International Policy Center Home Page

Owen selected for NASPAA Dissertation Award

September 29, 2021

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) has chosen Stephanie Owen, a 2021 PhD alum of the Ford School and assistant professor at Colby College, as the recipient of the 2021 NASPAA Dissertation Award. Her dissertation, “Essays in the Economics of Education” was reviewed by leading scholars in the public service education field and chosen from a very impressive pool of nominations from across the nation. The award will be presented at the NASPAA conference in October. 

Owen is an alum of the first cohort of the Causal Inference program through the Education Policy Initiative. Owen’s research focuses on the economics of education and gender gaps in college major choices. She worked closely with Susan Dynarski, former Ford School professor of public policy, education and economics, who also served as her dissertation chair. 

“Stephanie’s research focuses on reducing barriers to women participating as active and full scholars in economics and other social sciences,” Dynarski said. “Her actions have made the social sciences more accessible and equitable. I am proud to have served as her dissertation chair.”

Owen also contributed to research and development around the U-M's leading edge scholarship program, HAIL (High Achieving Involved Leader). The scholarship provides low-income students with four years of free tuition and fees. The HAIL scholarship program resulted in higher application and enrollment rates at U-M. Working with Dynarksi, Owen was integral in the launch, implementation, and research of the project. 

NASPAA is the global standard in public service education with a twofold mission to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service. It is the membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public and nonprofit management.