Travis Tatum, Ph.D.
“My experiences have prepared me well to offer my expertise as a researcher. For me, each new client provides an opportunity for me to engage the wide range of skills and depth of knowledge I have developed toward pursuing my vision of helping individuals, institutions, and communities reach their highest potential.”
—Travis Tatum, Ph.D.
As President of Creative Research Solutions, Dr. Travis Tatum is dedicated to helping individuals, institutions, and communities improve their performance through high quality research and deliverables. With his unique combination of excellent academic preparation, research training, and communication skills, Dr. Tatum is able to provide outstanding value to your organization.
Dr. Tatum earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. As a social psychologist, Dr. Tatum is skilled in finding ways to measure seemingly “unmeasurable” outcomes. For example, his 2009 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. Tatum’s dissertation, 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. Tatum’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. Tatum’s ability to thoughtfully engage with participants will greatly enhance the depth and quality of the data collected.
Dr. Tatum has previously served as President of the Atlanta-Area Evaluation Association.
Shanesha Brooks-Tatum, Ph.D.
“I am passionate about helping others become better at what they do. Seeing organizations and institutions in many different sectors provide high quality services and programming enables me as an evaluator to support impactful work in so many areas.”
—Shanesha R. F. Brooks-Tatum, Ph.D.
Dr. Shanesha Brooks-Tatum is Executive Vice President of Creative Research Solutions. As an award-winning evaluator, facilitator and thought leader, she strategizes with organizations to improve their programmatic design, program implementation, grantmaking strategy, and community partnerships. In her role as Founder and CEO of the Life Balance and Wellness Institute, Dr. Brooks-Tatum partners with an extensive network of organizations working to address disparities in educational funding opportunities and health policy issues for women and girls of color. Her results-driven approach measures and documents her clients’ impact, maximizes client resources, and enables them to tap into new markets. Dr. Brooks-Tatum is a Certified Results-Based Accountability (RBA) facilitator and trainer, having used the RBA framework to help nonprofits, foundations and the communities that they serve co-create collaborative, shared evaluation outcomes.
She currently serves as a strategist and consultant to a major, international, private foundation in the domains health and human rights philanthropy, where she collaborated on a rigorous strategy review of their global grantmaking portfolio for the last 4 years. While serving as the Project Lead on an international STEAM curriculum development project for middle school girls of color, Dr. Brooks-Tatum also served 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 (2010 to 2015). These programs help girls in developing countries have the opportunity to see a doctor, attend school, and stay protected from violence.
Dr. Brooks-Tatum 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. Brooks-Tatum co-facilitated a series of ongoing training workshops (now numbering more than 25) with 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 in 2015 to test a metacognitive curriculum intervention, for which she serves as Lead Evaluator (2015 to 2020). This project is being considered for the highly-rigorous national registry in education, What Works Clearinghouse. In addition, Dr. Brooks-Tatum 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. Brooks-Tatum 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. Brooks-Tatum has won national and international awards for her work, including a recent National Association for Women-Owned Businesses Shining Star Award (2017). She also received an international honor, the 2016 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 serves on the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and is a also member of their Education and Workforce Committee.
She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (American Studies, social science and humanities concentrations), and her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley (Interdisciplinary Studies and English), summa cum laude. Currently serving as Program Co-Chair for the American Evaluation Association’s Nonprofits and Foundations Topical Interest Group (AEA NPFTIG), Dr. Brooks-Tatum 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. Brooks-Tatum is the author of several print and media publications in the fields of educational and community research, evaluation, and self-care.
Nivedita Ranade, Ph.D.
Senior Evaluation Associate & Project Manager
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.
Lamonte Powell, Ph.D.
Senior Evaluation Associate
Dr. Lamonte Powell is a Senior Evaluation Associate at Creative Research Solutions, LLC. He earned his doctorate in Social Psychology from Georgia State University and Master’s of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences from Emory University. For his Master’s Thesis, which he published as an article titled, “The relationship between psychosocial factors and academic achievement among African American students”, Dr. Powell explored how familial and peer interactions impact student success.
In addition, he has extensive experience as a focus group facilitation leader and trainer on such varied topics as HIV/AIDS education among African American teens, unconscious bias training, and organ donation attitudes among African American patients with renal disease, the latter of which utilized a randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of an “enhanced” kidney education program over the standard educational program. Further, Dr. Powell served as a site liaison to 3 of 5 sites for a multi-site evaluation of a federally and locally funded HIV/AIDS demonstration project, providing technical assistance and documenting lessons learned, which became the key deliverable for the evaluation. He was later selected to rate grant proposal packages for local programs.
Recently, in his commitment to educating and inspiring young people, Dr. Powell returned to his alma mater, Morehouse College, to guest lecture and to serve as an adjunct professor. Dr. Powell’s approach to evaluation is to listen intently, gather as much relevant information as needed, and partner with stakeholders to find the best way to address their needs.
