Director

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Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D.

Dr. Osborne is an Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership at the LBJ School. She is also the Director of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the LBJ School. She has extensive experience conducting long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works and why, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies. She specializes in collaborative partnerships and the real world application of academic research. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of social policy, poverty and inequality, family and child well-being, and family demography. Dr. Osborne is also a Research Affiliate of the Population Research Center and a Research Affiliate of the Center for Women and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She currently serves the Chair of the Responsible Fatherhood working group for the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN), a long-term project of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. She is elected to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Policy Council, the leadership team responsible for setting policy and strategy for the association. Dr. Osborne also directs The University of Texas at Austin’s institutional membership of SRCD’s University-Based Child Family Policy Consortium. She previously was Director of the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality (PEEQ), an initiative of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. PEEQ measured state educator preparation programs’ influence on student achievement for the Texas Education Agency. Dr. Osborne joined the faculty of the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2005 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. Dr. Osborne holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University, Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Master of Arts in Education from Claremont Graduate University. Previously, Dr. Osborne taught middle school in a low-income community in California. [ Dr. Osborne's CV | Dr. Osborne's Faculty Profile  | News Posts about Dr. Osborne | Contact Cynthia Osborne | Twitter at @BlahaOsborne]

Research Staff

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Nora Ankrum, MPAff

Research Analyst
Nora Ankrum holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Czech from The University of Texas at Austin.  Before coming to LBJ, she was the Associate News Editor at The Austin Chronicle, where she covered local politics and policymaking with an emphasis on energy, the environment, and urban development. She also worked as a research assistant for journalist Lawrence Wright on his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Nora is currently assists with projects related to paternity establishment and father involvement. Contact Nora Ankrum.
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Kaeley Bobbitt, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Associate
Kaeley Bobbitt earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Kaeley’s research interests center around the development and well-being of children from low-income families. Outside of her graduate work, she has worked as a research assistant at the Yale Child Study Center and on the Texas KIDS COUNT project at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. Kaeley leads the family supports, early childhood intervention, and fatherhood teams at CFRP. Contact Kaeley Bobbitt.
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Sydney Briggs, MPAff

Research Associate
Sydney Briggs manages multiple adolescent health and child welfare projects for CFRP. Her research interests include broad themes of gender, power, and capitalism, with a specific focus on domestic violence. Before joining CFRP, Sydney worked with Refugee Services of Texas, Jersey Battered Women's Services, and the New Brunswick Community Interpreter Project. Sydney holds a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and BA in Spanish Literature and Culture from Rutgers University. Contact Sydney Briggs.
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Ally DeGraff, MS, LMFTA

Research Analyst
Alycia (Ally) DeGraff holds a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a B.S. in Community, Family, and Addiction Services from Texas Tech University. Ally is currently completing the requirements for her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia where she is focused on the intersections of military families, mental health, and finances. Ally is also an executive board member of the Financial Therapy Association and a research consultant with Blue Star Families. Ally supports multiple projects at CFRP with survey development and data collection. Contact Ally DeGraff.
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Allison Dubin, MPH

Research Associate
Allison Dubin holds a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas Health Science Center and a B.S. in Business and Spanish from Trinity University. Before working at LBJ, Allison led research projects on the state nursing workforce at the Texas Department of State Health Services. During graduate school, she interned at the Livestrong Foundation where she conducted evaluation research on a cancer survivor support program and at Apple where she supported health promotion programming in the wellness department. Allison is part of the CFRP child welfare team. Contact Allison Dubin.
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Anna Lipton Galbraith, MPAff

Senior Research Associate
Anna Lipton Galbraith holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University.  Before coming to LBJ, Anna worked on international development projects for the National Democratic Institute.  As a student at LBJ, Anna co-authored a report on the conditions for youth who are housed in Texas county jails, and served as a Graduate Research Assistant for a project on the reclamation of the U.S. Congress.  Anna leads the child welfare and adolescent health teams at CFRP. Contact Anna Lipton Galbraith.
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Jennifer Huffman, MPAff

