Research Staff Experience

Dr. Mikala L. Rahn, Founder and CEO, has managed evaluation projects involving analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from and across multiple agencies for more than 25 years. Prior to founding PW, Dr. Rahn had experience in other research organizations managing small- and large-scale projects. As the director of our evaluation and research projects, Dr. Rahn supports our team with initial planning and facilitation of evaluation and study designs. She reviews qualitative and quantitative methodologies and outcome study designs of evaluation and research projects. Dr. Rahn has managed evaluation projects at the federal, state and county levels studying governmental system challenges as they relate to a wide range of policy areas including K-12 and postsecondary education, social services, workforce development, youth development and justice-involved youth. Dr. Rahn has a PhD in Education Administration-Policy Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, with Masters in Education Administration and Political Science and a BA in Communications from the University of California, San Diego.

Patricia O’Driscoll, MPA is Vice President for Research and Evaluation and is a founding member of the PW staff who manages the day-to-day work of the research and evaluation team. She serves as a point of contact for clients to manage work flow, deliverables and provides consultation regarding reporting and communicating project results. At PW, she has led multiple studies to offer solutions for systemic challenges from pre-school through postsecondary education, workforce development and supporting community-based organizations. Ms. O’Driscoll is an experienced researcher providing evaluation and technical assistance in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including large-scale data collection efforts, survey design and administration, analysis of participant outcomes, and qualitative data collection and analysis including interviewing techniques, site visits and case study design. Ms. O’Driscoll has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Affairs and Bachelors degrees from the University of California Santa Cruz in Community Studies and Politics.

Jessica Bogner, MA, Project Associate, has extensive expertise in the areas evaluation and statistics. With education in Administration of Justice, she is interested in taking policy and program evaluation to the justice system. At Public Works, she has worked on multiple evaluations. Evaluations have utilized mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and quasi-experimental matched comparison studies. Ms. Bogner has research, evaluation, and statistical training, receiving a co-concentration M.A. in Applied Cognitive Psychology and Evaluation from Claremont Gradation University (CGU). Other evaluation experience with CGU was for Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) a summer program for high-achieving, historically underrepresented youth and a Youth Justice Coalition Charter School for system experienced youth called FREE L.A. High School. Her experience in Graphic Design, BA from the Academy of Art University, allows her to represent data in ways that are easy to understand and informative.

Albert Chen, Data Analyst, has served as the primary data analyst at Public Works since 2000. He is experienced with data query, extraction, compilation, and has advanced proficiency with various analytical tools and software including mastering SPSS, Excel, Filemaker, and our own customized databases. He has processed and analyzed quantitative data for many of the company’s projects. Mr. Chen has extensive experience in analyzing survey data, program outcome data, Census data, and mapping information. He uses his expertise in database creation, population and maintenance, performing precise statistical analyses and storing the qualitative and quantitative data that are the lifeblood of Public Works. Mr. Chen is the central technology cog that enables the company to deliver services and reports at a consistently high level of quality and efficiency to its clients.

Kristen Farley, PhD, Project Associate, has extensive experience in education and public health and is interested in evaluation and research that strives to improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. At Public Works, Kristen has been involved with state and local evaluation related to curriculum, assessment, and professional development in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) throughout California. Kristen is skilled in developing customized instruments, collecting and analyzing survey data and has conducted interviews, site visits, and focus groups. Other evaluation experience has focused on student nutrition. Dr. Farley has extensive teaching experience and has taught classes in geology, environmental science, health and outdoor education. She has been actively involved with community programs and non-profit organizations dedicated to child health, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Farley earned her BA in Geology from Whitman College, her PhD in Earth Science from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, and her MPH in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts.

Mario Garcia, Project Associate, has experience with local and statewide evaluation of a wide range of education projects since joining Public Works. Mr. Garcia has worked on multiple evaluations with extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including designing surveys, developing instruments, analyzing participant outcomes, site visits, conducting interviews and focus groups, and analyzing qualitative data. He received a BA in English from the University of Southern California.