Lauren Applebaum

Senior Evaluator, Museum of Science and Industry

Spotlight on Museum Education & Research: Dr. Applebaum joined the Museum of Science and Industry-Chicago in 2017 as a Senior Evaluator where she makes use of her knowledge of statistics, experimental design, and the ability to communicate science to a variety of audiences. For more information, please see her full bio.


Melissa Brown-Sims

Senior Researcher / Project Director, American Institutes for Research

Spotlight on Research: Melissa is a senior researcher and project director at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). For more information, please see her full bio.


Jenna Chapman

Associate Policy Analyst, Chapin Hall, UChicago

Spotlight on Research and Policy: Jenna Chapman is an Associate Policy Analyst at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She is currently working on the TANF Data Innovation project, in addition to supporting the Chapin Hall Collaborative: a partnership between Chapin Hall, Chicago Public Schools, and community providers that work with school-aged youth. She has also implemented an institutional Wiki for organizing and maintaining data documentation across projects. For more information, please see her full bio.


Kate Cosyns

Senior Program Manager, U.S. Bank

Spotlight on Project/Program Management & Financial Services: Kate has over a decade of experience in the financial services industry and has developed expertise in the areas of digital transformation, data strategy, and cross-functional implementations. Currently, she is a Senior Program Manager in Business Technology for the Global Corporate Trust and Custody division of U.S. Bank. She is responsible for coordinating strategic technology programs, with a focus on optimization and continuous improvement. For more information, please see her full bio.


Ash ElDifrawi

Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Redbox

Spotlight on Marketing: Dr. ElDifrawi has built a reputation as a thought leader in clinical, social, and consumer psychology and has held senior positions at Google, McKinsey, Wrigley, Gogo, and currently Redbox. For more information, please see his full bio.


Michael Fabos

Senior Manager of Business Intelligence in Anti-Money Laundering, BMO Harris Bank

Spotlight on Financial Services and Compliance:  Michael Fabos is a seasoned anti-money laundering and compliance professional, with prior work experience in both the US Government and in academia.  He is currently the Senior Manager of Business Intelligence in the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of a local financial institution, where he leads a team that conducts exploratory data analysis to enhance money laundering and terrorist financing transaction monitoring and investigations. For more information, please see his full bio.


Amanda Hirsh

Founder / Consultant, Amanda Hirsh Consulting

Spotlight on Political Consulting: Amanda is an experienced political consultant, finance director and marketing and communications strategist spanning government, corporate, political and non-profit sectors –with experience in the U.S. House of Representatives, working for Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5). Between election cycles Amanda contracts to Accenture, working in integrated marketing and project management roles with the Inclusion and Diversity team, media and analyst relations, and the technology ecosystem, among others. For more information, please see her full bio


Alex Immerman

Business Operations and Strategy Lead, Global Partnerships at Google

Spotlight on Business Strategy: Alex is a growth strategy expert. As a Business Operations and Strategy Lead at Google, he tackles some of the most complex challenges faced by a high-growth, multibillion-dollar commercial organization. He has led cross-functional initiatives to improve customer and partner success, streamlined business-critical operations, and developed go-to-market strategies for key verticals. Alex’s career in strategy began in market research, then arced through brand strategy and on to management consulting. For more information, please see his full bio.


Moizza Khan

Project Manager, US Department of Labor, Office of Job Corps

Spotlight on Government Careers: Moizza is a project manager for the US Department of Labor, Office of Job Corps. She joined civil service upon graduation as a Presidential Management Fellow for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. where she did a six-month rotation at the US Department of State - Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and in two years with the State Department’s Office of Inspector General, she did field work in nearly a dozen countries. Moizza was stationed in Egypt during the Arab Spring and returned to serve as a senior program analyst for the Middle East Partnership Initiative. For more information, please see her full bio.


Christina Kwauk

Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Spotlight on Development Research and Policy: Christina is a fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings Institution where she also manages the Echidna Global Scholars Program. She was the former chair the Girls CHARGE initiative, and led the CHARGE Working Group on Life Skills Education and Assessment. She has also advised the Obama Foundation’s Global Girls Alliance. Her research focuses on girls’ education in developing countries, gender equality in education, the intersections between climate change and girls’ education, and 21st century skills and youth empowerment. For more information, please see her full bio.


Darnell Leatherwood

Founder, Black Boys Shine / Co-Founder, Leatherwood & Lyles, LLC

Spotlight on Social Entrepreneurship: Darnell is founder of Black Boys Shine, an NPO purposed to strengthen/control the Black male narrative and image nationally and internationally and co-founder of Leatherwood & Lyles, a social entrepreneurial business dedicated to developing underserved communities through home-ownership and gainful employment. He is also a founding member of Thrive Chicago’s & President Barack Obama’s My Brother's Keeper Alliance Action Team,  founding board member of Quest Christian Academy, and co-founder of Posterity, Inc. For more information, please see his full bio.


Mark Lush

Manager, Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-making (BEAD), NORC at UChicago

Spotlight on Behavioral Science: Mark is Manager of Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-making (BEAD) at NORC at the University of Chicago. He uses behavioral science to provide clients with actionable insights on critical policy and business issues. Prior to NORC, Mark was the Lead Consultant and Behavioral Scientist at Allstate’s Data, Discovery, and Decision Sciences (D3) Department. For more information, please see his full bio.


