Ajíšafé Adaján, (Travis Tatum) Ph.D.
“My vision is to help individuals, institutions, and communities reach their highest potential. It is my honor to serve communities through rigorous research and evaluation that is culturally responsive, equitable, and adaptable.”
—Ajíšafé Adaján, Ph.D.
As Co-Founder and President of Creative Research Solutions, Dr. Ajíšafé Adaján is dedicated to helping individuals, institutions, and communities improve their performance through high-quality research and deliverables. Dr. Adajan’s leadership has helped the firm become one of the most trusted in the evaluation sector. Dr. Adaján has led CRS in over 13 years of award-winning, impactful work. He and his team help organizations nationally and globally measure and document their outcomes and community impact as they work to address structural inequities. The work of Dr. Adaján and his staff has positively impacted communities in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil, Uruguay, and several other countries.
For the past 5 years, he has collaborated with Griffin and Strong, P.C., to provide leadership and strategic oversight for a team of national researchers specializing in completing disparity studies at the city, county, and state levels. Disparity studies are some of the most rigorous research projects as the research design and analyses must withstand legal scrutiny. In addition, Dr. Adaján exhibits a highly specialized skill in creating dashboards, predictive models, and other data science tools to ensure the success of projects and initiatives. He uses data- and research-informed approaches to help organizations predict outcomes. With his unique combination of academic preparation, research training, infotech integration, and communication skills, Dr. Adaján and the CRS team are able to provide outstanding value to your organization.
Dr. Adaján earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan and currently resides in Atlanta metro area. As a social psychologist, Dr. Adaján is skilled in finding ways to measure seemingly “unmeasurable” outcomes. For example, his co-authored article in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, “Teachers and Learners: Roles Adopted in Interracial Discussions,” examined the extent to which White and Black discussion participants felt that they were in “teacher” and “learner” roles while talking about race. Likewise, Dr. Adaján’s previous work, Directed Attention and Stereotype Threat in Interracial Interactions examined White participants’ experience of stereotype threat in the context of talking about race. Each of these projects demonstrated Dr. Adaján’s ability to effectively measure social outcomes even when dealing with challenging issues or situations.
In addition to his academic experience, he has also developed strong facilitation skills through the CommonGround program at the University of Michigan. Facilitation differs from other communication skills in that it focuses on helping others bring forward their ideas to the benefit of the group, especially where either situational factors or individual differences in communication style might otherwise interfere with communication. When applied to interviews and focus groups, Dr. Adaján’s ability to thoughtfully engage with participants will greatly enhance the depth and quality of the data collected.
Dr. Adaján has previously served as President of the Atlanta-Area Evaluation Association. Dr. Adaján’s previously published work may be found under the name “Dr. Travis Tatum”.
Osa Maiyanne Adaján, (Shanesha Brooks-Tatum) Ph.D.
“I am passionate about helping others become better at what they do. There are so many amazing organizations creating tangible change in our world. Providing the highest-quality thought partnership with unmatched excellence in service to clients and partners is my first priority.”
—Osa Maiyanne Adaján, Ph.D.
Dr. Osa Maiyanne Adaján is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Creative Research Solutions. Dr. Adaján brings a unique approach to her work in research and evaluation, including a personal touch, a bit of humor, and genuine concern for the well-being of her team and CRS’ clients and partners. As a local, national and international award-winning evaluator, facilitator, and thought leader, she strategizes with organizations to improve their programmatic design, grantmaking strategy, program implementation, strategies for systems-level change, and community partnerships. Her results-driven approach measures and documents her clients’ impact, maximizes client resources, and enables them to tap into new markets. Dr. Adaján is a skilled and sensitive facilitator and trainer, certified in Results-Based Accountability (RBA). She has used the RBA framework to help nonprofits, educational institutions, government agencies, foundations, and the communities that they serve co-create collaborative, shared evaluation outcomes.
Dr. Adaján is a trusted advisor to several national and international initiatives in the domains of education, health, human rights, philanthropy, community engagement, and political advocacy. Her insights and strategic oversight have enabled local, national and international organizations to refine and scale their programs, tackle roadblocks and barriers, and authentically engage key partners in lasting change. While many of the initiatives that she supports are confidential, a few include serving as an advisor to the White House, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Krupp Family Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Duke Endowment, ProGeorgia, and Reboot Representation, a regrantor for a coalition of global technology companies.
She has also served as an advisor and collaborator for a rigorous strategy review of a multi-year, global grantmaking portfolio in the area of human rights. Dr. Adaján previously served as the Project Lead on an international STEAM curriculum development project for middle school girls of color and as the Lead Evaluator on the United Nations Foundation’s Retrospective Impact Evaluation of their Girl Up Campaign. She evaluated the five-year outcomes of this international campaign that raised $7.2 million for UN programs with more than 2,000 global partners and affiliates in health, education, and civic engagement. These programs help girls in developing countries have the opportunity to see a doctor, attend school, and stay protected from violence.
