Documenting the impact OVW grants make on women, their families, and their communities.


Project Staff

Elisabeth F. Snell
Project Director

Elisabeth F. Snell is the Project Director of the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative. Elisabeth returned to Maine after a decade in New York City, where she completed a Master's in Public Health focusing on health policy and management, while leading public health projects in both private and public sectors. Elisabeth started her career in anti-violence work in Maine as a domestic violence hotline advocate, volunteer coordinator, and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) coordinator. She has a particular research interest in best practices within the primary care setting for survivors of intimate partner violence. She lives in Portland with her partner.

Erika Arthur
Research Assistant II

Erika is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Erika works on project coordination, evidence research, and qualitative data projects. Before arriving at the Muskie School, Erika worked as a cook, farmworker, bookseller, community organizer, and educator. She applies the communication, organization, and facilitation skills she learned in all of these different roles to her work with VAWA MEI, helping to ensure that all the pieces of the project move in harmony.

Erika received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Thought & Political Economy, a Master of Arts degree in U.S. History, and a Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research and activism have largely focused on the history and politics of incarceration, race and racism, gender and feminism, and war and militarism. When she’s not working for VAWA MEI, Erika can be found walking in the Maine woods, singing with the Harbour Singers hospice choir, or cooking up a feast.

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Maureen Baker
Policy Associate

Maureen is a Policy Associate at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She leads grantee trainings and data analyses work on the Supervised Visitation program grant and the Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant program. Maureen provides training and technical assistance on data reporting to OVW Technical Assistance providers.

Maureen has a passion for training, group facilitation, and strategic planning especially as it relates to building collaborative relationships across diverse social service systems. Throughout her career, she has worked with professionals in the fields of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, substance abuse, and criminal justice to identify and minimize barriers to integrated service delivery.  In addition, she has over fifteen years experience in the field of domestic violence, both as an advocate for battered women and children and as a community educator.
In addition to her work with VAWA MEI, she is the Project Director for the Maine/ New Hampshire Victim Assistance Academy where she coordinates professional development opportunities for crime victim advocates in Maine and New Hampshire.

Casey Benner
Research Assistant II

Casey is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Prior to her position at Muskie, Casey worked in the social services field providing in-home and community support to youth and their families. Casey attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH, where she earned her dual BA, majoring in Psychology and in Justice Studies and minoring in Forensics. Outside of work, Casey enjoys playing and coaching ice hockey, playing her guitar, attending concerts, and exploring new places.

Julia Bergeron-Smith
Policy Analyst II / Training Coordinator

Julia is a Policy Analyst II at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Julia oversees the data cleaning, analysis and reporting of all youth related grant programs, the tribal grant programs, and the campus grant program. As the VAWA MEI Training Coordinator, Julia oversees the design and implementation of distance learning programs for all OVW funded program grantees and provides direct technical assistance.

In addition to her work with VAWA MEI, Julia also completes research and program evaluation for the Youth Leadership Advisory Team, a Youth and Community Engagement initiative also housed at Muskie. Julia is a Licensed Master of Social Work and, prior to her position at Muskie, worked in social services with youth in Maine's Child Welfare System and youth experiencing homelessness. Prior to earning her Masters, Julia attended Clark University in Worcester, MA where she earned her BA, majoring in Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies. Outside of work, Julia enjoys cooking, running, and going on Maine adventures with her partner and their Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees, Khali.


Hannah Brintlinger
Research Assistant II

Hannah is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Hannah joined the VAWA MEI team after completing her Master of Public Health degree from the Muskie School of Public Service. Prior to earning her Masters, Hannah attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI where she earned her BA, majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and minoring in Gender Health.


Devon Grayson-Wallace
Research Assistant II

Devon is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Devon moved to Maine from Washington, D.C., where she was a lobbyist on peace and justice issues, with an emphasis on the federal budget. Prior to her time in D.C., Devon attended Clark University in Worcester, MA, where she earned her BA, majoring in Sociology with concentration in Peace Studies. Outside of work, Devon enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter and spending time outdoors, especially with her horse.

