Why CCPR?

Students at the predoctoral and postdoctoral stage have benefited tremendously from the training in population at CCPR. Below you’ll find a collection of testimonials from some of our current and past students on their experiences at the CCPR.

UCLA Alumnus Testimonials:

        • “UCLA’s CCPR has been a tremendous resource to me. I have benefited from an incredible group of CCPR-affiliated mentors as a graduate student; received travel and conference funding; received grants that allowed me to focus on my research; and attended a weekly seminar series that brought together researchers from many fields, not just my own. Additionally, the CCPR provides a great research environment for all its resident affiliates, including student office spaces and fantastic IT support and computing resources. I would not have been able to be as productive as I was during my graduate school years at UCLA without this fantastic resource.”
          Mary Ann Bronson, Georgetown (Graduated 2014)
        • “When I started my doctoral work in public health at UCLA, I didn’t know what demography was. The opportunity to train with CCPR faculty, and alongside other CCPR graduate students, was absolutely central to my development as a researcher and professional. I learned how to formulate questions, carry out fieldwork, conduct analyses, construct an argument, and write a paper. CCPR faculty shepherded me through my first PAA presentations, introduced me to their networks, and pointed me to rewarding postdoc positions. My first published papers were with a CCPR graduate student colleague. I value so highly the training, mentorship, fellowship, and professional development I enjoyed as a CCPR trainee.”
          Allison Buttenheim, University of Pennsylvania (Graduate 2007)

        • CCPR was my home within the campus of UCLA throughout most of my time in graduate school. Looking back, I can say without reservation that every aspect of my experience at CCPR was uniformly outstanding. The excellent office space and computing resources, fantastic staff, and especially the funding I obtained through traineeships secured by CCPR, made my time in graduate school much more productive. The welcoming and collegial atmosphere at CCPR also attract a great group of faculty and students from across disciplines and create a genuine sense of community at UCLA. My time at CCPR definitely contributed to my development as a researcher and greatly enriched my experience at UCLA.”
          -Sean Fahle, University at Buffalo
        • “CCPR played a central role in my development as a scholar.  I arrived at UCLA with interests in inequality and health–but in the course of my training at CCPR, I was able to situate those interests both within the discipline of sociology and within the broader interdisciplinary field of population health.  Moreover, I had fun at CCPR, forming personal and professional relationships that will last a lifetime.”
          Margot Jackson, Brown
        • “CCPR was instrumental in my career development. The seminar series offered me valuable opportunities to see how theories and methods can be applied to real-world population research. I also benefited greatly from preparation talks for conference presentations and various other aspects of training in academic skills (i.e., publication, grantsmanship) beyond formal coursework.  The center brings together faculty and students across a wide range of disciplines and prepared me for interdisciplinary research.”
          Yao Lu, Columbia
        • “CCPR was an extremely important part of my graduate training at UCLA. It was (and is) a focal point of interdisciplinary research and training on campus. It supported graduate training, hosted world-class scholars as part of the seminar series, and provided support for conference travel, grant writing, computing, and so much more. It connected me with scholars and mentors with whom my relationships continue today. CCPR exposed me to an incredible breadth of ideas and perspectives and was truly exemplary in the multi-disciplinary community it formed and nurtured around research on demography.”
          -Vida Maralani, Yale

        • “In addition to supporting my research interests, the CCPR offered a premier environment for learning how to be a competent, rigorous and attentive researcher. The faculty were accessible and committed to my professional development; the seminars spanned several disciplines within the population sciences and were conceptually and methodologically informative; and the postdocs and students I engaged with were talented and collaborative. In the end, my affiliation with the CCPR was a hallmark of my success as a graduate student and contributed to the completion of my dissertation and achievement of my academic and professional goals.”
          -Uchechi Mitchell, University of Southern California
        • “My graduate studies were largely organized within the CCPR. Because of the Center, I was able to train in subjects (e.g., nutritional epidemiology and population economics) outside of my primary discipline and develop long-lasting research collaborations with scholars from several fields. My career was profoundly shaped by the quality of the mentorship I received from faculty affiliated with CCPR at the time.”
          Jenna Nobles, University of Wisconsin, Madison
        • “CCPR played a major role in who I am today as a scholar. Through the interdisciplinary seminar series, I was exposed to a wide variety of methods, topics, presentation styles, and ways of being a scholar. I had the opportunity to meet many preeminent demographers from around the country and in retrospect, I realize how important these meetings were for forming my professional network.  Another notable quality about CCPR’s training is the incredible dedication of its faculty to student mentoring.  At CCPR, I gave countless practice talks and received detailed and honest feedback. In more informal settings, my CCPR mentors provided critical feedback and support of my research agenda as well as guidance on my career more generally. I’m grateful for the training I received from CCPR on a daily basis!”
          Christine Schwartz, UW, Madison
        • “CCPR is my intellectual home. The training at CCPR made me realize that I am a demographer at heart. The center provides an intellectual environment that encourages graduate students to interact with faculty, colleagues, and speakers from a diversity of research areas, engage in cutting-edge research projects, and acquire skills to communicate their research to a wider audience.”
          -Xi Song (Graduated 2015)
        • “I began my affiliation with CCPR when I arrived at UCLA as a new graduate student, and I’m really glad I did.  CCPR gave me a place beyond my home department to work and to meet people from my field and related fields.  Attending the weekly seminar exposes me to work in a variety of disciplines; beyond being a great professional environment, this also strengthens my understanding of what is expected of my own work, now and in the future. The CCPR computing services have helped me out of several quandaries, from needing more computing power to needing help with coding.  Funding through CCPR helped me focus on my coursework and writing.  I’m definitely grateful that I’ve had access to CCPR for the past 5 years and I look forward to seeing other new students benefit from its environment and services.”
          Juli Simon Thomas, Harvard University
        • “My time at CCPR exposed me to cutting-edge demographic research from scholars across disciplines, and helped me set high standards for my own research. Through CCPR I was able to connect with experts in quantitative analyses for the social sciences, who supported me in making my work more rigorous. This played a critical role in having my work published in top journals in my field and accepted for presentation at PAA, which in turn helped me land my first post-doctoral position. CCPR feels like a true academic community that is committed to its students’ training and success, and I am grateful to have been a part of that community during my doctoral training.”
          Jacquelyn Torres, RWJF at UCSF
        • “As a graduate student at UCLA, I benefited immensely from the wealth of resources at CCPR. These included professional workshops to help students learn the ropes of publishing and networking, funding opportunities to present at conferences and learn new research skills, and a weekly seminar series that showcased new research by bringing in the “who’s who” list of demographers. What I valued most about my training at CCPR was the personal and professional connections I developed with faculty and students both within and beyond my home discipline. This has led to a number of research collaborations as well as strong friendships, long after graduation. I will always call CCPR my first academic home.”
          Jenjira Yahirun, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Current Student Testimonials:

