Center for Evaluation and Applied Research

The Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) conducts state-of-the-art evaluation and applied research to enhance program planning and outcomes in public health, education, and human services; provides high quality evaluation training and education; and advances evaluation science by bridging the expertise of researchers and practitioners.


The Center provides evaluation and applied research services for public health and other government agencies, school districts, community-based organizations, and foundations to help them meet their accountability and program improvement needs. The Center applies cutting-edge evaluation theory and methodology in its evaluation and research services in the following areas:

  • Program planning:  Needs assessment; Development of a logic model or program theory to strengthen the quality of a program; ensure the quality and usefulness of the programs evaluation
  • Implementation evaluation:  Formative evaluation; Process evaluation
  • Outcome evaluation:  Validity-focused outcome evaluation; Real-world effectuality evaluation; Viability evaluation; Transferability evaluation
  • Capacity building for utilizing evaluation and monitoring information for program improvement:  Utilizing evaluation for improving program planning and implementation; Establishment of a system to monitor an organization's implementation processes and/or outcomes on an ongoing basis.
  • Applied research:  Quantitative and qualitative data analysis; Instrument design and data collection (Surveys and questionnaires (online, telephone, paper); focus group and interview protocols; observation protocols; document review, tracking templates)

 

The Center consists of a team of faculty and staff evaluation experts committed to applying cutting-edge evaluation theory and methodology to provide clients with high quality evaluation services. CEAR takes a unique team approach to evaluation services.

 

Please contact CEAR with any questions or opportunities to partner with you to collaboratively develop customized plans for evaluations of and research on services to be provided; write grant proposals; or conduct evaluation workshops at introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.

 

Our Team

The Center consists of a team of faculty and staff evaluation experts committed to applying cutting-edge evaluation theory and methodology to provide clients with high quality evaluation services. CEAR takes a unique team approach to evaluation services. The team is comprised of CEAR personnel and affiliated Mercer University faculty members.
 

CEAR Director
Huey T. Chen, PhD serves as the Director of the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) and Professor of Public Health in the College of Health Professions, is an international expert on the theory and practice of program evaluation.Previously a Senior Evaluation Scientist and Branch Chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Chen has worked with community organizations, health-related agencies, government agencies, and educational institutions. He has conducted both large-scale and small-scale evaluations in the U.S. and internationally, including evaluating a drug abuse treatment program and a youth service program in Ohio, an HIV prevention and care initiative in China, and an anti-smoking program in Georgia.He took a leadership role designing and implementing a national evaluation system for evaluating CDC funded HIV prevention programs based in health departments and community-based organizations.In addition to publish over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, he is the author of several evaluation books. He is a winner of the American Evaluation Association's Lazarsfeld Award for Evaluation Theory.

CEAR Affiliated Members
Cheryl L. R. Gaddis, DrPH, MPH, CHES is Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of the Master of Public Health Program in the College of Health Professions Department of Public Health. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Dr. Gaddis has taught within the MPH and MD programs at Mercer University School of Medicine for more than ten years and has over thirteen years' experience in the public health areas of chronic disease, health promotion and education, qualitative and quantitative research, and program development. Her research interests include health disparities and underserved populations, children's health, health promotion, and minority and rural health disparities, and tobacco disparities. She has also conducted community-based interventions and research on physical activity engagement among elementary school children. Dr. Gaddis has engaged in service with various community organizations on the local and state level as a board member, public health consultant, and grant writer/reviewer.


Brad Lian, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and the Department of Community Medicine at Mercer University. His areas of expertise are in poverty, adolescent development, and community-based research. Over the past 10 years, he has been co-director of the annual Mobile Youth Survey of low-income adolescents, evaluator for a HRSA-funded Healthy Start Program, and has been an Investigator on several CDC- and NIH-funded programs. Dr. Lian has a broad social science background and extensive experience with data collection and management issues and research methods.


Nannette C. Turner, PhD, MPH is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health Program in the College of Health Professions at Mercer University. Dr. Turner has over 20 years of experience in the public health areas of program evaluation, chronic disease, health promotion and education, qualitative and quantitative research, and program development. Her research interests include health disparities, underserved populations, academic health departments, and cancer control including tobacco use and prevention. Dr. Turner is currently serving as a board member on the ASPPH MPH Expert Panel and the Georgia Department of Public Health, Tobacco Control Advisory Council.She has also engaged in service with various community organizations at the local and state level as a board member, public health consultant, and grant writer/reviewer.


Samuel K. Peasah, PhD is Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education (CCORE) at the Mercer University College of Pharmacy. The mission of CCORE is to promote health outcomes and healthcare quality through research and education. His research interests are in health outcomes and health economics. Specifically, he has interest in comparative effectiveness and economic evaluation research in areas like hospital-acquired infections, hospital readmission, health disparities, medication adherence, and influenza vaccination.


Justus Randolph, PhD is Assistant Professor at Tift College of Mercer University. Justus Randolph has a Ph.D. in education research and program evaluation, a MEd in international education, and a certification in educational administration. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Education at Mercer University. In the past, Justus Randolph has worked as a program evaluator or researcher for organizations such as the Center for Policy and Program Evaluation, The Worldwide Institute for Research and Evaluation, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, Utah State University, the University of Joensuu, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, and the Logan City School District. His research and evaluation experiences have concerned programs that involve newborn hearing assessment, school improvement, higher education evaluation, technology-enriched playgrounds, educational technology research methods, and computing education. He has developed and taught courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, evaluation, and scholarly writing. He is the author of the book Multidisciplinary Methods in Educational Technology Research and Development and tens of scholarly articles