 

Alison Grey
Administrative Support Supervisor

Alison is the administrative support supervisor for the VAWA MEI Project within the Justice Policy Program at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service. Alison brings over 20 years of experience providing direct services to sexual assault victims, as well as program coordination, training delivery, grant and product development, and operations oversight for crisis service organizations. Among her broad and varied roles in the field, she has served as a SART Coordinator, member of the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Advisory Board, member of the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Protocol Committee and Project Coordinator/Interim Director for a local sexual assault services agency. Alison has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and a master's degree in clinical psychology from Eastern Washington University. Alison oversees all office operations and functions for the VAWA MEI, such as training and webinar assistance, logistical support, financial and administrative support. As a former VAWA grant recipient, she also serves as the first point of contact for the hundreds of VAWA grantees who contact the project with requests for technical assistance.

 

Simranjit Khaira
Computer and Database Manager

Simran is currently working as a Computer and Database Manager at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence against Women, where she assists with data cleaning and database development. Simran holds a Bachelors and a Masters in Computer Applications, and has more than seven years of experience in the IT field. She has experience in creating Access databases and along with operational research topics, she has taught C and C++ programming languages to the graduate and undergraduate students at Punjab Technical University Study Center, India.
 

Sarah Krichels Goan, MPP
Senior Policy Associate
Data Quality, Analysis and Management Project Advisor

Sarah joined the Cutler Institute in 2016 to assist in the launch of the Data Innovation Project, which aims to enhance the data-driven capacity of local Maine organizations. She brings over a decade of research and evaluation experience to Cutler, ranging from survey questionnaire and instrument development, evaluation and analytic work plan design, data analysis and interpretation, and development of project reports and papers. Sarah provides evaluation expertise, training and technical assistance to the VAWA MEI team.

Danielle Layton
Research Analyst

Danielle is a Reseach Analyst at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She works on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women, specializing in the Abuse in Later Life, Culturally Specific, Disabilities, Rural, and Underserved Populations grant programs, as well as the Sexual Assault Services Forumla Grant Program. In addition to cleaning and anlyzing grantee-reported data, she provides training and technical assistance to grantees, creates summary data reports, and assists with communications and website management.

In addition to her work with VAWA MEI, Danielle works for the Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) on various projects studying justice policy and practice in Maine. She also works on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and has been involved with Maine's Results Based Leadership institute. She is currently working toward her Masters in Social Work and has interned with Maine Inside Out, which uses theater to promote transformative justice as an alternative to incarceration. Originally from California, Danielle studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and the University of Maine at Farmington, earning her Bachelors in Psychology and English. She loves being outside, painting, and playing piano.

Alexa Plotkin
Research Assistant II

Alexa is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to working at the Cutler Institute, she was the manager of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. While working for Habitat, Alexa attended the Muskie school of Public Service where she obtained a masters in Policy, Planning, and Management. As an AmeriCorps alum two times over, Alexa strongly believes in the power of volunteerism and the strong connections that spring out of working together towards collective goals. She is inspired everyday by the volunteers she met over her years working with Habitat for Humanity, and hopes to retire one day to be just like them.

Viacheslav Tomenko
Research Assistant II

Viacheslav is a Research Assistant II at the Catherine Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Born in Ukraine, he moved to the United States in 2005. Prior to his position at Muskie, Viacheslav had been working in multiple international non-profit organizations including, but not limited to, the United Nations and Equality Maine. Viacheslav received a Master of Public Policy and Management in 2010 from the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. He is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project funded by the Office on Violence Against Women.

Susan Walker
Research Analyst/Project Coordinator

Susan is a Research Analyst at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project, funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Susan has been working at Muskie since July 2002. While working on the VAWA project she developed a system using Access databases to automate the cleaning of the data. She received her masters in Public Policy and Management in May of 2004, certificate in Research and Evaluation Methods in January of 2004, and a BS in Leadership and Organizational Studies in May 2002. Prior to joining the Muskie School, Susan managed an organic vegetable farm CSA in Standish while she helped raise six children. She enjoys being outdoors and taking photos of nature and unusual things.
Tara Wheeler
Research Analyst

Tara is a Research Analyst for the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative (VAWA MEI) at the Muskie School of Public Service in Portland, Maine. Tara analyzes data, provides technical assistance, and conducts training for numerous OVW grant programs, including Arrest, Justice for Families, Legal Assistance for Victims, and STOP. Prior to working for VAWA MEI, she worked in both the public and private legal sector. Tara received a Master's Degree in Public Policy Management for the University of Southern Maine in May 2014.
     Page updated on 12/13/2017
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