Two state policy fellows join Policy Matters
Posted July 26, 2021 in Press Releases
Organization announces other staff changes
Today, Policy Matters Ohio announced the addition of two state policy fellows through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities State Policy Priorities (SPP) network, Tanisha Pruitt, Ph.D. and Guillermo Bervejillo, Ph.D.
During the fellowship, Pruitt and Bervejillo will spend two years with Policy Matters producing research on tax and budget issues. The fellowship elevates new voices in policy research and analysis that affects people with low incomes as well as Black, brown and Indigenous people.
“With Guillermo and Tanisha, Policy Matters is adding staff who are deeply aligned with our mission of making Ohio a place where all people live happy, healthy lives, no matter their race or how much money they have,” said Policy Matters Executive Director Hannah Halbert. “On top of that, they are highly skilled researchers and analysts who will expand our team’s capacity to do cutting-edge, agenda-setting research.”
Originally from Pickerington, Pruitt earned her doctorate in public policy and urban affairs from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a member of the inaugural class of the Louisiana Governor's Fellowship program, Pruitt analyzed the expansion of career and technical education programs across the state. She has also held previous fellowship positions with Educational Testing Services (ETS) and The Borgen Project. Pruitt’s past research has focused on the impact school disciplinary policies have on contact with the criminal justice system among Black and brown students as well as how to close racial achievement gaps. Pruitt received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s in applied behavioral science from Wright State University.
“Every Ohioan regardless of the color of their skin, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or religious belief should have quality education, quality medical care, affordable housing, and a living wage,” she said. "Angela Davis once said: ‘I am no longer accepting the things that I cannot change, I am changing the things I can longer accept.’ I joined Policy Matters Ohio to change the things I can no longer accept.”
Originally from Uruguay, Bervejillo, has a Ph.D. in economic geography and bachelor’s in economics from The Ohio State University as well as a master’s in geography from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He has studied antitrust economics, trade between China and Latin America, the geopolitics of global soy markets, and the academic publishing industry. Bervejillo also has a long-standing commitment to community organizing in Ohio and professional experience in Washington, DC. He was a founding member, organizer, and researcher for our partner, the Ohio Student Association. In Washington DC, Bervejillo was an economic policy intern at the Center for American Progress and an economic research analyst at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I am excited to be part of this organization, which is contributing critical research support to contemporary movements for social change in Ohio,” he said. “I hope to bring together my experiences in academia and community organizing to develop forward-thinking economic analyses that are up to the task of facing contemporary inequality, racial disparities, and climate change.”
In addition, this week Policy Matters announced the promotion of office manager Sybille Schomerus to director of administration. Earlier this summer, the organization said goodbye to two long-term staff members, Project Director Kalitha Williams who joined Ohio AARP as outreach and advocacy manager, and Cynthia Connolly who became Director of Programming at the City Club of Cleveland.