        • “Being involved with CCPR has been a wonderful experience for me. CCPR provides an opportunity to meet and interact with students and faculty from other disciplines. The seminars are a great place to hear about research outside of my field; the proseminars a useful platform to meet researchers outside of UCLA and hear more personal details about their research and career trajectories. The resources are great: a personal workspace I could not find in my department; excellent statistical consulting; and generous support to attend and present at PAA.”
          Patience Afulani
        • “CCPR has provided me access to a network of researchers that I wouldn’t have normally have access to. I can interact with students and faculty from across many departments with relative ease. This has allowed me to procure entry into classes from outside of my field and has facilitated completion of my degree requirements.”
          -Hector Alcala
        • “My graduate training at CCPR has exposed me to a group of faculty and student researchers who is diverse in field of study, methodological approaches, and personal backgrounds and who share an interest in the public good. In addition to the resident researchers, the training program exposed me to a variety of nationally (and, often, internationally!) renowned faculty presenters on a weekly basis, and the insights gained from them–especially in the small group student lunches–have substantively shaped how I present and think about my own research. More generally, the positive and collaborative environment at CCPR is immensely conducive to getting work done, due to the positive atmosphere, the work-friendly spaces, and the deep pool of faculty and fellow students willing to lend a few minutes to solving a question. Both my research and many (interdisciplinary!) friendships have grown in my time at CCPR.”
          -Devin Bunten
        • “CCPR has provided a unique space for me to develop my research skills as well as my research interests. I entered the graduate program in Sociology intending to do qualitative research on educational inequality. This quickly changed after attending the first few weekly CCPR seminars. I was compelled to consider the intimate relationship between population dynamics, educational attainment, and inequality. I am extremely grateful to have such a resourceful center and be a part of an engaging intellectual community.”
          -Danielle Callendar
        • “CCPR has been a tremendous resource to me during my graduate training at UCLA. I entered the Sociology Ph.D. program with no formal training in quantitative methods or statistics, so I felt quite behind initially. Luckily for me, CCPR offered a plethora of resources, including seminars, traineeships, workspace, travel grants and helpful faculty mentors. The training and support I’ve received have been truly exceptional!”
          Liz Kofman
        • “As a current CCPR affiliate and a former NIA trainee, I have had the opportunity to learn about emerging population research from internationally recognized scholars. Additionally, attending CCPR-hosted miniconferences on health and aging has reinforced my interest in working in a collaborative, interdisciplinary fashion, combining both sociological and economic perspectives to understanding the complexities (and consequences) of kinship relations across the life course in the US.”
          -Sung Shim Park
        • “During my two years as a graduate student affiliate of the California Center for Population Research, I have felt that I am a member of a supportive scholarly community, one in which I learn from faculty and fellow graduate students affiliates alike. CCPR has supported my training in demography and quantitative methods with direct financial support through the NICHD-funded Traineeship program. In addition to financial support, affiliation with CCPR has furthered my methodological, academic and professional development. I have participated in training workshops in the use of statistical methods and programs, used the computing environment CCPR hosts for the analysis of restricted access data, utilized CCPR’s one-on-one computing and statistical consultation service and received financial support to attend conferences. The weekly CCPR seminar series has been invaluable to my exposure to a wide range of scholarship from top population scientists. During the pro-seminar available to graduate students following the weekly seminar, I have had the opportunity not only to question presenters about the content of their research and their experience as scholars, but also to share with them my research interests and project ideas.”
          -John Sullivan
        • “As a student affiliate and trainee at UCLA’s California Center for Population Research, I benefit from access to an array of resources that enable me to better execute my graduate research. Through weekly seminars, I am afforded the opportunity to learn from academics across the country as well as my colleagues here at UCLA. The faculty, staff, and students at CCPR provide a network of academic support that allows me to improve as a researcher and grow as a scholar.”
          Amber Villalobos