ACE Evaluation Network Welcomes 8 New Evaluators
This fall, Expanding the Bench® (ETB) welcomes eight new Members to the Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network — a community of professionals whose mission is to both drive and support the practice of excellent, culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE). The ACE Evaluation Network is committed to supporting and strengthening relationships, and creating and increasing equitable opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse Evaluators who have historically been underrepresented or marginalized in the U.S. and sovereign Tribal nations.
The ETB Team is excited about the breadth of experiences each of them brings to inform and influence the ETB community and evaluation ecosystem. This new group of Members also brings the growth of the ACE Evaluation Network to 118 total evaluators!
Read on to learn more about the stories and lived experiences of the new Network Members.
Crystallee Crain, PhD (She/Her/Hers)
Crystallee is an interdisciplinary public health scholar and human rights advocate. She has academic roots in sociology, political science, and psychology. She specializes in exposing the layers of institutional inequality while supporting communities to shift ways of being and practice to improve life chances by bridging the worlds of research, healing justice, and advocacy. Crystallee’s body of work represents a collective need to strengthen our responses to violence through transformative means, the need for liberatory practices, and a focus on healing as a revolutionary strategy for change. Crystallee holds an academic appointment with California State University – East Bay in the Department of Political Science and at Simmons University in the Masters of Public Health Program (Health Equity). She’s also the elected board chair of the Seeding Justice Foundation (PDX). Crystallee is the Founder & Principal Consultant of Prevention at the Intersections, which works to prevent violence and other forms of harm through community-based research, evaluation, and people-centered projects. At Prevention at the Intersections, she publishes two open-access journals, CATALYST and The Beauty of Black Creation. Recently, the 2nd Edition of her textbook, A People’s Primer: Dispatches on Politics & Social Change (2022), was released.
Gladys Rowe, PhD (She/Her/Hers)
Dr. Gladys Rowe (she/her) is a Muskego Inniniw (Swampy Cree) person and also holds relations with ancestors from Ireland, England, Norway, and Ukraine. She is a member of Fox Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 5 in Manitoba, Canada. Gladys is an Indigenous Scholar doing work that supports Indigenous resurgence through many pathways including leading Indigenous evaluation and learning; supporting Indigenous birthkeepers; designing curriculum; and sharing stories through workshops, film, and podcasting.
Umi Jensen (She/Her/Hers)
Umi Jensen is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) wahine (woman) evaluator and researcher residing in her homeland of Hauʻula on the island of Oʻahu. After pursuing interests in ethnic studies and education at Stanford University, she returned to Hawaiʻi and began her career in evaluation and research at Kamehameha Schools, specializing in research on Hawaiian issues and internal program evaluation. By learning under Hawaiian evaluators and educator kūpuna (elders), she began external evaluation consulting on Native Hawaiian student-serving projects. She bases her culturally responsive and equitable evaluation approach in the Evaluation with Aloha framework, recently developed by the Hawaiʻi Culturally Relevant Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) hui (group), as well as personal cultural practices. After pursuing formal education in evaluation through a Program Certificate in Program Evaluation and a PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, she now is a full-time consultant providing evaluation services to several Hawaiʻi organizations, and research and data consulting to family engagement initiatives. Her dream is to fulfill a wish of a mentor to develop a Native Hawaiian consulting firm to build the capacity of community members to do Indigenous evaluation and research.
Lama Hassoun Ayoub (She/Her/Hers)
Lama Hassoun Ayoub’s work focuses on equitable research and evaluation in Human Services. She has expertise in research and evaluation in the public health, criminal justice, education, and developmental science sectors. She brings an equity-centered approach to all her work, including research and technical assistance efforts with foundations and the federal government. Hassoun Ayoub brings a wealth of substantive technical expertise to Mathematica from her prior work as a principal investigator and project director for multi-site evaluations, randomized controlled trials, and mixed-method studies. Throughout her career, she has focused on community-engaged research that tackles systemic and structural inequities. Her research has included work on public health, violence prevention, the school-to-prison pipeline, and justice systems, including the tribal justice system. Hassoun Ayoub has published in numerous journals, including the Journal of School Violence, Psychology of Violence, and Experimental Criminology. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is a PhD candidate in developmental psychology at Wayne State University.
