How would you describe your role at ICH?
As a Research and Evaluation Project Manager I currently manage a number of evaluations for a range of public health programs and initiatives. I’m also involved with expanding our reach into the field of family and youth services.
What is your educational background?
I have BAs in English, Art (Art History & Studio Painting), and Psychology and a Master’s in Public Policy & Management. I’ve also completed coursework towards a Master’s in Family Studies.
What was your career path before coming to ICH?
I had originally aspired to have a career in publishing and my first job out of college was with Little, Brown Publishing Company. While there I became involved in some community service work and after leaving LB I served as an Americorps VISTA doing resource development. After completing that I decided to go back to school for nonprofit management. While in school I had opportunity to contribute to an evaluation of a large child care program and later a statewide cost-benefit analysis of child care for the state of Maine through which I become increasingly interested in the field of early care and education. My work after that bounced between the fields of public health and educational program assessment, always with a goal of focusing on early care and education.
What made you decide to come to ICH?
I originally responded to a posting for consulting work with ICH while I was in graduate school. I was drawn to the idea of having continued experience in program evaluation and applied research. I was impressed by the type of projects that ICH worked on and the collegial & collaborative nature of the work, and hoped to eventually contribute to some of the early childhood program evaluations. I really liked the idea of using research and program evaluation to help community service providers to maximize their impact and create sustainability for their work.
What are some projects that you are working on right now?
Among my projects are evaluations of three programs to support young children and their families—Agenda for Children, The Cambridge Birth to Third Initiative, and an evaluation with the Somerville Family Learning Center. I also work on evaluations of two programs related to substance use disorders – the POWER project with the Institute for Health and Recovery and the SUSTAIN Communities Initiative with the GE Foundation and the Mass League of Community Health Centers. I am also helping to evaluate Cambridge Health Alliance’s Art Museum-Based Health Professions Education fellowship and Community Health Improvement (CHI) Mental Health Awareness Training program.
What are your favorite projects topics and why?
As you might have guessed from my previous responses, my projects involving early care and education are among my favorites—partly because it’s an area in which I have more content knowledge but also because it’s a field that until recently was not taken very seriously but now has a quickly evolving research base. It’s exciting to see policymakers respond to findings that underscore the importance of high quality programming for the very young. I also really like working on the CHI Mental Health Awareness training evaluation because the program has been so well-received in the community. It is gratifying to see such interest in supporting mental wellness at a community level.
What are you most excited about for the future of ICH?
I am really excited about the focus on programming for children and families as an area of intentional development.
What are hobbies or things you like to do for fun?
I love biking, hiking, gardening, and finding other reasons to be outdoors with my kids. I also love theater, spending time looking at art, watching movies. I would love to get back into painting now that my kids are a little older.
Do you have any plans for the holidays/summer/etc? Anything that you are looking forward to?
I am hoping to visit a friend who is on sabbatical this year in Holland. I would also love to take my kids on their first trip outside the US— maybe to Mexico. I’m also hoping to complete some house renovations including setting up a studio space to get to the aforementioned painting