Research Assistants

Kaila Williams

Kaila Williams holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Jacksonville University. Before joining the Metropolitan Center, she worked for a statewide nonprofit agency focusing on financial growth, program development and implementation, and local federal advocacy initiatives. Currently Kaila is pursuing a PhD in Public Affairs from Florida International University. Her research interests include community development, public policy and program analysis and evaluation, and neighborhood and community responses to vulnerable populations such as elder adults, individuals with disabilities, and those in extreme poverty.

Anna Kallschmidt

Anna is a Ph.D student in FIU’s industrial/organizational psychology program, as well as a graduate of their Master of Science curriculum. She is tremendously passionate about investigating how social and economic factors influence organizational success and individual social mobility. She investigates these questions via two streams of research: social class as an identity in the workplace and organizational training. Anna has two years of experience in applied organizational science regarding training, selection, and data analysis. She also holds six years of experience in academia, including research, teaching, advising, and tutoring. Her work has been published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, as well as featured at national conferences such as the Annual Conference for the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists and the Society of the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

William T. Jackson

William T. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Florida State University and a Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of Phi Alpha Alpha Honor Society of the National Association of Schools for Public Affairs and Administration.

He served over 12 years with the Urban League of Broward County as a Youth Development Counselor, Case Manager, Program Coordinator, Program Manager and Community Justice Division Manager. In his last role, William led and managed the "New Diversion Alternatives for Youth" program, the "Healthy Youth Transitions" program, and "Crime Prevention and Intervention" program. In addition, he served on the Broward Diversion Coalition as Co-Chair; Southeast Florida Crime Prevention Association; Florida Crime Prevention Association; Florida Department of Juvenile Justice - Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) Committee; National Association for Community and Restorative Justice, and Chair for The Justice Project. William currently is a Public Affairs Ph.D. student at Florida International University and serves as a Graduate Research Assistant with the FIU Metropolitan Center. He was elected and serves on the Florida Restorative Justice Association Board. William’s interests are in empowering others to act by developing cooperative and collaborative relationships that would benefit the community as a whole; challenging the process when it concerns the systemic changes that need to be made for the most vulnerable communities in South Florida to succeed and thrive; along with encouraging the heart for others to follow a shared vision of serving those that are in most need of assistance. He is committed to serving individuals, families and communities that have limited access and opportunity; and in need of a second chance. One of William’s favorite quotes is, “Life is worth living when one has the opportunity to serve and give.”