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We’re pleased to announce that public policy senior, Zach Owen has been accepted to present his research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and Posters-at-the-Capitol this spring! All public policy majors complete a research project and write a full policy brief as a graduation requirement, and this project makes an excellent submission to opportunities like NCUR. Zach’s capstone entitled, “Homeownership and Mortgage Loans: How Important Is a Conventional Loan?” discusses the major disparities in access to conventional mortgages, particularly for Black Americans, and proposes several policy interventions which might decrease inequities in the system and allow more Americans to purchase homes.

While equity has always been a strong interest for Zach, he gradually developed an affinity for housing policy as well. Through projects and papers in classes throughout the program, he was able to dig deeper into the issues related to housing and ended up focusing his capstone research on both housing and equity. He also completed two internships which allowed him to get real world experience related to his interests – one in the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Division of LGBTQ Affairs in summer 2022, and another in Senator Jon Ossoff’s office in summer 2023. In the Senator’s office, Zach was able to focus on infrastructure and transportation, giving him greater insight into housing issues and policy writing.

Again, huge congratulations to Zach and thanks to the Office of Undergraduate Research for their continued support and guidance!


You can read past public policy capstones on the UK Libraries UKnowledge database.