Buylova, Sasha
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy

Originally from Kirovo-Chepetsk, Russia, I moved to the United States in 2008 to work on my Undergraduate Degree in International Studies and my Master’s in Political Science at Idaho State University.

As a PhD student at Oregon State I am interested in environmental/natural resources policy. In my scholarly research I would like to look at the effects, costs/benefits of an ecosystem approach to American National Parks management. I enjoy spending time outdoors and I would like to focus my research on policies that ensure preservation and conservation of natural resources. 

Chonaiew, Sara Miller
Policy Interests: Environmental, Social, Rural Policy

I earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  My undergraduate degree is in Political Science from Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana.

My current research interests include organic agriculture and food policies, specifically third party certification and labelling schemes. Most recently, I worked with researchers from the University of Colorado Denver, Duke University, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis assessing policy design and compliance within the National Organic Program, a project funded by the National Science Foundation.  More information about the research, as well as published papers and reports, are available here.

I like to cook and I enjoy spending time with my husband and our four dogs.  We like being outdoors; hiking and biking, and we try to keep up with a small garden. 

I value community and like to engage in volunteer activities.  I have served on the Board of Directors and Executive Board of Earth Charter Indiana and as a fundraising spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Fishler, Hillary K.
Program: Environmental Science

As a Doctoral student in the Environmental Sciences program, I am interested in wildfire management and its intersection with human dimensions in the Deschutes and Fremont-Winema National Forests of Central and South Central Oregon. Currently, I work with Brent Steel and a number of foresters on Forests People Fire, at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Lab.

I received my MPP at Oregon State University in 2012, and during this time - I worked with Jeff Kline from the Forest Service on non-industrial private forest landowners' motivations for adopting a new incentive program in the Oregon. I also had the opportunity to participate in the Transatlantic Student Symposium, and worked for a number of agencies, including the Forest Service, Institute for National Resources, Earth Economics, and Carpe Diem West.

In my spare time, I love cycling, hiking, and many other sports, as well as gardening and brewery science. For me, OSU is the perfect place to experience the outdoors while studying it. Focus on the student experience and promoting student opportunities in research is what brought me to OSU for my Master's and what kept me here for my PhD.

Freeman, Misty Mason
Policy Interests:
 Science in Policy, Natural Resource & Environment, Child Maltreatment, Poverty and Inequality, Rural Communities

Originally from the San Joaquin Valley of California, I came to Oregon State University in 2010 for the Master of Public Policy program. My area of concentration was social policy, with a Minor in Rural Studies. My final research project for the MPP was an exploration of how social services might be more effectively tailored to the needs of tribal children and families in Klamath County, Oregon. During the MPP program I interned with Klamath-Lake CARES, where my colleague Emily Wornell and I wrote a white paper offering policy recommendations to community partners addressing child maltreatment in Klamath County.

Today, I am part of the inaugural cohort in the OSU School of Public Policy doctoral program. I am exploring the role of science in the policy process, and my dissertation will examine the role of science in water decision making in Oregon. For my practicum, I interned with the Oregon State Legislature as a nonpartisan policy analyst with Committee Services. I also served as an intern for State Senator Arnie Roblan, helping organize the 2014 Oregon Coast Economic Summit.

Outside of class, I am a founding member and current Project Manager of OSU’s Women in Policy student group, where I work with other women and allies to address issues of underrepresentation in the policy process. I am also active with the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University, where I served on the Finance Committee to the Board of Directors, participated in the NEW Leadership Oregon program, and continue to volunteer.

Before coming to OSU, I studied Politics at UC Santa Cruz and Business Administration at California Coast University. I worked as the Operations Manager for a tax firm and as an Enrolled Agent preparing tax returns and consulting. I also served as the fiscal manager for Social Services and analyst for Child Welfare Services for Mariposa County, California.

