Kari White , PhD, MPH, is the Principal Investigator of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project and an Associate Professor in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and Department of Sociology. Dr. White’s interdisciplinary research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods and aims to advance and translate scientific knowledge to ensure contraception and abortion services and policies promote equitable, evidence-based, and patient-centered care for all communities.
Gema Alemán is a Research Associate with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. She has experience conducting bilingual interviews and assists with various projects for TxPEP. Gema’s research passions include improving access to abortion care along the U.S.-Mexico border and among undocumented communities.
Gabriela Alvarez Pérez is a Research Associate with Texas Policy Evaluation Project. She received her bachelor's degree in Medicine from the University of Guayaquil in Ecuador. Gabriela advocates for women's health, reproductive rights, and limited English proficiency patients. Her research interests include access to equitable, patient-centered care and bias in healthcare.
Whitney Arey , PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. She is a medical anthropologist with training in population health and gender studies. Her work focuses on abortion access, decision-making, and clinic protesting in the southern U.S. She is particularly interested in the involvement of partners, friends and family members in abortion access.
Anitra Beasley , MD, MPH, is Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. She specializes in general obstetrics and gynecology and complex family planning. Her research interests include access to contraception and family planning services, bias in medical care, and reduction of health disparities.
Kristen Burke is a Graduate Student Researcher in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. Kristen’s research interests include reproductive health, healthcare access, and family formation.
Anna Chatillon , PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. She is a sociologist of reproduction with expertise in qualitative methods, public policy, and healthcare systems. Her work focuses on reproductive health policy, advocacy, and provision; community mobilization and expertise; and intersecting structures of marginalization. She is particularly interested in the role of public policy in facilitating or impeding progress toward reproductive justice.
Laura Dixon , PhD, is the Director of Communications at TxPEP. She holds her PhD in Media Studies from UT Austin's Department of Radio-Television-Film with a Women's and Gender Studies certificate. She coordinates press releases, research briefs, and fact sheets and develops media outreach strategies for TxPEP. She holds a master's degree from Emory University and a bachelor's degree from Ohio University.
Vinita Goyal , MD, MPH, is a Research Investigator at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She is involved in the Post-Abortion Contraception study aimed at evaluating use and continuation of long-acting reversible contraception among post-abortion patients. She is also investigating access to abortion services among low-income, minority, and rural Texas women before and during implementation of a Texas state law mandating abortion providers to have admitting privileges and abortion facilities to comply with ambulatory surgery center requirements.
Claire Gwyn is the Communications and Operations Coordinator at TxPEP. She is a Certified Childbirth Educator, Lactation Counselor, Abortion Doula, and artist. Her work focuses primarily on educating people on their human rights in regards to sexual and reproductive health.
Klaira Lerma , MPH, is the Research Director at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). Skilled in qualitative and quantitative methods, she contributes to several research priorities at TxPEP, including measuring the impact of anti-abortion legislation and evaluating the contraceptive access landscape for people with low incomes in Texas.
Ophra Leyser-Whalen , PhD, is an Associate Professor of Sociology specializing in reproductive health and justice at The University of Texas at El Paso. She has been working with TxPEP on projects related to abortion funds and reproductive health on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Amanda Nagle , MPH, is a doctoral student in The University of Texas Department of Sociology where she researches access to reproductive justice in the United States. She grew up in Texas and Alabama which has influenced her interest in the social structures of the Southeast and the wellbeing of the people who live there.
Tony Ogburn , MD, is currently a Professor and Founding Chair of OB/GYN at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a new medical school in South Texas along the US-Mexico border. Tony maintains an active practice in General OB/GYN with an emphasis in preventive services and improving access to care for underserved populations.
Joseph E. Potter , PhD, is an emeritus Professor of Sociology. He is a demographer with expertise in reproductive health surveys, as well as social policy evaluation. Potter led TxPEP’s studies on postpartum contraception and is now involved in their continuing analysis. Together with Lauren Thaxton, he is collaborating on the design and implementation of a system for maintaining engagement with postpartum clients at People’s Community Clinic. Another collaboration with Carl Schmertmann and Gracia Sierra focuses on spatial analysis of abortion rates in Texas.
Gracia Sierra , PhD, MA is a Statistician at TxPEP. She received her PhD in Sociology with specializations in Demography and Population Health from The University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree in Economics with a focus in Applied Econometrics from Duke University. Gracia’s research interests include using advanced statistical methods and causal inference methods to study the impact of different policies on reproductive health.
Lauren Thaxton , MD, MBA, is an Assistant Professor and practicing OB/GYN in the Department of Women’s Health at Dell Medical School. She has been working with TxPEP investigating novel tools for addressing issues/dissatisfaction with postpartum contraception. Before joining TxPEP, she completed both her residency in OB/GYN and her fellowship in family planning at the University of New Mexico and received her medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine.
Brooke Whitfield is a Graduate Student Researcher in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her bachelor’s degree in Global Health and Public Policy from Duke University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography. Brooke's research interests include sexual and reproductive health, healthcare access, and rural health.
Juliette Draper is an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. She is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Plan II Honors and History Honors, with minors in English and Russian and East European Studies. After graduation, Juliette will attend law school and focus on reproductive and maternal healthcare law.
Pritika Paramasivam is an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. She has led an independent qualitative research project identifying the obstacles faced by Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Texas when accessing abortions and assisted in several other projects. Pritika's research passions include reproductive justice solutions in marginalized communities, focusing on the immigrant, queer, and South Asian experience. She is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience and Health and Society Honors at the University of Texas with a certificate in Reproductive Justice and Asian American Identity.
Eva Strelitz-Block is an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. A current fourth year student, she is majoring in Anthropology and Plan II Honors and pursuing certificates in Spanish and the interdisciplinary Bridging Disciplines Program, Patients, Practitioners, and Cultures of Care. She is especially interested in the cultural aspects of reproductive medicine and equity issues related to health care access and delivery. Over the last year, she has deepened these interests by participating in public health research in both Chile and Rwanda. Eva hopes to pursue advanced degrees in both medicine and medical anthropology to become a physician-researcher with a focus on reducing disparities in family planning services.