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Among many benefits, GCEval members have access to regular networking and professional development opportunities. To inquire about joining GCEval, please contact us via the home page form.



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David Emond, Founder and Principal of Laduma Strategy, has spent more than a decade working to achieve a more equitable ecosystem of opportunity in New Orleans, with a particular focus on youth and young adults. Building on twenty years of leadership in the workforce development and education sectors, he launched Laduma Strategy in 2018 to support organizations seeking transformative impact in New Orleans and beyond. 


David has significant experience working with organizations seeking to move from early to growth stage, creating and implementing effective systems that build capacity for impact and increase sustainability over the long term. He enjoys applying his experience across a wide range of projects and challenges, but he has been especially committed to developing and implementing workforce development strategies.


Embracing a deep commitment to racial equity and inclusivity, David thrives on genuine stakeholder engagement at all stages of project development. In that spirit, he is open to collaborative relationships in areas where he can add value to a project and also have his work enriched by someone with a complementary skill set or related expertise.



Shannon Sharp is an Evaluation Associate at the University of Mississippi's Center for Research Evaluation (CERE). With a background in education, her projects focus primarily on programs within PK-12 and higher education. 


Shannon earned a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, followed by two post-docs which provided experience in child and adolescent therapy and assessment, and special needs assessment and programming. She then worked for eight years as a PK-12 school psychologist in Walton County Public Schools in Georgia. Upon moving to Mississippi, Shannon worked as the Associate Director of the University of Mississippi's Psychological Services Center (PSC) overseeing their Assessment Clinic before switching gears and joining the CERE team as an evaluator. 


Being a member of GCEval has provided Shannon with useful professional development and networking opportunities. She hopes to further connect with the region's evaluators as GCEval gains momentum as a recognized regional AEA affiliate.

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Emmy O’Dwyer has worked in the field of education for over 20 years as a teacher, early childhood and K-12 administrator, nonprofit executive director, and state government strategist.  She is an entrepreneurial founder whose career encompasses a broad scope of expertise: from grassroots organizations and pilots to statewide policies, programs, and quality improvements.  Emmy launched Advancing Communities for Equity to increase children's access to high quality learning opportunities:

  • An equity and inclusion lens

  • Data-driven processes

  • Co-creation with stakeholders.

For the past three years, Emmy has been the lead staff for the state’s Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, a legislated body that sets the long-term strategy for increasing access to quality for young children in Louisiana.  In 2020, Emmy was named as a Learning Sciences Exchange fellow for New America, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. Emmy founded Advancing Communities for Equity to help expand equitable, child-centered communities across the nation.

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Lucinda established Lucinda Flowers Consulting in 2015 to support non-profit and public-purpose organizations with grant writing, honing organizational funding needs and messaging, and crafting outreach strategies around public policy issues.  Her practice is rooted in her life-long interest in lifting communities through vibrant neighborhoods, preservation, and opportunity for all. She draws on her experience as a policy professional and advocate, city planner, writer, and communicator, including pre-consulting positions with Foundation for Louisiana, the New Orleans City Planning Commission and New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative. Before returning to New Orleans, her hometown, she worked in Washington, D.C. and New England.  


Lucinda holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brown University, a Master of Public Administration (Mid-Career) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Certificate in Urban Redevelopment from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence.


She’d like to work with the GCEval community to explore potential synergies between grant writing and program evaluation.  



Hope Gilbert is a Senior Evaluation Associate at the Center for Research Evaluation (CERE) at The University of Mississippi in Oxford. Her areas of expertise and evaluation interests include public health and epidemiology as she works to lead CERE’s evaluations with a healthcare emphasis and focus.


After completing her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, Hope started her career at Johns Hopkins studying infectious disease and mental health. From there, she worked as a senior consultant for a Fortune 500 company in support of Department of Defense healthcare contracts. In this position, she was responsible for evaluation teams as they provided support of United States military treatment facilities across the world to evaluate their post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury treatment programs and clinics.


Hope is excited to have the opportunity to actively engage with GCEval. She looks forward to learning from the GCEval leadership and also becoming involved with their community partners to learn from their vast experiences as she continues to grow in the field of evaluation.


She is eager to talk to anyone in the Gulf Coast region about public health and evaluation! Feel free to reach out to Hope at  

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Annie Phoenix is the founder and lead consultant at Rosewater Advisors.  She specializes in supporting social justice organizations to identify needs, design and evaluate programs, and secure funding. She has a passion for working closely with community leaders to build innovative, ambitious, sustainable programming. Annie also offers partnership support, training, coaching, and fundraising/ grantsmanship services.


Annie was previously the co-founder and development director of Operation Restoration, where she worked with a dynamic team to build the organization from zero budget in 2016 to over $5 million in revenue in 2020. Annie also received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Tulane University’s City, Culture, and Community program in 2021. 


Annie is excited to connect with leaders in GCEval and build collaborations to meet the needs of communities in Louisiana. She is looking forward to learning and growing in this field! 



Based in New Orleans with clients around the globe, Flux Research, Monitoring & Evaluation educates, questions, and empowers social changemakers. Our mission is to make data meaningful for our clients.


