Hi, I'm Sophia Seifert, PhD

I am a Researcher at Mathematica. I completed my PhD in Education Policy at Temple University in 2022. My mixed-methods policy research is informed by a decade of experience as a science teacher and program administrator. 

Learn more about my work and approach to research, teaching and teacher education, program administration, and consulting.  

About Me

It was never my plan to become an educator, however, a college internship interviewing young people in Philadelphia Youth Network's summer programs changed my mind. These young people told me how a six week program had ignited new passions and helped them grow. After getting to know these brilliant students, I knew that I wanted to work with others like them. I pursued an alternative-route teaching certification and went on to spend six years as a middle and high school science teacher in Philadelphia. In order to expand my reach, I began working as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and eventually took full time program administrator positions focusing on teacher and leader professional development and, later, diversification of the STEM pipeline. 

In each of my professional roles, I saw how policy context and evidence-based decision making impact people and organizations. This led me to pursue an interdisciplinary Education Policy PhD, with the goal of developing research skills that I can use to promote equity. My dissertation research explores whether and how school choice can promote school diversity by combining seven years of student-level data from Pennsylvania with a qualitative case study of a diverse school district. By quantitatively examining participation in five school choice programs and qualitatively exploring how districts, families, and schools shape this policy context, this study will provide a robust understanding of how school choice policy implementation can support or inhibit school diversity. Prior to pursuing my PhD, I earned my Master's in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College.