AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI)

GEDI Interns come from a variety of disciplines including public health, education, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, social work, and the natural sciences. Their commonality is a strong background in research skills, an interest in extending their capacities to the field of evaluation, and a commitment to thinking deeply about culturally responsive evaluation practice. Meet the 2015-2016 GEDI Cohort!


Thana-Ashley Charles, TCC Group, New York, NY TACpic - Copy.jpg

Thana-Ashley Charles is a second year MPH student at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. It was during her undergraduate coursework at Wesleyan University that she gained an interest in the field of public health while completing an interdisciplinary major in Sociology and Biology. Her particular area of focus is Urban Health and she is currently working on her master's thesis which will address public housing structures in New York City and their impacts on the health of families who occupy them. Through the GEDI program, Thana is working  with the evaluation team at TCC Group. Thana is a Brooklyn native and still resides there.


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Dominic Combs, Partners in Schools Innovation, San Francisco, CA

Dominic Combs is a native of Dayton, Ohio, where he also worked as a secondary special educator within the Dayton Public School District prior to beginning his journey as a PhD student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Dominic's teaching experience with urban underserved schools and communities fuels his passion for urban education and working with students from diverse populations, while driving his overarching research agenda. Specifically, his research interest involves using social cultural theory to examine culturally responsive, differentiated instructional practices with students of color. The goal of Dominic's research is to evaluate and assess educators' instructional capacities and develop, design, and implement effective training plans to help aide education professionals in their instructional methodology and practices.


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Dani Gorman, The Improve Group, St. Paul, MN

Dani Gorman is a second-year Masters of Public Policy candidate at the University Of Minnesota Humphrey School Of Public Affairs, and has concentrated her studies in the areas of social policy and evaluation. Dani received her Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Psychology and Sociology of Law, Criminology, & Deviance from the University of Minnesota. Dani formerly worked in the areas of early childhood development and in a clinical mental health setting with adolescents, and later in a crisis residential home for adults. Dani has had positions as a research assistant with the University of Minnesota and the Center for Homicide Research, as well as positions in the nonprofit sector including: working as a mental health practitioner at People Incorporated, an operations manager with Project Footsteps, and an evaluation consultant for Minnesota Life College. Through the GEDI program, she is working as an evaluation consultant at The Improve Group, and her work ranges from small nonprofit evaluations to statewide initiatives and reporting. She calls the Twin Cities her home and aspires to build her own evaluation consulting firm in the future.

Agustin Herrera copy.jpgAgustin HerreraAsian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles, CA

Agustin Herrera was born and raised in an East Los Angeles neighborhood torn by gang violence, drugs, and turf warfare. As a teenager from a broken home, he moved back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana; bitter about the hardships he was enduring, he walked a path that no longer gave him hope. With guidance and help from his family and mentors, he was able to turn himself around, graduate high school, and continue his educational aspirations. He graduated with a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned an MA in teaching from Tufts University. He worked as an educator at Fenway High School. Currently, he is working on his Ph.D. at the Claremont Graduate University. His research interests focus on the Chicana/Latina push-out rate and the experiences of these students in alternative schools and on theories of decolonial education.


Marques Hogans.jpgMarques Hogans, Impact Planning Council, Milwaukee, WI

Marques Hogans is a Master’s student at the Medical College of Wisconsin pursuing a degree in Public Health. A native Milwaukeean, Marques obtained a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. He is currently employed at the Milwaukee Health Department where he serves as a member of the Men’s Health Program whose goal is to improve life outcomes of males and increasing their chance of living better and longer. He will be interning at Impact Planning Council, a non-profit agency which provides third-party evaluations for organizations at all levels.


moniique.jpgMonique I, Lison, Center for Urban Population Health, Milwaukee, WI

Monique I. Liston is a student in the Urban Education Doctoral Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research is on deimperializing and decolonizing research methodologies within the academy and for developmental, formative and summative evaluation. Her dissertation is on how organizations working with Black males use dignity as an evaluative measure. She is a cofounder of All Black Everything, an organization focused on cultivating Black power in the city of Milwaukee through cooperative economics, food liberations, and intergenerational study groups. She is a member of Derute Consulting Cooperative where she works with a team to increase the capacity of schools, districts and other organizations to educate students of color.

Nancy Mendoza - compressed.jpgNancy Mendoza, Mental Health Center of Denver, Denver, CO

Nancy Mendoza was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is currently a 3rd year graduate student in the Applied Developmental Science program at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She completed a B.S. in Psychology at Colorado State University in 2006, and a M.A. in Gerontology at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley in 2009. Nancy’s research interests are in aging, with a specific interest in grandparents raising grandchildren, caregiving for older adults, and cognitive aging. Nancy is a current participant of the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program (GEDI), where she interns at the Mental Health Center of Denver.


Ibukun Owoputi.jpgIbukun Owoputi, The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Worcester, MA

Ibukun Owoputi is a second-year M.S. student in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, MA, concentrating in Nutrition Interventions: Design, Operations, and Management and Epidemiology. She received her B.S. in Nutrition Science at Case Western Reserve University and worked for 3 years as a WIC (The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) Nutritionist prior to entering graduate school. She also has interned at both Save the Children USA and the USDA. As part of the GEDI program, Ibukun works at the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. Although she has lived in many places, she considers Pittsburgh, PA home. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing.


Kenneth Pass copy.jpgKenneth M. Pass, Growth Capital Network, Ann Arbor, MI

Kenneth M. Pass is a North Carolina native and a Master of Public Health student in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan. He graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2014. His broad interests are in improving the health and lives of Black gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men through innovative community-based partnerships. He is also interested in exploring how structural-based risks implicate the sexual health inequities experienced by Black GBQ men and, moreover, how those individuals and communities organize and respond to those risks. Currently, he is working in the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities (SexLab) at the University of Michigan on domestic and global health projects that target young Black GBQ men and lesbian and bisexual women. He also, as a part of the AEA GEDI Program, works with Growth Capital Network, which is a research and evaluation consulting firm focused on economic development, healthcare and philanthropy.


Leah Peoples.pngLeah Q. Peoples, YMCA of the USA, Chicago, IL 

Leah Q. Peoples is originally from Delaware but completed her B.S. in Psychology from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Leah is currently a doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership (EPOL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interests lie in educational inequities focusing on school closures, charter schools, and full service or community schools. In addition, Leah studies evaluation, with a particular interest in culturally responsive evaluations. Throughout her studies, she has built and continues to build a repertoire of quantitative and qualitative skills to best address her research questions. Leah is motivated by her desire to create meaningful and adequate educational experiences for students of color.


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Jamie Vickery National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Jamie Vickery is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a graduate research assistant at the University’s Natural Hazards Center. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. As a GEDI, Vickery interns at the National Center for Atmospheric Research working on an evaluation of the organization's Diversity, Education, and Outreach programs. In addition to her interests in program and policy evaluation, her research interests include studying the social effects of disasters, disaster vulnerability, and environmental justice. She is excited for the opportunity to learn more and receive hands-on training in the field of evaluation.