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The Center for Public Justice seeks to equip students to respond to God’s call to pursue justice for all. 

In this semester-long project, students will write a comprehensive research report on a social safety net program’s impact on vulnerable families in their campus' local community.



Are you for more government or for less? 

This is the type of polarized question that animates much of our conversation around the social safety net. But this narrow question misses the larger questions that we as a society must address: What is human flourishing? What is government's role in caring for the poor? What is our responsibility as citizens?

The proposed federal budget would make cuts to safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and it is crucial that we understand the impact this would have on vulnerable families.

Through connecting with their local community, studying the effects of a particular social safety net program, and applying a public justice framework, these students are helping to re-frame the conversation.

Meet Our Student Research Prize Recipients

With a pool of applicants from 15 Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) schools, applications were reviewed by Center for Public Justice staff and a panel of judges comprised of professionals working in public policy and social services organizations. 

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Jordan-Mary Bellamy

Jordan-Mary Bellamy is researching the Section 8 affordable housing program in The City of Lynn (Essex), MA.

Jordan-Mary Bellamy was born and raised in Washington, D.C.  Bellamy’s dedication to serve her community allowed her to receive the Clarendon Scholarship at Gordon College, where she is currently a sophomore. Her passion for her city and politics inspired her to pursue an interdisciplinary program through the school’s Kenneth Pike Honors Program, in Culture and Political Philosophy. Her desire to play an active role in engaging public policy for the purpose of human flourishing has afforded her the opportunity to have internships in the Maryland House of Delegates with Delegate Mary-Beth Carozza, and at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) working in the office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (CIR), and Environment America, where she provided support to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act.

Additionally,Bellamy was a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, Tuskegee Squadron (CAP) and was promoted to serve as the Drug Demand Reduction Officer (DDRx). Bellamy represents the Gordon College community as an Executive Member for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Student Ambassador, an editor for the Academic Journal, Princemere, contributor to The Tartan, and a co-coordinator for LAUNCH (a professional development training offered to the student body). She also enjoys working at Balance Gym at the front-desk (part-time), playing guitar and watching Grey’s Anatomy with friends, reading biographies, cooking, and is an avid soccer player and enthusiast.

“My hope is that my research on the Section 8 affordable housing program in The City of Lynn (Essex) will provide awareness to the limited affordable housing options in the community.”
- Jordan Bellamy

Dr. Paul Brink

Dr. Paul Brink is serving as Jordan Bellamy's faculty advisor.

Dr. Brink is Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., Notre Dame) at Gordon College, in Wenham Massachusetts, where he has been teaching since 2006.  His teaching and research interests lie in political theory and comparative politics, and in particular theories of justice in pluralist societies.  Paul also co-directs the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, Gordon’s flagship Honors program, and he also serves on the board of Christians in Political Science, the national Christian learned society in political science.  Paul’s history with CPJ goes all the way back to 1991, when he attended a CPJ conference as an undergrad. 

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Juliana D'Aoust

Juliana D'Aoust is researching the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), focusing on culturally specific programs in her community of Azusa, CA.

Juliana D'Aoust, originally from Gilbert, Arizona, is a sophomore at Azusa Pacific University, majoring in Psychology and Honors Humanities. She is interested in specializing in the fields of health and cultural psychology as a platform to pursue public health or clinical counseling, and is passionate about missions and ministries that promote sustainable development in communities. Juliana has previously served abroad in Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic and will lead an Action Team to Nicaragua this summer through APU. 

“Embracing cultural diversity is a way in which safety net programs can better serve underrepresented populations.” - Juliana D’Aoust

Dr. Priscila (Diaz) Castaneda

Dr. Priscila (Diaz) Castaneda is serving as Juliana D'Aoust's faculty advisor.

Dr. Castaneda is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Azusa Pacific University. She completed her Ph.D. in August 2011 from the Social Psychology program at Arizona State University. Her extensive research and quantitative training in the Social Psychology program at Arizona State University branded her work in intergroup relations and culture.

Her main research interests include attitudes towards immigrants, and the societal as well as intrapersonal challenges facing minority and immigrant groups. In addition, she examines how culture and socioeconomic status influence health are decision making. She has developed a research program with a number of collaborations applying multiple methodologies, including lab experiments, longitudinal studies, surveys, and field interviews.Much of this collaborative work to inform policy, social services, behavioral scientists, and prevention efforts to shape the lives of individuals living in a multicultural setting.


Emily Miller

Emily Miller is researching the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), focusing on the refugee population in her community of DuPage county, IL.

Emily Miller is a senior at Wheaton College, majoring in International Relations with a minor in Psychology. Following a year studying Arabic in Jordan and Lebanon prior to her time at Wheaton, she decided to pursue a career in refugee advocacy and human rights law, which is what led her to an internship at Chicago's Council on American-Islamic Relations, where she is a Government Affairs Intern in the outreach division.

She is interested in creating events, both artistic and advocacy-focused, that can connect and gather people from different social environments and faith backgrounds. After graduating, Emily hopes to return to Jordan to study Arabic, and then pursue a law degree and work as an immigration attorney. Outside her work and education, Emily enjoys eating good food with friends and attempting acoustic covers of famous pop songs.

“The relationship between refugees and federal services tends to be highly politicized, yet enigmatic. As Christians, we have a duty to care for and provide for this vulnerable population in our communities.”
- Emily Miller
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Dr. Timothy Taylor

Dr. Timothy Taylor is serving as Emily Miller's faculty advisor.

Dr. Taylor is a professor of politics and international relations at Wheaton College, where he enjoys teaching classes ranging from International Political Economy to East Asian Politics. His research, which includes the effects of foreign trade agreements upon national elections, has been published in both academic journals, as well as outlets such as Christianity Today and the Huffington Post.

Taylor was awarded the Rothchild Memorial Research Award, and in 2015, was appointed as a fellow at Ateneo de Manila University’s Center for Asian Studies. He earned his MA and PhD from the University of California, Davis, where he was a Bilinski Fellow from 2015-2016. After living and traveling abroad, Taylor and his wife now reside in Wheaton, IL with their four children. If he had spare time, he would enjoy fishing, hiking, and exploring the outdoors.

Check back in throughout the semester to hear updates from Jordan, Juliana, and Emily as they conduct their research!