LEEAD Scholar 2023-24 Cohort

Ashley S. Love, DrPH, DHSc, MPH, MS (she/her)

Dr. Ashley S. Love, an experienced public health professional with over 20 years of expertise, is committed to addressing social determinants of health. Trained at Columbia University and Nova Southeastern University and having lived in Europe, Asia, and North America, she brings a multicultural perspective to her work. As the former State Epidemiologist of Delaware/Bureau Chief of Epidemiology, Dr. Love was crucial in effectively managing the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Her interdisciplinary and interfaith approach, coupled with her experience working with diverse age and racial/minority groups, enriches her work. Dr. Love’s areas of expertise include public health, healthcare education, telehealth, nutrition, and gerontology. She has taught numerous community college and university courses, employing innovative approaches. She has been an award-winning educator, certified online instructor, and an active-duty military spouse for over two decades. She is an associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Incarnate Word’s Dreeben School of Education.

Chelsea Whiting, MA (she/her)

Chelsea Whiting, MA, is a seasoned Research Associate II at Decision Information Resources, Inc. (DIR). With over 9 years of expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research and evaluation, Chelsea brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. Her primary focus has been on facilitating the implementation of culturally responsive and equity-centered evaluations for philanthropic foundations and government agencies. Chelsea’s passion lies in amplifying the voices of communities through her work. She understands the importance of storytelling and ensures that these narratives are honored and uplifted during the evaluation process. Her areas of specialization include education, health, social policy, and community-based programs and initiatives. Chelsea holds a BA in Communications from the University of Houston and an MA in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University. Outside of her professional endeavors, she finds joy in traveling and documenting her adventures through photography and journaling.

Christopher D. Hill, PhD, MS (he/him)

Dr. Christopher D. Hill currently serves as a Statistician and Project Manager for the Civil Rights Data Collection at the National Center for Education Statistics. He is also an adjunct professor of Research Methods and Statistics at Bowie State University and an independent consultant for professional associations, nonprofits, universities, and other organizations. Previously, Dr. Hill held roles as a Data and Evaluation lead at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Lead Data Analyst for the Black Mental Health Workforce Survey Report in collaboration with the Association of Black Psychologists, and Research Associate at the Psychology Applied Research Center at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Hill holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology, as well as a Master of Science in Developmental Psychology, both from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Jackson State University. With his expertise in research methods, statistics, and addressing disparities in education and mental health, Dr. Hill is dedicated to making a positive impact on individuals and communities.

David Hanson, PhD, MS (he/him)

Dr. David Hanson is a Senior Consultant at Social Contract, a professional services firm based in Wilmington, Delaware. Broadly, his research and practice interests include environmental social science, program evaluation, and stakeholder engagement. With over 10 years of research and evaluation experience, Dr. Hanson has led place-based projects in a variety of topical areas including state agency service delivery improvements, health and digital equity, environmental justice, community violence interventions, and community college adult learner innovations. Dr. Hanson is a board member of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society and advises on local/neighborhood environmental sustainability initiatives. He holds a PhD in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida as well as a graduate certificate in Environmental Education and Communication. He also has masters degrees in Geography and Agribusiness.

Emi Fujita-Conrads, PhD (she/her)

Dr. Emi Fujita-Conrads is a Senior Researcher at Education Northwest. In her role at Education Northwest, Dr. Fujita-Conrads works in collaboration with educational partners — including local, state, and federal agencies — to promote educational equity and community-led change. Dr. Fujita-Conrads’ research interests include using evaluation for program improvement and methods for conducting social justice-focused and culturally responsive evaluations. Prior to joining Education Northwest, Dr. Fujita-Conrads supported research and evaluation work at community colleges and other higher education institutions. Dr. Fujita-Conrads received her PhD in Social Research Methodology at the School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Endaisia Love, MEd (she/her)

Endaisia Love serves as the inaugural Advancing Evaluation in Philanthropy Fellow with Southern Methodist University Center on Research and Evaluation and the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) where she supports external evaluations and organizational learning, and partners with WFF’s Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Education team to assist in grantmaking strategy and continuous learning and improvement. Prior to her fellowship, she served as a Research and Evaluation Analyst for KIPP Texas Public Schools. In that position, she sat on the Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness teams and worked alongside departments across the organization to implement program evaluation strategies, provide technical assistance, and build data capacity. She holds an MEd in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from Boston College and BA in Sociology from Trinity University.

Eniola Idowu, MPH (she/her)

Eniola Idowu has a passion for implementing DEI and a social justice lens in all aspects of research and evaluation to address intersectionality and equity within underserved populations to achieve their educational and wellness goals. She is a Research Associate for the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline at Computing Research Association. Her more recent work focuses on conducting and leading the evaluation for a selection of programs focused on broadening participation and increasing diversity in STEM at the higher education level. Ms. Idowu has extensive experience leading and supporting complex evaluation projects that addresses behavioral health disparities, state’s substance use crises, sexual health education, and school-based mental health systems among BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth communities. Eniola has a BS in Psychology and MPH in Health Behavior Health Promotion from the University of Arizona. Outside of work, Ms. Idowu is a member of the Tucson Urban League Young Professionals and enjoys pilates.

Kinyatta Trice, PhD, MA (she/her)

Dr. Kinyatta Trice is the Associate Director of the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network’s (GSAN) BOOST Grants Program. In this role, Dr. Trice supports the organization’s mission of identifying and capturing critical data highlighting the most pertinent K-12 out-of-school-time education policy priorities. Dr. Trice’s research focus includes critical analysis of liberal discourses, such as merit-based achievement ideologies, and their influence on academic policies and political agendas. She is interested in how seemingly privileged populations navigate systemic barriers to achievement and social equity. Dr. Trice is also an evaluator for education-outreach community organizations. She contracts with organizations as an external evaluator of program quality, effectiveness, and implementation. Ultimately Dr. Trice aims to innovate research methodologies to amplify the voices and values commonly silenced in education policymaking. Dr. Trice holds a BA in Political Science from Mercer University, an MA in African American Studies, and a PhD in Education Policy from Georgia State University.

Lisa Sargent, MA (she/they)

With experience in evaluation, communications, community organizing, and advocacy, Lisa works at the intersection of social equity and collective power shifting. They have partnered with individuals and groups in community, nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and academic spaces to dream, (re)create, and implement community-centered strategic plans and long-term DEI initiatives. She also designs evaluations that remain emergent and responsive to the needs of those directly impacted by inequity. In her steadfast commitment to justice and disrupting harmful systems and practices, they envision a world where each of us have the freedom, courage, communal support, and resources we need to live full, soulful lives. She holds both a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications-Advertising from Texas State University and master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Houston.

Melanie Dakwa, MPH (she/her)

Melanie Dakwa serves as a Senior Assistant Consultant at Mirror Group, LLC., supporting a multitude of evaluation and learning projects. She has received her MPH in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Emory University with a certificate in Maternal and Child Health. There she was able to leverage her public health skills to conduct small-scale evaluation and community needs assessment projects for local nonprofit organizations in Atlanta, GA. Additionally, utilizing the intersectionality framework, she led a qualitative methods research design on the quality of life in Black women diagnosed with endometriosis. Her interests lie in the health and well-being of women and children, especially centered on the factors that may impact birth outcomes in oppressed communities. As a first generation Ghanaian American, Melanie’s passions also lie in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in Black and Brown communities both locally and abroad.

Miranda Hill, PhD, MPH (she/her)

Miranda Hill is a social and behavioral scientist with an MPH and PhD from the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia and a public health career spanning over 10 years. With a genuine passion for community health, Dr. Hill thrives on networking and collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to prioritize the needs and lived realities of underserved and socially disadvantaged communities in health service reform, policy development, health education, and capacity-building. Driven by the principle of “Nothing About Us, Without Us,” she has established enduring partnerships with researchers, health practitioners, and community-based organizations. Together, they strive to promote equitable health service access and utilization. Recently, Dr. Hill’s work in health policy, focusing on informing federal “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiatives in Atlanta, Georgia, earned her the distinguished title of Emerging Health Equity Scholar by the Multiethnic Health Equity Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

Natalie Joseph, MPH (she/her)

A self-proclaimed data nerd, Natalie has extensive experience working within community nonprofits, utilizing statistical software and analysis to evaluate programs’ impact, coordinating the implementation of new initiatives from start to finish, and concisely communicating complex ideas and insights using narratives and visualizations. Her interests are centered on the well-being of families and communities, especially regarding social determinants of health. She received her bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Medical Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and her master’s in Public Health with a dual focus in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology from the University of South Florida. Currently, Natalie serves as a Senior Research and Evaluation Assistant Consultant at Mirror Group, LLC., supporting a multitude of evaluation and learning projects. A curious learner, Natalie enjoys diving deep to understand the effects of root causes on communities and their well-being, and adapting different methods and techniques according to their unique needs or settings to better understand the impact.

Shardae Osuna, MSW (she/her)

Shardae Osuna is the Program Administrator of Evaluation and Improvement at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) at the University of Southern California, an NIH-funded organization that facilitates the translation of scientific discoveries into improved health outcomes. Most recently, Ms. Osuna volunteered to lead the institute’s DEI efforts. With over 12 years of research and evaluation experience, Ms. Osuna has led a variety of evaluation projects for public health, nonprofit, and academic organizations centered on community-based leadership, and microenterprise development and intergroup dialogue pedagogy. Ms. Osuna serves as an advisory committee member for Los Angeles Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgement of Institutional Racism (L.A. REPAIR), the city’s first participatory budget pilot program. She holds both a BA in Psychology and Sociology and an MSW with an emphasis on social policy and evaluation from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Sharon Ajongakoh Asonganyi, PhD, MPH (she/her)

Dr. Sharon A. Asonganyi, an international systems and organizations applied psychologist, is driven by an unwavering commitment to foster equity in the nonprofit sector. Guided by values of authenticity, wisdom, curiosity, and accountability, she empowers organizations to bridge the gap between good intentions and impactful action. Through agile leadership practices, Dr. Asonganyi illuminates the path toward equity by co-redesigning systems and workspaces, infusing them with purpose and inclusivity. Informed by emergent human-centered research, she crafts strategies that foster institutional synergy and equitable ecosystems. Currently serving as the Director of Learning and Evaluation at Blue Engine and the founder of Shaju Coaching and Consulting, she extends her transformative vision to create lasting impact. Dr. Asonganyi’s mission is to guide nonprofits and individuals on a journey of self-discovery, unlocking their extraordinary potential to shape an inclusive future. She enjoys traveling, good books in print, celebrating life’s moments with loved ones, and dabbling in generative AI.

