Dr. Vanessa Crossgrove Fry is Interim Director at the Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) where she leads students, staff, and faculty in providing innovative and objective research to help public, private, and nonprofit leaders overcome challenges and navigate change. She serves as Associate Research Professor in the School of Public Service where she teaches the MPA Capstone and co-teaches the Vertically Integrated Project Housing Opportunities for All. Dr. Fry is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco where she received her MBA in Sustainable Management. Vanessa also holds a BA in Biology and Fine Art from Wittenberg University in Ohio and a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Boise State.
Dr. Fry has focused both her work and education on utilizing multi-sector, evidenced-based solutions to address persistent social, environmental, and economic issues and meet the current and critical needs in communities across Idaho and beyond. IPI’s research projects and technical assistance, carried out by teams of interdisciplinary students, staff, and faculty, enable data-informed decision making. IPI’s interdisciplinary research engages people across campus and across Idaho. Our research has had measurable impacts on decisions being made at the state and local level including state transportation funding, provision of homelessness services, and delivery of education programs. Since IPI launched in 2016, the team has worked with over 40 clients on over 60 research projects. IPI’s research and dedicated courses provide experiential learning opportunities to students across disciplines and at all levels (undergraduate to PhD) at the university. Our students serve in pivotal research roles in order to gain direct experience to take with them into the workforce. Each semester students in the MPA Capstone course and the Housing Opportunities for All VIP conduct direct, hands-on research experience for nonprofit and governmental organizations in Idaho. Since 2016, nearly 100 Capstone students have completed 41 research projects.