Whitney McKedy-Jaggi

Founder / Experience Designer, Traceable Change

Spotlight on Entreprenuerialism: Whitney is founder of Traceable Change a User Experience (UX) company committed to creating exceptional experiences that trace back to users and goals. She has built her practice around passion for stretching the boundaries of UX by engaging innovation and developing custom products and approaches that answer difficult and challenging business questions across a variety of industries. Prior to her time in UX research and design, she studied human behavior and motivations through social psychology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology. For more information, please see her full bio.


Will Notini

Senior Design Researcher, IDEO

Spotlight on Market Research & Global Design: Will is a senior design researcher at IDEO, a global design firm, at their Chicago studio. prior to IDEO, Will worked in market research at Technomic, a research & consulting firm servicing the foodservice industry. During his five-year tenure at Technomic he and his team focused on mixed-methods research solutions designed to identify latent consumer needs. For more information, please see his full bio.


Esther Pandian-Riske

Associate Director, GSAL, GSALB and RS Programs, UChicago

Spotlight on Higher Education: Esther has gained 20+years of experience in student advising and graduate curriculum development. She currently directs the “Graduate Student At Large” suite of programs for the Provost’s Office at UChicago where she works with prospective students who are career advancers or career changers to enroll in strategic classes to develop a graduate transcript, along with needed research and professional experience, to strengthen future applications to graduate programs across the country. For more information, please see her full bio.


Sam Phelps

Executive Recruiter, Newcastle Associates

Spotlight on Talent Acquisition: Sam is a professional recruiter with his firm Newcastle Associates, where he helps people discover new career opportunities while helping great companies build energized and engaged teams. As someone who has been able to apply the benefits of the MAPSS program to his professional career, Sam believes that he can help other grads in their careers. He has extensive experience working with professionals in career coaching, resume / social media preparation, interviewing techniques, and overall career mapping. For more information, please see his full bio.


Tiana Pyer-Pereira

Associate Director, Office of the Provost, UChicago

Spotlight on Program Management: Tiana is an associate director in the Office of the Provost, where she develops programs related to the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and the Faculty Development Program. She also supports programming for the Neubauer Family Assistant Professors Program and the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program. Previously, Tiana worked as a research manager at the UChicago's Survey Lab, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of survey research projects, including data collection, questionnaire development, and supervision of junior research staff. For more information, please see her full bio.


Ishani Sharma

Lead Product Designer at Salesforce

Spotlight on Product Design: Ishani is a lead product designer at Salesforce, building commerce tools for merchants who want to run e-commerce businesses. She started her career in User Experience (UX) as a user researcher and transitioned into a designer role. She loves thinking about the intersection of business, technology, and design, keeping users and their needs at the heart of it. For more information, please see her full bio.


Beth Spurgeon

Division Manager, Corporate Responsibility / Executive Director, USA Foundation, ArcelorMittal

Spotlight on Social Impact Careers: Beth is the division manager of Corporate Responsibility and executive director of the USA Foundation at ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company. She spearheads ArcelorMittal’s corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives across the Americas region and oversees ArcelorMittal’s US community investment, including national and local nonprofit partnerships in the company’s focus areas of STEM education, environment, and health and safety. She also manages sustainability initiatives, stakeholder engagement, and employee volunteerism and giving. For more information, please see her full bio.


Matt Spurgeon

Vice President of Education and Professional Development, American Health Information Management Association

Spotlight on Organizational Development & Quality Improvement: After graduation from MAPSS, Matt joined Joint Commission International where he spent 15 years directing the organization’s international education efforts.  He now serves as the Vice President of Education and Professional Development for the American Health Information Management Association. For more information, please see his full bio.


Kevin Ulrich

Director, Survey Lab, UChicago

Spotlight on Survey Research: Kevin is the director of the Survey Lab at the University of Chicago. He oversees all of the research projects at the Lab and provides data collection and consulting services to academic researchers and nonprofit organizations. Prior to his return to UChicago, Kevin directed the Survey Research Program at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.  For more information, please see his full bio.


Jerisa Upton

Business Development Manager, Advocate Aurora Health

Spotlight on Business Development & Healthcare: Out of MAPSS, Jerisa was hired as a program coordinator at Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she used her skillset to develop and operate hospital-based patient access programs. At 27, she became her network's youngest regional business development manager, with responsibilities over three large hospitals, relying heavily on her social sciences background to develop and manage new client portfolios and growth opportunities for her company. In addition, Jerisa actively supports Chicago's at-risk youth and the arts. For more information, please see her full bio.


Patrick van Kessel

Senior Data Scientist, Data Labs, Pew Research Center

Spotlight on Data Science and Society: Patrick is a senior data scientist at Pew Research Center in Washington DC, specializing in computational social science research. As a member of the Data Labs team, he works to expand the Center’s data science capabilities, develop methodological best practices, and conduct original research, including recent studies that used natural language processing and machine learning to measure where Americans find meaning in life and how members of Congress use social media. For more information, please see his full bio.