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Ferzana HavewalaFerzana

assistant professor
School of Public and International Affairs

Contact Information:

Phone: 410.837.5326

Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas
M.P.P., University of Michigan
M.A., B.A. University of Mumbai, India
Ferzana Havewala's C.V.

I was born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai), India.  Through my college years, I volunteered at Akanksha, an informal school for underprivileged street children from the slums in Bombay.  This experience shaped the rest of my academic and career choices leading to the study of social inequality and policies to address the same. I received my Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to my Ph.D., I attended the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and received a Master of Public Policy. I also hold a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Statistics from The University of Mumbai.  

Prior to earning my doctorate, I worked as Research Director at Public Policy Associates where I developed policy recommendations and performed program and policy evaluation on several long-term and multi-site projects in the areas of education, workforce, and economic development, serving very diverse audiences. My experience in the applied arena has been very valuable in effectively framing my teaching curriculum as well as enhancing my academic research skills.

My current research focuses on the dynamics of residential segregation, both in terms of race and income, and the food environment. I am interested in addressing the intersectionality of race, social inequality, poverty, residential segregation and food security. I am particularly interested in how these issues relate to other life outcomes such as health, education and employment.

My teaching philosophy has been molded and has evolved as a result of my experience teaching in varied environments.  While I relish all my time in the classroom, my most favorite moments are at the end of class, when students linger behind to tell me about an experience they had over the weekend that made them think a little more deeply about the class materials, or when students are eager to tell me about articles they read and share how they are relating current events to what they are learning in class, or when they just want to relate a conversation they had with friends or their family about topics we have talked about in class.  These moments remind me that policy affects each and every one of us and the dissemination of knowledge has an impact well beyond the classroom.