Valerie has been in the research and evaluation field for thirteen 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 Plan B experiences. Prior to joining CCL, Valerie served as a post-doctoral research associate and then 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 recently 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 is a senior research scientist at CCL who serves as the Evaluation and Research Lead for the Societal Advancement group. In this role, she oversees the evaluation and research work across the societal advancement sectors: K-12 education, higher education, non-profits, health, and youth-serving organizations. Valerie is interested in 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.
Areas of Expertise
Program Evaluation, Youth Leadership Development, K-12 Education, Higher Education, Qualitative Methods, Mixed Methods, Identity Development, Adolescence, Developmental Evaluation, Evaluation Capacity Building, Collaborative Evaluation
Ph.D. in psychology from The Graduate Center, 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
Valerie serves as secretary for the Research Triangle Park Evaluators group (a regional affiliate of the American Evaluation Association). She recently completed her terms 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).
Select CCL Publications
Select External Publications
- Universal Challenges, Specific Contexts: Insights from Looking Within and Across Different After-School Settings
- The Promise of Qualitative Methods for Expanding Theories of Positive Youth Development
- Leveraging Relational Assets for Adolescent Development: A Qualitative Investigation of Youth–Adult “Connection” in Positive Youth Development
- Utilizing the Theoretical Framework of Collective Identity to Understand Processes in Youth Programs
- Mapping as a Method: History and Theoretical Commitments
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.