Virtual Company

Kokopelli Associates is a “virtual company” that assembles teams of senior researchers with experience and expertise appropriate for each specific project it conducts.   The firm uses state-of-the-art communications technology to enable the research team on each of its projects that are located in different parts of the country to work together seamlessly in real time.  Nationally recognized experts that have agreed to work with Kokopelli Associates on an as-needed basis for individual projects include:


Frederic Glantz, President

Frederic Glantz has more than 35 years of experience managing research, evaluation and policy analysis studies in education, child development, family welfare, and child nutrition.   He has served as the Project Director or Principal Investigator for more than $80 million of national multi-year studies, and has designed and implemented studies spanning the methodological spectrum from large-scale randomized experiments and quasi-experiments to small-scale case study efforts.   Dr. Glantz received his Ph.D. in economics from the Maxwell Graduate School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.   His areas of expertise include: Evaluation and Research Design; Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis; Cost and Cost/Benefit Analysis; and Survey Design and Instrument Development.   Dr. Glantz is also well known for his skills in developing winning proposal strategies and managing proposals for competitive procurements.   Prior to his “retirement” in 2006, he was a Vice President and Principal Associates at Abt Associates.   Since forming Kokopelli Associates he has worked as a subcontractor on many large national evaluations conducted by large research and evaluation companies across the country.   He has also conducted evaluations for New Mexico State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has served as a consultant to the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and the Education Center of New Mexico.   He has served as the Chair of the Independent Consulting Group of the American Evaluation Association and was a member of the New Mexico Task Force on Home Visiting.

Dr. Craig Coelen

Craig Coelen is an economist who specializes in research design, sampling, and quantitative methods.   Dr. Coelen has over 40 years of experience in the management and development of research organizations and has a strong record of exemplary research and evaluation of social and healthcare service.   Earlier this year, he retired as President of IMPAQ International where he lead the company through a period of rapid expansion and diversified its research portfolio.   Prior to joining IMPAQ in 2008, Dr. Coelen was the President and CEO of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, where he also oversaw a period of significant growth.   NORC’s regular staff increased from 175 to more than 400, and survey interviewers and field staff increased from several hundred to more than a thousand.   Dr. Coelen also served as the Senior Vice President for Research at the Urban Institute.   From 1970 to 1981 he was a research economist at Abt Associates, rising to the position of Senior Vice President for Public Sector Research where he oversaw all areas of the company conducting research on Federal, State, and local programs.

Dr. Rita Fierro

Rita Fierro brings 15 years of research and evaluation experience in education and social services.   She has conducted evaluations for foundations, universities, community-based organizations and non-profits.   She uses predominantly mixed-methods designs to highlight the perspectives of different stakeholders and triangulate data results, especially among vulnerable populations particularly women and people of color.   She specializes in ethnographic qualitative data collection and analysis with vulnerable populations.   A National Science Foundation representative called her work: “consistently thorough and exemplary.”

Susanna Ginsburg

Susanna Ginsburg has over 35 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert on women and children’s health.  Ms. Ginsburg’s work with federal and state programs and foundations addressing maternal and child health has focused on improving birth outcomes and early child development.   Her planning, evaluation and policy work relate to specific programs that include the Title V Maternal and Child Health block grant, Title X family planning, Healthy Start, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems, and various mental health and substance abuse programs.   Ms.   Ginsburg has developed strategies to address preconception and perinatal health, integration of mental health and pediatric primary care, early childhood social and emotional development and approaches to genetics and newborn screening.   Her leadership in women’s health includes the initial development of the National and State Women’s Health Report Card and membership on Bright Futures for Women’s Health and Wellness, a national advisory group helping identify and work on key women’s health issues.

Dr. Michael Herrick

Michael Herrick has over 40 years experience designing and conducting evaluation of education programs.   His experience includes both formative and summative evaluation; his skills include evaluation design; instrument and observation protocol development; conducting focus groups and in-depth personal interviews; and qualitative and quantitative analysis.   He has also conducted workshops for teachers and administrators on data-based decision-making for school improvement.   Dr. Herrick has also served as a peer reviewer on grant applications and State NCLB Assessment Plans.   Dr. Herrick received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Educational Psychology.

Dr. Tammy Kolbe

Tammy Kolbe is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences at the University of Vermont.   The primary focus of her current research is in the area of Behavioral Economics.   She has published articles on the use of incentives to influence teacher performance.   Prior to joining the University of Vermont, Dr. Kolbe was an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut, and previously was an Assistant Professor at Florida State University and held an AERA-IES Post-Doctoral Fellow (Department of Education Policy Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park).   She was also an Associate at Abt Associates, where she specialized in survey research and evaluation and still serves as a member of Abt Associates’ Institutional Review Board (IRB).   While at Abt, she directed numerous large-scale surveys involving telephone and in-person interviews.   She also has experience with web surveys.   She has consulted with a variety of government, non-profit, and education agencies, and her research has been supported by organizations such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), U.S. Department of Education, The Education Law Center, and the National Center on Time and Learning.

