Paul Agnello
Research Fellow

Bio

Paul Agnello is a Research Fellow for the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS). Paul works closely with the CUNY’s Early College Initiative (ECI) to design and conduct formative and summative evaluations of ECI’s Early College High schools.

Paul earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research interests broadly focus on issues involving social impact. His areas of research include examining factors that reduce linguistic, cultural, and racial group score differences on cognitive ability tests, investigating the gender gap in mathematics performance, and the impact of corporate citizenship on employee engagement.

Email Paul at: paul.agnello@cuny.edu


Vandeen Campbell
Senior Research Analyst

Bio

Vandeen Campbell is a Senior Research Analyst in the Office of Research, Evaluation and Program Support (REPS), where she leads and supports evaluation and research projects, staff development, and quantitative methods trainings. Vandeen works on the Bridge for All, LINCT for All, College Now, Creative Arts Team-Early Learning Program, and CLIP evaluation projects. In addition, she advises the work on all CUNY Collaborative Programs projects with REPS.

Prior to joining REPS, Vandeen was an elementary school teacher with the New York City Department of Education. Vandeen has worked on several independent research projects in her interest areas and has presented at various academic conferences. Her research interests include: sociology of education, racial and ethnic minorities, sociology of organizations, stratification and inequality, and quantitative methodology. She continues to teach as an adjunct lecturer at CUNY’s Lehman College.

Vandeen received a B.A. from York College in Sociology and Education and a M.A. in Sociology from Queens College, specializing in applied social research. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she studies the effects of school organizational dynamics on the parental involvement of low-income and minority families using national data.

Email Vandeen at: vandeen.campbell@cuny.edu


Birunda Chelliah
Research Analyst I

Bio

Birunda Chelliah is a Research Analyst I with the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she works on developing and implementing quantitative and qualitative evaluation assessments for programs such as College Now, CUNY LINCT to Success, Debating U.S. History, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, and the CUNY Start Strategic Technology Initiative.

Prior to joining CUNY, Birunda worked as a data analyst for Social Explorer at Queens College, analyzing demographic and population trends using data from the U.S. census, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, and the General Social Survey. In addition, her experience with data-related projects range from shopper marketing research for Coca-Cola at Ogilvy & Mather to quantitative program evaluation at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Birunda currently teaches Applied Statistics as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Sociology department of Queens College.

Birunda received a B.B.A from Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in Global Business and Marketing and a M.A in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research from Queens College.

Email Birunda at: birunda.chelliah@cuny.edu


Vernisa Donaldson
Research Analyst II

Bio

Vernisa Donaldson is a Research Analyst II in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she supports ongoing research and evaluation of CUNY Start, Math Start, CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative research project, and the CUNY Start Strategic Technology Initiative. She conducts data collection, management, and analysis to inform day-to-day decision-making and ongoing program evaluation.

Prior to joining REPS, Vernisa worked on research related to her interest in stratification and inequality (particularly in educational institutions) and identity formation. As a member of the steering committee for the mixed-methods research project, CUNY as a Lab, Vernisa oversaw the development of a survey instrument that measured CUNY undergraduate students’ engagement with their coursework and campus, as well as students’ perceptions of their preparedness for college-level work. Vernisa has also worked extensively on the Social Justice Sexuality Project, where her analyses were utilized in many reports, publications, and presentations at academic and professional conferences.

Vernisa received a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College and her M.S. in Applied Social Research at Hunter College, with a focus on public policy research.

Email Vernisa at: vernisa.donaldson@cuny.edu


Alex Gensemer
Research Analyst II

Bio

Alexandra Gensemer is a Research Analyst II in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she conducts program evaluations. Her projects include Tutor Corps, CUNY Start Strategic Technology Initiative, Early College Initiative, and HRA – CUNY Sustaining Veteran Success Program.

Prior to joining CUNY, Alexandra worked at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at NYU Silver School of Social Work as a Research Assistant and then Program Manager. During her time at the McSilver Institute, she conducted evaluations of after-school programs, managed care technical assistance, collaborative care healthcare models, and global programs using mixed methods approaches. Alexandra has worked extensively in schools, as both a school social work intern at PS 132X Garret A. Morgan Elementary and as the undergraduate lab manager of the of the Wells Lab, which coordinated the USDA’s “Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth” People’s Garden School Pilot Project, a national randomized control trial.

Alexandra received a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and a Master of Social Work from New York University Silver School of Social Work. She is currently a doctoral student at Rutgers School of Social Work, interested in the intersection of social work and education.

Email Alex at: alexandra.gensemer@cuny.edu


Darren Kwong
Research Analyst II

Bio

Darren Kwong is a Research Analyst II in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where he leads and/or supports quantitative and qualitative evaluations and research on the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), Math and Science Project (MSP), and CUNY Tutor Corps.

Before joining the REPS team, Darren was the program coordinator and research assistant at the CUNY Data Mining Initiative. He explored the use of data mining methods in social science research and assessments within nonprofit organizations. He also coordinated a seminar series that brought in renowned data mining scholars and researchers to provide lectures and workshops.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vassar College and Master of Philosophy in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research focuses on the incorporation of racial justice lenses in climate change movements and the politics of emotions.