Dr. Adaján is trained in a variety of research methods and is also a skilled and sensitive facilitator. As a facilitator and evaluator for the United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA), Dr. Adaján co-facilitated a series of ongoing training workshops with hundreds of UWGA grantees and prospective partners to develop a new, shared framework for improving child well-being in the Greater Atlanta area. She then worked with UWGA staff, grantees, and community members to create shared action plans and evaluation frameworks for addressing racial, gender, and socioeconomic disparities at the child, family, and community levels in the state of Georgia for each of the 14 strategies of the Child Well-Being Index. Her consultancy also provided key strategy and program development insights that helped Spelman College secure a 5-year, $2.7-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to test a metacognitive curriculum intervention, for which she served as Lead Evaluator. This project was considered for the highly-rigorous national registry in education, What Works Clearinghouse. In addition, Dr. Adaján worked with the DeKalb County Office of Youth Services to assess the impact of six youth programs, each with a health or education focus.
Dr. Adaján has been fortunate to receive several prestigious national and international fellowships and has served as Arts of Citizenship Fellow; the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) Fellow; National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellow; and U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Fellow (Brazil). Dr. Adaján has won national and international awards for her work, including a National Association for Women-Owned Businesses Shining Star Award. She also received an international honor, the Rising Star Award from the International Journal of Ethnic College Health for her work with the Life Balance and Wellness Institute in addressing health disparities among youth and college students of color. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce (GA).She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in American Studies and her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley (Interdisciplinary Studies and English), summa cum laude. She served as Program Co-Chair for the American Evaluation Association’s Nonprofits and Foundations Topical Interest Group (AEA NPFTIG), and has also held visiting professor and visiting scholar appointments at several colleges and universities. An invited radio and television guest and featured writer at news and media outlets, Dr. Adaján is the author of several print and media publications in the fields of educational and community research, evaluation, and self-care. Her previously published work may be found under the name “Dr. Shanesha Brooks-Tatum”.
Molly Matthews-Ewald, Ph.D., MS
Director of Research and Evaluation
Molly Matthews-Ewald, Ph.D., M.S., has over 12 years of experience in research and evaluation across an array of content areas. She is experienced in identifying and working with community stakeholders and leaders to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions and programs. She has experience in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs and analyses. Dr. Matthews-Ewald has expertise in developing and using a variety of data collection methodologies, including but not limited to, secondary data (e.g., administrative data, large federal datasets), performance measures/key performance indicators, surveys, observation tools, interviews, and focus groups. She has previously served as Project Director, Principal Investigator, Task Lead, Advisor, and Quality Assurance Officer across many projects for several Federal agencies (e.g., US Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services). Her collective professional experience has resulted in working with diverse populations. Dr. Matthews-Ewald’s content areas of expertise include primary, secondary, and tertiary obesity prevention; disordered eating; and school climate — much of which has focused on underserved populations. She has led or coauthored 20 peer-reviewed publications, 3 book chapters, over 35 presentations, several technical reports, and has extensive experience translating and presenting findings to a variety of technical and lay audiences.
Examples of her prior experience include working as part of the evaluation team to evaluate public health efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, and improve nutrition through social marketing campaigns and policy initiatives in schools, hospitals, and communities throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley region in West Virginia as part of the CDC-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW). While a Research Associate at the University of Houston, she supported the implementation and evaluation of a family-based intervention (BOUNCE – Behavioral Opportunities Uniting Nutrition Counseling and Exercise) to reduce obesity-related conditions among underserved communities through the empowering Hispanic and African American youth (and their families) to establish healthy lifestyles (focused on nutritious eating, physical activity, and positive body image). Most recently, she served as the Performance Measures and Monitoring Task Lead of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project evaluating the Zika Health Care Services Program (HCSP) which supports the prevention activities and treatment services for women, men, and children who were impacted or may be potentially impacted by the Zika virus. In this role, she updated and reported the performance measures quarterly and also provided technical assistance to grantees to report quarterly progress in implementing Zika-related activities. At her prior organization, she also oversaw the development of the final mixed-methods evaluation plan, development and revisions to the final data collection tools and protocols, including pilot testing, for the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)/Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) Autism CARES Initiative. At her prior organization, she served as Project Director for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) study which determined whether it was feasible for FNS to develop a nutrition paraprofessional training program for Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR) staff. This project included a series of telephone interviews with Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) directors, ITO staff, and stakeholders. Findings from this study were used to inform the development of a pilot training program.
Dr. Matthews-Ewald holds a Ph.D. in Public Health Sciences, concentration in Social and Behavioral Health, from West Virginia University. She earned her Master of Science in Exercise and Health Studies, concentration in Health Promotion, from Miami University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Leadership minor, from Christopher Newport University.
Nivedita Ranade, Ph.D.
