Alan Peterfreund - Executive Director

Alan Peterfreund – Executive Director – ext. 311

Alan Peterfreund, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience as a consultant, evaluator and researcher for clients in the public and private sectors of business, government and education. Dr. Peterfreund has a Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University, and has been a research faculty member at Brown University. He participated on numerous NASA planetary exploration missions studying Mars, Venus, and the moons of Jupiter. A career-shift in 1984 led to 16 years of consulting in the private and public sector with primary emphasis on organizational change, quality management, and employee participation. In 2000, Dr. Peterfreund began to focus on supporting higher education partners in projects that address the broadening of participation in the sciences, graduate student development, and other educational reforms. Additionally, Dr. Peterfreund has been active in supporting the design, implementation, and evaluation of international programs for WorldBank, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Rebecca Zarch - Director

Rebecca Zarch – Director – ext. 301

Rebecca Zarch has spent more than a decade evaluating projects supporting young adults moving through the STEM pipeline and workforce development projects.  She particularly loves projects that involve the infusion of innovation and entrepreneurship into the educational environment, those that involve complex change to an organizational culture and those that promote underrepresented groups in the STEM fields. Rebecca has recently had a heavy emphasis on computer science education projects.  Her work is typically based at community colleges and graduate school programs. Rebecca received her MBA in non-profit management at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.When not working for SageFox, Rebecca enjoys NPR, lifting heavy things and playing outside with her two children Raviv (8) and Danya (6).

Ken Rath - Evaluator

Ken Rath – ext. 313

Kenneth Rath has been involved in educational evaluation since 1999. He began working with the Online Web-based Learning (OWL) system while still in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has worked on a wide variety of projects since that time. After receiving his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2002, he worked in a postdoctoral position as the resident evaluator for UMass Amherst’s Center for Computer-Based Instructional Technology (CCBIT) before officially moving to Peterfreund Associates in 2003. Prior to pursuing a degree in psychology, he majored in Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received his B.S. His dissertation research involved the cognitive processes associated with reading disabilities among children.
Since beginning in the field of educational evaluation, Ken has been involved numerous projects, ranging from broad programs dedicated to helping underrepresented minority students succeed in the sciences to specific interventions designed to improve learning of particular topics. To date, most of his work has been with programs in both the postsecondary and K-12 arenas.
When not working for SageFox, Ken is an amateur writer of fantasy fiction, a religious education teacher, and pursues an active interest in religion, ancient, medieval, and natural history, and the Latin language. He lives in Amherst, Mass. with his wife and two children.

Jeff Xavier - Evaluator

Jeff Xavier – ext. 310

Jeffrey Xavier has been working in the evaluation field since 2009. His interest in evaluation began while studying Applied Sociology at UMass Boston. After receiving his Master of Arts in 2009, he and his wife moved to Western Massachusetts and he began working at SageFox.
Since beginning his work here, he has been involved in the evaluation of a wide variety of projects, most of which were designed to engage underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. He has enjoyed employing his training in the social sciences to provide feedback that has both improved these programs and described their successes. Jeff’s evaluation work has focused on teacher professional development and undergraduate academic support programs in STEM. The majority of his work has dealt with broadening participation in computing fields.
When not working for SageFox, Jeff enjoys a variety of hobbies, including creative writing, home improvement, auto repair and attempting to fix just about anything that’s broken to avoid having to call in the “professionals”—all the while trying to keep up with his wife and two young children.

Emily Deharo-Otero

Emily Deharo-Otero – ext. 309

Emily Deharo-Otero is our Office Manager and has been at SageFox since 2013. She graduated from Westfield State University as a Math major and has worked in Banking as well as the Public School system. She brings her amazing attention to detail and organizational skills to the team – but those at SageFox appreciate her baking the most!
She lives in Westfield, MA with her husband and two teenage daughters – one of whom is a research assistant here at SageFox.

Brianna Johnston

Brianna Johnston – ext. 312

Brianna Johnston joined the SageFox team in 2014 as an office administrator. With her background in hotel management, Brianna has become the travel coordinator for all of SageFox’s various trips and keeps track of company expenses. 
She received her BA from Western New England College with a focus in Communications and brings that experience into day to day life here at SageFox.  Having run her own graphic design business for many years, she is now very happy to be a part of a larger team. Brianna lives in Monson, MA with her husband and  two children. 

Our Associates:

Tom McKlin

Tom McKlin has over a decade 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 Social Network Analysis, Assessing Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and stereotype threat. He lives in Atlanta and supports numerous federally-funded clients through grants from NSF, NIH, U.S. DOE, and DOD.

Brandi Villa - Evaluator

Brandi Campbell Villa did her graduate research on two fronts – in the field of applied and environmental microbiology as well as in program evaluation of a science education outreach organization hosted by Georgia State University’s Biology department.
Dr. Campbell has been a science educator at middle school, high school, and undergraduate levels for more than a decade, and thus brings an educator and researcher’s perspective to the design and implementation of our company’s evaluation projects. Unwilling to step away from educating entirely, she currently teaches part-time at Georgia State University. Past courses include Introductory Biology, Biotechnology, Genetically Engineered Microorganisms Theme-based Laboratory, Upper-level Directed Readings courses, and Critical Thinking through Writing in Molecular Cell Biology. In addition to her passion for all aspects of STEM education, Dr. Campbell particularly enjoys challenges related to evaluation design, reporting and data visualization.


Sarah Boyd received her PhD in Microbiology from Georgia State University. Her dissertation research involved the creative design and production of a novel vaccine adjuvant. Although she is a classically trained microbiologist, Sarah’s true passion is education, and she has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Biology at Georgia State University and Agnes Scott College. Since joining the SageFox team, Sarah has worked on a variety of K-12 and higher education evaluation projects. Her research interests include retaining women in STEM careers and communicating science to the general public. Sarah lives in Cumming, GA and enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining, and cooking.

Shelly Engelman

Shelly Engelman, Ph.D.,  is a trained social and quantitative psychologist with an expertise in cultural diversity, gender and racial disparities in academic achievement, and behavioral research methods. She has been a lead quantitative data analyst and behavior science methodologist on a series of federally-funded programs. Within these projects, she has contributed on works focusing on theoretical models for behavioral change, testing new psychosocial measures, and developing statistical models for evaluating program impact on psychosocial mediators and outcomes. Dr. Engelman also served as a psychology instructor at the University of Delaware teaching an array of undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Psychology, Racism and Prejudice, Advanced Statistics, and Research Methods.

EEmanuel Costache manuel Costache has a B.A. from Amherst College in English Literature. Emanuel was with SageFox from 2009 through 2016, and worked on a variety of NIH- and NSF-funded projects. He is currently working as a consultant. 

Education research and evaluation for K–12 and higher education