Jean Layzer

Jean Layzer is a retired Vice President and Principal Associate at Abt Associates.   She has had extensive experience running large-scale evaluations and research projects on many Federal, State, and local programs.   Her work has included large-scale experiments and policy studies.   Her experience included design; site development; implementation of complex data collection efforts; development of questionnaires and observation instruments; design and conduct on in-person in-depth personal interviews of program staff at Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as program participants; case studies and data analysis; policy briefings; and report writing for a wide variety of audiences.   She is a nationally recognized expert on early care and education policy, child care subsidies and Quality Improvement Rating Systems, family support programs, and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Dr. Theodore Macaluso

Theodore Macaluso specializes in social science research and evaluation of nutrition assistance programs and policies.   He recently retired as Branch Chief for Special Nutrition Evaluation at the FNS Office of Research and Analysis where he led a staff of social science researchers and nutritionists evaluating the impact and operations of the school meal, WIC, child care and summer feeding programs.   Previously, he had over 20 years experience conducting research on SNAP.   While at FNS he helped secure $85 million in Congressional funding to develop and test the Evaluation of the Impact of the Summer Food for Children Household-based Demonstrations on Food Insecurity, led the team designing both the demonstrations and evaluations, developed the initial research design for the primary impact evaluation, participated in the discussions with OMB staff and the Domestic Policy Council.   Dr. Macaluso also created the official government estimate of The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program.   In addition, he led the effort to provide the Secretary of Agriculture with the cost-benefit justification for the decision to convert the Food Stamp Program from paper coupons to Electronic Benefit Transfer nationwide.

Patricia McKinney

Patricia McKinney spent 25 years as a senior program analyst in ORA involved in nutrition database development, dietary data collection and nutrition coding at the individual and household level.   She served as COTR on numerous national studies and evaluations of FNS food assistance programs including: SNDA-I, II and III and the SLBCS-II; Co-COTR on the National Food Stamp Program Survey where she was responsible for providing oversight on the nutrient database development, instrument development and household food use/nutrient availability coding.   She also served on the technical advisory committee for updating the Thrifty Food Plan; assisted in the verification of Nielsen data used to develop the food prices.   She was a panel member in AC Nielsen’s Home Scan Consumer Panel.   She is very familiar with using a scanner to enter data.   At USDA she provided quality control over the household food use database and assisted in the instrument development and training of interviewers for the household section of the NFCS.   In addition, she assisted the nutrient data staff in developing a coding system for the Standard Reference nutrient database that paralleled the FNDDS coding structure.   Before joining USDA Ms. McKinney was senior nutritionist at Westat, where she assisted in developing dietary data collection instruments and training materials, and trained data collectors and food coders.

Dr. Carol Olander

Carol Olander recently retired as Director of Family Programs in the Office of Research and Analysis at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).   In this capacity, Dr. Olander was responsible for developing the Agency’s annual research and evaluation plan for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); implementing the plan through competitive contractor awards; ensuring the technical quality, timeliness and efficiency of subsequent research projects, and effectively communicating research procedures and results.   In her 31 years at FNS, Dr. Olander’s work covered the full range of SNAP policy and operations.   Her expertise includes SNAP dietary outcomes, interventions to enhance them, and impact assessment.   Other recent research topics involve the use of technology and organizational innovation to enhance SNAP performance, as well as retailer management.   Her work with diverse organizations is evidence of the ability to meet the information needs of varied SNAP stakeholders.   This work includes delivery of a national FNS training program on EBT, work with U.S. AID to provide consultation on nutrition assistance programs to the Brazilian Government, work with the Senate Agriculture Committee on the 2000 Farm Bill, and ongoing collaboration with both program managers and the research community.   Dr. Olander received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in personality and social behavior research.

Dr. Robert St. Pierre

Robert St. Pierre is a retired Vice President and Principal Associate at Abt Associates.   While at Abt he designed and implemented many large-scale randomized experiments and quasi-experiments and is nationally recognized for his evaluation research.   He has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical reports and publications on designing and conducting evaluations and policy studies.   He served on the Board of Directors of the Evaluation Research Society (now the American Evaluation Association); served on the Editorial Advisory Board of New Directions in Evaluation, and Evaluation and Program Planning.   He also served on the Editorial Board of Journal of Nutrition Education.   He has conducted studies of the NET, CD programs; and the NSLP and SBP.   Many of his other studies deal with the health and well being of young children have given him an understanding of WIC.   Several of his articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals have dealt with issues related to USDA’s food assistance programs.

Dr. Judith Williams

Judith Williams has extensive experience in public policy, health and human services research and program evaluation in the federal government, academia and the private sector.   Dr. Williams led a six-year evaluation of Healthy Families Florida, served on the Healthy Families America Research-Practice Panel, and leads the evaluation of a home visiting-based intervention to reduce poor birth outcomes among minority women for the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.   Dr. Williams is currently a member of the Santa Fe County Health Policy and Planning Commission, which advises the Board of County Commissioners and the County on health care planning and improvement.