Gabriela Goodman is an Economics (BS) major with minors in Public Policy and Business Administration. During her time at UNC, Gabriela has been working with Dr. Jane Fruehwirth to delve into the determinants of student success in college. This began in Summer 2020 when she worked with Dr. Fruehwirth and a team of five fellow undergraduates to analyze a new period of data for Dr. Fruehwirth’s Transitions study, a longitudinal study of well-being and challenges in college. Using this data, Gabriela wrote a policy brief about academic difficulties faced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic. For Summer 2021, she was awarded UNC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, during which she used the Transitions data to analyze disparities in academic performance among college students during the pandemic. She continued this research during her junior year. Her Senior Honors Thesis builds on her previous work, exploring the effects of mental health on academic performance. Within the Economics department, Gabriela has also served as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant for ECON58H (Dr. Fruehwirth’s first-year seminar focused on researching the drivers of college student success) and Dr. Kalina Staub’s ECON101 course.
Throughout her time at Carolina, Gabriela has served as president of UNC Mental Health Ambassadors and held various other leadership positions in campus organizations including the Civic Engagement Action Coalition and the Campus Y. She is interested in working at the intersection between research and advocacy and has explored this goal through conducting a Durham-based research study on the effects of child care access on parental employment and well-being under the mentorship of a researcher at RTI International, a project that culminated in Gabriela presenting her results at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference. In addition, she has worked as a legislative intern at the U.S. House of Representatives and as a research intern at RepresentWomen, a research-based advocacy organization. Gabriela is also interested in social entrepreneurship and has helped launch a women’s safety technology startup with over 100,000 users, designed a market expansion strategy for Kenan Foundation Asia – an education and economic empowerment nonprofit – and completed various consulting projects for Chapel Hill businesses. Gabriela is a Kenan Scholar and was awarded the 2022 James H. Johnson Policy Impact Award which is given annually by the Kenan Institute to a student whose work and commitment they believe are poised to shape changes in policies, programs, and practices aimed at alleviating disparities and improving people’s lives.
After graduation, Gabriela will be joining the Brookings Institution as a Research Assistant before pursuing an advanced degree. She thanks her family, her friends, Dr. Jane Fruehwirth, Dr. Kalina Staub, and Dr. Gerald Cohen for their support and encouragement.