Ellen’s research includes a variety of topics, with primary focuses on systems change and the well-being of families and children. Before beginning a phased retirement, she led the external evaluation of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a federally-funded Promise Neighborhood in North Minneapolis, as well as studies of equitable community development initiatives in the Twin Cities region. She currently leads an evaluation of a pilot project to test methods for systems change to improve equity and two-generational outcomes for families on MFIP. Other recent study topics include homelessness and supportive housing, workforce development and higher education. She is skilled in combining qualitative and quantitative methods, and is also an experienced presenter and facilitator.
Before coming to Wilder Research in 1997, Ellen’s prior experience included research and policy analysis, higher education administration and records management, and elective office as a school board member. She holds a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College. In addition to advanced coursework in research design and statistical analysis, she has also completed specialized training in the application of complexity principles to the development and evaluation of complex human systems. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, embroidery, and spending time with her grandson.