LEEAD Scholar 2021-22 Cohort

Brittany Marshall, MPHH, DrPH

Dr. Brittany Marshall is a Behavioral Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Research and Leadership at The George Washington University. Broadly, her practice interests include HIV prevention, program evaluation, and implementation science. With over 10 years of research and evaluation experience, Dr. Marshall has led projects in a variety of public health program areas including obesity prevention, workforce development, transportation safety, and climate and health. Her current work focuses on evaluating partnerships that amplify the reach and engagement of an HIV messaging campaign. Dr. Marshall is an Executive Board Member of the American Public Health Association and President of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals. She holds a BS in Health Education from the University of Florida, an MPH from the University of South Florida, and a DrPH from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Chloé Greene, MA, MS

Chloé Greene is a racial equity consultant and historian of racism with over ten years of experience in qualitative research and analysis, and the founder of Chloé Greene Consulting She most recently worked as an EDI Associate at Abt Associates where she led efforts to embed racial equity principles and methods into their research, technical assistance, and evaluation practices; and partnered with divisions and departments on corporate-wide EDI initiatives to deepen the company’s commitment to anti-racism, racial equity, and social justice. Her areas of focus include cooperative development, Black placemaking and placekeeping, racial and ethnic banishment, land and food justice, as well as community capacity building and ownership. Chloé serves on the Department of Housing and Urban Development Racial Equity Team, working alongside a core team of technical assistance providers to develop training and tools to better support communities in developing equitable strategies to end homelessness. Her career reflects a commitment to solving complex challenges facing Black and Brown communities and amplifying marginalized voices. She earned a dual master’s from The Ohio State University in City and Regional Planning and African American and African Studies, and an undergraduate degree in African American Studies and History from the University of South Carolina.

Diana Serrano, PhD

Dr. Diana Serrano is a Senior Quantitative Researcher at Education Northwest (EdNW). Dr. Serrano joined EdNW as a Strategic Data Project Fellow through the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Dr. Serrano works with a wide range of stakeholders, including local and state education agencies, to evaluate efforts seeking to address some of society’s most pressing issues, including social and educational inequities. Currently, Dr. Serrano’s work primarily focuses on immigrant children and families and their educational opportunities and outcomes in the United States. Prior to joining Education Northwest, Dr. Serrano was a research associate at the Education Development Center, where she helped develop and test mathematics materials to specifically meet the linguistic needs of students classified as English learners. Dr. Serrano received her PhD in Social Policy at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Elidé Flores-Medel, MA

Elidé Flores-Medel is founder and CVO of Meaningful Observations, LLC, an independent consultancy that supports organizations to learn from their current work and make data-informed decisions aligned with their mission and values in service of creating a more equitable and just world. Before founding Meaningful Observations, she was the Impact and Evaluation Senior Associate at the Obama Foundation, where she worked to develop and implement the Foundation’s learning and evaluation strategy. In prior roles, she assessed advocacy and health equity initiatives and led independent work interrogating power relationships and how they play out between and within funder, evaluator, and grantee relationships. Prior to social sector work, she directly served clients and their families in mental wellness services for six years. Elidé earned her MA in Psychology with a concentration in Health and Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University, and a BS in Psychology from the University of La Verne.

Erika Gaitan, MSW

Erika Gaitan is a Senior Research Associate at Health Resources in Action (HRiA), a national nonprofit that works to address society’s most critical public health issues through policy, research, prevention, and health promotion. For the past eight years, Ms. Gaitan has contributed to a wide portfolio of assessment and evaluation studies as well as peer-reviewed publications. Most recently, she led the community engagement approach for the first city-wide assessment for the City of Boston—a collaborative effort that engaged over 100 organizational representatives and 2,500 residents. She has extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative methods, with specific expertise in needs assessment, bilingual facilitation, survey development, and data visualization. A South Texas native, Ms. Gaitan holds a master’s degree from Boston University School of Social Work and a certificate in Community Leadership and Social Change from the Institute of Nonprofit Practice at Tufts University Tisch College of Civic Life.

Janelle Armstrong-Brown, PhD

Dr. Janelle Armstrong-Brown has a passion for understanding the social determinants of health and works in- and outside of the professional setting to identify ways to promote equitable opportunities for all to live their healthiest life possible. She is a research public health analyst in the Community Health Research Division at RTI International.  Dr. Armstrong-Brown has more than 10 years of experience evaluating programs that seek to reduce health disparities impacting people of color. Through qualitative and community based-participatory methods, her research examines the mechanisms by which neighborhoods and social environmental factors can impact health behaviors and subsequent health outcomes.  Dr. Armstrong-Brown received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Outside of work Dr. Armstrong-Brown is a board member for The Life Center, a nonprofit organization whose vision is to nurture the child, strengthen the family, and rebuild the community. 

