2. Work Experience

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Institute for Public School Initiatives, The University of Texas – Austin, TX
December 2012 to Present
Data and Research Administrator

  • Responsible for writing and acquiring the $1.5 million grant/contract from TEA for technical assistance for Texas GEAR UP State Grant.
  • Lead Researcher and Data Administrator for the Texas GEAR UP State Project. Developing research questions, mode of inquiry, and devising data collection methods.
  • Formulated security protocols for housing category-1 data received from school districts. Data Control Plan successfully passed UT-Austin’s ITS Audit on data security.
  • Designed and implemented GUIDES, the online database for GEAR UP using the web-based Apricot® application resulting in savings of several hundred data entry hours and making data validation more efficient and accountable.
  • Designed and implemented evaluations and feedback surveys for attendees at the Texas GEAR UP State Conference using Qualtrics for online surveys and RemarkTM for paper surveys.
  • Advising the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on methods for designing, developing, and implementing a data dictionary and data schedules, and coordinating subsequent data collection and validation for the four GEAR UP school districts.
  • Conducting literature reviews on critical components of the GEAR UP State project and coordinating with other researchers in the field across the nation.
  • Representing, participating, and contributing to state and national GEAR UP efforts at the Texas GEAR UP State Conferences, NCCEP Annual Capacity Building Workshops, and the Annual GEAR UP Conferences.

Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) – College Station, TX
July 2009 to November 2012
Research Associate

  • Co-­Researcher for the Evaluation of the Developmental Education Demonstration Projects involving assessment of effectiveness of nine demonstration projects launched at selected Texas higher education institutions. Primarily involved in developing a comprehensive evaluation strategy employing experimental and quasi-­experimental methodologies to evaluate effectiveness of the interventions.
  • Co-Investigator for the program evaluation of Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom federal programs focusing specifically on 6 projects from small urbanized areas and 12 projects from non-urbanized rural areas of Texas. Primarily responsible for addressing a set of evaluation questions to measure stated goals, planning, implementation process, intended and unintended outputs and outcomes through data analysis and/or community listening sessions based on available and collected data. This project will provide recommendations to streamline operations improve programs that provide equitable access to job opportunities for disadvantaged populations.
  • Primarily responsible for conducting data management, validation, analysis, and reporting in examining trends and patterns of telephone calls to the Texas 2-11 information and referral telephone line for a study conducted by the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University and funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Resulted in several publications and presentations at the regional and national level leading to precise needs assessment and appropriate response by disaster mitigation agencies.
  • Analyzed qualitative data from community listening sessions conducted for a study addressing disproportionate minority contact in the Texas Juvenile Justice System for the Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division using SPSS Text Analysis Tools. Identified useful insights into the perspectives of community members on the issues of minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system, and identified solutions that are likely to receive community support, resulting in policy changes by the Texas Governor’s Office,
  • Introduced efficiency and streamlined operations in survey methodology by programming online surveys using LimeSurvey, QDS, and Scantron tools. Coded and tested eight surveys, some as large as 200 questions with complex skip patterns, thus saving several hundred human hours previously spent in data entry for manually scanning in paper surveys.
  • Conducted preliminary data research support for a study funded by the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to understand the link between school disciplinary violations, dropout, and justice involvement using highly confidential data on school students. Resulted in affecting disparate treatment of juveniles in the justice system by addressing early discipline violations in schools leading to a more fair and equitable environment.
  • Incorporated the use of GIS in sampling using United States Census Data for the “Alcohol Epidemiology among Border Mexican Americans 2009-2010” project, funded by National Institutes of Health. Prepared sampling maps resulting in precise identification of target population in four states: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Eliminated previous errors in sample identification resulting in time and labor savings for field interviewers.
  • Provide continual technical and quantitative support for The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use project by programming data entry of scannable surveys using Scantron® software and online surveys using LimeSurvey software, as well as managing data, analyzing data, and preparing reports using SAS® programming. This ongoing surveillance project funded by the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol produces reports for school districts, including executive summaries and graphs, which provide measurable outcomes to school districts and state health agencies for assessing and appropriately addressing substance abuse among students in schools across Texas.
  • Prepared graphics using geographic information systems for Project CHILD, an international UN-funded survey research study commissioned by the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, Government of Qatar (http://ppri.tamu.edu/files/CHILDreport.pdf). Research outcomes will increase understanding regarding the effects of disability on children and their families and provide helpful information regarding available assistance and resources to policy makers in developing countries.
  • Provided ancillary support in the form of grant writing, literature review, data analysis, and manuscript writing for several research projects conducted by senior researchers at the Institute in the fields of education, public health, community and economic development.

Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) – College Station, TX
August 2005 to May 2009
Graduate Research Assistant

  • Conducted data analysis and prepared reports in form of detailed frequency tables, executive summaries and graphs using SAS® for the Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use Project that measures student responses and outcomes for all participating schools across Texas allowing policy makers and legislators to appropriately address issues of substance abuse among children.
  • Programmed and maintained survey forms software for Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use project and Youth Tobacco Survey project using Scantron resulting in error-free data scanning for preparation of district reports, executive summaries, and trend graphs.
  • Provided significant research support and conducted data analysis using SPSS® for the Parenting & Paternity Awareness (P.A.P.A.) Curriculum Evaluation project commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services for the state of Texas. Research outcomes helped policy-makers address social issues involving teen pregnancy and raising healthcare awareness among high school teenage girls.

LogistiCare, Inc. – Atlanta, Georgia
December 2004 to June 2005
Public Policy Consultant

  • Lead Analyst in monitoring and tracking legislation in eleven state legislatures related to Medicaid and non-Emergency Transportation Management using StateNet®. Provided daily updates to Public Affairs Manager on any new bills introduced or significant changes to existing legislation that would impact company operations.
  • Prepared executive summaries for relevant legislation pertaining to Medical Transportation Coordination, Telecommunications, and Medicaid Reform policies that helped the company staff understand policy changes and appropriately address any adverse legislative impact directly resulting in significant revenue savings.
  • Analyzed budgetary and legislative processes for newly introduced bills in the Georgia Legislature to help better understand and educate other company personnel on the intricacies of policy-making and politics so as to better understand the company’s mission and overarching business objectives. Awarded a monetary bonus at the end of internship for successful completion and achieved more than satisfactory outcomes for the company.

The Enterprise Foundation and Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers (AHAND) – Atlanta, Georgia
May 2003 to August 2003
Project Consultant

  • Primary Project Researcher on a study of Fulton County/Atlanta Land Bank Authority Land Bank Projects. Conducted detailed qualitative data analysis through site visits and field interviews. Supplemented qualitative research by compiling and analyzing quantitative data from public land and tax records to create SWOT analysis on measuring individual housing projects.
  • Compiled economically and socially relevant profiles for Land Bank Authority-approved projects to demonstrate their effectiveness by comparing before and after tax revenues and also incorporating social impact on the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Drafted Project Profile Report for City of Atlanta-Fulton County Land Bank Authority on justification of land banks through collaboration with government agencies, non-profit organizations and private developers for data collection thus enabling city and county officials to provide economic and social justification for continuation of the project.

Georgia State University (GSU) – Atlanta, Georgia
August 2000 to May 2004
Graduate Research Associate/Assistant

  • Co-authored The Geography of Housing in the Atlanta Region and found remnants of ‘white flight’ alongside slow but positive advancements in homeownership for minorities. Conducted literature review and analyzed state government strategies for overcoming fiscal deficits that provided recommendations to budget directors and government staff.
  • Co-authored Use and Effects of Using Performance Measures for Budgeting, Management, and Reporting: Case Study for State of Wisconsin for the Government Accounting Standards Board. Report provided assistance to the Wisconsin state government in its duty to be publicly accountable and in providing users with information to assist them in making informed economic, social and political decisions.
  • Analyzed survey data using HLM (Hierarchical Linear Modeling) for the Southern School Teachers Project by analyzing teacher outcomes using performance measurement indicators within the framework of program evaluation to boost student performance and academic standards.
  • Examined the Internet’s role and impact on citizen participation for public hearings in response to public policies. Research proved useful in a subsequent conference presentation on bolstering effectiveness of government agency websites in encouraging citizen feedback and improving government response times.

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