Research Associate
Jennifer holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from Texas Lutheran University, where she gained experience developing and conducting cross-cultural survey research in the United States and Central America. Jennifer has worked in research and evaluation roles for the Austin Office of the City Auditor, the McCombs School of Business, and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. Jennifer is part of the child welfare and adolescent health teams at CFRP.
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Ruy Manrique-Betanzos, MPaff

Research Associate
Ruy Manrique holds a Master in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He earned his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM). Prior to coming to the LBJ School, Ruy performed analysis of electoral and judicial data as an advisor for the Federal Electoral Court in Mexico. He has also worked as a researcher for IMCO, a Mexican think tank, and as a data specialist for a major Mexican bank. He is a data specialist and part of the CFRP data team. Contact Ruy Manrique-Betanzos.
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Andrea Michelsen, MPAff

Andrea Michelsen is part of the fatherhood, early childhood intervention, and family supports team at CFRP. In particular, she helps manage CFRP’s fatherhood evaluations. Andrea holds a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Prior to coming to CFRP, Andrea worked in refugee social services at the International Rescue Committee in Dallas.
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Holly Sexton, MA

Senior Research Associate
Holly Sexton holds a M.A. degree in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology with minors in English and French from Centenary College. Prior to coming to LBJ, she worked as a data manager and research associate affiliated with research centers at the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, and most recently in the Human Development and Family Science department at the University of Texas at Austin. She also was a TEFL teacher as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Africa. Holly is the lead of the CFRP data team and manages data for multiple projects. Contact Holly Sexton.

Research Support

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Cassie Gianni

Graduate Research Assistant
Cassie Gianni is a Master of Global Policy Studies candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of Houston. As an undergrad, she focused her community service on economic empowerment, cultural exchange, and LGBTQA+ rights.  At CFRP, she supports a variety of early childhood and child welfare projects.
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Isabel Hovey

Graduate Research Associate
Isabel Hovey is a Master of Global Policy Studies candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She earned her B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to UT, Isabel served with the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in El Salvador, worked as the program director for adult literacy at Fayetteville Urban Ministry in North Carolina, and designed new libraries and literacy programs for East Austin College Prep charter school. Isabel assists with multiple projects at CFRP including those related to father involvement and family economic security.
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Molly McManus, MA

Graduate Research Assistant
Molly McManus is a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department with a specialization in  Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and her BS in Liberal Studies and Spanish from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Prior to coming to UT, she taught three years of bilingual second and third grade in East Oakland and San Francisco. During her graduate studies, Molly worked as a data analyst for AVANCE Austin and a research assistant for the Agency in Young Children Project. Molly assists on family support projects in the areas of early childhood and fatherhood.
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David Mitnick

Graduate Research Assistant
David Mitnick is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the LBJ School. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley. Before arriving at UT, David worked for several years as both a Research Assistant and Research Associate at Social Policy Research Associates (SPR), a contract evaluation firm located in Oakland, California. At SPR, David contributed to a number of evaluations related to education, workforce development, and philanthropic programs. David currently assists with several projects including those related to adolescent welfare and child health.
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Selva Swetha Ayyampalayam Rajeswaran

Graduate Research Assistant
Selva Swetha is a Master of Global Policy Studies candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Prior to graduate school, she worked on a randomized evaluation of sanitation solutions for urban slums in India, and with an action-based research organization in rural India, working on developing a feasible primary healthcare delivery model for the country. She holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from the University of Warwick, UK. Swetha is a part of the CFRP data team and supports multiple projects.
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Caitlin Shea

Graduate Research Assistant
Caitlin Shea is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning candidate at the School of Architecture. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Southwestern University.  Prior to graduate school, she worked on multiple political campaigns and as staff during two legislative sessions. During her first year of graduate school, Caitlin interned with the Center for Public Policy Priorities as the Research and Texas KIDS COUNT Intern, where she focused on research related to the outcomes and well-being of children from low-income families. At CFRP, Caitlin is part of the family supports team including early childhood and fatherhood issues.
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Melissa Stetler

