Who We Are


GEAR UP Program Staff

 

 

Staff of the Urban Education, Prevention & Policy Research Area

Nadia L. Ward

Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research

Photo

Nadia L. Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D., is the Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research at The Consultation Center and Assistant Professor in the Division of Prevention & Community Research at Yale University School of Medicine. Her extensive work in the area of academic achievement for racial and ethnic minority students has spanned 20 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public school systems and private organizations; curriculum development; program development; implementation; and evaluation.

 

 Dr. Ward has worked extensively with high-risk as well as high achieving urban youth and their families in a variety of capacities. She has designed and evaluated academic enrichment and competence enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings.

 

Additionally, Dr. Ward is a leader in comprehensive urban school reform efforts where she engages schools and communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of systemic interventions designed to improve school climate, academic performance and educational trajectories of low-income and minority youth.

 

Dr. Ward’s areas of expertise include school-based mental health, substance abuse prevention among youth, social-emotional learning, academic achievement, educational disparities, urban school reform, education policy and school-based prevention programs.

 

Dr. Ward has presented at regional, national and international conferences on topics related to systemic school reform, educational disparities, social-emotional learning, educational aspirations and attainment among urban adolescents, and school-based prevention. Her research has been published in recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ward has appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) and been quoted in the New York Post and U.S. News & World Report. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to the field.

 

Barb Nangle

Program Coordinator

Photo

Barb Nangle, M.A., is Program Coordinator for the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership. She has coordinated and evaluated large scale urban school reform initiatives in Connecticut for the past 18 years. She has extensive experience in coordinating program activities and events, designing databases, running analyses, generating reports and publishing scholarly manuscripts. Barb volunteers with community organizations that are dedicated to broadening educational and social experiences for children and youth in need. Barb holds a master's degree in sociology from the University of Connecticut. She is dedicated to working toward dismantling of the structures of inequality in our society.

Eddie Quiles

Program Manager

Photo

Eddie Quiles, M.S. is the Program Manager for the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In his role, he provides direct leadership to all aspects of program services, including supervising GEAR UP Lead Advisors and Academic Advisors, along with establishing and maintaining partnerships with school district administrators, teachers, and faculty. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education, with a certification in Secondary Social Studies and History from the University of Bridgeport and a B.S in Human Services. His knowledge in the areas of program development and implementation, youth development, social services, and academic interventions is informed through his professional and academic experiences gathered over the years of working in human services and urban school districts.

Genevieve M. Coyle

Research Assistant

Photo

Genevieve M. Coyle, B.S., is a graduate of Sacred Heart University where she received her degree in Sociology with a research concentration. She works at The Consultation Center as a research assistant with the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR-UP Partnership. She joined the program in 2012 as an unpaid intern and then returned as a paid research assistant. She continues to be invested in creating equality of education. She is familiar with several computer programs including SPSS, Access, Excel and Remark.  She intends to continue her education in the near future.

Joanna Meyer

Research Associate

Photo

Joanna Meyer. M.A.T.,  is a Research Associate who focuses on research and evaluation related to Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP, the Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER), and the Bridgeport Public Schools Social-Emotional Learning Initiative (RULER). Meyer earned her master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from the University of Maine and her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College. With nine years of experience as an educator and two years coordinating a regional school-university partnership at the University of Maine, Joanna is experienced in advocating for diverse stakeholder interests and balancing the perspectives of researchers and practitioners.

Joanne Richardson

GEAR UP Partnership Coordinator

Photo

Joanne Richardson, B.S., holds a bachelor degree from Southern Connecticut State University. She is well connected in the community and volunteers at various local organizations that are dedicated to benefit youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow. She has filled various roles at The Consultation Center for over 20 years, including that of the procurement and facilities manager.  Her skill at forging relationships, negotiating and event planning all serve her well in her role as GEAR UP Partnership Coordinator.

Patricia Simon

Associate Research Scientist

Photo

Patricia Simon, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine. She earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Simon’s research aims to prevent substance use and high school dropout among racial minority and low-income adolescents. In support of these aims, Dr. Simon has pursued two research projects. In the first project, Dr. Simon is applying a socio-ecological framework to identify neighborhood-, peer-, family-, and individual-level predictors of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use. In the second project, Dr. Simon is examining the use of motivational interviewing to promote academic achievement. Dr. Simon’s research has been supported by several competitive research fellowships, including the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship.

Michael J. Strambler

Associate Research Scientist

Photo

Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. He earned his doctoral degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Strambler’s research interests concern understanding and addressing achievement disparities, especially among ethnic minority and at-risk youth. He has a particular interest in how social environments and the dynamics that occur within them play a role in academic underperformance and how this problem can be addressed by school interventions and school reform efforts. His experience in applied research, program evaluation, and program design in these areas has spanned from elementary school to high school. Dr. Strambler's research has been published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Child Development, and American Psychologist, as well as The Handbook of Race, Racism and the Developing Child.

Katerina Vlahos

Research Assistant

Photo

Katerina Vlahos, B.S., is a Research Assistant and received her degree from Sacred Heart University with a concentration in Psychology. She is interested in the coupled effects of maternal support and enriched environment on children’s academic success as well as the effects of maternal stress on parenting.