Institute for Economic and Racial Equity

Graduate Research Assistants

Charles Mokriski

Charles Mokriski

Charlie is a Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, concentrating in poverty alleviation. Previously, he earned his BA in philosophy at Macalester College, and after that worked in politics, starting in political fundraising and ending up in the field, including working for competitive Congressional campaigns, state legislative campaigns, and a Democratic PAC. At IERE, Charlie works on communication strategy and media to maximize the impact of asset and inequality research.

Ofa Ejaife, PhD student

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 student

Teresa Kroeger is a doctoral student in the Assets and Inequalities concentration at the Heller School. She researches policies that affect the lives of socioeconomic disadvantaged individuals and families and those who are subject to gender and racial discrimination. At IERE, 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.

Emily Daman, MPP/MBA candidate

Emily Daman is a dual Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, concentrating in poverty alleviation. At Heller, her research has focused primarily on immigration policy. Prior to Heller, she worked as an implementation specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Emily also has experience in fundraising and development with nonprofits. In her current role as a Graduate Research Assistant at IERE, Emily is working on Empowerment Economics. 

Kaitie Chakoian-Lifvergren

Kaitie Chakoian-Lifvergren, PhD student

Kaitie Chakoian-Lifvergren 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 Intersections of Gender and Violence.  Kaitie has a BA in Psychology and Social Justice from Simmons College and an MEd in Higher Education from Northeastern University.  Currently, she is involved in research through IERE examining credit building in Boston, the experiences of home health workers, and evaluation of a national training and technical assistance organization, doing work to support survivors of human trafficking.

Snehalatha Gantla

Snehalatha Gantla, PhD student

Sneha is a doctoral student in the Assets and Inequalities concentration at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Her primary aim is to work at the intersection of sociology and policy, by completing the Joint PhD program in Social Policy and Sociology. She received her BA in Sociology and English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then went on to obtain her Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University. Sneha has a deep background in social science research, with a broader research agenda to investigate how symbolic and social boundaries function to maintain social inequities. Further, she plans to partner with community organizations to lift-up projects that transform these boundaries and produce equity, social mobility and citizenry. Her main area of interest is Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Citizenship Rights. Presently, Sneha is working at the Institute of Assets and Social Policy and Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy on Immigrant Integration and Empowerment Economics.