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Office of Research & 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.

ORE is comprised of professionally trained researchers, program evaluators and public policy/administration analysts, please contact us at evaluation@cns.gov. To contact other offices at CNCS, click here.

Meet Our Team!

Mary Hyde, Director of Research and Evaluation

Dr. 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.

Adrienne DiTommaso, Research Analyst

Ms. DiTommaso supports CNCS’s ongoing research and reporting on national service and civic engagement. She oversees a small portfolio of research projects and program evaluations and delivers evaluation training and technical assistance. Ms. DiTommaso has an M.P.A. from Indiana University and a B.A. in Anthropology and Criminology from the University of Miami.

 Roshni Menon, Research Analyst

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

Mr. 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.

Andrea Robles, Research and Evaluation Manager

Dr. 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.

Rashmi Singh, Heinz Fellow

As a Heinz Fellow, Ms. Singh will work on a variety of projects across ORE’s three main focus areas: capacity building, use of evidence, and field research efforts. She hopes to use this year to build her qualitative and quantitative research skills. Ms. Singh will receive her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2018. She has a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Prior to starting graduate school, Ms. Singh taught English in Malaysia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and was a communications intern at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC.

Beth Slater, Research Analyst

 Dr. Slater works on evaluation capacity building and technical assistance for the Social Innovation Fund and for AmeriCorps State and National. She has 10 years of experience working and consulting for nonprofits, including food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and syringe exchange programs. She has conducted research on assessing and defining nonprofit capacity and improving effectiveness of emergency food programs. She also taught nonprofit management to undergraduates. Dr. Slater has a B.A. and M.P.A. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University at Albany.

Lily Zandniapour, Research and Evaluation Manager

As 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 leads a portfolio of projects that currently includes the Evaluation and Evidence Program of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), the SIF National Assessment and the evaluation of the SIF Pay for Success (PFS) program. 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

 

Contact us at: evaluation@cns.gov

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