I have always been dedicated to developing the next generation of multicultural scientists and scientific thinkers. As a grade school student, I participated and advocated in a program that encouraged young people of color towards aviation careers. During my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, a group of like-minded classmates and I formed a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) mentoring program called Reach Out! Our mission was to increase STEM achievement among teens of color. During the day, I was gazing at the bright lights of plasma engines in a propulsion laboratory; in the afternoon, I was gazing into the bright faces of our future, local high school students. The bright light in those young people most captured my attention. I wanted to help their lights shine brighter, so I charted a different course. Even my mom was surprised when I told her I wanted to change my career aspirations from engineering to STEM education, because education, people, connection, and optimism for a brighter tomorrow, have always been my passion.
Since 2005, I have worked alongside program developers and community stakeholders to lead evaluation studies. My evaluation practice creates connections and understanding among stakeholders by applying collaborative and culturally responsive evaluation methodology. My goal in every exchange is to build stakeholders’ capacity to invite multicultural perspectives into the program development and evaluation process by honoring the dignity and value of each contributing voice. My projects broaden the participation in program evaluation, advance innovation, and achieve outcomes, partnerships, and policy-making that reflect social justice.
I bring an interdisciplinary lens to my work, driven by my formal training that includes advanced degrees in educational psychology, measurement, and evaluation, as well as an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering. My training included a predoctoral fellowship in developmental sciences at the Carolina Consortium on Human Development alongside coursework and supervised assistantships in collaborative and culturally responsive evaluation. These experiences, along with my outlook as Black female evaluator, frame educational studies that consider the convergence of psychological, cultural, and organizational factors on program outcomes. I enjoy and thrive upon working on interdisciplinary teams united by a commitment to elevating multicultural standpoints and community engagement in program evaluation.
Overall, my body of work has centered on federal initiatives intended to broaden access to innovative educational practices for diverse and often marginalized populations such as, Investing in Innovation (i3) grants, School Climate Transformation grants, Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs North Carolina (GEAR UP NC), Minority Science & Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), and a Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE). Funding agencies included the National Science Foundation (NSF), The Kellogg Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I have also co-authored chapters focused on gender differences in educational outcome and multicultural perspectives in evaluation in the APA Educational Psychology Handbook, the Handbook of Motivation at School, and the Evaluation and Program Planning peer-reviewed journal, along with numerous reports that aid program leaders to integrate findings into policy and practice.
I look forward to a mutually beneficial conversation with you!