, Maryland with her husband Dwight. She has two sons, Dwight and Paul Crewe. Dr. Crewe is a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Highland Park, Landover, Maryland. She is a native of Halifax County, Virginia.

Click here for Dr. Crewe's CV (2021)

Dr. Rodney Green

Associate Director

Dr. Rodney D. Green has served as Professor of Urban Economics at Howard University since 1977 and, since 1995, as Founder and Executive Director of the Howard University Center for Urban Progress, a unit designed to strengthen the University’s urban research, program evaluation, community service, and community development agenda at local, federal, and international levels. He also served as Chair of the Howard University Department of Economics for seven years and co-Principal Investigator of the Ford Foundation-supported Howard University Center on Race and Wealth. He received his undergraduate degree in politics and economics at Yale University (1970) and his M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in economics at the American University.

Dr. Green has authored or co-authored three scholarly books (including a study of racial and economic segregation in public housing) and over 50 journal articles (including his seminal article on police accountability and civilian oversight in Prince George’s County, Maryland). He has served as Principal Investigator in over 70 externally funded projects with a value of over $40 million with an emphasis on community and economic development, racial inequalities, and youth development. Dr. Green was the lead evaluator of HOPE VI CSSP programs for the District of Columbia, as well as for HOPE VI CSSP programs in Virginia and Florida, and led the research partnership with CASA in Action for the Byrne grant in Langley Park, MD.

Dr. Green is currently engaged in a study of the efficacy of civilian review boards in enhancing police accountability across 30 jurisdictions in his role as a W.E.B. Du Bois Scholar of the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. He has actively participated in labor, social justice, and anti-racist movements since 1968, including the campaign for police reform and against mass incarceration/criminalization.

CHURP Research Fellows

Dr. Felecia M. Banks

Felecia Moore Banks, Ph.D., MEd, OTR/L, FAOTA., is an Associate Professor (tenured) and Chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Howard University. She presents with over 30 years of clinical and academic experience in occupational therapy. Dr. Banks is an expert in adult physical disabilities and is certified in
Neurodevelopmental Treatment. She has extensive experience in the area of curriculum development, leadership, diversity and global health initiatives with a special emphasis in health disparities, marginalized and at-risk populations. Dr. Banks is the foundering Chair of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, and Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree program at Howard University. During her tenure as an academician, Dr. Banks served as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Administrator of Physical Therapy. She is also the former Chief Editor of the Journal of the National Society of Allied Health, and has served on local, national and international
committees on minority education, special needs populations, inter-professional education, and global health.

Dr. Banks earned her baccalaureate degree from the Department of Occupational Therapy from Howard University; her Master’s degree from the Department of Curriculum and
Instruction in Special Education
from Howard University, and her Doctor Philosophy Degree in Adult Learning and Human Resource Development at Virginia Tech. She is also a graduate of the Allied Health Collation Leadership Certificate Program sponsored by the Association for the Schools of Allied Health Professions, and is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Dr. Banks is the recipient of numerous awards and presented and published in the area of home modifications, community-based programs, asthma, diversity, inter-professional education, and special needs populations. She also serves on the United State Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and
Special Disabilities Programs.

Dr. Banks has received over 2 million dollars in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); AFEE Grant from the National Resource Center for African Studies at Howard funded by the Department of Education, and funding from Rebuilding Together Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She is currently conducting research on generational wealth and aging in place. Dr. Banks received her Roster of Fellow (FAOTA) from the American Occupational Therapy Association for Excellence in Transformative Leadership, Curriculum Design, and Cultural Diversity.

Dr. LaTanya Brown-Robertson

Dr. LaTanya Brown-Robertson currently serves as the Special Assistant for Research and Development in the College of Business at Bowie State University. Dr. Brown-Robertson is responsible for moving the Business program to a Carnegie Research level two status. This role entails developing undergraduate and graduate programs, improving federal/state investments, and enhancing student engagement through research collaborations. For two years, Dr. Brown-Robertson served as Interim Chair of the Accounting Finance and Economics Department at Bowie State University. As Chair, she developed and executed a Department Strategic Plan, which involved hiring two new tenure-track faculty members, including a new faculty position in Data Analytics for the newly formed concentration in Data Analytics. 

