ROBIN HOOD PRIZE:

COLLEGE SUCCESS

A  $5 MILLION  prize competition to find scalable technology solutions to help more students stay on track to a timely graduation.


OVERVIEW | BACKGROUND | JUDGES | FINALIST EVALUATION RULES | F.A.Q | 

#RHPRIZE | LInkedin Group prize@robinhood.org

The following is a partial list of experts who have been selected to help evaluate the applications:

 
 

ADAM ALTER
Associate PROFESSOR OF MARKETING, NYU STERN

 

Adam Alter is an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and an affiliated assistant professor of social psychology at NYU’s psychology department. Alter's research focuses on judgment and decision-making and social psychology, with a particular interest in the sometimes surprising effects of subtle cues in the environment on human cognition and behavior. His research has been published in a range of academic journals.

Alter is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, which examines how features of the world shape our thoughts and feelings beyond our control. He writes regularly for the New Yorker website, and has contributed to the New York Times, Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, Huffington Post, and Popular Science, among other publications. He has spoken at the TEDxSydney conference, and to audiences at Google, Microsoft, Citi, Prudential, and numerous other organizations.

Eric Bettinger
Associate Professor of Education and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Education

 

Eric Bettinger is an associate professor of education and economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bettinger's current research focuses on factors that improve students' access to and success in college. Some of these factors include the role of teacher characteristics and class sizes in college, the role of need-based financial aid, and the complexity of the college application process. He has also conducted significant research on the effects of financial incentives for students and on the effects of voucher programs on both academic and non-academic outcomes of participating students. Bettinger received his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Brigham Young University.
 

Reginald Dwayne Betts
Poet, Writer, Community College Alumnus

 
Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and a writer. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Betts to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Betts’ memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, was the recipient of the 2010 NAACP Image Award for non-fiction. He has been awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Ruth Lily Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship. In addition, Mr. Betts is the author of a collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm.  In addition to his writing, Mr. Betts is involved in a number of non-profit organizations, including the Campaign for Youth Justice, for which he serves as a national spokesperson.  He received an A.A. from Prince George’s Community College, a  B.A. from the University of Maryland, an M.F.A from Warren Wilson College and is currently a student at the Yale Law School. 
 
 
 

Mark Dalton
Co-Chair and CEO of Tudor Investment Corporation

 
Mark Dalton is the Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Tudor Investment Corporation and its affiliates.  He joined Tudor as President in September 1988.  Previously, Mr. Dalton spent nine years with Kidder, Peabody & Co., where his positions included Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of the Equity Group.  Prior to joining Kidder, he was an attorney with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City.  Mr. Dalton has a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1975 and a B.A. from Denison University in 1972.  Mr. Dalton serves on the boards of Vanderbilt University (2002 to present), where he is currently Board Chair, and Denison University (1990 to present), where he was Board Chair from 2003-2009.  He also is on the boards of the Telluride Foundation, the Sheridan Arts Foundation and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
 
 
 

Nikki Edgecombe
Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center

 

Nikki Edgecombe is a Senior Research Associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her primary research focus is developmental education.

She currently leads two studies on developmental education reform. Analysis of Statewide Developmental Education Reform (ASDER) is a three-year examination of the nature, implementation, and early outcomes of the redesigns of developmental education assessment and placement, curricula, and course structures in Virginia and North Carolina. Scaling Innovation is a two-year implementation and research project in which CCRC has partnered with colleges experienced in developing and institutionalizing innovations in developmental education and with colleges preparing to adopt, adapt, and scale these innovations. Within the developmental education space, Nikki has published extensively on reforms designed to accelerate students’ progression through remediation and into and through introductory college courses. Her portfolio of work also includes research on teaching and learning, instructional technology, and student support services.

Nikki joined CCRC from JPMorgan, where she was an equity research analyst responsible for assessing the financial and organizational performance of publicly-traded companies and evaluating the effects of federal and state policy on strategy and execution. Prior to her work in the private sector, Nikki studied teacher learning and school-based professional development at the Urban Education Institute and Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Urban Studies – Economics from Columbia University.
 

Samuel Hirsch
Vice President for Student Affairs, Community College of Philadelphia

 

With a long-term commitment to college access, student development and success, Dr. Samuel Hirsch is a dedicated educator who has had increasingly responsible experience in academic administration. He currently is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Community College of Philadelphia where he is responsible for providing leadership, strategic direction, and management of the programs and services for Student Development, Athletics, Career Services, and Enrollment Management. As the College’s Chief Student Affairs Officer, he plays a pivotal role in collaborating with others to develop and improve policies, programs, and services aimed at supporting student learning, satisfaction, and success. Previously he served as Dean of Educational Support Services at the College where he directed the planning and administration of all College-wide academic support services and programs. In this role, he established a proven track record of initiating, developing, and implementing programs, student services, and retention initiatives that led to increased student enrollment and persistence.

Dr. Hirsch has been involved in the engaging work of designing and implementing strategies to infuse instructional technology in the classroom and the expansion of online offerings. In addition, he has developed and implemented a wide range of partnerships that successfully facilitate the transition for students from secondary education through an associate degree and into baccalaureate degree programs. All of these initiatives focused on new and creative ways to provide professional development, maximize funding opportunities, and develop collaborations leading to greater student success. He has an accomplished record of grant attainment and management. He has made numerous presentations at professional meetings and national conferences in addition to consulting for a range of colleges and organizations.
 

