Michael McQuarrie is a sociologist at Arizona State University where he directs the Center for Work and Democracy and acts as an Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation. The main purpose of his work at the Center for Work and Democracy is to address the exclusion of working…

Associate Director

Benjamin Y. Fong is the Associate Director at the Center for Work & Democracy, and also an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. With Craig Calhoun, he is the co-editor of

Carolyn Forbes


Assistant Director

Carolyn Forbes joined the Center for Work and Democracy in February 2023. Prior to that, she was assistant director of the ASU Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, where she facilitated research development and coordination of cross-disciplinary research projects across a broad range…

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Benjamin S. Case is the project lead on the Center for Work and Democracy’s Ballot Initiatives Project, where he studies the use of ballot initiatives as tools to redistribute wealth and decision-making power to the working class, as well as the mounting attacks in the initiative process from…

Project Coordinator

Muriel Payraudeau is the Project Coordinator for the Center for Work and Democracy. She recently completed her Masters in Justice and Social Inquiry from Arizona State University. Muriel's research as a graduate student focused on the future of work, particularly the issues that workers face…

Maria Esch


Research Analyst Assistant

Originally from Virginia, Maria received a bachelor’s degree in International and Global Studies as well as in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2021. She also holds a master’s degree in Justice Studies from Arizona State University,…

Ashley Cooper


Research Specialist Principal

Ashley Cooper is a Ph.D. Candidate in Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. Her dissertation assembles a people’s history of the Parsons v. Ryan class action lawsuit over medical neglect and unconstitutional conditions…

Doctoral Research Assistant

Marcus Donaldson hails from the United Kingdom and is a recent Justice Studies Masters graduate from the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. His Masters research focused on Police Brutality, Race-Based Traumatic Stress, and Social Media. His work has appeared in the…

Research and Communications Assistant

Sam Ellefson is the research and communications assistant at the Center for Work and Democracy and is pursuing an MA in investigative journalism at the Cronkite School at ASU. He holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and film from ASU. Sam has previously worked as the editor-in-chief of State…

Research and Events Aide

Kayla Le is obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Public Service and Public Policy focusing on Sustainability, as well as her Master’s Degree in Public Policy through the 4+1 program. She is deeply interested in environmental policy and law; specifically through an environmental justice perspective…

five young people posed in a restaurant

2023-2024 Research Assistants

Sam Ellefson

Ian Sherwood

Jackson Rubin

Natasha Kiriluk

Kayla Le

Not pictured:

Samantha Crosby

Mia McLaughlin

Lydia Dawson

Willa Kirsch-Stancliff