About

At the Dawn Chorus Group, we see a world where good ideas flourish in communities. A world where people collectively work toward social, environmental, and well-being goals.

As part of that mission, we only want to do cool things with cool people.

To make this vision a reality, we only want to work with inspiring and dedicated people who share our values and commitment to social equity and justice. We are committed to finding new ways to make a difference in people’s lives through research and partnerships. We believe that by developing innovative technologies and maintaining strong community ties, we can continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible for communities around the globe.

The Dawn Chorus Group was founded in 2019, though its roots go back 15 years to partnerships developed at the University of South Carolina around shared values of social justice, participatory research, and social innovation. We are a team of psychologists, sociologists, technologists, geographers, and more who are passionate about helping people improve their work. Our goal is to use our expertise to help communities build a brighter tomorrow.

We believe that good ideas flourish when strong communities support them. That’s why we focus on building meaningful relationships with dedicated and inspiring people who share our values and commitment to social equity and justice. With their help, we aim to push the boundaries of what is possible and impact people’s lives.

Core Dawn Chorus staff

Meghan Blevins, MA Research Associate

Meghan Blevins, MA

Meghan has over 15 years experience in healthy youth development, and community enhancement, including juvenile justice, prevention science, coalition building and maintenance, needs assessments, and data-driven decision-making for improved community outcomes. She started her journey of community enhancement as a Juvenile Justice programming supervisor at the Olivet Boys & Girls Club and with Berks County Juvenile Probation in Reading, PA, as a programmatic (and fun!) alternative for adjudicated youth who may otherwise be heading to placement. Seeing the changes in youth during the duration of programs, but wondering if there was data to validate the youth improvements led her to work as a Systems Change Specialist at Penn State University’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center’s EPISCenter. In this role, she helps guide communities through the Communities That Care (CTC) process as a certified CTC coach, and support local and state prevention collaboration.

She has had the honor of presenting a numerous Pennsylvania- based conferences, as well as the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development conference, CADCA’s 28th National Leadership Forum, developed and presented “Organizational Elements for Effective Coalitions” Enhanced Prevention Learning Series through the Prevention Enhancement Technology Center (PTTC) funded through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Meghan serves/served on the board for the PA Youth Survey, PA Coalition on Domestic Violence, Reading Beautification, Inc., and The Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health, as well as a guest lecturer and field instructor for multiple colleges and universities.

Looking to further improve community health, Meghan earned her Master of Arts degree in Community Psychology and Social Change from Penn State University and likes to dance, all activities on the water, and time at the beach.

PubTrawlr Staff

The PubTrawlr team focuses on how to best make scientific information more accessible to researchers, educators, and the public at large. We strongly believe that science is a public good, and our team helps to streamline how we share and message this with people and institutions.

Dawn Chorus Subject Matter Experts

There are many ways to approach community-based learning. We don’t know everything. Fortunately, we have a deep bench of colleagues and friends to help us out with specialized challenges, methods, and problems.

Kalie Mayberry, MPA

Kalie Mayberry, MPA

Kalie Mayberry is a social impact researcher and educator, working at the intersection of public and private for the last decade. She is currently the Senior Research Coordinator for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Her research explores activism practices of workers and policies of corporations, specifically through digital and online communities. She has also held positions as a research fellow at Columbia Business School and Wharton School of Business.

Prior to working in academic research, she spent a decade working in inclusive community engagement, project management, and advocacy communications for academic and nonprofit organizations, including Temple University, Urban Affairs Coalition, and The Food Trust. Originally hailing from California, Kalie holds a double Bachelors of Arts from the University of California Santa Barbara in Communications and Sociology, as well as a minor in Professional Writing. She served for two years as an AmeriCorps public servant before enrolling in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, where she received a Masters in Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management and economic development.

She received Fel’s 2017 Student Public Service Award for her commitment to public service during her degree work. Currently, she serves as a mentor for high school students bridging to college, and is an advocate for civic engagement and hunger alleviation. Learn more about her work at kaliewertz.com or contact her at hello@kaliewertz.com

Blogs by Kalie

Elena Tamanas Ragusa, PsyD

Elena Tamanas Ragusa, PsyD

Dr. Elena Tamanas Ragusa, President and Founder of Drive Evaluation Studio, is an organizational and community psychologist. Elena built Drive Evaluation Studio out of a desire to partner with communities to strengthen the systems in which they live, work, learn, and play — and out of a need to make research and evaluation accessible to people doing important work in these spaces. The Studio works with nonprofits, foundations, and universities to use data to inform their work, determine and build on what is working in their practices, and tell the story about their impact in their community.

