Texas Evaluation Network Board of Directors


Ray A. Howard, MBA

TEN President

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District



RAYMOND A. HOWARD, MBA, Senior Management Analyst with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, supervises data management and outreach activities to address health disparities in perinatal and family health. He is an experienced trainer and facilitator for strategic planning, grant writing and organizational development. Mr. Howard is distinguished by his expertise in building collaborative partnerships and engaging in community-focused research on racial and ethnic minority health and health disparities. He has designed and implemented various community-based chronic disease prevention initiatives, and conducted program and project evaluation processes for over 25 years. Mr. Howard earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Governmental Accounting in 1974 from Oakwood University and his Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1981 from Andrews University School of Management and Finance. He has received numerous commendations and awards for his contributions to promoting social equity and health improvement for racial and ethnic minorities, women and special needs populations. He is also an activist to promote and facilitate men’s health and positive fatherhood. He has taught undergraduate courses in Public Health, Public Health Policy, Health Disparities, and Health Care Systems. Mr. Howard is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. He has actively served on the TEN Board as the President and one of its founding and sustaining members. His favorite quote is “A vision without resources is only an illusion.”


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Art Hernandez, Ph.D.
TEN Vice President 
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi



ARTHUR HERNANDEZ, Ph.D., NCSP, NCC, Dean of the College of Education at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, has broad and diverse training in clinical psychology, educational psychology and curriculum design and instruction. He has also taught in both the Psychology and Education disciplines. He is a nationally certified school psychologist, nationally certified counselor, a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychological Specialties and is a licensed Psychologist, and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Texas. Dr. Hernandez has been Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator or Consultant on numerous research and teaching grants including funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Dental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Education and most recently, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He has served as evaluator or evaluator consultant on projects of local, state and national scope. He has actively served on the TEN Board as one of its founding and sustaining members.


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Charita Ray-Blakely, Ph.D.
TEN Secretary (Acting)
Concordia University Texas



CHARITA RAY-BLAKELY, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and MBA Program Coordinator at Concordia University Texas, San Antonio Center possesses experience in higher education administration, program management, and professional editing. Dr. Ray-Blakely serves as a faculty member in the College of Business but teaches in both the Business and Education disciplines. She has served as an independent evaluation consultant on grant funded, multi-site and multi-level evaluation projects. Dr. Ray-Blakely has served as a member of the TEN Board of Directors since its inception.  


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Deb Stark, Dr. PH
TEN Treasurer (Acting)
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley



Debra Lee Stark, Dr. PH, MPH, MSW is the Assistant Dean for Assessment, Evaluation and Quality Improvement for the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Harlingen. She has worked in the evaluation field for over 20 years. Her evaluation career began at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She also worked as an evaluator in the University’s Office of Child Development Planning and Evaluation Project for 12 years. During her tenure at the Planning and Evaluation Project, she evaluated numerous community-based and health care programs. Dr. Stark accepted a position at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2005, where she was an Evaluation Specialist for the University’s Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching (ACET). During her tenure at ACET, Dr. Stark has completed more than 60 technical reports for University evaluations, conducted surveys and focus groups for faculty, staff and students, assisted with grant writing and served on academic committees. Her work at ACET led to her hire as the Director for Program Evaluation at the School of Medicine when the school was undergoing an entire curriculum change. This opportunity allowed her to be on the ground floor of developing a system for evaluating all four years of medical students’ academic experience. In 2015, Dr. Stark was hired as the Assistant Dean for Assessment, Evaluation and Quality Improvement at the new School of Medicine at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She was a founding member of TEN and has served the Board in various capacities.


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Joan Bush, Ph.D.
Dallas Independent School District



JOAN BUSH, Ph.D., Evaluation Manager in Dallas ISD, discovered a passion for program evaluation in the early 1990s as a doctoral student working in the Center for Collaborative Research at the University of North Texas. Upon completion of her Ph.D., she carried out internal evaluation studies as an evaluation specialist in Dallas ISD and later as the Assistant Director of Research, Evaluation, and Planning in Irving ISD. She worked for over 12 years as an independent, full‑time research/evaluation consultant. As a consultant, she partnered with school districts, universities, research centers, and education service centers to conduct local, area, and statewide studies. Eventually, she returned to Dallas ISD to serve as the Evaluation Manager of Student and Community Support Initiatives. Over the years, she has been involved in a wide range of evaluations including at‑risk student initiatives, instructional technology projects, extended day school programs, virtual learning initiatives, early childhood programs, high school smaller learning communities, professional development initiatives, student prevention/intervention programs, teacher recruitment and retention initiatives, transitional first grade, charter schools, and more. Dr. Bush holds a Ph.D. in educational research from the University of North Texas along with bachelor and master degrees from Baylor University.


