Social and Education Policy Research Internship

The Social and Education Policy Program has a research internship program for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iowa. The research internship program provides students with training, experience, and mentoring in the context of faculty-driven research projects. In this semester-long internship, students are matched based on interest and availability to a faculty project. 

Learn more about the internship here. For questions, contact Social and Education Policy Research Program Director Sarah Bruch at

Fall 2018


Picture of Emily Fenner
Emily Fenner

Emily is from Grinnell, Iowa and is in her third year of undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa. She will graduate in 2020 with a B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy and minors in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and Social Justice. Post-graduation plans include either law school or a Masters in Public Policy. Emily believes in social justice and is excited to get to work on combatting racial inequities in education in Iowa City. In her words, "Creating an equitable learning environment that works for every student is absolutely critical and I look forward to helping do just that! I hope that this internship will help prepare me for future political endeavors and further develop the critical analysis skills needed for a career in the legal field."


A fun fact about Emily: she is one of FIVE kids!


Picture of Machaella Moore
Machaella Moore

Machaella Moore is anticipated to graduate in May of 2020 with majors in Ethics and Public Policy and Sociology.  Machaella’s research interest is racial and socioeconomic inequalities in the education system.  In the future, she hopes to use her knowledge in politics and sociology to write policies that help to address these issues and improve her community.  During her internship at the PPC, Machaella hopes to help enforce equity in the Iowa City school district via school profiles that show each school’s survey results in a number of categories. Through these results, Iowa City schools will be able to see where they are succeeding and what needs improvement.  She hopes to create social change within the community and feels her time at the PPC will be a stepping stone to this dream.


Machaella is an external event coordinator for her sorority and was a dancer for 14 years prior to coming to college.



Picture of Zoe Swinton
Zoe Swinton

Zoe plans to graduate in May 2020 from the University of Iowa with degrees in anthropology, ethics & public policy, and psychology. Her interest in significant disparities within schools led her to working on the Equity Implemented Project with Dr. Sarah Bruch. She is undecided about her future plans, but would like to continue her education either in graduate school or law school.


A fun fact about Zoe: she bakes so often her roommates call her “Grandma”





Summer 2018

Three students have joined the PPC as summer interns of 2018. Two, Starr Davis and Chad Rhym, are here as part of the UI Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), and one, Conrad Kim, as part of the Iowa Center for Research for Undergraduates Program (ICRU).

photo of starr davis
Starr Davis

Starr attends Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama and expects to graduate in May of 2020. Her research interest is in social policy. Her future plans consist of earning a Master’s of Social Work and a Doctor of Juridicial Science, and plans to use these degrees to advocate legislation that addresses problems for people that don’t have a voice.


While at the PPC, Starr will be analyzing survey data on the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iowa, and researching ways to diversify, recruit, and retain minority teachers for the Iowa City schools and the University of Iowa.


Some fun facts about Starr - she loves watching classic black and white movies, and she shares a bunk bed with her black lab, Pepper, who sleeps in the bottom bunk, while she takes the top bunk. 


photo of chad rhym
Chad Rhym

Chad studies Sociology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and expects to graduate in May of 2019. His research interest is in inequality in education. He hopes to pursue a career in academia or journalism.


While at the PPC, he will be working under the direction of Dr. Sarah Bruch, studying teachers' implicit racial biases and the effect it has on the academic progression of their minority students, specifically in public schools. 


A fun fact about Chad - he has lived in the South for his entire life.



photo of conrad kim
Conrad Kim

Conrad was born in Stony Brook, New York but grew up in Korea until the age of 14. He studies Sociology at the University of Iowa, and anticipates a graduation date of May 2019. He is interested in doing quantitative research in graduate school.


One fun fact about Conrad - he studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. 





Past Semesters