Jessica Gillooly receives 2022 Raymond Vernon Memorial Award

November 1, 2022

Ford School alumna Jessica Gillooly (PhD ‘20) has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Raymond Vernon Memorial Award by the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM). Gillooly was recognized for her research, “Lights and Sirens: Variation in 911 Call-Taker Risk Appraisal and its Effects on Police Officer Perceptions at the Scene.”

Her paper details how a 911 call-taker's “alarmist” response to a call primes police officer perceptions at the scene. Gillooly analyzes call-for-service data involving mental health crises and public assaults from a dispatch center in Southeast Michigan to demonstrate that calls classified as high priority by call-takers are significantly more likely to be classified as high priority by the police at the scene.

"You won't find many academic articles that combine high-level methodological sophistication with the deep institutional knowledge that comes from true participant-observation ethnography," said David Thacher, who served as Gillooly's dissertation chair. 

"Her work is really a model of what our joint PhD grads can do. She has a really deep understanding of the way the 911 system works, and she was able to combine that understanding with first-rate methodological skills to write a paper that's simultaneously creative, practical, and rigorous. You can see why she has quickly become one of the leading national experts on the 911 system."

Gillooly will receive a cash award in the amount of $1,000 and recognition at the annual APPAM Fall Research Conference.

Created in 1985, the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award is given by APPAM annually, recognizing excellent research published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. All funding for the award comes from a special grant to APPAM from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Initially called the Vernon Prize, the title was amended to add "Memorial" after Raymond Vernon died in August 1999. Among his many lifetime accomplishments, Vernon contributed to the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after World War II, led the development team for the Peanut M&M (tm), was among the first to conduct quantitative analyses of stock markets using computers, served on the faculty of the Harvard University Business School and the Kennedy School of Government, and was the founding editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.