Ryan is a J.D. Candidate in his second year at Penn Law and the Field Center’s 2019-20 Lerner Fellow in Child Welfare Policy. Ryan is an Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies, German Studies, and History from the University of Richmond in 2017. During his time in Richmond, he studied abroad in Bangalore, India, where he conducted research on child labor legislation. After college, Ryan worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany, instructing students in grades six through twelve. This past summer, he worked as a legal intern in the Special Victims Bureau of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. He is excited to continue his work in advocacy at the intersection of law and child welfare policy at the Field Center.
Gabriella is a J.D. Candidate at Penn Law and an M.S.S.P. Candidate at Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She completed her Community Experience Program through Morgan Lewis and her M.S.S.P. Internship during Summer 2019 at the Field Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton University in 2015. After graduating, Gabriella worked as a substitute teacher in York, Pennsylvania. Gabriella is the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and enjoyed assisting unemployed Philadelphians through the pro bono Employment Advocacy Project. Having grown up in a home that served as a foster care family, Gabriella is excited to continue working with the Field Center to expand her knowledge of how law and policy interact in the child welfare system.
Rachel McLaughlin joined the Field Center in September 2019 as a second year full-time MSW student from the School of Social Policy and Practice with a macro concentration. She will also be completing the Child Welfare and Well-Being specialization. Her first-year field placement was at the KIPP West Philadelphia Elementary Academy where she worked both individually and with groups to promote social and emotional well-being for students in the classroom. She graduated in 2018 with her Bachelor in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rachel is excited to join the Field Center and learn more about how research and policy work together to promote best practices within the child welfare system.
Kewen Wang joined the Field Center in September 2019 as a 2nd year full-time MSW candidate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice with a macro concentration. Kewen received her BA in Sociology at Renmin University of China in 2018. Her first-year MSW field placement was with KIPP Philadelphia Elementary School, where she gained experience with the American public education system and social welfare system. Kewen is completing the Child Welfare and Well-Being specialization, and hopes to gain more knowledge about how to connect policy, practice, and research in the real world of child welfare through this internship. She plans to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children in her home country, China, after graduation.
Nneka is a PhD candidate in the Human Development and Quantitative Methods division at The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her research applies an ecological framework to better understand risk and resilience in early childhood poverty. Prior to Penn, Nneka worked as a Manager for the Center for Education Policy Research and as a Graduate Teaching Fellow for Harvard University. She holds an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Prevention Science Research and a MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work. As a Social Worker in East Los Angeles and New York City, Nneka worked with children and families involved in social welfare programs, the juvenile justice system and academic enrichment programs, leading to her interest in exploring pathways towards the optimal development of abused and neglected children. Nneka received her BA in Sociology and African American Studies from the University of California, Davis.