Graduate Assistants

Danielle Barefoot, Ph.D. student, Education Policy

Danielle Barefoot is a Public Policy Ph.D. student working with Dr. Loren Henderson. Their research interests focus on student success in Higher Education. Before joining UMBC, Danielle received her M.Ed. in Counselor Education, Student Affairs, at Clemson University and has spent the last 6 years working with college students in a variety of different capacities.


Hilary Budzinski Betley, Ph.D. student, Public Policy and Emergency Management
Hilary is a Ph.D. student in Public Policy with a specialization in Emergency Management. She is a graduate of UMBC’s Emergency Health Services Department where she earned a B.S. in Emergency Health Services Management and a M.S. in EHS Administration, Planning, and Policy with a post-baccalaureate certificate in Emergency Management. Her research interests include disaster response and recovery from extreme weather events. She is currently working with Dr. Lauren Clay’s Disaster Research Group on issues of post-disaster food insecurity and is the graduate teaching assistant for the Department of Economics. Hilary is proud to serve as an administrative officer and an emergency medical technician with the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department.


Adebola Daramola, Ph.D. student, Evaluation and Analytical Methods

Adebola is a research assistant to Dr. Susan Sterett.  Before UMBC, he attended Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University where he earned an MBA.  In addition, he has a Master’s degree in Finance from Lagos State University, Nigeria. His public policy experience began as an intern with the financial inclusion unit of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Washington, D.C. He is in the Evaluation and Analytical Methods specialization. He is from Nigeria, where there is a proliferation of digital financial services and entry of non -bank firms yet there is a large, underserved population. This background informs his research interests in Financial Inclusion, Financial Technology (FinTech), and Regulatory Policy.


Smitha Prabhu, Ph.D. student, Health Policy

Smitha Prabhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Public Policy, specializing in Health Policy. Smitha graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Philosophy and a Minor in Bioethics and worked with community organizations in Baltimore for at least four years, including the Baltimore City Health Department, International Rescue Committee, and Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition. Her education and work experience have greatly inspired her research interests in the ethics of health policy, health policy based on natural disasters, health policy promoting maternal and child health, and public health policy. She is currently working with Dr. Jane A. Lincove.


Melody Pinamang, Ph.D. student, Health Policy

Melody is a research assistant to Dr. Zoë McLaren. Her research interests lie in health inequity, poverty reduction, and economic policy using advanced statistical methods. Prior to joining the School of Public Policy, she worked as a research and teaching assistant in her home country of Ghana, where she organized economics tutorial sessions for undergraduate students and assisted with departmental research works.


Tanguy Ringoir, Ph.D. student, Economics

Tanguy Ringoir is a graduate assistant from Belgium and is currently working for Prof. Mir Usman Ali. He is the coach of the UMBC Chess Team and his areas of research include health economics and antitrust policy.


Tanya Kreutzer Sayyed, Ph.D. student, Health Policy

Tanya is a School of Public Policy health specialization Ph.D. student working with UMBC’s Dr. Takashi Yamashita as a Hilltop Institute evaluation team member. They are evaluating the Lifting All Voices project which aims to improve health equity in Frederick, Maryland by addressing COVID-19 health literacy strategies and Healthy People 2030 objectives. The project’s goals are to improve health literacy for residents with social vulnerabilities and to increase the capacity of providers, including community health workers, to effectively serve residents. Partners include the Harowitz Center for Health Literacy, Asian American Center of Frederick, City of Frederick, and the Frederick County Health Care Coalition. Last year, Tanya worked with UMBC’s Dr. Yusuke Kuwayama researching how satellite data regarding air pollution, urban heat, and urban green spaces may be used in combination with other geographic and socioeconomic status information to advance environmental justice and reduce inequalities. Over the summer, they contributed to a satellite data for environmental justice collaborative research effort organized by the CDC and NASA. Tanya earned her Master of Community Planning from the University of Maryland, College Park and her B.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis. She initiated a pilot study of community health workers in Ethiopia. She joined food/water security and urban planning projects in Italy and Russia. She previously worked with nonprofits in Ethiopia, Jordan, Sudan, and Pakistan.


Taylor West, M.P.P. student, Evaluation and Analytical Methods

Taylor West is an M.P.P. student in the School of Public Policy, specializing in Evaluation and Analytical Methods. Taylor graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a B.A. in Public Health and worked with government and research organizations including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Hilltop Institute, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Her education and work experience have significantly inspired her research interests in rural health policy, Medicaid policy, and the intersection of health, science and the causes of environmental decline as a result of atmospheric hazards.  She is currently working with Dr. Lauren Hamilton Edwards.