Amy takes a participatory, creative approach to evaluation to maximize both stakeholder involvement and usability of results. Amy applies The Improve Group’s Community-Responsive ApproachSM to make evaluation inclusive and accessible. She ensures utilization by engaging stakeholders through qualitative and quantitative approaches; crafting relevant evaluation questions and data collection tools that align (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups); analyzing quantitative and qualitative data in partnership with stakeholders; and ensuring reports serve their audiences. Clients appreciate working with Amy because of her responsiveness, adaptability, and focus on ensuring results are useful to their organization and stakeholders.
In her relationships with clients, Amy listens carefully to attend to the full picture of an organization’s work and a client’s broader goals, such as capacity building and ongoing use of results. She practices thoughtful partnership, blending project, community, and other types of expertise with evaluation expertise for a multifaceted approach. This is rooted in her belief that everyone has unique strengths to bring to projects and that thinking together can bring the best outcomes. Amy is also adept at partnering with clients to come to a deeper and clearer understanding of their goals—and the exact steps needed to reach them. She collaborates with clients to create a structured path toward those goals, a process that can include visioning, planning, and project management support.
Qualitative evaluation and research
Amy has deep expertise in qualitative and ethnographic design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. She is known as a resource in the organization for advice on qualitative approaches, including analysis tools. Amy enjoys working with a range of qualitative methods: from participatory workshops and participant observation to focus groups and interviews. She is inspired by hearing people’s stories and appreciates flexible interview approaches that enable stories to unfold and the focus to move where it needs to be based on the emerging data. Amy thrives in the spaces of deep exploration that qualitative inquiry offers and enjoys collaboratively creating case studies. She has experience working with diverse communities to tell stories of experience and impact. Amy’s training in qualitative work stems from her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy training in the ethnographic discipline of ethnomusicology.
The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Managing Consultant | 2023-present | Lead evaluation projects and phases to make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure clients’ investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact.
The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Senior Consultant | 2014-2023| Plan, lead, and execute project activities
San Francisco Department of Public Health | San Francisco, CA | Evaluation Associate | 2013-2014 |Interviewed individuals experiencing mental illness and housing instability to inform program improvements for a mental-physical health services integration program.
Dominican University of California | San Rafael, CA | Adjunct Lecturer | 2013-2014 | Taught interdisciplinary humanities and sociology courses, including social science research methods, research design, and ethics.
Independent ethnographic research| Cairo, Egypt and Oakland, CA | 3 years | Designed and carried out ethnographic research for Doctor of Philosophy program. Research focused on music and national identity in Egypt and on music-based youth development programs that help youth work with issues of community violence in Oakland, CA.
University of California-Santa Barbara | Doctor of Philosophy in Ethnomusicology, with a focus on applied and qualitative research methods
University of California-Santa Barbara | Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology, with a focus on Middle East studies and Arabic language
Indiana University | Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance
Want to learn more about Amy? Check out their full resume here!