Texas Policy Evaluation Project
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The Researchers

Investigators

Kari White

Kari White, Ph.D., MPH, is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin and the Principal Investigator of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). She conducts health services research using qualitative and quantitative methods. Her research focuses on family planning services provided at publicly funded clinics, access to abortion and vasectomy. She is also involved with studies on postpartum contraceptive use.


baum

Sarah Baum, MPH, is a Senior Project Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health. Her work focuses on abortion access in restrictive settings. She coordinates qualitative and quantitative data collection for the abortion-related studies of the project. This includes surveys of women seeking abortion services; interviews with clinic staff, abortion providers and funders; and tracking wait times at abortion clinics throughout the state.


Daniel Grossman

Daniel Grossman, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a physician with expertise in clinical and public health research. His research focuses on abortion access in Texas using vital statistics, as well as data collected from women and health care providers. He is also involved with studies on postpartum contraceptive use and changes in the provision of publicly funded family planning services. 


Kristine Hopkins

Kristine Hopkins, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. She is a social demographer with expertise in qualitative methods and designing and conducting surveys. Her research focuses on access to contraception among low-income community college students, postpartum contraceptive use and changes in the provision of publicly funded family planning services. She is also involved with studies on changing access to abortion.


JP

Joseph E. Potter, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Research Associate at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. He is a demographer with expertise in the design and analysis of surveys, as well as social policy evaluation. Potter coordinates all project components and leads TxPEP’s studies of postpartum contraception, the impact of changes in family planning funding on births, abortions, and contraceptive use. 


Co-Investigators

Kate Coleman-Minahan

Kate Coleman-Minahan Ph.D., FNP-BC is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Denver. She is a social scientist and clinician whose work focuses on reproductive health decision-making and access to contraception and abortion services among marginalized populations, specifically adolescents and Latina immigrants. She has expertise in quantitative analyses of survey data and qualitative interviews with marginalized populations.


Powers

Daniel A. Powers, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Sociology and a Faculty Research Associate at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. He is a demographer who provides statistical consulting and programming expertise to a number of TxPEP projects. He has longstanding interests in demography, statistics, social inequality; maternal, infant, and child health; and health disparities in the United States.


lthaxton-small

Lauren Thaxton is an assistant professor and practicing OB/GYN in the Department of Women’s Health at Dell Medical School. She has been working with TxPEP investigating novel tools for addressing issues/dissatisfaction with postpartum contraception. Before joining TxPEP, she completed both her residency in OB/GYN and her fellowship in family planning at the University of New Mexico and received her medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine. She also holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on clinical research and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on health organization management.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Ela

Elizabeth J. Ela, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. She is a social demographer and medical sociologist with expertise in survey design and quantitative analysis of longitudinal survey data. Her work focuses on contraceptive behavior and reproductive health service use. She is particularly interested in knowledge and attitudes about contraception and pregnancy, as well as disparities in reproductive health by race, soicoeconomic status, and sexuality.


Graduate Research Associates

Kathleen

Kathleen Broussard is a Graduate Student Researcher and trainee at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. Kathleen’s research interests include maternal and reproductive health, gender, and development. She joined the Texas Policy Evaluation Project in August 2016.


kristen

Kristen L. Burke is a Graduate Student Researcher in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. Kristen’s research interests include reproductive health, healthcare access, and family formation. She joined the Texas Policy Evaluation Project in September 2018.


eilers

Michelle Eilers is a Graduate Student Researcher in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She received a master’s in Demography and Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2015 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. Michelle is interested in research of reproductive health, relationship development and dynamics, and the life course. She joined the Texas Policy Evaluation Project in August 2017.


Katie Hansen

Katie Hansen is a Graduate Student Researcher at the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her master's degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011 and is currently pursuing an MD/MPH dual degree from Dell Medical School at UT Austin. Katie's research interests include reproductive health and postpartum contraception provision. She joined the Texas Policy Evaluation Project in September 2018.


Affiliated Researchers

Abigail R.A. Aiken

Abigail R.A. Aiken is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin LBJ School. She investigates the measurement and meaning of unintended pregnancy, its relationship to contraceptive preferences and use, and its impacts on women, men, and families. She is involved in the Postpartum Contraception Study, the Family Planning Clinic Survey, and the Post-Abortion Contraception Study. 


vgoyal

Vinita Goyal is a Research Investigator at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She is involved in the Post-Abortion Contraception study aimed at evaluating use and continuation of long-acting reversible contraception among post-abortion patients. She is also investigating access to abortion services among low-income, minority, and rural Texas women before and during implementation of a Texas state law mandating abortion providers to have admitting privileges and abortion facilities to comply with ambulatory surgery center requirements.


Celia Huber

Celia Hubert has recently completed her Ph.D. in Sociology while working for the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in actuarial science from the Instituto Tecnólogico Autónomo de México. While specializing in demography at The University of Texas at Austin, she conducted research on the possible effects of unintended pregnancies on women’s health and well-being as well as the relationship between education and fertility intentions.


Amanda J. Stevenson

Amanda J. Stevenson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a demographer and sociologist with expertise in quantitative policy evaluation and the analysis of massive datasets. Her research focuses on the impacts of funding changes for fertility and service delivery, restrictions on access to the courts for minors seeking judicial bypasses to access abortion care, and efforts to expand access to the full range of contraceptive methods.


Staff

Dixon

Laura Dixon is the Media Liaison and Research Dissemination Manager at TxPEP. She holds her PhD in Media Studies from UT Austin's Department of Radio-Television-Film with a Women's and Gender Studies certificate. She coordinates press releases, research briefs, and fact sheets and develops media outreach strategies for TxPEP. She holds a master's degree from Emory University and a bachelor's degree from Ohio University.


Gracia Sierra

Gracia Sierra, Ph.D., is a statistician at TxPEP. She holds her Ph.D. in Sociology with specializations in Demography and Population Health from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Economics from Duke University. Her work focuses on quantitative analysis of data to examine delays in abortion and statistical analysis of data to determine if there have been changes in the preferences for medical/surgical abortion over time.


LPalomares

Lina Palomares is the Project Manager for the statewide Postpartum Contraception Study. Lina holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the The University of Texas at Austin and bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience and Accounting from UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles, respectively.


Ana

Ana Ramirez is a Research Assistant at Ibis Reproductive Health. With TxPEP, she works on aspects of the project that are focused on abortion access. Her research has been primarily qualitative to understand how the perceptions and experiences of girls during menarche impact their health and education options in the US and Madagascar. Ana holds a Master of Public Health degree in Global Health from Columbia University's Mailman School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University.


Elsa Vizcarra Elsa Vizcarra is a Research Associate at the Population Research Center. At TxPEP, she works as a bilingual Research Participant Interviewer for the statewide Postpartum Contraception Study. Elsa holds a bachelor's degree of science in Biology and Health from the University of Houston.


  • Texas Policy Evaluation Project

    Population Research Center
    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street
    Stop G1800
    Austin, Texas 78712