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Shannon H. Degenhart, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University



Shannon H. Degenhart, PhD., Assessment Program Coordinator, Department of Construction Sciences at Texas A&M University, has a diverse background holding a PhD in Agricultural Education, Master of Science in Agricultural Business and Economics, a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has worked with university, state-agency, and Cooperative Extension leaders from Texas and other states to successfully evaluate the effectiveness of local and multi-state programs and workshops; served as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator; and managed several multi-state, multi-university and Cooperative Extension system education and outreach projects ranging from best methods to reach non-commercial and hobbyist livestock and poultry owners with animal disease-related information to crisis communication. Dr. Degenhart also has experience with GK-12 education and outreach programs.  She has served as a Junior High and High School English teacher in rural Texas and as part of the evaluation team for a NSF Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) GK-12 project.


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David L. Doerfert, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University



David Doerfert is Associate Chair and Professor of Agricultural Communications in the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications at Texas Tech University.  He also serves as Graduate Studies Coordinator for the department.  Doerfert has been a leader in agricultural communications instruction where he currently teaches magazine development (print and digital) at the undergraduate level as well as crisis communications and knowledge management courses at the graduate level.  Doerfert’s program of research and evaluation is focused on the development of an effective information and knowledge sharing systems that weaves together two distinct knowledge bases: (a) knowledge management (variables that influence this use of information to solve problems and make decisions by stakeholders), and (b) science communication (communicating the complexities of agriculture to stakeholders and the public). He has also served as an external evaluator for several external projects. 

Originally from Wisconsin, Doerfert has been a member of AEA since 1989. In his career, he has received the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) Fellow distinction and received the Distinguished Teaching (2013), Research (2007), and Service (2011) awards from the AAAE Western Region. Previously Doerfert was a regional director with the National FFA Foundation, Team Leader in the National FFA Organization, State Supervisor/ FFA Advisor in Wisconsin, and agriculture instructor at New Holstein, Wisconsin. 

He and his wife Jill reside in Wolfforth, Texas and have a son Michael who is in the Honors program majoring in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University.


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Emmerentie Oliphant, Ph.D.
Stephen F. Austin State University



Emmerentie Oliphant, Ph.D. is a professor and director of the MSW Program at the School of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University. She joined SFA in 2006 after practicing and teaching social work in South Africa since 1988.  She teaches research, international policy, program evaluation, micro and macro-level social work interventions, HIV/AIDS and mental health. Her practice background includes child protective service, family counseling, correctional services and community development. She is a consultant to agencies in South Africa, with a specific emphasis on program development and evaluation. She currently serves on the Council for Practice and Specialized Methods (Council on Social Work Education) and previously served as a council member for the South African Council for Social Service Providers. Emmerentie is an external examiner at international universities for doctoral dissertations. She worked as principal investigator or consultant on several grants and is currently the program evaluator for a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded grant on HIV/AIDS. She is one of the founding and sustaining members of TEN.


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Pernilla Johansson, Ph.D.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department



Pernilla Johansson, Ph. D., is the Director of Research and Planning at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). She directs research, evaluation and planning activities related to juvenile justice statistics, programming, and policy. Her evaluation work focuses on program evaluations of juvenile justice interventions, services and programs. She also develops and conducts trainings about research-based and best-practice program development, implementation, and evaluation. She has worked extensively with data-informed decision-making in program development with staff and stakeholders throughout the juvenile justice system. Prior to joining TJJD, Dr. Johansson was Manager of Research and Statistics in Dallas County Juvenile Department. She has also worked as an adjunct lecturer and administrator at the University of Texas at Dallas. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Economy and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Stockholm University, Sweden. She joined the TEN Board in May 2015.


