Research and Evaluation

The Office of Research & Evaluation (ORE) builds, shares, and uses knowledge to identify effective strategies for national service and volunteering, increases the evidence-base for its mission and programs, infuses data into agency decision-making, and strengthens civil society in America.


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Meet Our Research Team

Mary Hyde, Director of Research and Evaluation

Dr. Mary Hyde pictureDr. Hyde is a community psychologist with more than 20 years of research, evaluation, technical assistance, and training experience in social and human services. She is responsible for advancing the evidence base for national service programs as well as fostering a culture of evaluation within the agency and the field. Prior to joining CNCS, Dr. Hyde was a Principal with ICF International and responsible for a portfolio of projects related to strengthening families and communities. All of these projects focused on providing technical assistance solutions and services to faith-based and community organizations funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining ICF, Dr. Hyde developed her unique skill set by directing and managing both national and local program evaluations.

The primary focus of Dr. Hyde’s evaluation practice has been community- and school-based programs designed to prevent delinquency and school drop-out and promote social and academic success among urban youth. Dr. Hyde has also conducted research in the areas of welfare-reform policy. Dr. Hyde co-directed a research project funded by the Department of Health and Human Services designed to evaluate the implementation and impact of welfare reform policy (TANF) in Maryland.  Dr. Hyde also directed the design and administration of a statewide telephone survey of former welfare recipients. Former recipients were asked about employment and stability. Finally, Dr. Hyde facilitated a community-driven research process that resulted in the identification of Neighborhood Action and Sense of Community indicators which are part of the larger community indicators project, Vital Signs.

Denise Cook, Research and Administrative Assistant

Denise Cook pictureDr. Cook provides support to ORE across all portfolios as needed.  In addition to certificates in Nonprofit Management, Teaching, and Research, she is a statistician by training and received a BA from California State University, Sacramento earning the distinction of Summa Cum Laude as well as her MA, and PhD from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas all in Sociology.  Her dissertation was an examination of the intersections of volunteerism, work, and leisure utilizing the Current Population Survey administered by the US Census Bureau and examined via a multidisciplinary lens and research from economics, human resources (public administration), psychology, and sociology.  Dr. Cook is also an AmeriCorps Alumna who served two terms in San Francisco, CA.  Prior to joining the organization as a full time employee, Denise worked as a Graduate Fellow in the Research and Evaluation team at CNCS.

Huda Hamden, Graduate Fellow

Ms. Hamdan has an M.S degree in Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and is expected to receive a Master’s degree in Program Evaluation from Michigan State University (MSU) in May 2019. Prior to starting graduate school at MSU, Ms. Hamdan served as a Teaching and Research assistant at VCU. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty of sociology.

As a Graduate Fellow, Ms. Hamdan will work on a variety of program evaluation projects. She hopes to use this fellowship to build her program evaluation skills and expand on her experience in social research.

Roshni Menon, Research Analyst

Dr. Roshni Menon picture

Dr. Menon works primarily on evaluation capacity building and technical assistance and also assists with the National Service and Civic Research Competition for institutions of higher education. She has more than 10 years of experience designing and implementing evaluation studies, and her expertise lies in the areas of evaluating teacher professional development programs and teacher and principal evaluation systems. She previously worked at nonprofit organizations such as the Education Development Center and the American Institutes for Research, as well as within the Arizona Cooperative Extension. Dr. Menon holds a Ph.D. in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona.

Anthony Nerino, Research Analyst

Anthony Nerino pictureMr. Nerino has worked as a research analyst at CNCS since June 2012. His responsibilities include research and data analysis on volunteering and civic engagement, program evaluation and impact assessment, and managing research contracts for various CNCS programs and offices. Prior to this position, Mr. Nerino worked for 10 years as a research analyst in the Community Health Department at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania.

Laura Qin, Research Analyst

Laura Qin pictureDr. Qin supports a portfolio of research projects and initiatives including the Member Exit Survey, Office of Research & Evaluation’s research grant competition, and the systematic review of evidence generated through grantee program evaluations.  Prior to joining CNCS, Dr. Qin held the position of Director of Institutional Research at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich CT, providing consultation and analytical support on strategic planning, assessment and evaluation projects for academic, student affairs, and operational units.

Primarily focused on quantitative and mixed-method research, Dr. Qin has a special interest in using data visualization to inform decision making. Her dissertation investigated the relationship between student success and multiple-measures placement at the community college level.  Dr. Qin has a B.A. from Wellesley College, a M.B.A. from Babson College, and an Ed.D in Higher Education Leadership from Johnson & Wales University

Andrea Robles, Research and Evaluation Manager

Dr. Andrea Robles pictureDr. Robles manages the Civic Infrastructure portfolio that includes national service member surveys, measuring civic engagement and volunteering, and national service research. She also manages the recently established National Service and Civic Research Grant Competition for institutions of higher education. Dr. Robles specializes in participatory research and is developing several new initiatives to incorporate this approach into CNCS work. She is an applied sociologist with 20 years of experience conducting research on an array of local, regional, and global social challenges that prevent marginalized groups from equally participating in all aspects of society. Her research includes health disparities, women and work, welfare policy, housing, land tenure and governance, resident engagement and decision?making, and other pressing community? and organization?initiated concerns. Dr. Robles has a B.A. from New York University; a M.A. in International Development from The American University; and, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin?Madison.

Greg Wallinger, Research Analyst

Greg Wallinger pictureMr. Wallinger focuses his efforts on effectively communicating the work done by the Office of Research & Evaluation and its grantees. He also helps build the evaluation capacity of organizations through training and technical assistance. Prior to serving with CNCS, Mr. Wallinger served as Principal of Rose City Projects, a project management firm in Portland, OR, and as Research and Policy Director for the City Club of Portland.

Mr. Wallinger holds a Master in Public Administration from Portland State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Susquehanna University. He served two terms in Helena, MT with AmeriCorps: as a VISTA focused on subtance abuse prevention in 2004, and as a Senior Crew Leader with the Montana Conservation Corps in 2005.

Lily Zandniapour, Research and Evaluation Manager

Lily Zandniapour pictureAs a senior member of ORE, Dr. Zandniapour designs, implements, and oversees research and evaluation initiatives and capacity building efforts in support of agency mission and priorities, as well as program and policy goals. She currently provides oversight to a portfolio of projects that includes Scaling Evidence Based Models, Systematic Evidence Reviews and Synthesis, Evaluations of Senior Corps and AmeriCorps Initiatives and the agency’s Evaluation Capacity Building efforts. Dr. Zandniapour has held a variety of executive and technical leadership, as well as consulting, research, and teaching positions in the past. Organizations she has been associated with before include Innovation Network, QED Group, The Aspen Institute, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, The American University and World Bank. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and Washington Evaluators. She holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the American University.


ORE is comprised of professionally trained researchers, program evaluators, and public policy/administration analysts; please contact us at



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