FPG Implementation Division Continues to Grow

Date Published: 10/12/2020

This fall, the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute welcomed three new implementation specialists to its Implementation Division, where they'll be working on projects with The Impact Center at FPG to bring evidence-based prevention and well-being strategies to the systems where they can truly make a difference.

Capri McDonald, MA

Capri McDonald received her undergraduate degree in public health studies and graduate degree in health education and promotion from East Carolina University. Her work has been centered on early childhood health and childhood systems capacity building, working as the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Coordinator for North Carolina Division of Public Health, the Child and Family Health Program Development Specialist with East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, and most recently, as an implementation coach with North Carolina Partnership for Children.

"I was led to become an implementation specialist through previous career experiences in such roles as technical assistance specialist and most recently as an implementation coach, providing implementation support to Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Infants and Toddlers, an initiative with North Carolina Partnership which uses a comprehensive and integrated approach to improve early childhood practices related to health behaviors. In my role at the Impact Center at FPG, I'll be partnering with communities, coalitions, and state agencies to optimize the outcomes and sustainability of population-level, evidence-based interventions using implementation science. I'm most looking forward to contributing in the reduction of challenging behavior in children and improving the well-being of families by building capacity of practitioners and communities to effectively implement Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)."

Devon Minch, PhD

Devon Minch was introduced to systems change, implementation science, and school reform through her doctoral program in school psychology at the University of South Florida, spending her graduate research assistantship working on a statewide implementation and scale-up project focused on tiered systems of support within K-12 public education. Minch is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and has worked on two statewide projects providing technical assistance to school districts to implement tiered prevention and intervention frameworks with an emphasis on equity and family and community engagement.

"Through my early experiences, I developed an appreciation for working at a systems level to facilitate lasting change and the potential to positively impact outcomes for children. Prior to coming to FPG, I was a technical assistance specialist with a statewide project working to build the capacity of Florida public school districts to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with leaders in the field of implementation science and experience this work in other child and family-serving systems outside K-12 education. As an implementation specialist with the Impact Center at FPG, I'll initially be working on the North Carolina Implementation Capacity project collaborating with communities to successfully and sustainably implement the evidence-based Triple P. I'm hopeful that my experiences supporting districts utilizing a data-based, problem-solving process to ensure equitable student outcomes and increase family and community engagement can contribute to the current ICTP work within the Impact Center."

Sherra Lawrence, MA

Sherra Lawrence began her career in research as an undergraduate psychology major at North Carolina A&T University and realized how data and research can inform and influence the field and communities. She received a joint master's degree in urban and environmental policy and planning and child study and human development from Tufts University where she explored how policy, environment, and place impact children and families and continued her interests in applied research and evaluation. Lawrence has several years of experience in research and nonprofit sectors, using data to inform programs and policies and help others understand the relevance of history and context in equitably and sustainably serving communities.

"After graduate school I spent several years working with social sector non-profits to help develop, implement, and evaluate programs and policies in areas such as family engagement, children's health, education, and workforce development. I also learned to use Improvement Science and Collective Impact methodologies to accelerate learning and scale programs across multi-sector collaboratives and coalitions. I have always wanted to be able to use data and research to inform programs and policies for communities in need. I was led to become an implementation specialist because it would allow me to continue to work with partners to help build their capacity for implementing and improving programs as well as continue to use data and research to learn and tailor programs for more immediate and sustained impact on communities being served. I look forward to working with the North Carolina Implementation Capacity for Triple P project, learning more about the regions, and seeing the impacts closely. The people at FPG are so impressive and are doing amazing work with children and families. I look forward to getting to know them more and learning from them as I continue in my own career."