Jessica was easy to work with and made our evaluation project really special.  I was amazed at how quickly she grasped the key issues and was able to organize and analyze data from the interviews she conducted with our clients.  Her report was detailed, clear, insightful and highlighted areas of strength and areas where we can do better.  I recommend Jessica to any organization in need of program evaluation.

—Jeff Harness, Western Massachusetts Center for Healthy Communities, Holyoke, MA

 

Testimonials

Hiring Jessica was one of the best professional decisions I have ever made. She did a complicated evaluation of the economic and community impact of a mural festival. The insights she derived from her interviews and data collection, and the eloquence with which she wrote about the findings far surpassed my expectations. I learned so much from her evaluation report and have used it to leverage funding and new contracts countless times. Just this morning I was presenting at a conference of city planners and foundations and I mentioned her evaluation and after that, her report was all they wanted to know about.

- Britt Ruhe, Founder & CEO, Commonwealth Murals

Amherst, MA

Working with Jessica was the first time our organization conducted an external evaluation to collect real substantial data about what we do, how we do it, and the impact it has. This brought tremendous value to our strategic vision for expanding the impact we have. We were able to do a deep-dive to understand the elements of our model that are essential and replicable.

- Dariel Vasquez, Co-Founder & CEO, Brothers@, Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Jessica's expertise, passion and her ability to make her participants feel heard and valued allowed her to connect with our participants at a deep level, even though most of them were only meeting her for the first time. This project might not have worked if it was with anyone else. Jessica was able to make our participants feel extremely comfortable and vulnerable; her interviews were a safe space for all of us to open up. That's hard to do, but her approach and passion for the work really helped us feel welcomed and our experiences valued. Jessica knows what she's doing and can be trusted whole-heartedly.

- Dariel Vasquez, Co-Founder & CEO, Brothers@, Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Jessica is highly motivated and inspired in her work. She is smart and creative in the ways she gathers, organizes and applies relevant and transformative information. A team player, she is great at plugging in her strength and expertise where it is useful while also inviting and honoring and collaborating with others involved in our projects. Prepare for an inspiring and expansive experience that will help your organization to clarify its vision and goals while also helping you to set clear and measurable steps to help you track and refine the impact of your work.

- Jessica Prodis, LICSW, Founder & Director, Center for Resilience

Holyoke, MA

Jessica helped us to clarify our goals and create systems of measurement and accountability to track our progress. She helped us to gather data needed to present our work, highlight key relevant issues, and support our theories and approaches. She embodies a remarkable commitment to understanding the needs and culture of the people, projects and organizations with which she collaborates. She is skilled at asking the right questions, extracting themes, and supporting important conversations. In every endeavor together, her work reflects her gift of deeply listening to what is needed and positioning herself as a support person, focused on the voices that need to be centralized. ???????

- Jessica Prodis, LICSW, Founder & Director, Center for Resilience

Holyoke, MA

I first hired Jessica Payne to design a program assessment for a new first-year undergraduate program at Hampshire College. She did such a marvelous job that she has become my "go-to" consultant for the college's qualitative assessments projects. She has helped us with evaluations of academic affairs, student culture, retention, and enrollment as well as with grant-funded research in higher education. She comes through repeatedly by going beyond my expectations, so of all the consultants I have hired in over 15 years of administrative experience, I recommend Jessica Payne most highly.

Steven Weisler, Former Dean of Enrollment and Assessment, Hampshire College

Amherst, MA

Jessica is an outstanding interviewer. She connects with people and they provide her with responses that are unusually reflective and revealing. Her reports are well-organized, clearly written, and present findings and recommendations that are fundamentally aimed at helping us to do what we do better.

Steven Weisler, Former Dean of Enrollment and Assessment, Hampshire College

Amherst, MA

Working with Jessie Payne on a project is something I look forward to. Her listening skills allow me to lay out the project and her insights and experience with complex problems and needed solutions help to frame the work that we will be doing together. Jessie brings enthusiasm, determination, interpersonal skill and intelligence in great abundance to our work together. It is a pleasure working with her.

Nancy DiMattio, RN, MSN, MPH, Former Clinical Services Director, Caring Health Center

Springfield, MA

I had the pleasure of working with Jessica on a qualitative data anlaysis and reporting project she conducted for the Massachusetts Healthy Communities System as an independent consultant. Jessica was meticulously careful with the data she analyzed and was thorough in her approach and reporting of the data she collected. The project was in an area to which Jessica was relatively new. She mastered the complexities of the content and the relevance of the work quickly which allowed for an impressively detailed and nuanced report - exactly what our organization needed!! Jessica was professional, prompt with deliverables, and went above and beyond what I have experienced with other independent consultants. I look forward to working with Jessica on projects in the future.

