Julie Poncelet, PhD.

Independent Evaluation Consultant
Action Evaluation Collaborative & Lecturer
School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Julie designs and implements evaluations both within the U.S. and internationally with an emphasis on participatory action learning approaches and focuses on the areas of social justice, youth activism, and gender equity. 

Program Co-Chair

Jimmy Frickey
PhD. Student

Jimmy is currently a PhD student with over 20 years of experience working with youth in the US and Canada. Evaluation and youth both remind him to keep learning. Being relatively new to Canada, he is currently learning to play hockey.

Program Co-Chair

Lexis Manzara, MSBH
Sr. Manger Program Evaluation and Systems
Peer Health Exchange

Lexis is an internal non-profit program evaluator whose work focuses on the meaningful engagement of stakeholders, particularly young people, at all stages of evaluation. She is interested in the use of digital tools to facilitate innovation in evaluation, youth advocacy, and mental health equity.

Communications Co-Chair

Hannah Howard (she/her/hers)
Evaluation Manager at Camp Fire National Headquarters

Hannah manages research and evaluation efforts at Camp Fire National, a national youth-serving organization. She specializes in data-driven program improvement and works to organize and interpret information for the purpose of communicating Camp Fire’s impact. She is passionate about providing quality programs to all young people and ensuring that youth voice is central in program planning.

Nick Petten, MA
Evaluator & Researcher
Petten Consulting, Toronto, Ontario

Nick is a researcher, consultant, and evaluator with over 10 years of experience working with culturally diverse populations. He is primarily concerned with how to meaningfully and ethically involve children and youth in research and program design.

Noemi Avalos (she/her/ella)
Senior Evaluation Officer at Sierra Health Foundation/The Center 

Noemi is a Senior Evaluation Officer at Sierra Health Foundation/The Center. She manages external evaluations and supports with internal evaluation of diverse programs, including programs focused on healthy youth development. Previously, she served four years as an Evaluation Fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her areas of interest include evaluation capacity building, qualitative methods, youth-focused evaluation and culturally responsive evaluation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis, and a Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University.

Ross VeLure Roholt, PhD.
Associate Professor
School of Social Work, University of Minnesota

Ross' work focuses on the meaning and experiences of youth engagement, especially around youth involvement in community, social, political, economic development both within the U.S. and internationally. His interest includes both understanding experiences of engagement as well as the policies, programs, opportunities, and practices that support youth engagement on public issues young people personally care about. 

Monica Ruiz Casares, PhD.

Assistant Professor
Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
McGill University & Scientific Advisor/Investigator at SHERPA

Monica conducts policy-relevant research and evaluation related to child wellbeing and protection, child participation, and ethics and methods in doing so with young people in Canada and in the Majority World.

Pia Saunders Campbell

Director of Assets, Strategy & Knowledge
International Youth Foundation

Pia is a non-profit strategic leader with 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit and private sectors. She has worked in the youth economic opportunity and emergency response fields in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the USA. Ms. Campbell holds a BA from The Johns Hopkins University and a MPA from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Katera Brown
Research Assistant
Catalyze Evaluation

Katera studies at Metropolitan Community College and in her spare time volunteers in her community and does photography. Katera’s connections throughout Omaha help create new organizational allies to better understand the needs and experiences of Omaha youth and young adults.

Christina Olenik, PhD.
Vice President Youth Development
Making Cents International

Christy has designed, implemented, and evaluated holistic youth programs for multiple donors, local governments, and private foundations in the US and internationally.

Dr. Chelsea Pallantino
Senior Specialist, Research, Evaluation, and Learning

Chelsea brings more than a decade of research and project management experience in the U.S. and abroad related to gender and development. Her primary areas of expertise include gender equity, women’s empowerment, reproductive health, and gender-based violence. Prior to joining Making Cents, Chelsea worked with the United Nations Development Programme on their Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) initiative and served as a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission under the Office of the Mayor. At Making Cents, she is responsible for guiding qualitative and quantitative research activities and program design, implementation, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination that integrates strengths-based approaches. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys running and hiking.

Samantha “Sammy” Holquist, PhD (she/her/hers)
Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends

Samantha “Sammy” Holquist, PhD, is a senior research scientist at Child Trends. Samantha specializes in using collaborative research methodologies to partner with youth, communities, practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to reform systems in service of supporting youth development and well-being, particularly youth most impacted by injustice. Her work intersects with topics of education, community safety, positive youth development, and child welfare. She has worked as a youth activist, youth advocate, school district administrator, and non-profit leader.

Breanna Mattis (she/her/hers)
Evaluation Associate at Sierra Health Foundation & The Center

Breanna Mattis provides support to external evaluations through the Evaluation and Learning Department at Sierra Health Foundation and The Center. She received her Master of Public Health in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and is interested in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation, youth participatory methods, and the social determinants of health.