Director of Business Development and Client Relations
Nivedita Ranade, Ph.D., has more than 9 years of professional experience in program evaluation, research design and measurement, data collection and analysis, dissemination, grant writing, and project management. She is skilled in providing technical assistance on evaluation, performance measurement, and continuous quality improvement. Her areas of program and policy expertise include child and family development in cultural contexts, early childhood and K-12 education, afterschool programs, and family risk and adversity—with an emphasis on evaluating home visiting programs.
As an Extension Services Consultant for National Center for Women and Informational Technology (NCWIT), Nivedita has served as a change leader for broadening minority populations’ (e.g., women, students with disabilities) participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) STEM fields. She has also worked as a child development specialist in Mumbai, India where she provided clinical support and designed prevention and intervention program to promote mental health and child and family welfare.
Nivedita earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Connecticut. She also holds a certificate in Culture, Health, and Human Development from the University of Connecticut where she studied the cultural construction of children’s environments of daily life, and how these promote various aspects of development. She received her Masters of Science in Human Development from the University of Mumbai, India, and her undergraduate Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from University of Mumbai, India.
Bianka Reese, Ph.D.
Senior Research Strategist
Bianka Reese, Ph.D., M.S., has over 10 years of experience in research, evaluation, and capacity-building in the public health, education, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors. She has extensive experience in designing, implementing, and leading large-scale evaluations of multilevel health and education initiatives, as well as conducting mixed methods research with diverse populations in a variety of settings. In her work, Dr. Reese is committed to engaging diverse communities, especially those most marginalized, to explore, develop, and assess innovative solutions that promote equity and foster systems-level change so that all people may live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Prior to joining Creative Research Solutions, Dr. Reese worked as a research scientist and program evaluator, conducting culturally-responsive and equitable research and evaluation in collaboration with community members and stakeholder organizations across diverse settings (e.g., healthcare, human services, child welfare, education, government, and nonprofit organizations). She has expertise in quantitative and qualitative research design and measurement, program and impact evaluation, performance measurement, data collection and analysis, dissemination, grant writing, and stakeholder engagement in research and evaluation.
A skilled trainer and technical assistance provider, Dr. Reese has designed and facilitated dozens of trainings and webinars on topics such as program evaluation design and implementation, qualitative data collection and analysis, and affirming LGBTQ+ youth in services and research for professionals working across settings. Over her career, Dr. Reese has created a variety of capacity-building resources, white papers, and toolkits to communicate key recommendations, best practices, and lessons learned for stakeholders. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in data management and statistical programming at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has guest lectured on numerous topics including child and adolescent development, effective research presentations, and program evaluation of public health initiatives.
Dr. Reese earned her Ph.D. in Maternal and Child Health and a minor degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her Masters of Science in Public Health (in Maternal and Child Health) and Bachelors of Science in Public Health (in Health Policy and Management), also from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has led numerous empirical and qualitative investigations on the social determinants of adolescent and young adult health, engaging diverse populations of youth, parents/caregivers, and youth-serving professionals in participatory research to explore and document their experiences, needs, and solutions for their most pressing health issues. Her published research can be found in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Community Health, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension.
Project Manager and Systems Strategist
Breanna Alston is a Project Manager and Systems Strategist at Creative Research Solutions. In her role, Breanna supports the coordination and execution of projects to ensure fruitful collaborations with our partners. With an eye toward creating efficiencies in the way we operate, a major component of her work at CRS focuses on the continuous improvement of the tools and systems used to conduct complex project and budget management.
Before CRS, Breanna worked as a technology strategist to develop custom technology solutions (web-based professional development, e-learning, and data collection & reporting systems) designed to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children and their families. Having led and co-led several multi-year projects, Breanna enjoys the dynamism of project management, but values beyond anything, the impact that is ultimately had on communities and institutions when effective solutions are implemented. In joining CRS, Breanna is able to continue in the same spirit by working to facilitate the evaluation of organizations and the work they do to improve the lives of others.
With experience spanning community, education, business, technology, and academic/research settings, Breanna brings a unique combination of experience but is most passionate about human/personal development, racial and gender equity, economic justice, and cross-cultural collaboration. Breanna has a Master’s in Urban Affairs & Public Policy from Loyola University Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish and Sociology from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Jeremiah-Alec R. Piña, Ph.D.
Senior Evaluation Associate II
Jeremiah Piña, Ph.D., is a Senior Evaluation Associate II at Creative Research Solutions. For more than a decade, his work has focused on advancing opportunities for historically underrepresented and marginalized young people to engage with, and find success in, STEM learning. His experience with STEM education crosscuts areas of curriculum development, teacher professional development, and outcome assessment. He is a strong proponent of utilizing methods of teaching, learning, and assessment that leverage aspects of divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, narrative learning (especially culturally-based narratives), and the use of imagination.
