Valerie has been in the applied research and evaluation field for eighteen years. She began her career teaching at the high school level before moving to New York to obtain her doctorate degree. While working toward her degree, she worked with the Academy for Educational Development (AED, now FHI360) and served as a writing and technology pedagogy fellow in the City University of New York system. Her work at AED focused on K-12 STEM-related evaluations as well as a public-health consumer survey related to experiences providing and obtaining Plan B. Prior to joining CCL, Valerie served as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. Her appointment in Youth-Nex, UVA’s Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, housed within the Curry School of Education, enabled her to work on a variety of projects focusing on adolescent development in both school and out-of-school contexts. Her three main projects explored a longitudinal randomized-control evaluation of a young women’s mentoring program, a mixed-methods longitudinal study of positive youth-adult relationships (such as mentoring), and a mixed-methods study of peer interaction processes in linguistically diverse classrooms. These projects were supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the William T. Grant Foundation.
She has published both empirical and theoretical articles related to adolescent identity development and edited a special issue of Qualitative Psychology focused on the promise of qualitative methods for expanding theories of Positive Youth Development. She has contributed to technical evaluation reports, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. In addition, she has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on topics ranging from adolescent development, social and personality psychology, research methods, and program evaluation.
Valerie manages a group of researchers and evaluators focused on work in the social sector. In this role, she focuses on internal organizational learning and understanding CCL’s progress toward larger-scale societal impact and oversees the evaluation and research work across K-12 education, higher education, non-profits, population health, and youth-serving organizations. Valerie also contributes to CCL’s work in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by supporting CCL’s internal EDI journey and evaluation and learning efforts related to EDI. Valerie is interested in emergent learning, continuous program improvement, developmental evaluation, program evaluation, and applied research and works to foster an organizational learning culture that embeds data and intentional learning throughout the program lifecycle.
Ph.D. in Psychology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
M.A. in Psychology from Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)
B.S. in Psychology from Stetson University in DeLand, FL, with a minor in Women’s Studies
Professional Affiliations and Certifications
Valerie recently served as secretary for the Research Triangle Park Evaluators group (a regional affiliate of the American Evaluation Association). She also served as Secretary for the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (SQIP, a division of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods) and Program Chair for the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Out-of-School-Time Special Interest Group, where she was named emerging scholar of the year in 2013. In addition, she is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA).
Honors, Awards, Grants
- Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry, Division 5 (Quantitative and Qualitative Methods) of the American Psychological Association, 2017.
- Emerging Scholar Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA) Out-of-School-Time Special Interest Group, 2013.
Areas of Expertise
Change, Emergent Learning, Coaching & Mentoring, Creativity & Innovation, Program Evaluation, Youth Leadership Development, K-12 Education, Higher Education, Qualitative Methods, Mixed Methods, Identity Development, Adolescence, Developmental Evaluation, Evaluation Capacity Building, Collaborative Evaluation