Wesley Whistle is a senior advisor for policy and strategy with the Education Policy program at New America. As a member of the higher education team, he researches and analyzes policy, as well as implements advocacy strategies, to create a more equitable and accountable system of higher education. Prior to joining New America, Whistle was an education policy advisor at Third Way. He was previously a higher education administrator at colleges and universities in Kentucky, working on accreditation, federal and state reporting, and assessment. Whistle earned his master’s degree in public administration, with a concentration in education policy, from the University of Kentucky and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Kentucky Wesleyan College. His experience as a Pell Grant recipient and first-generation college graduate informs his work every day.
Research Affiliate - Policy
Alejandra Acosta is a policy analyst with the higher education initiative at New America. She conducts research and analysis on the equitable and ethical use of predictive analytics in higher education. Acosta previously interned at Lumina Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, where she informed investments and strategies that aimed to make higher education more equitable. Prior to that, she was a graduate researcher at the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, where she analyzed institutional policies that affected undocumented students in Michigan’s public higher education institutions. She is also a proud to have served as a college adviser for low-income first-generation students in Silicon Valley. The product of public education from K–12 to college, Acosta holds a bachelor’s from UCLA and a master’s in higher education from the University of Michigan. Her immigrant family’s education success story and work with marginalized communities are the foundation of her work.
Jason Lee serves as a postdoctoral fellow at SHEEO where he supports the association’s research enterprise. His prior research focuses on evaluating federal, state, and institution-level policies and programs to determine where in the postsecondary pipeline students struggle to succeed. This work has been published in a number of outlets including the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Dr. Lee has over 10 years of experience working in education, including time spent as a K-12 teacher, working as a campus administrator in a variety of settings, and, finally, working as a quantitative researcher for two state higher education agencies in Tennessee. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, his master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University.