Dawna’s interests lie at the intersection of class and culture, with a focus on how people form new identities through encounters with organizations.
Dawna specializes in mixed-methods social research, with experience researching nonprofits in workforce development, community building, and education. Dawna is passionate about understanding how organizations facilitate the social mobility and integration of vulnerable populations.
Her work has been financially supported by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, and Marquette University. Prior to joining Design Impact, Dawna worked at an industrial supply company. Through management roles in warehouse and finance operations, she created solutions that improved supply-chain efficiency and personnel effectiveness. Dawna received her PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University and her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Stanford University. Dawna works with Design Impact on a project basis.