Shayla Spilker, MSPH (she/her)

Shayla Spilker, MSPH, is the founder and principal consultant of Shayla Spilker Consulting. She brings over 10 years of experience in applied research and public health policy, with a focus on leveraging evaluation and learning to advance health equity and social justice within diverse communities. She recently worked as a Senior Consultant with Engage R+D, where she helped foundations, nonprofits, and public agencies weave strategic and evaluative thinking into their programmatic and systems change efforts. She also supports organizations and institutions to incorporate authentic community engagement practices into their strategy and evaluation work. Her areas of interest include public health, education, healthcare access, and economic development, as well as strategy development and capacity building for nonprofit organizations and public health departments.

Sojourner White, MSW (she/her)

Sojourner White is a Black woman from Milwaukee, and daughter of the African diaspora and Great Migration, named after Sojourner Truth. As the Director of Evaluation and Learning at UBUNTU Research & Evaluation, she believes evaluation can be a tool for social change through qualitative, Afrofuturist, participatory, and storytelling methods. In her work, Sojourner co-creates with community members, foundations, nonprofits, and institutions in areas such as reproductive justice, restorative justice, entrepreneurship, education, and racial equity. An alum of Fulbright Spain and the AmeriCorps program Public Allies, Sojourner is also an award-winning travel writer. Thus, Sojourner’s words are in Travel + Leisure, USATODAY, Insider, Lonely Planet, and more. A continuous learner, she attributes her transdisciplinary skills to earning a BA in Psychology, Spanish, and Women’s and Gender Studies from Bradley University and her master’s in International Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sophonie Omeler-Fenaud, MS (she/her)

Sophonie is the founder and principal evaluator of The Cria Creative, a research and evaluation firm. Here, her focus is health inequities and disparities; increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in monocultural organizations; and helping educate underserved communities on how the social determinants of health play a role in their quality of life. With a background in breast cancer genetics, health disparities, and community-based participatory research, she works with organizations committed to making data-informed decisions that will improve their programs and services. Sophonie has worked with different organizations and stakeholders in healthcare, NSF-funded programs, state-wide education programs, the arts, and construction. She has worked collaboratively with the community and other stakeholders in these roles to create and implement equitable program evaluations. Sophonie is committed to increasing access to underserved communities in her daily work.

Swathi M. Reddy, PhD (she/her)

Dr. Swathi Reddy is a social work professional with over 10 years of research and clinical experience working with BIPOC survivors of gender-based violence. In her current role as Research and Evaluation Manager at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV), Dr. Reddy engages in research at national, state, and local levels to address inequities facing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and particularly AAPI survivors of violence. Dr. Reddy earned a doctorate in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in in Biology from Saint Catherine University. Outside of work, she enjoys creating mosaics, birding, and traveling the world.

Tasha Parker, PhD, LSCSW, MPA (she/her)

Dr. Tasha Parker is the Founder and Principal of the Institute of Development, a community consulting firm focused on bridging the gap between equitable outcomes and sustainability for communities and organizations. Dr. Parker is a trauma and resiliency specialist with over 17 years of experience in mental and behavioral health, social change and justice, youth development, and social services. She earned her PhD in Community Psychology from Wichita State University, concentrating on prevention, program development and implementation, evaluation, trauma and resiliency-informed systems/organizations, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Dr. Parker also holds a master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management. She is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker with over 12 years of providing therapeutic services. Dr. Parker is passionate about partnering with individuals, communities, and organizations. She believes the true currency for sustainable systemic change is rooted in equity, cultural and intellectual humility, and harm reduction.

Vanessa Segundo, PhD, MSEd (she/her)

Vanessa Segundo is a bilingual Research and Evaluation Professional with over 12 years of experience in mixed methodology, cross-cultural B2C research, and collaborative team-based research. She specializes in immigrant advocacy; project management; organizational development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Segundo is driven to leverage research as a tool to support value-driven organizations advance social transformation through a culturally responsive and racially equitable lens. She has experience working at the intersection of student affairs, research, and teaching. During this time, she established inaugural professional development training, programming, and coordinated binational initiatives that advanced racial and gender equity. She engages evaluation and data as both tool and process of/for liberation. An aspiring futurist, Dr. Segundo turns to Chicana and Black Feminism, Critical Race Theory, Transformative Justice Frameworks, and Humanizing Methodologies to partner and empower organizations ready to engage in paradigm shifting.

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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