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​ARE Team Welcomes New Graduate Assistants

Four graduate assistants joined the Extension Center for Family Development (FD) Applied Research and Evaluation (ARE) Team in August: Carolina De La Rosa Mateo, Shelby Crespi, Sunghun Lim, and Vidhya Shanker.

Carolina De La Rosa Mateo joined the ARE Team to support FD’s Health and Nutrition program. Before coming to Extension, Carolina worked as an assistant program coordinator for a school-based vaccination program in Florida. She also spent a few weeks giving public health lessons in Colombia and spent a summer interning with the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carolina is pursuing a master's degree in public health with a focus on community health promotion at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Bachelor of Health Science degree from the University of Florida.

Carolina’s areas of focus are health promotion, nutrition, and health disparities.

Shelby Crespi will work on launching a mobile app to help streamline the process for health educators working with low-literacy populations.

Before joining Extension, Shelby worked with social enterprises in East Africa that focused on women's financial agency, menstruation management, and improving access to modern energy services. She also has worked on a resilience study for primarily low income, Latino families in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A native of Silicon Valley, Shelby has a bachelor’s degree in public health science from Santa Clara University in California. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Shelby is interested in family health, sexual and reproductive health, risk management, and community-based participatory research methods.

Sunghun Lim joined the Extension Center for Family Development Applied Research and Evaluation Team to provide general research and evaluation support across program areas — with a focus on statistical analysis and scholarship support.

Before coming to Extension, Sunghun was a research assistant at the Food Protection and Defense Institute  and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, both at the University of Minnesota. He also has been a research assistant with the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration and the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

Sunghun has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in agriculture and resource economics from the University of California-Davis. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in applied economics from the U of M.

His area of focus is agricultural development economics, including food supply chains, risk analysis, food security, and welfare analysis.

Vidhya Shanker has joined the Extension Center for Family Development’s Applied Research and Evaluation Team as a graduate research assistant. She will support research, evaluation, and scholarship efforts for the Family Resiliency program area. Much of her time will be spent supporting evaluation of the Parents Forever™ educational program.

Before joining Extension, Vidhya spent 20 years in the public and nonprofit sector, working in large institutions and in grassroots, constituent-led organizations. She has conducted evaluations with communities of color, as well as indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities in the United States. She also has done research on human services, poverty, and systemic inequality on the international level.

Vidhya has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Evaluation Studies from the University’s College of Education and Human Development.

Vidhya’s areas of focus are racial, economic, and gender justice; participatory evaluation; and systems thinking.
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