Erika entered the doctoral program in fall 2013 following a career as a public administrator in Michigan state and local government.
She is studying American politics and policy, and her broad research interests include the influence of social capital on policy outcomes, the impact of immigration and migration on urban systems, and local government finance and administration. In 2009, Erika received a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she focused her studies on public entrepreneurship, social capital, and urban policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where her thesis examined recycling and refuse collection in the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her volunteer activities include working with young leaders at Michigan American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and assisting a dental team with translation in La Esperanza, Honduras. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, salsa dancing, sewing, and traveling.