Tami Gouveia, MSW, MPH, Former Manager, Massachusetts Healthy Communities System

Lawrence, MA

Jessie is a first class qualitative researcher. She conducted many in-depth consumer interviews for Pure Branding and far exceeded expectations. She gets the business objectives, is a quick study, and patient and perceptive listener. Jessie is able to translate requirements into clear, concise discussion guides that feel organic, yet provide consistent opportunities for comparison across interviews. She builds trust with interviewees in a disarming and empathetic approach that keeps them on the phone as long as necessary. Jessie gets beyond the data and demographics to the emotional and behavioral factors driving purchase decisions. Whether we need personas, presentation of research to the client, or a customer advocate in a workshop environment, Jessie delivers.

David Poole, Sr. Planner, Critical Mass, NY, NY; former Head of Research, Pure Branding, Inc., Northampton, MA.

Jessica Payne has done exceptional work for us exploring student experience around diversity. Her methodology is professional and her demeanor non-threatening to our students. I appreciate how thorough Jessie was in preparing to do the work at hand – preliminary meetings with key administrators, draft survey questions back and forth, and appropriate permissions from parents. In our case, Jessie interviewed each student in the sample for over an hour, reaping information with significant depth. I am most impressed by Jessie’s attachment to the work itself; she remembered names and anecdotes, and she offered both a written report and final meeting that provided us with even greater insight into what we needed to do. As a result of Jessie’s work, we have altered pieces of our residential program and changed the way we talk about some of what we do. We have also identified next steps we need to take and will enlist Jessie’s help to get there.

Sally Mixsell, Former Head, Stoneleigh Burnham School

Greenfield, MA

Jessica conducted a series of interviews about student experiences of diversity at Stoneleigh Burnham School. The report she wrote for us reflected deeply on all the complex dynamics among our students. It was real, not a standard cookie cutter report with numbers and catch phrases. It had a human touch, which made it easier to understand and for me to relate to my work here at Stoneleigh. Her insights about what was going on for our students gave me a new way of looking at my job. I now have a better understanding of how our programs and policies and all the little things we do with our students actually affect them. That's made a big difference in how I work with individual students and helped us as a school make better decisions about how to support them.

John Larson, Dean of Students, Stoneleigh Burnham School

Greenfield, MA

Our previous attempts to evaluate our undergraduate science research mentoring program had been unsatisfactory and we decided it was time to hire a professional. Jessie worked closely with me and my colleagues, listened to us, and made excellent suggestions for the design of an assessment project. She was very efficient, using what little time she had with us to the greatest benefit. She interviewed faculty and students who had participated in the program and identified key patterns in the data, which she summarized clearly and effectively in her report. I really like how the report was organized and found the level of detail to be well suited to our needs. Her conclusions and recommendations will be a big help in moving forward and reporting out on our activities. I used to think it was more important to try to do quantitative analyses of programs like ours, but I am now convinced that well-organized qualitative data of the kind that Jessie gathered are very useful.

Craig Woodward, Professor of Biology, Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, MA

Jessica drew people out in her interviews, getting them to provide thoughtful and detailed responses that they probably hadn't even articulated to themselves before. She collected a rich array of data and organized them effectively, so that we could use her findings to examine and compare multiple variables in the interview responses. The information she gathered was valuable to us not just in assessing our current practices and being more intentional in our program processes, but in eliciting buy-in among diverse constituents for proposed program changes and improvements. Having Jessica, as an outside evaluator, raise key issues made them clearer to the program participants than they would otherwise have been, and that clarification will inform how we move forward in our future work.

Tara Fitzpatrick, Director of Foundation Relations & Sponsored Research, Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, MA

Jessica is a skilled consultant who is able to identify opportunities for program and organizational development. She has great analytical skills and a varied background. She has offered our institution of higher education keen insights about ways to manage program operations with an eye toward the future. She also has great ideas about how to deliver programs in the most efficient and effective ways. I highly recommend Jessica Payne to anyone who wants to work with a consummate professional.

Gina Joseph-Collins, Ph.D., Former Dean of School of Adult & Professional Studies, Bay Path College

Longmeadow, MA

It has been my great pleasure to work with Jessica Payne on a multi-year project. First of all, her communication skills are outstanding. Prior to accepting our project she asked lots of questions to insure she understood the scope and nature of the work and encouraged me to ask lots of questions too. As a result, she submitted a thorough and clear proposal without ambiguity. The work she accomplished for us was on time and she delivered more than we expected in terms of thoroughness, level of detail and care in her final report. I felt her investment in our project's success matched our own.

Caron T. Hobin, Vice President of Planning & Student Development, Bay Path College

Longmeadow, MA