Team


Antonio Olmos, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Antonio has over 20 years of experience working in the field of program evaluation and research methods. As many others, Antonio became an accidental evaluator back in Mexico when working in the statistical analysis of a program offering education services to very small communities. He is passionate about demonstrating the effectiveness of programs and for many years he has worked around the idea of program effectiveness using research designs and research methods. Antonio has presented at National and International conferences about topics such as Propensity scores, meta-analysis, instrument equivalence, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Although specializing in quantitative methods, Antonio recognizes the importance of qualitative methods, and has extensive experience in mixed methods. Antonio has strong ties to Colorado, where he has worked as Director of Evaluation and Research (Mental Health Center of Denver), Associate professor (University of Denver), Board President (Colorado Evaluation Network), and local chair (American Evaluation Association).


Key Expertise: Experimental designs | Program evaluation methods and theory | Psychometrics | Quantitative methods | Quasi-experimental designs

Personal Interests: The outdoors | Endurance sports | Art | Photography | Music


Adam Soberay, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Within his role at ARI, Dr. Soberay has been a lead evaluator for a variety of programs across multiple community-based agencies. He is currently working on evaluations for the Aurora Mental Health Center, the Colorado Refugee Wellness Center, and the Asian Pacific Development Center. He is also currently providing data and evaluation support for the National Council for Behavioral Health. His current work focuses on evaluating programs targeting health disparities, primarily those experienced by individuals with mental illness and/or refugee and immigrant populations. At ARI, Adam is also responsible for the training of master’s and doctoral level evaluation interns. He also provides evaluation and research support for pre-doctoral psychology interns at the Aurora Mental Health Center. Adam is also currently an adjunct faculty at the University of Denver in the department of Research Methods and Statistics, as well as the department of Business Information and Analytics. He is also currently an adjunct faculty of the Math department at the Johnson and Wales University. His prior experience includes serving as the Program Manager and Research Coordinator for the University of Denver’s Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center. He also contributed to a year-long assessment of the implementation of expanded learning opportunities targeting educational disparities within Colorado Public Schools. Dr. Soberay has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences on topics across research and program evaluation.


Key Expertise: Advanced Statistical Analysis | Evaluation | Program Management | Research Methods | Teaching

Personal Interests: Mountain Biking

Kerry-Ann Lewis Pearcy, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Kerry-Ann Lewis Pearcy brings more than 12 years of experience in monitoring and evaluation, advanced statistical analysis, technical writing, and project management for development initiatives. She has international experience in performance evaluations, impact evaluations, results-based monitoring and measurement systems, health systems strengthening, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, HIV/AIDS, systems analysis. Prior to ARI, Kerry-Ann worked as consultant or advisor on numerous international evaluations in the areas of health, education, youth development, community safety and security, systems development, and national and regional development. She served as Senior Monitoring and Evaluation and Quality Improvement Specialist in the Caribbean HIV/STI program where she developed, managed, and implemented evaluations and other analytic and research services in association with the 12 Caribbean PEPFAR countries. At the United Nations Children’s Fund, Kerry-Ann was the Monitoring and Evaluation and Public Policy Specialist mentoring, designing and implementing M&E frameworks, providing technical assistance to local government agencies and NGOs, developing quantitative and qualitative research methods and surveys for national and regional projects. Kerry-Ann worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver where she taught methods of evaluation practice and program, educational research and measurement, social policy analysis advocacy and practice, statistics and analysis, and business modeling and analysis.


Key Expertise: Advanced Statistical Analysis | Evaluation | Monitoring | Program Management | Project Design

Personal Interests: Baking | Binge watching the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies

Michael Sauter, B.A.
Junior Research Associate/ I.R.B. Officer

Bringing a diverse set of skills to our team, Michael started as a research intern with an education in Psychology from Colorado State University and a background in mental health, chronic illness, substance abuse, and criminology. With a history of working inside institutionalized facilities throughout the state, either on the clinical or evaluation side, Michael’s work at ARI has primarily focused on projects that utilize his skills of rapport building with community partners and collaborating with diverse groups and underserved populations. Current and past projects have ranged from integrating physical and behavioral health, mentoring for at risk youth, local and state diversion programs for incarcerated individuals with a mental illness, as well as programming for local homeless and veteran populations. Michael has a deep passion for helping those in need, he brings a fresh and creative perspective to the table, and provides a strategic mindset when looking at how to solve complex issues within our communities. Furthermore, Michael serves in an additional role at the Aurora Mental Health Center as a liaison and contact point for the center’s institutional review board. In this role, Michael helps to ensure that the human rights of all clients served at the center are protected if and when they so choose to participate in any research while at the center.