Jovita Murillo, DrPH, MPH, MA

Dr. Jovita Murillo received a Doctorate in Public Health from Claremont Graduate University. Her long-term research goals are to develop a comprehensive understanding of women of color’s social determinants of health, gender inequities, and health disparities. This includes using an intersectional lens to address health inequities in this population. Using a socioecological model and community-based approach, she hopes to develop research-informed interventions that can be used to advance measures to protect, preserve, and promote the health and safety of these women of color. Her current research explores the effects displacement, gentrification, and housing insecurity have on women of color with and without children. Her overall goal is to propose more community-informed and equitable policies to respond to the immediate needs of women of color.

LaJoy R. Spears, PhD

Dr. LaJoy R. Spears serves as the Program Development and Evaluation Specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Dr. Spears works in collaboration and partnership across NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service to assess community and statewide needs. Her current focus is on building evaluation capacity within the organization and increasing the ability to document program impacts that meet the needs of local, state, and federal stakeholders. Dr. Spears earned her doctoral degree in Agricultural Education with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in Agricultural and Extension Education, and a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Business from the University of Tennessee. She loves music (classical, jazz, opera), enjoys being outdoors, and likes adventurous activities including hiking, camping, and international travel.

Natalia Ibañez, MEd

Natalia Ibañez, MEd is a Senior Research Associate at Decision Information Resources, Inc. (DIR) with over 10 years of experience in research, evaluation, and large-scale multi-mode data collection projects. As an education psychologist by training, her early career focused on evaluating educational programs at a local school district in Texas and participating in federal research projects funded by the Department of Education. Her more recent work has focused on the evaluation and data collection of philanthropic initiatives seeking racial justice, health equity, and healthy child development. As a multilingual Latina woman skilled in qualitative and quantitative research methods, survey development, and management of data collection efforts, she is a strong advocate for utilizing culturally responsive and equity-centered approaches in all phases of research and evaluation. Natalia received a master’s in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Psychology from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Noely Banos, MS

Noely Banos earned an MS in Experimental Psychology from Western Carolina University, with a focus in Research Design and Statistics, and further graduate training in Applied Social and Community Psychology from North Carolina State University. Noely has extensive experience utilizing various research methods, including survey design, focus groups, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Noely has extensive research experience implementing a social equity lens in program evaluation to create more equitable and inclusive programming. Noely has conducted applied research and evaluation across various organizations, including non-profit, academic, and health care organizations. Noely’s current research interests involve using program evaluation to increase equitable access and services to underserved communities.

Noemi Avalos, MPH

Noemi Avalos is an Evaluation Officer at Sierra Health Foundation where she manages external evaluations and supports internal evaluation and organizational learning. Previously, she served four years as an Evaluation Fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In that position, Noemi planned and implemented evaluations as part of a team, prepared performance briefs based on agency reports, provided technical assistance on evaluation and supported strategic planning. She has a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from UC Davis, and an MPH from Loma Linda University. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

Ozen Guven, PhD

Dr. Ozen Guven is a Research and Evaluation Advisor at Education Northwest with almost 15 years of experience in education research, evaluation, and practice in the U.S. and abroad. Her work is focused on the issues at the intersections of teacher effectiveness, equity in education, social-emotional learning, migration and forced displacement, and Education in Emergencies (EiE). Previously, Dr. Guven worked as a consultant for development and humanitarian agencies, conducting research and evaluation to support evidence-based education programming in crisis-affected settings, such as Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. Dr. Guven earned a PhD in International Development and Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her work has appeared in publications for Review of Educational Research, Journal on Education in Emergencies, UNESCO, USAID, DFID, and Education Above All.

Paula Caffer, PhD, JD

Dr. Paula Caffer is a Diversity and Inclusion professional with over fifteen years of management experience designing, implementing, and evaluating DEI and professional and leadership development programs and initiatives in corporate and non-profit environments. In her current role as Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner at Brown-Forman Corp., Dr. Caffer leads the evaluation strategy and implementation of company-wide DEI initiatives. She is the company’s project lead in the Expanding Equity Program by W. K. Kellogg Foundation for advancing racial equity in the business. Dr. Caffer earned her doctorate in International Education and Entrepreneurship from the University of the Incarnate Word/Texas, and her LLM in Consumer Law and Class Actions from the Escola Superior de Advocacia da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil—OAB-ESA. She received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology from the Universidade Federal de São Carlos/São Paulo. She is a proud bi-cultural Brazilian-American who loves to travel around the world with her two young boys and husband.

Meet More LEEADers

Every Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) cohort is composed of Scholars from a variety of backgrounds who represent multiple interests, each bringing unique perspectives creating a robust community. LEEADers are dedicated to moving the field of evaluation toward social justice through culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE).

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