Research Affiliates

The goal with the Research Affiliate program at CCWT is to build a community of scholars and practitioners who are committed to pursuing applied research on topics related to our Center’s mission. CCWT Research Affiliates serve two-year terms and pursue independent or collaborative research on issues related to college-workforce transitions, while actively engaging with our growing community of scholar-practitioners dedicated to improving these pathways for all students.

Jared Colston

Jared Colston is a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a project assistant with the Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab and a research affiliate for the Center for the Study of College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT). His research focuses on the intersection of higher education and geography, namely the geographic distribution of educational opportunity, the role of postsecondary institutions in their local communities, and policies surrounding migration and “brain drain.”

Andrew Crain

Andrew Crain is a doctoral candidate in the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education and the Director of Experiential Professional Development (xPD) at the UGA Graduate School. The aim of the xPD program is to provide hands-on career development for graduate students who are interested in industry, government, or non-profit career tracks. Andrew’s research interests include rural student success, career development, and STEM talent. Andrew has worked in various career development roles at the University of Georgia for nine years and is a past president of the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers (GACE).

Adrian H. Huerta

Adrian H. Huerta, PhD is an assistant professor in the Pullias Center for Higher Education located in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Dr. Huerta’s research focuses on boys and men of color, college access and equity, and gang-associated youth in the K-16 educational pipeline.

DeShawn Preston

DeShawn Preston, PhD serves as the Research Associate for UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Within this role DeShawn is responsible for redeveloping a transformation assessment tool for institutions of higher education looking to implement career pathways. He has led several projects that provided professional development to personnel from HBCUs who were interested in honing their data skills. In addition, he serves as one of the researchers and evaluators for the Career Pathways Initiative. Through his role he is able to engage institutions on best practices in preparing students of color and low-income students to be work force ready. As an active member in the field of higher education, DeShawn serves as a young scholar for the editorial board for the Journal of Negro Education and the Vice Chair for the Council of Public Policy in Higher Education for the Association for the Study of Higher Education. DeShawn considers himself to be an advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and those who are often forgotten in the field of higher education. He has an edited book, and authored several reports, articles, book chapters, and blogs on the advancement of HBCUs. Before joining UNCF, DeShawn served as the institutional effectiveness program manager at Morehouse school of Medicine.

Lucas Schalewski

Lucas Schalewski, PhD serves as the Director of Assessment and Research at the University of Arizona. In this role he leads assessment strategy within the university to fulfill University of Arizona’s Strategic Plan, land-grant mission, and designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Dr. Schalewski’s research and professional interests include how undergraduate experiences can either support or inhibit upward social mobility through post-graduation outcomes, and enhancing quantitative methods within higher education assessment and evaluation.

Carrie Shandra

Carrie Shandra is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook who studies work and life course inequalities in the United States. She is currently writing a book about the role of internships in the school-career transition, based on student surveys, interviews with key stakeholders, and labor market data. She received her PhD from Brown University and recently completed a year as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Brian Vivona

Brian Vivona, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. His research interests are varied, however most of his work has focused on how humor functions in relation to occupational identity, organizational culture, leadership, and learning in the workplace. He is on the Board of Directors for The American Board of Nursing Specialties as well as the Executive Committee for the National W Club; The University of Wisconsin Letterwinners Association.

Hongwei Yu

Position title: Associate Researcher

Hongwei Yu is an associate researcher and serves as Survey Director of the National Survey of College Internships (NSCI) at CCWT. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Higher Education Administration and Policy from University of Florida in 2013. His work centers on student learning, persistence, academic and employment outcomes at community colleges and four-year institutions. Hongwei Yu specializes in analyzing large-scale institutional, regional, and national datasets using multivariate analysis techniques. Prior to his work at CCWT, he worked as research associate at University of Texas at Austin, and postdoctoral scholar at Baylor University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.