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CPSP is proud to belong to the U.S. Collaborative of Poverty Centers led by the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The collaborative creates a nationwide infrastructure focused on tackling a range of poverty and inequality related issues with the following goals:

  1. Shape the national poverty research agenda by improving the fit between key policy questions and the evidence being produced today

  2. Disseminate new research findings and make the body of existing research more accessible and actionable

  3. Train a broad and diverse cadre of researchers to improve the research community’s capacity to address cutting-edge policy questions

CPSP co-Director, Christopher Wimer is a co-lead on the Poverty and Family Functioning Research Network in the collaborative. CPSP will be hosting two visiting scholars-in-residence in the upcoming year. We are proud to be a part of this important initiative to support U.S.-based poverty scholars from diverse backgrounds. Read more about IRP’s Scholar-in-Residence Program.

Visiting Scholars


José Pacas is a Research Scientist at the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at University of Minnesota. As a research scientist for IPUMS USA, Pacas dedicates his efforts to making US Census data available from 1790 through the modern American Community Survey. Prior to joining IPUMS, Pacas worked as an economist for the Poverty Statistics Branch at the US Census Bureau. His academic research has generally focused on using Census data to study labor markets, poverty, immigration and racial/ethnic disparities, specifically the factors influencing poverty transitions and the net fiscal impact of labor unions.


Alvin Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research interests are related to positive development among African American youth, violence, father involvement, parenting, and neighborhood effects on child outcomes. Alvin earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2013. Thomas specialized in African American and under-represented children and families, focusing on parenting in relation to youth violence and mental health.

The Collaborative currently comprises 10 leading university-based poverty research centers: