Current Projects

Evaluation Projects

2016-17 Evaluation of After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles

This evaluation will examine program quality, attendance, academic outcomes, and positive developmental outcomes of a large, multi-site after-school program in Los Angeles, CA. Specifically, we are focusing on the reasons why youth join the program and how their motivations for staying in the program change as a result of their experience in the program. For this evaluation, I am the project manager under Dr. Tiffany Berry at the Claremont Evaluation Center with two evaluation associates.

Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Bright Prospect

This evaluation follows entering freshmen, prior to participation in Bright Prospect, and exiting seniors in high school to examine (a) predictors of who participates in Bright Prospect and (b) how psychosocial (e.g., non-cognitive, socioemotional) skills and resources affect high school outcomes and college matriculation, persistence, and graduation. For this evaluation, I am the project manager under Dr. Nazanin Zargarpour at the Claremont Evaluation Center with two evaluation associates.

2016-17 Evaluation of MUSD’s Extended Learning Opportunities

Yearly evaluation of Montebello Unified School District’s Extended Learning Opportunities program, which comprises multiple after-school program providers. The project involves developing and monitoring a continuous quality improvement system, staff surveys, student surveys, and archival data analysis. For this evaluation, I am the project manager under Dr. Tiffany Berry at the Claremont Evaluation Center with one evaluation associate.




Thesis: Designing Evaluations with the Developmental Context in Mind

Children and adolescents differ from adults in a range of developmental domains. These differences require evaluators adjust their evaluation designs based on the age of participants; however, it is not yet understood whether evaluators adjust their designs or whether these adjustments are developmentally appropriate. Through an experimental simulation study of practicing evaluators from the American Evaluation Association, this study examines how evaluation designs and methods for a hypothetical program differ in response to varying participant age groups.

Op-Ed Article: Predictors of Grit

Much of the research on the popular construct of grit consists of what grit predicts (e.g., academic success, persistence), but little is known about what predicts grit. Using data from YouthTruth‘s School Experience Survey, three sets of predictors (i.e., school demographics, student demographics, student experiences) are examined through multilevel modeling to see what has the strongest predictive relationship of grit.

Journal Article: Predictors of High Attendance in After School Programs

Utilizing Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory, theoretically and practically important personal and contextual predictors of attendance in after-school programs are examined. Results show that staff-student relationships mediated the relationship that program and program-school characteristics had on attendance, indicating the importance of positive staff-student relationships in sustained attendance for participants. Fostering sustained attendance is critical to ensure participants reap the intended benefits of participating in the after school program.

Journal Article: Aesthetic Experiences as Flow: Relationships with Well-Being

This study examines how the aesthetic experience (i.e., the attitudes, perceptions, experiences, or acts of attention involved in viewing art) are related to Csikszentmihalyi’s (1990) conceptualization of flow. Csikszentmiahlyi & Robinso (1990) defined aesthetic experiences as having the same content of flow but differ from other flow experiences by four artistic related dimensions. Thus, we created the Aesthetic Experience Questionnaire, tested its convergent validity, explored how aesthetic experiences differ across persons, and tested whether aesthetic experiences, like flow, relate to well-being. Overall, results offer preliminary evidence that aesthetic experiences relate to well-being and there’s support that aesthetic experiences are a flow experience.

Conference Papers

From College Access to Success: Importance of Psychosocial Competencies for Minority Students in College (AERA – April 2017)

Abstract: Expanding college access program services beyond high school and fostering students’ psychosocial competencies, particularly through positive peer and adult relationships, are critical factors for ensuring not only college access (e.g., matriculation) for students but also college success (e.g., persistence, graduation). Through a quasi-experimental design, it is shown that these practices (1) lead to better college outcomes than their matched comparison peers and (2) participants associate these outcomes to the positive relationships and experiences of the program. Furthermore, a second, ethnographic study identified the program’s six purposeful practices and five purposeful design elements that lead to these successes. These programmatic elements are useful for similar programs seeking to improve the college outcomes of their students.