Dr. Piña earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. His initial academic areas of study focused on the assessment of creative thinking skills and the psychosocial development of creative performance during adolescence. His dissertation centered on creating new methods of assessment that could capture the role of adolescent identity transitions and their consequences on the creative performances of self-identified “nerdy” or “geeky” middle schoolers who faced social marginalization and bullying.
His passion for working with underrepresented and marginalized students in STEM education was ignited when he began to engage with upper elementary and middle school students from disadvantaged backgrounds during his research assistantship with the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) and, later, as an assistant for the Project for University-School Partnership for Achievement, Rigor, and Creativity (Project U-SPARC). This has continued in his more recent work with the Transforming Engineering Education for Middle Schools (TEEMS) project, wherein the team sought to create a novel framework for narrative-based instruction as a means of scaffolding the learning of key engineering design concepts for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
Dr. Piña has also served as a freelance assessment and evaluation consultant for educational programs designed for implementation in K-12 educational settings, as well as programs designed for informal learning settings. In his role with as an active, responsive collaborator and thought partner, Dr. Piña works to highlight issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion and provide a means, through the application of strengths-based assessment and skills development, to aid teachers and students to realize meaningful and consequential learning outcomes.
Amanda Tyler, MPH
Senior Evaluation Associate
Amanda Tyler is a Senior Evaluation Associate at Creative Research Solutions. Her passion for health and advancing health equity has been the driving force for her career over the last 10 years. In her previous roles, she has provided evaluation expertise for the federal, state, and local government as well as community organizations working to improve the health of the people they serve.
Prior to joining Creative Research Solutions, Amanda served on the Quality Team as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in the Area Agency on Aging at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). While on the Quality Team, she specialized in creating efficient evaluation tools to identify technical assistance opportunities for the county and nonprofit partners providing services to the region’s older adult population and those living with disabilities. In addition, Amanda served as the subject matter expert (SME) for analyzing both qualitative and quantitative monitoring data collected in the field. While on the Quality Team, Amanda observed a consistent increase in compliance from service providers resulting in improved services outcomes for the older adult clients and those living with a disability, served through ARC and the provider network. Before joining the Quality Team, Amanda managed the Rides to Wellness program at ARC, where she used her skills in evaluation to develop and implement a successful program that was reducing missed health care appointments for patients without reliable transportation. As the Rides to Wellness coordinator, Amanda was able to see firsthand how providing equitable solutions to systematic problems can improve people’s everyday lives. With over 200 patients enrolled in the program, Amanda saw a 68% increase in appointment adherence and an improvement of 3 healthy days, as measured by the CDC-Health Related Quality of Life survey. Furthermore, Amanda served as an Active Living Intern working to advance equitable community health initiatives through the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Amanda was also a member of the Translation and Evaluation Team in the Physical Activity and Health Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the CDC. While at CDC, Amanda served as an ORISE Fellow, working to synthesize and translate research focused on physical activity. She developed application-based translation products and best practice guides for dissemination to state grantees and partner organizations. She also provided technical assistance to grantees and partner organizations as an SME on the built environment and health. Furthermore, she assisted in the evaluations of product dissemination, training, and partnerships to improve program efficiency and effectiveness. During her fellowship, Amanda received training in program evaluation, systematic literature reviews and meta-analysis, data visualization, and data analysis tools such as SAS programming and ArcGIS.
Amanda earned her Masters of Public Health degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from Georgia State University School of Public Health. While at GSU, she had a strong research focus on the social determinants of health and how the built environment impacts community health. She is passionate about equitable community development and spends her free time working to ensure people in Atlanta’s underserved communities have access to transportation. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College, where she learned about the value of serving others and the importance of fighting for equality for historically disadvantaged populations.
Jem Olejarczyk, Ph.D
Data Scientist and Associate Project Manager
Dr. Jem Olejarczyk is the Data Scientist and Associate Project Manager at Creative Research Solutions. As an educator, researcher, program evaluator, and data scientist, she works to foster a more sustainable, just, and equitable world through data-driven decision-making and culturally responsive evaluation. She applies the scientific method to investigate questions, examine trends, and measure impact with statistics. She currently volunteers for Statistics without Borders and Habitat for Humanity to support positive impact for communities in need.
Her work in evaluation began as a research associate and analyst at the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement (REM) Center within the College of Education at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) for two and a half years. As a research associate, Dr. Olejarczyk evaluated outcomes from education intervention programs using both private survey data and public data sources to measure the impact of an intervention. She also educated staff and students on statistical software, statistical methodologies, data visualization, reporting, current review standards in education, and other professional development workshops. She used hierarchical polynomial regression, propensity-score matching, factor analysis, latent profile analysis, and power analysis as part of her work with REM Center.
