Our Team Kelly Burgess, MPH Research Analyst Hilary Demby, MPH Senior Research Analyst Gretchen Falk, MPH Research Analyst Emma Foley, BA Junior Research Analyst Alethia Gregory, LMSW Lead Research Analyst Stephanie Hall, MSW Junior Research Analyst Catie Henley, MPH Lead Research Analyst Sarah Hoover, MA, M.Ed. Study Coordinator Eric Jenner, PhD Director of Research Lynne Jenner, MA Director of Projects Kathleen Keh, BS Research Assistant Carolyn Kelly, MS Junior Research Analyst Katie Lass, MPH, LMSW Lead Research Analyst Rebekah Leger, MPH Senior Research Analyst Elyse Mason, MPH Research Analyst Melissa Miller, BS Study Coordinator Nicollette Moore, BA Research Assistant Noor Qaragholi, BA Junior Research Analyst Victoria Romo, BA Research Assistant Teresa Smith, MPH Research Analyst Jordan Stribling, MA Operations Manager Amy Truesdale, BA Study Coordinator Sarah Walsh, PhD Lead Senior Research Analyst Canine Operations Luther Office Pup Brodie Office Pup Shakey Office Pup Podrick Office Pup Winnie Office Pup Hilary Demby MPH Senior Research Analyst A native of rural upstate New York, Hilary has lived in New Orleans since 2007 and joined PRG in 2009. She received her BA in art history from Tulane University (2001) and her MPH, with a concentration in health education and communication, from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2009). As a Senior Research Analyst, she oversees all research analysts and assistants, ensuring quality and consistency of research plans and protocols for multiple evaluation projects, including ongoing RCTs investigating the efficacy of teen pregnancy prevention interventions (her primary area of interest). She has experience in grant writing, designing research protocols and data collection instruments, and developing data collection protocols and training materials. Prior to moving to New Orleans, Hilary lived in NYC for five years, working for a number of organizations, including the Greater New York Hospital Association Foundation’s Health Information Tool for Empowerment project. She enjoys spending her free time being outside walking and hiking as much as possible, partaking in the many festivals and live music options available in this spirited city, and traveling far and wide to experience new people and places. Alethia Gregory LMSW Lead Research Analyst Alethia received a BA (2006) from Loyola University New Orleans in Communications and an MSW (2012) from Louisiana State University. During her time as a social work graduate student, Alethia cultivated her interest in evaluation as a means of creating better social policies for disadvantaged populations. She is currently working on the evaluation of a collaborative agreement funded by the Administration of Children and Families that is implementing a new screen that identifies the mental health needs of youth from Louisiana’s child welfare system. She is also working on a randomized controlled trial of an innovative intervention that seeks to reduce the rates of unintended teen pregnancies among youth who have experienced trauma. When she’s not squinting at her computer, Alethia likes to spend time with her family (e.g., her adorable son), read books, cook, and listen to her jazz musician husband play music around the city of New Orleans. Eric Jenner PHD Director of Research Eric is a founding partner and the Director of Research at The Policy & Research Group. He met his future wife and partner, Lynne, on a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Central America. Thanks to his tenacity, and a hurricane at sea, she eventually agreed to marry him. Eric received an MMC and a PhD in political communications from LSU. In between, he worked for The New York Times and then briefly lived in Rome, where he started to really like pizza. An inveterate interdisciplinarian, Eric is motivated by empirical questions related to public policy and public affairs – he has published research in The Policy Studies Journal, Political Behavior, the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, Foreign Affairs, and the American Journal of Health Behavior, among others. Recently, he has led studies that investigate the impact of innovative programs on public health and academic outcomes. When he isn’t preoccupied with questions of research design and analytic methods, Eric fixates on things related to point breaks, watts per kilogram, Shimano groupsets, narrative structure, and any type of boat. He is an enthusiastic vegan cook. Lynne Jenner MA Director of Projects After completing a BA in Sociology/Linguistics, Lynne and her future husband set off from her hometown of Victoria, BC, Canada for Louisiana State University in a twenty-year-old VW van, without air conditioning. She completed her MA in organizational communication with characteristic promptness, and then decamped for a much smaller Manhattan apartment with a much-loved but poorly behaved former street dog. Three years later she took a one-year appointment in Rome, Italy with a United