Olivia Halls, MPH
Olivia Halls is dedicated to working to improve the quality of life for individuals and populations, especially the marginalized. Olivia earned her Master’s in Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and specializes in behavioral sciences and health education.
Olivia has the skill and experience to produce high quality data. She is trained in evaluation research methods and has experience supporting multiple community-based health promotion initiatives, particularly in their data collection and analysis activities. With the Health Promotion Action Coalition, a community-based organization in Atlanta, she worked as a contractor to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s PICH (Partnerships to Improve Community Health) program smoke-free initiative while also functioning as an evaluator for the organization’s health education program, PITCH & PLAY. She is knowledgeable about qualitative and quantitative research methods and has also employed mixed-methods on independent research projects and program proposals. Olivia has applied her research skills to support interventions focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and improving the quality of life for those living with the condition namely P4 for Women, focused on African-American churches, and the National Institute of Nursing Research funded FiTBRAiN study based in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Specifically, she performed qualitative data analysis and quantitative data collection for these projects, respectively. Olivia has become well acquainted with the challenges that could arise in the process of data collection through her training in health measurement. This familiarity was furthered through experiences such as successfully leading a community needs assessment for an organization serving the refugee population in Clarkston, Georgia which presented challenges for data collection due to language barriers and cultural differences, and her involvement in data quality assurance on the FiTBRAiN study.
In addition to her Master’s in Public Health, Olivia has a Bachelor of Arts degree in African-American Studies from Georgia State University which has equipped her with great insight and awareness of social, economic, educational, and health disparities. Together, her educational background and professional experiences give her the knowledge, skills, and insight to approach evaluation thoughtfully and holistically.
Mariah Laird, MPH
Mariah’s desire to create a culture that prioritizes health prevention instead of reactionary treatment is why she chose to pursue a public health career. She has put this mission to practice through prevention research, program implementation and evaluation, and project management. Mariah has experience working within state agencies with the goal of providing improved resources and programming options for local providers. As an independent contractor, she has worked extensively on creating and evaluating a socioemotional youth development program for a national organization. She has contributed to research on smoking cessation programs specifically designed for socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. In addition, she has participated in the evaluation of community-based nutrition programs. Mariah’s skill sets include qualitative data collection and analysis, program proposals and development, survey development, process and outcome evaluations, and training development. Mariah’s professional and educational experiences are a source of strength as an advocate for health prevention strategies.
Mariah received her Masters in Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education and has also obtained certification as a Health Education Specialist. She received her B.A in Organizational Studies (OS) with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Her OS education helps her understand businesses and organizations from a psychological and sociological perspective.
Quinn Gentry, Ph.D.
Dr. Quinn Gentry (affectionately known as “Dr. Quinn”) is Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and Community Engagement for Creative Research Solutions, LLC where she champions women’s and girls’ initiatives and serves as a thought leader on a wide-range of organizational capacity-building sub-topics. Since 1998, Dr. Quinn has been researching and evaluating community- and youth-serving programs, and has evaluated well over 50 community-based programs using core elements of evidence-based evaluation. In addition, she has two decades of subject matter expertise in several areas including HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and youth development. Past work experience includes having served as a corporate executive for several Fortune 500 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, and Wal-Mart Corporations. She also served as a Political Intelligence Officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and held behavioral research and teaching positions at Emory University and Georgia State University. Dr. Quinn is a highly respected and sought-after workshop facilitator, consultant, and public speaker.
Dr. Quinn is primarily known for her work as a social and behavioral scientist and subject matter expert on a wide range of social and health threats of women and girls. She has authored three books for adolescent girls and caring adults in their lives and 12 books on a broad range of topics, namely program evaluation, leadership, entrepreneurship, mentoring, and black feminism. She has authored over 50 technical publications and presented at top-tier professional conferences in the fields of public and women’s health, HIV/AIDS, and sociology. She wrote, directed, and produced “Divine Intervention,” monologue readings to bring awareness to the intersection of HIV, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness among black women.
Dr. Quinn has over 25 years of community engagement experience with a variety of local and national organizations. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Georgia State University. She earned an M.B.A. in Marketing from Clark Atlanta University and completed her undergraduate studies at Texas Christian University where she received a B.A. with dual majors in Political Science and History, and a minor in International Relations.
Ayanna Robinson, Ph.D.