For over a decade, Dr. Olejarczyk has designed, analyzed, and conducted research within the area of cognitive psychology as a CITI-trained ethical researcher. During that time, she managed research projects, trained staff, and programmed experiments across five labs at three universities: Audition Lab at Northeastern University, Mollylab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Visual Cognition Lab at UofSC, Knowledge of Orthographic Learning Lab at UofSC, and Morris Lab at UofSC. She collaborated with undergraduate and graduate student researchers, post-docs, and faculty on research related to attention and memory. Her dissertation examined the effects of memory for a target location during search while monitoring eye movements. Her statistical training included multivariate statistics, item response theory, multilevel modeling, and structural equation modeling. Her cognitive psychology research training included eye-tracking, transcranial direct current stimulation, and functional magnetic resonance imaging.
As an educator for five years, Dr. Olejarczyk has mentored both undergraduate and graduate students during her time at UofSC. She taught courses in Cognitive Psychology as well as Research Methods. She continues to use teaching as a form of activism to promote critical thinking skills and inquisitive learning.
Dr. Olejarczyk earned her Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina (Experimental Psychology), and her Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Biology with a minor in Biomedical Engineering). She has published in the Journal of Family Psychology, Visual Cognition, PLoS ONE, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Her previously published work may be found under the name “Jenn Olejarczyk”.
Keyondra Brooks, Ph.D.
Evaluation Associate II
Keyondra Brooks, Ph.D., is an evaluation associate at Creative Research Solutions (CRS). As an evaluator, she aims to conduct ethical, community-driven mixed methods research that promotes citizen empowerment. Keyondra is particularly passionate about addressing social determinates for wellbeing among LGBTQIA+ and ethnic minority populations. She considers herself a lifelong learner dedicated gaining the skills and experiences necessary to help the communities she serves. She has experience working with organizations in the areas of juvenile justice, integrated health, and financial literacy. In addition, she has experience with board development, report writing, and strategic planning with various organizations.
Keyondra obtained her Master’s in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from Valdosta State University. In this program, she received training in research methods, treatment planning, adult and child psychopathology, and intellectual and personality assessment. As a practicum intern, she worked as a trauma-focused therapist completing individual and group counseling with adolescents at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lowndes County. Following, she earned her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. As part of this curriculum, she received instruction in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, grant writing, prevention, and leadership. During her Ph.D. practicum, she helped complete a mixed-methods process evaluation regarding the integrated health model at a federally qualified health center. As a student, she worked with a research team to complete a mixed methods needs and assets assessment observing racial disparities in juvenile justice involvement in Sedgwick County, Kansas. She also aided with a financial literacy assessment for Wichita State University students and assisted with board development and strategic planning sessions Storytime Village and The Wichita African American Council of Elders. She has presented at the Association of Black Psychologists, Midwestern Psychological Association, and Society for Community Research and Action conferences. Throughout these projects, she helped develop and execute focus groups and interviews, surveys, data analysis, literature reviews, and final reports for community organizations.
She also completed several research projects during her studies. She completed a second-year project which observed the intersection between Black identity and future goals of middle school-aged male youth. For her dissertation, she investigated LGBTQIA+ individuals’ experiences with religion and suicidality. She was also included in a research publication about perceived stress and college students and worked as a student consultant for Midwest Evaluation and Research. Throughout her academic career, Keyondra instructed courses in leadership, college success, fieldwork in community psychology, psychology of learning, and psychology of women. She has a passion for expanding theoretical concepts within the discipline of psychology to everyday problems and making psychology and community psychology accessible to students and communities. In 2020, she received a departmental award for community psychology student of the year and was also the Michael P. Tilford Graduate Fellowship recipient. Keyondra is currently a member of the Society for Community Research and Action.
Adrian Glover, MDP
Evaluation Associate II
As an evaluator, Adrian believes in using transformative mixed-methods approaches that strive for equity and social justice. He has experience helping organizations working in the areas of community development, food justice, refugee health, and gender justice to reflect and learn about what they do and the change they want to create.
Adrian worked with Global Growers Network’s community development program, funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to support local food systems, to develop an evaluation system grounded in equitable, developmental, and empowerment evaluation approaches. With Worldreader India, he led an endline evaluation of the Read to Kids early childhood literacy program in New Delhi. At CARE USA, Adrian worked with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning staff of CARE’s Tipping Point project supporting girl-driven movement building and community-level action to challenge and shift social norms perpetuating child marriage. He developed dashboards to visually track and manage monthly monitoring data, analyzed longitudinal qualitative data on changing social norms, and supported the creation of the project’s monitoring framework. Adrian has also done program management and evaluative work for organizations serving refugees in the US and Greece, coordinated volunteers working on various community development projects, and co-authored peer-reviewed publications on the federally-funded School Breakfast Program.
Adrian received his Masters in Development Practice from Emory University, where he earned concentrations in Monitoring and Evaluation and Statistical Analysis. During his graduate education, he was trained in qualitative data collection and analysis, community-based participatory methods, intersectional approaches, survey methods, design and analysis of complex samples, and statistical modeling. Adrian received his Bachelors of Science degree from Brigham Young University, where he studied public health and international development and was 2017 Health Science Student of the Year.
