Holly C. Williams, Ph.D.
Director, Department of Research and Evaluation
Phone: (512) 414-1724
Fax: (512) 414-1707
e-mail: hollycw@austinisd.org

About Holly

Holly has more than 20 years of experience in research and evaluation at the district and state levels. Holly came from the Texas Education Agency Department of Research and Evaluation to the Austin Independent School District Office of Research and Evaluation in 1994. She has served as the head of the department since 1996. She received a doctoral degree in educational psychology, with a specialization in quantitative methods, from the University of Texas in 1994 and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Southern Methodist University in 1987, and is licensed as a psychologist in the state of Texas. Her career has included evaluation of an array of programs in educational settings, as well as research in education and in health psychology, with a specialization in immune system functioning, sleep and eating disorders, and infectious disease. As a clinical practitioner, she has served as a diagnostician and as a therapist in hospital and school settings.

Melissa Andrews, M.A.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-3732
Fax: (512) 414-1707
melissa.andrews@austinisd.org

About Melissa

Melissa spent a year conducting qualitative research for an evaluation of Social and Emotional Learning with the Department of Research and Evaluation (DRE) while completing her master’s degree in educational psychology at UT Austin. She formally joined the DRE team in the fall of 2016 to serve the Creative Learning Initiative and after-school programming. She works closely with program staff, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods. Melissa offers a perspective formed by her prior experience as a classroom teacher, as a private school leader, and as an artist, with a master’s degree in dance from Florida State University. In addition to her consulting experience with non-profits in Austin, Melissa taught Strategic Learning in the 21st Century for 3 years at UT Austin. She currently serves on the board of advisers at ImpactLab, an organization that helps teachers build entrepreneurial skills. Her interests in education are to support the expansion of self-regulated learning, divergent thinking and creativity, as well as social and emotional learning for students and teachers alike. 

Jay Brown, Ph.D.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-9804
Fax: (512) 414-1707
jessica.brown2@austinisd.org

About Jay

Jay joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in the fall of 2017. She coordinates external research for the district, working with our universities, community partners, and agency groups. Jay holds degrees from Trinity University, and a doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in educational policy and portfolio in quantitative methods. Prior to joining the district, she worked as a researcher for the Texas Education Research Center (ERC) and taught middle school social studies.

Cinda Christian, Ph.D
Senior Research Associate II
Phone: (512) 414-3461
Fax: (512) 414-1707
cinda.christian@austinisd.org

About Cinda

Cinda has more than 20 years of experience conducting and supervising program evaluations. She joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in November 2000, and currently directs the evaluation of multiple programs intended to have an impact on the integration of social services and arts within the education system, supplemental services for students at risk of dropping out of school, and school safety and climate. In July of 2013, Cinda was presented with the Research and Assessment Leadership Award from The Council of Great City Schools and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for work she conducted at AISD on the Student Aggregate Reporting tool. Cinda is a skilled public speaker who leads professional development sessions for staff and local service providers and has presented research findings at regional, national, and international conferences. She has been a preschool classroom teacher and a college-level course instructor. At the University of Texas (UT) at Austin and Southwestern University, she taught courses in child development, developmental psychology, and research methodology. Cinda is a published author of institutional reports, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of California at San Diego, and a doctorate in human development and family sciences at UT Austin.

Marlena Coco, Ph.D
Evaluation Analyst I
Phone: (512) 414-3644
Fax: (512) 414-1707
marlena.coco@austinisd.org

About Marlena

Coming soon

Chelsea Cornelius, Ph.D.
Program Evaluation Coordinator
Phone: (512) 414-3651
Fax: (512) 414-1707
chelsea.cornelius@austinisd.org

About Chelsea

Chelsea joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in the spring of 2016. Her work supports multiple projects, including evaluation of the district’s bilingual education programs and early childhood education programs. She holds a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in developmental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Austin Independent School District, Chelsea conducted research on children’s cognitive development and taught courses in child psychology and research methods at UT Austin and Austin Community College.

William S. dela Cruz, Ed.D, Ph.D.  
Evaluation Analyst I
Phone: (512) 414-3581
Fax: (512) 414-1707
william.delacruz@austinisd.org

About William

Will has more than 25 years of experience in school administration and supervision, research, and evaluation both in the Philippines and the US. Will came from the College of Education and Human Development and the Institute for P-20 Initiatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio as a research data analyst. Will also worked concurrently with the UTSA College of Engineering as project manager of a National Science Foundation funded project that supports systemic education reform. Prior to moving to the US, Will started his career as a high school biology teacher, assistant principal, and then principal, until he became the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Education of a catholic college in the Philippines. Will holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from University of the East, Manila. He holds a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in science education from Centro Escolar University, where he received the Highest Academic Distinction Award and Excellence Research Award for his dissertation on total quality environmental management for higher education institutions. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in educational leadership with emphasis in student affairs as well as a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His research interests include evaluation of institutional effectiveness, development and validation of survey instruments, assessment of total quality environmental management, and student access and services.

Martha Doolittle, Ph.D. 
Senior Research Associate II
Phone: (512) 414-3611
Fax: (512) 414-1707
martha.doolittle@austinisd.org

About Martha

Martha has been with the Austin Independent School District since 1996 and has more than 20 years of research and evaluation experience. She supervises and supports evaluation and research in several areas, including federal education grants, professional development activities, English learners, early childhood education, literacy, social emotional learning, parent involvement, and evaluation planning and design. She provides evaluation support through planning, grant application collaboration, surveying, data gathering and analysis, and reporting. She earned a master’s degree at Wake Forest University and a doctoral degree at North Carolina State University.

