Leadership and Staff

Laurel Weldon

Director of Purdue Policy Research Institute


Laurel Weldon

Laurel Weldon (University of Pittsburgh, 1999) is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and at Purdue University in Indiana and director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI). Last year, Weldon held the O’Brien Residential Fellowship in the Faculty of Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is founding co-editor of the new journal Politics, Groups and Identities, a journal sponsored by the Western Political Science Association and she was founding Director of the Center for Research on Diversity Inclusion (2012-2015) and interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (2013-2014) and (very briefly) Acting Provost (2014). Professor Weldon’s work focuses on the role of civic groups in shaping social policy as well as formal and informal institutions, and is cross-national, interdisciplinary and global in scope. She has won numerous awards, including, most recently, the Victoria Shuck Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) (2012) and the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for Scholarship and Mentoring from the Midwest Political Science Association’s Women’s Caucus (2015). She has consulted for international organizations such the UN and the World Bank as well as national, state, local and Tribal governments.

Krista Kelley

Operations Manager



Krista Kelley

Krista Kelley has nearly two decades of experience in office administration in the airline industry, property management, and in academia. At Purdue University, she served in the Graduate School’s Office of the Dean, and in the Office of the Provost in Faculty Affairs. Krista was also part of the steering committee which began the Clerical and Administrative Assistant Mentoring Program (CAAMP) at Purdue, and served on the CAAMP leadership team with a focus on technology. She has presented and served on panel discussions with CAAMP, mentored a handful of Purdue support staff members, and is a trained Clifton StrengthFinders coach (Krista’s top five “Signature Strengths” are Strategic, Ideation, Woo, Positivity, Communication).

L. Allison Roberts

Bement Senior Policy Fellow


Allison Roberts

Allison Roberts is a graduate of Purdue University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology. She most recently worked with Dr. Laurel Weldon on the interdisciplinary Diversity and Inclusion Research Project from 2013-2016. Other areas of experience are working with Dr. Valeria Sinclair-Chapman for the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion, assisting with the collaborative multi-institutional INSuRE project (Information Security Research and Education) with Dr. Melissa Dark, and on the Family Journeys Project at the Military Family Research Institute. Allison was also a Postgraduate Visiting Scholar in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, and served as the Deputy Administrator's intern at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Tyler Spence

Postdoctoral Policy Fellow



Tyler Spence

With a background in aviation as a pilot, flight instructor, and researcher, Tyler Spence completed his PhD in Aviation Technology. He also completed the graduate certificate in social policy in order to bridge aviation with the social sciences. Tyler joined the Purdue Policy Research Institute as a Postdoc Fellow. Emphasizing ways to help the aviation industry grow in sustainable ways, he has conducted policy research in the areas of international safety standards, the impacts of the reach of globalization on developing aviation markets, and the issues associated with increasing noise pollution and noise disturbances in communities surrounding airport environments. Tyler interned for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Transportation Affairs where he worked with industry and government officials to evaluate best policy practices and secure bilateral and multilateral aviation agreements. At Purdue University, in the article, "Evaluating a Fine Based Approach to Noise Sustainability at an Airport Community" (currently under review), he used a multi-level modeling technique to determine if, with the issuance of a fine for each occurrence, there have been any noticeable reductions in the numbers of occurrences of noise level exceedances by commercial airlines since 2005. This research culminated in his dissertation through which he evaluated the noise pollution mitigation policies and practices implemented at many of the airports with commercial airline service in the United States. Under Dr. Mary Johnson's supervision and through the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability (PEGASAS) FAA Center of Excellence, he participated as a graduate researcher on a project focused on finding ways to collect and use recorded aircraft data to improve general aviation operational practices and safety. Tyler’s future research will continue to bring rigorous and systematic policy evaluation techniques to aviation research in order to find best practices as the aviation industry seeks to adapt to 21st Century problems.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Purdue Policy Reseach Institute

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the Purdue Policy Research Institute at dpweb@purdue.edu.