Public Policy


Debra Brucker

Debra Brucker has more than 15 years of social and health policy research experience, conducting empirical research, needs assessments, program evaluations and qualitative research for a variety of federal, state and nonprofit organizations. Brucker has held research positions within state government, academic institutions and private organizations. She currently studies the economic well-being of persons with disabilities as a researcher affiliated with the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. A resident of Maine, she serves on its Governor’s Commission on Disability and Employment and State Rehabilitation Council. Brucker received a PhD in urban planning and public policy from Rutgers University and a master of public administration from the University of Delaware.

Currently teaching:Statistics for Research
Elementary Statistics for Research

Angela Fontes

Angela Fontes has a dual appointment as an assistant professor of human development and family resources at Illinois State University and senior economist in the statistics and methodology department at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Centering on family financial well-being, her research uses national data sets, including the Survey of Consumer Finances, the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Consumer Expenditure Survey. She is the director on several major projects of the US Census Bureau and works with a broad range of public and private clients on analytic research. Fontes’s research has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, Financial Counseling and Planning and the International Journal of Transportation Research. Before the NORC, Fontes worked in predictive analytics and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett; her clients included Wachovia Bank and Phillip Morris USA. Fontes earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in consumer behavior and family economics.

Currently teaching:Analytic Methods for Public Policy Analysis

Gregory Kuhn

Gregory Kuhn currently is director of government management consulting at Sikich LLP and was assistant director for public management and training at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. Kuhn has more than 28 years of combined governmental, consulting and higher education experience. He was the inaugural faculty director of the MPPA program and continues to be program adviser and lecturer. His primary teaching areas include public policy, leadership, public administration and budgeting. He also served as an instructor/lecturer for Northern Illinois University’s public administration program, and he has earned teaching awards at both NIU and SCS. Kuhn earned an MPA and PhD in public administration, public policy and organizational theory from Northern Illinois University.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy

Bruce Madariaga

Bruce Madariaga is a professor of economics at Montgomery College in Maryland. He previously worked for 15 years for the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a senior economist and manager. In 1997 he was the recipient of the EPA’s highest award, the Gold Medal, for leading the analysis of new national air pollution standards. Madariaga has published a book about applying economic principles, Economics for Life, as well as various articles on agricultural, environmental and natural resource economics and policy and the teaching of economics. He completed his doctoral work in economics from the University of Maryland, specializing in environmental and natural resource economics and policy. Madariaga also earned a MPA degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he studied public policy analysis, management and advocacy.

Currently teaching:Microeconomics for Policy and Administration
Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

Pamela Ransom

Pamela Ransom has been active as an environmentalist, planner, researcher, educator and community activist. For more than eight years she was special assistant for environmental affairs for New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Then she moved into international activism as director of health and environment for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She worked closely with the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, spoke to a variety of UN meetings and international conferences and organized major events at venues such as the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She has also served on the faculty of Long Island University School of Business, Public Administration and Information. Ransom received her doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy
Scope and Theory of Public Policy

Ellen Rissman

Ellen Rissman is an economist and senior policy specialist in the economic research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She provides research and analysis on issues in labor economics, such as self-employment and entrepreneurship and cyclical movements in employment. Rissman’s research has been published in the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Labor Economics. Her research has also appeared in the Chicago Fed’s research periodicals. Before joining the Chicago Fed in 1985, she completed her doctorate in economics and lectured at Northwestern.

Currently teaching:Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

Andy Sharma

Andy Sharma is a political economist whose areas of specialty include aging, health disparities, later-life migration and quantitative methods. Currently he works with the Cedar Grove Institute on a project to employ statistical methodology to examine the adverse impact of economic and racial isolation on student performance in North Carolina. A research article from this investigation was published in Education Policy Analysis Archives (Volume 22, 2014) and this study was cited and listed under Table of Authorities in an Amicus Brief filed by the Society of American Law Teachers in the Fisher II case with the United States Supreme Court (October 2015). He has also published in other highly regarded journals, such as Ageing and Society, Applied Geography, Disability and Rehabilitation, Journal of Aging and Health, and Women’s Health Issues. Sharma is a former recipient of the Carolina Population Center Fellowship with training grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. He also received the Future Faculty Fellowship and Weiss Urban Livability Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his PhD. He has master degrees in mathematics from Loyola University Chicago and economics from DePaul University.

Currently teaching:Analytic Methods for Public Policy Analysis
Analytic Methods for Policy Analysis

William Stenzel

William Stenzel is the director of Prairie Land Solutions, a private consulting company that specializes in staffing and scheduling analyses for public safety agencies. He was previously an associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Public Safety. From 1988 to 1993 he served as the principal investigator for the “Police Allocation Manual” project, supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which developed a procedure for determining traffic and patrol staffing needs of state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies. Stenzel also directed and participated in a number of research projects related to the development and assessment of computer-based management tools for the deployment and allocation of police and fire service personnel. He is the coauthor of Police Work Scheduling: Management Issues and Practices. He has a DSc and MS in operations research from Washington University in St. Louis and an MS in statistics.

Currently teaching:Statistics for Research