Our ideal partner is:

  • Driven by Social Change: Focuses on improvement for the marginalized and disadvantaged.

  • Hungry to Learn: Demonstrates a deep, energetic drive to learn.

  • Eager to Discover Patterns: Abstracts situations, recognizes patterns, and discerns underlying structures.

  • Pragmatic: Works constantly to apply learning in real-world situations.

  • Proactive: Takes the initiative in both action and communication.

  • Productive: Values efficiency, but appreciates that efficiency is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

  • Straightforward and Constructive: Takes strong positions without righteousness or absolutism, maintaining a willingness to change.


We connect those spearheading social change with the social sciences approaches, methods, and services required to inform decision making about operations, ongoing program evolution, and impact. We believe in working “with” not “for” or “on” our partners.

For more on our products, experience, and current projects please visit

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VIA LINK is a social service agency that serves tens of thousands of people each year throughout Louisiana. The organization's two core services are managing an information and referral/crisis contact center and overseeing the HMIS system for Orleans and Jefferson Parish. The call center runs the 2-1-1 system and 30 regional crisis phone, text and online chat lines. This includes the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Louisiana, the Prison Rape Elimination hotlines and the Louisiana Parent Line. During pandemics and hurricanes, the Governor makes 211 the State's official source of information and assistance, which was the case during COVID-19. Last year VIA LINK worked with more than 150,000 callers.

VIA LINK uses interactive data dashboards to share the large amount of data it collects with foundations, government agencies and nonprofits. This includes data about human services needs, the COVID data the agency has collected, and information about what needs are not being met throughout the State.  The dashboards can be viewed here.  



Ripple Effect is an environmental education nonprofit that fosters water literacy through professional development and standards-aligned, socio-ecological curricula, so teachers can incorporate real-world, climate-related water issues into everyday science instruction. Our mission is for students living in our most climate-vulnerable coastal regions to receive in-depth, high-quality science instruction about water issues from prepared, passionate, and knowledgeable teachers in every grade, K-12. 

In 2021, Ripple Effect produced an interpretive plan and six stakeholder reports that define the purpose, vision, and scope of a region-wide approach to K–12 climate change education—one that is attuned to the specific context and challenges of our Mississippi delta region. The environmental issues of this region are far too complex and wide-reaching for any single educational entity to take on alone. Our goal for this project is to leverage the expertise of this region, cross-referenced with academic literature, to build regional capacity for providing high-quality climate change education that truly prepares future generations for the challenges to come.

First, we convened a consortium of other goal-aligned organizations in Southeast Louisiana to identify guiding principles and major themes. We then conducted over 70 interviews with K–12 teachers, scientists, practitioners, and community experts from across Southeast Louisiana. The culminating reports identify intersecting resources and needs among stakeholders, describe the characteristics of empowering water literacy educational experiences, and explore four major opportunity zones for coordinated action. Reports are publicly available at resources.



In Japanese “agaru” (pronounced “ah-gah-roo”) means to rise, to improve, to make progress.


Agaru Consulting works with non-profits and businesses to improve, progress, and rise up from their core – their people! Our supports are centered on leveraging the power of people in three areas:


  • Strategy: Strategic Planning & Capacity Building– Equip your organization to respond effectively in dynamic times and mobilize the talents of your team for effective work


  • Culture: Effective Culture Systems – Build and operationalize your organizational values to align, engage, and retain all stakeholders


  • Governance: Non-Profit Governance Training & Board Assessments – Strengthen your board’s practices for a strong partnership with executive leadership that supports organizational continuity


We work with clients to foster a growth mindset that sees evaluation and learning as central to planning for success. Our engagements frequently start with, and build upon, learnings from stakeholder input and board and organizational assessments. We take our own learning seriously too through relying on our experience across sectors locally and globally, and by staying abreast of the latest trends and discourse in the social sector. While Agaru Consulting has worked with clients across education, health, the arts, housing and the environment, our expertise lies in helping changemakers reflect on the intersection of issues to identify opportunities that catalyze true impact.

Our founder, Maggie Pullen, has a robust background in organizational development at the global level with an international human rights NGO. Regionally, she has worked with a variety of organizations, ranging from start-up social enterprises, environmental groups, grassroots advocacy and community development corporations, to established firms. A Louisiana native, Maggie is proficient in Spanish and (of course) Japanese. Learn more about us here or reach out to schedule a time for us to get to know you too!


Center for Research Evaluation (CERE)


The Center for Research Evaluation (CERE)  is an independent evaluation group that helps universities, foundations, non-profits and government agencies use data to improve social programs and policies.  Established in 1999 as a resource for the University of Mississippi and the wider community, we have spent the last 20 years supporting local, state and national organizations learn more about the impact of their work.


Our mission is to maximize impact! We believe that evaluation is not just a check-the-box exercise, but instead is a foundation for learning, improvement, and—ultimately—doing as much good as possible. We also know that good evaluations are grounded in trust, so we like to spend time building long-term relationships with the people and communities we work with.


