Graduate Research Assistants

Ofa Ejaife, PhD candidate

Ofa Ejaife is a doctoral student in the Assets and Inequalities concentration at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Her research primarily focuses on the psychosocial issues of racism, sexism, and social justice, and on forms of structural, direct, and symbolic racism and sexism endemic to U.S. society, through an intersectionality framework. Ofa has a BA in Psychology and an MA in Community Psychology, both from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. With interdisciplinary training—utilizing critical qualitative and quantitative methods—her research is committed to understanding and alleviating various forms of subjugation influencing social realities. Currently, she is involved in research examining racial and gender economic disparities in the healthcare industry and on various community-based projects including: financial empowerment; credit building initiatives; and providing resources to develop, implement, and sustain policies and programs aimed at promoting housing stability.
Teresa Kroeger

Teresa Kroeger, PhD candidate

Teresa Kroeger is a doctoral student in the Assets and Inequalities concentration at the Heller School. She researches policies that affect the lives of socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals and families and those who are subject to gender and racial discrimination. At IASP, Teresa's work focuses on occupational segregation and racial wealth gaps. Prior to joining the Heller School, Teresa conducted research at the Economic Policy Institute, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the American Institutes for Research. Her recent research and publications focused on minimum wage violations, paid sick leave, collective bargaining, and the labor market for young graduates. Teresa holds a BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Madeline Smith-Gibbs

Madeline Smith-Gibbs, MPP'19

Madeline Smith-Gibbs is a Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate with a concentration in poverty alleviation. Prior to Heller, she coordinated the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, connecting Philadelphians with their local government to create a more just food system. Madeline also has experience working in incarceration and reentry advocacy and volunteering at a nonprofit that sends free reading material to people in prison. Recognizing the transformative role assets can play in the lives of low-income families, Madeline is excited to be part of the Children's Savings Accounts research team at IASP.