Engagement • Equity • Evaluation

I started my career as a research psychologist studying the effects of poverty on adolescents and families. The differences in outcomes between different socioeconomic levels was alarming, but the opportunities to create equity were numerous. After researching more, I felt frustrated I was not putting what I knew into action to change my corner of the world.

I pivoted my career away from pure research to work in an Autism Research Center, which allowed me to both research and to make sure families and individuals had access to the resources they needed. While working at the Center, I managed the research database and daily operations. I also led the SAFE (Supporting Autism Friendly Environments) program efforts to make locations, workplaces, and events more accessible to those with sensory processing differences.

However, I wanted to learn how to measure if the opportunities I was creating were having an impact and improving lives, which began the next phase in my career as a post-doctoral associate in assessment and evaluation. I assessed and evaluated informal learning opportunities and conferences, and was able to say which parts of events were meaningful and created impactful change and which parts could use improvement.

Using this knowledge, I moved in to my current role to combine all the skills I had built. Currently, I plan, manage, and evaluate formal learning and informal outreach/engagement events and research projects to excite learners, bridge groups, and change lives.

What I do

  • Create mutually beneficial research-practice partnerships
  • Research administration, including proposal writing and reporting, IRB submissions, budget development, and team leadership
  • Data management and visualization
  • Understand the needs of those I work with so that I can create relevant experiences
  • Ensure equity and access to all persons
  • Plan, execute, and evaluate outreach and engagement events focusing on K-12 and lifelong learning
  • Create compelling communication events, such as conferences
  • Collect, clean, and analyze meaningful evaluation and assessment data that show benefits as well as areas for improvement