Berkeley Computational Social Science Training Program welcomes Fall 2022 cohort

July 26, 2022

The Berkeley Computational Social Science Training Program (CSSTP) is delighted to welcome its newest cohort of fellows for the Fall 2022 semester at UC Berkeley.

Launched in 2020 by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences (OBSSR) and its partner institute, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, this two-year multidisciplinary training program in advanced data analytics supports predoctoral students focusing on the social and behavioral sciences.

This fall’s cohort represents students from Berkeley’s Departments of Sociology and Demography, and Schools of Social Welfare and Public Health, including epidemiology and health policy:

Madeline AdeeMadeline Adee is a Health Policy PhD student at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, with a specialization in Population Health and Data Science. Her research focuses on improving public health interventions and healthcare for people involved in the criminal justice system. She is also interested in the implementation process of prison reform programs and policies, including decarceration, and how these efforts can improve health and reduce health disparities. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked on studies assessing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of different hepatitis C testing and elimination strategies globally, and a simulation modeling project evaluating the potential impact of different interventions to reduce overdose mortality. Adee holds an MPH in Health Policy from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a BS in Anthropology from Portland State University.

Elizabeth BreenElizabeth Breen is a PhD student in the Sociology and Demography departments at UC Berkeley. Her research interests center on the social and historical determinants of human health, particularly the distribution and repercussions of infectious disease. Her current project examines the internalization of neoliberal economic ideology and its effects on workers’ fundamental social ties, like those to family, friends, and broader communities, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breen's faculty mentors at UC Berkeley are Professors Christopher Muller and Laura Enriquez. Breen also works on a research team led by Professors Amy Kate Bailey, Michael Kramer, and Margaret Hicken, studying the impact of historical racialized violence on contemporary maternal health outcomes in eleven southern US states.

Caitlin ChanCaitlin Chan is a PhD student in the division of epidemiology at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, working under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Ahern. Her research seeks to explore the epidemiological underpinnings of transmission of trauma through communities by untangling the relationships between violence, trauma, economic adversity, and institutional marginalization. She is particularly interested in understanding who is most likely to be missing from conventional sources of epidemiological data on violence, and how to improve public health surveillance of these vulnerable individuals. Chan holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an S.M. in Epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.

Alagia CiroliaAlagia Cirolia is a combined MSW/PhD student in UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. Their research interests center on improving school equity through the implementation of school-based mental health and wellness programs serving marginalized youth & families, particularly through research-practice partnerships. In addition, Cirolia hones their clinical interests in trauma-informed care and school social work. Cirolia holds a BA in Cognitive Science with High Honors from UC Berkeley. With support from their faculty mentor, Dr. Valerie Shapiro, Cirolia aims to conduct rigorous mixed-method research analyses on multi-level, longitudinal data collected from California public schools. The CSSTP fellowship will support the development and integration of skills such as quantitative critical theory, text analysis, and models for nested data.

Christina MisunasChristina Misunas is a PhD student in Demography at UC Berkeley. Her research to date has focused on the intersection of gender, health, and education in low- and middle-income countries. For the past five years, she has worked with Population Council and UNICEF’s Data Analysis Unit on research around girls’ education, child marriage, and adolescent childbearing. Prior to working in research, Christina spent several years in Washington, DC, working on global advocacy and programming for sexual and reproductive health with Marie Stopes International and the Open Society Foundations. Misunas holds an MSc in Demography and Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BA in Political Science from American University. She has worked in Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

This program is a collaborative effort currently led by David J. Harding, professor of Sociology and faculty director of the Berkeley Social Science Data Laboratory (D-Lab); Maya Petersen, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Berkeley director of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Program in Computational Precision Health; Heather A. Haveman, professor of Sociology and Business and BIDS Associate Director; and Tim Thomas, BIDS Research Training Lead for the Computational Social Science Training Program and the Research Director of Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project.

PI David J. Harding is enthusiastic in welcoming this year's cohort: “This year’s cohort is a dedicated and accomplished group of students with a passion for bringing insights from data analytics to the improvement of health and health care. It’s a great privilege to welcome them to the program and work with them in the years to come.”

“It’s wonderful to welcome another amazing student cohort this year,” says PI Maya Petersen. “These are future leaders dedicated to computational research with societal impact. We look forward to allowing them to further amplify their impact through the training and research support in computational methods that the fellowship will provide.”

According to Research Training Lead Tim Thomas, “We are so excited to welcome an incredibly talented third cohort to the CSSTP. This program really helps solidify the future of research, which requires interdisciplinary collaborations and approaches to break orbit on new population research.”

The new cohort will begin their fellowships on August 1, 2022.


The Berkeley Social Science Data Laboratory (D-Lab) provides the UC Berkeley community with services and support for advanced research design and experimentation in data-intensive social science, including consulting and advising, training and provisioning for software and infrastructure needs, and support for other campus data resources and services.

The UC Berkeley School of Public Health is at the forefront of solving complex public health problems through groundbreaking research, world-class education, and community-engaged action. This network of leaders across all health sectors works in collaboration with a range of domain science and humanities disciplines — including engineering, computer science, social welfare, public policy, journalism, international development, business, and law — with a legacy of impact and innovation at local and global levels.

The Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) has co-hosted Data Science Fellows in the social sciences since its inception in 2013. A range of domain research areas have thus far been represented — including sociology, psychology, cognitive and brain science, and social welfare — in collaboration with the departments of Sociology, History, and German, the Berkeley School of Social Welfare, the Berkeley Institute for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), the Digital Humanities and D-Lab, the Medieval Studies Program, the Data Science Education Program, and the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

Featured Fellows

Madeline Adee

Health Policy, Public Health, UC Berkeley
Computational Social Science Fellow

Elizabeth Breen

Sociology, Demography, UC Berkeley
Computational Social Science Fellow

Caitlin Chan

Epidemiology, Public Health, UC Berkeley
Computational Social Science Fellow

Alagia Cirolia

Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
Computational Social Science Fellow

Christina Misunas

Demography, UC Berkeley
Computational Social Science Fellow

David J. Harding

Sociology, D-Lab, UC Berkeley
Faculty Affiliate

Maya Petersen

School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Faculty Affiliate

Heather A. Haveman

Sociology, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Associate Faculty Director

Tim Thomas

Urban Displacement Project
Research Training Lead, Computational Social Science Training Program