Our Amazing Team

The work and productivity of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy is spearheaded by our amazing team of researchers, innovators, and visionaries. These four individuals are the masterminds behind all that CRISP does.

Angelique Day

Legislative Director
Angelique is responsible for setting CRISP's legislative priorities and the legislation we promote and support of which child welfare is the organization's top priority.

Justin Hodge

Academic Director
Justin is responsible for overseeing the development and production of information and materials made available to faculty and students at schools of social work.

Charles E. Lewis, Jr.

Charles is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of CRISP and setting the agenda for the activities and products generated by our talented team members.

Jason Ostrander

Research Director
Jason is responsbile for overseeing CRISP's research agenda and creating the knowledge base that is vital to achieving the organization's mission and goals.

Angelique Day, MSW, PhD

Angelique Day received her PhD in interdisciplinary health science in 2011 from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She earned an MSW from Michigan State University in 2005 and a BS summa cum laude in sociology/psychology from Central Michigan University. Much of her research focuses on foster care youth, including examining the differences in college retention rates between foster care youth and other low-income first-generation college students, and examining “youth voice” and its impact on child welfare, education and health policy reform. From 2011–2016, she was an assistant professor of social work at Wayne State University, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate classes. She’s been an evaluator, principal investigator or project coordinator on major studies funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and McGregor Fund, among others. Day has received many awards and honors, including a year-long congressional fellowship awarded during the 2016–2017 academic year by the Society for Research on Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was assigned to the office of Congressman Danny K. Davis where she helped develop the congressman’s child welfare and higher education legislative portfolios.

Justin Hodge, MSW

Justin Hodge is a clinical assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan. He is the co-lead for the Policy & Political Social Work Pathway and the director of the Online Certificate in Political Social Work. Hodge is committed to increasing the presence of social workers in policy and political spaces. He teaches courses that provide students with the tools to engage in politics and approach policy work from a social justice perspective. Hodge was elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in November 2020. As a county commissioner, he brings his social work perspective to addressing the most pressing problems facing Washtenaw County. Hodge has a particular focus on addressing inequities in the county and promoting economic opportunity. In 2021, Hodge was appointed by Governor Whitmer to the Commission on Community Action & Economic Opportunity, where he is able to lend his expertise at the state level. Nationally, Hodge serves as board president of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy, which works to expand the participation of social workers in federal legislative and policy processes. He is also a founding board member of the Social Work Democracy Project, a charitable organization focused on providing resources to Schools of Social Work to advance knowledge of government and democracy.

Charles E. Lewis, Jr., MSW, PhD

Charles E. Lewis, Jr., a political social worker, is the founder and director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), a nonprofit organization that works to engage social workers with the U.S. Congress. CRISP produces an annual Social Work Day on the Hill and Student Advocacy Day during the month of March which is Social Work Month. He was recently inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Dr. Lewis was Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for former Congressman Ed Towns when he oversaw the creation of the Congressional Social Work Caucus. He is a member of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work Leadership Board, the Board of Directors of Influencing Social Policy, and a Commisoner with the Special Commission on Advancing Macro Social Work Practice. He earned his MSW degree in clinical counseling from Clark Atlanta University and PhD in policy, planning and policy analysis from Columbia University.

Jason Ostrander

Jason Ostrander, Ph.D., MSW, is an Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University’s Department of Social Work and Director of the Congressional Policy Practice Internship. He currently serves on the Research Committee and Advisory Board for the Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work and Director of Research for the CRISP. Dr. Ostrander’s practice experience comprises political social work and served as a congressional aid to a former U.S. Congressman. He is an experienced Investigator with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Politics, Program Evaluation, Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Event Management, and Volunteer Management. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) of Social Work from UCONN School of Social Work with a focus on political social work, political participation, and engaging oppressed and marginalized populations in policy development and politics.