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Jessica Pugil, M.PA.
Working Partner LLC



Jessica Pugil is founder and Principal of Working Partner, LLC, a Houston-based firm that specializes in planning, rigorous evaluation, and community engagement. Jessica is a skilled empowerment evaluator, planner, and analyst with extensive experience supporting collaborative efforts. Jessica developed and honed her ability to bring diverse audiences together to make strategic change while working as a community organizer on the US/Mexican border back in the early 1990s. She deepened and expanded her planning and collaboration skills by leading strategic initiatives to integrate technology into public libraries, expand access to high quality preschool, and create quality public spaces. She has designed and implemented evaluations of large collaborative efforts as well as organizational programs. Initiatives and programs she has evaluated have aimed to increase family financial stability, build the capacity of the healthcare safety net, implement integrated healthcare, strengthen youth resiliency, and develop organizational capacity. Jessica is unique in her ability to combine big-picture thinking with a deep understanding of the details, which together have yielded lasting results for her clients. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from McGill University and a Master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. A life-long learner, she recently completed Claremont Graduate University’s Advanced Studies in the Evaluation Certificate program. 


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Jacqueline R. Stillisano, Ed.D.
Texas A&M University


Jacqueline R. Stillisano, Ed.D. is the co-director of the Education Research Center at Texas A&M University (ERC at TAMU), where she works to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the center’s work and to support the research and evaluation efforts of the center’s research staff. In addition to research and evaluation, her responsibilities include project management, grant writing, and organization of dissemination efforts.  Stillisano is also an instructor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at TAMU, teaching primarily graduate-level courses on grant writing and on program evaluation.  She has served and continues to serve as the PI or co-PI and key researcher on many previous and current evaluation projects, including projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, private foundations, and non-profit organizations.  She has published articles and presented nationally, internationally, and locally on her evaluation studies and has served on numerous proposal review teams for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and Educate Indiana.  Stillisano has worked in the evaluation field for almost 15 years.  Prior to transitioning to higher education, she spent 14 years as a classroom teacher in Northside Independent School District and in Dallas Independent School District, teaching secondary language arts and social studies.


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Robin Tamez, M.Ed.
University of North Texas



Robin Tamez, M.Ed.,is a doctoral researcher currently completing a PhD Applied Technology and Performance Improvement in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas. Her interest in evaluation began with evaluation field projects and led to her current interest in researching how informal learning is assessed and evaluated in organizations. Her research interests include emerging learning technologies, informal learning, and ethnography in digital environments. Ms. Tamez’s professional experience includes formative and summative evaluation of educational and professional development content. As an instructional design consultant, Ms. Tamez has worked with faculty at a number of state universities to develop, implement, and evaluate online courses in a variety of disciplines, including education, business, and healthcare. Ms. Tamez holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education and a B.A.S. in Art from Dallas Baptist University.


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W. Hugh Yuan, M.Ed.
Applied Research & Program Evaluation
Fort Worth Independent School District



W. Hugh Yuan is a Senior Research Analyst of Applied Research & Program Evaluation in Fort Worth Independent School District.  He has served as the Principal Investigator to evaluate numerous programs funded by evaluation of federal and state entitlements, grants, and local initiatives.  He has also supervised large-scale surveys to various stakeholders in education.  He has received systematic training in evaluation theories, research/evaluation methodology, and educational leadership study.  Using advanced statistical techniques for large-scale data analysis is one of his strengths.  He has the college teaching experience in research methods and educational disciplines.  He has actively served as a steering committee member on since the establishment of TEN.


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Guang Zeng, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi



Guang Zeng, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, earned her Ph.D. in Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her scholarship is distinguished by its interdisciplinary nature, crossing conventional boundaries among a wide range of fields, including applied statistics and research methods, evaluation, child mental health, U.S. national education and health policies, and for her ability to integrate them in her research endeavors. Dr. Zeng has established a track record in grants, publication, and presentations. So far, she has been awarded four national grants and three internal grants; she has published across disciplines in peer-reviewed journals such as Statistical Methods in Medical Research, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Chinese Medical Journal) and School Mental Health.  Additionally, Dr. Zeng has given seven invited lectures and talks and presented across disciplines at national and international conferences.  She has been a TEN Board member since its inception.


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