Our company is headed by founder and president, Irene F. Goodman, Ed.D.

Under Dr. Goodman's strong and creative leadership, GRG has earned a reputation for its rigorous, high quality work and impeccable client service. GRG’s staff includes research associates, research assistants, and administrative personnel. Working individually and in teams, we combine knowledge and experience in education, psychology, science, history, technology, human development, sociology, and family studies. Each project at GRG is tackled by a team composed of staff members who are best suited to the needs of the job. When appropriate, we provide additional expertise through our group of long-term senior consulting associates and through university faculty and experienced field researchers around the country. We also have regular student interns from local universities.

Brief biographical sketches of staff and consultants are provided by clicking on a staff person's name below. Staff members email addresses' can be found by clicking on their picture.

GRG Staff

Irene F. Goodman, Ed. D., President
Colleen F. Manning, M.A., Director of Research

Karen C. Gareis, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate and Director of Professional Development

Elizabeth Bachrach, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate

Anne Marie Amello, Financial Manager


GRG Consulting Associates

Robert T. Brennan, Ed.D.
Allan Braslow, Ph.D.

Bonnie Newman, M.A., M.Ed.

Karen Peterman, Ph. D.
Wendy Slattebo, Ed.D.

GRG Staff Biographies
Irene F. Goodman, Ed.D., Founder and President, brings to clients 36 years of experience in research, teaching, and consulting. She started the company in 1989 as a sole proprietor (dba Sierra Research Associates), providing a variety of research, consulting, training, and product development services. Gradually, she began to specialize in the evaluation of a wide range of educational programs. By 1995, the client base and the scope of the projects had grown significantly, prompting Dr. Goodman to hire staff and incorporate the company as Goodman Research Group, Inc. While the company has grown in size and scope, GRG remains a workplace that reflects a strong commitment to community and collaboration, both among staff members and with clients.

In her leadership role, Dr. Goodman has oversight responsibility for all GRG strategic planning and business development, project work, staff mentoring, and fiscal matters. In addition, she provides consultation on evaluation to clients and groups, and gives workshops and lectures on the subject. She continues to be involved in a couple of key projects. For instance, she is serving as the Principal Investigator (PI) for GRG's own research project, Massachusetts Linking Experiences and Pathways Follow-On, or M-LEAP2 (please see our Current Projects page for a project description). Dr. Goodman also served as PI for the eight-year longitudinal evaluation of the National Cancer Institute's Science Enrichment Program (1998-2004), the ground-breaking longitudinal Women's Experience in College Engineering (WECE) Project (1998-2002), funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and GRG's original M-LEAP1 study (2010-2013).

Her earliest professional experiences (following a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and a Master's in Child Development from Washington State University) were in the domain of childcare and early education. She was the director of the Tacoma Community College (TCC) childcare center in Tacoma, Washington in the mid 1970s, and chaired a panel to develop an early childhood education curriculum at TCC. She then became an Assistant Professor of Child Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and concurrently the statewide Extension Child Development Specialist. She traveled extensively around the state, offering consultation and teaching to extension staff, other educators, and the general public, while maintaining her Madison campus faculty roles.

Dr. Goodman earned a doctorate in Education, specializing in Human Development, from Harvard University. While a doctoral student, she was an evaluation consultant to various local and national organizations and also taught courses at Dartmouth College and Tufts University as Visiting Lecturer. Prior to founding GRG, she had an extensive research consulting practice, designing and conducting evaluations, developing instructional materials, and carrying out regional training sessions on public policy issues. She also had stints as senior research associate at other research institutes.

Colleen F. Manning, M.A., Director of Research, provides oversight of GRG’s research program, including establishing and helping to maintain research policies and procedures, reviewing research proposals and plans, and supporting project management and staff professional development. Ms. Manning manages select projects and provides evaluation consultation to client organizations. She joined GRG in 1993, and has carried out over 50 evaluations of educational programs, including science education programs, parenting education programs, and educational television shows and outreach campaigns. She also has carried out research on child care workforce and market rate issues.

Ms. Manning is nearing completion of her dissertation toward a Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of Massachusetts-Boston. During her doctoral studies, she taught courses in research methods and statistics to Master's students and held a research position at the Center for Social Policy, McCormack School of Policy Studies at University of Massachusetts-Boston. She has an M.A. in Child Development from Tufts University, where she taught at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center and interned with the Boston Medical Center’s Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College.

Karen C. GareisKaren C. Gareis, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate and Director of Professional Development, joined GRG in April of 2009. In her role as Director of PD, Dr. Gareis leads GRG’s continuing education and training program to ensure that staff stay abreast of emerging theory, research, and methods in the field of evaluation.

As a Senior Research Associate, she is currently managing evaluations of projects funded by NSF, NIH, NOAA, and IMLS, including EDC’s STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center and Massachusetts “Exploring Computer Science” Partnership (MECSP), the Franklin Institute and Penn Center for Neuroscience & Society’s Neuroscience in Your World exhibit and curriculum, MASS MoCA's It Takes a Village/Art for Change project, and two projects to provide adult science programming in public libraries: Dartmouth and DMG's Rural Gateways project and Califa and DMG’s Public Libraries Advancing Community Engagement (PLACE) project.