Dr. Brown-Robertson has led funded grants through the Carnegie and Ford Foundations to address underserved communities' issues in the United States. Dr. Brown currently serves as Principal Investigator for two Data Science and Analytics Grants and leads the Data Science Analytics Initiative at Bowie State University. Under the National Science Foundation (NSF), she serves as Principal Investigator for a grant to Infuse Data Science and Analytics into the Undergraduate Curriculum at Bowie State University. Under the Maryland Department of Behavioral Health, she serves as Principal Investigation for the Maryland State Opioid Response II data collection and progress reporting.

Dr. Brown-Robertson is also a Full professor of Economics at Bowie State University. Her research and fields include Data Science and Analytics, Urban Economics, Housing Economics, and Stratification Economics. She holds publications in various peer-reviewed journals, including the American Economic ReviewEastern Economic Association Journal, Review of the Black Political Economy, and the Community Development Society Journal. At Bowie State University, Dr. Brown-Robertson also specializes in conducting racial impact, economic impact, feasibility studies for state governments and national organizations. She is a Bowie State University research workgroup Co-Lead, which conducted racial impact statements for the Maryland Department of Legislative Service. Her economic impact work includes reports such as the Analysis of Neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, Economic Impact of the Music Industry, and The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Operation of a Casino at Rosecroft Raceway.

For additional information, please visit

Dr. LaTanya Brown-Robertson's Profile at Bowie State University 

Nyanya Browne

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Browne is a senior research scientist at CHURP and received her Ph.D. degree in economics from Howard University. Her research focuses on vulnerable populations, environmental sustainability and the impact of trade on economic outcomes and labor-market adjustments. Nyanya earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Spelman College, a Master of Arts in Economics at Temple University, and a Certificate in International Economic Relations at American University.

Dr. Casey J. Dawkins

Dr. Casey J. Dawkins is a Professor of Urban Studies and Planning and a Research Associate with the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland (UMD). Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Dawkins was an Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Director of the Metropolitan Institute, Director of the Center for Housing Research, and Editor of the journal Housing Policy Debate at Virginia Tech. His current research focuses on U.S. housing policy; metropolitan housing market dynamics; the causes, consequences, and measurement of residential segregation; and the link between land use regulations and housing affordability. He has written two books and over 20 refereed journal articles and book chapters on these topics.

For additional information, please visit:

Dr. Dawkins's Profile at UMD's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP)



Dr. Dongyang Deng

Dr. Dongyang Deng is an assistant professor who studies environmental related topics: wastewater treatment, emerging chemicals, and health impact analysis. The overarching goal of her research is to build a sustainable and environmental-friendly eco-system and reduce contamination and factors contribution to negative humanand living animals’ health impact. Her work has practical applications in developing new environment-friendly product to alleviate environmental concerns, and new cost-effective and sustainable system to treat industrial/municipal/ agricultural wastewater. These are her most significant research contributions so far:

• Have been awarded two NSF projects ($50,000 and $30,000) regarding new material development and sustainable environment related research.
• Currently conduct on campus wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 screening. Wastewater surveillance on campus for COVID-19 concentrations: They have measured SARS-CoV-2 in human waste found in wastewater stream weekly within the campus from 12 residence halls. We are using this data to develop estimates of COVID-19 health risks that will guide public health recommendations for prevention of transmission, and protection of health of the NC A&T campus communities.
• Have been awarded the 2020 Outstanding Young Investigator (only 1 awardee every year) in North Carolina A&T State University.
• Have published papers regarding microbial community in combined municipal and acid mine drainage wastewater treatment system in top journals (Water Research, Journal of Hazardous Chemicals, and Chemical Engineering Journal)
• Have been invited by Water Environment Research to write review papers which includes: “Textiles wastewater treatment”, “Monitoring, sampling, and automated analysis”, and “Fate of Environmental Pollutants: A Review".
• Have presented research 27 times regarding to wastewater treatment in local and national conferences.


For additional information, please visit

Dr. Deng's profile at NCAT's Department of Built Environment. 

Dr. Deng's CV

Dr. Alesia Ferguson

Dr. Alesia Ferguson is currently the Chair of the Built Environment Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, overseeing the three Programs of Construction Management, Environmental Health and Safety and Geomatics. She is a trained environmental engineer in both basic science research and community outreach and possesses an MPH in Policy and Management. She is well published in human exposure assessment for children and adults to various contaminants (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, lead) and has been the Principal Investigator on five EPA grants to research on, and engage and educate various community groups and members on the homes dangers and health risks.

