Current Students

Meet Some of Our Current Students

Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program
Fabiola Alba-Vivar is a PhD Student in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research is focused on education with an emphasis on gender and labor markets in developing countries. She holds an MA in Economics from Brown University and a BA in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at Princeton University where she supervised the implementation of large randomized control trials in multiple countries and studied the effects of unions on inequality in the US. She has also worked at The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in Latin America and the Peruvian Central Bank. Her current work includes measuring the effects of school expansion interventions on risky behavior in the Dominican Republic, the impact of a higher education reform in partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Education, and the impact of STEM workshops for young girls in Peru. 



Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Mariel Bedoya-Guevara is a Ph.D. student in Economics and Education at Teachers College (T.C.), Columbia University. Her research is focused on biased beliefs in the fields of early childhood development and social networks. Prior to joining T.C., Mariel worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, where she was in charge of the implementation and evaluation of various interventions aiming to reduce informational frictions in the education market in Peru, Dominican Republic, and Chile. Previously, she also worked at Innovations for Poverty Action, The Ministry of Education of Peru, and the Group for the Analysis of Development. Mariel holds a master's in economics from the Barcelona School of Economics and a BS in economics from the Universidad de Piura (Lima, Peru). 

Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Thea Dowrich is a PhD student in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research explores the impact of educational interventions on labor market outcomes for formerly incarcerated individuals. Prior to joining TC, she was an Associate Consultant at Mastercard Data & Services where she designed and analyzed business experiments for financial services institutions and retail clients. While in college, she worked at StepUp Durham supporting employment readiness training and wrote a thesis evaluating North Carolina’s local reentry councils. Thea holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University. 

Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Saloni is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics and Education at Teachers College. Her research focuses on the impact of political and economic development on education policies and outcomes. She works along with philanthropic and non-profits organizations across India to understand the economic and educational impact for both public and private schools. In the past, she has worked with a couple of education start-ups focusing on low-income private schools and teacher training programs. She has also worked on education policy with various state governments in India. She was also a teacher with Teach for India in a low-income private school and in a juvenile home.

Saloni earned her Masters' in International Education Policy at Stanford University and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering at Thapar University.


Jalnidh Kaur
Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Jalnidh Kaur is a Rhodes Scholar and graduated with MPhil in Economics from University of Oxford in 2015. After completing her Masters, she worked for two years with J-PAL South Asia where she provided field and data research assistance on large-scale randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of adaptive learning interventions on student outcomes in low-cost private and public schools in India. Prior to her doctoral studies, she taught introductory economics to students of grades 11 and 12 at Akal Academy in Himachal Pradesh. Her experiences as a teacher and researcher in the classrooms of rural India fuel her research interests in exploring the role of teacher and technology inputs in improving learning outcomes in developing countries.

Previous Education:

M.Phil. Economics, University of Oxford

B.A. Economics (Honors), St. Stephen's College, Delhi

Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

CJ Libassi is PhD student and PEAR fellow in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also a senior research assistant at the Community College Research Center, where he focuses on college access and financial aid. Prior to joining CCRC, Libassi worked in research and policy at the College Board, the Center for American Progress, and the University of Michigan's Education Policy Initiative. Before that, he taught English in a secondary school in Madrid as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and foreign language in Prince George's County Public Schools as a Teach For America corps member. Libassi holds a BA in English, Spanish, and philosophy from the University of Scranton, a master of arts in teaching from American University, and a master of public policy from the University of Michigan. 

Isabel Munevar
Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Isabela Munevar is a doctoral student in economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds both an MS and a BA in economics from Los Andes University. Munevar conducts quantitative research on economics and education, with a focus on early childhood education, inequality and labor economics.

Before joining TC, Munevar was a research assistant and policy consultant in the social protection and health (SPH) and education divisions at the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). At the IDB, Munevar actively participated in several impact evaluations and policy design interventions for the Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Brazilian governments, on topics related to early childhood development, education, and economic inequality. Prior to working at the IDB, Munevar was a research assistant at the Center for Studies in Economic Development (CEDE) at the School of Economics at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Julio Rodríguez
Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Julio Rodríguez is a Ph.D. student of the Economics and Education program. Previously, he obtained a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Economic Analysis from Universidad de Chile. He is interested in quantitative research regarding segregation and inequality in the educational system. Also, he is keen on using administrative data aiming to better understand the impact of education on long term results, such as labor outcomes and social mobility.

Julio has previously worked as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, where he participated in various RCT studies in developing countries. While there, he also conducted gender and school financing research. Furthermore, he has worked on labor and education research projects with the Universidad de Chile’s faculty.

Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program
Victor Hugo Sanchez is a PhD student and PEAR fellow in the Economics and Education at Teacher College, Columbia University. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a Master of Public Policy degree. While at the University of Virginia, Victor worked as a graduate teaching assistant for research methods and policy analysis classes, and as a research assistant for EdPolicy Works, focusing on domestic higher education policies. His research experience includes conducting an applied policy analysis for Fulbright Philippines. Prior to that, he earned a B.A. in Public Policy and Administration at BYU-Idaho while also serving as a member of the Ririe city council. He hopes to contribute to the development of the higher education system in the Philippines through his studies and research. 
Ed.M. candidate in the Economics and Education program
Joaquin Farina is an Ed.M. candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds degrees in Mathematical Engineering and Applied Economics from the University of Chile, and a dual degree from Ecole Centrale Nantes.
Joaquin strives to improve the quality of education by generating high-quality evidence for decision-making. Before joining Teachers College, Joaquin served for two years at the Chilean Ministry of Education, working as Education Data Specialist and Data Management Officer.
As a researcher, Joaquin has studied parental expectations at PUC School of Government (Chile), teacher’s social and emotional skills at Laboratorio de Conexión (Teach For All Alumni-led initiative), and the dynamics of the Chilean school admission system at the Institute of Education (Chile).

In addition, Joaquin has been a consultant for the World Bank, a high-school teacher through the Enseña Chile Fellowship, and a research intern at the Central Bank of Chile and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
In 2022 Joaquin was chosen as one of twenty-five Iberoamerican Young Leaders by Fundación Carolina in Spain, and in 2021 as Teach For All Network Connector.  
M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Morgan Barney is an M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She also holds a B.A. in Economics and a Concentration in Global Financial Institutions from Smith College. As an undergrad, Morgan worked as a Research Assistant on an early-stage research project on European Fiscal Policy with prior Irish Fiscal Advisory Council Member, Dr. Roisin O’Sullivan, and on the forthcoming Intermediate Microeconomics textbook, Microeconomics: Competition, Conflict and Coordination by Drs. Samuel Bowles and Simon Halliday.

Prior to joining Teacher’s College, Morgan spent a year working on Wall Street as an Investment Banking Analyst in an Equity Capital Markets Group before deciding to pursue her long-term interest in economic research involving educational inequities and broader inequality. To reorient her career to pursue this interest, Morgan decided to spend a year in service as an AmeriCorps Education Fellow at an innovative urban public school in Central Falls, RI. Her goal was to both witness and help address some of the issues in which she was interested in researching firsthand, especially as they had been exacerbated by the pandemic. Morgan hopes to eventually use her degree and prior classroom experiences to conduct thoughtful and policy-oriented research exploring how the education system can be used to combat and correct for pervasive poverty and other systemic inequities.

In her spare time, Morgan enjoys listening to music, painting, and playing tennis.

M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Anthea Guthrie-Honea is an M.A Candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She earned a B.A in economics with a minor in sociology at Scripps College.

Prior to attending Teachers College, Anthea spent two years working for AmeriCorps in Milwaukee working as a college access coach for College Possible where she helped students from low-income backgrounds apply to college.  

Anthea hopes to combine the quantitative skills she will learn at the Teacher’s College with what she learned working directly with students to conduct research about college access and success for students from low-income backgrounds.

In her free time, Anthea enjoys baking, reading, and hiking.  

M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Qiulin (Jocelyn) He is an M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is interested in the intersection of education and labor economics, with specific focuses on how particular groups of students decide on college majors and how their perceptions of job market returns impacted the choices.

Jocelyn earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Accounting and Finance. Prior to joining Teacher’s College, she spent a year as a management trainee at an international bank. While she had extensive experiences in finance and consulting, she has been a long-term volunteer for teaching and educational events for K-12 students in the disadvantaged communities of Melbourne and rural China. She has also been a key founding member in a cross-sector partnership project that subsidizes agricultural insurance and provides educational supports for the rural areas in China. Witnessing the gaps in educational resources, she recognized her long-term interest in economic research on educational related programs and policies. With the degree, Jocelyn hopes to utilize the quantitative analysis skills and her prior experiences to conduct policy research and sector reviews that could eventually facilitate educational resource allocations for the developing world.

Jocelyn loves activities that engage one’s entire body, like hiking, dancing, and yoga. She has been a Chinese classical dancer since age 5.

M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Roni Lezama is an M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. He graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in International Politics and Economics. During undergrad, Roni worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Education Studies department helping students in a course called Education in the United States, an introductory class that provided the historical background of education in the US and centered inequities across private and public education. Additionally, he was a Research Assistant for economics Professor Andrew J. Fieldhouse were he and five fellow R.A.s helped build a novel dataset of exogenous shocks to federal research and development appropriations from congressional reports. The research is slated to be reviewed and hopefully published by the American Economic Review in summer 2023.

