Alyssa Nekritz chats with alum Constance Hull
Meet Constance Hull, a 2016 gradate from W&M who is an accomplished scholar, researcher, and policy analyst working on criminal justice reform issues at the Urban Institute. The Urban Institute is a non-partisan policy institute with eleven specific policy centers involving all levels of government, where staff use statistical data to guide efficient policy implementation. The Urban Institute’s work is team-based, and Hull’s team has multiple projects going at once, usually around the country. Her current projects involve analyzing state community supervision policies and assessing the outcomes of education policy. Much of her job involves data analysis, using R, Stata, and other programming tools.
I found Hull’s career path to be extremely interesting as she did not automatically attend graduate school after leaving W&M. Instead, she spent several years doing what she’s passionate about. After undergrad at W&M on a Fulbright Research Scholarship, for example, Hull studied India’s employment practices for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). She completed the entire research process on her own: designing, planning, and completing the IRB process, among other things. She also interacted with non-governmental organizations and interviewed parents and government officials. After that, she did a year of service as a City Year AmeriCorps member working in a middle school. Her past international and hands-on experiences made her a great candidate when she applied to work at the Urban Institute.
Hull strongly recommends that students interested in policy-oriented career paths do lab work and obtain quantitative experience. Hull was involved with W&M’s Healthy Beginnings Psychology Lab, where she received great advice on research from professors and obtained both quantitative and qualitative research experience. Hull believes her programming and research background at W&M opened doors for her to get the more senior position she’s currently in. Looking ahead, she plans on transitioning to a more hands-on type of policy advocacy in the social work field. She’s currently applying to grad school and hopes to work more directly with communities.
I’m wishing Ms. Hull all the best in grad school and beyond. I’m incredibly thankful for her work and passion for social justice. Read more about her criminal justice work and publications here: https://www.urban.org/author/constance-hull/publications.