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About Us

Experience in Program Evaluation

The Research and Evaluation Bureau at Kent State University has been providing innovative evaluation and research services to the University and the community for 50 years. We serve as a vital resource for program evaluation, research, and assessment. We offer comprehensive research and evaluation services to schools, universities, medical and health related institutions, human services agencies, community organizations, businesses, and individuals.  The Bureau has a multi-disciplinary professional staff composed of education, health, and human services research professionals, with an average of over 25 years of evaluation and research experience.

Meet the Bureau Team members.

Deborah D. Shama-Davis, Ph.D., Evaluation and Measurement; and Special Education
Director, College Client Services


Dr. Shama-Davis has served as one of the two co-directors of the Research and Evaluation Bureau since 2008, and as a lead evaluator there since January of 2004.  She has over 25 years experience in integrated methodology program evaluation and research, survey development, research and evaluation design and consultation, statistical analysis, qualitative data analysis, data interpretation, report writing, and professional presentations.  She currently serves as the principal evaluator for numerous education and health-related projects, including K-12 schools, universities, and health and human service organizations throughout Ohio, including evaluation projects such as Race to the Top, the School Improvement Grant, various after school programs, STEM initiatives, professional development programs in education and the health fields, and various University-based projects.  She has also been involved in assisting various schools in Northeast Ohio with utilizing assessment data.  In addition, Dr. Shama-Davis manages the professional evaluation staff at the Bureau, directs and manages all College-based faculty and graduate student research projects conducted through the Bureau, and consults with faculty and graduate students on their research, evaluation, and statistical projects.  She has taught  graduate and undergraduate classes and workshops in statistics, the use of educational assessment, data analysis and presentation, evaluation, child development, computer applications of statistics, and various special education classes at Kent State University.  Before coming to Kent State, she taught special education in the public school sector.

Pamela Freeman, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
Director, External Client Services

Ms. Freeman is a medical sociologist with a focus in public health. She has over 20 years experience in research development and implementation, survey protocol, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, statistical interpretation and reporting, having served as a consultant, analyst, statistician, evaluator and presenter for a variety of research initiatives and programs. She has developed and coordinated projects for a diverse array of organizations including those in education, health care, family services, and non-profit. Currently, she is conducting educational research using testing assessments and serves as the outside evaluator for several grants. Ms. Freeman's projects include serving as the evaluator for several alternative education school programs (funded by Ohio Alternative Education Challenge Grants), the Smaller Learning Communities Initiative (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Canton 21st Century after-school programming, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Foreign Language (STEM) Academy Initiative (funded by the Ohio Board of Regents).

Mark Smilaycoff,  Ph.D. Evaluation and Measurement
Lead Evaluator and Lead Faculty Consultant

Dr. Smilaycoff has 38 years of experience in education both in the classroom and in educational research and evaluation.  He retired from the Canton City Schools in 2005 after 30 years of service 24 years as a social studies teacher and six years as testing coordinator and data analyst.  He came to Kent State University in 1974 as a graduate student and to Kent State's Bureau of Research Training and Services for the first time in 1982, receiving his Ph.D. in 1989.  In addition, he has taught graduate courses in research methodology, statistics, and tests and measurement at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, and Malone College.  His current evaluation projects are the Case Western Reserve University CLiPS Polymer Envoys Program and the Akron Public Schools Race-to-the-Top Literacy Pyramid project.  As the Bureau's lead faculty consultant, he also consults with EHHS faculty and graduate students regarding their research efforts.

Edward Bolden,  Ph.D. Candidate in Evaluation and Measurement

Mr. Bolden has more than five years of experience in social science and education research while practicing as a school psychologist. He is currently working as an evaluator for various external projects including Case Western Reserve University's Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) Envoy's Program and Leveled Literacy Intervention for Akron Public Schools, as well as working with faculty within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Deepa Shanadi, M.P.H, M.S.

Ms. Shanadi is an evaluation specialist with experience in protocol and indicator development, survey design, survey implementation, data collector training, qualitative and quantitative data analysis in SPSS, ethics reviews of protocols, writing of evaluation reports, and presentation of findings.    Over the last nine years, she has provided evaluation technical support for the World Food Program (United Nations Agency), John Snow Inc. (international NGO), and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). She has field experience in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti.   Ms. Shanadi's current projects include the evaluation of bereavement camps and evaluation of the Cleveland Clinic H.E.A.R.T program.  She has an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University.

Data Lab

The Bureau has a fully staffed and equipped data laboratory, which supports the evaluation staff in completing projects in an efficient and effective manner through the coordination of qualitative and quantitative data functions.  This includes data entry, transcriptions, database development and the development of useful and user-friendly data collection instruments, forms, and technology based reporting functions.