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Organizing Committee

Student Organizing Committee Members

Kadee Atkinson is a PhD student in Social Work at Howard University. She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker and her primary research interests include women’s issues, mental health, and trauma. In her current role as Research Assistant for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program in the School of Social Work at Howard University, a program aimed to increase the number of qualified providers versed in primary care and behavioral health care disparities in the District of Columbia, she evaluates the knowledge gained from student trainees through targeted training which focuses on serving populations across the lifespan. She is a graduate of The Florida State University with a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences and she earned her Master of Social Work from Howard University.

Mary Wong, a Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration Ph.D. student focusing on program evaluation, has a combined twenty years of professional experience in international policy development and program design.  Ms. Wong comes to George Washington University after eleven and a half years with the U.S. Department of State, having served most recently as Deputy Director in the Office of Management Policy and Resources in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and prior to that as Deputy Director in the Office of the Fulbright Scholarship Board in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Before joining U.S. federal service, Ms. Wong worked eight and a half years on design and administration of international exchanges and training for the Institute of International Education in Washington, DC and in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Ms. Wong received her MA degree in International Development from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy & International Commerce and her BA degree in International Relations from Drake University.

Ms. Mewelau B. A. Hall is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and a current PhD student of Howard University’s School of Social Work.  As a practitioner, her direct clinical practice focuses upon populations experiencing homelessness, diagnosed with dual mental health and substance use histories, affected by HIV/AIDs, and those removed or displaced from their respective cultural identities. Her career in social services started in 2003. Her career as a Social Work started in 2012 with nonprofit, school based, and community-based work.  As a PhD student, her interest rests in researching working class women of color, workplace bullying, gendered work, intersectionality work, and workplace reform. Ms. Hall received her Bachelor of Art in Biology from the University of Miami and her MSW from the University of Georgia.  Currently, she serves on the Alumni Board for Young People for in Washington, DC, which is a program of People For the American Way Foundation that is a national leadership development program for college-aged progressive leaders and their respective Alumni.

Danielle Gilmore is a first- year Ph.D. student at George Washington University concentrating on program evaluation. She has a B.S. in Community/Public Health from the University of Central Oklahoma and a MPP from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Gilmore is passionate about education policy and program evaluation. Her research interests include the racial disparities in academic achievement and attainment, educational equity, and the social determinants of health. Her evaluation-related interests are in policy implementation evaluation and developmental evaluations.

Reeve Jacobus is a first-year MPP candidate at George Washington University concentrating on program evaluation. Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Reeve received his B.A. in philosophy from Birmingham-Southern College in 2015. Shortly after graduating, he joined the Peace Corps, where he served for two years in northern Uganda as a public health volunteer focusing on issues of peace and justice. After returning to Mississippi in 2017, Reeve became involved with Mississippi Votes, a new nonprofit focused on civically engaging young Mississippians and creating a voting culture throughout the state. He remains involved as a member of the Board of Directors. Reeve currently works as the Learning and Evaluation Intern at Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is passionate about criminal justice, voting, and all things Mississippi.

Sarah Sullivan is an MSW student at Howard University. Previously, she has earned an M.S. Ed. in adolescent special education from Hunter College and her B.A. in studio art from Yale University. She is new to the District by way of New York City, where she had been teaching high school English and History for the past six years. As a teacher, formative and summative assessments were the best tools she had to support her students and tailor curriculum to their needs. At Howard, her focus is on direct practice in Family and Child Welfare. She is passionate about working with young people to expand their capacity to be leaders within their community.


Veltiandra Cotton is a first-year MSW student at Howard University. Her concentration is Direct Practice with a field of practice in Mental Health. She recently graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a Bachelor’s of Science in Youth Development with a minor in Psychology. She currently interns at District of Columbia Superior Court in the Criminal Division, primarily the Mental Health Community Court. She is passionate about juvenile justice involved minority youth and mental health.