Dr. Ferguson now sits on the Environmental Protection Agency Human Subject Review Board (HSRB) as Co-Chair and as an exposure scientist overseeing predominantly pesticide studies. While at Stanford University, she worked with various funding agencies to assess the personal behavior of children in various urban and farming communities by videotaping their activities and then later translating into activity patterns relevant for projects on pesticide exposures. She developed a dermal exposure and dose model and has worked on integrating inhalation and ingestion modules. She is well published in the area of dermal adherence to human skin (i.e., controlled chamber studies). She previously worked as a Co-PI on a Gulf of Mexico Research Grant that looks at exposures to children from oil spill chemicals, based looking at soil adherence measures to children’ s hands and their activity patterns through videotaping. She has recently started a new EPA STAR grant as PI to address children’s ingestion of soils and dust that may house contaminants. She trains students to be safety/health managers for companies based on the US Occupational and Safety Standards and current and accepted safety rules and other standards, teaching courses in fire safety, industrial experience, exposure and risk, current health and safety trends, industrial hygiene and more.

For additional information, please visit

Dr. Ferguson's profile at NCAT's Department of Built Environment

Dr. Ferguson's CV

Dr. Nicholas Finio

Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Finio is the Associate Director of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a graduate of Urban and Regional planning PhD and MCP programs. His research is focused on the measurement, causes, and consequences of neighborhood change and the links between social inequality and land use policy and regional planning. Nick supports numerous efforts at the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG), including the Center’s coalition for equitable transit-oriented development around Maryland’s new light rail investment, the Purple Line Corridor Coalition.

For additional information, please visit:

Dr. Finio's Profile at UMD's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP)

Dr. Finio's Profile at UMD National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG)

Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Howell

Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Howell is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the RVA Eviction Lab at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her scholarship focuses on affordable housing, community development, and gentrification. She recently published a book about affordable housing preservation in Washington DC, titled Affordable Housing Preservation in Washington, DC: A Framework for Local Funding, Collaborative Governance, and Community Organizing for Change.

For additional information, please visit

Dr. Howell's Profile at the Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Dr. Linda Loubert

Dr. Linda Loubert is a Political Economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is an Associate Professor at Morgan State University, formerly serving as the interim Chairperson of the Economics Department. Her postdoctoral research includes a fellowship at the University of Michigan Ford Foundation Program on Poverty and Public Policy and the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research.

Dr. Loubert is a certified Geographical Information Systems (GIS) professional and has for more than 20 years used GIS to support her spatial analysis of socioeconomic data. She has published numerous articles that include spatial analysis of socioeconomic data, an approach now better known as Geodemographics. She especially enjoys bringing trending GIS tools to the classroom, where her students learn the value of this emerging technology. In addition to bringing these tools to faculty and students on Morgan's campus, her work is often featured at economics and geospatial conferences.

Dr. Loubert is on the Society of Government Economists board and was previously treasurer of the National Economic Association. She holds an appointment by the Governor of Maryland to the Open Data Council and serves as a board member of several charitable organizations and foundations in Baltimore.

Dr. Willow Lung-Amam

Dr. Willow Lung-Amam is an Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also serves as Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education and Director of the Small Business Anti-Displacement Network. Her scholarship focuses on how urban and suburban policies and plans contribute to and can address social inequality, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid racial and economic change. Dr. Lung-Amam has written extensively on suburban poverty, racial segregation, immigration, residential and commercial gentrification, redevelopment politics, and neighborhood opportunity.

Dr. Lung-Amam's Profile at UMD's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP).

Dr. Augustin Ntembe

Dr. Ntembe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics and Associate Dean at the College of Business at Bowie State University. Dr. Ntembe specializes in growth and development economics. He has published in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Economics and Finance, Journal of Information Technology Management, Research in Business and Economics Journal, Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, and the Journal of Northeastern Association of Business, Economics and Technology. He has also authored 10 book chapters and edited 2 books. Dr. Ntembe participated in the University System of Maryland (USM) Course Redesigned grant for the Principles of Economics Courses funded by the Carnegie Foundation. He was a Principal investigator for Cameroon in a United Nations research grant to complete a report on the theme “Higher Education and Development in Africa. He also conducted research assignments for the UNESCO International Capacity Building Institute for Africa. He served as a Co-Principal Investigator in a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant on the Infusion of Data Science and Analytics in curriculum across disciplines at Bowie State University. Dr. Ntembe together with Dr. Brown-Robertson were mentors in the Summer Undergraduate Research (SURI) for Summer 2019 on a project titled “Migration habits of single female headed households across US cities” using the American Housing Survey dataset. Dr. Ntembe will be working on a sub award with Howard University for the grant entitled: Collaborative Excellence in Research: Skill Acquisition, Technical Change and Differential Employment and Income Trajectories awarded by the NSF on September 22, 2021.


