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The Community Data Fellows program pairs local, community-based nonprofit organizations with UChicago graduate students who possess skills in technology and policy analysis. Through this program, we meet social impact organizations where they are on the data spectrum. Fellows work with organizations to determine how best to use data, build data capacity across program staff, and scope projects that advance the mission. By understanding the organization’s data capacity, Fellows are able to create solutions that persist and add value at the completion of the work.



Mindi has experience managing, sourcing and scoping a portfolio of data science experiential learning partnerships across social impact organizations, corporate, civic and government entities. Mindi managed earlier iterations of our work with the 11th Hour Project at the University of San Francisco where she served as the Senior Director of Strategy and Operations of the Data Institute. Mindi is a member (inactive) of the California and Illinois bars and received her JD from UC Hastings and her BS, Political Science from Santa Clara University.

Susan Paykin co-leads the Open Spatial Lab at the Data Science Institute and oversees its programmatic, research, and engagement activities. Her work includes community-engaged data practices, specializing in geospatial data analytics, mapping, and visualization, and building organizational data capacity for nonprofit and social impact partners. Susan also supports DSI’s community-centered data science initiatives and oversees the Community Data Fellows program, which provides data science support for community and nonprofit organizations and applied learning opportunities for students. She was previously the Research Manager at the Center for Spatial Data Science at UChicago and has worked in leadership, research, and advocacy roles for environmental and social impact organizations. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago and a B.A. in International Studies from Brandeis University.

Ari Zickau is the Community Data Fellows Program Manager at the Data Science Institute. The Community Data Fellows program provides data science support for local and global community and nonprofit organizations by connecting them with students through applied learning opportunities. Before relocating to Chicago, Ari served as the Community Experience Manager for the City of Boise, Idaho. In addition to program management work, they also have extensive experience in public and academic libraries. He holds a MS in Library and Information Science from San José State University and a BA in English from Boise State University. In the sphere of data science, Ari is interested in equitable access and practices, open data, civic engagement, and social impact.

Autumn 2023 Fellows

Josemaria is a research assistant for the Community Data Fellows program at the Data Science Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at ITAM (Mexico) and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Computational Analysis and Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Prior to studying at the University, he was a product manager at Mexico City’s Government (ADIP). He also worked as an analyst at IMCO, a Mexican policy think tank.

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Manuel completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and pursued a Master’s in Applied Statistics at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Currently, he is a Master’s student in Computational Analysis and Public Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy. His professional journey has spanned across diverse sectors, including the private sector with Philip Morris International, contributing to education policy initiatives at EDUCA, an education policy think tank/NGO, and serving as an advisor to a congressman in the Dominican Republic. Manuel’s main interests lie in the intersection of policy and data science, where he is passionate about how data analysis can inform and transform policy decisions for the better.

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Daniel is a proud first-generation college student from Munich, Germany. He completed his undergraduate studies in Economics and Data Analytics at the University of Cincinnati and worked at the University of Chicago’s Energy and Environment Lab over the last year. In the near future, Daniel hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Biostatistics, researching causal inference tools for dependent data.

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Santiago holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Economics from Universidad Externado (Colombia). He is a second-year graduate student of the Master’s in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP) at the University of Chicago. He worked at the Financial Stability Division at the Central Bank of Colombia, where he conducted data analysis, research, and policy recommendations focused on Colombia’s financial system. He has been a Data Science for All (DS4A) Fellow, an Imago Global Grassroots Fellow, and a Community Data Fellow at the Data Science Institute at the University of Chicago. Santiago is interested in designing, implementing, and analyzing policies and programs while leveraging quantitative, qualitative, and data science methods that could help organizations scale up their impact and improve people’s livelihoods.

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Athmika is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Policy degree at the Harris School of Public Policy. She is interested in studying and employing both quantitative and qualitative methods to critically analyze how policy impacts communities. Before starting at UChicago, Athmika worked as a Software Engineer in Boston.

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Stephania is a second-year graduate student at the University of Chicago, where she is pursuing an MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy. Originally from Peru, her professional journey includes valuable experience in education, gender, and transportation policy, leveraging data to inform the decision-making process. She is passionate about strengthening the data capacity of organizations, empowering them to make a positive impact on their communities.

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