Sociology Professor Carrie Shandra Wins Emerging Investigator Grant

Carrie Shandra

Carrie Shandra, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University and core faculty in the Program in Public Health, received an Emerging Investigator Grant from the Social Security Administration to support her research on time use among working-age adults who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), compared with those who do not.

Her study involves examining the relationship between state-level vocational rehabilitation coverage, cost and efficacy, and the time that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries spend on work-related activities. The study will rely on data from the American Time Use Survey merged with Current Population Survey records, as well as annual state-level report cards from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Shandra will use these records to develop a descriptive account of time use and its individual-level correlates, and to examine the state-level factors that affect employment of SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.

“Disability spending comprises a large proportion of the federal budget, yet little is known about how beneficiaries spend their time,” said Shandra. “I’m looking forward to working with researchers from Mathematica and the Social Security Administration to understand these patterns and their policy implications.”

Shandra received her PhD and AM from Brown University and her BA from Boston College. Her research interests focus on disabilities, gender inequalities and the transition to adulthood in the context of families and occupations. She received the Sociologists for Women in Society’s Cheryl Allyn Miller Award
 (2012) for her work on the relationship between women’s participation in gender-typed occupations
 and household labor.

Shandra was on leave during the 2012-2013 academic year as a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow to examine the relationship
 between participation in school-to-work programs and employment outcomes in the contemporary 
recession. Administered by the National Academy of Education, these postdoctoral fellowships are designed to promote scholarship in the U.S. and abroad on matters relevant to the improvement of education in all its forms. Scholars anywhere in the world who have completed their doctorates within the last five years and who wish to conduct research related to education may apply.

“School-to-work programs such as internships and mentoring were designed to help students better prepare for the labor market,” Shandra said. “The results of my research suggest that some types of programs affect long-term employability and attempt to understand why. The National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship has not only funded my research, but has also allowed me to participate in the National Academy of Education meetings, where I’ve met with leading education researchers to further develop my work.”

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