Dr. Ayanna Robinson is Senior Associate at Creative Research Solutions, LLC and has a Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Behavior and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research Studies from the University of Georgia. She has worked in the field of evaluation for seven years where her work has supported federal, state, and local-level initiatives within a range of topics and fields, including obesity prevention, nutrition, mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Ms. Robinson’s research and evaluation experience includes conducting community health needs assessments, conducting evaluability assessments, formative research, evaluation design, creating data collection instruments, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, and report writing. In addition, Dr. Robinson has training in mixed-methods research, survey design methodology, and evaluation theory. Dr. Robinson has worked as a contractor within the Research and Evaluation team in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At the CDC, she worked with a team to support the formative research and evaluation of CDC’s Act Against AIDS health communication campaigns. At the Army Institute of Public Health, she led the evaluation of the Army-wide weight management program, Army Move, and also supported the evaluation of multiple public health initiatives for the Army through data collection, data analysis, and report writing. Currently, Dr. Robinson supports the evaluation of Georgia SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Activity Education) through qualitative data analysis of interviews and trains team members in qualitative data collection and analysis.
In addition to research and evaluation, Ayanna Robinson also has experience developing and implementing a variety of initiatives related to nutrition, reproductive health, and sexual health. She co-facilitated a HIV and cervical cancer awareness program for teenage girls titled “My Body, My Life” at a high school in Atlanta and created and implemented a breastfeeding education program for expectant African American teens. Dr. Robinson is an advocate in women’s health and maternal and child health, serving as research working group collaborator for a national organization in maternal health and reproductive justice.
In addition to her doctorate degree, Dr. Robinson earned her B.S. degree in Biology from Spelman College and her Master of Public Health in Health Education and Behavior from Morehouse School of Medicine. She was recently awarded the 2018 Macagnoni Qualitative Research Award from the College of Education at the University of Georgia. In 2016, she was awarded the Feldman Health Disparities Award from the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia.
Adam Lipus, MPH
Adam’s mission is to facilitate reflection, learning, and growth among organizations that seek to benefit people and the planet. He is an independent consultant with experience working in government, academia, non-profit, and social enterprise settings. Based in Atlanta, Adam provides services in program design, evaluation planning, data collection, data analysis, and evaluation reporting.
Adam practices a mixed-methods approach to evaluation and research, meaning that he combines quantitative methods and qualitative methods. In terms of quantitative methods, he is versed in survey methodology, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and data visualization. In terms of qualitative methods, he has experience with in-depth interviewing, focus group discussion facilitation, qualitative data coding, and thematic analysis. Adam also prides himself on having strong capabilities in research and evaluation design, particularly in working with clients and community partners to design approaches that will provide valid and useful findings. He is a co-author of multiple peer-reviewed publications as well as formal program evaluation reports.
One of Adam’s biggest passions is food – nutrition, food security, and food systems – which he sees as being at the nexus of healthy people and a healthy planet. An example of his work in this area was a qualitative ethnographic project with community partners in El Alto, Bolivia, which framed food and nutrition within a broader context of indigenous cultural identity in an urbanizing setting.
Adam’s professional training is in public health, first as a graduate student at Emory University and then as a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During this time he worked in the US, Uganda, and Bolivia. He received the Eugene J. Gangarosa Award for excellence in global health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. This was an award given to two individuals out of a graduating class of approximately 500 people. Adam prides himself on this award because it reflects not only his technical skills but also a deep commitment to working in partnership with communities to promote greater health.
Mikhiela Sherrod, Ph.D.
Mikhiela Sherrod has over 15 years of experience as a project manager, community organizer, researcher. She has worked directly with disadvantaged communities, foundations, and non-profit organizations to provide technical assistance and evaluate programs aimed at addressing disparities in health, and access to food and capital. Her work has spanned the sectors of environmental and climate justice, economic development, Native American child health, regional food systems development, school food procurement, and healthy food financing initiatives. Dr. Sherrod is experienced in regional economic development, assisting women across Southwest Georgia in establishing farming businesses and successfully developing the first licensed commercial kitchen and business incubator in South Georgia.
Dr. Sherrod’s recent work in West Africa has been through the non-profit ecumenical organization Agricultural Missions, Inc. As Executive Director, she led 10-year development and restoration work in Liberia and Sierra Leone that supports and strengthens the capacity of 40 rural community groups and over 10,000 community members, to develop self-reliant and independent organizations engaged in food production and marketing, including management and technical capacity of to fully assume the responsibility of operating the program.
Dr. Sherrod earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tuskegee University and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Iowa. Her scientific research investigating the genetics of hypertension has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and she completed year one of an MPH in Epidemiology at Rutgers University.
Patryce is a highly motivated public health and evaluation professional who strives for excellence in client deliverables, satisfaction, and responsiveness. Her professional experience has granted her the opportunity to work with several agencies and organizations on proposal and program development, needs assessments, data collection and management, analyses, and reporting. She prides herself in providing high quality services to ensure increased program effectiveness and efficiency.
Patryce received her Masters of Public Health from Mercer University, and her undergraduate Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science/Kinesiology from Auburn University. Patryce is certified in Program Evaluation from Mercer University. 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.
Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development.
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