Ajíšafé Adaján, (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.”
—Ajíšafé Adaján, Ph.D.
As 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. 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. Adaján earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. As a social psychologist, Dr. Adaján 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. Adaján’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. 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. 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.”
—Osa Maiyanne Adaján, Ph.D.
Dr. Osa Maiyanne Adaján 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. Adaján 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. Adaján 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. Adaján 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. 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 (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. 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 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. Adaján 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”.
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.
Montana Cain, Ph.D.
Senior Evaluation Associate
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.
Molly Matthews-Ewald, Ph.D., MS
Senior Evaluation Associate
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.
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”.
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.
Tatiana Bustos, MA
Evaluation Associate II
Tatiana is an evaluation associate at Creative Research Solutions (CRS). She is a community engaged researcher with over 8 years of research experience working with diverse populations, including English language learners, children with disabilities, and communities of color. She is formally trained in community-based participatory approaches, implementation science, mixed methods, and program evaluation. Her evaluation experience has primarily focused on projects designed to improve disparities among communities of color, including an evaluation of an employment placement program for Latinx college students with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, evaluation of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Initiative through the University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University, and a needs assessment on the needs of residents in the Grand Rapids area to reduce net carbon through the Urban Core Collective. Throughout these projects, Tatiana has developed surveys, focus groups, and community reports using best practices and interactive activities.
Tatiana recognizes the value and expertise of community knowledge and experiences, as well as the practice of collaborations in generating real-world impacts. Prior to joining CRS, Tatiana worked as an implementation consultant with The Center for Implementation in Canada, where she assisted in providing technical assistance for implementation science among different community stakeholders to improve program impacts. She has also worked as a temporary research associate for an evaluation project implementing a kinship navigator program with multiple community-based organizations across the state of Ohio. In this role, she developed surveys to evaluate organizational readiness to implement the program with attention to the ecological and social validity of survey items to capture context. As a research team member for the Accessing Community Treatments Lab, she has led a mixed methods evaluation project of an early behavioral intervention for children with autism that was delivered in two community-based agencies for scale up. Here, she designed survey items to assess acceptability, feasibility and appropriateness of the intervention in community-based settings. She also interviewed behavioral health providers and CBO supervisors to further examine their beliefs about the program, barriers and facilitators to implementation, as well as identify areas of strengths and improvements. She has supported additional projects through the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions as a team member for the Dissemination Science Core. Here, she carried out projects that examined cross sector collaborations among non-profits using social network analysis, as well as a mixed methods social network analysis of a community-academic partnership in Flint, MI. In these projects, Tatiana reviewed extensive literature on collaborations and coalitions to design survey items that examined motivations to participate, facilitators and barriers to collaborations, as well as network tools that were more accessible to community-based organizations. She also interviewed public health leaders, community providers, and academic representatives regarding their collaboration experiences to generate recommendations for improving power dynamics in partnerships.
Tatiana is expecting to complete her Ph.D. in community psychology with a concentration in program evaluation at Michigan State University by August 2021, where her work has been awarded the University Enrichment Fellowship, the Society for Community Research and Action Dissertation Grant, and the Michigan Psychological Association Foundation Dissertation Grant. She holds a Master of Arts in Community Psychology and a Master of Science in General Psychology with certification in Qualitative Research. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University, where she graduated with honors. As a community-engaged scholar, Tatiana also has a demonstrated commitment to service. She currently chairs the Society for Implementation Research Collaborative (SIRC) Practitioner Network and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Science Committee, where she strives to make research more inclusive of community values and practice. She is a current member of the Michigan Evaluation Association and the Latinx Responsive Evaluation Discourse (La RED) TIG.
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.
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.
Rakiah Anderson, MPH
Rakiah Anderson, MPH, is an Evaluation Associate at Creative Research Solutions with professional experience in public health research and community engagement. She brings her knowledge of health behavior theory, qualitative research, culturally responsive evaluation, and expertise in the principles of public health to the CRS team. Her passion and commitment towards advancing health equity are demonstrated by her previous work in youth substance use prevention, tobacco control, education policy, and maternal health projects.
