Sean Darling-Hammond (he/his)
Can you describe your program and what your research is about?
“I am a 4th year PhD student at the Goldman School of Public Policy. I seek to expand belonging through my research and work in two domains:
  1. improving school climates and
  2. reducing the incidence and impact of racial bias.

I analyze large-scale data sets and conduct randomized controlled trials to ascertain policies that can improve educational and intercultural outcomes.

My dissertation research merges these methods to discern whether, and under what conditions, restorative practices (such as relationship-centered conflict resolution and community building talk circles) reduce racial discipline and achievement gaps. I recently published work showing that teachers exposed to certain restorative practices and mindsets evidence smaller racial discipline gaps, that stigmatizing rhetoric can increase racial bias, and that intergroup contact in workplaces can reduce racial bias.

At Berkeley, I have served as a head instructor and graduate student instructor for four statistics classes, and I absolutely adore teaching in a manner that helps students of all backgrounds realize they, and anyone, can master quantitative methods, and harness them in the service of understanding and improving our communities.”

Why did you choose Berkeley?
“I chose Berkeley because I wanted to learn from, and collaborate with, brilliant and approachable scholars who use a range of tools, and who exude an unwavering dedication to improving conditions for marginalized communities.
My professors and peers are precisely that.
And Goldman, specifically, has given me freedom to learn and apply methods from a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Psychology, Econometrics, Public Policy, and Law. I have never, not for one second, regretted coming here for my PhD (or for my law degree — Go Bears!).”