Faculty and Staff
Claudia Coulton, Ph.D., Co-Director
Distinguished University Professor, Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Social Research
Robert Fischer, Ph.D., Co-Director
Research Associate Professor
David Crampton, Ph.D., Associate Director
Mark Chupp, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Mark Joseph, Ph.D., Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Francisca Richter, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor
Senior Research Associate
Research and Programming Staff
Marci Blue, M.S.S.A. and M.N.O. from Case Western Reserve University, joined the Center in 2012 as a Research Assistant. In this role, she provides support to various research projects through data collection, maintenance and processing, conducting descriptive and statistical analyses, providing technical assistance to community partners, developing materials for public presentations of research results and other tasks as needed. Prior to joining the Center as staff, she worked for three years as a graduate assistant on the center’s evaluation of Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children program. Prior to joining the staff at the Center Marci worked as an graduate student assistant at the Center for several years.
Tsui Chan, B.S. in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University, is a Programmer/Analyst at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Ms. Chan’s responsibilities include developing and designing databases, analyzing data using SAS and other software packages, conducting spatial analysis and mapping, and managing the Center’s computer network. She is also responsible for the design and maintenance of the Center’s online database system (NEO CANDO), and the development of computer programs and GIS applications that are used in various research projects in the Center.
Project Manager, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Taryn Gress, M.S.S.A from Case Western Reserve University joined the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) as Project Coordinator in 2012. NIMC, which officially launched in the fall of 2013, is based in the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Taryn came to NIMC from The Civic Commons, a community and civic engagement organization serving Northeast Ohio. She’s also worked with Cleveland community-based nonprofit Slavic Village Development, America SCORES Cleveland, and The Ohio State University Extension in Cuyahoga County. Taryn works with Associate Professor, Dr. Mark Joseph to provide research and development support for the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities.
Eamon Johnson, is a post-doctoral scholar who received his Ph.D. in computer science from Case Western Reserve University in 2016. He uses his deep background in software, networking, and databases to guide the design, build, and maintenance of the Center’s web-based data services.
Nina Lalich, M.S.P.H. in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an Analyst/Programmer at the Center. She provides data management and statistical analysis in support of the Center’s research and evaluation efforts. She is currently involved in the evaluation study of Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children program. She has also participated in studies of welfare recipients and welfare leavers. Prior to joining the Center, Nina was a Public Health Service officer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Emily Miller, MSSA from Case Western Reserve University, joined the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities in 2014 as a graduate student employee before becoming a Research Assistant. She has experience working in education as well as immigration and refugee services, and her research interests include community development, social development, and community building.
Research Associate, Analyst/Programmer
Michael Schramm, M.A. in geography from Syracuse University, is a Research Associate and Analyst/Programmer at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is extensively involved in the development and maintenance of the Center’s neighborhood information system, NEO CANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing). He also assists the community on a continuing basis with data and GIS mapping and conducts regular training sessions on how to use the NEO CANDO as a tool for social change. Michael’s research interests include: lending and foreclosure patterns, vacant properties and neighborhood revitalization. Michael’s expertise on foreclosure, subprime mortgages, and other real property data have been extensively utilized by the Neighborhood Stabilization Team sponsored by Neighborhood Progress, Inc, the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program as well as the newly established Cuyahoga County Land Bank. He is also active in the local foreclosure and vacant property dialogue through VAPAC (Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council) and has presented at numerous national meeting and conferences on these topics. Beginning in July 2010, Michael took on an additional role as the Director of IT and Research at the Cuyahoga Land Bank, but continues to be associated with Case and NEO CANDO in an advisory role.
April Urban, M.S.S.A from Case Western Reserve University, is a research associate specializing in property research and consultation, focusing on code enforcement, foreclosure and REO properties and works closely with the community development industry to provide data and technical assistance in neighborhood stabilization. She most enjoys projects where she can work to aid communities in building their capacity to work with data, helping teach them how to use information to improve their practices and better the lives of people impacted by their work. She currently serves on the board of FutureHeights and volunteers with Open Cleveland, Cleveland’s Code for America brigade. In her spare time, she is a tap dancer (no joke).
Senior Research Associate
Meghan Salas Atwell, Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University, joined the center in 2016 as a Senior Research Associate. Meghan is involved in program evaluations relating to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Home Visiting and Pre-K in Cuyahoga County. In addition she is working on a project to integrate workforce data into the CHILD Data System. Prior to joining the center, Meghan worked at the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Urban Institute examining issues relating state and local government fiscal health and the criminal justice system. During her graduate work she investigated educational outcomes of immigrant students in Florida and taught research methods courses.
Laura Schuch, MPH in Environmental Health from Kent State University, is a Research Associate at the Center. She provides data management and analysis in support of research and evaluation incorporating the Childhood Integrated Longitudinal Data (CHILD) system. Prior to joining the Center, Laura worked as a GIS Specialist, and a Research Assistant at Kent State University and Akron Children’s Hospital. She is completing a PhD in Geography from Kent State University concentrating on the effects of the environment, both physical and social, on a child’s health and well-being. Her research combines data analysis and geospatial technologies to provide context to health challenges at multiple scales, such as childhood lead exposure, and to enhance the development of data-supported interventions.
Melissa Van, B.A. and M.S. from Columbia University, is the Poverty Center’s Department Administrator, managing the Center’s grants, day-to-day finances, human resources, and communications. Prior to joining the Center in 2014, Melissa served as the Assistant Director of two institutes that focused on religion and politics at Columbia University in the City of New York. In her spare time she is a freelance developmental editor of political science books written by non-native English speakers and she is starting a family farm.
Department Assistant, Web Content Assistant
Jess Rudolph, B.A. in English from Case Western Reserve University, is a Departmental Assistant aiding in the daily operations of the Poverty Center including administrative and computer upkeep for the Center. Jess also assists with web content including the Center’s blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page; he has also assisted the Director of Marketing and Communications at MSASS in the past. Jess has worked on the layout and design of recent Center publications including the Briefly Stated reports and Data Briefs. Prior to joining the staff at the Center in 2005 he worked as an undergraduate assistant at the Center for four years.