VAWA MEI STAFF
Erika is a Policy Analyst with VAWA MEI with a focus on grantee narrative analysis, qualitative research, and literature reviews. She also contributes to the team’s Anti-Racism/Equity workgroup and works to help integrate Nonviolent Communication (NVC) into the culture of the team and the larger research institute we’re part of. When she’s not working, Erika can be found walking in the woods, cooking, gardening, and reading.
Maureen is a Policy Associate and the Associate Director of the VAWA MEI. For over twenty-five years, she has worked as an advocate, educator and project director in the fields of sexual/domestic violence and crime victim advocacy. During this time, she worked on numerous projects offering cross-disciplinary training, technical assistance, program evaluation, and support to those working with survivors, offenders, and children affected by violence. For close to a decade, she served as Director of the Maine/New Hampshire Victim Assistance Academy, providing both content expertise and oversight of a multi-state, multi-level professional development program for advocates working with victims of crime. Maureen has a particular passion for cross-systems work, supporting programs in identifying and minimizing barriers to integrated service delivery. Outside of work, Maureen enjoys spending time with her family, learning new cooking techniques, and hiking in the beautiful Maine outdoors.
Julia is a Policy Associate that completes research and evaluation for justice policy projects and initiatives at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute. Julia provides expertise in training and technical assistance to the VAWA MEI. She joined the Institute in 2015 as a researcher after interning as an MSW student in 2014. Outside of work, Julia enjoys cooking and going on Maine adventures with her partner and their Great Pyrenees-Retriever.
Hannah is a Research Analyst with VAWA MEI. Hannah coordinates and oversees the development and revision of progress reporting forms and the reviewing, analysis, and reporting of all Discretionary grant program data. Hannah’s prior experiences have led her to discover her drive toward detail-orientated evaluation of real-world problems and her passion for using data to improve communities. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with her partner and their dog.
Devon is a Research Analyst with VAWA MEI. Devon manages the development and production of the Biennial Reports to Congress and coordinates the design and implementation of distance learning and technical assistance opportunities for all OVW-funded program grantees. Prior to moving to Maine and joining VAWA MEI, Devon lived in Washington, D.C. where she was a lobbyist on peace and justice issues, with an emphasis on the federal budget. Outside of work, Devon enjoys going on adventures with various creatures, including dogs, goats, cows, and horses.
Alison is a Policy Associate with VAWA MEI. In her role, Alison provides leadership, coordination, and management of operations as well as fiscal oversight of the project. She also provides leadership for other Justice Policy Projects at the Muskie School, including the Legal Assistance for Victims Tri-County Advocacy Project and the Maine Sexual Assault Forensic Kit Study. Alison brings over 20 years of experience providing direct services to survivors of sexual violence, project management within rape crisis centers, and has presented local, state, and national trainings related to advocacy and multi-disciplinary response. In her time away from work, she is grateful to be living in Maine especially in the summer months!
Simran is the Senior Computer and Database Manager for VAWA MEI and assists with data cleaning and database development efforts. Simran brings more than seven years of IT experience and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Applications. She is experienced in creating, implementing and unit testing databases. Along with operational research topics, she has taught C and C++ programming languages to the graduate and undergraduate students at Punjab Technical University Study Center, India. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her kids and cooking.
Elisa Koehnlein is a Policy Analyst with VAWA MEI. Elisa coordinates the development and production of the Biennial Reports to Congress and contributes to other VAWA MEI deliverables. She also cleans and analyzes data and provides training and technical assistance to OVW grantees. Elisa’s background is in Political Science with a focus on gender equality and women’s political representation. Outside of work, Elisa enjoys exploring the Maine outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.
Sarah is a Research Associate that provides evaluation expertise, training and technical assistance to the VAWA MEI. She brings over a decade of research and evaluation experience, ranging from survey questionnaire and instrument development, evaluation and analytic work plan design, data analysis and interpretation, and development of project reports and papers. In her time outside of work, Sarah likes to garden, eat really good food, and play with her kids.
Sammy-Ellie is a Research Assistant with VAWA MEI. Sammy-Ellie provides technical assistance and training to OVW grantees and assists with quantitative and qualitative data analysis. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine School of Social Work, she is passionate about the complexities faced by queer and trans people and survivors of sexual violence. Outside of work, she loves cooking with her wife, going on drives along the coast, and thrifting antiques.
Tam supports VAWA MEI in all of its work, from fielding and distributing grantee calls, to maintaining the team’s Constant Contact grantee email database, to designing and sending campaigns to those grantees, to keeping the VAWA MEI website up to date. She also provides basic staff, spending and budgeting support. Before joining the team, Tam worked at community colleges in Connecticut and in newspaper newsrooms in that state as well as in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
Alexa is a Policy Analyst with VAWA MEI. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance to discretionary and formula grantees, cleans and synthesizes data, and assists in the implementation of webinar training for grantees. Prior to joining the team, she was the manager of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Portland, Maine. In her spare time, Alexa likes to go antiquing and enjoys spending time with her wife Amy and their dogs, Archie and Fergus.
Elisabeth is a Senior Policy Associate and the Project Director of the VAWA MEI. Elisabeth started her career in anti-violence work in Maine as a domestic violence hotline advocate, volunteer coordinator, and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) coordinator. She returned to Maine after a decade in New York City, where she completed a Master’s in Public Health, focusing on health policy and management while leading public health projects in both private and public sectors. Elisabeth has a particular interest in research and evaluation of health care best practices for survivors of intimate partner violence. She also serves as a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Violence Against Women Research & Evaluation Standing Review Panel. Elisabeth lives with her partner and toddler in Portland. When she’s not juggling nascent parenting, she hops into a port seat with the good people of Portland Community Rowing as much as possible.
Viacheslav is a Research Analyst with VAWA MEI. In his role, Viacheslav provides technical assistance to discretionary and formula grantees, cleans and synthesizes data, and coordinates the creation of Summary Data Reports. Born in Ukraine, he moved to the United States in 2008. Prior to his position at VAWA MEI, Viacheslav worked in multiple international non-profit organizations including the United Nations and Equality Maine. Outside of work, Viacheslav enjoys cooking and spending time near the ocean.
Tara is a Research Analyst with VAWA MEI. In her role, Tara manages and analyzes large data sets using her thorough understanding of statistical techniques and the use of statistical analysis software such as SPSS. She oversees data systems, quality assurance, and the development of various major deliverables. Tara has served as a research staff at the Cutler Institute since 2014. Prior to this, she previously worked in the legal sector, which piqued her interest in public policy and the criminal justice system.
Casey is a Research Analyst with VAWA MEI. Casey provides technical assistance to grantees, develops technical assistance tools, and cleans and analyzes data; specifically, she oversees the data analysis process for Discretionary grant programs as well as the STOP and SASP Formula grants. Prior to joining VAWA MEI, Casey worked in the social services field providing in-home and community support to youth and their families.