The SAJE TEAM

 
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Sarah Cusworth Walker

Co-Director

Sarah Cusworth Walker, Ph.D. is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, School of Medicine. Dr. Walker has been the principal investigator of over twenty research studies focused on juvenile justice reform from NIH, private foundation funding and research contracts with the Office of Justice Programs and local governments. Dr. Walker received a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Champion for Change Award for her work in investigating how to make evidence-based programming locally and culturally credible.

 
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Carl McCurley

Co-Director

Carl MCurley, Ph.D., is the Director of the Washington State Center for Court Research. Dr. McCurley directs the research portfolio of the Administrative Office of the Courts spanning all facets of court administration and programming. Dr. McCurley has extensive experience in public administration, justice administration, public policy and program development.  Dr. McCurley received a MacArthur Foundation Champion for Change award in 2011 for developing an integrated, statewide databases for performance monitoring and research.

 
 

Jerald R. Herting

Co-Director

Dr. Jerald R. Herting is a Professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Sociology.  He has over 20 years of experience in NIH, CDC and other supported research primarily in adolescent health and mental health promotion and drug use prevention program development and research.  Dr. Herting has long standing interest in research methodology and the application of social science methods to evaluation of prevention programs and implementation science.  His research includes work with schools and government agencies to facilitate use of administrative data, the implementation of programs, and evaluation of outcomes.  Dr. Herting is currently the Director for the Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) and is an affiliate member of the Center for Statistics in the Social Sciences and the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington.

 
 

Zach Hamilton

Co-Director

Dr. Zachary Hamilton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University and the Director of Washington State Institute of Criminal Justice (WSICJ). Acting as either Principal Investigator, his work has resulted in over $2 million in funded projects in the last three years. Projects have included localized evaluations of interventions and policies to the development and implementation of two nationally renowned risk-need assessment systems (the STRONG-R and M-PACT) both of which are currently in the process of implementation in Washington State for both juvenile and adult offenders. His work has culminated in over 30 peer reviewed publications and national recognition in the field.

 
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Jacqueline van Wormer

Co-Director

Jacqueline van Wormer is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Whitworth University.  Prior to this appointment, she served as the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Administrator, as well as an Assistant Professor at Washington State University in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.   Dr. van Wormer has held various positions in the criminal justice field, including serving as the MacArthur Foundation Coordinator for the Benton/Franklin Counties Juvenile Court, Intervention Services Manager, Probation Supervisor and Coordinator for both the Adult and Juvenile Drug programs in Benton/Franklin Counties.  Dr. van Wormer is a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Drug Court Institute, and the National Institute of Corrections. Current areas of study and research focus on measuring implementation challenges in the use of evidence-based practices, bail and pretrial justice reform, juvenile justice trends, interagency collaborative partnership “drift” within court models, and improving predictive validity of risk/need tools. Dr. van Wormer received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Washington State University.

 
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Amanda Gilman

Senior Research Associate

Amanda joined the Center staff in 2017 as a Senior Research Associate at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Her previous research experience includes working as a Senior Research Associate at the National Gang Center and a Pre-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington Social Development Research Group. Her community practice experience includes working as a Project Assistant at the San Bernardino Mayor's Office focusing on juvenile justice reform and community gang prevention. She holds a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach, an M.S.W. from Loma Linda University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Her research interests include the role of detention in the juvenile justice system (including detention alternatives), evidence-based practice, and youth gang prevention.

 
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Matthew Orme

Senior Research Associate

Matt joined the SAJE Center in 2017 as a Senior Research Associate at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Prior to joining SAJE and WSCCR, he worked as the Data Resources Manager for Partners for Our Children at the University of Washington. Matt has worked for more than 16 years as a specialist with DSHS's Children's Administration, most recently as a program manager and database and technical administrator. In his capacity as Senior Research Associate, Matt uses administrative data to evaluate outcomes and provide performance tracking for children in the dependency courts and child welfare systems. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and fine arts from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Fine Arts in theater arts from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

 
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Andrew Peterson

Senior Research Associate

Andrew joined the SAJE Center in 2017 as a Senior Research Associate at the  Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Prior to coming to SAJE and WSCCR, he worked as a Research Associate for the United States Sentencing Commission where he was involved in a variety of research projects, including: crack cocaine offender recidivism, child pornography offending and sentencing, and supervision revocations and modifications. Andrew has also published his own research on case studies of white collar crime. He earned a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from San Diego State University, and a PhD. In Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine.

