SEHD Faculty Dr. Scotney Evans and EPSA Team Selected to Lead Evaluation of Important Placed Based Community Initiative

Engagement, Power, & Social Action Research Team (EPSA) Evaluation Team for Live Healthy Community Partnership Initiative

Dr. Scotney Evans and the Engagement, Power, and Social Action (EPSA) Research Team in the School of Education and Human Development was recently awarded a grant by the Healthy Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) to lead the evaluation of the Live Health Community Partnerships Initiative in two communities – The City of Miami Gardens and the neighborhood of Little Havana (within the City of Miami). The Initiative aspires to design to develop, implement, and sustain effective community-level strategies in the two communities to promote well-being and make it easier for their residents to live healthy lives. The EPSA Team is working closely with the HFSF and stakeholders from the two communities to clarify theories of change, understand and increase organizational capacity for effective implementation, document implementation successes and challenges, and track short-term, intermediate, and long-term changes. Utilizing a collaborative and developmental evaluation approach focused on both process and outcomes, the team will assess the quality of the implementation of action plans and to what degree the Initiative is achieving the desired outcomes.  “It is our hope that our participation in this initiative will help strengthen the work and increase the potential for sustainable change and improved well-being in Little Havana and Miami Gardens” said Dr. Evans.

EPSA Evaluation Team Members:

Scotney Evans, Ph.D.

Dr. Evans is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies in the School of Education and Human Development and Acting Director of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement. He teaches and advises students in the undergraduate program in Human and Social Development (HSD), the master’s program in Community and Social Change (CSC), and the PhD program in Community Well-being (CWB). He is a community-engaged researcher with 20 years of experience working to understand and support the role of community-based organizations, networks, and coalitions in building collective power to promote community wellbeing, social change, and social justice. Dr. Evans is also the editor of the open-access online journal Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice. 

Elizabeth McInerney, B.A.

Elizabeth (Liz) McInerney is a second-year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami. She completed her BA in Psychology at the University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill. She became TEFL certified in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has taught ESL in both Argentina and South Korea. Her research interests are related to social justice advocacy and the mind-body connection, particularly for trauma. Her past work has focused primarily on fostering the psycho-social wellbeing of children exposed to violence and promoting equitable access to mental-health care. Liz will be the evaluation team lead for the Live Healthy Little Havana initiative.

Margo Fernandez-Burgos, B.A.

Margo (Mars) Fernandez-Burgos is a Master’s Student in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Miami and will be the evaluation team lead for the Live Healthy Miami Gardens initiative. Mars completed a BA in Earth Science at Wesleyan University and has worked in several community-based and public health organizations. Mars has research interests targeting at the intersection of identity and health and is currently involved in a project that is using qualitative methods to explore psychosocial factors influencing the wellbeing of people of color with chronic medical conditions, and another on virtual simulation and reality in health sciences.

Andrea Botero, B.S. Project Coordinator
Master’s Student in Community and Social Change at the University of Miami.

Other team members include: Jorge de la Paz with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement; Leigh Rauk, PhD student in Community Well-Being; and undergraduate students Victoria Gonzalez and Kacey James. Additional team members will also be assisting in the two communities as needed.

Engagement, Power, & Social Action Research Team (EPSA) Evaluation Team for Live Healthy Community Partnership Initiative (L to R: Margo Fernandez-Burgos, Kacey James, Scot Evans, Liz McInerney, Andrea Botero & Leigh Rauk)