P E R S P E C T I V E S:
Evaluation & Research News
In Brief




GRG Welcomes New Staff Members


Emma Lukasiewicz, B.A., and Danielle Smith, B.A., both joined GRG staff in July as Research Assistants, Emma after graduating with Honors from Harvard College in 2013 with a concentration in Psychology and a secondary in Government, and Danielle after her graduation from Columbia University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and Sociocultural Anthropology.


Courteney Smith, B.A., Office Coordinator, came to GRG after graduating in 2013 from Harvard College with an Honors degree in History and Literature and a language citation in French.  

Victor van den Bergh, Ed.M. returned to GRG as a consultant after working as a graduate student intern while completing his Master's degree in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.



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Fall 2013    

A Message from the President


Oregon's Mt. Hood

This autumn, I've had the pleasure of experiencing fall foliage on both coasts:  the Northeast and the Northwest.  Last week, I was in Portland, Oregon, attending the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) annual conference. Many community foundations, corporate foundations, universities, and other scholarship providers assembled to discuss important topics regarding college access, with a central theme of engaging the whole student to achieve equity and gain resilience. One of the keynote speakers was Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., faculty member at University of Southern California, whose talk, "Embodied Brains, Social Minds:  How Emotions Shape Learning, Motivation, and Self" was about the neurobiology of social emotions and their implications for development and schools. This TED Talk will give you a brief glimpse into some of her research.


At the conference, I made a joint presentation with our client, The Ford Family Foundation, entitled "Scholarship Evaluation:  Discoveries, Data, and Decisions." I presented the results of our 2011 comprehensive evaluation of their Ford Scholars program, in which we employed a quasi-experimental design to investigate financial, educational, employment, leadership, and citizenry outcomes for Scholars from the past 17 years (and a comparison group of Finalists from the past nine years).  Then Denise Callahan, Director of Scholarship Programs, and Tricia Tate, Scholarship Programs Manager, talked about how they have used the results and recommendations from our evaluation to enhance their scholarship program.


Aside from the conference's engaging presentations and discussions, I enjoyed the unseasonably beautiful weather (all sun, no rain), with golden colors against the backdrop of snow-covered Mt. Hood.  Portland is a very walkable city and there is a great deal of attention to environmentally-friendly practices. Plus, lots of delicious locally-grown produce and wine. 


A few days prior to my trip was GRG's annual staff retreat in beautiful Concord, MA, among the changing colors of the season. It's always a day for us to leave office behind to think strategically about the business. As has become a retreat tradition, each staff member made a "pitch," most of which become policies or practices at GRG in the coming year. A highlight of the day was our brainstorming session about our areas of expertise and growth. Plus, our walk in the woods, leaves crunching beneath our feet.   

Wishing you a wonderful season,

'Irene' signature  
Irene F. Goodman, Ed.D.
Founder and President  

Awareness Campaign Uses Ostriches to Take Learning about Climate Change to the Streets


Ozzie the Ostrich made its debut appearance on Boston's subway system, the MBTA (the 'T'), this month, as scientists seek to expand the general public's understanding of climate change. The posters and placards are part of a collaboration between UMass Lowell, UMass Boston, Hofstra University and the Museum of Science, Boston.  The research team worked with accomplished advertising agencies to develop a 14 month campaign engage riders with opportunities to learn about climate change launched to the riding public on October 1, 2013.


GRG's own staff ran the data collection earlier this month, administering surveys in stations up and down the MBTA's lines in order to gauge the level of knowledge of climate change of T riders. Now that we've compiled our baseline data, the ostriches are rolling out! Let the learning begin.


You can find out more about this initiative and our role in its evaluation on's Facebook and Twitter pages and at 

Data Coding Party!


It's not often our entire staff works on the same project, but we gathered together a few weeks ago in GRG's conference room to code data on students' creative problem solving responses for one of our projects. With plenty of cake, fruit, and data to go around, a good (and productive) time was had by all!

Metropolitan Opera Takes a Closer Look at Education for the 2013-2014 Season

GRG Evaluates the Efficacy of the Met's HD Live in Schools Program

GRG is working with the Metropolitan Opera once again on their HD Live in Schools initiative - their efforts to bring opera to middle and high school students in nearly 40 cities across the U.S. Following the success of their HD broadcasts in movie theaters around the country, the Met developed this project to help students learn more about opera as an art form and to dispel many of the myths students commonly associate with opera. Students attend the live broadcast at their local movie theaters. The Met's Educator Guides also provide activities that can be used in core courses like history and English to reinforce Common Core skills.

GRG will evaluate the 2013-14 program with the goal of determining what the learning outcomes are for students and whether the program positively influences students' perceptions of opera. We will conduct baseline surveys with students prior to their attending a performance and will then conduct post surveys. In spring 2014, we will also survey teachers who used the curriculum.

Our own Karen Gareis attended the teachers' training session at the Met Opera in New York. The training was designed to assist teachers in developing pre- and post-opera activities that will help students contextualize the performance in their broader academic curriculum.


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