Other MPP and PhD Program Highlights:

  • International Comparative Rural Studies Summer Institute Scholarship, Norway, 2011
  • Communities & Natural Resources Field School in Coos & Wallowa Counties, Oregon, 2011
  • Presentation to Klamath County Community Partners, “A Birds Eye View of Service Provision and Community Partner Relationships,” with Emily Wornell, 2011
  • Qualitative Analysis of Oregon Department of Human Services Survey Data, 2011
  • Natural Resources Leadership Academy & Field School, Social Aspects of Natural Resource Use, 2012

Giordono, Leanne
Policy Interests: Social and Educational Policy

I am a fairly non-traditional student, entering into the third phase of my career.  After receiving my BA in 1993, I spent several years as a “service junkie”, participating in both the inaugural year of AmeriCorps and two years of Peace Corps.  In 2000, I received my Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, with a concentration in Economics.  Since then, I have been conducting program evaluation and applied research in these and related content areas, first with Abt Associates, then with my own Oregon-based business, Program and Policy Insight. 

As a doctoral student, I am hoping to deepen and broaden previous work conducting program evaluation and applied research about initiatives, interventions and policies intended to improve education and economic opportunities for individuals, families and their communities.  More specifically, I am interested in policies that are intended to positively influence access and outcomes related to education and training, employment and career advancement opportunities. I am particularly interested in research that provides insight into policies and programs that yield positive outcomes for disadvantaged and underserved populations with high barriers to entry and success.  I am also interested in examining innovative models, such as those designed to serve the interests of multiple stakeholders (e.g., jobseekers and employers) and/or those intended to target high-demand or emerging industry sectors (e.g., STEM-related sectors).  Finally, I would like to explore ways for public, non-profit and philanthropic organizations conduct, translate and/or incorporate social policy research, including program evaluation, into evidence-based decision-making.  I am excited about entering this new phase, and the opportunities that it will bring. 

The rest of my life generally revolves around maintaining the “life-“ end of the work-life balance, by spending time with my husband, three kids, and the dog (fitting in a little yoga whenever possible).

Golya, Tamas
Policy Interests: Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

After teaching classes on international relations, comparative politics, and the politics of oil as an adjunct instructor here at Oregon State University, I decided to join the new PhD program in public policy at OSU. I am excited about the interdisciplinary nature of this program and the diverse interests, theoretical and methodological backgrounds of the faculty and the graduate students here.

I am interested in the nexus of public opinion, energy policy, and environmental justice, which is an important part of OSU’s project exploring renewable energy siting in the Western United States. I am also very interested in deepening my practical knowledge of applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to political and sociological phenomena, which I think will be a growth sector in the near future.

I hold degrees in political science and sociology from the University of Oregon and the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Having experienced the beautiful Pacific Northwest first as an exchange student from Germany, I am happy to be able to combine being part of a stimulating graduate program with living in one of the best parts of North America.

Grandolfo, Jos
Policy Interests
: Energy Policy, Renewable Energy Facility Siting, Rural Policy

I enrolled in the MPP program at Oregon State University shortly after completing my BA in Sociology at SUNY New Paltz. During the Master’s program, I had the opportunity to participate in the ICRPS summer institute in Bologna, Italy and intern with a number of local agencies, including the City of Corvallis, League of Women Voters, and the Corvallis Environmental Center. My yearlong research assistantship on a project exploring renewable energy siting in the western United States proved especially influential. This experience led me to my current research topic and the decision to pursue a PhD.

As a doctoral student, I plan to expand on my MPP work examining community response to wind farm proposals. I am particularly interested in the local factors and processes that prompt community mobilization in the context of wind energy siting.