Chiara Sumich, Ph.D.
Evaluation Associate II
Dr. Chiara Sumich is passionate about improving the lives of disadvantaged children, families, and communities through researching, implementing, and evaluating holistic and multidisciplinary, evidence-based solutions to familial, social, and economic challenges. Dr. Sumich’s experience covers a broad range of skills and environments including experience with quantitative and qualitative methodologies, international field work, and evaluation from both the community organization and the funding body (government department) side of the relationship.
Dr. Sumich earned her bachelor’s with Honors and Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology at the University of Western Australia (UWA). As a member of the Family Ecology and Child Growth in Rural Timor-Leste project and the Biological Anthropology Lab at UWA, Dr. Sumich worked as part of a multidisciplinary team liaising with Timor-Leste Ministry of Health authorities and community leaders on a longitudinal project investigating family and community influences on children’s growth and nutrition. As part of her personal studies, Dr. Sumich designed and implemented a culturally appropriate social network survey to explore patterns of sharing networks in two rural Timorese communities and determine their contribution to buffering children’s growth from seasonal food deficits. Her studies required learning Tetun (local Timorese language) to complete 9 months of immersed international fieldwork in rural Timor-Leste where she conducted longitudinal interviews in 200 Timorese households for personal networks, and indicators of household socioeconomic status and demographic structure as well as taking anthropometric measurements for ~600 children. The Timorese network data was analyzed using a novel personal network analysis methodology formulated by Dr. Sumich which derived 3 major sharing strategies in each rural Timorese community and is currently being prepared for publication.
During her studies, Dr. Sumich worked as a Research Assistant at Ngala Community Services, a parenting support organization, where she gained experience with in-house development and evaluation of community programs. In her role, Dr. Sumich conducted a scoping review of parenting programs available for parents with a disability and assisted in the evaluation of two established and long running programs at Ngala – the Leadership, Exploration and Development (LEAD) program and the MyTime program for parents of children with a disability in rural Western Australia. The LEAD evaluation is currently being prepared for publication.
Prior to relocating to the United States, Dr. Sumich worked as the Evaluation Associate for Western Australian 2021-2025 Suicide Prevention Framework (The Framework) at the Western Australian Mental Health Commission (MHC). As part of her role, Dr. Sumich designed the evaluation for The Framework, continually reviewing current reporting requirements, reviewing current literature in suicide prevention, and designed new reporting templates and requirements and provided consultation and support for other MHC staff and service providers to understand and implement research principles and data entry and integrity protocols while aligning to reporting requirements of The Framework. The Framework is a 4-stream state-wide coordinated approach to suicide prevention including Prevention and Early Intervention, Support and Aftercare, and Postvention as well as a culturally specific stream for Aboriginal Australian Peoples. While working at the MHC, Dr. Sumich contributed to developing a culturally appropriate evaluation method for the Aboriginal Australian Peoples stream of The Framework and proposed and designed a thematic analysis style reporting requirement for Wama Wangka (Talking about alcohol), an Aboriginal community program coordinated by Kanyirninpa Jurkurrpa in the Western Desert of Western Australia. Dr. Sumich was also involved in evaluating unsolicited funding proposals to the Mental Health Commission, liaising with the community and governmental stakeholders such as the Department of Treasury, primary health network representatives and community service providers.
Katharina Grimm, MA
Evaluation Associate II
Katharina’s previous work experience includes supporting the Family Violence Appellate Project. There she carried out data collection and analysis and managed evaluation efforts to assess the organization’s success in representing survivors of domestic violence and other forms of abuse on the appellate level. As a research assistant, Katharina has also researched the media coverage tone about China’s One Belt One Road project.
While in graduate school, Katharina worked as an evaluation consultant on multiple projects. For the YWCA of Monterey County, Katharina developed a mixed-methods, utilization-focused evaluation design for the youth outreach program aiming to prevent dating abuse. As a consultant for the Women, Food and Agriculture Network she created a diversity and inclusion plan. As a research associate on behalf of the Fund for Homeless of Monterey County and Gathering for Women, Katharina designed and carried out survey efforts to assess the numbers, needs, and services to women experiencing homelessness in the county.
She also worked as the lead research coordinator in the Mixed Methods, Evaluation, Analysis, and Training Lab through her graduate program, where she worked with non-profit, community-based organizations providing data management, analysis, and planning. She also supported the works of fellow graduate students by running workshops and private study sessions focusing on the use of various different data analysis methods and tools. Furthermore, Katharina has also done policy advocacy work with Amnesty International USA targeting U.S. lawmakers, specifically focused on human rights abuses in the Asia region.
Katharina obtained her master’s degree in International Policy and Development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She specialized in human rights, gender studies, and the Chinese language.
Destiny Jones, MA
Evaluation Associate and Assistant Project Manager
Destiny Jones is an Evaluation Associate at Creative Research Solutions. She strongly believes that valid research and community engagement are necessary to promote equitable change. In her previous roles, she has used evaluation to inform policy changes surrounding sexual harassment and bystander training within the workplace, as well as behavioral policies within residential programs for adolescents.
