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The Ramos Research Institute Welcomes Distinguished Scholars to Board of Scholars



ITHACA, NEW YORK— February 20, 2024 —The Ramos Research Institute is proud to announce the appointment of four esteemed scholars to its Board of Scholars. These scholars bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the institute, further strengthening its commitment to addressing today's most pressing issues through rigorous research and analysis.


Belinha S. De Abreu, Ph.D.

Dr. Belinha S. De Abreu

Dr. Belinha S. De Abreu is a globally recognized media literacy educator with a distinguished career in promoting critical thinking and digital literacy. She has served as an International Expert to the Forum on Media & Information Literacy for UNESCO's Communication & Information Section. Dr. De Abreu's research interests span media and information literacy education, educational technology, global perspectives, and privacy & big data. As the President of the International Council for Media Literacy (IC4ML), she has been a leading voice in advocating for media literacy education worldwide.


Jason Ostrander, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Dr. Jason Ostrander

Dr. Jason Ostrander brings a unique blend of academic expertise and real-world experience in social work and policy development. His research focuses on social workers' political participation, civic engagement, and child welfare, with a commitment to evidence-informed policies. Dr. Ostrander's extensive experience includes serving as a congressional aide and collaborating with federal lawmakers to develop child welfare policies grounded in research and best practices.


Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner, MPA

Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner

Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner is a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University and a leading expert in environmental policy and disaster resilience. With a focus on translating values into practice and policy, she works closely with communities to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to environmental challenges. Rebecca's research spans environmental justice, climate change education, and disaster resilience, reflecting her dedication to addressing social and environmental inequalities.


Alan Mathios, Ph.D.

Dr. Alan Mathios

Dr. Alan Mathios is a distinguished economist and professor at Cornell University. With expertise in consumer behavior and regulatory policies, Dr. Mathios has garnered acclaim for his research on FDA regulation of e-cigarettes and cigarettes. His work has earned him prestigious awards, including the Outstanding Scholarship Award during his tenure at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As a prolific author and editor, Dr. Mathios's contributions have significantly influenced public health policy and consumer welfare.


Scholar Bios
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*To learn more about our Scholars-in-Residence, click the document attached for their full biographies*

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. De Abreu, Dr. Ostrander, Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner, and Dr. Mathios to the Ramos Research Institute," said Alejandro J. Ramos, Founder and Director of the institute. "Their expertise and dedication to advancing knowledge and solving complex societal challenges will undoubtedly enrich our research endeavors. I am most looking forward to seeing their interactions with our interns, they are excited to meet the scholars.”


“I’m looking forward to gaining new, outside-of-the-classroom perspectives and knowledge from the Board of Scholars. As an economics major, I’m eager to improve my understanding of these fields as well as learning more about the issues I’m not super familiar with,” said Haley Dymek, RRI Research Assistant and Senior at American University. “I’m grateful to feel so well-supported during my semester with the Ramos Research Institute!”


“The Board of Scholars will be an essential tool for informing us about research in their respective fields and the fundamentals of ethical exploration in our projects. Coming into RRI as a psychology major with a peace and justice studies minor, I am excited to bring my particular branch of academia to the table,” said Ashli DeMaria, RRI Research Assistant and Senior at Fordham University. “Further, I am elated to be able to work with such esteemed scholars and my peers at The Ramos Research Institute.”


The addition of these distinguished scholars reaffirms the Ramos Research Institute's commitment to conducting rigorous, relevant, and actionable research that makes a positive impact on society.


For more information about the Ramos Research Institute, its Board of Scholars, and its ongoing research initiatives, please visit or contact us at




About Ramos Research Institute (RRI):

The Ramos Research Institute (RRI) is an emerging research institution dedicated to original research, polling, and policy analysis aimed at addressing today's most complex societal challenges. Founded by Alejandro J. Ramos, RRI is committed to providing innovative solutions and insights in critical research areas. RRI conducts research in state and local government, environmental policy, education policies and initiatives, and the voting behaviors of minorities, with a focus on rigorous, relevant, and impactful research.



Ramos Research Institute

Ithaca, New York 14853



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