Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute Staff
The mission of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute—to conduct and disseminate research that informs policymakers, educators, philanthropists and the general public on how to best improve educational opportunities and outcomes for African Americans and other underrepresented minorities across the pre-school-through-college-graduation pipeline—is carried out by a team of dedicated professionals.
Brian Bridges, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Member Engagement
Executive Director, Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute
Career Pathways Initiative
Read Bridges' Bio
Meredith Anderson, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
Meredith Anderson, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Associate in the K-12 Advocacy Department and Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute at UNCF, where she leads and designs empirical research related to K-12 education reform for African American students. Dr. Anderson has over 10 years of extensive research experience, including survey design and management, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and program evaluation.
Anderson's publications have focused on race, educational inequities, African American community voice in education, and the influence of representation on grouping and tracking outcomes for African American male students. Meredith's most recent publications for UNCF are: A Seat at the Table: African American Youth's Perceptions of K-12 Education; Lift Every Voice and Lead: African American Leaders Perspectives of K-12 Education Reform; The Lift Every Voice and Lead Toolkit: A Community Leader's Advocacy Resource for K-12 Education; Building Better Narratives in Black Education; and The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2015: African American Students.
Prior to her work at UNCF, Anderson was program evaluator for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she contributed to the development and management of the teacher and principal evaluation system, conducted statistical analyses to inform decision-making and led the evaluation survey for principals. Anderson also contributed to the Maryland Longitudinal Data System development at the Maryland State Department of Education. Additionally, Dr. Anderson was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Affairs at American University. She has also taught in the Department of African American Studies at Georgetown University and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University where she teaches courses on race and public policy. She is also on the board for the Wayfinder Foundation and The Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success.
Prior to her work in Washington D.C., Meredith was a Research Associate for the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance (PERG) at Texas A&M University. Meredith earned both her B.A. and doctorate in Political Science from Texas A&M University.
Krystal L. Williams, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate,
Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute
Krystal L. Williams is a Senior Research Associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Her research explores the use of public policies to promote college success for underrepresented students, with a particular emphasis on the interplay between policy initiatives and students’ various psychosocial factors. Recently, her work has focused on these issues as they relate to broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and reducing students’ economic and academic strains in college.
Prior to joining UNCF, Williams was an American Educational Research Association Fellow at Educational Testing. She also served as a Research Assistant at the University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity, and an Institutional Research Analyst at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Williams completed her doctoral studies in Higher Education and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. She also attended Clark Atlanta University where she earned a BS and MS in mathematics and graduated valedictorian.
Katherine Saunders, Ed.M.
Senior Research Associate
Katherine Saunders, Ed.M., is a senior research associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. In this role, she evaluates the effectiveness of UNCF’s programs and interventions and conducts research on the educational success and opportunities of African American and other minority student populations at historically black colleges and universities and comparable institutions. She also researches higher education issues of relevance to UNCF’s mission to better inform institutional strategies and public policies. Prior to joining FDPRI, Saunders was a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, where she advocated for more effective federal- and state-level higher education and workforce policies to better meet the needs of nontraditional students. Her portfolio focused on issues of college affordability, federal financial aid, public benefits and education tax credits.
Saunders earned her master’s degree in higher education leadership from California State University, Fullerton, and her master’s in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education history from Arizona State University.