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EPIC Student Team

Epic’s student team includes a mix of undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students from departments and colleges across the university.

hands gathered


Christopher Thomas Altmann

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Thomas is a quantitative researcher seeking a B.A. degree in Political Science and Public Policy with a Minor in Data Science at UNC-CH. His research interests include educator preparation programs, American politics, state politics, state supreme courts and decision making, and legal politics.

Current Projects: Educator Quality Research Initiative, UNC System Literacy Innovation Leaders, US PREP Evaluation, North Carolina Principal Fellows Program Evaluation, Evaluation of UNC System Laboratory Schools


Samantha Capers

Graduate Research Assistant

Samantha Capers is a student in the inaugural cohort of the Master’s in Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her undergraduate degree at UNC-CH, with a major in Public Policy and a minor in Global Cinema. She received her associates degree at Randolph Community College, while in high school. Through determination and empathy, her concentration in Education & Labor Markets will improve inequitable education. Her research theme evaluates variations based on geography, ethnicity, and gender in achievement outcomes, discipline practices, and food and Wi-Fi provisions.

Current Project: Evaluation of School Extension Program in North Carolina


Jacqueline M. Kumar

Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

CV / Resume (pdf)

Jacqueline M. Kumar is a PhD candidate in Education Policy at UNC, Chapel Hill. She researches principal-teacher trust as well as teacher satisfaction, working conditions, and retention in underserved K-12 schools. Prior to beginning the PhD program, she worked for 9 years in education policy and evaluation with organizations such as the Hewlett Foundation, Education-Trust West, UNICEF, and Woodrow Wilson Center. She has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the London School of Economics and a BA from UC Berkeley.

Current Projects: Innovative Strategic Staffing


John McDonnell

Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate

CV / Resume (pdf)

John McDonnell is a quantitative research assistant who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina. John has a B.A. in Public Policy and Political Science from UNC-CH as well. His research interests lie in evaluating the impacts of educational policies and programs on the outcomes of K-12 students.

Current Projects: GEAR UP North Carolina Evaluation, Covid Impacts Project for OLR, Covid Recovery Project for Spencer Foundation Grant


Emily Palermo

Graduate Research Assistant

Emily is a mixed methods Research Assistant pursuing her Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Education and Labor Markets at UNC-Chapel Hill. She also graduated from UNC in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Political Science. Her research interests include increasing access to postsecondary education among low-income and rural communities in North Carolina, closing the achievement gap in public schools, and equity in educational outcomes.

Current Projects: GEAR UP North Carolina Evaluation and Rethink Education Evaluation


Georgia Roda-Moorhead

Undergraduate Research Analyst

Georgia Roda-Moorhead is a Qualitative Research Analyst seeking a degree in Public Policy and Spanish for the Professions. Her research interests include racial and gender equity in K-12 schools, equitable student achievement outcomes, and social-emotional learning strategies.

Current Projects: Office of Learning Resources, Gates ISS.


Andrew Sneed

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Andrew Sneed is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying English and Philosophy. His research interests include NC library services, educator preparation programs, and strategic staffing initiatives.

Current projects: Innovative Strategic Staffing, US PREP