Nations Organization, joined by her soon-to-be husband and the former street dog. After that, PRG seemed like the obvious choice. As one of the founding partners and the Director of Projects, Lynne works to keep the trains running on-time and to ensure excellence. She enjoys being active, whether running, cycling, yoga or weight lifting. She loves her New Orleans neighborhood and has, for the past ten years, spent much of her spare time completing a one-year renovation of her century-old New Orleans home. Elyse Mason MPH Research Analyst After completing her BA at Colorado College in 2008, Elyse worked as a policy analyst and children’s gardening educator. Five years later, after working in New York City and traveling abroad, her interest in food systems and social justice inspired her to study community health and nutrition at Tulane University (MPH 2015). At PRG, Elyse assists the Lead Senior Research Analyst, supports PRG’s teen pregnancy prevention studies, and manages the day-to-day evaluation of an after-school mentoring program in Baton Rouge. Outside of PRG, Elyse is interested in music, art, and all things food-related – gardening, cooking and eating. Kelly Burgess MPH Research Analyst Kelly originally began her college career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a pre-med student. Through her studies, she discovered she was much more interested in the wider social determinants of health than individual medicine. After completing her BS in Biology in 2012, she began pursuing her Master’s in Public Health at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, graduating in 2015. During her time at Tulane and after graduation, she worked with a variety of community organizations in New Orleans that focused on everything from community gardening and nutrition to HIV and teen pregnancy prevention. At PRG, Kelly manages a Teen Pregnancy Prevention study that aims to measure the impact of school programs in North Carolina and New York City. Her work also includes the evaluation of two SAMHSA-funded programs at a New Orleans non-profit. In her free time, she is dancing whenever possible, cheering on UNC’s basketball team with sometimes scary intensity, and soaking up New Orleans’ incredible culture. Katie Lass MPH Lead Research Analyst Katie discovered her passion for the social sciences in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a JMU Duke, obtaining a BA in Psychology and Sociology in 2009. After relocating to New Orleans and working in the mental health service field, she went on to obtain a Master of Social Work (2012) and Master of Public Health (2013) from Tulane University, where she developed an affinity for research and evaluation. Katie brings this multi-disciplinary perspective to her work at PRG as a Lead Research Analyst, working on study design, analysis, and reporting for three randomized controlled trials funded by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, as well as a statewide needs assessment for individuals living with HIV in Louisiana. Aside from her abnormally high enthusiasm for Stata, Katie also enjoys traveling, camping, reading, and commissioning the annual PRG Fantasy Football league. Teresa Smith MPH Research Analyst Teresa received both her BS in Public Health (2013) and her MPH (2015) from Tulane University. While her Master’s studies focused on the management of health systems, she fostered an interest in social policy and programs after working at a local AIDS task force and as a peer health educator for a teen pregnancy prevention project. Teresa’s current work at PRG includes the evaluation of a Department of Education-funded project that aims to improve STEM achievement and engagement among fifth-grade students as well as the evaluation of a SAMHSA-funded project directed at expanding substance abuse treatment systems for minority populations. She also manages two projects aimed at increasing community health capacity in multiple states through accreditation initiatives and cross-sector coalitions. In her spare time, she can be found biking, reading, and admiring cute animals. Jordan Stribling MA Operations Manager Jordan earned her BA and MA in English Literature and Linguistics (2013), both from Mississippi State University. During her studies, she gained professional experience as a composition and linguistics instructor and researcher. Attributable to her professional and academic experience, Jordan brings to the table a drive for learning, organization, and efficiency, along with a considerable affinity for commas and the correct usage thereof. At PRG, Jordan manages all operational affairs for PRG and coordinates project development. In addition to her role at PRG, Jordan is a plant enthusiast, bookworm, dabbling yogi, pizza fanatic, and animal lover. Sarah Walsh PHD Lead Senior Research Analyst Although posing as a normal human, Sarah has a near extra-terrestrial affinity for STATA, multivariate linear and logistic regression, longitudinal, multi-level, and mixed-effects