The Findings Group


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External Evaluators

The Findings Group, LLC is a research and evaluation firm located in Atlanta, GA, that provides research and evaluation services to K-12 and post-secondary public education organizations and programs. Our mission is to make these programs better, to demonstrate whether the program is or is not working, and to ensure project leaders, funders, and stakeholders that their resources are being put to the best possible use. This requires research and evaluation personnel who can foster stakeholder relationships; manage the performance of others; develop data collection, analysis, and reporting processes; communicate flawlessly, and synthesize oftentimes contradictory data all while keeping an eye on emerging trends in evaluation practice.

Tom McKlin, Ph.D.


Tom has over two decades of experience evaluating federal programs, serves on numerous federal proposal review panels, and serves as an invited guest lecturer on several evaluation topics. He has run The Findings Group, LLC since 2008. Before that, he directed evaluation at Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computing (CEISMC). He has a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics. His current research interests include Broadening Participation in STEM/Computing, Belonging, Identity, Interest Formation, and other psycho-social factors affecting student success. He lives in Atlanta and supports numerous federally-funded clients through grants from NSF, NIH, U.S. DOE, and DOD.  Here’s some of our published work on ResearchGate.

Taneisha Lee Brown, Ph.D.

Lead Evaluator

Taneisha is a Lead Evaluator at The Findings Group, LLC, a research and evaluation firm that serves K-16 public education organizations and programs.  Dr. Brown is a trained qualitative and quantitative methodologist with a research focus in youth development and underrepresented student access to postsecondary education and STEM careers.  Taneisha has professional experience developing and managing several academic mentoring programs funded by private foundations and federal grants.  She has served as an evaluator on multisite and longitudinal early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education programs.  She has evaluated programs funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, and US Department of Health and Human Services.  Dr. Brown’s involvement included instrument development, data collection, and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.

Dr. Brown has a Bachelor’s of Science in International Affairs from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master’s of Public Administration from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies Program with a concentration in Research, Measurement, and Statistics from Georgia State University.

Emily Dobar

Data Scientist

Emily has worked as a Data Scientist at The Findings Group since May 2017 and has supported various K-12 and post-secondary public education organizations and programs with the team through instrument building, data collection and analysis, and reporting. Emily is a graduate of Agnes Scott College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematics-Economics and a minor in Business Management and is currently working on her Master’s of Science in Analytics from Georgia Institute of Technology. Outside of work and school, she is active in her local community music groups, playing the saxophone in the Newton County Community Band and the East Atlanta Horns.

Evaluation Plan


The Findings Group (TFG) evaluates the STEM-US Center with a dynamic, responsive, mixed-method, theoretically-grounded evaluation to research the factors contributing to resilient STEM identity, academic success, and persistence in STEM. All of these are factors contributing to a more democratic, diverse, and productive STEM workforce and align with the recommendations from the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), a congressionally-mandated committee to advise the National Science Foundation.  CEOSE states: 

Effective broadening participation cannot be realized without cultural and institutional change, particularly within higher education institutions. Institutional and culture change will result in and be indicated by (1) an inclusive epistemology focused on implementation research, (2) the democratization of science and engineering, and (3) shared accountability for broadening participation. …[A]ll such changes require a recursive, iterative approach, with higher education taking the lead and NSF helping to set the standard. 

This evaluation plan is guided by these three tenets and seeks to both evaluate STEM-US and to fulfill its larger obligation to support HBCUs in setting the standard.  TFG works closely with STEM-US partners, leaders, staff, and extended project personnel to refine instruments, establish data collection systems, monitor data systems for quality and integrity, enable center-supported project reporting, and report formative results that influence the development and implementation of the program along with summative results that contribute to theoretical structures supporting HBCU student success. This evaluation plan adheres to the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development (Earle et al., 2013) that states, “an external critical review should be sufficiently independent and rigorous to influence the project’s activities and improve the quality of its findings.” 

Focus Areas

HBCU Student Success Stories
Want to now more about our evaluation Plan ?

2022 American Evaluation Association Conference: Presented “Decolonizing evaluation practices: taking an asset-based approach to evaluating an HBCU transdisciplinary research collaborative”