My name is Natalie Veldhouse and I am a research associate with the Iowa Policy Project. I study how federal and state social policies impact low and moderate-income Iowans with a focus on social safety net programs and economic opportunity.
I received my Master of Social Work in the spring of 2018. During my studies I worked as a practicum student with the school social worker at a local alternative high school, and at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center. I also worked as a graduate research assistant in the College of Public Health on program evaluations focusing on the behavioral economics of healthy eating and rural food insecurity.
I focused my graduate studies on social policy, research, advocacy, program evaluation, and community organizing all related to poverty, inequality, and morality.
Before pursuing my masters, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Crisis Center of Johnson County. I worked with the Hunger Task Force on a number of research projects to assess the state of food insecurity in Johnson County, Iowa, and helped build capacity in rural food pantries. I also worked on a formative evaluation for the Crisis Center's mobile and school pantries.
I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Public Policy in May of 2015. The Ethics and Public Policy program is an interdisciplinary major including studies in economics, political science, sociology and philosophy. I also minored in French, and graduated with university and departmental honors. I completed my honors thesis titled 'Prekindergarten Programs and Social Mobility: A Policy Analysis,' in which I compared universal and targeted pre-k programs in terms of their effects on life-outcomes for children raised in families experiencing poverty.
During my undergraduate studies the University of Iowa, I worked as a research assistant in the department of sociology and the department of economics. I also worked as an intern at the Crisis Center of Johnson County on the Hunger Task Force. I was heavily involved in the University of Iowa’s Sociology Club, serving as the elected secretary during my junior year and as Vice President during my senior year. I took a course on francophone literature and cinema while studying abroad in Paris during the summer of 2014.