modeling, time-series analysis, and survival analysis. As Lead Senior Research Analyst at PRG, Sarah oversees research design, data analysis, and reporting, working under the Director of Research. Her academic travels have made her an unwitting expert on all things related to SEC football, with degrees from the University of Tennessee, Ole Miss, and LSU. So, on fall Saturdays, her time is spent either loving or despising nearly every team that plays, which keeps her pretty busy. She is also kept busy by her two children and husband who seem to enjoy nothing more than dropping things on the floor, eating with their hands, and crying at random times. Rebekah Leger MPH Senior Research Analyst After graduating with a BA in Sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana, Rebekah dedicated some time to national service. She served two years with AmeriCorps, one in Chicago and one in Louisiana; then, she and her husband worked as Peace Corps Volunteers in East Timor. Her work as a health promotion volunteer sparked an interest in public health, so upon returning the U.S., Rebekah completed a Master of Public Health at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. While at Tulane, Rebekah enjoyed her evaluation and statistics classes, and, while enrolled, she began to work as a Research Assistant at PRG. Now a Senior Research Analyst, Rebekah is in charge of data management and also manages the daily operations for nine Department of Labor evaluations. While away from work, Rebekah gets her energy from the water; she enjoys swimming in it, skiing on it, and relaxing by large bodies of it. A Louisiana native, Rebekah now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and three children where they are learning to embrace long winters – after all, snow is just another form of water. Gretchen Falk MPH Research Analyst An Iowa native, Gretchen first fell in love with New Orleans while on a service trip during her sophomore year at Luther College where she was earning a BA in nursing. Five years later, after gaining experience as a psychiatric nurse, she returned to the Crescent City to attend Tulane University where she received an MPH in health policy and a certificate in program management. While at Tulane, Gretchen’s work focused on Medicaid policy and jail diversion programs for people with mental health and substance use disorders. At PRG, she manages a Department of Education funded project aimed at improving outcomes for high school freshmen, and a teen pregnancy prevention program funded through the Office of Adolescent Health. Now she is a proud New Orleanian who spends her free time reading policy blogs, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, and fiercely competing in the best pub trivia New Orleans has to offer. Stephanie Hall MSW Junior Research Analyst Stephanie received both her BA in Psychology (2014) and her MSW (2016) from Michigan State University. She became interested in women’s studies during her undergraduate career, and that interest grew throughout the pursuit of her graduate degree. Her focus during her MSW was in organization and community leadership in which she specifically focused on social welfare policy and programs having to do with social issues. From working with high school students and Kinship Caregivers, to studying policy in Finland, Stephanie hopes to pull her knowledge and ultimately help influence more effective policies and programs. As a PRG Junior Research Analyst, Stephanie assists in coordinating enrollment and follow-up with participants who have experienced trauma with the hopes of reducing unintended teen pregnancies and encouraging safe behaviors. When Stephanie is not catching up on the latest Netflix craze, she enjoys attending any music event available, Kayaking, staying active, online shopping, and, of course, cheering on her Michigan State Spartans. Perkins Office Pup Eric and Lynne found Perkins stopping traffic on Perkins Road overpass in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the office, Perkins prefers to sleep, unless someone approaches the kitchen. Though she can’t hear, Perkins has an acute sense of smell. Sometimes, when she isn’t sleeping, Perkins enjoys seeking out food wrappers in trash bins and generally reducing stress. At home, Perkins prefers to sleep unless someone approaches the kitchen. Perkins is a food enthusiast. Luther Office Pup The New Orleans SPCA called Luther up from the Terrebonne Parish animal shelter in February 2015. Lynne found him there and adopted him immediately, much to the surprise of her husband. At the office, Luther enjoys playing with his canine co-worker, Brodie, until he loses his bag. Then he takes a break. In his off-time, Luther enjoys long walks, retrieving, chewing debris, losing his bag, and sleeping on sofas, beds, and pillows. Luther has failed every obedience class in which he has been enrolled, but he enjoys the challenge. Brodie Office Pup Jordan brought young Brodie home in May of 2015. True to his