Learning through Evaluation,
Adaptation, and Dissemination


Christine Fabian Bell

Christine Fabian Bell, M.S., is an Evaluator and Researcher. She began her position with LEAD Projects in 2014 where she provides internal and external evaluation services for programming in higher education. Christine is experienced in the evaluation of workshop development processes and evaluating workshop effectiveness, especially in terms of supporting student and faculty training that goes beyond enforcing policy and leads to authentic changes in academic culture and work climate. She has experience with evaluation requirements for NSF, NIH, and HHMI funded programs, however, she values going beyond meeting reporting requirements of grant funding in order to sincerely support the development of programs and the human lives that are affected, and contribute to broader research impacts. Christine uses mixed methods with a focus on qualitative methods for evaluating programs related to women in STEM, workshops for faculty, staff and students, STEM training programs, and more. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sociology and Rural Studies from South Dakota State University.

Nicole Bowman-Farrell

Nicole Bowman-Farrell (Mohican/Munsee), Ph.D. is a Researcher and Evaluator at LEAD Projects. Culturally and contextually responsive educational research, evaluation, and policy studies are central to the work Nicole has carried out over nearly two decades. By working “with” people and not “on” them, Nicole is known as a responsive and effective multi-jurisdictional and government systems subject matter expert. She has been a leader on educational and government initiatives where Tribal and non-Tribal agencies partner to improve outcomes, capacities, and competencies for more effective, responsive, and impactful programming. As an evaluator, trainer, and technical assistance provider, Dr. Bowman has increased the skills, competencies, and capacities for many university, non-profit, and for-profit academic organizations working with Indigenous and other marginalized populations. In May 2015 Nicole graduated with her PhD from the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department at the University of WI-Madison. Her multi-jurisdictional educational policy study was the first in the country to examine how Tribal and non-Tribal educational policy is developed and implemented as public and Tribal governments educate Indigenous students attending K-12 public schools. Dr. Bowman currently is an active elected leader, international annual conference trainer, and/or an appointed advisory member for several work groups under the American Evaluation Association, the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment, and the Eastern Evaluation Research Society.

Kyrie E. H Caldwell, SM

Kyrie E. H Caldwell, SM, is an Assistant Researcher with LEAD Projects and Gear Learning. She conducts research and evaluation on digital games in education and culture via a background in qualitative and humanist methodologies and feminist and social justice lenses. Kyrie has been active in numerous aspects of national and international research in games-based learning and games studies since 2013. Her interests lie in how digital games and the creative industries around games participate in, reflect, and challenge the complex systems of human learning, interaction, and emotionality, especially around transcending and changing oppressive roles and narratives. Previously, Kyrie has assisted with developing tools, curricula, and institutional processes around qualitative research and evaluation methods; she has also assisted in curating artworks on paper. Kyrie holds an SM from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Comparative Media Studies and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Art History and Religious Studies.

Rebecca Cors, Ph.D.

Rebecca Cors, Ph.D. is a researcher and evaluator with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, UW–Madison. She is fascinated with how people learn and develop in ways that enable them to thrive. Rebecca’s career began in environmental education and outreach to support natural resources management. This led to research and teaching experiences in the US, Switzerland, and China. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in China, she taught about ecology and promoting environmentally sustainable behaviors as part of the faculty of the Zigong University of Science and Engineering and, as a researcher at ETH Zurich, she investigated how solutions to environmental problems can be derived from collaboration between stakeholders and natural and social scientists. She also conducted her PhD research in Switzerland, where she studied the effectiveness of a mobile science learning laboratory. She continues to work with programs that promote science and nature learning, which often happens outside of the classroom. Her recent work has supported programs at the University of Wisconsin, including DELTA, WISCIENCE, IceCube, and the Rural Summer Science Camp. By drawing on her expertise in logic modelling, systems thinking, and collaborative interpretation of results, she helps managers examine the effectiveness of their programs in ways that are meaningful to them and their stakeholders. She has published and presented research about out-of-school learning for science and nature education and about collaborations to promote natural resources management.

Nafsaniath Fathema, Ph.D

Nafsaniath Fathema, Ph.D, MBA, is a Researcher and evaluator. She supports higher education institutions through evaluation and research-partnerships in various areas such as implementing technology-enhanced active learning practices in higher education, designing support systems for STEM transfer students, building alliance to increase minority students’ participation in STEM disciplines. As a researcher, she studies technology adoption and its impact on teaching-learning processes. Her research has appeared in various professional journals. She taught a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate educational research methods and business courses in the US and abroad for over ten years. Dr. Fathema holds a Ph.D. from the Auburn University. As a Fulbright fellow, she earned her MBA in MIS and e-commerce marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Hazel Symonette, Ph.D.

Hazel Symonette, Ph.D., Program Development & Assessment Specialist Emerita, is an Evaluation Facilitator and Researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, LEAD Projects (Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination), and the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative (WEC). Her work focuses on using assessment and evaluation as participant-centered self-diagnostic resources for continuous improvement, developmental innovation, and strategic image management. She moves this agenda forward through a variety of capacity-building strategies using multi-level assessment/evaluation processes to advance a diversity-grounded and equity-minded personal transformation, organizational development, and social justice change agenda. That work undergirds her long-standing involvement in creating and sustaining authentically inclusive and vibrantly responsive teaching, learning, living, and working environments that are conducive to success for all. Her work draws on social justice and systemic change research to create meaningful and life-changing interactions among students, faculty, staff, and administrators. 

The cross-campus/cross-role incubators for this work was the UW Excellence through Diversity Institute (2002-2009) and the Student Success Institute (2010-2017). Both were year-long weekly communities of practice organized around mainstreaming assessment and evaluation in the service of diversity, equity, inclusive excellence and social justice for students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Dr. Symonette is very active within the professional evaluation community. She has served on the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Board of Directors, as Co-Chairs of AEA's Building Diversity Initiative and the Multi-Ethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group and many other progressive change initiatives. Currently, she serves on the AEA Task Force on Evaluator Competencies. Since 2008, she has also been serving on the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation--initially as AEA’s Representative and now as an At-Large member. Hazel is an active Fellow within the University of Wisconsin Teaching Academy.