Cason Fayles, M.A. 
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-3661
Fax: (512) 414-1707
cason.fayles@austinisd.org

About Cason

Cason joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in January 2018. He provides research and evaluation support to AISD’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) department, the Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness (CP&I) department’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant to implement Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices (CRRP), and the Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) pilot program. Cason also administers and manages the AISD Student Climate Survey. Prior to joining AISD, Cason worked for the Claremont Evaluation Center where he provided research and evaluation support to the Montebello and Los Angeles Unified School Districts and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program: Next Chapter. He holds master's degrees in developmental psychology and public policy from Claremont Graduate University.

Paige Hartman DeBaylo, Ph.D.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-9845
Fax: (512) 414-1707
paige.hartman@austinisd.org

About Paige

Paige joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in May of 2018. She currently contributes to the department’s ongoing evaluations of AISD Human Capital support services including projects related to teacher appraisal systems, district leadership, and issues related to staff turnover. Paige holds a B.A. in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Auburn University. Her research interests broadly include organizational effectiveness, educational research, and statistical methodologies. Prior to joining AISD, Paige conducted research on workplace stressors and work-family balance while also teaching courses in introductory psychology, social psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology at Auburn University.

Mishan Jensen, Ph.D.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-9566
Fax: (512) 414-1707
mishan.jensen@austinisd.org

About Mishan

Mishan joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in the summer of 2017. Her work has supported multiple projects, including Title I, II, and III programs, the career and technical education program, and educator quality. She is currently supporting the Creative Learning Initiative. She holds a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in educational psychology, with a specialization in quantitative methods. During her time at UT, Mishan assisted with the development of the College of Education's first fully web-based Introduction to Statistics course, as well as provided assistant teaching support for most of the graduate level statistics courses offered. Prior to joining the district, she worked for the Texas Department of Public Safety as a statistician.

Jenny Leung, M.A. 
Evaluation Analyst I
Phone: (512) 414-3565
Fax: (512) 414-1707
jenny.leung@austinisd.org

About Jenny

Jenny Leung joined the Department of Research and Evaluation (DRE) in January 2017. She contributes to a number of projects, including Micromessaging, Kellogg Foundation: Austin Families as Partners, Title I, and Title II. Jenny holds a master’s degree in Sociology from Queens College, City University of New York.

Karen L. Looby, Ph.D. 
Senior Research Associate II
Phone: (512) 414-0027
Fax: (512) 414-1707
karen.looby@austinisd.org

About Karen

Karen has more than 20 years of experience in public education as an elementary school teacher, administrator, professional development activity facilitator, and program evaluator. She joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in October 2000 and supervises multiple projects focused on supporting students’ academic achievement and college and career preparation in middle and high schools. Karen often serves in an advisory capacity for local, state, and national projects, including Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) and the National Student Clearinghouse Pilot Project. She earned degrees in elementary education, curriculum and instruction, and educational administration from Texas A&M University and holds certifications for school principalship and superintendency.

Deborah Martinez 
Administrative Associate III
Phone: (512) 414-3641
Fax: (512) 414-1707
deborah.martinez@austinisd.org

About De-De

Deborah (De-De) joined the Department of Research and Evaluation (DRE) in February 2017 as the administrative assistant for DRE’s director, Dr. Holly Williams, and as the office manager for the department. De-De has been with the Austin Independent School District since 2006 and has more than 20 years of experience as a secretary. She spent 8 dedicated years at Norman Elementary School, where she began as the school’s registrar, and later was promoted as an administrative assistant in the Special Education Department. As the office manager of DRE, De-De maintains and organizes the department’s budget, and purchases supplies, software licenses, and other materials. She also assists DRE staff in their day-to-day duties and operations.

Dana Minney, M.S.
Evaluation Analyst I
Phone: (512) 414-0159
Fax: (512) 414-1707
dana.minney@austinisd.org

About Dana

Coming soon

Aline Orr, Ph.D.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-9809
Fax: (512) 414-1707
aline.orr@austinisd.org

About Aline

Aline joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in March 2014. Her work supports evaluation and research in several areas including bilingual education, Title III, and the annual AISD parent survey.  Aline earned a master’s degree in educational psychology with a focus on quantitative methods from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, where she focused on brain pathways underlying emotional responses. Prior to joining DRE, Aline worked for several years at a large education publishing and assessment services company. While in that position, she was involved in research on reporting assessment results to non-native English speakers, the use of technology in learning environments, and educator effectiveness.

Helen Poulsen, Ph.D. 
Evaluation Analyst I
Phone: (512) 414-9567
Fax: (512) 414-1707
helen.poulsen@austinisd.org

About Helen

Helen joined the Department of Research and Evaluation in August of 2019. She evaluates AISD’s Prekindergarten and Social and Emotional Learning programs. Prior to joining AISD, Helen aided in program evaluation at United Way for Greater Austin and Meals on Wheels of Central Texas while working in a family science research laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds a masters and doctorate degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin.

Crystal Wang, Ph.D.
Evaluation Analyst II
Phone: (512) 414-9966
Fax: (512) 414-1707
crystal.wang@austinisd.org

About Crystal

Crystal joined the Department of Research and Evaluation (DRE) in August 2013. Her work has supported multiple projects, including the Creative Learning Initiative, Career and Technical Education, and external research. Her current evaluation work focuses on GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Austin, a federally-funded grant program encouraging economically disadvantaged students to have high educational expectations and graduate high school academically ready to enroll in college. Crystal holds an M.P.A. from the Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining DRE, Crystal worked as lead evaluator for the Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC) at the University of Pittsburgh. During her stay in Pittsburgh, she worked on a variety of programs in the areas of kindergarten through 8th grade mathematics and science reform; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; international higher education; and community-based human services.