University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Research Team

Mary Hylton

Katherine Hill

Shannon Lane

Jennifer McClendon

Jason A Ostrander, MSW is active in politics at the local, state and federal levels and was previously employed as a congressional aide to Congressman John Oliver. Jason's work focuses on politics, advocacy, voting, political participation and political social work. As a researcher-in-residence at the Humphreys Institute, he is working on multiple quantitative and qualitative studies addressing political social work, bullying, Cambodian refugees, and families in poverty. Since politics interacts with all levels of practice, Jason contributes a unique perspective to research projects and is an integral part of the interdisciplinary team. Jason received ACOSA's 2015 Outstanding Student Award and was awarded the competitive UConn School of Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Writing Fellowship.

Jenna Powers is the Research Assistant for the Humphreys Institute, as well as a student in the School of Social Work's PhD program. During her time in the University of New England's MSW program, Jenna focused on community organizing and program development with an emphasis on educating and empowering individuals to participate in the political arena. Upon graduating from UNE, Jenna co-founded the Maine Chapter of New Leaders Council (a non-partisan training program for emerging progressive leaders) and coordinated the Northern New England Campaign School, a replication of the UConn Campaign School. Jenna is thrilled to now be playing a new, broadened role within the Institute. She believes that its work with Voter Engagement and the Campaign School is imperative to the social work profession and the people that we work with; so she is enthusiastic about researching the Institute's impact and helping to expand its efforts.


Adelaide Sandler, MS, MSW is interested in issues related to social welfare policy, political social work, voter engagement, and strategies to encourage empowerment (critical consciousness and self-efficacy) of vulnerable populations.  Her dissertation focuses on structural factors and voting decisions by recipients of means-tested governmental assistance programs who are enrolled in community colleges.