Poverty Center Staff Biographies

Elizabeth Anthony, Ph.D. in community psychology from Georgia State University, joined the center in 2013 as a Senior Research Associate. Beth is primarily involved in program evaluations of Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and Cuyahoga County Invest in Children. Prior to joining the center, Beth taught undergraduate psychology courses, including research methods and psychology of sex and gender, at Bellevue College in Washington State and Georgia State University in Atlanta. Her primary research includes sexual violence prevention and as a postdoctoral research associate at Georgia State University, Beth helped evaluate a skill-based parenting education intervention designed to increase parent-child sex-related communication so as to reduce sexual risk behaviors among black South African youth. Email Beth

Marci Blue, M.S.S.A. and M.N.O. from Case Western Reserve University, joined the Center in 2012 as a Research Assistant. In this role, she provides support to various research projects through data collection, maintenance and processing, conducting descriptive and statistical analyses, providing technical assistance to community partners, developing materials for public presentations of research results and other tasks as needed. Prior to joining the Center as staff, she worked for three years as a graduate assistant on the center’s evaluation of Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children program. Email Marci

Tsui Chan, B.S. in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University, is a Programmer/Analyst at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Ms. Chan’s responsibilities include developing and designing databases, analyzing data using SAS and other software packages, conducting spatial analysis and mapping, and managing the Center’s computer network. She is also responsible for the design and maintenance of the Center’s online database system (NEO CANDO), and the development of computer programs and GIS applications that are used in various research projects in the Center. Email Tsui

Cyleste Collins, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Associate at the Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. She has been with the Center since 2008. Cyleste’s research focuses on understanding psychosocial processes in a cultural context, using cognitive anthropological theory and methods and her recent projects have included studies of families’ experiences with home foreclosure, homelessness and doubling up, and health disparities. She is the evaluator for the East Cleveland Teen Collaborative, a collaboration between local agencies and the Cleveland Clinic, and serves on the evaluation teams for a number of other youth-oriented prevention programs, including Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children program, the Botanical Gardens Green Corps program, the National Youth Sports and SHAEP programs. She has also worked on the evaluation teams of other health-related projects including the HEAL program in Ward 1. Email Cyleste

April Hirsh, M.S.S.A from Case Western Reserve University, joined the Center to work as a Research Assistant in 2008. She works to assist Dr. Mark Joseph in qualitative research on mixed-income developments, and with Dr. Claudia Coulton and Michael Schramm on foreclosure and property issues in Cleveland. She is very concise. Email April

Eamon Johnson, M.S.E. in computer science from Case Western Reserve University, is an Analyst/Programmer at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. He uses his deep background in software, networking, and databases to guide the design, build, and maintenance of the Center’s web-based data services. Eamon pursues his research interests in internet applications and network protocols at the Case School of Engineering, where he is a graduate doctoral student. Email Eamon

Seok-Joo Kim, Ph.D. in social work from Case Western Reserve University, is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Center beginning in 2013. Joo focuses on longitudinal integrated data systems and their application in research on the influence of early childhood risk factors and programs on success in grades 1-3. Prior to becoming a post doc, Joo has assisted the Center since 2005 on various projects while he was a Masters’ and then a Doctoral student at Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Email Joo

Nina Lalich, M.S.P.H. in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an Analyst/Programmer at the Center. She provides data management and statistical analysis in support of the Center’s research and evaluation efforts. She is currently involved in the evaluation study of Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children program. She has also participated in studies of welfare recipients and welfare leavers. Prior to joining the Center, Nina was a Public Health Service officer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Email Nina

Francisca Richter, Ph.D. in agricultural economics and M.S. in statistics from Oklahoma State University, is a a Senior Research Associate at the Center. Prior to coming to CWRU she served as a Research Economist in Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and taught economics at Cleveland State University. She has published research on a variety of community development and social policy issues. Email Francisca

Jess Rudolph, B.A. in English from Case Western Reserve University, is a Departmental Assistant aiding in the daily operations of the Poverty Center including administrative and computer upkeep for the Center. Jess also assists with web content including the Center’s blog, Twitter feed, and NEO CANDO Facebook page; he  also sometimes assists the Director of Marketing and Communications at MSASS. Jess has worked on the layout and design of recent Center publications including the Briefly Stated reports and Data Briefs. Prior to joining the staff at the Center he worked as an undergraduate assistant at the Center for four years. Email Jess

Michael Schramm, M.A. in geography from Syracuse University, is a Research Associate and Analyst/Programmer at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is extensively involved in the development and maintenance of the Center’s neighborhood information system, NEO CANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing). He also assists the community on a continuing basis with data and GIS mapping and conducts regular training sessions on how to use the NEO CANDO as a tool for social change. Michael’s research interests include: lending and foreclosure patterns, vacant properties and neighborhood revitalization. Michael’s expertise on foreclosure, subprime mortgages, and other real property data have been extensively utilized by the Neighborhood Stabilization Team sponsored by Neighborhood Progress, Inc, the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program as well as the newly established Cuyahoga County Land Bank. He is also active in the local foreclosure and vacant property dialogue through VAPAC (Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council) and has presented at numerous national meeting and conferences on these topics. Beginning in July 2010, Michael took on an additional role as the Director of IT and Research at the Cuyahoga Land Bank, but continues to be associated with Case and NEO CANDO in an advisory role. Email Michael

Melissa Van, B.A. and M.S. from Columbia University, is the Poverty Center’s Department Administrator. Prior to joining the Center, Melissa served as the Assistant Director of two institutes that focused on religion and politics at Columbia University. Email Melissa


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