Avi Karnani
Lead Strategist, Hazards & Compass

 
Avi Karnani is interested in projects that improve consumer decision-making, create more efficient markets, or deliver better services to groups who didn't have access to them before. 
 
He's started, funded, or mentored a number of projects that drive impact and value, including Thrive (sold to LendingTree), a service that helped people make better financial decisions; Churnless, a consulting firm that helped clients implement technology driven behavior change; and GetRaised, a service that helps women close the gender-wage gap.
 
Avi sees companies as instruments capable of helping people and bringing about consistent, positive social change. He actively mentors founders both independently and as mentor-in-residence at the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator by TechStars. 
 
 

Eric Klopfer
Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade, MIT

 

Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. Klopfer's research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The games that he works on are designed to build understanding of scientific practices and concepts as well as critical knowledge, using both mobile and web-delivered game platforms.  In the realm of simulations, Klopfer's work focuses on students understanding complex systems, and connecting computer programming with scientific practice, critical thinking, and real-world issues. He is the co-author of the books, "Adventures in Modeling", "The More We Know, as well as author of "Augmented Learning," Klopfer is also the co-founder of the non-profit Learning Games Network (www.learninggamesnetwork.org).
 

BRIDGET TERRY LONG
XANDER PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION AND ECONOMICS; ACADEMIC DEAN, HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

 

Bridget Terry Long is an economist who specializes in the study of education, in particular the transition from high school to higher education and beyond.  Her work focuses on college student access and choice and the factors that influence students’ postsecondary and labor market outcomes.  Current projects examine the roles of information and assistance in promoting college savings, the completion of aid applications, and college enrollment. Other work examines the effects of financial aid programs, the impact of postsecondary remediation, and the role of instructor quality, class size, and support programs on student outcomes. 

Long is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), member of the Board of Directors for MDRC, and a Research Affiliate of the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE).  She is also a member and former Chair of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES), the advisory panel of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education.  Long received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the Harvard University Department of Economics and her A.B. from Princeton University. 

Deborah McCoy
Managing Director, Early Childhood and Youth, Robin Hood

For the past eight years, Deborah McCoy has served as Robin Hood’s managing director for its Early Childhood and Youth grant making portfolio, including support for a range of projects aimed at improving community college persistence and graduation.  Prior to joining Robin Hood, Deborah worked for six years at The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation on its evaluation and portfolio management team to identify, select and guide investments in youth development programs.  She also served as director of minority affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and as the director of public policy at the Community Service Society of New York.  

Deborah has a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard and a Master of Public Administration and Master of Philosophy from Columbia.   
 
 
Peter Muller
Founder and CEO, PDT Partners; Investor
 
Peter Muller is the Founder and CEO of PDT Partners, a quantitative investment firm.  He received his B.A. in Mathematics with honors from Princeton University.  Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1992 and founding PDT (Process Driven Trading), Peter was at BARRA for seven years.  As a result of the Volcker rule, PDT Partners spun out of Morgan Stanley at the beginning of 2013.
Peter’s published research includes work on financial optimization, mortgage prepayments and equity valuation models.  He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Investment Management and has previously served in the same capacity for the Financial Analysts Journal and the Journal of Portfolio Management. 
 
Peter is the co-founder and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Chalkstream Capital Group, an investment firm.  He serves on the Board of Trustees for Berklee College of Music, Math for America, and is part of the Leadership Council of the Robin Hood Foundation.  He is also an Advisory Member on the Board of Harvey Mudd College.
Music has always been a large part of Peter’s life.  He has released two albums as a pianist/singer-songwriter and performs regularly in New York City with his trio.  He also creates the occasional crossword puzzle for the New York Times and runs a monthly music-based crossword contest at pmxwords.com.
 
 

Sendhil Mullainathan
Professor of Economics, Harvard University

 

Sendhil Mullainathan is a professor of Economics at Harvard University. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”, Mullainathan conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance.  His research helps bring an understanding of the psychology of scarcity, with the end goal of improving poverty alleviation programs in the U.S. and in developing countries. He is the co-author of Scarcity: Why Having too Little Means so Much and writes regularly for the New York Times.

Mullainthan helped co-found a non-profit to apply behavioral science (ideas42), co-founded a center to promote the use of randomized control trials in development (the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab), serves on the board of the MacArthur Foundation, and has worked in government in various roles, including most recently as Assistant Director of Research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
 

Philip Oreopoulos
Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Toronto

 

Philip Oreopoulos is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, at Berkeley and his M.A. from the University of British Columbia. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and Research Fellow at the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research.  He has held a previous visiting appointment at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is editor at the Journal of Labor Economics.  Dr. Oreopoulos' current work focuses on behavioral economics of education.  He often examines this field by initiating and implementing large-scale field experiments, with the goal of producing convincing evidence for public policy decisions.


 

George OttE
University Director of Academic Technology, City University of New York (CUNY)

George Otte is the University Director of Academic Technology at The City University of New York (CUNY). His principal responsibility in that capacity is overseeing online and hybrid (partly online, partly in-class) instruction. Formerly (and additionally) the Academic Director of the CUNY Online Baccalaureate Program (begun in 2006), Dr. Otte is now also the chief academic officer for the CUNY School of Professional Studies (home of all CUNY's fully online degrees, now ten and counting, and including graduate as well as undergraduate degrees). He is also a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center's doctoral programs in English, Urban Education, and Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Director of Instructional Technology since 2001 (the title was changed to University Director of Academic Technology in 2008), he held various administrative and faculty positions prior to that. Dr. Otte received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1982.