Elena has extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods, program assessment, systems evaluation, organizational strategy, and evaluation coaching. As a consultant, she serves as a capacity builder, evaluator, critical thought partner, and coach. Elena stays connected to students and theory in the classroom, serving as adjunct faculty whose teaching includes community psychology, group dynamics, industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology, and program evaluation methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Before building out the Studio, Elena was the senior executive director of enrollment strategy and analytics for Rutgers University–New Brunswick, where her work focused on using data to design and execute collaborative strategies to enroll, retain, and graduate a diverse and accomplished student body at the university. Prior to that, Elena designed, managed, and directed the research and evaluation of college access programs for Rutgers University’s pre-college program portfolio. And before her 10 years at Rutgers, she served as a project manager at OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (now Equal Measure) – a national research and evaluation consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked in Human Assets at Teach for America’s national headquarters and consulted to New Jersey public school districts on issues of organizational effectiveness and on the development of college preparatory research methods courses for high school students.

Elena holds B.A.s in psychology and sociology from Rutgers University, and she earned an M.A. and doctorate of psychology in organizational psychology – with a focus on communities – from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.

Jason Turi, RN, MPH

Jason Turi, RN, MPH

Jason Turi, RN, MPH

Director of Field Building and Resources for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Jason Turi is a registered nurse and public health practitioner specializing in integrated healthcare and social service delivery for complex, vulnerable, and marginalized populations. Currently, he serves as Director of Field Building and Resources at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs in Camden, NJ where he plans, organizes, and leads technical assistance, model co-design, multisector coalitions, evaluations, and curriculum development focused on advancing the field of complex care and addressing inequities in health outcomes.

He has bachelor’s degrees in Nursing from William Paterson University and English Literature from Union College and received a master’s degree in Public Health, with an international health concentration, from the Boston University School of Public Health. Currently, he is a doctoral student in Public Health at the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health in the Global Health Leadership Program.

Prior to his current role he served as Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Integration for Centerstone, the nation’s largest community-based behavioral healthcare organization. He provided leadership and expertise for population health management initiatives, complex care innovation, integrated primary, behavioral health, and addiction services, as well as data analytics, and value-based care readiness. Previous to Centerstone, Jason served at New York City Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the nation, as Associate Executive Director of the Health Home program, where he oversaw the administration of both a city-wide health home care management agency and a New York State designated health home network engaging over 20,000 individuals – additionally, he worked at the health system’s Accountable Care Organization as Senior Director for Innovation Strategies where he focused on building clinical and operational capacity to effectively engage and manage high-need, vulnerable populations throughout New York City in collaboration public agencies and non-profit partners.

Earlier in his career, he was Associate Clinical Director at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers where he led strategy, design, implementation, and evaluation of the Coalition’s nationally recognized hospital and community-based multidisciplinary care management teams in collaboration with multiple regional health systems, multisector service providers, and community-based organizations. Prior to that, he worked at Pathways To Housing NYC as a Registered Nurse Care Manager on the Assertive Community Mental Health Treatment and Housing First team in Central Brooklyn, a model harm reduction-based initiative.

He currently serves as an advisory panel member for Indiana University’s Addiction Grand Challenge Research Initiative and has been actively involved in several of the initiative’s research projects. His doctoral research focuses on evaluating the mechanisms of multisector community networks to impact inequities in health and social outcomes. He is collaborating with students and faculty at Indiana University to advance the Doctor of Public Health program to better address racism, bias, discrimination, and xenophobia as a global public health leadership competency and is part of joint student-faculty organizing efforts to institutionalize a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee at Indiana University’s Fairbanks School of Public Health.  Additionally, he is an active member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Contact information: jturi@camdenhealth.org

Christina Richter, MA

Christina Richter, MA

The nursing cap was first worn in the 1800s by Florence Nightingale.  It quickly became the symbol around the world of” providing help and service to those in need.”

