Dr. Elena Ragusa
Dr. Elena Tamanas Ragusa, President and Founder of Drive Evaluation Studio, is an organizational and community psychologist. As a consultant, Elena uses her expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods, program assessment, systems evaluation, and organizational strategy to serve as a capacity builder, evaluator, critical thought partner, and coach to nonprofits, foundations, and universities. Elena is passionate about working with groups to use data to inform their work, determine and build on what is working in their practices, and tell the story about their impact on their community. Before building out the Studio, Elena was the senior executive director of enrollment strategy and analytics for Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Prior to that, Elena designed, managed, and directed research and evaluation for K-12 and college access programming, served as a project manager at a national research and evaluation consulting firm, and consulted to public school districts on issues of organizational effectiveness and research methods courses for high school students.
Elena stays connected to students and theory in the classroom, serving as part-time faculty for undergraduate and graduate students in psychology. Her teaching includes program evaluation, participatory evaluation, community psychology, I/O psychology, social psychology, adult learning and training, and qualitative research methods. Her research interests include pathways toward psychological empowerment for underrepresented youth (building from her dissertation research in 2010), participatory evaluation and engaging community voice as strategies to effect systems change, evaluative thinking as an organizational development intervention, and the power of data visualization and storytelling in community.