Husain, Abdullah
Policy Interests:
Environmental and Social Policy

I came to Oregon State University from Kuwait in 2004 to study environmental sciences as an undergrad. What made me stay here for 10 years for my masters and PhD after getting my bachelor degree was the quality of the interdisciplinary program between environmental sciences and public policy. I’ve been able to take my knowledge in ecology and global environmental issues from the undergraduate program to explore the social dimensions of these issues especially when they apply to Kuwait. Interest in the social aspects of environmental issues in Kuwait has been very limited, which is why I decided to focus on the environmental policy regime in Kuwait following the First Gulf War by looking into how much the government has invested in sustainable governance. After finding out that very little has been done to put the country on a sustainable track over the past 20 years, I’m focusing my PhD research on the social structure that produced such lack of interest in sustainability. My research is about looking into how social institutions such as religious institutions perceive sustainability and the way they communicate with the public ideas of stewardship and sustainability.

Outside of school I’ve been involved with the National Union of Kuwait Students - USA Branch as the head of the media committee for two years then as a union secretary for a year then as the head of the conference organizing committee. 

Pant, Suman
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy

I completed my MPP at Oregon State in 2012, and for my research I looked at the impact of ecotourism on the development (sanitation and access to drinking water) of local communities in Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Before coming to the US, I worked as a development officer in a non-profit for disadvantaged children in Nepal.

As a doctoral student in Public policy program, I am interested in community based natural resource management in developing countries, local empowerment and development through sustainable use of natural resources, and institutions (historical and existing) that facilitate engagement between local communities and policies.


Pakenham, Anna
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy, Social Policy

Originally from NY, I earned my undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science at Connecticut College. From there I went into the Peace Corps in Micronesia, where I worked on monitoring community established marine protected areas. Following the Peace Corps, I worked for the National Park Service in Guam as a biologist looking at the effects of sedimentation on coral reefs. I kept with the human- ecology interaction theme for my master’s degree when I evaluated the effects of land use on sedimentation rates in Oregon’s estuaries.

My interest in policy came after a fellowship with the Oregon State Legislature where I work on creating marine reserves legislation, which lead to a job with ODFW as a policy lead. I am excited to join the PhD program in Public Policy to continue to study environmental policy and community collaborations.


Parker, Ashley
Policy Interests: Social Policy

I am originally from Central California where I received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics from CSU Stanislaus before coming to OSU. I earned my Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree in 2011 with a concentration of social policy, particularly the theoretical predictions of various policies and homelessness with regards to what happens to persons after they experience a foreclosure. I am in the first year of the PhD program and hope to collect data to substantiate the theoretical work completed in my MPP essay.


Peterson, Holly L.
Policy Interests:
Policy Process Theory

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, I came to Oregon State University from Virginia Tech where I spent a year studying at its Center for Public Administration and Policy in Blacksburg. Before Virginia, I lived in Alabama for many years. I received my undergraduate degree at Auburn University Montgomery majoring in Sociology and English in 2006. After graduation, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama to work for Planned Parenthood of Alabama, first as a quality-risk manager, and later as operations director. In 2011, I returned to Auburn University Montgomery to pursue a Master of Public Administration. While studying in Montgomery, I worked at Alabama State University’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy as a research assistant. My work with Alabama State University was mostly in researching insurance quality indicators, but I was also able to work on a variety of other research projects. I am interested in policy process theory, especially regarding policy narratives and health policy. My husband and I have recently relocated to the Corvallis area with our dog and cat. We are enjoying exploring the Pacific Northwest.



Pinilla Jara, Juan Pablo
Policy Interests
: Social Policies; Inequality and Poverty; Expert Knowledge Management; Policy Agenda Setting; Household Surveys Methods.
Awards: Becas-Chile Scholarship CONICYT; Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

Originally from Antofagasta, Chile, I earned a Master degree of Systemic Analysis from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Chile, and a Major in Social Anthropology at the same institution. 

As a doctoral student, my aim is to explore the relationship between public policy and social inequality, particularly through the framework of a ‘new paradigm in social policy’ and its claim for equality (ECLAC, 2010). My proposal consists on a comparative analysis of anti-poverty policies, with special attention to Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) programs. The work is mainly focused on how CCTs programs in developing countries can effectively incorporate social, demographic and cultural characteristics of its target populations.

