2022 Dissertation Grants Awarded: Jessica Schirmer

July 31, 2022

Congratulations to Jessica Schirmer for being one of five individuals selected as a 2022 Dissertation Grant winner.

Jessica Schirmer is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies social policy and inequality in the United States. She is particularly interested in using social science to identify new political and institutional possibilities to advance democratic accountability, opportunity, and mobility through policy reform. 

Her dissertation explores the growing need for affordable housing and the loss of reform momentum in federal housing and urban development policy since the 1970s. She traces the development of federal housing policy debates in the twentieth century. From the 1930s through the 1960s, policymakers embedded both federal housing finance and low-income housing policy in a broader set of concerns that included stimulating the economy and increasing the supply of decent, affordable housing. Jessica argues that, since the 1970s, public elements receded as reform movements failed and the private sector was reconfigured.   

The 2022 NISS Dissertation grant will support follow-up visits to Presidential archives, as well as conference travel. Prior to Berkeley, she earned a B.S. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The National Institute of Social Sciences