Laura T. Overman, M.Ed, MA

Research Associate
Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Laura has extensive experience in social sciences research with a past focus on education reform and a current focus on violence prevention. Her primary areas of specialization include program evaluation, data management, and data analysis. Specific to her work at the Begun Center, Laura has participated in the evaluation of numerous grant-funded programs providing either mental health services or housing and financial support. Previously at the Begun Center, Laura also devoted a great deal of effort to supporting work related to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. Specifically, Laura worked with both the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the Akron PD in building databases that captured characteristics of offenders, survivors and sexual assaults related to backlogged sexual assault kits. Laura has also aided agencies in evaluating their fidelity of High-Fidelity Wraparound implementation and is currently assisting the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence in its evaluation of the fidelity of High-Fidelity Wraparound implemented by Ohio’s specialized managed care program for children and youth with complex behavioral needs, OhioRise.

Prior to working at the Begun Center, Laura worked with the University of Louisville’s National Center Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) as well as its College of Education and Human Development, Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education. During her time, she conducted qualitative and quantitative research in career and technical education reform and assisted in the study, “Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study,” maintaining and analyzing student-level school district data and student survey data; assisting with interview transcriptions, student surveys, and assorted other qualitative and quantitative duties. Other qualitative research projects included researching state activities to promote access and affordability for community colleges.

She also worked in research and analysis with John Hopkins University’s School of Arts and Sciences Center for the Social Organizations of Schools along with the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In April, 2004, she was a recipient of the American Educational Research Association Review of Research Award along with colleagues and collaborators, Geoffrey D. Borman, Gina M. Hewes, & Shelly Brown for Comprehensive School Reform and Achievement: A Meta-Analysis, in Review of Educational Research, Volume 73, Number 2.

Q: Why is your work at the Begun Center important to you, to our community, and to the world? I feel the work we do here is on the side of the angels. We are researching very timely issues and the results inform practice, legislation, and further research.

Q: What is a cause about which you are particularly passionate? Any cause involving children.


Selected Presentations

“Measuring the Counterfactual via Case Notes in an Evaluation of Homeless Prevention Programs.” Chicago, IL at Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Sociological Society.

“Evaluating the Implementation of the PAX GBG Within an Interactive Systems Framework.” Ohio Promoting Wellness and Education Conference.

“Wraparound Fidelity Monitoring: Using Process to Improve Outcomes in the Child Welfare System.” Tampa, FL at the 28th Annual Research Conference Proceedings: Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference.

“Wraparound Fidelity Monitoring: Using Process to Improve Outcomes in the Child Welfare System.” Cleveland, OH at Case Western Reserve University Showcase.

“Identifying Suicide Risk Factors in High Risk Adolescents a Retrospective Review of 176 Cases.” American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting.

“Measuring Wraparound in a System of Care Project.” Tampa, FL at Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference.