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About Dr. Patterson
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Staff Biographies
FDPRI utilizes a network of consultants and partnerships to expand its overall staff capacity.

Brian K. Bridges, Ph.D.
Brian K. Bridges serves as Vice President, Research and Member Engagement, and leads UNCF's Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI).  In this role Dr. Bridges serves as UNCF's chief research officer, principal editor and contributor for FDPRI's publications and the manager of internal and external projects involving capacity building, evaluation and assessment. 

Immediately prior to joining UNCF, Brian served as Vice Provost for Diversity, Access and Equity at Ohio University.  Brian has also served as the Associate Director for the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity (CAREE) at the American Council on education (ACE) and held various roles at the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), including Associate Director.  While at NSEE, Brian managed a million-dollar subcontract for the Building Engagement and Attainment of Minority Students (BEAMS) project, a national initiative funded by Lumina Foundation to assist minority-serving institutions' use of NSSE results for institutional improvement.  In addition, he has served on numerous panels and advisory committees on issues related to HBCUs, learning environments at minority-serving institutions and success factors for African American college students at predominately white institutions.

Brian earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University Bloomington, a Masters in Public Administration from UNC-Charlotte and a Bachelor of Arts from Francis Marion University.

Meredith Anderson, Ph.D.
Meredith Anderson is a Senior Research Associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute at UNCF. In this role she supports the K-12 research endeavors of the Advocacy team and FDPRI through design and management of empirical research projects related to K-12 education reform for African American students. Meredith has extensive quantitative experience, including survey design and management, program evaluation, and data analysis. Her research and publications have focused on public administration and policy, race, educational inequities, representative bureaucracy, intersectionality, and the influence of representation on tracking outcomes for Black male students. Prior to her work at UNCF, Dr. Anderson was Program Evaluator for Baltimore City Public Schools where contributed to the development and management of the teacher and principal evaluation system, conducted statistical analyses to inform decision-making, and lead the evaluation survey for principals. Meredith also contributed to the Maryland Longitudinal Data System development at the Maryland State Department of Education. Additionally, Dr. Anderson was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Prior to this work, Meredith was a Research Associate for the Project for Equity, Representation, and Governance.

Meredith earned both her B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

Caroline Harper, Ph.D.
Caroline is a Policy Analyst and American Council of Learned Societies Fellow at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Caroline has extensive training and experience in qualitative research methods including ethnography, case studies and content analysis.   She specializes in survey design, data analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, needs assessment, and qualitative data collection methods including face-to-face interviews, focus groups and community forums.  Caroline has conducted research that explores the intersection of civic engagement, political behavior, race, social inequalities, and public opinion within the context of urban areas.  Prior to joining FDPRI, Caroline has held administrative positions in higher education with responsibilities including classroom instruction, community relations, curriculum development, issues management, student development, and building cultural competence.

Caroline earned her Ph.D. in Political Science with concentrations in urban politics and international relations from Howard University and her M.A. in communication from University of Houston.

Krystal L. Williams, Ph.D.
Krystal L. Williams is a Senior Research Associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute at UNCF. Her work seeks to better understand how public policies can promote college success for underrepresented students, with a particular emphasis on the interplay between policy initiatives and students' various psychosocial factors. More recently, her work has focused on these issues as they relate to broadening participation in STEM fields.

Prior to joining UNCF, Krystal was an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow at Educational Testing Services (ETS). She also served as a Research Assistant at the University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity, and an Institutional Research Analyst at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Furthermore, she has a background in public policy, having served as a Research Analyst for a think tank in the Washington, DC area.

Krystal completed her doctoral studies in Higher Education and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. She also attended Clark Atlanta University where she earned a BS and MS in mathematics and graduated valedictorian.

Katherine M. Saunders, Ed.M.
Katherine M. Saunders is a Senior Research Associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute at UNCF. In this role, she evaluates the effectiveness of UNCF's programs and interventions and conducts research on the educational success and opportunities of African American and other minority student populations at historically black colleges and universities and comparable institutions. She also researches higher education issues of relevance to UNCF's mission to better inform institutional strategies and public policies. Prior to joining FDPRI, Katherine worked as a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy where she advocated for more effective federal and state-level higher education and workforce policies to better meet the needs of nontraditional students. Her portfolio specifically focused on issues of college affordability, federal financial aid, public benefits, and education tax credits.

Katherine earned her Master's in Higher Education Leadership from California State University, Fullerton and her Master's in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned her Bachelor's in Secondary Education History from Arizona State University.

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