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Applied research and evaluation team welcomes new research assistant

By Anna Alba — executive office and administrative specialist

Mikayla Smith is a new graduate research assistant with the Applied Research and Evaluation team (ARE). She is attending the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Policy focusing on mass incarceration, specifically juvenile detention centers and education. Mikayla hopes to study both public and non-profit agencies that focus on judicial, criminal, and correctional fields to understand how they function and create best practices towards interrupting the pipelines that exist for youth/young adults in the United States.


Mikayla graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul in May, 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities. She created her own major, Community Leadership, which encompasses sociology, criminal justice, United States history, communication, and political science. Mikayla was recognized as the Social and Behavioral Science Honor Student (Spring ’18), the Student Leader of the Year (Spring ’18), received the Bartling Scholarship for Civic Engagement, Civic Education, and History (Fall ’17), and the National Newman Civic Fellowship from Campus Compact (Spring ’17).

In her free time, Mikayla is involved in local politics and non-profits in the Twin Cities, focusing on deferral programs, recidivism, and judicial elections. In addition, she works with youth development programs and civic education/engagement programs that are celebrating and amplifying the work of youth in the Twin Cities.

Mikayla is excited to work with the Family Development ARE team and hopes to become a skilled evaluator, researcher, and educator.

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