Graduate Research Assistant
Melissa Stelter is a Masters of Public Affairs candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science and a minor in Secondary Education from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin, she worked as an agriculture extension agent in Zambia with the U.S. Peace Corps and taught agricultural science in the Austin area. Melissa is part of the CFRP data team and works on multiple projects.                      
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Kara Takasaki, MA

Graduate Research Assistant
Kara Takasaki is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.  She holds a Master’s in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s in Sociology and English from Tufts University. Kara has worked with the Family Violence Program at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and is an appointed Commissioner for the City’s Asian American Quality of Life Advisory Board. She has been a research assistant for the UT Austin Population Research Center, The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Before coming to UT, Kara worked as a budget analyst for Hawaii’s State Legislature, and has also worked for the City and County of Honolulu on mass transit, community services, and domestic violence. Kara currently assists with fatherhood projects at CFRP.
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Pablo Varas Valenzuela, MSc

Graduate Research Assistant
Pablo Varas Valenzuela is student in the doctoral candidate in the economics program at The University of Texas at Austin. Pablo has a B.S. and a MSc. in Engineering Science from the Universidad Catolica de Chile. Before moving to Austin, he worked at IdeaPais, a Chilean Think Tank, doing policy research about education, poverty and family. He also worked as researcher and lecturer at the Universidad de los Andes (Chile). At CFRP, he is part of the data team and works on a variety of projects.
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Jose Vazquez

Graduate Research Assistant
Jose Vazquez is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He earned his B.A. in Public Health with a minor in Classical Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle. Before coming to the University of Texas at Austin, Jose served as a Community Health Specialist volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. In his role, Jose collaborated with at-risk youth and women’s groups in health education promotion, as well as coordinated medical service trips serving migrant farm worker communities along the Dominican-Haitian border. Jose supports multiple projects at CFRP including child welfare and adolescent health projects.

Program Administration

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Kristyne Blackburn

Finance, Grants, and Human Resource Director
Kristyne Blackburn is the Finance, Grants, and Human Resource Director for CFRP. Prior to coming to The University of Texas at Austin, Kristyne worked as an officer in the banking and finance industries for over 20 years with multiple responsibilities including budgeting, forecasting, and administration. Kristyne manages the finances, grant facilitation, and personnel needs for CFRP. Contact Kristyne Blackburn.
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Wendy Gonzales

Operations and Communications Director
Wendy Gonzales is the Operations and Communications Director for CFRP. She has been working in marketing and communications for over 20 years. Prior to working at The University of Texas at Austin, Wendy was a marketing executive managing multi-media campaigns and projects for her clients at advertising agencies and marketing departments in Texas and Virginia. She currently oversees communications strategy, technology needs, day-to-day operations, and special events for CFRP. Wendy is also the Operations and Communications Director for the LBJ School's Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP). She works at the intersection of academic research, policy, and public interest for both CFRP and CHASP. Contact Wendy Gonzales.
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Nicole Vinton

Program Coordinator
Nicole Vinton earned a B.P.A. in Public Administration with a minor in Diversity Studies from Texas State University. As a student, Nicole worked for the Resource Development Team at Capital Area Food Bank of Texas where she concentrated on donor relationship management and communications. Prior to LBJ, she was an Event Planner and Coordinator for a private, corporate and nonprofit event venue. Nicole supports and coordinates the project management, special events, and administrative needs of CFRP.

Program Support

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Gina Hinojosa

Senior Student Associate
Gina Hinojosa is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies and a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development with a concentration in Youth and Community Studies. Before joining CFRP, she worked in the nonprofit sector training low-income and immigrant workers to defend their employee rights. Aside from working with CFRP, she is currently working with Innovations for Peace and Development at UT on a team conducting research on international governance and corruption. At CFRP, she serves as a Senior Student Associate under the Director of Communications and Operations.