2024 RIDGE Grantees

Dr. Katherine Michelmore. The effect of subsidized meals on student outcomes: Evidence from Medicaid direct certification. University of Michigan. Area of focus: Child Nutrition Programs

Katherine Michelmore is an associate professor of public policy at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, a research associate at NBER, and an associate editor at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Michelmore is a leading scholar and educator on the social safety net, education policy, labor economics, and economic demography. Her work has been published in outlets such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Demography, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, among others. Her current work focuses on the impact of access to school food on student outcomes, and more broadly how social safety net participation affects child and family well-being. Michelmore earned her PhD in policy analysis and management at Cornell University. She holds a BA in economics and psychology from Wesleyan University. Prior to obtaining her PhD, Michelmore was a research assistant at the Urban Institute.

Dr. Namrata Sanjeevi. Impact of Cash Value Benefits increase on perinatal health and child’s dietary intake: A quasi-experimental study. Washington State University. Area of focus: WIC.

Namrata Sanjeevi, PhD, is a Research Associate at the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University. She holds a PhD in Nutrition/ Portfolio in Applied Statistical Modeling from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Sanjeevi has about 10 years of experience conducting research on nutrition assistance programs, with a focus on the SNAP and WIC programs. She has utilized primary data collection and nationally representative datasets to examine the impact of participation in nutrition assistance programs on food insecurity and dietary intake. In her previous positions, she also has evaluated the population-level impact of state school nutrition laws and WIC 2009 revisions on child health outcomes. Her current research, since joining WSU in November 2022, focuses on understanding the association between pandemic-related SNAP revisions and food insecurity, WIC participation and infant formula shortage experiences, and Cash Value Benefits increase and maternal/child health.   

Dr. Katherine Yewell. Assessing household spillover effects of universal free meals. Florida State University. Area of focus: Child Nutrition Programs

Katherine Yewell, PhD, is a health economist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Florida State University.  Since completing her PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Yewell’s work has been published in the Journal of Health Economics and the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.  Her research focuses on the effects of public policies on maternal and child health outcomes, food security, and household decision-making.  One such policy of interest is the provision of universal free meals at school through the Community Eligibility Provision.  In prior work, she and her coauthor show that the program had a meaningful impact on household grocery spending, dietary quality, and food security.  With the RIDGE grant, Dr. Yewell will explore further spillover effects of the program for household members. 

Dr. Benjamin Chrisinger. Does welfare generosity affect SNAP food environments? A longitudinal assessment of retailer responses to changes in income supports? Tufts University School of Arts & Science. Area of focus: SNAP.

Dr. Benjamin Chrisinger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health. His research is at the intersection of urban planning and public health, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the effects of place on health. Dr. Chrisinger was previously a co-Investigator on a USDA/University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research FoodAPS grant, which explored household factors that influence the choice of food retailers, and how store choices influenced the nutritional content of foods purchased. He has also published on the plausible connections between SNAP and food environments, which is the primary focus of this RIDGE project.

Dr. Chrisinger was previously an Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Policy Evaluation in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford, and a Research Fellow with Green-Templeton College. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and bachelors and master’s degrees in Urban & Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.

Peter Anderson. PhD Candidate.The WIC infant formula subsidy, childhood obesity, and societal welfare. University of Virginia. Area of focus: WIC 

Peter Anderson, MA, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the effectiveness and normative implications from social program and public health interventions, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). His dissertation work examines the causal effect of WIC’s provision of infant formula on infant feeding practices and childhood growth, using these estimates to inform an evaluation of the welfare effects of program spending. Other ongoing projects include an evaluation of the effect of WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) on program take-up and usage of food benefits, for which Mr. Anderson received the Snavely Award for Outstanding Second Year Paper. Prior to UVA, Mr. Anderson completed undergraduate work in Economics and Mathematics at Vanderbilt University and received an MA in Economics from the University of Texas.

Elaine Beulick. PhD Candidate. Understanding utilization of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) among refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) families: a dual examination of data and frontline intentions. Saint Louis University. Area of focus: WIC/SNAP

Elaine Beulick is currently a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Saint Louis University. Her dissertation research focuses on refugee, immigrant, and migrant utilization of federal food and nutrition assistance programs—specifically, WIC. Elaine enjoys combining her passion for research with her passion for helping families manage and improve their nutrition and health. She volunteers as a clinical dietitian at Casa de Salud, where she provides nutrition counseling and education to the immigrant community of St. Louis. She always seeks opportunities to inform nutrition policy through her work.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Elaine earned a BS in Nutrition from Miami University of Ohio and an MS in Nutrition & Dietetics from Saint Louis University, with a specialization in pediatric medical nutrition. After graduating with her master’s degree, Elaine passed her registered dietitian licensing exam and worked in a research lab at Washington University School of Medicine as a behavioral interventionist for pediatric patients and families who struggled with obesity.