Spaniel roots, he leads an active lifestyle, entailing anything from swimming, running, fetching, to general frolicking. But, he also enjoys a good nap. At work, he enjoys playing with his pup colleagues, investigating trash cans, and, in his younger days, chewing through important electrical cords. In his off time, Brodie loves cuddling with humans and trying to get street cats to play with him. He also likes to sit and stare for long periods of time. Noor Qaragholi BA Junior Research Analyst After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a BA in Government, Noor moved to Boston to follow a deep-rooted interest in biomedical ethics. While there, she worked for several years at the Center for Bioethics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on research regarding the Affordable Care Act and issues of justice and resource allocation, as well as transparency in industry payments to physicians. After moving across the country to escape the snow, Noor began working at PRG, where she manages a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a teen pregnancy prevention program, as well as assists in managing the evaluation of two SAMHSA-funded programs. Outside of PRG, her interests include going on adventures, playing tennis, putting together Ikea furniture, and getting her heart broken by the Washington Redskins. Shakey Office Pup Elyse found Shakey in Folsom, Louisiana in May 2016 and couldn’t resist his old man charm. In his professional life, Shakey, like his pup colleagues, prefers to sleep through the day. When awake, he seeks out regular belly rubs from his office mates and, when not receiving proper attention, jumps on office desks. Away from work, Shakey spends his time catching up on sleep, running around on the levee, doing yoga, and trying New Orleans street food. Janice McFarlane MPA Junior Research Analyst Janice is originally from New York City and is a bona fide “New Yawker,” accent and all. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development at Binghamton University (2012) and her Master of Public Administration in Health Policy and Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University (2016). She dreams of becoming a health system executive one day. Janice joined PRG in 2016 and serves as a Junior Research Analyst, facilitating enrollment and follow up with participants in a teen pregnancy prevention study based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In her free time, Janice enjoys visiting Target (more often than any sane person should), experiencing the cultural, culinary and natural wonders of New Mexico, and spending time with her pet hedgehog, Chloé, and her rescued dogs, Bo and Charlotte. Podrick Office Pup Katie brought young Podrick home in June of 2016 after Jordan rescued him and his 8 siblings from Mississippi. At the office, Podrick can most often be found rummaging through his human co-workers’ trash bins, barking at unsuspecting interns and delivery-persons, and trying to fit all of the office tennis balls in his mouth at once. Affectionately known as “Podmonster” at home, he enjoys playing with his pup friends, chasing squirrels, hunting for socks, and barking at unsuspecting delivery-persons. He is actively working on improving his first-impression interpersonal skills. Emma Foley BA Junior Research Analyst As an urban studies major at Vassar College, Emma worked as an intern with housing and homelessness nonprofits in her hometown of Charlotte, NC and in Poughkeepsie, NY. On a comparative urban studies trip during her junior year abroad, she fell in love with New Orleans and vowed to return. After receiving her BA in 2015, she settled here, continuing her work in the housing field, interning at a fair housing center and completing an Americorps term with an affordable housing organization. At PRG, Emma has dipped her toes into new research fields. She now works on with two randomized control trials that measure high school educational outcomes and teen pregnancy prevention outcomes for 9th graders. While she thoroughly enjoys organizing data and strictly adhering to research methodology by day, she can often be found letting loose at hip-hop and R&B dance classes by night. She also enjoys teaching sewing, cooking local veggies, and baking (mostly pie). John Middaugh BS Study Coordinator John is originally from West Virginia but, upon graduating high school, enlisted in the United States Air Force where he spent more than 23 years before finally retiring and moving back home. During that time, he traveled to such places as Japan, Thailand, Korea, Germany, and all throughout the Middle East. He received his Bachelor of Science in Security Management from Southwestern College (2009) and is currently pursuing his Masters of Education through Strayer University. John joined PRG in the summer of 2017 and serves as a study coordinator, facilitating enrollment and follow up with participants in a teen pregnancy prevention study based in West Virginia. John has two