Key Expertise: Organizational Structure & Insight | Development & Outreach | Substance Use | Criminology | Chronic Illness | At Risk Youth

Personal Interests: The outdoors (biking, hiking, skiing, gardening, and fishing) | Good beer | Cooking | Playing & listening to music | Books | Art | Photography | Film | Animals

Crystal Luce, M.A.
Junior Research Associate

Crystal Luce is working on research and evaluation projects involving Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Caring for Colorado, and the Denver Foundation. From a research and evaluation perspective, Crystal has experience with grant writing, focus groups, strategic planning, Microsoft Access database building, and data reporting. Crystal comes to us with over 15 years of work experience in the non-profit field. Prior to working at Aurora Research Institute, she worked at Aurora Mental Health as a Case Manager, The GLBT Community Center of Colorado as a Program Manager for their youth programming, and Case Manager for the Colorado AIDS Project. Crystal’s employment has provided her expertise with: integrated health (over 10 years), HIV care and prevention, cultural inclusivity, LGBT youth, community rights, refugee health, youth mentoring, youth in school and justice settings, family supervision, criminal justice and substance use. Crystal has also completed side projects with the Grand Valley Living Wage Campaign, Mesa County Meth Task Force, Western Equality, Butterflies and Dolphins (local mental health organization), and local Speech and Debate Teams. Crystal has presented her work at the Western Social Science Conference and the Boston College School of Social Work and HIV Conference. Crystal received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from Mesa State University and her Masters of Arts in Political Science with a focus on International Politics and Nation theory from the University of Colorado-Denver. Crystal’s work is driven by her experience growing up around the world due to her father’s work in the Navy.


Key Expertise: Cultural inclusivity | Integrated health | HIV care and prevention | LGBT rights | Strategic planning | Substance Use

Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my fiancé | Dance and other physical activities | Reading

Francis Cheung, M.A.
Junior Research Associate

Francis Cheung completed her degree in International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver. She received her BA in psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Francis’s specialty is in disaster mental health and global mental health programs – specifically in low-middle income countries. Her past experience working as a direct service provider in mental health counseling, both domestically and internationally, provide her with a unique perspective when working with community partners in program evaluation. Francis has developed and implemented mental health programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Africa. Her work domestically involves a partnership with Emily Griffith Technical College to evaluate and develop a program for immigrant and refugee students. At ARI Francis manages the program evaluation projects for program partner, Asian Pacific Development Center, and also helps with grants from the Denver SIM grant and Denver Foundation.


Key Expertise: Crisis Intervention | Cultural Sensitivity | Direct Service Experience | Evaluation | Global Mental Health | Needs Assessment | Qualitative Methods

Personal Interests: The outdoors | Cooking | Travel | Gardening

Christy Bame, M.S.W.
Junior Research Associate

Christina Bame earned her Master of Social Work from California State University - Northridge with Honors Distinction and her B.A. in Middle East/South Asia Studies from University of California - Davis. Her research and evaluation focus includes mixed race issues in the United States and gender & sexuality. Christy has over three years of experience leading culturally responsive community-based program evaluation to improve quality of life for historically underserved populations including LGBTQI2-S+ Transitional Age Youth and low income, first generation Latinx children, youth, and families. Outside of research and evaluation, she has provided over 8 years of direct services to individuals and families in Los Angeles County and internationally including case management, sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy, and individual and group therapy. Christy joined ARI out of her desire to ensure that all populations and communities achieve self-sufficiency and wellbeing. Her dream is to one day open the nation’s first mixed race community center where people of all backgrounds can gather together to celebrate and embrace every aspect of themselves.


Key Expertise:

Personal Interests: Astrology | Spirituality | Nature | Trance music

Marika Sitz, M.A.
(She/Her/Hers)

Research Assistant

Marika Sitz earned her Master of International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver. She received her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Bard College. Marika’s specialty is in systems development in disaster mental health and global health programs—specifically system and culture change. Her work is dedicated to cultural inclusivity and appropriate services. She has worked as a clinical provider for over two years, specializing in Latinx populations. Marika has over three years of experience working in program coordination. She has spent over seven years developing programs for various topics and populations, including youth, incarcerated individuals, substance use, sexual health, behavioral health, and Mental health programs.


Key Expertise: Program Development | Cultural Responsiveness | Evaluation | Latinx Psychology | LGBTQAI+ Psychology

Personal Interests: Gardening | My dogs | Pottery | Cooking

David Kessler, B.A.
Research Assistant

David started at Aurora Research Institute in January of 2020. His primary interests lie in database design and using programming languages to automate processes. To achieve these aims, he has knowledge in Python, R, SQL, MS Access SQL, as well as Java. In the future, he hopes to utilize this skillset to build applications for ARI and its clients to streamline operations and procedures.


Key Expertise: Database design | Automation | Programming

Personal Interests: Hiking | Running

Stu Garney, B.A.
Data Coordinator

Stuart joined ARI from Missoula, Montana with an interest in database design, development, and administration. With a graduate certificate degree in Data Analytics from Arapahoe Community College, he thus has an exceptional understanding of data science and analytics. His projects have demonstrated the cleaning and prepping of large raw data sets for further data/text mining, cluster analysis, map plotting, predictive modeling, sentiment analysis, segmentation, frequency distribution, and machine learning. He brings with him 4+ years of experience in SQL, Microsoft Access and Excel, R, Visual Basic, and Python and is fluent in their programming language. Furthermore, he specializes in Data Visualization utilizing Tableau to highlight and explain data in the simplest of ways. This skill set has enabled him to pursue web development as an additional interest. For his undergraduate degree Stuart received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Psychology from the University of Montana. This undergraduate background provided Stuart with a with wide range theoretical knowledge in environmental sciences and psychology, which have enabled him to understand the context of the databases he designs. With a wide variety of professional, technical, and educational experience Stuart brings a different perspective of problem solving and creativity to the table.


Key Expertise: Database design | Data Management | Database normalization & automation | Data Visualization | Programming Fluency | Web development

Personal Interests: Playing music | Soccer | Fly fishing | Hiking | Camping | Board sports