Background: Jessica is an associate partner in Bellwether's Policy and Evaluation practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2018, Jessica worked as an education evaluator in the Office of Education at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At NOAA, Jessica focused on diversity and inclusion, particularly around access to NOAA’s higher education opportunities. Jessica also facilitated the implementation of the NOAA Monitoring and Evaluation framework with an emphasis on workforce development, and provided technical assistance to NOAA educators working to improve individual program evaluation plans. Jessica has also worked on a variety of program evaluation projects, including the Alabama statewide evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants and the National Science Foundation-funded Nanobio Intervention spearheaded by Tuskegee University. Jessica’s work has primarily included program evaluation and research support across a variety of topics related to education, and the impact of equity and accessibility for marginalized groups.
Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in educational psychology with a focus on program evaluation from Auburn University.
Why I do this work: As a first-generation college student, education has always been a very important part of my life. Although I excelled in elementary and secondary school, I was very unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, which led to me enlisting in the U.S. Army during my junior year of high school. I was slated to ship out to basic training one week after graduation, but my uncle encouraged me to pursue my education further; fortunately, I applied and was accepted to a four-year university. That one decision changed the course of my life and gave me options that I never knew were possible. I believe in education and in making sure that even the most marginalized groups feel empowered and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, even if they don’t yet know what they are.
Experience at Bellwether: Program Evaluation/Evaluation Capacity-Building; Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis; Survey Research; Data Collection and Analysis; Analysis; Performance Metrics; Writing; Research; Project Management
Client segments served: K-12 Schools; Postsecondary/Higher Education; School Districts; CMO/Charter Schools; State Education Agencies; Government; Foundations and Grantees; Nonprofit Organizations; Policy Organizations
Sample clients: Regional Center 6, Capital Area Online Learning Association (CAOLA), Harmony Charter Schools, Walton Family Foundation, YMCA, Latinos for Education, IBA, Ballmer Group, Arkansas Department of Education, Carnegie