Fall 2016

Letter from the President
We love those signs of autumn:  fall foliage, pumpkins, pumpkin carving, spiced pumpkin lattes, Halloween candy, soups, and sweaters, to name a few. Also on that list for us at GRG is our annual staff retreat. Last week, at a beautiful lakeside venue in Concord, MA, we took a day's break from  our very active evaluation schedule. Together we celebrated our accomplishments, did a fun communication and team building activity ,  revisited our core competencies, and had our own take on TED Talks, called GRGx  (pronounced GREGx )Talks. Also on the agenda was a discussion of what contributes to a healthy organizational environment; here are some key attributes on our list:  open communication, respect, opportunities for growth/professional development, provision of challenge while keeping high standards, balance/incorporating fun/reflection, trust, adaptability, and collaboration.  We strive to provide a work environment at GRG that incorporates these.  A weekly yoga session has already been implemented!
Happy Autumn!
New Projects
Boston Harbor Island
GRG is excited to be conducting an evaluation of the Boston Harbor Islands Youth Engagement project, a two-year joint initiative of Boston Harbor Now, Inc., Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the National Park Service, with funding from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. The evaluation has two main components: (1) consultation on their Youth Engagement Plan and a situation analysis to better understand who is being served by existing programs and assess how the programs could be improved, and (2) a formative evaluation of the BHI Summer Discovery Camp, which involved camp observations, student surveys, and discussions with youth service providers.

STARS Scholarship
We recently began on our evaluation of the Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation's STARS Scholarship, which aims to help residents of Pottawattamie County with dependent children earn their associate's and/or bachelor's degrees. GRG is conducting mixed-methods process and outcomes evaluations of the program. This includes a review of existing program data and scholarship program processes, interviews with current staff members, and online surveys of current scholars and alumni. 

STELAR 3-Year Continuation
We are very pleased that our client, EDC's STEM Learning & Research Center (STELAR), has been awarded another cooperative agreement to continue serving as the Resource Center for the National Science Foundation's ITEST program. GRG is excited to continue our evaluation as a partner with STELAR in their work to deepen the impact of ITEST by building capacity, disseminating findings, broadening and strengthening the community of practice, and advancing collaboration among all of NSF's Resource Centers.

Goings On About the Office
The GRG team celebrated Halloween with our annual pumpkin carving dinner! On the menu was zucchini casserole, butternut squash dip, warm cider, and apple pie. Among the pumpkin art were topical political figures, a host of animals (including a creatively done whale), and a beloved NFL team mascot.

The team is also excited to hold its first intra-office banana day! One of the newest team members, Blaze, pitched to us the idea with enthusiasm, and some research, and most have jumped on board for the experiment! On Wednesday, November 9th, GRGers will eat nothing but bananas. When our evaluation of the experience is complete, we'll be sure to share the results!

Goodman Research Group, Inc.
929 Massachusetts Ave.
Suite 2A
Cambridge, MA 02139

See our website for more information!