Just as Nightingale became know as the “The Lady with the Lamp,” Christina is a dedicated, non-profit thought leader with over 28 years experience. She offers a dedicated light of service, guidance, and solutions to all her clients. Armed with her ability to see the big picture, build relationships, her skills build long-term solutions that build healthy results. She is a coach and builds teams that can lead to a better donor experience.

MANTRAS: Service-above-self.  Daring greatly. The rich tapestry of diversity weaves a beautiful fabric.

Community advocate and volunteer.

Marathon runner with a purpose to change lives one step at a time. Lover of the beach, nature, biking and kayaking.  Always has a stack of books. Still listens to record albums. Trying her hand at learning to play the piano—“take each day with gratitude to learn something new.”

Christina is formerly the Chief Development Officer of the Philadelphia Police Athletic League. She has worked in higher education at Temple University,  and as a Senior Major gift officer in a major healthcare system—Virtua Healthcare in Southern NJ. She has also served as the Chief Development Officer of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. She has served as interim Chief Development Officer at clients such as the Kimmel Center Performance Arts, Bancroft, and assisted with major gifts at the Special Olympics of PA.

She has a strong knowledge of the healthcare sector and its changing landscape. She has implemented and led capital campaigns, major gift strategies, grants, special events, annual fund. She is very relationship focused in her approaches and is interested in building a culture of philanthropy that is donor-centric. She sees the big picture for organizations and is a connector and makes things happen to collaborate.

Christina has a B.A. from Clarion University in Communications, and a M.A. from Point Park University in Marketing Communications.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Services of Delaware and is a volunteer at the Mary Campbell Center, a residential center for people with disabilities.  She also serves on the Alumni Board of Point Park University.

Aida Guhlincozzi, PhD Geographer

Aida Guhlincozzi, PhD

NEW PAPER!

Grappling with barriers in geosciences from the lens of two Latina geoscientists

I study healthcare accessibility for Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking Latinas in the Chicago suburbs. My work incorporates community geography, Latinx geographies, feminist geographies, and qualitative GIS theory and methodologies. I also study justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Geosciences, especially around the recruitment and retention of students of color, and dismantling structures of oppression and white supremacy in academia.

Ross D. Whiting, PhD

Ross D. Whiting, PhD

Ross D. Whiting, Ph.D. is the President of Dogwood Consulting an organization that engages in evaluation, organizational development, and advocacy that drives change for good. Ross is a consultant and social scientist with extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods, organizational development, and project management, reporting, and results communication and advocacy. Ross currently serves as a consultant for diverse nonprofit, public, and private clients who are committed to improving opportunities and quality of life for the people they serve. Ross’ focus on entrepreneurial, creative solutions to policy and practice challenges has resulted in several nation-leading public and privately funded initiatives. A former educator, Ross has experience in teaching, evaluating, and facilitating change in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and excels at knowledge organization and translation that results in aligned, action-focused planning and implementation. Ross is passionate about solving complex organizational problems and excels at understanding and translating seemingly disparate data. Ross has a demonstrated history of convening interdisciplinary groups to drive meaningful changes in policy and practice.

Ross is the former Associate Director of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden where his work focused on evaluation, data-driven organizational development, and strategic planning serving local and state governments, nonprofits, and private foundations and organizations. In this position, Ross led program evaluation and advocacy to pass P.L.2021 c.85 supporting the Clayton Model Pilot Program, one of the largest state-funded social-emotional learning programs in the United States. Ross also served as the Inclusive Education Project Manager at Temple University where he led an interdisciplinary program to create Certificate in Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion that was the first for-credit credential available to both adults with Intellectual Disabilities and their typically matriculated peers in the United States. Ross is a former adjunct professor at Temple University, teaching courses in Urban Education and Organizational Development including Understanding Urban Communities, Sociocultural Foundations of Education in the United States, Organizational Communication, and Interpersonal Communication. Ross began his career as a music teacher at Edward W. Bok Technical High School in the School District of Philadelphia, focusing on student-centered, growth-oriented, culturally responsive teaching and learning.

Ross earned a Doctorate in Urban Education (Ph.D.) from Temple University, a M.M. in Music Education with a focus on Urban Education from Boston University, and a B.M. in Music Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. Ross continues to engage in regular leadership coaching, and continues to seek opportunities to grow his evaluation, organizational development, and leadership skills