Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships

Congratulations to the newest recipients of the 2017-2018 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship!

Sarah Catherine Billups
Advisors: Doug Hartmann and Teresa Swartz
Research Center: Minnesota Population Center
Faculty Mentor: Theresa Osypuk
“Home of the Free, Little Pink Houses: Singles' Home Purchases after 2008“

Haema Nilakanta
Advisor: Zack Almquist
Research Center: Minnesota Population Center
Faculty Mentor: Eva Enns
“Improved Methods for Sampling Hard to Reach Populations with Applications to Public Health and Population Research“


The Graduate School awards a limited number of one-year Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships (IDFs) each year to outstanding graduate students who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University's interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. The MPC welcomes applications from students pursuing interdisciplinary population research.

Please check the Graduate School's IDF website here for more detailed information.

Students seeking to hold an IDF in 2018-19 at MPC should email to indicate their interest. Although the Graduate School's deadline is Monday, November 13, 2017 applicants must submit their application packet (minus the letter of support from MPC’s Director) to and CC MPC Training Director David Hacker by October 24, 2017. The applicants themselves should send their application, CV, Proposal and unofficial transcript. Each applicant's advisor and faculty mentor should send their letters directly to Dave Hacker prior to the deadline. MPC will then select applications to endorse, and will provide letters of support to the graduate school accordingly.

MPC will make its review and notify applicants of decisions by Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Prior to Monday, November 13, 2017 successful applicants will receive a PDF copy of a letter of support from MPC Director Rob Warren to be included with their applications to the Graduate School.

The MPC review committee will consider how each applicant would benefit from residence in MPC’s interdisciplinary intellectual community and how MPC would benefit from each applicant’s residence. 

Please email any questions for the MPC at

Please email any questions for the graduate school at

Previous MPC Interdisciplinary Fellows


Anne Kaduk, Sociology
"Women Returning to Work across the Life Course: Who Does It, Why, and What Do They Return To?"
Advisor: Phyllis Moen
Faculty Mentors: Colleen Flaherty Manchester, Joseph Ritter


Carrie Henning-Smith, Health Services Research, Policy & Administration
"Disability and Living Arrangements in Later Life"
Co-Advisers: Tetyana Shippee & Donna McAlpine
Faculty Mentors: Phyllis Moen & Ben Capistrant

Jack Lam, Sociology
"Hedging Risk in the Face of Precarious Employment: Examining the Job Insecurity-Health Relationship"
Adviser: Phyllis Moen
Faculty Mentor: J. Michael Oakes

Jim Saliba, Sociology
"Power, Race, and Equity: Governance Structure Changes and K-12 Educational Opportunity in the United States"
Co-Advisers: Ron Aminzade & Rob Warren
Faculty Mentor: Joe Soss


Aine McCarthy, Applied Economics
"The Impact of a Family Planning Program on Contraceptive Uptake and Fertility Decisions"
Co-Advisers: Deborah Levison & Paul Glewwe
Faculty Mentor: Ann Meier


Kasey Keeler, American Studies
"The Invisibility of American Indian Suburbanization"
Co-Advisers: Jean O'Brien and Brenda Child
Faculty Mentor: Carolyn Liebler

Gerald Shannon, Geography
"Paths Through the Food Desert: Food Procurement Practices in Low-income Urban Neighborhoods"
Co-Advisers: Helga Leitner and Steven Manson
Faculty Mentor: J. Michael Oakes

Sarah Shannon, Sociology
"Paths Through the Food Desert: Food Procurement Practices in Low-income Urban Neighborhoods"
Adviser: Christopher Uggen
Faculty Mentor: Steven Manson


Michel Boudreaux, Health Services Research, Policy & Administration
"Birth, Death, and Marriage: The Effect of Medicaid on Population Composition"
Adviser: Donna McAlpine
Faculty Mentor: Steven Ruggles

Rachelle Hill, Sociology
"Time in the Great Recession: The Impact of the 2008/2009 Economic Recession and Unemployment on Time Spent in Healthy Behaviors and with Family Members"
Adviser: Phyllis Moen
Faculty Mentor: Deborah Levison


Polina Sheldeshova, Family Social Science
Adviser: Catherine Solheim
Faculty Mentor: Carolyn Liebler

Christine West, Applied Economics
Adviser: Joe Ritter
Faculty Mentors: Erin Kelly & Fran Vavrus

Xi Zhu, Sociology
Adviser: David Knoke
Faculty Mentor: Pinar Karaca-Mandic


Margaret Charleroy, History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Adviser: John Eyler
Faculty Mentor: Steven Ruggles

Benjamin J.S. al-Haddad, Epidemiology & Community Health
Adviser: J. Michael Oakes
Mentor: Rob Warren

Kyle Walker, Geography
Adviser: Helga Leitner
Faculty Mentors: Donna Gabaccia & Ross Macmillan

Seth Werner, Education Policy & Administration
Co-Advisers: Gery Fry & Fran Vavrus
Faculty Mentors: Steven Ruggles & Yanjie Bian


Misty Heggeness, Applied Economics

Karen Kramer, Family Social Science

Johanna Leinonen, History