In his senior year of undergrad, Roni became the student body president of Middlebury College and sat on the College Board of Advisors (Trustees). His focus as president was towards resource reallocation and finding ways to support low-income students financially through the pandemic. He hopes to continue these efforts at Teachers College and find different avenues by which to support students from all backgrounds.

Prior to joining Teachers College, Roni spent a year working for Bank of America as an analyst in Global Markets and Financial Risk. He is still working full-time and looks forward to studying the intersectionality of economics and education on a part-time student basis. He hopes to focus his graduate studies on first-generation and low-income students in the United States and how to best support these students as they navigate the college admissions process.

Outside of academia and his professional life, Roni enjoys playing soccer around the city and visiting his father and grandmother in his hometown of Flushing, New York City.


M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program
Dale is a graduate student in the Economics and Education M.A. program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. His academic focus is on human capital investments in developed countries. Specifically, Dale is interested in the financing of tertiary education and correcting market imperfections in this investment market.
This academic research involves studying the accounting and opportunity costs of completing tertiary education programs. This includes better understandings of what students give up financially when they enroll and what their alternate options would have yielded. In addition to these costs, Dale focuses on the long run and short term financial gains from tertiary education.
Before coming to Columbia, Dale graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelors in economics with a secondary in government. While an undergrad at Harvard, Dale also studied at Yale College and Harvard Business School. As an undergraduate student, Dale’s research on the financing of K-12 education programs was published by the Undergraduate Economic Review.
Outside academia, Dale enjoys traveling both around the northeast region and across the pond. Additionally, while studying at TC, Dale founded a startup firm, Delta Analytics, with the goal of solving the student debt crisis. His work on this involves him working with universities, large financial institutions, and government agencies alike. Dale believes that the knowledge he has gained as a student at TC has given him the skills he needed to begin solving what is one of the largest financial crises of our time.
Dale hopes to use the opportunities provided to him by Teacher’s College and the greater Columbia community to improve the lives of students and decrease the financial burden of higher education on the global economy.
M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program
Meghana Mohan is an M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Joseph's College of Commerce in Bengaluru, India, were she ranked first in the Graduating Class of 2017-2020. She received the Joan Albaquerque Award for English and an Award for Contribution to the College Editorial Team. She was also one of the ten students selected to work as a Tax Intern at Ernst and Young (Global Development Services).
Meghana Mohan has previously worked as a Teach Manager at U&I, an organization focused on providing educational support to children from under-resourced backgrounds. With her calm demeanour and appreciable work ethic, she made her way to the position of a Teach Manager from the position of a U&I Teach Volunteer. She worked in the Child Development Team at U&I, where she oversaw the English and Library Programmes, as well as facilitated an after-school tutoring program in orphanages and shelter homes throughout Kerala and Karnataka. She introduced new initiatives such as a Virtual Library and a Project called Project Pink and Blue Are Just Colors. Project Pink and Blue Are Just Colors' main goal is to educate young pupils about Menstrual Hygiene, Gender Stereotypes and Myths, and The Importance of Relaxation and Unwinding for Kids and Young Adults. Meghana hopes to eventually use her degree and prior experience in the field of education to conduct policy-oriented research to address and combat the issue of educational inequality. 
Meghana Mohan is an avid reader and in her spare time, she enjoys baking, cooking and experimenting with fashion and styling.
M.A. candidate in the Economics and Education program

Shivam Rawal is a Fulbright Scholar and an M.A. candidate in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a domain expert in education measurement, classroom assessments & evaluation and has extensive experience designing, implementing and managing several large-scale education projects in India.

Shivam’s first-hand experience of educational inequality inspired him to join the Teach For India Fellowship in 2017, where he taught 80+ students in a low-resource government school in India. The experience of working as a teacher in a government school for over 730+ days in an urban slum helped solidify his commitment to work towards the problems in his community. Leveraging this experience and creating an impact at scale, Shivam continued to work with multiple state governments, nonprofits, and schools to improve student learning outcomes through assessments and the capacity-building of education practitioners at various levels. He was nominated as a Global Girls Education Fellow in 2020 by Teach For All, where he learned about best practices in girls’ education as a part of the global cohort of fellows committed to improving educational outcomes for girls and women.

Prior to joining Teachers College, Shivam worked with Central Square Foundation, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) backed nonprofit venture philanthropy focused on improving the learning outcomes of disadvantaged children in India. As a part of the Classroom Instruction & Practices Team, he consulted several state government officials and nonprofits in India to improve the quality of their program design, assessments, and teaching & learning practices to effectively implement the National Mission for Foundational Literacy & Numeracy - NIPUN Bharat.

Shivam hopes to use his degree and on-ground experience to transition out as an Education Economist specializing in the development & social impact. He exhibits a deep passion and commitment to serving the public sector by researching, documenting and generating evidence of the best teaching & learning practices in low-and middle-income countries, leading to better policies and practices by the world’s top decision-makers.

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