The LSU Social Research and Evaluation Center team includes social workers, psychologists, geographers, political scientists, program evaluators, grant writers, policy experts, and data analysts. We are advocates and strategists. We are LSU faculty, research associates, graduate assistants and SREC affiliates. We are here to work with you.
John K. Aggrey, MPhil, MA joined SREC as a graduate assistant in January 2020. He is currently working on the SPF-PFS project, which is focused on underage drinking prevention efforts across Louisiana.
John earned a BA in Sociology and Religion and an MPhil in Sociology (Development concentration) from University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. He also earned an MA in Sociology from LSU. He is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) in the LSU Department of Sociology where he is researching the social, cultural and political contexts which shape people’s response to epidemics.
John enjoys traveling, cooking, and photography.
Qualitative Research Methods, Community Engagement and Outreach, and Emerging infectious diseases.
Laura Ainsworth, PhD, LCSW joined SREC in 2019. She has experience in social work administration and teaching, micro and macro social work practice, program design and implementation, grant writing, evaluation research and community-based participatory research. Her work involves research in school social work, school mental health, and access to services for underserved populations. Laura previously worked as the Associate Director and Associate Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Laura has a social work background. Laura earned a BS in Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi, an MSW and PhD in Social Work from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Laura has two children, a daughter and a son. She also has one cat, Rory, who is often moody. Laura enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and tailgating at LSU.
School mental health, school social work, program evaluation
Sam Allouche, MS, started working at SREC as a graduate assistant with Dr. Rhodes in 2019 assisting with the SAMHSA Project AWARE grant to create trauma sensitive schools in the City of Monroe, Jefferson Parish, and St. Bernard Parish school systems.
Sam received her BS in Psychology, second major in French and MS in Behavioral Health from Tulane University in New Orleans. She is currently in LSU's school psychology doctoral program working in the Cultural Responsiveness and Implementation Science in Psychology (CRISP) lab. Sam's research interests include mental health help-seeking behavior of students and the implementation of trauma-informed practices within school settings.
In her free time, Sam enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, listening to live music and hanging out with her one-eyed cat, Ricky Peach.
School-based mental health and culturally responsive intervention.
Leanna Cupit, PhD, has been with SREC since January 2020. She has experience in K-12 education as a science teacher and administrator in both public and private schools. Her prior work has been centered around teacher job stress and retention, mindfulness in the classroom, and teacher/educational leader support.
Leanna has a background in psychology and education. She has earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Hawaii, an MA in Experimental Psychology from Towson University, and an EdS in Educational Leadership and PhD in Leadership & Human Resource Development both from LSU.
Leanna has 3 children and a wonderful supportive husband. She also has a barnyard of animals at home including horses, chickens, goats, cattle, dogs, a cat, and one pot bellied pig named Pork Chop. In all her spare time she enjoys reading anything that’s interesting and doing yoga.
K-12 education, teacher and educational leader professional development, organizational diagnosis, and leadership development.
Jacob DeBoer, MS, NCSP, joined the SREC in January 2019 as a Research Assistant. His work at the SREC centers around the improvement of school-based mental health services. Included within this goal is the implementation of school-wide mental health screening to identify youth who are at-risk for mental health concerns and could benefit from early intervention.
Jacob received his MS in School Psychology from Northeastern University and his BS in Psychology from Virginia Tech. He is currently pursuing his PhD in School Psychology at LSU. Jacob is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.
His hobbies include: playing guitar, watching sports (Boston Red Sox and Celtics), playing with his dog Qba Gary Jr. (who’s a snow dog), and going to music concerts/festivals.
School-based consultation, school-based mental health services.
Cecile Guin, PhD, LCSW, has served as the Director of the LSU Social Research and Evaluation Center, from 1996 to 2018. She began working for LSU in 1995 as a funding consultant and Associate Professor of Research. Cecile develops programs and seeks funding aimed at interrupting the pathway to delinquency and crime. Additionally, she has become an expert in truancy and death penalty mitigation and is court qualified in the areas of adult criminality, development of a criminal personality, juvenile delinquency social work and cultural poverty.
Cecile has earned a BA and a MSW from Louisiana State University, and a PhD in Social Work from University of Texas – Arlington.
Cecile is an avid animal lover, saving numerous cats and dogs from Baton Rouge shelters. She is also a passionate supporter of LSU football teams, even during their non-winning years.
Project Management, Community Engagement, Strategic Partnerships, External Funds Development, Community Outreach, Strategic Visioning, Planning, Coalition Building, Policy Analysis, Program Evaluation, Grant Writing
Kristina Little, LCSW, joined the LSU Social Research and Evaluation Center as a Research Associate in April 2019. She has over 8 years of experience working in a medical setting, specifically oncology. Her previous publications are related to Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Kristina earned a BS in Psychology from LSU in 2004, and a MSW from LSU in 2011.
Kristina enjoys reading, going on walks, spending time with her family, and rooting for the Tigers.