I have worked as analyst in the Department of Social Studies in the Chilean National Institute of Statistics (INE), working with data of population censuses and household surveys. I collaborate as guest professor in the Master program of Systemic Analysis in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Chile.

Sokolovska, Iva
Policy Interests: Women in Science, Water Resources Policy

I found my way to Oregon State University by looking for a program that will teach me the tools and skills I need to change the world. Fortunately, I met many like-minded students in the School of Public Policy. I am currently enjoying the first year of my PhD program by getting to know my cohort and learning how to conduct research in the social sciences.

Originally from Macedonia, I earned my undergraduate degree in Ecology at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. I came to the US in 2012 on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Watershed Sciences at Utah State University. After completing my Master’s degree, I decided that I would like to use the knowledge I have to influence policy.  I have always been interested in Water Resources Policy. However, being a woman in the STEM sciences for most of my career I developed a strong interest for policies that address the standing of Women in Science.


Taylor, Casey Lynn
Program: Environmental Science

Before coming to OSU, I spent time working variously as a biological field research technician, an environmental educator for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, and as an environmental program coordinator at Bennington College in Vermont. I graduated from Cornell University's Natural Resources program in 2004, and received an M.S. in Resource Management and Conservation Biology from the University of Michigan in 2008. For my master’s research, I studied biodiversity patterns among birds and insects in agricultural landscapes in southern Mexico.

As a PhD student in the Environmental Science program, I am interested in how scientists and other technical experts interact with public audiences within environmental conflicts. What roadblocks do scientists encounter in engaging with the public policy process? Are efforts by scientists to communicate their research to a broader audience effective? What role to funding institutions and universities play in facilitating a more engaged scientific community? Outside of academics, I enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors, and exploring all the beautiful places Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have to offer.


Utami, Arini
Policy Interests: Environmental, Social, Rural Policy

I am from Jogjakarta, one of Indonesia's cultural cities. I graduated from Gadjah Mada University, both for my undergraduate and master degrees. I majored in Agricultural Socioeconomics for my undergraduate degree (2005), and Agricultural Economics for my graduate degree (2008). My topics of interest are mainly on climate change and food security. I did a research project for my master thesis on these issues, where I assessed the impact of El Nino and La Nina climate anomalies on the food supply and farmers welfare in Java Island, Indonesia. I hope I can broaden my research on this topic to cover all of Indonesia, as different islands receive different impacts of the climate anomalies. My policy interests now are more about Environmental, Social and Rural Policy. This is based on some previous research I’ve engaged before, such as the impact of decentralization on the quality of social services, assessment on food security or insecurity, rural farming and microfinance, and assessment of rural community’s vulnerability on climate change.

Before coming here, I worked at Department of Agricultural Socioeconomics, Gadjah Mada University as a researcher and teaching assistant. I am now a Fulbright Scholar to pursue my PhD at Oregon State University, which is a great place for me to meet people from different backgrounds working on climate change and natural resource/environmental issues.


Zanocco, Chad
Policy Interests
: Coastal and Marine Policy; Future Scenario Modeling; Economic Development; Policy Process Theory

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, I attended University of Illinois where I received a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in chemistry. I eventually found my way to Oregon after first serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in coastal Northern California and then completing a M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of California, Davis.  After my master’s degree, I worked on a project with researchers at UC Davis and International Food Policy Research Institute that evaluated agricultural land-use and land-use change policy scenarios using the IMPACT model.  These scenarios presented alternative futures for greenhouse gas emissions, food security, and tropical rain forest degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean.    

As a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at OSU, I have continued work in alternative future scenario modeling related to climate change.  Currently, I’m a member of an interdisciplinary team exploring the impacts of future hazards on coastal Oregon communities using the coupled natural/human systems model Envision.  I hope to use this experience to further explore how physical, ecological and behavioral modeling can be applied to inform the policy process.