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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Two Maryland Alumnae Chosen as Casey Foundation LEEAD Scholars

University of Maryland School of Public Health doctoral alumnae Drs. Chandria Jones and Ndidi Amutah are two of the 20 new scholars that have been invited into the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) program.

[Photo: Dr. Chandria Jones]

LEEAD is a nine-month program that provides for each scholar a semester of online evaluation coursework; a mentor who is an expert in evaluation; a residency with a research organization, think tank, foundation or private firm; and gatherings with mentors and other evaluation professionals. Participants explore such topics as making evaluations more culturally responsive, navigating role conflict, and contracts and budgeting.

Dr. Chandria Jones, a senior study director at Westat, is a 2014 doctoral graduate of the department of behavioral and community health who was advised by Dr. Donna Howard. Her research interests include youth and family-focused health disparities and health equity, and her work at Westat has included a randomized control trial looking at nutrition and physical activity environments and policies in schools.

“I’m really excited about the opportunities that will come from this experience,” Dr. Jones said.

Dr. Ndidi Amutah is an assistant professor at Montclair University and a visiting research scientist at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale University. Her research involves health disparities, with a focus on program development and evaluation. Dr. Amutah is a 2010 graduate of the SPH department of family science’s maternal and child health program.

This is the second cohort of LEEAD, which is a part of the Foundation’s “Expanding the Bench” initiative, aiming to build a pipeline of diverse researchers to pursue careers in evaluation that will improve outcomes for vulnerable children, families and communities. Founded in 1948, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy based in Baltimore, MD.