Prior to joining Creative Research Solutions, Destiny served as a research team member at the Center for Women and Work (CWW) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. There, she worked on projects that involved sexual harassment and bystander training, African American women’s experience with microagressions within social contexts, and pay equity for women. Destiny also worked with the Massachusetts Climate Equity Initiative, which was a workplace climate assessment of the Massachusetts State Senate. Her role consisted of interviewing government officials and their constituents, note-taking their responses, and coding and analyzing data to inform policy changes. Destiny also took on a research study where she examined acculturation strategies as coping mechanisms among African American women in the workplace. She collected and analyzed data from over 700 African American working women, gaining knowledge about their experiences with navigating the often Euro-centric U.S. workforce. Findings were used to help bring attention to the intersectional identities of African American women and to inform workplace policies around diversity, inclusion, and workplace culture.
In addition, Destiny also served as a Residential Caseworker at The Key Program, Inc. in Methuen, Massachusetts. In this role, Destiny worked with adolescents living within government-regulated residential programs that needed additional support with social and emotional learning and coping. She used participatory-based methodologies and policy analysis to analyze the Massachusetts Behavioral Support Policy for residential programs. She examined how hands-on crisis intervention could impact a client’s health and social and emotional learning. She gave recommendations that could increase awareness of how policies are translated and employed in residential programs by program staff to help reduce the number of incidences where hands-on intervention is needed during crisis.
Destiny earned her Master’s in Community Social Psychology with a concentration in Social Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML). Destiny is trained in program evaluation, participatory methodology, statistical analysis, qualitative and quantitative data collection, proposal writing, and grant writing. She was awarded the Provost Fellowship and the Most Outstanding Student Award for Community Social Psychology for her commitment to community engagement and excellence in research. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College, where she graduated magna cum laude and as a member of the Departmental Honors Psychology program.
Jeanette Au, MDP
Jeanette is a development practitioner, whose work is dedicated to creating a more accessible and just world. As an evaluator, she believes in employing mixed methods and human centered design. Before coming to Creative Research Solutions, Jeanette spent three years in South Africa as an education Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English at a primary school. She also worked with organizations with a focus on immigrant and refugee populations, and eradicating poverty through a gender justice lens.
At Pacific Gateway Center, Jeanette worked with small farmers to create opportunities for social upward mobility. This included developing a needs assessment, responding to grant opportunities and connecting local agriculture and business experts with small farmers. With the Mayor’s Office of Atlanta, Office of Immigrant Affairs, she led the strategic planning of their Community Navigators Programs. The intention of the program was to create a pipeline of institutional knowledge in immigrant communities. To understand the impact of the office’s programming she also worked to create logic models and quantitative and qualitative surveys for the team to collect data from the participants. At CARE, she supported a variety of projects. One project was an internal evaluation that looked to trace and understand the components that went into high impact projects, such as donor relations, streams of funding, technical support and capacity and engagement. Another project was conducting research for a policy review on vaccine delivery, specifically around budgeting for Frontline Health Workers and access to vaccines for women. This research added to the conversation for an increase in investment in costs for delivery per vaccine to make the process more equitable and accessible to everyone.
Jeanette received her Masters in Development Practice at Emory University and her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Grinnell College. She was trained in qualitative research methods, participatory approaches and nonprofit leadership and management. Jeanette hopes to continue to engage in work that uplifts community engagement and builds long-term systemic change.
Alex Boyce, MS
Alexandra Boyce is a Project Coordinator at Creative Research Solutions. Alex is an experienced project, administrative, and event management professional, having spent the last six years working with teams and clients to exceed their goals and expectations. She excels in creating efficient workflow processes, proposal writing and implementation, and flexibly and proactively supporting teams. Alex is passionate about supporting meaningful projects which have a positive local and global impact.
Prior to joining CRS, Alexandra worked as a Client and Project Manager with a startup company in Houston. Alex supported her 15 clients’ ongoing projects both virtually and on-site, helping to grow the company’s client base from 2 to 28 clients. She also helped to build and implement the company’s project management processes, iteratively developing new tools and systems to streamline the client experience.
Alex formerly worked in a number of roles within higher education. As a Research Administrator and Project Coordinator, Alex supported academics and SMEs in the execution of a $5.2 million reasoning and intelligence analysis research project. Alex developed and implemented project management processes, tools, and systems to facilitate project success. As an External Relations Team Coordinator, Alex was responsible for supporting a team of five individuals in fundraising, alumni relations, student engagement, and external relations. Alex implemented a PM strategy of Lessons Learned sessions for student travel experiences which improved the program process and allowed for more successfully implemented future student programs – an area near and dear to her, as she has led student travel to four countries and been to 11 countries and counting.
