Texas Policy Evaluation Project
TEXPEP upper righthand gray scale identity logo

The Researchers

Investigators

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, and the Principal Investigator of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). 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. 


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.


Kari White

Kari White, Ph.D., MPH, is an Associate Professor in Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 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.


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.


Caitlin Gerdts

Caitlin Gerdts, Ph.D., is Vice President of Research at Ibis Reproductive Health. She is an epidemiologist with expertise in study design and implementation, impact evaluation and causal inference methods. One area of her research focuses on the evaluation of interventions to improve access to safe abortion, specifically in restrictive settings. She works on a range of abortion-related studies with TxPEP and led an analysis evaluating the impact of clinic closures on women obtaining abortion after the implementation of HB 2. 


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.


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.


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 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.


isabel

Isabel McLoughlin is a Graduate Student Researcher in the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her master's degree in Urban Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. She joined TxPEP in the Fall of 2017. Her work with TxPEP includes analysis and cartography representing the travel burden for women seeking abortion care in Texas and research related to religion and abortion opinion.


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.


lthaxton-smallLauren 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.


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.


Sofia

Sofia Filippa is a Research Assistant at Ibis Reproductive Health where she provides support on a variety of quantitative and qualitative projects in the U.S., Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Her work on TxPEP focuses on assisting with data collection and tracking of service provision and wait times of abortion clinics across the state. Sofia holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Creative Writing from Stanford University. 


DKuhn

Daniela M. Kuhn, a Project Coordinator at TxPEP, is a bilingual Research Participant Interviewer for the statewide Postpartum Contraception Study. In addition to conducting interviews, she assists with data management and development of research tools for the project. She holds bachelor's degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.


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.


RaifmanSarah Raifman Sarah Raifman is a Project Director at ANSIRH and holds a Master of Science degree in Global Health and Population from the Harvard School of Public Health. She manages UCSF’s participation in the TxPEP project and coordinates surveys with women and providers to better understand women’s experiences seeking abortion services. 


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.


Graduate Communications Assistant

NazarioJesús Nazario is a Graduate Communications Assistant at the TxPEP. He assists with the Texas Scholar Works project, website management, and the postpartum contraception project. Jesús is a current Latin American Studies graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin.


Former TxPEP Team Members

Chelsea Bryant was an undergraduate research assistant at TxPEP from September 2014 - May 2015. She graduated in May 2015 with a B.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She assisted with the administrative components of the Postpartum Contraception Study as well as the study of community college students.


Naomi Caballero worked as a research associate for the Post Abortion Contraception Study. At TxPEP from August 2014 - May 2016, she conducted year-long interviews with over 500 women, documenting their experiences accessing contraception after abortion.


Caitlin Canfield worked as a graduate student researcher with TxPEP from August 2015 - January 2017. She participated in several research projects, including contraception access post-abortion.


Monica Chadha received a PhD in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin in May 2014. Monica oversaw the content for the website as well as other press-related content for the Texas Policy Evaluation Project from 2012 - 2013.


Leah Danze worked as a research associate for TxPEP from January - June 2016, conducting bilingual participant interviews for the statewide Postpartum Contraception Study.


Carmen Diaz de Leon assisted with the 2-site Postpartum Contraception Project in El Paso. 


Chloe Dillaway worked for TxPEP for five and a half years starting in March 2012 as a research participant interviewer and ending as an associate project manager in August 2017. She is now pursuing a master of science in public health in public health nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Liza Fuentes worked with TxPEP from September 2011 - July 2016 as a senior project manager at Ibis Reproductive Health. Her research has focused on the effects of immigration and health policies on Latina and immigrant reproductive health, clinician training in reproductive health, and abortion access. Liza is doctoral candidate at the CUNY School of Public Health and has a Master of Public Health from Columbia University.


Marjorie Hartwell worked as an undergraduate research assistant during summer 2013, assisting with the data cleaning for the 2-site Postpartum Contraception Project.


Ted Held


Emily Hendrick is currently completing her PhD in health education from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include understanding and reducing maternal, child, and adolescent health disparities by investigating the social determinants of women’s health behaviors and health across the life course and translating research findings to public health initiatives. She was a graduate research associate at TxPEP from September 2014 - May 2015.


Brianna Keefe-Oates was part of TxPEP from August 2015 - August 2017. She worked on TxPEP projects focused on reduction of abortion stigma and safe access to abortion.


Lisa Landry is a registered nurse with an interest in reproductive rights and social justice. She completed her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at University of Texas School of Public Health in May 2014. She assisted with the family planning clinic in-depth interviews and management of the family planning clinic survey data during summer 2013.


Sharon Lebenkoff worked with TxPEP from April 2014 - March 2016 while a research assistant at Ibis Reproductive Health. She assisted with data collection, management, and analysis for the abortion components of TxPEP, including surveys for women seeking abortion services and interviews with clinics, providers and abortion funds.


Fu-An Lin was the TxPEP Project Manager for the study of community college students. She also coordinated data collection for other research studies at the Population Research Center; recent projects have focused on STEM pathways at the K-12 and college levels. Although new to the field of reproductive health, Fu-An has extensive experience with survey research, as well as working with institutional partners to increase response rates.


Anikka Lekven was an undergraduate research assistant with TxPEP from July 2015 - April 2016. She provided research and administrative assistance on the study of community college women's access to contraception, the Postpartum Contraception Study and other studies. Anikka majors in Women's and Gender Studies and will graduate in May 2016.


Fran Linkin completed her Master of Public Health degree in May 2013 from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she focused on reproductive and family health. During summer 2012, she collaborated with community organizations throughout the state of Texas to coordinate focus groups with low income women about their experiences accessing family planning services. She worked with TxPEP from June - December 2012.


Natasha Mevs-Korff worked as a bilingual research participant interviewer for the 2-site Postpartum Contraception Study. Along with her co-interviewer, Chloe Dillaway, Natasha recruited 400 participants at St. David’s Hospital; she conducted follow-up interviews with each participant for 24 months following delivery. Natasha also assisted in developing research instruments and managing the PPC data.


Zoraima Pelaez worked as an undergraduate research assistant with TxPEP from April - December 2016. She provided research and administrative assistance on the Texas Postpartum Contraception Study and other studies.


Jennifer Potter-Miller worked as the Special Media Products Manager at TxPEP. She was part of TxPEP from 2015-2016.


Katie Ray worked with TxPEP as an undergraduate research assistant from September 2012 - May 2015 and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and journalism in May 2015. She assisted with administrative and organizational aspects of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, and her duties included researching legislative records relating to reproductive health.


Maria Roque graduated in May 2015 with a B.A. in journalism and a Bridging Disciplines Program certificate in Social Inequality, Health, and Policy. As an undergraduate research assistant at TxPEP Maria worked on a SAS project that studied how parity and marital status affect women’s socioeconomic status. She was also a bilingual research participant interviewer for the Austin Postpartum Contraception Study. She was part of TxPEP from September 2014 - May 2015.


Caroline Starling worked with TxPEP as an undergraduate research assistant from January - May 2017. She graduated from UT Austin in May 2017 with a B.S.A. in Biology and a certificate in Social Inequality, Health, and Policy through the Bridging Disciplines Program.


Katherine Strandberg worked with TxPEP as a bilingual research participant interviewer for the statewide Postpartum Contraception study from June 2015 - July 2018.


Michelle Truong worked as an undergraduate research assistant during summer 2013, assisting with the data cleaning for the 2-site Postpartum Contraception Project.


Megha Uppal worked with TxPEP from August-December 2015 as an undergraduate research assistant. She assisted with the Post-Partum LARC project by helping with interviews and digital communication.