Our Team

Alan - Executive Director
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Alan Peterfreund, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience as a consultant, evaluator and researcher for clients in the public and private sectors

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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 NA SA 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 - Director
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Rebecca Zarch has spent more than a decade evaluating projects supporting young adults moving through the STEM pipeline and workforce

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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 - Evaluator
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Kenneth Rath has been involved in educational evaluation since 1999. He began working with the Online Web-based Learning (OWL) system

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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 - Evaluator
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Jeffrey Xavier has been working in the evaluation field since 2009. His interest in evaluation began while studying Applied Sociology  at UMass

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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 - Office Manager
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Emily Deharo-Otero is our Office Manager and has been at SageFox since 2013. She graduated from Westfield State University as

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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. When she isn't keeping everyone at SageFox in line, she is a DIY weekend warrior at her home tackling everything from small repairs to full room renovations.

Stacey Sexton graduated in May with their M.Ed. and MPPA from UMass Amherst. They have been working in educational assessment for three years focused on student learning outcomes assessment related to Team-Based Learning as well as the integration of technology into college and university classrooms.

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Stacey is particularly interested in projects that look at the student transition from K-12 to postsecondary education and projects that have the potential to positively impact the most marginalized student populations. Stacey approaches their work with a firm commitment to the principles of equity, inclusion and social justice and it is their belief that well-done evaluations are critical to moving educational practice forward to reflect these principles.Outside of work you are likely to find Stacey doing some form of political organizing. Stacey also enjoys gardening, hiking, and taking pictures of their cat. 

Jordan Esiason joined SageFox as a Research Assistant in 2018. He is pursuing degrees for  his two passions in Mathematics and Music Composition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and will be graduating in the spring of 2019.

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Jordan has previously been employed as a Special Projects Assistant for the Residential Life department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he was responsible for performing benchmarking research and reporting, among other duties. When not at work he can be found writing music, tinkering with his 3D printer, or buying more houseplants that he doesn’t have room for.


Brianna Johnston joined the SageFox team in 2014 as an office administrator. Brianna works part time  as the travel coordinator for all of SageFox’s various trips,  keeps track of company expenses, and has become the webmaster.

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Having run her own graphic design business for many years, she is now very happy to be a part of a larger team. 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. Brianna lives in Monson, MA with her husband and  two children and works part time for the school district writing a weekly newsletter.

Our Associates

Some Collaborators, Consultants, Partners, and Friends

Tom McKlin has over a decade of experience evaluating federal programs,

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 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. 

Shelly Engelman, Ph.D., is a trained social and quantitative psychologist

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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. 

Sarah Boyd and Brandi Villa with Belay Consulting. Belay partners  

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 with K-16 education stakeholders including school districts, institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to support and evaluate educational programs. Our areas of expertise include STEM and education equity programs, community outreach projects, teacher and leader development, and technology implementation. We provide mixed-method formative and summative reporting, assist in writing federal and state-level grant proposals, support IRB applications, and offer a variety of editing services for print and web-based media.

Emanuel Costache has a B.A. from Amherst College in English Literature.  

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 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. 

David I. Bell, Ed.D. is an educationalist and psychologist who has worked

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 extensively in Southern Africa in the field of education, empowerment, social transformation and community development. He has worked in formal and non-formal education and in a range of community empowerment projects and has taught in South Africa, Namibia and in the US. His work in South Africa has focused on the empowerment and personal transformation of educators as agents of social and political change. He has also worked as a community empowerment consultant and empowerment facilitator for a number of national and international development agencies in South Africa. He has also worked at the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, focusing on the impact and sustainability of peace- building and conflict transformation programs and the efficacy of facilitated inter-ethnic dialogues in Bosnia. Most recently he has worked as a consultant to the US Department of Labor on issues relating to child labor and education.