Dr. Musibau A. Shofoluwe

Dr. Musibau A. Shofoluwe is Professor in the Department of Built Environment in the College of Science and Technology at North Carolina A & T State University. His research interests include construction project management, sustainable development and construction practices, construction safety, risk, and quality management, and technology management, innovation & performance improvement. He received his doctorate in Industrial Technology (D.IT) from the University of Northern Iowa in 1992 and currently holds licenses in North Carolina in general contracting and home inspection. He served as Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research from 2005-2007 and has secured millions of dollars in research grants to pursue innovative projects. His recent referred journal articles have appeared in, among other places, the Journal of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering; Journal of Engineering Research and Application; International Journal of Business and Management Invention; International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation; International Journal of Engineering, Research and Applications; and Built Environment Project and Asset Management.

For additional information, please visit Dr. Shofoluwe’s profile at North Carolina A&T.

Dr. Regina N Tawah

Dr. Regina Tawah is an Associate Professor of Economics and interim Assistant Dean of the College of Business at Bowie State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Master of Science in Economics from the University of Ibadan and a PH.D in Economics from the Free University, Berlin, Germany. Dr. Tawah has over 25 years of university teaching experience, accumulated at Bowie State University and internationally. She has taught a range of courses, from Principles of Economics, Intermediate Micro and Macro Economics, Money and Banking to Development Economics and International Economics. She was the Economics Program Coordination for over 10 years until she took up the position of interim Assistant Dean.

She has authored or co-authored studies/research on Economics Teaching, International Trade, Investment and Economic Growth, Development Communication, Small Businesses, Poverty, Gender and Economic Reforms in Africa. Dr. Tawah is published in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Economics and FinanceResearch in Business and Economics Journal, Journal of Economics and Economics Education Research, and The Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives.

Dr. Tawah has been a consultant and researcher at various institutions including the World Bank and African Poverty Alleviation Program, both in Washington D.C., the Rural Development Group and the Observatory of Change in the Societies of Cameroon, Yaounde. Dr. Tawah has participated at conferences and workshops and presented papers at some. She has also collaborated with colleagues to write grants. One of the grants won was from the U.S. Department of Education and it funded the College of Business International Business Initiative that included a study abroad component. Dr. Tawah was one in a team of three colleagues who organized and took two groups of students, totaling 18 students to Ethiopia in two consecutive years, January 2011 and January 2012.

Dr. Tawah is a member of the American Economic Association and currently serves on the City of Bowie Economic Development Committee. She served on the Executive Board of Afoakom-USA and currently on the Advisory Board of Nkah Nikwi – USA, both community organizations. She also serves on a number of university committees. She has travelled widely and lived in a number of countries and continents.

For additional information, please visit

Dr. Regina N Tawah's Profile at Bowie State University

Dr. Angelino Viceisza

Dr. Angelino Viceisza (pronounced: Vee-Say-Za) is Associate Professor of Economics at Spelman College, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, President-Elect of the National Economic Association (2022-23), and Associate Editor at Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. His primary expertise is in behavioral and experimental economics, with applications in development, household finance, and entrepreneurship.  

Dr. Viceisza’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Economic Inquiry, Experimental Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Review of Black Political Economy, and Small Business Economics. This work has been supported by agencies such as the Kauffman Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Security Administration, the United States Agency for International Development, and the World Bank. Dr. Viceisza holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University (2008), an M.A. in Economics (Policy Track) from Georgia State University (2005), an M.A. in Economics from Boston University (2004), an M.B.A. in International Business from Temple University (2001), and a B.S. in Accounting from University of Curaçao (2001).

For additional information, visit

CHURP Student Research Fellows

Manish Adhikari

Manish Adhikari ‘25 is a third-year student at Howard University’s College of Engineering and Architecture, where he is pursuing a degree in Computer Science (BSCS). He is currently working as a student research fellow at Howard University Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP), in fields such as web designing, data handling and visualization. His interests include computer programming, data science, Web3, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He’s also interested in the stock market, computer games, books, and traveling.