Email Darren at: darren.kwong@cuny.edu


Hyein Lee
Research Analyst II

Bio

Hyein Lee is a Research Analyst II in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she leads and supports ongoing quantitative and qualitative assessment of TheDream.US, CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative research project, and CUNY Service Corps.

Prior to joining REPS, Hyein was a program counselor at the New Americans Welcome Center (NAWC) in Flushing, Queens, where she helped operate a referral service for immigrant families, as well as tracking the progress of clients participating in literacy classes offered at the NAWC.

Hyein received a B.A. in History from New York University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on undocumented students in higher education. She also teaches courses in sociology across CUNY campuses.

Email Hyein at: hyein.lee@cuny.edu


Charles Madsen
Senior Research Analyst

Bio

Charles Madsen is a Charles Madsen is a Senior Research Analyst in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support, where he leads and supports the evaluation and research related to the CUNY Service Corps, Cultural Corps, LINCT to Success, and the CUNY Fatherhood Academy. Charles also advises the work for all Continuing Education and Workforce Development projects within the office. Additionally, he coordinates staff training, develops knowledge-sharing opportunities, and is exploring ways to enhance reporting practices through data visualization.

Prior to joining CUNY, Charles worked as a program evaluation specialist at an environmental nonprofit organization in Denver, Colorado, through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. During his time there, he developed a strategy for evaluating the organization’s youth development program.

Charles graduated with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Russian language from Saint Olaf College, and earned an M.A. in Research Methods and Statistics from the University of Denver.

Email Charles at: charles.madsen@cuny.edu


Karen Okigbo
Research Fellow

Bio

Karen Okigbo is a Research Fellow in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she supports the ongoing research and evaluation of the Creative Arts Team Astor-funded Early Learning Program (CAT-Astor ELP).

Prior to joining REPS, Karen worked as the Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania’s Out-of-School Time Center (OSTRC). In that role, she conducted research regarding promising practices in out-of-school time (OST) professional development, OST professionalism and professional identity, and evaluation frameworks for workshops and conferences. Her research endeavors ranged from studies on adult learning to conducting and administering focus groups, interviews, and surveys about professional development.

Karen graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Politics. She has an M.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University and an M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at the CUNY Graduate Center, where her scholarship focuses on immigration, race, ethnicity, and education. At the Graduate Center, Karen is a senior research associate at the Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS) and a Mellon Teaching Fellow.

Email Karen at: karen.okigbo@cuny.edu


Vanessa Paul
Research Analyst II

Bio

Vanessa Joi Paul is a Research Analyst II with the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where she leads the program evaluation and research of the Early College Initiative (ECI) and CUNY EDGE programs and supports the data collection and analysis in the evaluation of the Creative Arts Team Early Learning Program (CAT-ELP).

Prior to joining REPS, Vanessa was a part-time research analyst at CUNY’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA), where she was tasked with submitting data for internal and external requests concerning CUNY students’ educational outcomes. She analyzed missing data patterns within the Department of Labor’s wage data for CUNY graduates as well. Aside from her work at OIRA, Vanessa has worked as a CUNY adjunct lecturer and has taught various undergraduate courses, such as Social Statistics I and Sociology of Education.

Vanessa graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Sociology. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at the CUNY Graduate Center. At the Graduate Center, Vanessa has had the opportunity to work with leading academics on various research projects. She most recently contributed to Philip Kasinitz and Sharon Zukin’s book, Global Cities, Local Streets: Everyday Diversity from New York to Shanghai, as a research assistant. Additionally, she has presented her own original research at national sociological conferences, such as the American Sociological Association. In 2016, Vanessa was awarded a Doctoral Student Research Grant, which she will devote to the development of her dissertation on black women’s social justice activism on college campuses.

Email Vanessa at: vanessa.paul@cuny.edu


Simon Sandh
Research Assistant

Bio

Simon Sandh is a Research Assistant in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS) where he supports ongoing research and evaluation of the CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative Research Project.

Prior to joining REPS, Simon worked on research projects focused on health disparities among marginalized populations, specifically HIV/AIDS. In 2015 he worked with a research team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center to test the feasibility of using gay social networking sites to link underserved and hidden populations, (e.g., men who have sex with men and transgender individuals) to HIV preventative care. Simon has also worked with HealthyCUNY to develop a web-based application for CUNY students to gain information about and access to various health resources.

Simon received a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College and a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from the CUNY School of Public Health, with a concentration in maternal, child, sexual, and reproductive health. He is currently a doctoral student at New York University’s College of Global Public Health.

Email Simon at: simon.sandh@cuny.edu


Sangdong (Sandy) Tak
Research Analyst I

Bio

Sangdong (Sandy) Tak is a Research Analyst I in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (REPS), where he supports the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of CUNY Start, Math Start, and TheDream.US scholarship program.

Prior to joining REPS, Sangdong was an assessment manager in the Division of Student Affairs at John Jay College, where he helped departments identify methods to evaluate their programs and design annual assessment plans. In addition, Sangdong has taught research methods and statistics to undergraduate and graduate students across CUNY campuses since 2014.

Sangdong received an M.A. in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), concentrating on the nonprofit sector and civic engagement. He is now a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Email Sandy at: sangdong.tak@cuny.edu