Two Ed Policy Graduate Students Join AEI's 2017 Academy on Education Policy

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) announced the 2017 Ed Policy Academy participants, including Aliza Husain and Justin Doromal, graduate students in the Education Policy Ph.D Program and researchers at EdPolicyWorks. This fourth annual summer institute gives social science, public policy, business, and law graduate students professional development and scholarship opportunities.

Husain and Doromal will join roughly 20 other scholars from across the country in Washington, D.C. in August 2017.

"It is a real honor to be selected to attend this academy," said Husain, a 3rd year. "The exposure to peers from around the country and across disciplines will be invaluable."

Academy students will spend three full days in classes taught by leading scholars about topics central to education policy, including school choice, teacher quality, and school finance. Participants will also attend a mix of seminars, evening speakers, and cohort-building activities that address pressing questions of education policy.

"I am excited to engage in AEI's cross-disciplinary conversations to better understand how my research interplays with other important education policy topics," said Doromal, a 1st year MPP/Ph.D student, who received his MEd in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation from the Curry School in 2015.

Doromal is interested in how early childhood policy shapes children's educational trajectories and families' well-being. He is currently examining access to safe and high-quality child care programs in North Carolina under the direction of his advisers, Professors Daphna Bassok and Vivian Wong.

"I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity early in my career and be able to join the broader Ed Policy cohort," explained Husain. "Understanding how other scholars think and reason through arguments will help me better situate the work I'm doing."

Husain is interested in how K-12 school leaders influence teacher quality. She is currently examining related research questions in DC Public Schools and in New York State schools under the direction of her adviser, Jim Wyckoff.

"The policy academy will be a great opportunity for Aliza and Justin to meet with other grad students and senior scholars coming at big education policy problems from a variety of angles," said Bassok, associate director of EdPolicyWorks. "AEI always puts together really engaging, thought-provoking programs," Bassok said.

With acceptance into the academy, Husain and Doromal join an elite group of previous participants, including Preston Magouirk and Veronica Katz, other UVA education policy doctoral students who took part in 2016 and 2013, respectively.


Husain and Doromal are pre-doctoral fellows in the Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) program sponsored by the Institute of Educational Sciences. Husain also received her MPP from the UVA Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in 2016 as part of our dual MPP/Ph.D degree program.

EdPolicyWorks is a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. EdPolicyWorks brings together researchers from across the University of Virginia and the State to focus on important questions of educational policy and implications for the workforce.