Staff

Michelle Alberti Gambone, Ph.D.,

Dr. Gambone is a sociologist who has been conducting research on youth development, community mobilization and youth policy and program effectiveness for the last fifteen years. She is currently the president of Youth Development Strategies, Inc. (YDSI), a not-for-profit policy research and technical assistance organization. YDSI was formed in 2002 to help community organizations and institutions that serve youth (e.g., city and state agencies, private foundations, schools, after-school programs, community based organizations) understand the youth development approach, assess their effectiveness, and develop new policies and practices to strengthen their work.

This work began as part of the Community Action for Youth Project (CAYP) – a cooperative project of Gambone & Associates and IRRE – that lasted from 1999 to 2001.

Dr. Gambone also continues the work of Gambone & Associates, a youth policy and research consulting firm working with a number of organizations assisting them in developing planning, management and evaluation strategies and tools for a broad range of youth development initiatives including community mobilization efforts, evaluations of district wide school reform efforts; and authoring chapters on measurement issues in researching community initiatives and on measuring youth development at the community level.

In her prior work at Public/Private Ventures, as Deputy Director of Research, Dr. Gambone was the principal investigator of a number of multi-million dollar, multi-site evaluations, including: their community change demonstration - Community Change for Youth Development (CCYD); the study of Voluntary Youth-Serving Organizations and how they contribute to the development of healthy adolescents; the evaluation of The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Plain Talk initiative – a community based teen pregnancy prevention initiative; and a study for the U.S. Department of Labor on how to bring a developmental perspective to youth employment training programs. Her Ph.D. in sociolo-gy is from Princeton University.


Senior Consultants



Cynthia L. Sipe, Ph.D., an independent consultant, has been evaluating the programs and reform efforts of nonprofit youth-serving organizations and school districts since receiving her doctorate in sociology at Indiana University in 1985. After many years of research and publication in the field of mentoring, Dr. Sipe is now a member of The National Mentoring Partnership’s Task Force on Accountability. As part of the CAYP project team, she assisted with the literature review and conducted secondary data analyses in support of the youth development framework. She is also working with IRRE on an evaluation of school reform in Flint, Michigan.

During Dr. Sipe’s 11-year tenure at Public/Private Ventures, she authored or coauthored numerous reports on P/PV’s mentoring work, and was principal investigator for an evaluation of the San Francisco Beacons Initiative, the Community Change for Youth Development demonstration, the impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Adult/Youth Relationships Demonstration Project, the Summer Training and Education Program demonstration, and an evaluation of the Campus Partners in Learning program.

In addition to research on youth development, Dr. Sipe continues to work with both local and national mentoring programs, conducting independent evaluations and assisting programs to develop processes for self-evaluation. She frequently conducts workshops on evaluation and presents mentoring research at local and national conferences.



Adena M. Klem, Ph.D., has devoted the past 10 years to studying the settings in which young people learn, and assessing different approaches to determine their efficacy. In her current capacity as research manager at IRRE, she manages school reform and youth development research projects, and coordinates the developmental work of office staff in five school districts seeking to increase their effectiveness. Previous work with IRRE has included planning and evaluating comprehensive community initiatives, compiling a guide for school districts interested in implementing First Things First, developed a needs-assessment strategy for Trenton Central High School, and managed the research design, questionnaire administration, data analysis and final report for the WT Grant Laboratory School Project in Elizabeth, NJ.

For Gambone & Associates, Dr. Klem developed a comprehensive literature review on adolescent development, assisted in the design and implementation of research activities in the Kansas City school district and manages data collection efforts there, and participated in the evaluation of AED’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research’s Youth Development Mobilization initiative. For the National Research Council, she recently authored a summary of the strategies various comprehensive school reform models use to engage adolescents in learning. Dr. Klem’s doctorate in social psychology and master’s in experimental social psychology are from Columbia University.



William P. Moore, Ph.D., a senior partner with Youth Policy Research Group, Inc., holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Kansas. Currently, he is the co-investigator for the evaluation of a system change initiative (First Things First) in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and a postdoctoral fellow with Juniper Gardens Children’s Research Project. His career has included service as research director for urban school districts, faculty positions in educational research and measurement at two universities, and direction and research of an award-winning collaborative AIDS education program for school-age youth.

Dr. Moore has consulted with school districts, nonprofits, health care institutions, national and local foundations, youth development intermediaries and universities; served as an expert witness in Federal school desegregation litigation; and assisted in developing the new national Student Evaluation Standards. His research interests have focused on the impact of mandated educational testing programs on teacher instructional practice; exploring the role that teachers play in educational research and how to use research to empower teachers; and the impact of education on the HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and behavior of youth.

Dr. Moore has authored more than 75 evaluation or technical reports; has delivered more than 75 presentations at national and local conferences; and has made numerous public, community and civic presentations on education, assessment, youth development, adolescent health, grant development and evaluation.



Theresa Akey, Ph.D, a senior partner with Youth Policy Research Group, Inc., holds a doctorate in educational psychology, research and statistics from the University of Kansas and an MA in community and school counseling from Delta State University and has extensive experience in the areas of evaluation, research and assessment. Dr. Akey has 12 years experience working as a consultant with nonprofit service agencies, educational organizations, and corporate groups in research, evaluation, and assessment projects.

Dr. Akey served as an assistant professor in the area of research and analytic methods at Auburn University for two years, and most recently in the role of director of educational research, evaluation, and assessment in a Kansas City area school district for the last four years. In addition, she has been an independent consultant for school reform initiatives in several states, including Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. She has also conducted workshops on using data for organizational improvement, and presented on this topic at many national and regional conferences.

Prior to Dr. Akey’s work in the schools, her experience focused on agencies that provide supports to families of children with disabilities, including evaluation of grants, staff development training, and site-based research projects. She has also worked with nonprofit organizations in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse, community counseling, and other services in both rural and urban areas. She served as project director and research director of the Beach Center on Families and Disabilities where she co-authored grants, conducted research, and coordinated research and evaluation activities for a large research center focused on service provision to families of children with disabilities

Dissemination Guidelines
email:  info@ydsi.org
phone:  609.838.2636
fax:  609.581.1578
Youth Development Strategies, Inc.
4 Kosco Court
Hamilton, NJ 08610