wonderful kids (one in her third year of college and one a sophomore in high school). In his free time, John enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling, and spending as much time as possible watching his son run Cross Country and track. Victoria Romo BA Research Assistant Victoria graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Sociology. After graduating, Victoria worked as a grassroots organizer in her hometown in the Central Valley of California. Through her work with powerful community leaders and change-makers, Victoria discovered an affinity for research-based, effective public policy. Victoria decided to further pursue her interests in policy and came on board with PRG in early 2017. At PRG, as Victoria helps coordinate a Teen Pregnancy Prevention program in Oakland, CA and supports other projects. On her free time, Victoria enjoys spending time with her family, hiking the East Bay hills, reading and listening to her favorite tunes in Spanish. Catie Henley MPH Lead Research Analyst Catie never anticipated developing roots in the South, but a military move to Mississippi by her significant other led her to the the Gulf Coast from 2011 to 2014 where she acquired a love for alligator sausage and swamp rats. Catie worked with PRG during this period as a Research Analyst. In mid-2014, Catie moved to Seattle and worked first as a Program Manager and then as the Associate Director for Health Alliance International’s primary health care implementation and research projects in Mozambique. Catie couldn’t stay away from PRG and came back as a Lead Research Analyst in January 2017. She now works on study design, analysis, and reporting for four randomized controlled trials funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Adolescent Health that aim to prevent teen pregnancy. Catie has a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University, an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, and is currently working on her PhD. in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. When not playing with Excel and Stata, Catie enjoys spending time outside biking, running, hiking, or doing yoga with her husband, son, and dog, Nola (named lovingly after PRG’s hometown). Kathleen Keh BS Research Assistant Kathleen completed her BS in Chemical Biology at the University of California, Berkeley (2015). While she was an undergraduate, she volunteered as a peer health educator, taught English to an underprivileged 5th grade class in Taiwan, performed in The Vagina Monologues, played on the women’s club water polo team, and worked in two academic research labs. After graduating, Kathleen adopted an 8-week old lionhead dwarf bunny and moved to the Silicon Valley to work in clinical trial project management at a small biopharmaceutical company. Her growing interest in public health, social justice, and biostatistics brought her to PRG. Her current work at PRG focuses on Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs in Bakersfield, CA. Outside of PRG, Kathleen volunteers at a mental health crisis hotline. Her hobbies include swimming, brewing beer, hiking, and travelling Sarah Hoover MA, M.Ed. Study Coordinator Sarah is originally from Johnson City, TN, but has also lived in Memphis, Knoxville, and Philadelphia. She has her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from the University of Memphis and her M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University. She has experience conducting program evaluation, developing and implementing sexuality education in multiple settings, and working with at-risk populations. Sarah is passionate about delivering comprehensive, non-judgmental, medically-accurate education. Her training in sexuality research and education has helped her to grow as a sensitive and sex-positive professional. She is open to most sexuality questions and discussions; in fact, it takes a lot to make her blush! Sarah is now working in Albuquerque, NM as a PRG Study Coordinator to help lower teen pregnancy rates among youth involved in the juvenile justice system in Valencia County. She also loves to explore the city and surrounding area by hiking in the beautiful New Mexico desert. Sarah likes to practice yoga, enjoy a glass of wine, and travel. She currently doesn’t have any pets of her own, so she’s living vicariously through PRG’s office pups. She hopes to adopt a weenie dog someday! Nicollette Moore BA Research Assistant Originally from Hawaii, Nicollette has lived in Central and Northern California for most of her life – she considers herself to be a true “Californian” at heart. She earned her BA in Sociology at California State University Chico (2016). While an undergraduate, she discovered an interest and desire to work in a research-based field while taking courses on social research methodology and statistical analysis for social sciences. Within the next five years, she aspires to earn an MA in Public Policy and dreams of being a Research Analyst. Before joining PRG in