Beza Afework

Beza is a third-year Ph.D. student in Economics at Howard University. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the same institution. Her research interest focuses on the intersection of growth and development and international economics. She gained valuable experience as a data analyst intern at IFPRI, developing expertise in data analysis. Currently, she works as a research assistant at Howard University's Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP), actively contributing to various projects.

Peter Amponsah

Peter Amponsah is a graduate student at Howard University pursuing a master’s degree in economics. His current research involves work in urban and growth economics and poverty in high-growth areas. Peter is currently working as a student research fellow at the Howard University Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP), in the urban economics field. His future plans include pursuing topics that affect the underserved and pushing for inclusive policies that are equitable. His interests include mathematics, volunteering, and mental health.

Angela Bodley

Angela currently works as a research associate and administrative assistant at CHURP after getting a degree in economics from Howard University. Her research interests include the changing demographics of D.C. neighborhoods and the impact of public housing projects. Topics such as the establishment of modern prisons, racial wealth gaps, and the gender pay gap are what triggered her initial interest in economics. Outside of work, Angela enjoys reading. One of the most impactful books to her early education was "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison” by Michel Foucault.

Bethel Cole-Smith

Bethel Cole-Smith is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Howard University. She specializes in urban and labor economics and is interested in topics affecting the underserved. Bethel has worked on research projects in the areas of gentrification, property taxes, housing affordability, homeownership, poverty risk, geopolitical risk, and differential labor market adjustment by race. Bethel previously served as Vice-President of the Graduate Economics Student Association.

Johndell Cumberbatch

Johndell Cumberbatch is an international student from Bermuda and I’m currently in his first-year of the Master’s in Economics program at Howard University. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Morehouse College in 2023, and he is currently interested in Urban Economics. He is scheduled to complete my Master’s degree in December 2024 with plans of possibly pursuing a PhD. A semi-retired track athlete, Johndell also enjoys reading, anime, and participating in my church’s youth group activities.

Joseph Dean

Joseph Dean holds a Master's degree in Economics from Howard University. His research interests include environmental economics, international trade, and racial and class inequality. He plans on starting a career as a public servant and economist while eventually going back to school and receiving his Ph.D. in economics. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the city and reading.

Prasun Dhungana

Prasun Dhungana ‘25 is a junior undergraduate at Howard University’s College of Engineering and Architecture, majoring in Computer Science. He’s an international student from Nepal. Prasun is currently working as a student research fellow at the Howard University Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP), in fields such as web designing and data handling and visualization. His interests include computer programming, data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Prasun is also a huge film, tv, anime, and music enthusiast who loves to travel and read.

Bahar Eftekhari

Bahar Eftekhari is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at Howard University in Washington D.C. She specializes in Urban, Health economics, and Public Policy. Bahar has worked on many funded research projects in the areas of Alternative Financial Services such as Payday loans, Social Security, Medicaid, financial well-being, and health well-being focused on the lower-income population.

Jasmine Fuller

Jasmine Fuller is a fourth-year economics Ph.D. student at Howard University specializing in urban and environmental economics. Her research explores the economic consequences of climate change in the U.S. Her research is influenced by environmental justice, as she focuses on inequities in climate impacts driven by systemic discrimination in the U.S. Specifically, her current work compares the economic consequences of severe weather events in communities with differing social and demographic characteristics. Following her Ph.D. she plans to pursue a career in economic research with the hope of influencing public policy to improve the equity and efficacy of climate change mitigation policies.

Alina Hernandez

Alina Hernandez is a second-year occupational therapy doctoral student at Howard University. She received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2020 with a minor in psychology. She is currently a graduate research assistant for the Center of Housing and Urban Development at Howard, researching generational wealth and aging in place in the Black community. Alina is also currently working as a caretaker for a young girl with multiple disabilities. Since working with children with physical disabilities, Alina is interested in pursuing pediatric physical dysfunction in her career as an occupational therapist.

Bimarsha Kalikote

Bimarsha Kalikote is an international student from Nepal. He is currently in his third year as a Mathematics and Economics major at Howard University. Most recently, Bimarsha provided research assistance through organizing and cleaning administrative data for a research project examining homeownership programs in DC. He is interested in continuing on a path toward research, with a focus on macroeconomic research. Bimarsha enjoys meeting new people and learning new things.