Alex holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies from Ohio University and a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire. Alex has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire.
Montana Cain, Ph.D.
Senior Evaluation Consultant
Dr. J. Montana Cain pairs her decade of evaluation experience with more than a decade of experience as an educator at both the secondary and postsecondary level. As an evaluator, her mission is to ensure that communities, especially the most marginalized, receive the high-quality programs that they deserve. Her professional journey started as a secondary Spanish teacher, where she worked in racially, economically, and geographically diverse communities in Brookline, MA, Newburgh, NY, and Fayetteville, NC. The disparities she witnessed called her to question the educational system, specifically issues of equity regarding the outcomes and experiences of young people. These questions drive her professional journey and her commitment to addressing inequities through research and evaluation.
In her work, Dr. Cain prioritizes collaboration, use, and equity to ensure that all stakeholder voices are included, findings are deemed actionable, and issues of race equity are uncovered and therefore addressed. Prior to joining Creative Research Solutions, she worked as the Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation at the Forum for Youth Investment’s David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. There, she supported the advancement of the youth development research agenda by managing multiple research and evaluation projects focused on leveraging continuous quality improvement and other strategies toward changing the odds that children and youth are ready for college, work, and life. Her key responsibilities included project management, measure development, data management, and building processes and systems to support data collection and use.
Dr. Cain has worked in the field of public health with Children’s Trust of South Carolina and education with the University of South Carolina’s Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center and policy with the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Through those experiences she developed an expertise in the full range of evaluation activities which includes design, coordination, monitoring, analysis, and reporting for a variety of clients. She has a specialization in applied psychometrics, instrument development, and survey methodology, which she leverages in her work. She designed and conducted the initial validation studies for the Multicultural Teacher Capacity Scale. Along with her colleagues, she developed the Globally Competent Teaching Continuum which is currently used internationally.
Dr. Cain earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology, measurement, and evaluation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her master’s in second language acquisition from the State University of New York at New Paltz; and her bachelors in Spanish and psychology from Wellesley College. She is an active member of the American Evaluation Association serving on the leadership boards of the Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation; Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity-Building; and Nonprofits and Foundation Topical Interest Groups. Her published works can be found in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Social Work Education, and the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy.
Patryce Turner serves as an Evaluation Consultant for Creative Research Solutions. She is a public health and evaluation professional who strives for excellence in client deliverables, satisfaction, and responsiveness. She has worked in the field of evaluation for 7 years. Her professional experience has granted her the opportunity to work with federal, state, and local agencies to provide evidence based program evaluation. Her past work experience spans an even more diverse background of projects and fields which includes: breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity prevention, whole school, whole community, whole child initiatives, vaccines for children, K-12 health education curriculum, school policy/system/environmental change initiatives, and worksite wellness. She is proficient in program development and implementation, needs assessments, logic models, survey design, mixed methods data collection, data management, analyses, and reporting. Her current role with Creative Research Solutions allows her to maximize her strengths while providing the highest quality of deliverables to current and future clients.
In addition, Ms. Turner has served as Strategic Plan Evaluation Team Lead where she was able to bring her expertise, knowledge, and foresight to improve and align organizational development and goals. She is a highly skilled and motivated professional dedicated to evaluation integrity and support, and prides herself in providing high quality services to ensure increased program effectiveness and efficiency
Ms. Turner is currently a Public Health Analyst contractor with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention where she supports the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD) on the Immunization Information Systems team providing data analysis and reports. She received her Masters of Public Health from Mercer University with a certificate in Program Evaluation and her undergraduate Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science/Kinesiology from Auburn University.
Melissa Shea-Brooks, BS, CH, RMT
Melissa Shea-Brooks is an Executive Assistant at Creative Research Solutions. Melissa has always been driven to study and understand human behavior. During this time she spent years as an empathetic customer relations manager with a positive-solution seeking mindset.
Melissa strives to build lasting relationships; and thrives when collaborating with people to ensure that clients are satisfied with all services and work provided and is dedicated to overcoming any challenges that clients may face.Combining her business knowledge with her zest for the development of positive and expanding relationships, she is strategic when finding solutions to maximize satisfaction for both clients and members of the team.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Melissa spent some time in Marketing Development at which time she researched statistics to support the marketing material and website content that was created in conjunction with the support of the sales staff. Using her expertise in customer relations, she helped to create effective marketing campaigns which lead to an increased sales and the successful onboarding of new clients on an annual basis.
Melissa Shea-Brooks is committed to her quest to understand human behavior on all levels. She is a published author; having written two books within the last ten years.
Melissa founded The Blue Halen Project in 2016 in an effort to help people to see that they have the ability to heal themselves from within using methods like various art creations, and later on added more sectors like Hypnosis and Reiki Energy Healing.
Melissa also holds an Associate’s Degree in Paraprofessional Education from the University of Phoenix and a Professional Diploma in Professional Photography from the New York Institute of Photography.
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