Dr. Gareis has conducted studies in a variety of areas, including social support, program evaluation, and gender. Before joining GRG, she spent 12 years at Brandeis University’s Community, Families, and Work Program conducting research on work-family issues. She also spent 5 years as an adjunct lecturer at Boston University teaching Introductory Psychology and Social Psychology. Dr. Gareis received her doctorate and M.A. in Social Psychology from Boston University’s graduate program in Human Development and a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Linguistics and Anthropology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Elizabeth R. Bachrach (née Fealk), Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, joined GRG in January 2000 as a Research Associate, with a strong background in child development and educational media and technology. She became a Senior Research Associate in 2002 and began heading up GRG’s Los Angeles-based West Coast office in 2005. Dr. Bachrach has designed and managed over 50 projects at GRG, ranging from studies of formal and informal science education programs to professional development workshops, and distance learning for K-12 teachers, to multimedia educational packages and national outreach initiatives accompanying public TV series and documentaries. She has written proposals and designed evaluation plans for projects that have received funding from the NSF, NIH, and HHS, and serves as an internal consultant on several evaluations.

Dr. Bachrach is currently managing a range of projects, including our two NSF-funded Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) projects for Columbia University and the Franklin Institute and the Science Festival Alliance (SFA), a professional community dedicated to more and better science and technology festivals.

Dr. Bachrach earned a Certificate of Completion from RIVA (Research in Values and Attitudes) Moderator Training and has expertise conducting focus groups with children and adults, as well as evaluating classroom curriculum materials and local news products. Dr. Bachrach earned a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Brandeis University, where she studied the development of children’s cognitive abilities, with a focus on their attention to and comprehension of media. She earned an A.B. in Psychology at the University of Michigan.


Anne Marie Amello, Financial Manager, has been a GRG staff member since 1998. She provides financial coordination and budget monitoring for all of GRG's projects, and assists Dr. Goodman with all aspects of fiscal management. Before coming to GRG, Ms. Amello was on the staff of the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies at Tufts University for seven years, promoted from junior staff assistant to administrative assistant. She also worked at Malden Hospital and, before that, at the First National Bank of Boston. She graduated from Bunker Hill Community College in the Human Services Program.

GRG Consulting Associates

Robert T. Brennan, Ed.D., has provided support in quantitative research methods, from study design to statistical analysis, to GRG since 1993. Dr. Brennan has considerable experience in advanced statistical techniques, including hierarchical linear modeling, item-response theory, logistic regression, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. He was the project statistical methodologist for GRG’s NCI SEP project and has consulted on numerous other GRG projects, including the WECE study of women enrolled in engineering. He brought his vast experience in studying CPR training to several projects that GRG conducted for the American Heart Association, and now for the National Safety Council.

Dr. Brennan has authored and co-authored over 30 scholarly articles on topics in social psychology, education, medicine and public health. He currently holds an appointment in the Department of Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and has taught courses in hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), research design, measurement, data collection, and program evaluation at Harvard, at both the schools of Education and Government. He holds an A.B. from Amherst College, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and a master’s and a doctorate degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Allan BraslowAllan Braslow, Ph.D., has served with GRG since 2000. He was a Co-PI for GRG’s research and evaluation work with the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, and is a specialist in public health and public safety research, development, and education. As a researcher-practitioner working with leading universities, government agencies, not-for-profits, major corporations and in private practice, Dr. Braslow has developed, evaluated and/or administered domestic and international programs in emergency medicine, emergency cardiac care, injury control, highway safety, and consumer safety.

Dr. Braslow has served as an expert and is a member of various advisory boards for such agencies as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes for Health (PAD trial, NHAAP), U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation (Highway Safety and Trauma), U.S. Olympic Committee, and U.S. Public Health Service (AHRQ). Dr. Braslow is also a Visiting Scholar, Department of Organizational Dynamics at University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Illinois where he specialized in public and provider education, medical research dissemination and implementation, public health and safety, and educational psychology. His M.S. (1980) and B.A. (1974) degrees are from The Pennsylvania State University.

Bonnie Newman, M.A., M.Ed brings her strength in management and strategic planning to GRG, both as an internal consultant and as part of evaluation teams when organizational strategy is a key component of the evaluation.

Ms. Newman brings 35 years of administrative leadership experience in higher education and the non profit sector. During her 14-year tenure at Tufts University, she served as Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, Director of Continuing Education and Summer  Programs, and Director of Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, and earned a reputation for expanding programs. In recent years, she has served as the Executive Director of the national non-profit, A Better Chance, and then as an independent management consultant. Her consulting work includes interim executive director positions in eight non-profit organizations, helping them to expand their services in order to meet the needs of diverse audiences and to maintain viability. She brings administrative expertise, strategic/analytical orientation, and strong interpersonal and facilitation skills to help small- to medium-size organizations achieve their planning, organizational management, and program development goals.


Karen PetermanKaren Peterman, Ph.D., joined the GRG staff in October 2002 and was promoted to Senior Research Associate in 2005. During that time, she managed a variety of projects. She has experience designing and carrying out evaluations for a variety of funding agencies, including DOE, IMLS, NCI, and NSF. She transitioned to part-time Senior Consultant in fall 2009. In that role, Dr. Peterman directed a research project for the UCSD BioBridge professional development program, and managed an evaluation of the IT-E3 project created by the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. She has expertise in embedded assessment and evaluation design. Prior to joining GRG, Dr. Peterman consulted with Insight Research Group and assisted with a summative evaluation project at the Exploris Museum. After earning a Ph.D. from Duke University, she was an NIH Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Developmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Peterman founded Karen Peterman Consulting, Co. in 2010.

Wendy Slattebo, Ed.D., has worked with GRG since 1991 on child counseling and mental health issues, school health program development, and child and family literacy research. She has conducted reading assessments of children in family child care homes as part of GRG’s evaluation of RIFNet for Reading Is Fundamental. In recent years, she carried out observations for GRG’s ZOOM research and also reviewed documents regarding reading and literacy. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Slattebo was, until her retirement, a guidance counselor in the Wayland, Massachusetts public schools. Previously, she was a reading specialist and child therapist in a community mental health agency. She has a B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Berkeley and an M.Ed. and Ed.D (Human Development) from Harvard University.

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