We provide the full spectrum of evaluation services—from creating logic models and developing evaluation proposals to running randomized control designs and in-depth qualitative studies. Our multidisciplinary team of evaluators, methodologists, measurement experts, epidemiologists, educators and school psychologists means we can pair our evaluation expertise with content knowledge and tailor our evaluation designs to maximize learning goals.


We love finding new partners and would love to learn about your work! Please feel free to reach out or read more about our recent activities and reflections here.

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Louisiana Appleseed is a public interest law center that recruits professionals to volunteer pro bono time to solve some of our state’s toughest issues at the root cause. We are a part of a 16-member network of Appleseed centers across the United States and Mexico. Louisiana Appleseed was reconstituted in 2007 and is dedicated to researching and addressing a wide range of public policy issues such as: Heir Property, School Nutrition, Domestic Violence, and Funding Civil Legal Aid.


We have established an open comprehensive strategy for directly engaging and cooperating with volunteers, community stakeholders, and public officials statewide and together developing solutions that adequately address the issues of the people we serve. Building and sustaining partnerships is vital to our success. At its core, Louisiana Appleseed is supported by 3 pillars:

  1. Access to Justice programming promotes fairness and equity in our state’s civil and criminal court systems.

  2. Access to Opportunity programming unlocks and secures access to wealth-building strategies in low-income and communities of color.

  3. Access to Education programming facilitates positive and equitable learning environments for public school children in grades K-12.


Rooted in science, Louisiana Appleseed uses data to inform strategies for new projects and evaluate the success of our efforts. We gather data through our organizational partnerships, public record requests, and coalitions. The Gulf Coast Eval Network encourages us to continue to refine our expertise in data analysis and public policy.



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Della is a public health practitioner focused on health equity and community-based research and evaluation. She received a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University in Maternal and Child Health, and is currently working towards her Doctor of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health in the Health Equity and Social Justice concentration. She is a Bloomberg American Health Initiative Fellow, and would love to talk to any members of GCEval who are interested in pursuing fully-funded MPH or DrPH degrees through this fellowship.

Della currently works as an evaluator at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), and also serves as the Assistant Director of Navigate NOLA, the organization’s childhood wellbeing division. DSCEJ is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change in the Gulf Coast Region through research, education, community and student engagement for policy change, as well as health and safety training for environmental careers.

As part of her work, Della is the evaluator for the HBCU-CBO Gulf Equity Consortium, a project that engages five community-based organizations across the Gulf South who are rooted in communities experiencing environmental injustice. Those organizations are teamed with faculty mentors from HBCUs who work in partnership to lead participatory action research projects in Africatown (Mobile, AL); Houston, TX; Pensacola, FL; New Orleans, LA; and Gulfport, MS. Della works to evaluate the effects of these projects on each community and organization, the individuals who participate as citizen scientists, and the region at large.

As an evaluator focused on health equity and justice, Della feels strongly about using participatory approaches to evaluation that elevate communities’ goals as the primary standard for success. Her approach includes involving the people impacted by the project at every level of evaluation, from conceptualizing the framework to analyzing and sharing the results.



trepwise is a growth consulting firm that powers organizations to maximize their potential. We utilize our expertise in planning, meeting design and facilitation, and leadership coaching to tackle whatever challenges our clients may be facing. Our vision is thriving communities where good ideas spread.

Our services are grounded in Design Thinking, a user-centered approach, and we work to understand the many perspectives of organizational stakeholders. From the start, we guide our clients in pinpointing the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. We not only provide tools and plans for action but also coach our clients in the skills and confidence necessary to achieve meaningful goals and adapt to challenges.

Many of our engagements are focused on developing strategic plans for organizations or multi-organization collaboratives to guide their multi-year approaches. Our plans typically follow a “Theory of Change” planning approach, where long-term outcomes are traced back to interventions, and teams identify indicators of success across different time horizons.

We do not perform programmatic evaluations and are excited to partner with organizations that do. We could be brought in to provide high-level planning and agenda-setting for organizations to inform the development of an evaluation framework, or as partners to help organizations implement recommendations that emerge from an evaluation process.

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The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), founded in 1997, is a statewide community focused 501(c)(3) nonprofit and public health institute committed to ensuring all Louisianans have just and fair opportunities to be healthy and well. Our work focuses on areas that touch public health, including tobacco prevention and control, building healthier communities, assessing needs of communities, supporting the whole health needs of individuals and families from early childhood to older adults, COVID-19 response, health services research, and program evaluation. We create authentic partnerships with community partners, state and local agencies, and healthcare delivery systems to align action for health.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked to identify and fill gaps in information, resources, and policy. One of those gaps was understanding the community’s knowledge about COVID-19, behaviors during the pandemic, and the impacts experienced by Louisianans. To capture this information, we created a brief survey and collected data from participants statewide through an online survey. We are in the process of analyzing the data, which will be made public in and effort to help inform statewide response and recovery efforts.

We also created a Health Table Talk video series to provide our communities with information and resources about COVID-19, as well as other public health issues. In the series, LPHI’s CEO Shelina Davis interviews partners and community representatives on a variety of topics, including the importance of mental and physical wellness amid the pandemic, health equity and how the Black community is being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, breaking down COVID-19 data trends, and more. Series episodes can be found on LPHI's YouTube channel.

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