Laura Carlson is currently the Research Projects Manager at Feeding the Gulf Coast, a Feeding America food bank that services coastal Mississippi, South Alabama, and the Panhandle of Florida. She is overseeing a three-year project that aims to study the impact interventions can have on a working family's long term food and financial security. Laura began as an AmeriCorps VISTA employee at the food bank, and later focused her work on grants and compliance. Laura obtained her Master in Public Administration from the University of South Alabama, where she completed a quantitative thesis that was presented at the 2016 American Society for Public Administration conference in Seattle, WA. Laura notes that she originally developed a desire to apply research to real world policy issues as a result of her experience in GVSU’s IR program, particularly within the capstone course. Although Laura’s career is currently focused on domestic rather than international issues, the IR program solidified Laura’s desire to work in the not-for-profit sector and to seek out realistic solutions to the struggles that individuals face day to day.
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