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Anna Gassman-Pines Brings Public Policy Expertise to New Leadership Role in Bass Connections

Anna Gassman-Pines, shown with students in the Bass Connections' Education and Human Development theme.
Anna Gassman-Pines, shown with students in the Bass Connections' Education and Human Development theme.

Anna Gassman-Pines, associate professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, has been appointed co-leader of the Bass Connections Education & Human Development theme.

She joins Thomas Nechyba, professor of economics and director of the Social Science Research Institute, who will serve as her co-leader through the 2017-2018 academic year.

Bass Connections engages faculty, undergraduates and graduate students in interdisciplinary exploration of big, unanswered questions about major societal challenges. Each of the program’s five thematic areas has an intellectual and administrative home within a university-wide institute or initiative. These themes guide project teams, courses, summer programs and other collaborative research experiences. The Social Science Research Institute manages the Education & Human Development theme.

Working with other Bass Connections leaders, Gassman-Pines will contribute to shaping existing programming and developing new opportunities for students and faculty.

She is an experienced leader of Bass Connections projects, involving students in her research on low-wage work, family life and the effects of welfare and employment policy on child and maternal well-being in low-income families. Last year she and Elizabeth Ananat led a team investigating federal spending on American children.

Earlier, she and Christina Gibson-Davis led an exploration of the link between family structure and educational outcomes of children in North Carolina. The team published a paper in the Journal of Marriage and Family, with undergraduate team members listed as co-authors.

“As a leader of the Education & Human Development theme, I look forward to working with colleagues across the university to continue building interdisciplinary research at Duke,” said Gassman-Pines. “I am excited about the opportunities for strengthening research and teaching related to education and human development.”

“Anna’s past experiences as a project team leader have given her superb insight into how to develop a compelling proposal, recruit faculty partners and guide team members as they conceptualize and carry out research,” said Ed Balleisen, vice provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. “We are grateful to Anna for taking on this important role, and know that she will build effectively on the great platform that Tom Nechyba and his team at SSRI have constructed for EHD since the inception of Bass Connections in 2013.”