Meet our team
Max Crowley, Ph.D.×
Dr. Crowley is a prevention scientist investigating how to optimize investments in healthy development and well-being. This work sits at the intersection of social policy, prevention science and public finance. His program of research is motivated by a desire to increase the use of cost-effective, evidence-based preventive strategies to improve the lives of children and families. To accomplish this, his work aims to (1) strengthen methods for benefit-cost analyses of preventive interventions, (2) optimize prevention strategies’ impact and (3) develop best practices for how to translate these investments into evidence-based policy. In this manner, he seeks to not only understand the costs and benefits of prevention, but aim to develop better interventions and encourage them to be disseminated widely. Dr. Crowley is accepting graduate students and postdoctoral trainees for the upcoming academic year.
Michael W. Donovan, M.A.×
Michael Donovan is the Associate Director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative leading strategic engagement and outreach efforts with the policy, philanthropic, and business communities. He facilitates collaborative projects between the research community and external partners, including federal, state, and local government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and think tanks. In recent years, he has contributed to collaborative research efforts related to health equity, substance use and addiction, child maltreatment, rural health, juvenile justice, integrated data systems and data policy, research process innovation and improvement, the societal effects of COVID-19, and science communication and translation. His efforts aim to build and maintain strategic partnerships that both produce scientific value and contribute to the creation of policy-relevant, practical insights. He manages various projects and initiatives and brings external perspectives to maximize scientific impact. His interests encompass the intersection of scientific inquiry and public policy in areas of administration, business, communication, and technology. He brings over a decade of experience in government to this role, including in his previous position as Special Assistant to the President in the Obama White House.
Taylor Scott, Ph.D.×
Dr. Taylor Scott is situated at the intersection of research and policy by both leading research translation strategies and evaluating their impact. She is a community-based program evaluator by training, and has worked closely with decision makers to use research evidence in the real world for over a decade. As Director of Research Translation in the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative at Penn State University, she consults on various strategies for bridging research and policy and leads scholarly research that sheds light on the best practices for research translation, science communication, and facilitating productive interactions between researchers and policymakers. As a Co-director of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, she directs activities that broker connections between researchers and legislative offices.
Ashley Lynne Stauffer, M.S., PMP×
Ashley is a mental health clinician and research management professional with near a decade’s experience at the intersection of practice, research, and technology. As Assistant Director of the Administrative Data Accelerator she leads the Data Accelerator’s research activities, operations, and technology. Familiar with the inherent difficulties (and benefits!) of working across systems and disciplines, Ashley has particular interest in creating work culture that promotes creative thinking, collaboration, and adaptability to change. Ashley is passionate about helping teams translate complex ideas into action and developing technological solutions for innovative problems. Her professional goals include developing systems to accelerate the use of administrative data for practice-oriented research in social and prevention sciences, improving the human condition through partnerships among research and information technology professionals, and reducing system barriers and limitations through evidence-informed policy. Ashley received degrees is in clinical mental health counseling and psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and is a certified Project Management Professional.
Damon Jones, Ph.D.×
Dr. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, and a Scientific Advisor for the Administrative Data Accelerator. Dr. Jones brings extensive experience in the areas of quantitative methodology, program evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis to his work with the Accelerator. Dr. Jones has diversified interests in the areas of prevention and intervention methodology, economic evaluation of effective programs for families and youth, social-emotional development in children, and health services research. Dr. Jones has directed benefit-cost evaluation initiatives for large federally funded projects, has coordinated policy & outreach events in Washington D.C. on social-emotional learning in children, authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has served as the Associate Training Director of the Prevention and Methodology Training Program (PAMT). Dr. Jones has taught statistics and data analysis for over a decade in the departments of Health and Family Studies and Health Policy and Administration, and acts as a statistical and economic analysis consultant for external organizations and universities. Dr. Jones is passionate about projects that have the potential for real impact, rather than engaging in research that is shelved and never leaves academia.
Mary McCauley, B.A.×
Mary works closely with the leadership team of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative to support the administrative needs of the unit, including the Administrative Data Accelerator and the Research-to-Policy Collaboration. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Family, Children, and Youth from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Yoon Sun Hur, Ph.D.×
Dr. Hur is an Assistant Research Professor at the Administrative Data Accelerator. She received her PhD in Applied economics from the University of Minnesota with expertise in applied microeconomics and development economics. Dr. Hur’s research interest pertains to the impact of policy intervention on the human capital accumulation and labor market outcome. Her research involves identifying the mechanism of influence from policy intervention on the household behavior such as investment to human capital and participation to labor market combining a rigorous applied microeconomics methodology.
Hyun Woo Kim, Ph.D.×
Hyun Woo is an Assistant Research Professor and the lead child welfare data analyst for the Administrative Data Accelerator. He has expertise in working with high-volume longitudinal and multilevel data analysis--with particular interest in causal inference with observational data. He is also passionate about employing innovative data science methods to gain new insights in social science research.