Rakiah is formally trained in Culturally Responsive Evaluation by way of the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship program (GEDI). As a culturally responsive evaluator, she uses effective evaluation approaches to work across cultures and engage diverse groups in all phases of evaluation. As a GEDI scholar, she applied culturally responsive evaluation knowledge to an academic education policy program and gained hands-on experience in conducting research and evaluation activities to inform education policies and decision-making. As an Evaluation Coordinator for a national COVID-19 rapid response project, Rakiah engaged maternal health advocates in a Lived Experience Advisory Group to increase community access to quality telehealth services during COVID-19. Rakiah has also provided technical assistance on culturally responsive approaches to improving program outcomes for non-profit and corporate clients. She has leveraged her strengths to plan, coordinate, and implement tailored activities to monitor and improve outcomes for communities impacted by health inequities.
Rakiah has continued to work professionally on community projects at the national, state, and local level to engage diverse populations across a variety of health topics. Previously, she supported a national effort to prevent tobacco use among youth and young adults by facilitating leadership and media advocacy trainings to students and youth coalitions working to reduce vaping, tobacco, and other substance use in their communities. She was previously appointed to the Board of Directors for a national tobacco prevention organization. In this position, she worked alongside national key leaders in health policy and research to steer the direction and priorities of the organization, with a focus on raising the voices of youth in the movement to prevent tobacco use. A highlight during her appointment to the Board includes introducing the former U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, for the plenary session on tobacco control at the Aspen Institute.
Rakiah earned her MPH in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Prior to Gillings, Rakiah worked at a non-profit public health organization and trained at the UC Berkeley Center for Ethnography where she gained extensive skills in qualitative research, ethnographic research methods, in-depth interviewing, data analysis, and presenting research findings to community and scientific audiences. Rakiah has also supported research projects by developing surveys, developing interview guides, conducting focus groups, submitting to institutional review boards, and presenting scientific findings at national conferences and local community events.
Rakiah received her Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a McNair Scholar and the Plenary Speaker for the McNair Scholars Conference. Rakiah’s interest in community engagement began during her undergraduate degree training, where she volunteered with local advocacy groups working to improve outcomes for historically underserved populations in the Berkeley, CA community. These local-level experiences increased her professional capacity for authentic and respectful community engagement and the importance of advancing equity.
Rakiah is currently a member of the Eastern North Carolina and Washington D.C. regional chapters of the American Evaluation Association. Rakiah’s career commitment is to utilize culturally responsive practices and equity approaches to understand and address differences in health outcomes. Rakiah hopes to be a champion for her community and lead public health efforts to implement and evaluate strategies that promote real, long-lasting change.
Gabriel Carter, MPP
Gabriel Edward Carter is an evaluation associate at Creative Research Solutions. He has a deep passion for using evaluation and public policy analysis as an advocacy tool for underrepresented and marginalized communities. He has experience in the areas of social policy; social welfare programs; political economy; legislative and regulatory affairs; and social and global justice.
Prior to his time at Creative Research Solutions, he was a research assistant and the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he addressed sex-trafficking in Atlanta Georgia; performed a program evaluation for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and evaluated the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) federal programs for the U.S. Department of Energy. He also served as a research assistant at the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, where he helped conduct research that informed and challenged new ways of thinking about global social, economic, political, and public health issues.
Gabriel also has political and policy experience at the federal and state level. During the 2018 Georgia Legislative Session, he served as chief of staff to State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick. In this role, he assisted Rep. Kendrick with research and evaluation of general legislation and budget appropriation legislation. His role also involved managing strategic partnerships, special projects, and staff. Additionally, from 2016-2017 he served as an HBCU Ambassador to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In this role, he represented the interest of HBCUs to the White House and U.S. Department of Education. Furthermore, in 2015 Gabriel interned in the office of Congressman John Lewis through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
Gabriel received his Masters of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) with a concentration in Policy Analysis and Policy Evaluation. During his time at Georgia Tech, he received training in quantitative data analysis, research design, microeconomics, public finance, policy implementation, and organizational theory and management. He received his B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Political Science from Oakwood University.
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.
Krista Cagg is a Content Developer for Creative Research Solutions (CRS) and the National Center for Evaluation and Assessment (NCEA), a division of CRS. She has spent her entire life in one creative endeavor or another. She pursued instruction in Sequential and Graphic Art where she earned a GA certification, and received extensive training in Life Drawing, Painting, and Scripting/Creative Writing. From there, Krista tried her hand at a number of different creative outlets, but it was writing where she shined. Professionally, Krista has experience in a range of fields, from having an FCC license as an operations controller for a radio station and serving as an extra for film and TV. Creatively, she has self-published two book series and has written for a variety of clients and genres. It is her talent for understanding different audiences and perspectives that she brings to Creative Research Solutions/NCEA.
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