The New York City Reducing Inequality Network (NYC-RIN) is led by a group of scholars at New York University, Columbia University, and the CUNY Graduate Center who have come together to foster dialogue and collaboration among scholars studying inequality around the city, with a particular focus on enhancing research opportunities and developing stronger mentoring for doctoral students whose research focuses on reducing inequality.
The NYC-RIN is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, New York University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York.
Cohort 1 — Entering Fall, 2018
Gerri Connaught, NYU Social Work
Gerri Connaught is a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn, and has a Master’s degree from CUNY Hunter College. Her research interests focus on providing underserved and underrepresented groups with equal opportunity and access to higher education. Gerri would like to examine the relationship between the “imposter phenomenon” and mental health of first-generational students of color, and the consequences for academic success and retention in higher education institutions. She has been working as an academic and career advisor for college students of color, which motivated her to develop the research skills and knowledge to strive for more and better knowledge and skills so that she could be well-equipped to make meaningful and substantial contributions to students of color struggling in the higher-education system.
LeShae Henderson, Columbia Sociology
LeShae Henderson received her BA in Sociology from Harvard University in 2016. During her time as an undergraduate, she was an RA on Bruce Western’s Boston Reentry Study and wrote her senior thesis using the Boston Reentry data to examine how gender effects the reentry experience. In particular, she explored the experiences of formerly-incarcerated women as they exited prison and transitioned back into their families and communities. After graduation, she worked as the special assistant to the research director at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she co-founded a race and justice working group and co-authored Vera’s first publication with an explicit, central focus on race and the justice system. As a graduate student, LeShae is interested in exploring the interrelationships between race, culture, inequality, and incarceration, focusing specifically on the case of Native Hawaiians.
Lorraine Torres-Colón, CUNY Graduate Center Sociology
Lorraine Torres-Colón graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in Sociology in 2013. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant for a project on welfare receipt and cognitive ability among children, and since graduation she has been working as a paralegal for an immigrant rights organization. Lorraine is interested in qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of racial health disparities, including an analysis of social network effects on mental health status among different Latinx groups, with a focus on Puerto Ricans. This was also the topic of her writing sample, which was based on an independent study exploring the Latino immigrant health paradox. She is interested in both quantitative and qualitative methods and also in exploring further research topics related to the inequalities between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland in the post Hurricane Maria context.
Kevin Wells, NYU Sociology
Kevin Wells worked as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins with Stefanie DeLuca and Kathy Edin, carrying out research on affordable housing and demolition, rehabilitation and vacancy patterns in Baltimore’s neighborhoods. More recently, Kevin has had a focus on the availability and quality of industrially-zoned land in Baltimore. He plans to continue with a focus on urban sociology at NYU. Kevin intends to combine demographic research on shifting migration patterns with ethnographic research to understand how the actions and policies made by public and private actors in cities and their suburbs combine to influence the prevalence or absence of affordable housing. He has a particular interest in studying the impact of federal housing policies that are implemented at the state and local levels.