Digna P. Mosquera

Digna P. Mosquera is originally from Colombia. She holds a Master's degree in Economics from Howard University. Her research interests include Inequalities, Migration, Poverty and Development, and her current research focuses on Race, Gender and Labor Markets in emerging countries. Digna Paola is currently working as Research Associate/Administrative Assistant at Howard University Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP). She is an active member of Wiwa's Collective, a group of Black professional women working in underserved areas in Medellin, Colombia.

Isabelle Mutumba

Isabelle Mutumba is an international student from Uganda, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a minor in Computer Science (‘24). She gained an interest in Economics at an early age and is intellectually curious about different Economic topics but is most interested in identifying problems facing urban communities and finding solutions for them. She enjoys using previous experience in Python and R languages to clean, organize and synthesize data. Isabelle is also interested in investing and hopes to become a consultant and a private equity investor. She is a sector of the Howard University Investment Group, Howard University Model United Nations, the Sadie Collective, and is the current President Abrams Harris Economics Society at Howard University.

Le Thi Nguyen

Le Thi Nguyen, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at Howard University, brings a distinguished academic background from Vietnam, having secured the first rank in both B.S. and M.A. degrees. With an impressive 14 years of experience in research, teaching, and writing book chapters in microeconomics and macroeconomics, her expertise lies in analyzing the impact of fiscal and monetary policies on economic growth. She extends this knowledge to the micro-level, studying customer and firm behavior and conducting research on policies to enhance export activities in Vietnam. Specializing in growth and development economics, as well as international economics, she is proficient in analytical tools like SPSS, EVIEWS, STATA, and SQL and is enthusiastic about exploring new software in data analytics. As a teaching assistant at Howard University's Department of Economics and a research assistant at the Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP), she actively contributes to academia. Her goal is to become a skilled macro policy analyst, offering effective economic management consultation for firms and demonstrating her commitment to advancing
economic analysis and policy implementation.

Zeynep Onur

Zeynep Onur is a third year student at Université Paris-Sorbonne where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sociology. She’s also an international student from Turkey. Her current research topic at Center of Excellence in Housing and Urban Research and Policy (CHURP) includes public housing policies in France and in the United States. Her areas of interest are social organization in urban areas, data usage for public policy, urban sociology and development. 

Bezil Taylor

Bezil is a firm advocate for equitable housing solutions for youth and young adults, as well as creating pathways to end homelessness for youth and young adults. He is currently a second year Ph.D. student in Howard University’s School of Social Work as well as a member of Texas Southern University’s Center for Justice Research National Policy Reform Advisory Group. Bezil previously worked in an administrative role with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Service’s – Services to End and Prevent Homelessness. He currently leads community engagement efforts for a quasi-governmental agency in Montgomery County, Maryland. Bezil is excited about the opportunity to support communities to center the voices of people with the most need. His research centers college student homelessness and basic needs insecurity, police reform policy, and the school to prison pipeline.

Lauren N. Taylor

Lauren N. Taylor, is a first year graduate student at Howard University pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics. She serves as the faculty liaison for the Graduate Economics Student Association and was recently inducted into the Omicron Epsilon Delta Honor Society. Lauren’s current research includes Urban Economics, Housing Policy, and Poverty alleviation. Her future plans include not only pursuing her doctorate degree in Economics, but pushing for inclusive policies that will change the socioeconomic disadvantages people of color face. When she isn’t busy with school you can find her weight lifting or volunteering as a tutor.

Tiara Washington

Tiarra Washington is a Washington DC native who first attended Howard University from 2016 to 2018, when she completed her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. Tiarra became a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in early 2019 and has been practicing in the hospital setting around the Washington metropolitan area ever since. After 3 years of practicing as an occupational therapist,  she decided to further her clinical and research knowledge by returning to Howard University in the Fall of 2021 to pursue a Post Professional Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy. Her current research interests include women’s health, aging in place and health inequality among minorities.

Jalissa R. Worthy

Jalissa R. Worthy is a second-year Ph.D. student at Howard University School of Social Work. She obtained a Master of Social Work degree from Salisbury University and has over 12 years of experience in public health and education. In Somerset County, she managed programs funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Hygiene Service Administration (SAMHSA) and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) as an employee of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she was the Project Director of Shore Way to College, a Maryland Next Generation Scholars Program, which supports high school and college-aged youth experiencing poverty. Her research centers on cognitive social capital, social justice, and community organizing within Black communities.