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Karla Palos CastellanosResearch Associate, UC Berkeley

Headshot of Karla Palos Castellanos

As a first-generation student and immigrant who grew up in a low-income, predominantly Latino community in Los Angeles, Karla is no stranger to some of the structural issues that affect many Californians. Utilizing her passion for numbers, she is committed to helping CPL’s mission of helping improve the lives of Californians via data-driven insights. She is interested in policy areas relating to the social safety net, education, and criminal justice.

At CPL, Karla works with colleagues and partners on data cleaning, linkages, and analysis. She is part of a CPL team that is researching access to safety-net benefits for California college students and that is testing strategies to increase student enrollment in programs like CalFresh. She has also worked on CPL’s research around take-up of anti-poverty tax credits in California and is a co-author of a CPL publication focused on college student use of CalFresh.

Karla was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico. She moved to a small city in Los Angeles at an early age, and now resides in Berkeley, CA. She holds degrees in Applied Mathematics and in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley, and she is also a Member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Outside of work, Karla enjoys watching movies, reading (especially authors from El Boom Latinoamericano), and learning more about data and data ethics.

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