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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.


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.

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.