Ph.D. Student

Amanda Spishak-Thomas

Amanda Spishak-Thomas’s research interests: Women’s health, behavioral health, income equality, Veterans benefits, and healthcare reform

Amanda (“Mandi”) is a Social Policy Analysis and Economics PhD student, focusing on health policy under the guidance of Dr. Heidi Allen. Mandi’s research focuses on health care policy, specifically access to care and quality health and behavioral health care for low-income individuals and their families, with an emphasis on reducing health disparities. As a doctoral research assistant, Mandi is currently working on postpartum maternal health and insurance access as well as the health effects of an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for single individuals in Atlanta and New York City. With interests in health policy and extensive clinical social work experience, Mandi has continuously sought out advocacy opportunities and ways to remain engaged in the community. Mandi participated in political boot camp training sponsored by the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and is an active member of the Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) Advocacy Collective focusing on political actions and outreach to government officials in support of reproductive rights. Before coming to Columbia University, Mandi received a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Seattle University and a Master’s of Social Work from Columbia University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a licensed clinical social worker at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Alzheimer’s Association in San Francisco, California.