Student Update: Graduation, Awards, and Honors

Congratulations to four CDE students who completed their doctoral work in May 2018: Zack Barnett-Howell, Rachel Frattarola, Jinho Kim, and Stephanie Koning.

Zack Barnett-Howell completed a joint PhD in agricultural and applied economics and political science. His dissertation, “Essays on Migration, Decision Making, and Optimization,” examines how states and individuals make decisions when outcomes are unknown. His more economic-facing work looks at the microeconomic determinants of migration and other forms of discrete decision making, using machine-learning and lab experiments to further test the optimality with which people make choices.

Rachel Frattarola of agricultural and applied economics conducts research on applied microeconomics, development, and experimental and behavioral economics. Her dissertation, a collection of three essays, examines household and market behavior in the presence of missing markets and negative externalities. In the work, she explores motives for the sustained operation of unprofitable grocery stores in developing countries; tests whether negative income shocks preclude households from making the investment needed to sustain the usage of hybrid seed and inorganic fertilizer; and analyzes the effects of power plant closures on housing prices. After finishing at UW, Frattarola will move to Washington DC to pursue a career as a researcher.

Jinho Kim completed a doctorate in sociology. His research focuses on the roles of school and peer contexts in shaping the outcomes of young people and the social determinants of health outcomes across the life course. At CDE, Kim authored or co-authored seven peer-reviewed articles, including “Beyond the Trigger: The Mental Health Consequences of In-Home Firearm Access among Children of Gun Owners,” which appeared in the April issue of Social Science & Medicine. Kim will join the department of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong this fall.

Stephanie Koning finished a PhD in population health sciences and an MS in sociology in May. Koning’s dissertation work explored global displacement and its impacts on maternal and child health in Thailand. This fall, Koning will continue her research as a postdoc at Northwestern’s Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research.

Congratulations also go out to current CDE students Nathan Seltzer and Esteban Quiñones. Seltzer was selected as the 2017 winner of the IPUMS Research Award for his paper, “Beyond the Great Recession: Labor Market Polarization and Ongoing Fertility Decline in the United States.” Seltzer is a current NICHD trainee who conducts research on the demographic consequences of natural disasters, geographic and economic health inequalities, and fertility decision making during economic recessions. Quiñones was the recipient of a Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The award support graduate students who demonstrate excellence in research. Quiñones is collaborating with Jenna Nobles (sociology), Fernando Riosmena (University of Colorado Boulder), and independent scholar Raphael Nawrotzki to study the role that migration plays in adaptation to environmental change for rural households in Mexico.