Elizabeth Long, Ph.D.×
Elizabeth Long earned her Ph.D. in Clinical and Translational Science with a concentration in Psychiatric Genetics from Virginia Commonwealth University, her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University, and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Throughout her training, Beth has maintained interest in the etiology of Substance Use Disorders and has examined social, neuropsychological, and genetic risk factors related to SUDs. The significant influence of environmental factors on risk, not specific to substance use disorders, led Dr. Long’s interest in informing large-scale impact through the targeting of shared risk factors through policy.
In her role with the RPC Elizabeth is responsible for the quantitative evaluation of the RPC’s impact. More specifically, this work involves (1) survey development and programming; (2) coordinating online data collection from researchers to assess their capacity for engaging in public policy processes; (3) scheduling and administering corresponding surveys to legislative staff to assess their reported behaviors and attitudes regarding the use of research evidence; and (4) data management and analysis. In addition to the quantitative evaluation of the RPC, Elizabeth is also involved in examining the use of research in legislation through deductive coding of legislative bills and investigating best practices for electronic research dissemination approaches to improve the reach of research syntheses among policymakers.
Christa Mahlobo, M.S.×
Christa Mahlobo is a Bunton Waller Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. After her undergraduate studies at LSU, she worked for two years at an educational non-profit dedicated to improving minority representation in STEM disciplines. She is an RYT-200 certified yoga instructor and is interested in the health benefits of mindfulness interventions. Her research interests also include health disparities in communities of color and the role of health policy in prevention science.
Rachel Storace, B.A.×
Rachel provides project support for the RPC by scheduling meetings with congressional offices, supporting researcher network enrollment and communication, and coordinating Rapid Response events and collaborations. She assists in the RPC’s evaluation by ensuring that implementation efforts with researchers and congressional offices are effectively documented and organized for reporting purposes. Rachel’s background has primarily consisted of roles supporting community psychology research. While earning her B.A. in Psychology, Rachel was involved in the Community Research and Evaluation Team and participated in the Research Scholars program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also works as the Administrative Assistant for the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA).
Alex Winters, B.S.×
Alex Winters manages the various forms of data that are acquired, stored, and maintained by the Administrative Data Accelerator. The focus of Alex’s work is to transform administrative datasets into useable research products for analysts, researchers, policymakers, and administrators. Alex has dual Bachelors of Science degrees in Business Administration and Speech Communication, and has worked in the fields of information technology, data analytics, and market research. Alex is currently working towards his Masters of Applied Statistics at Penn State University. Alex’s interests include data science, system integration, process automation, and helping researches leverage big data systems for research goals.
Xueyi (Steven) Xing, Ph.D., MSPH×
Dr. Xueyi (Steven) Xing is the lead healthcare data analyst for the Administrative Data Accelerator. His academic focus include quantitative research methodology, GIS application, health data management, and Bayesian spatio-temporal analysis. Xueyi is interested in identifying the effects that health policies have on specific populations by utilizing health claim data. Xueyi received his Masters of Science in Public Health in Biostatistics and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina.
Andrew Zeveney, M.S.×
Andrew manages the on-boarding of new Data Accelerator projects, as well as maintaining documentation on datasets and processes. Andrew received his B.S. and M.S. in Psychology from Lehigh University. Andrew joins the Data Accelerator from Duke University where he worked as a Data Manager on the Student Resilience and Well-Being Project, a multi-site longitudinal project focusing on student’s experiences across their time at college. Andrew is interested in making efficient use of existing data, as well as in how to best translate research findings to the general public and policy makers.
Lawrie Green, M.S.×
Lawrie Green is a Distinguished Graduate Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. After graduating from MIT with a degree in computer science, she spent almost a decade working as a software engineer. This included R&D at the MITRE Corporation, developing technological solutions for building better government. Prior to her graduate work at Penn State, Lawrie worked on the Georgetown Early Learning Project. Her research interests include family-based interventions, family systems, and the role of technology in conducting social science research.
Brittany Gay, M.A.×
Brittany Gay is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she received her M.A. in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her research, which intersects developmental and community psychology, focuses on the contextual factors that contribute to children’s educational outcomes. Brittany has worked with organization and programmatic decision-makers on issues such as juvenile workforce training, food insecurity, and early literacy engagement, consulting on feasible program goals and evaluation capacity development. She started working with the RPC as an intern in August 2018 and then as a pre-doctoral policy associate in June 2019. In her role, Brittany supports the (1) implementation of the RPC via congressional staff and researcher outreach and (2) evaluation of the RPC by providing technical assistance for process evaluation and survey data collection.
Jessica Pugel, M.A.×
Jessica Pugel earned her M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. Throughout undergraduate and graduate training, she studied how structural factors of our immediate communities affect individuals, groups, and intergroup relations. These findings repeatedly pointed to the need to change the system to effectively improve relations, which contributed to her interest in policy. Her undergraduate honors thesis and graduate thesis both emphasized the importance of intergroup contact (political parties and ethnic groups, respectively). She was able to study yet another type of intergroup contact when she joined the RPC as an intern in January 2020: contact between researchers and policymakers. Now as a research associate, Jessica's role includes (1) supporting analytic capacity, (2) enhancing researcher engagement, and (3) maintaining partnerships with related organizations.