Research and Evaluation Staff - Draft
Director of the Research and Evaluation Institute
Darlene Breaux is the Director of the Research and Evaluation Institute. Breaux has served in education for over two decades. She has worked at HCDE since 2016 as the director of special populations in the Teaching and Learning Center and now serves as director of the Research and Evaluation Institute. Breaux’s education leadership experience includes serving as campus principal and as the Alief Independent School District intervention coordinator. As intervention coordinator, she provided oversite of the action research and implementation and measurement of evidence-based intervention programs in Alief’s Response to Intervention (RTI) program. Education/certification/training: She holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University and a master's degree in educational management with principal certification from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. She currently seeks her doctorate degree in organizational leadership with a focus on conflict resolution from Abilene Christian University. Her credentials include certifications in both English as a second language and special education, and she is a member of Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society. Breaux’s professional affiliations include the American Education Research Association (AERA) as well as an elected official of the board of Trustees of the Alief Independent School district. A forward thinker, she was profiled in Texas School Business magazine as a “thought leader and innovator in education” for her work that she has done both at the local and national levels to help support students with dyslexia and students who learn differently. Additionally, Darlene has been recognized by her alma mater, the University of Houston Clear-Lake as an outstanding alumnus.
Manager of the Research and Evaluation Institute
Alicia P. Gladney is the manager for the Research and Evaluation Institute. Gladney has served as a researcher for 25 years and has been with HCDE since 2006. Previously, she served as a research coordinator with the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety which is a partnership between the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service and Baylor College of Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University. Her professional affiliations include the American Evaluation Association. Alicia is published in the following peer reviewed journals: Patient Education and Counseling; The international Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine; Sociology – lead author and Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse on topics ranging from explanatory models of illness to consistency of findings between multi-disciplinary teams.
My goal is to insure the four pillars of HCDE’s performance management system are well by collaborating with the HCDE divisions each year to create smart objectives that are aligned with the goals of HCDE: service delivery, client satisfaction, outcomes and financial effectiveness. An important aspect of my position is to monitor our performance management system so that it remains dynamic and evolves with the changing needs of Harris County’s educational community.
Favorite education quote: “It’s not enough to believe that child can achieve his or her educational goals. The magic lies in making the child believe he or she can succeed.” - self
Andres Garcia Ed.D.
Andres Garcia is a research coordinator for the Research and Evaluation Institute. He has served as an educator for nine years and has been with HCDE since 2006. Previously, he served as assistant director for Houston Community Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in sociology and a doctoral degree in professional leadership for the University of Houston. Garcia’s professional affiliations include the American Education Research Association and the American Evaluation Association.
Likita Holmes is the research coordinator for Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment, or CASE for Kids. Holmes’ background is in managing pharmacy data for a mental health agency, and she has worked in a variety of settings, including education and mental health services. She has worked within HCDE since 2007.
She earned her her bachelor's degree in social science from University of Houston-Downtown and her master's degree in psychology from Walden University. While at HCDE, she has conducted a variety of projects using survey research, including evaluating professional development, organizational accountability, community assessments and afterschool.
Favorite education quote: “Become the change you want to see.” - Oprah
Nasrene Mustafa is research coordinator for the Research and Evaluation Institute. Mustafa worked in the accounting and finance field for seven years prior to joining HCDE in 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy with a minor in sociology from the George Washington University and a master’s degree in International Educational Development with a concentration in finance and planning from Columbia University. Mustafa is also a licensed certified public accountant
Syria Arias is research coordinator at the Teaching and Learning Center at HCDE. Prior to joining HCDE, Arias worked with the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST) on projects exploring the impact of state and federal developments on afterschool and summer learning programs in Texas.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in education policy and planning from the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of expertise include market-based reforms in urban education, policy implementation, and community development.
Currently, she’s the sole evaluator for HCDE’s Head Start program. In this role she assesses various Head Start programs, including the SuperMENtor and Healthy Minds, Healthy Families projects. She also leads the triennial Head Start Community Assessment for all four Head Start grantees located in Harris County
Yi Renis a research coordinator for the Research and Evaluation Institute. Ren has served as a social science researcher for more than 10 years and has been with HCDE since 2015. Her research fields include health/education equity, child welfare policy, education policy, substance abuse and research methods. Ren’s expertise includes advanced statistical models and analysis, including bivariate, multivariate and multilevel statistics.
She earned her first master’s degree in social and public policy from Leeds University (England) and a second master’s degree in Sociology from University of Houston. She gained her doctorate degree in social work at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Ren’s professional affiliation includes Council on Social Work Education. She has published seven peer-review articles in the fields of health equity, substance abuse and sexual risk behavior among immigrants. She has worked for several research projects as a statistician at the University of Houston.
Ren has been a reviewer for multiple peer-review journals. She has been a program evaluator to assess HCDE Head Start students’ outcomes, along with and a variety of other programs. She has served as primary investigator for multiple research projects within HCDE Research and Evaluation Institute.