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The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) Awards 2023-2024 Blalock Fellowship to Three Outstanding PhD students

The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) is proud to present three incoming University of Washington PhD students who were awarded the 2023 Blalock Fellowship. The new fellows will be introduced at the opening CSSS seminar on October 4th

Since 2001, the Blalock Fellowship has been awarded to over 50 incoming PhD candidates from a diverse range of departments at UW, including Anthropology, Geography, Nursing, Political Science, Sociology, and Social Work. Blalock Fellows are selected based on their passion for cutting-edge quantitative research in their respective fields within the CSSS tracks and their potential for exceptional teaching careers in quantitative social sciences.

Juliann Li Verdugo is entering in the School of Social Work with strong research interests in how the mental health field can improve access to, and effectiveness of, culturally responsive service delivery for racially, economically, sexually, and linguistically minoritized individuals. She is specifically interested in Asian American and Latinx health disparities, severe mental illness, mental and sexual health stigma, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, implementation science, and intervention development. She earned a B.S. from the University of California at San Diego and an M.S.W from the University of Michigan. After finishing her master’s degree, she had two years of clinical work and is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

NNenna Ogbonnaya-Orji is entering the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance PhD Program and plans to study issues to do with environmental pollution and socio-economic outcomes. Some of the questions that inform her research include: What are the socioeconomic costs of environmental pollution in developing countries? How can these costs and benefits be more reliably quantified? How can individuals and communities be incentivized to be part of a solution? How can feasible policy interventions be designed despite persisting institutional inadequacies? She earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Covenant University in Nigeria and a master’s degree in sustainable development and environmental economics from the University of St. Andrews in The United Kingdom. She has professional experience as an assistant economist at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Garrett Allen is entering the Department of Statistics PhD Program with research interests at the intersection of public policy and statistics, with an emphasis on using causal inference methods to answer complex applied public policy questions. He is also passionate about making statistics and math accessible to socio-economically diverse students, and he has a strong focus on statistical ethics. He holds a B.S. in Statistics and a B.S. in Mathematics from Duke University, with a minor in Political Science.

“We are very excited to welcome Juliann, Nnenna, and Garrett as our newest Blalock Fellows. They begin their PhD studies at UW during the 25th anniversary year of CSSS. I look forward to welcoming them to CSSS seminars and other activities, as well as to hearing about their accomplishments in graduate school and beyond,” said CSSS Director Elena Erosheva.

Garrett Allen, Nnenna Ogbonnaya-Orji, Juliann Li Verdugo