Alisha Martinez

Alisha Martinez, MSSP’07, PhD

  • Lecturer, MSSP Program

Dr. Alisha Martinez serves as a data specialist in the Office of School Support for the Fairfax County Public Schools, which is the 10th largest school district in the country. She brings over 17 years of experience in the field of education working in a variety of settings including local and federal government and the non-profit and private sector. Prior to working for the Fairfax County Public Schools, she was a Senior Director of Research and Business Analytics at K12 Insight, a research and technology consulting firm based in Herndon, Virginia.

Alisha began her career as a classroom teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools through the Teach for America program. After teaching, Alisha obtained her Masters in Social Policy from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and her PhD in Education from George Mason University. She is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts and currently resides in Virginia with her husband, Oscar, and their two children, Sofia and Isabella.

“The MSSP program prepared me for developing research-based reform agendas aimed at improving access, equity, and performance of students from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as broadened my perspective on how policies have addressed social problems. Upon graduating from the program, I completed an internship (as part of the Capstone Seminar requirement) at the American Youth Policy Forum. One of the most beneficial experiences at this placement was the opportunity to interact with policymakers and attend presentations on strategies to increase student achievement at the secondary level made on Capitol Hill.”

SP2 News

Michael Nutter and Lisa Nutter

Faculty & Research

Michael and Lisa Nutter to Launch Economic Mobility Initiative at SP2

In the United States, economic inequality is among the most pressing social issues of recent decades. The country’s wealth gap, which...

SaraKay Smullens

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumna Receives Society for Social Work Leadership’s 2021 Kermit B. Nash Award

SaraKay Smullens, a 1965 alumna of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

Loran Grishow-Schade

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alum Honored for Ongoing Gender Identity Research, Work

For years, Loran Grishow-Schade, MSW ’20, MSSP ’21, has proven to be a prolific leader and fully-immersed pioneer in work...

MSW Student Alisa Branch

Student Life

“Always Something New to Know”: MSW Student Alisa Branch on Being a Non-Traditional Learner

Even after a three-decade career in the human services field, Alisa Branch still felt that she had more to learn,...

Discover More