Min Ma (She/Her/Hers)
Min Ma is a Taiwanese American evaluation practitioner and Founder + Principal of MXM Research Group. Her practice is grounded in “data + soul,” a tagline that reflects her commitment to furthering equity and social justice by using people-centered, culturally responsive, and creative methods when working with data and evaluation. Min partners with coalitions and networks to evaluate their structures, processes, and impact on outcomes related to the social determinants of health, youth wellbeing, and mental health. Min enjoys using systems mapping and social network analysis tools to explore networks and their connective tissue. Prior to growing a data + soul practice, her work focused on issues affecting people on the move in the U.S. and internationally. Areas of interest include financial inclusion, education, human trafficking, and refugee rights. Min serves as the President of the Greater Boston Evaluation Network and as co-PI on the Strengthening Capacity for Equity in New England Evaluation (SCENE) Collaboration. Min lives in Greater Boston and is working to raise two young bilingual children with the help of extended family. She speaks Mandarin, French, and Spanish, and holds a BA in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University.
Rashida Abuwala (She/Her/Hers)
Rashida Abuwala, Principal and Founder of Community Impact Advisors, has worked for over 15 years as an applied researcher and foundation and non-profit executive to improve the performance of public systems and social programs. Rooted in a developmental approach, she works with diverse stakeholders, including lived-experts and community members, to partner on collaborative research, program design, public-private partnerships, and non-profit management in areas of social and economic justice including child welfare, youth development, education, and criminal justice. Starting her career as a community organizer, Rashida has expertise in community-centered social research, program strategy, design, and evaluation. She has presented at national and local conferences and authored several articles and papers on topics related to social and economic justice. A proud graduate of New York City public schools, Rashida also holds an honors BA from Wesleyan University in Political Theory and an honors MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Research Methods.
Sharon Duncan Jones-Eversley (She/Her/Hers)
Dr. Sharon D. Jones-Eversley was born, raised, and public school-educated in Baltimore, Maryland. She has 38 years of professional experience in human services and health. Dr. Jones-Eversley is a Retired Professor and Social Epidemiologist from Towson University in the Family Studies and Community Development Department. She was the first person of color tenured and promoted to Full Professor in her department’s history. She earned a doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy. Her interdisciplinary research expertise includes social epidemiology, legal epidemiology, family science, nonprofit management, and community capacity-building. The precedence of her scholarship highlights Black families’ and communities’ lived experiences and exposures to persistent deprivation, injustice, illness, violence, and preventable deaths. In 2005, she played a historic role in addressing health disparities in Maryland by authoring several reports for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her creative-scholastic work on the national documentary, The Skin You’re In, reflects her commitment to health equity and human services. She is also a member of several professional organizations: the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research, American Public Health Association, American Evaluation Association, and the Maryland Genealogical Society.
Tara Dixon (She/Her/Hers)
Dr. Tara Dixon is an experienced healthcare leader, evaluator, and researcher. Dr. Dixon founded the Research and Evaluation Group (EvalGroup) established in 2009 as a full-service research and evaluation firm specializing in providing professional services in the evolving fields of public health and healthcare. Under Dr. Dixon’s leadership, EvalGroup has served as the prime contractor for over 70 grants/contracts — recently 12 federally funded and seven contracted governmental agencies. Her firm works with federal agencies such as the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), assessing their programmatic efforts, developing research grants, scientific reports, and presentations. She is an expert in public, behavioral and community health, research, and evaluation. She has evaluated multi-site chronic disease and substance abuse prevention projects domestically and internationally. Dr. Dixon earned her BS in Physical Science/Chemistry from Auburn University her Master of Public Health and Doctor of Science in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. As a military spouse, Dr. Dixon is an advocate for veterans, remote/flexible work for spouses, women in the workplace, and women back to work. She also enjoys traveling, running, and ice skating.