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Our Team

The Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines. Meet our team below.

Michael Podgursky

Director, Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research
mike.podgursky@slu.edu
View Dr. Podgursky's Curriculum Vitae

Michael Podgursky is director of the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research. Prior to coming to SLU in 2019, he spent 23 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he served as Chair of the Economics Department from 1995-2005.

His primary research focus is the economics of education, training, and labor markets, on which he has published many scholarly academic articles and policy reports. He serves on the board of editors of several academic journals including Education Finance and Policy and Education Next, advisory boards for various statistical agencies, research institutes, and education organizations, and he was a fellow of the George W. Bush Institute from 2010-2013. He is a co-investigator at the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University and the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, two national research centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to IES and other government agencies, his research has been funded by numerous private foundations.

Takako Nomi, Ph.D.

Associate Director
takako.nomi@slu.edu

Takako Nomi is associate director of the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research and associate professor in education policy and equity. Prior to joining SLU, she was a senior researcher at the University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research. Nomi's current research interests include issues related to college readiness, transitions from high school to post-secondary education and the workforce, and policies and programs supporting persistence and degree attainment overall and in STEM. Previously, she evaluated a district-wide reform of raising high school graduation requirements, its unintended consequences, short-term and long-run impacts of a ninth-grade double-dose algebra program to support struggling students as well as the policy mechanisms to better understand effective policy implementation. Dr. Nomi’s research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, Spenser Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association. Her publications have appeared in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, and Journal of Human Resources. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, the faculty advisory board of the SLU Geospatial Institute, and the board of Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliances, a non-profit apprenticeship training provider for high school and college students.

Darrin DeChane

Data Analyst 
darrin.dechane@slu.edu

Darrin DeChane is a data analyst at the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research. His research interests focus on issues of student access, equity, and success in higher education. Currently, his work explores pathways into and through college in Missouri. He is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education at SLU.

Dillon Fuchsman

Post-doctoral Fellow
dillon.fuchsman@slu.edu
Twitter: @dillonfuchsman
View Dr. Fuchsman's Curriculum Vitae

Dillon Fuchsman is a postdoctoral fellow in the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research at SLU. His current work evaluates teachers’ preferences for retirement and knowledge of their pensions. His research focuses on teacher labor markets, teacher retirement systems, and education accountability. Fuchsman completed his Ph.D. in Education Policy at the University of Arkansas in 2020 under Gema Zamarro. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics from the University of Missouri.  

Jonathan Presler

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
jonathan.presler@slu.edu
View Dr. Presler's Curriculum Vitae

Jonathan Presler is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research. He is an applied microeconomist with research interests in urban economics, peer effects, education, and discrimination. His current work explores urban issues such as homelessness, spatial mismatch in housing, and peer effects in education. Common threads in his work include spatial methods and the use of big data, such as cell phone geolocation data and large administrative datasets. Jonathan received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2020.

Michelle Wickman

Project Manager of Research
michelle.wickman@slu.edu

Michelle Wickman is a pre-doctoral fellow at the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research. She is primarily interested in microeconomic policy analysis, currently concentrating on urban development policies and R&D. Michelle is originally from Chesterfield, MO, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Guangli Zhang

Post-Doctoral Fellow
guangli.zhang@slu.edu
View Dr. Zhang's Curriculum Vitae

Guangli Zhang is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research. His research interests are labor economics and household finance. His current work explores the role of benefit payment frequency in the context of Unemployment Insurance policy. He also has a strong interest in investigating the mechanisms behind some of the puzzling behaviors that exist in the household finance literature: for example, consumers' failure to minimize credit card interest charges and people's preference for integer numbers. Guangli completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2021.