Medical Social Work, Gerontology Social Work, Program Evaluation
Austin Matthews, MSW, LCSW has spent the last decade working in harm reduction/overdose prevention and healthcare policy promotion through national and state-wide consumer advocacy groups. Austin is focused on creating human-service systems that are evidence-based, client-focused, and results-oriented.
Austin’s background is in political participation and community organizing. He has a BA in Political Communication and a MSW from LSU.
Austin is married with two cats and two dogs. He spends a lot of time with media: books, board games, TV shows, and video games. He also has played in a local tennis league for the last 5 years. He hopes to return to fierce board game and tennis competition post-COVID.
HIV Prevention & Clinical Engagement, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Program Evaluation, LGBTQ+ issues, Substance Use Disorders, Ethics in Practice
Aimee Moles, PhD, LCSW, practiced as a perinatal social worker for 25 years as well as teaching for the School of Social Work. She has been with SREC since 2015, providing GIS mapping services and grant development and writing. She has co-authored reports and publications for SREC community development grants as well as violence prevention efforts. She is currently involved in a coastal resilience grant as well as co-authoring research publications related to environmental health and post flood coping for social work students in Louisiana and Texas.
Aimee has an undergraduate degree in psychology from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, an MSW as well as a PhD in geography both from LSU.
Aimee is married and has three adult sons as well as several rescued pets. She likes to spend her free time cycling outdoors with her husband and friends.
GIS mapping of social and environmental concerns, perinatal issues, healthcare policy
Gwen Murray, PhD, joined SREC in March 2020. A former K-12 educator and leader, Gwen brings over a decade of experience working in and alongside public schools in Louisiana. Gwen’s research interests include social emotional learning, multi-tiered systems of support, and the politics of inclusion and accessibility in education, including the application of civil rights law.
Gwen has a social science background. She holds a BA from Smith College. Gwen earned her MA and PhD (2017) at Tulane University.
Gwen has a son, two spoiled cats, and is an enthusiast of yoga, the natural world, and tattoos. She is a Seattle native, and happy to chat about music, flannel, and coffee.
Mixed Methods Research, Qualitative Methods, Education Policy & Research
Sarita Panchang, PhD has been with SREC since 2020, supporting evaluation and data management for public health programming grants in the state of Louisiana. These grants include the state opioid response, efforts to prevent youth substance use, and the Zero Suicide program. She has extensive experience carrying out applied mixed-methods research in the U.S. and in the Global South, particularly around food, water, and sanitation infrastructure access.
Sarita holds a PhD in Public Health and concurrent MA in Applied Anthropology, both awarded from the University of South Florida in 2019, and a BA in Anthropology awarded from Rice University in 2010. Her passion is to support health and social justice by building systems which work for everyone rather than a few.
Sarita likes to travel whenever possible. She loves dancing, singing, cooking for impromptu gatherings, and sharing her baked creations with friends and family whether or not they asked for it.
Mixed methods; social determinants of health; community collaborations
Carolin Maney Purser, PhD, with SREC with March 2019. She is passionate about using rigorous research methods to assess and solve social and policy challenges. Carolin’s research interests include human rights, conflict studies, housing policy, and environmental policy.
Carolin has a social science and quantitative research background. She received her doctoral degree in political science and international affairs from University of Georgia in 2017. She completed her undergraduate degree from Colby College, with a double major in government and psychology and a minor in music.
In her free time, Carolin enjoys running, looking at beautiful data visualizations, and walking with her dog, Elia. She also appreciates sharing good food, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Quantitative Research Methods, Data Management, Project Management, Policy Research
Seyedeh Shaghayegh Rabbanian, MS joined the SREC as a graduate assistant with Dr. Robison and Dr. Rhodes in May 2019. She is currently working on the State Opioid Response Project.
Shaghayegh received a BA in Industrial Engineering from Tehran Azad University, Tehran, Iran, an MS in Industrial Engineering from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. She is currently a second-year Engineering Science PhD student at LSU concentrating on Optimization and Machine learning.
Shaghayegh enjoys travelling, watching movies, outdoor activities and spending time with her best friend, her fiancé.
Knack system, Qualtrics, Programming
Tim Reling, PhD, joined SREC as a Research Associate in January 2020. He is an applied methodologist, specializing in predictive analytics, scale development, and focus groups. For four years, Tim served as the actuarial risk development specialist for the Targeted Interventions Gaining Enhanced Reentry(TIGER) initiative by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections.Tim’s research interests include collegiate sexual violence and risk-needs-responsivity within correctional settings.
Tim has an interdisciplinary background in sociology, criminology, and mixed methods research. He completed dual undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2014. He received his MA in Sociology from Louisiana State University in 2016 and received his PhD in Sociology from Louisiana State University in Spring 2020.
Tim is a passionate fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Michigan Wolverines, and LSU Tigers. In his free time, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, watching Marvel movies, and playing video games.