June 2017, she was assisting with writing and conducting research on grant proposals as well as collecting and entering survey data for two small nonprofit organizations. As a PRG Research Assistant, Nicollette enrolls and follows-up with study participants for two studies focusing on teen pregnancy prevention in Fresno, CA. After studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand, she developed a slight obsession with Thai culture and traveling in Southeast Asia. When she is not spending time with her three precious chihuahuas, she is planning her next adventure abroad, listening to her favorite music on Pandora, and exploring local coffee shops in search of the perfect ice blended caramel coffee drink. Melissa Miller BS Study Coordinator Melissa is originally from San Diego, CA. She moved to New Mexico in 2004, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from New Mexico State University, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health through New Mexico State University. She has experience as a counselor and educator in the fields of nutrition and exercise science. With an ever-growing desire to implement public health education into her community, Melissa joined PRG. As a Study Coordinator, Melissa is working with teen pregnancy prevention among youth within the juvenile justice system in San Juan County. She was raised with a service heart, and devotes time to her community feeding the homeless and abandoned youth in the four corners area. In her time outside PRG, Melissa enjoys training and competing in half and full marathons, making crafting DIY projects, gardening, hiking and camping in the Colorado mountains, and soaking up every ounce of time she can with her three children. Carolyn Kelly MS Junior Research Analyst Carolyn began her academic career at the University of Iowa studying K-12 Spanish and English and an Additional Language Education (2012). Teaching led her to Madagascar, where she taught at the American School of Antananarivo and volunteered at Hay Kanto, an organization for underprivileged Malagasy youth. Upon return to the U.S., Carolyn worked with Catholic Charities to develop after-school programs to support newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth. Serving students who had experienced the trauma of displacement, she noted similarities to the challenges faced by the youth she knew through Hay Kanto during the 2015 floods of Antananarivo. These parallels motivated her to pursue a Master’s of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership at Tulane University (2017), focusing on education and youth development in crisis settings. At PRG, Carolyn fulfills her interests in program evaluation, education, and public health as a Junior Research Analyst for multiple SAMHSA-funded programs in Louisiana. Outside of the office, you can find her at City Park with her pup, crafting a costume for one of New Orleans many festivals, or doing whatever it takes to maintain her title as “cool aunt” for her seven nieces and nephews. Amy Truesdale BA Study Coordinator Amy is originally from Northeast Ohio and currently resides with her daughter and Corgi/Aussie Shepherd mix, Indigo, on the banks of the Greenbrier River in Southern West Virginia. This beautiful area is ideal for hiking, camping, kayaking, and identifying native plants and wild edibles, all hobbies she enjoys in her free time. Amy studied both at Kent State University where her focus was professional arts, and Malone University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management. Education, economic forces, and an openness to new opportunities have led to varied career experiences from production artist and owner of her own sign business, to arts administration, and in recent years, housing stabilization for homeless individuals and families. Amy now works with PRG as Study Coordinator for teen pregnancy prevention in the Juvenile Justice System in Raleigh, Fayette, Greenbrier, and Mercer Counties. The common goal across her career has been to make a positive impact on her community, whether it’s aesthetically or by supporting its most vulnerable citizens. Winnie Office Pup Loved by Podrick and feared by squirrels, Winnie Walsh is a trailblazing two year old female from the stubble fields of Mississippi. Although she does not at all understand the word prodigy, many call her the smartest dog they’ve ever seen. She is so smart, in fact, that she refuses to bow to the traditional human/canine power structure. It’s as if, having earned a PhD in the Social Sciences when no one was looking, she now sees right through it. You want me to sit? she asks. Why don’t you sit? Go outside? she asks. No thank you. I prefer not to be marginalized. And the patriarchy? Oh, how she barks at the patriarchy! Unless, of course, it is the patriarch who gives her kibble in his pajamas each morning. He seems to be ok. But woe to the other patriarchs! Woe indeed! She also likes butterflies, beautiful spring days, and hiding from thunder.