LEAVING A WORLD LEGACY
University of California, Davis
Traci Shirachi is the CEO/President of The Mark USA, Inc. She is responsible for making key business decisions for the company to increase The Mark’s abilities to address principal investigator (“PI”) needs, and help to continue to expand and grow the company. Traci works with all the evaluators within the organization to deliver rigorous work and quality client service. Traci has over 17 years of work experience with consulting companies of various sizes, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. She received a B.A. in political science at the University of California, Davis, and an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University.
Yu Zhang, Ph.D.
University of Maryland
Dr. Zhang received her PhD in Public Affairs from Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and MPA in Public Policy from University of Maryland College Park School of Public Policy. She has extensive research experience in environmental and energy issues by using both quantitative and qualitative methods, such as survey designs, focus group, experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Yu has been involved with large public opinion studies of emerging energy technologies both in the U.S. and China. Her interests are environmental and energy focused program evaluation, public opinion studies and outcome evaluation. She earned her dual BA degrees from Peking University, China in Urban Management and Economics.
Jessica Martone, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Evaluation
Loyola University Chicago
Dr. Martone received her PhD and her MSW from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. Jessica was a research fellow and is currently a research affiliate for the Institute for Migration and International Social Work. Jessica has been involved with immigration and education focused research projects. Prior to The Mark, Jessica was an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago teaching undergraduate and graduate level social work courses. In addition she worked as a consultant conducting research and evaluation.
Ben Kohl, Ph.D.
Vice President of Business Development
Kansas State University
Dr. Kohl earned a Ph.D. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Kansas State University. Before joining The Mark, Dr. Kohl served as Vice President of Business Development for Piestar Inc, a software as a service (SaaS) company providing research management solutions for higher education. Dr. Kohl spent most of his career at Kansas State University, serving as Assistant Director for the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Enrollment Management Coordinator for the Department of Housing and Dining Services.
University of Oxford
University of California, Irvine
Aubrey Roy received her M.S. in Sociology from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom where she specialized in quantitative methods and focused the effects of macro-level education spending on the profession of teaching. She also received her B.A. in Sociology and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from University of California, Irvine. Prior to The Mark, Aubrey worked in trial and political consulting where she used both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Joshua Yuen Penman
Claremont Graduate University
University of Oxford
Mr. Penman has a background in international development, management consulting, and intercultural competency development, and holds a Master’s degree in Evaluation and Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Joshua’s professional focus is tighter integration of evaluation, program theory, and process improvement that lead to innovations in cost-effective evaluation. He has conducted applied research and evaluation in education, environmentally friendly construction technology, and startups. Prior to The Mark, Josh led national and international projects at the intersection of health and media.
University of Miami
Dr. Celaya holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Miami and an M.A. in Sociology and Graduate Certificate in Latino and Latin American Studies from Fordham University. She has a background in program implementation and evaluation of research-informed and evidenced-based community projects, as well as domestic violence and child welfare research. Her professional and academic interests include risk assessment and management, program development and evaluation, policy analysis, and issues surrounding minorities and immigrant populations. Prior to joining The Mark, Dr. Celaya conducted research and evaluation for the child welfare system and served as a consultant on several federally funded projects.
New York University
Ms. Fransen has a background in international development, monitoring and evaluation, and evaluation capacity development. She holds a Master's degree in Global Affairs from New York University. Her professional and academic focus is on building context-sensitive evaluation systems that promote continuous organizational learning, resilience to change, and accountability to mission, internal values and community. Prior to joining The Mark, Ms. Fransen worked for and with United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, community-based non-profits, and civil society organizations to deliver research, evaluation, and policy analysis projects.