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Dr. Adrienne Smith is a learning scientist with over ten years of experience in education research and evaluation. She applies her knowledge of research methods and expertise in statistical analysis to study and measure the implementation and impact of innovations on participants’ knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. Her current work focuses on supporting and evaluating the construction of collaborative communities and increasing diversity in STEM.  Adrienne started her career at top evaluation and policy organizations in North Carolina (Horizon Research and the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina) before founding Cynosure Consulting. Adrienne’s commitment to high-quality evaluation is born out of a personal desire to see greater participation of women and other underrepresented students, including students in rural areas and those who learn differently, in STEM education from pre-K through graduate studies.

Her current work focuses on supporting and evaluating the construction of collaborative communities and building evaluation capacity within organizations and large-scale programs. In all efforts Adrienne works to (a) truly understand the purpose and needs for the evaluation or research undertaking, (b) develop feedback cycles that support continuous program improvement, (c) make implementation and impact data available and interpretable for program implementers, and (d) select the most rigorous, yet feasible analytic designs that are tailored to the unique needs of each program context. She has published in scholarly and practitioner-focused journals on topics including evaluation design, instrument validation, and the effectiveness of policy change.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Psychology Adrienne completed a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at UNC Greensboro. She taught third grade before returning to UNC Chapel Hill to complete a PhD in Education. In addition to her evaluation work Adrienne has led multiple NSF-funded research projects, taught doctoral-level research methods and statistic courses, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students.

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