Reetchel Presume is a second year MPA student at the George Washington University Trachtenberg School. Her concentration is in Education Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation. Prior to graduate school, she graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Sociology with minors in French and Inequality Studies from Cornell University. She spent four years working in NYC schools, first as an AmeriCorps fellow and then as a Special Projects Coordinator at a charter school. She currently interns with the College Board’s K-12 Policy Team.

Esther Nolton is a third year PhD in Education student at George Mason University—specializing in Research & Evaluation Methods and Health & Education Policy. She received her BS in Athletic Training with minors in Biology and Psychology at Mason and her MEd in Kinesiology from the University of Virginia. Prior to returning to Mason, she served as the Director of Research at Inova Sports Medicine for three years. Her primary research interests are in policy implementation; advocacy and policy/systems change; research and evaluation methods; and measurement methodology. She currently coordinates the Virginia Concussion Initiative which is funded by the Virginia Department of Health and CDC to evaluate concussion management policy implementation. She is a 2018-2019 AEA GEDI scholar working at the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the Evaluation & Assessment Capability Section in the Office of Integrative Activities.

Faculty & Professional Advisors

Kathryn Newcomer is the Director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. Her research has focused on accountability in government, particularly on the Federal Inspectors General. She has published five books and numerous articles in journals. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and currently serves on the Comptroller General’s Educators’ Advisory Panel. She served as President of the Network of Schools of Public Affairs, Policy and Administration (NASPAA) for 2006-2007 and as a member of the board for the American Evaluation Association (AEA) from 2012-2015. In 2015, she was elected President-Elect of the AEA and served as AEA President in 2017. She has been appointed to serve on six Committees of the National Academy of Sciences since 2008. She has received several awards, including the Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award in 2016. She has lectured on performance measurement and/or public program evaluation in 16 countries. Dr. Newcomer earned her BS and MA from the University of Kansas, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa.

Tamarah Moss, PhD, MPH, MSW is an Assistant Professor with Howard University School of Social Work. As a researcher, practitioner and educator she has experience in public health social work, health services delivery and behavioral interventions. She has experience working as a technical expert on projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Agency for International Development. Specialty areas include HIV/AIDS across the lifespan, adolescent pregnancy and parenting. She also has interest in how research, health and community practice is taught within social work education. Dr. Moss is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and serves on the International Working Group of AEA and previously was selected as a fellow for AEA’s Minority Serving Institutions Fellowship program. She is currently a faculty fellow for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) at Howard University focused on research in health disparities and teaches related content in research methods, and practice-program evaluation at the graduate level.

Valerie Caracelli, Ph.D. is a Senior Social Science Analyst in the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Valerie assists in conducting congressionally requested studies and consults with GAO Teams on evaluation design issues. She has published in leading evaluation journals and has served on a variety of editorial review boards. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1979 and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1988. Valerie has been a member of the American Evaluation Association since its founding. On the AEA Board of Directors from 2007-2009, she served as liaison to the Ethics Committee and helped develop additional case study training materials on the Guiding Principles for Evaluators.  She recently received the 2016 AEA Robert Ingle Service Award. Valerie has been active in the Washington Evaluators, one of AEA's first local affiliates, serving as board member and in other positions for over 20 years.

Veronica G. Thomas is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University and Director of the Evaluation and Continuous Improvement (ECI) Module of the Georgetown-Howard University Clinical Center for Translational Sciences (GHUCCTS).  She is a former (elected) member of the Board of Directors, American Evaluation Association. Her research interests include culturally responsive evaluations, Black women and health, and the academic and socio-emotional development of youth placed at risk.  She has received external grants (as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator) from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Mental Health, MacAuthur Foundation, and the Women’s College Coalition. Dr. Thomas has authored work in the American Journal for Evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation,  Clinical and Translational Sciences, Family Relations, Adolescence,  Journal of Adult Development, Journal of Black Psychology, Review of Research in Education,  Sex Roles, Journal of Social Psychology, Women and Health, and the Journal of the National Medical Association.

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