Dialogues on Race and Class

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Moderator - Melvin Hall - Northern Arizona University Professor, Former Member AEA Board of Directors

MELVIN E. HALL, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University.  Dr. Hall completed his B.S., and Ph.D., degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Social Psychology and Educational Psychology respectively; and M.S. in Counseling at Northern Illinois University.

During a forty plus-year professional career in higher education, Dr. Hall has served in four successive appointments, as an academic dean, comprised of positions at Florida Atlantic University, University of California-Irvine, University of Maryland at College Park, and most recently Northern Arizona University (NAU).  At NAU, Dr. Hall served as Dean of the College of Education and additionally was the principal investigator on two five-year US Office of Education GEAR UP grants providing dropout prevention programs and services to thousands of middle and high school students throughout Arizona. 

Returning to full-time faculty life in 2002, Dr. Hall has melded teaching and scholarship in Educational Psychology with responsibility as co-principal investigator on five-years of National Science Foundation support for the Relevance of Culture in Evaluation Institute.  Subsequent to the RCEI grant, Dr. Hall began a continuing appointment as affiliated faculty in the Center for Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois.  As an external reviewer, Dr. Hall has served on numerous review panels and Committee of Visitors for the National Science Foundation EHR Division including an invited expert panel on the future of evaluation methodology in STEM programs. In 2015, he accepted an appointment as an intermittent expert at NSF and in that, capacity serves as a program officer for the ADVANCE and HBCU UP Programs within the Human Resource Development Division of the EHR Directorate.

For several years, Dr. Hall served on the American Evaluation Association Standing Committee on Diversity, initiating the association’s published statement on the importance of Cultural Competence in the field of Program Evaluation. In 2013, Dr. Hall became an elected member of the American Evaluation Association Board of Directors. In addition, he a member of the Inclusive Excellence Commission of AAC&U and the External Advisory committee for the Collaborative for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL).

Panelists

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Kristen Harper - Senior Policy Specialist at Child Trends

Kristen Harper serves as Child Trends’ Senior Policy Specialist, bringing a wealth of expertise in how to utilize research to drive policy decision-making and in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in education. Prior to arriving at Child Trends, Kristen served for seven years in the U.S. Department of Education, where she was a chief architect of the agency’s efforts to improve conditions for learning. Most recently, Kristen was Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the identification, placement, and discipline of children with disabilities. In this role, Kristen authored the agency’s proposed rule to promote greater racial equity in the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Her policy accomplishments include: the establishment of the Department’s first grant program, in 2010, to support the use of survey measurement to improve school climate programming; a rewrite of the 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund program to strengthen the agency’s $300 million investment in local human capital management systems; the 2014 School Discipline Guidance Package, which outlined the legal implications and practical consequences of exclusionary discipline practices; the 2015 Correctional Education Guidance Package, which encouraged improved services to youth in confinement.

Kristen has an undergraduate degree in political science from Loyola College in Maryland, and a masters’ degree in education policy and administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Nick Hart – President, Washington Evaluators

Dr. Nick Hart is currently the President of Washington Evaluators, the American Evaluation Association's DC-based affiliate.  Dr. Hart works as the Policy and Research Director for the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.  He previously worked during the Bush and Obama Administrations as a Senior Program Examiner with the White House Office of Management and Budget, focused on Social Security and Federal anti-poverty programs. During his professional career he has served in positions at all levels of government -- Federal, state, and local -- and worked on a wide range of issues including environmental, energy, welfare, disability, economic development, and criminal justice policies. Dr. Hart completed a doctorate at The George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, with emphasis in program evaluation. He holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Science and a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science from Truman State University.  Dr. Hart also serves on AEA's Evaluation Policy Task Force and the Board of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society.

