Maithreyi Gopalan, assistant professor of education and public policy and Social Science Research Instituteco-funded faculty member at Penn State, was recently awarded the Civil Rights Data Science Impact Fellowship.
Gopalan is the first fellow in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), awarded through the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). The fellowship will allow her to take a one-year leave of absence to pursue research related to educational equity issues and OCR’s enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, sex, and disability.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to take civil rights data, which I’ve used previously in my research, and get perspective on how it is collected,” Gopalan said. “I am excited about the position and possibilities for high-level research translation and policy impact.”
Gopalan will work alongside CRDC statisticians and other OCR department staff to conduct research and assess data quality as well as analyze the historical civil rights dataset.
“It will be an interesting mix of data analysis work, looking at historical civil rights data and making better use of it via integration into other data sets and improving data linkages,” Gopalan said. “There is also the potential to look at ways of disseminating the data so that researchers, policy makers, educators, and journalists can make better use of the data.”
The Civil Rights Data Science Impact Fellowship is one of several fellowships awarded through the FAS, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to minimize the risks of significant global threats. The organization also works to advance progress on issues where science, technology, and innovation policy can deliver dramatic progress, and seeks to ensure that scientific and technical expertise are integrated into the research-to-policy translation. Penn State faculty interested in learning more about these fellowship opportunities should visit FAS’s website.