Meet the People

Timothy Bray, Director

Timothy Bray


Dr. Timothy M. Bray is Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. As the only research institute to be established by a grass roots community building organization, the Institute retains a flavor that makes it unique among its peers. While many institutes engage in "research for the sake of research", the Institute for Urban Policy Research truly believes that the fruits of research must serve the underserved by motivating the caliber of sustainable change necessary to improve quality of life and build a better world. The Institute continues to build friendships in the communities we serve, helping residents realize their visions of lasting change.

Dr. Bray is also on the faculty of the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he teaches in the political economy and criminology programs. He teaches graduate and upper division courses in quantitative methodologies and structural correlates of social disorganization. He also mentors graduate students, and involves graduate students in the research work of the Institute. Dr. Bray received his Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Denise Boots, Senior Research Fellow

Denise Boots

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Denise Paquette Boots is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is a former U.S. Border Patrol Agent trainee and Level 4 juvenile counselor for adjudicated youth. Her research agenda focuses on issues related to interpersonal violence, with a specific emphasis on domestic violence and homicide, child abuse and neglect, mental health, life-course criminology, neuropsychological vulnerabilities, capital punishment, gendered pathways to crime and victimization, parricide, and outcome and process evaluations of problem-solving courts and criminal justice programs.

Her professional community service activities include serving as the Campus Facilities Chair at UT Dallas, as a executive committee member of the City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force, as an editorial board member for the respected journal Violence Against Women, and as the Senior Executive Counselor for the Division of Women and Crime of the American Society of Criminology. In 2010, she was awarded the University of Texas Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, one of the most selective and prestigious teaching awards in the country. She is frequently called upon as a consultant to various non-profit organizations and has been featured on the Dr. Phil Show and other national and local media outlets regarding topics related to interpersonal and family violence.

Anthony Galvan, Associate Director

Anthony Galvan

Associate Director
Research and Operations

Anthony Galvan is Associate Director for Research and Operations at the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas with primary responsibility over quantitative projects with a focus on program evaluation and public policy research in the areas of education, public health, economic security, crime, and safety. In this position, he has worked on a variety of projects, including the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: United 2020 Initiative and the Beyond ABC report for Children's Medical Center of Dallas, as well as projects for a variety of other North Texas nonprofits and local government agencies. He has made several conference presentations on the topics of demography, suburbanization, public health, and data use for nonprofit evaluation.

Prior to working with the Institute for Urban Policy Research, Anthony worked on the Buckeye State Poll at the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, as well as the National Immunization Survey and the National Health Interview Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. He earned a Master of Applied Politics from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.

Sara Mokuria, Associate Director

Sara Mokuria

Associate Director
Leadership Initiatives

Sara Mokuria is Associate Director for Leadership Initiatives with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she brings high-level experience in project management, program design and community engagement, combined with lifelong passions for justice, equity and arts and culture. She is the local coordinator for the Race Forward: Facing Race Conference, project manager for Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, board member at The Dallas Peace Center, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, co-creator of When Race Becomes Real: The Next Generation Speaks, and most importantly proud mother of Amari Tappin.

Currently she is teaching Special Topics in Applied Sociology at the University of Texas at Dallas. Sara is a Dallas native and is committed to helping her city become a beacon of racial and economic justice. She is a sought after project manager, trainer, and facilitator. Sara holds a Bachelor's degree from New School University and two Master's degrees from Simmons College.

Shahrukh Farooq, Research Associate

Shahurkh Farooq

Research Associate

Shahrukh Farooq is a Research Associate at the Institute for Urban Policy Research where he is responsible for facilitating quantitative data collection and analysis for evaluation in the areas of education, public health, criminal justice and economic security. Shahrukh brings forth expertise in quantitative methods, statistical analysis and evaluation research. Shahrukh is interested in improving the effectiveness and transparency in financial management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining the Institute, he has worked on the Governance Project with the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) and as a Graduate Assistant for Research at Texas A&M University. He earned a Master's degree in Public Policy Analysis from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, with a concentration in quantitative methods of policy analysis.

Alejandro Acero Murillo, Research Assistant

Alejandro Acero Murillo

Research Assistant

Alejandro Acero was born in the city of Santa Marta, Colombia. Growing up he was raised in Arizona, Colombia, and Mexico until attending high school in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He completed his undergraduate education at Brown University where he double concentrated in Public Health and Economics, completing a capstone project that explored the health effects of incarceration based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Systems (BRFSS). He joined the Institute for Urban Policy Research in 2015, and his research interests include public health and economic equity for marginalized groups, particularly sexual and gender minorities, sex workers, substance users, and the formerly incarcerated.

Dakota McCarty, Graduate Research Assistant

Dakota McCarty

Graduate Research Assistant

Dakota McCarty is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. As a GRA, Dakota is active with many of the projects at the institute. Where he uses his skills in ArcGIS, writing, and research. As well, uses his eagerness to learn and positive, motivating energy allowing not only himself, but his team to succeed. Dakota has a passion for languages and anything cultural, which makes up a lot of his studies. He recently graduated with his B.A. in International Political Economy, and is now studying for his M.S. in the same subject. Afterwards, he has plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Economics, Public Policy or a similar field. Dakota hopes to one day become a professor, or work in a senior position for a NGO. He enjoys traveling, reading and hiking. He is motivated, passionate and always willing to lend a hand.