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Kien Lee - Principal Associate/Vice President Community Science

Kien provides organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors with research and evaluation services in the areas of cross-cultural competency, inclusion, and equity as they pertain to issues such as health disparities, immigrant integration, food security, civic participation, and community change. She currently leads the evaluation of Racial Equity Here, an initiative to build the capacity of city governments to apply a racial equity lens to their policies and operations. She also leads the effort to build the evaluation capacity of W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s grantees in Mississippi and New Orleans. She is author for an upcoming evaluation handbook for people with little exposure to evaluation to be published by the Kellogg Foundation; a chapter about the role of cross-cultural competency in effecting social change in diverse contexts in the textbook Community Psychology: Foundations for Practice; and The Role of Culture in Evaluation published by The Colorado Trust. Kien serves on the board of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) and played an integral role in establishing the American Evaluation Association’s Graduate Education Diversity Internship program. She also is recipient of the 2013 award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology.

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Guadalupe Pacheco - President/CEO at Pacheco Consulting Group, LLC

Drawing upon the more than 30 years of senior-level health management policy development and non-profit experience to the principal, PCG provides services to public and private sector clients in the areas of health policy, cultural centric service delivery, and public engagement.  Through innovative, visionary and goal-oriented approaches of its leaders and consultants, PCG tailors and delivers successful outcomes to its clients based on their needs.

Mr. Pacheco previously served a Project Manager for Lockheed Martin Corporation. He was outsource to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Office for Civil Rights, to assess and re-launch the office’s civil rights medical school curriculum initiative for medical schools across the country.

Prior to that position, Mr. Pacheco served as the Training Director for the AIDs Education and Training Center-Multicultural Center (AETC-MC), Howard University College of Medicine. As the training director, he oversaw training development and the execution of curriculum activities related to the AETC-MC.

Mr. Pacheco also served as a Senior Health Advisor/Project Officer to the Director, Office of Minority Health, Office of Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.  As the Senior Health Advisor, he managed agency’s portfolios on cultural competency, emergency preparedness, health literacy, e-learning, and Latino related initiatives.

Additionally, Mr. Pacheco provided oversight and review of major public health policies initiatives, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, to determine their effectiveness in mitigating health disparities of minority populations. 

Mr. Pacheco received his BA and MSW from California State University of Fresno and has completed course work for an MPA from USC.

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Debra Rog - Vice President at Westat, Former AEA President

Dr. Debra Rog is a Westat Vice President and President of the Rockville Institute with over 30 years of experience in research and evaluation.  In her current roles, Dr. Rog directs numerous evaluations in the areas of homeless systems and services, housing, public health, among others.  She also serves in evaluation advising roles within the organizations. Before joining Westat in January 2007, Dr. Rog was director of the Washington office of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement (CEPI) for 17 years, and was a Senior Research Associate in CEPI.  Throughout her career, Dr. Rog has directed numerous evaluation studies involving programs and policies for a range of vulnerable populations.  She is a recognized expert in evaluation and applied research design, having published numerous articles and chapters on evaluation methodology; served as the co-editor of the Applied Social Research Methods Series (50+ textbooks) , the Handbook of Applied Social Research Methods, and several volumes of New Directions for Evaluation; and on the faculty of The Evaluators’ Institute. She was the 2009 President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and a member of AEA since its inception. 

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Veronica Thomas - Howard University Professor

Veronica G. Thomas is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University and Director of the Evaluation and Continuous Improvement Component of the Georgetown-Howard University Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (GHUCCTS).  Dr. Thomas has received external grants (as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator) from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Mental Health, MacAuthur Foundation, and the Women’s College Coalition.  Her research interests include culturally responsive evaluations, gender roles and psychological well-being, and the academic and socio-emotional development of youth placed at risk.  She has authored work in the American Journal for Evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation, Clinical and Translational Sciences, Family Relations, Adolescence, Educational Leadership, Journal of Adult Development, Journal of Black Psychology, Review of Research in Education, Journal of Negro Education, Sex Roles, Journal of Social Psychology, Women and Health, and the Journal of the National Medical Association.  Her major professional affiliations include the American Evaluation Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Educational Research Association.