I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina. I am driven by a vision of a world in which all young people, regardless of their background, are provided the tools they need to thrive on their individual journey to adulthood. To bring this vision to life, I conduct research examining the impacts of educational policies, especially those that aim to affect students’ transition through high school and into college and their initial careers.

I have co-authored two peer-reviewed academic studies. The first used administrative data from Tennessee to explore which students and schools participated in the state’s innovative Statewide Dual-Credit program. Among other findings, this study showed that career-focused dual-credit courses, such as Plant Science and Agricultural Business, effectively expanded access to college-level coursework in high school for students with low- and middle-achievement without deterring participation in existing programs like Advanced Placement.

The other used a combination of administrative and public record data from North Carolina to estimate the impact of attending one of North Carolina’s Early College High Schools on a student’s likelihood of voting or experiencing a criminal conviction in their teens and early 20s, finding that ECHS attendance likely results in a modest improvement to each outcome.

Previously, I worked as a Social Research Specialist at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, where I conducted partner-driven evaluations of local education, government, and social service programs. I earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy from UNC Chapel Hill in 2022, an MSW from UNC Chapel Hill in 2016, and a BA in Psychology from Boston College in 2013.

tswid@live.unc.edu | @tswid_phd | @tswiderski@edumasto.org | CV