Data Analytics, Mixed-Method Research, Survey Research and Design, Scale Development, Criminology, Deviance, Sexual Violence
Judith Rhodes, PhD, LMSW, is the current Director of the LSU Social Research and Evaluation Center. She uses her expertise in social work and education for program design, implementation, evaluation, and grant writing. Her work investigates the school-to-justice pathway through research in school social work, school-based interventions, and educational attainment youth placed at risk. She has lead US Department of Education funded interventions with particular emphasis on cross-sector collaboration.
After growing up as a displaced southerner in the Midwest, Judith returned earned an Arts & Sciences bachelor’s degree at LSU. After home educating her two children, she returned to LSU and completed a MSW in 2007 and a PhD in Social work in 2011. Judith now serves as an Associate Professor of Research at SREC with a focus on improving the lives of children, their families, and communities.
Judith is married to her best friend Danny. They enjoy traveling and love to garden, cook, and fly fish. In their 3rd decade of marriage, they dance Argentine Tango.
School social work, the school-justice pathway, dropout prevention, intervention research
Maddie Robison, PhD, has been with SREC since May 2017, after working in the LSU Graduate School for more than eight years. Her current job responsibilities include the overall management of SREC, assisting faculty and research associates in developing or pursuing independent evaluations, consulting services, and TA contracts with various community partners. Maddie is also actively participating in the organization of sponsored project proposals – grants and contracts.
Maddie has an international relations/political science background. She has earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Bucharest, in Romania, an MA in Political Science from Indiana State University, and a PhD in Political Science from LSU in Baton Rouge.
Maddie is married and has two daughters and two geriatric dogs. In her free time, Maddie enjoys watching sports on TV, reading biographies of historical characters, and spending time with her girls outdoors.
Strategic Thinking, Planning, Meeting Facilitation, Project Management, Business Development, Personnel Management.
Sam Robison, PhD, has been with SREC since 2011. He is a program evaluator, quantitative researcher, and grant writer focusing on programs in the social, educational, health, and criminal justice settings. Dr. Robison’s research interests include intervention research, school and community prevention and early intervention, the life pathways of at-risk children, the political psychology of decision-makers, and conflict studies.
Sam received a PhD in political science with a concentration in international relations from LSU in 2010. He also received a MA in political science from LSU in 2005, and a BS degree in psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002.
Sam is married and has two daughters and two dogs. He is a lifelong (and long-suffering) Saints fan. In his free time, Sam enjoys spending time with his daughters outdoors, running, and biking.
Program Evaluation, Quantitative Research Analysis, Database Manipulation, Project Management, Implementation.
Jada Thomas-Smith, MSW, LMSW, has been with SREC since 2006. She applies the practical knowledge gained in the field to evaluate intervention programs. Jada enjoys working with at-risk children and families in the areas of juvenile justice, parental engagement, and school attendance. For many years, Jada served as program coordinator for Truancy Assessment and Service Center (TASC), a statewide truancy initiative, and principal investigator for a statewide parent education program.
Jada earned a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child, Family and Social Services from Nicholls State University and an MSW from LSU.
Jada is a passionate Saints fan and in her free time, she likes to keep up with current events.
Program Design, Program Management, Technical Assistance, Community Engagement, Child and Family Policies Analysis, Communications.
Jennifer Vasquez, MA, joined SREC in January 2019 and works as a graduate assistant with Dr. Rhodes on the Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education Project- funded by SAMSHA. Part of her duties include assisting with data collection tasks and providing professional development instruction in school districts. Prior to attending LSU, Jennifer worked at a neuropsychology clinic as an education coordinator and has had experience working as a special education classroom teacher.
Jennifer is currently a second-year doctoral student in the school psychology program. She received her undergraduate degree in environmental studies from Connecticut College and her MA from Columbia University-Teachers College in school/clinical psychology.
Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dog. She also enjoys travelling and being outdoors.
Culturally responsive school-based mental health.
Tina Wang, PhD, has been with SREC since 2020. Her research focuses on second language testing, educational assessment, and program evaluation. She has extensive experience teaching both Chinese and English to diverse age groups. Dr. Wang's work centers on the teaching, learning, and assessment of English language learners and at-risk student populations.
Tina received her doctoral degree in Cultural, Literacy, and Language at the University of Texas San Antonio in 2020. She received her Master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Michigan State University in 2014, and her BA in English Education at Hubei University in 2012.
Tina likes to travel and spend time with her family. She likes to cook and experiment with different kinds of food at home. In her free time, she enjoys singing, swimming, and practicing yoga.
Language assessment, applied linguistics, STEM program evaluation, mixed-methods research
Elizabeth Winchester, PhD, has been working as a Research Associate with SREC since 2001. She helped develop, implement and evaluate the Truancy Assessment and Service Centers for the state of Louisiana. Currently, she is part of the SREC team working on programs aimed at reducing group related violence in Baton Rouge, especially gun violence. Elizabeth is currently involved in a program evaluation and technical assistance project with Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund.
Elizabeth has a family science/family policy background. She has received all her degrees (BS, MS, and PhD) from LSU.
In her free time Elizabeth loves reading and spoiling her Goldendoodle Gus.
Database Manipulation, Data Analysis, Program Implementation, Strategic Partnerships, Planning, Family Policy.