Dr. Garima Siwach Receives APPAM PhD Dissertation Award

University at Albany alumnus Dr. Garima Siwach has been selected to receive the PhD Dissertation Award by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).

Siwach earned her PhD in Economics from the University at Albany in 2017. Her dissertation, entitled Impact of Employment Barriers on Individuals with Criminal Records: An Econometric Evaluation of Criminal Background Checks in New York, is at the intersection of economics, public policy, and criminology, and won the University at Albany Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2017. Siwach analyzed individuals with criminal records who were provisionally hired for work in non-licensed direct access care positions in 2008 and 2009.

“The results of this paper are of considerable practical importance. I expect it to draw much attention from policy makers in the near future. By all means, Garima’s dissertation is an excellent example of research with direct policy relevance,” wrote a member of Siwach’s dissertation committee. “What distinguishes her research from the existing papers is that she takes the so-called “micro” approach rather than the “macro” approach. While most researches use aggregate data such as county-level or state-level crime rates, she directly uses individual-level data on criminal records and employment."

Siwach’s dissertation used data from a three-year grant from the National Institute of Justice managed by the Center for Policy Research (CPR), which she worked on with Rockefeller College Professor Shawn Bushway.

Siwach is currently an Economic Researcher at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on employment-related interventions for marginalized populations, including those with disabilities, individuals with criminal records, and transition youth from low-income households.

She will receive her award at the APPAM Membership and Awards Breakfast on Friday, November 9, at the 2018 Fall Research Conference.