KIDOS 2.0 TEAM

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Rebecca Gillam, MSW, Ph.D., is Assistant Director with the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships & Research. Dr. Gillam serves as the Evaluation Principal Investigator for the Kansas Initiative to Develop and Optimize Systems for early childhood (KIDOS 2.0). Dr. Gillam has over 20 years of social service experience, including direct services, project management, and evaluation. She has facilitated and evaluated interagency collaboration at local, state and national levels, primarily in the area of early childhood. Dr. Gillam has conducted both qualitative and quantitative evaluations designed to support ongoing quality improvements in service delivery, with an emphasis on effective interagency partnerships. Her dissertation, Predictors of Interagency Coordination in Early Childhood, examined data from 10 local interagency teams across 4 states. She has published and presented on Collective Impact approaches. Dr. Gillam holds a Bachelor’s degree in International relations and History from American University in Washington, D.C., and a Master’s in Social Work Administration and Advocacy Practice and Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Kansas.

Jessica Looze, Ph.D., is an Assistant Director of Research & Evaluation with the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships & Research (CPPR). Dr. Looze serves as the project coordinator for the Kansas Initiative to Develop and Optimize Systems for early childhood (KIDOS 2.0). In this role, she facilitates the state advisory team and coordinates state-local partnerships, as well as overseeing data collection, management, analysis, and dissemination. Dr. Looze has over 10 years of experience with both qualitative and quantitative methods, focusing on applied evaluation particularly in the area of maternal and child health. Prior to her work at CPPR, she worked as a Senior Research Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the University of California, Los Angeles and as a Project Coordinator at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at Brown University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and her B.A. in Sociology from Kansas State University.

Katherine Merriweather, M.A., is an Assistant Researcher for the Center for Public Partnerships and Research at the University of Kansas (KU) and is the evaluator for the Kansas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Impact grant and Kansas Initiative to Develop and Optimize Systems for early childhood (KIDOS 2.0). Additionally, Katy is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at KU. She received her B.A. in History (2011) and M.A. in Educational Psychology (2014) from the University of Texas at Austin. She has experience as the Graduate Affairs Director for the KU Student Senate, Graduate Research Assistant with the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation: Dynamic Learning Maps Science Consortium (now ATLAS), and Research Assistant for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Institute for Policy and Social Research at KU. Katy is active with the AERA SIG Research on Women and Education, AERA Division G Campus Liaisons, and KU Professionals for Inclusion and Social Justice.

Erica Figueroa, is a Research Project Coordinator with the Center for Public Partnerships & Research at the University of Kansas. She serves as the Local Community Coordinator on the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact Project. Mrs. Figueroa graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from Duke University. She majored in Psychology and minored in Global Health. During her time at Duke, she worked in an infant cognitive development lab, examining the process of language development as a child matures. Her honors thesis, Exploring the Meaning of Racial Identity Through Personal Narratives, used a qualitative approach to examine the experiences of African American students at a predominantly white institution and how those experiences related to their personal racial identity.

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