Derek V. Price, Ph.D
Derek is principle owner of DVP-PRAXIS LTD, a boutique consulting firm with clients spanning private foundations, national non-profit intermediary organizations, colleges and universities. Derek is a national leader in strategic thinking for institutional transformation and systems change. He has a strong policy, research, and evaluation background and works on a broad range of policy and practice issues around postsecondary education and workforce development. Before starting DVP-PRAXIS, Derek was the director of higher education research at Lumina Foundation for Education. In that role, he helped launch the Foundation’s premier national initiative, Achieving the Dream.
Leah Childress, Ph.D
Leah is senior consultant with DVP-PRAXIS LTD, has worked as an internal and external evaluator on many education initiatives, ranging from U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant projects to education equality projects in India. She has an extensive background in social science research and possesses expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis. In addition to having a strong understanding of the community and technical college landscape, she specializes in leading evaluation capacity-building trainings and conducting evaluations of women’s empowerment and community development initiatives. She is dedicated to helping clients build a deep understanding of their programs’ implementation progress and overall impact, and to using that insight to support delivery of programs that foster educational, economic, and social opportunity.
Jessa Lewis Valentine, Ph.D
Jessa is managing consultant with DVP-PRAXIS LTD, and brings more than 15 years of research and evaluation experience in K-12, higher education, and workforce development systems to better meet the needs of under-served individuals and families. She also has expertise on issues related to international migration and English Language Learners in the United States. Jessa has strong quantitative and qualitative research and analysis skills, which she developed in part through her participation as a fellow with the U.S. Department of Education’s Pre-Doctoral Training Program in the Education Sciences. She is passionate about the targeted use of rigorous social science research and evaluation to improve outcomes for marginalized populations in the United States and internationally.
Priyadarshini Chaplot is a higher education consultant whose efforts support college practitioners in redesigning institutional programs, services and practices through use of research and evidence. She partners regularly with the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, the Lumina Foundation, the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (RP Group), Jobs for the Future, WestEd and individual community colleges and districts. In this work, she researches current issues in higher education, develops audience-specific communications, designs interactive learning opportunities for diverse groups of college practitioners, and provides technical assistance. Previously, she served as the director of professional development and a senior researcher with the RP Group, as well as a research analyst and AdultBasic Education instructor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Having worked at or with postsecondary institutions for more than 13 years, she is passionate about improving students’ educational experiences and addressing issues of student equity and success.