Introducing Our New Hires!
Summary: We are excited to announce the expansion of our research team and introduce the newest team members to More in Common.
More in Common is excited to introduce our newest team members, Ashley Fabrizio, Natasha Gordon, and Emily Gerdin. Ashley as our senior researcher, will lead our research team and strategy to produce insights that increase understanding of Americans’ attitudes and beliefs, defuse polarization, and strengthen social cohesion.
Natasha and Emily are our newest research fellows and will support the research team over the coming months advising on research strategies, methodologies, and analysis. They are part of our part-time fellowship program for graduate students studying social psychology and related fields.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ashley, Natasha, and Emily to the MiC team! Their expertise will be invaluable in our work to understand issues around polarization—especially as we embark on new research to understand Americans’ attitudes around connecting across differences, explore values and beliefs within and between faith communities, and uncover areas where we can share a story of ‘a bigger us.’” - Dan Vallone, MiC US Director.
Get to know our newest team members
Ashley Fabrizio, PhD
Role at MiC: US Senior Researcher
Why did you choose this career path? I chose to become a researcher because I am naturally drawn to uncovering hidden patterns in human relations and in data. Anything secret or obscured happening at scale—I want to understand it! I also enjoy the opportunities for collaboration that research provides, both with other researchers and with adjacent fields like policy, education, product design, and marketing.
Field of Study/Expertise: Political Science
Why this specific area of study? I have loved thinking critically about political and civic topics since I was young. In my first month of college, I went through the course catalogue and highlighted all the courses I wanted to take—and the majority were in international relations, comparative politics, and U.S. political history. That made it easy to be sure I was making the right decision in choosing Government as my college major and in applying to graduate school in political science.
What appealed to you about More in Common? I am drawn to the international, non-partisan, and civic research elements of More in Common as I strongly believe that achieving more socially cohesive and pro-democratic societies requires a transnational effort and buy-in from diverse communities. Through all my U.S. government, tech industry, and academic work I have sought to understand the power of civil society and diffuse grassroots movements to overcome state and societal obstacles to bettering their countries—this role is an opportunity to put that work into practice.
What is one random or unrelated talent/ skill that you have? I can play the violin and viola!
What is a talent/skill that you’d like to improve on or learn? I want to learn how to play bluegrass music on a fiddle.
Role at MiC: Research Fellow
Why did you choose this career path? I worked in industry for a few years and returned to grad school because I missed research and wanted to dive into it as a career. I was drawn to social science because I was (and still am) excited about being able to study social divisions in a comparative way. My goal is to generate knowledge in support of greater social good—whether that be within local communities or in advancing relationships between individuals and government institutions through my work on media censorship.
Field of Study/Expertise: Political Science (currently working on my PhD)
Why this specific area of study? In undergrad I majored in African and African American Studies and was drawn to study the governmental factors impacting economic development. Political Science seemed like a good way to do this and even though my academic interests have since changed, my interest in Political Science has not!
What appealed to you about More in Common? One of my main areas of study is the effect of the internet on social divisions in West Africa and ways to mediate its more negative impacts. More in Common’s work is similarly about bridging divides in the United States and Europe and I felt that my work could only grow from thinking about these concepts in different contexts. More in Common is a great place to explore my field of research from a different angle and deliver actionable insights to a non-academic audience.
What is one random or unrelated talent/ skill that you have? I love cooking and make great khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread). I spent a lot of time during 2020-2021 upping my baking skills.
What is a talent/skill that you’d like to improve on or learn? I love cycling but don’t get out as much as I’d like -- I have to be in the right mindset to venture out into the NYC streets. It would be great to take longer bike trips and prioritize cycling more in the future.
MiC Role: Research Fellow
Why did you choose this career path? I initially decided to study psychology because I was fascinated by the human mind and deeply committed to the scientific method. I really liked the idea of designing experiments to test hypotheses about how and why people think and behave the way they do.
Field of Study/Expertise: Developmental Psychology; Social Cognitive
Why this specific area of study? I chose to study how children grow within and learn about their social worlds after interning in a developmental psychology lab and taking a developmental psychology course in college. I was astonished to learn that, before children can even utter full sentences, they are developing beliefs about how their society operates. I firmly believe that better understanding how and when children develop biases and stereotypes will help us discover how to mitigate these same biases and stereotypes in adults.
What appealed to you about More in Common? Overall, at More in Common, I have a chance to use my research toolkit to combat polarization and strengthen our democracy. There are two things I really like about the MiC approach. First: MiC gives me a platform to spread hope and inspire people to act. Social media often paints a bleak picture of our ideological future, leading people to think that the divides between groups are insurmountable and leaving them feeling hopeless. However, a lot of research paints a much rosier picture than that, one where individual people can hold onto common ground and still make a meaningful difference. Through MiC, I get to share these hopeful findings. Second: At MiC, we move fast! We work with community partners to discover what questions need to be answered, design research projects to find those answers, and then share our findings—often at times within a matter of months. This allows us to directly support partner organizations more than academic researchers usually can. Academic research projects often take years to complete, and then the findings can be inaccessible— often unavailable unless someone subscribes to expensive scientific journals.
What is one unrelated talent/skill that you have? I really love baking! Lately, I’ve been perfecting my pastry dough making abilities. Do not do this to yourself unless you really love the most tedious of baking tasks! Store bought pastry dough is more than fine.
What is a talent/skill that you’d like to improve on or learn? I’d like to learn to play piano!