Who We Are
Senior Research Analyst
Assistant Research Director
Lauren (she/her) has over a decade of experience supporting evidence-based policy- and decision-making in the social policy and higher education spaces. As the Assistant Research Director in the Family Welfare Department at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW), she works with the Maryland Department of Human Services, offering analytic and consultation support for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She leads research studies that utilize state administrative data to describe and evaluate Maryland families who participate in these programs. Recent studies include leading the legislatively-mandated annual Life after Welfare study which examines employment and participation outcomes of Maryland families who leave TANF; evaluating the impact of SNAP work-related time limits on adults’ employment, earnings, and participation; and evaluating the impact of Maryland’s child support pass-through policy on TANF families. She is currently leading a mixed-methods comprehensive review of Maryland’s TANF program design, policies, and processes, with a focus on program design from an equity and trauma-informed lens. Lauren holds an MA in Sociology and a PhD in Public Policy, both earned at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Director, Center Operations
Jamie Haskel has been with the Family Welfare Research and Training Group (FWRTG) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore since 1998. He is responsible for the operational functions of the organization, including grants and contracts, purchasing, recruitment and hiring, and general personnel issues. Mr. Haskel oversees the group’s Database Programming and Information Systems units and is the Data and Information support liaison between the FWRTG and the Department of Human Services’ Child Support and Family Investment administrations. Additionally, he provides consulting services on technical issues to state agencies. Mr. Haskel earned an MBA from the University of Baltimore, and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He was a member of the board for Maryland Joint Child Support Council (MJCSC) from 2009-2017 and served as president from 2015-2017. Currently, Mr. Haskel is on the board of the National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) serving as chair of the Technology Committee.
Letitia Passarella is the research director with the Family Welfare Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Letitia manages a research agenda that addresses trends and outcomes of families who are a part of the public child support program or families who receive benefits from two social safety net programs in Maryland: Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA, Maryland’s TANF program) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As research director since 2012, Letitia aims to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to providing policymakers and stakeholders with information that can improve the lives of Maryland’s low-income families.
Letitia was the program chair for the Maryland Joint Child Support Council’s 2016 Training Conference and the program co-chair for the 2019 National Association of Welfare Research & Statistics (NAWRS) Conference. She participates in several committees including the National Child Support Enforcement Association Research Committee, Maryland A.L.I.C.E Research Advisory Committee, Maryland Benefits Cliff Steering Committee, and the Maryland Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee as well as other committees to support the Family Investment Administration of the Maryland Department of Human Services. Letitia Passarella earned her Master of Public Policy from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Letitia focused on education policy and research by examining indicators of success among low-income children.
Senior Research Analyst
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 410-706-5601 | Room: LAW/SSW 541