 
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Arina Gertseva

Senior Research Associate

Arina joined the Center in 2017 as a Senior Research Associate at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Dr. Gertseva’s work focuses on adolescents and the special needs of girls involved in the juvenile justice system. She provides ongoing reporting to courts on utilization and outcomes of community- and evidence-based interventions for youth supervised by juvenile probation. Dr. Gertseva leads the strategic development and implementation of a series of longitudinal data analyses sponsored by the Education Research Data Center (ERDC) examining the impact of court involvement (such as being petitioned to court, being sentenced, or being admitted to juvenile detention) on education-related outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood. Last year, Dr. Gertseva received a fellowship to join Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to engage with communities to work on systemic change to improve health and health equity. Arina holds a PhD in Sociology from Washington State University and a M.Sc. in Applied Sociology from Clemson University. Prior joining the WSCCR, Dr. Gertseva served as a Principal Investigator at the Social & Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC). 

 
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Rachael Sanford

Research Administrative Assistant

Rachael joined the Center in 2017 as a Research Administrative Assistant at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Rachael has been an Administrative Assistant with the State of Washington for over ten years and previously worked for the Department of Social and Health Services and the Washington Military Department. She holds a B.A. in Integrated Social Sciences from the University of Washington. 

 
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Wei Wang

Systems Integrator

Wei joined the Center staff in 2017 as a Systems Integrator at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) and provides data support for the Center programs. Previously, Wei was a Research Associate focusing on data management and statistical analysis for clinical trials and other medical research activities at the Medical University of South Carolina. Wei holds a B.S. in Math from Beijing Normal University, China and a M.S.P.H. in Biostatistics from the University of South Florida.

 
 

Esteban Valencia

Research Analyst

Esteban Valencia joined the SAJE Center in 2017 as a Research Analyst with the University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, where he coordinated education outreach programs for incarcerated adults and youth. Before arriving at UW, Esteban worked with a Latino oriented community mental health organization, providing case management services to youth engaged in an alternative education program in South King County. In his current position, Esteban provides support on a variety of projects focusing on the evaluation and development of youth involved –or at risk of involvement—with the juvenile justice system. Esteban’s research interests center on understanding effective ways through which mental health organizations interact with communities to mitigate the psychosocial detriments of exposure to violence.

 
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Kristin Vick

Research Coordinator

Kristin joined the SAJE Center in 2018 as a Research Coordinator at the University of Washington's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She has worked with incarcerated individuals, those in re-entry, and those with substance use disorder in a number of roles over the last eight years. Notable roles includes working as a Research Assistant at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) at the University of Washington, the Graduate School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and the Social Perception Lab at Rutgers University. She also served as a Policy Fellow and Tenant Advocate at MFY Legal Services in New York City where she worked on issues related to predatory low income sober homes geared toward those in re-entry and the formerly incarcerated. She holds an M.P.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a specialization in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration as well a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.

 
 

Asia Bishop

Doctoral Student

Asia Bishop, MSW, is a doctoral student and Predoctoral Research Associate in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Policy Practice. Prior to entering the doctoral program, she was a Research Analyst Lead in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. In this role, she worked on several projects related to juvenile justice systems reform for at-risk and incarcerated youth in Washington State. Her work has largely focused on policy and program development, implementation and evaluation. Her research interests focus on issues broadly relevant to juvenile justice systems reform, with specific emphases on understanding the mechanisms that result in systems involvement, juvenile offending behavior, gang membership, racial/ethnic disparities, identifying and addressing treatment needs using best practices, and research and policy efforts to promote community-based alternatives to incarceration. Her dissertation focuses on the impact of residential therapeutic environments on institutional behavior and recidivism.

 
 

Kate O’Neill

Doctoral Student

Kate K. O’Neill is a sociology PhD candidate at the University of Washington (UW) with concentrations in crime, gender, and juvenile delinquency. During her time at UW, Kate has worked on research projects for the National Institute of Justice and the Seattle Neighborhood Crime Survey, and recently completed her MA thesis on gender differences in empathic development and juvenile delinquency. In addition to her current affiliation with UW, Kate acquired an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2010 with a declared specialization in human rights.