Ciara has engaged in evaluation practice for over 11 years with a focus on health and higher education programs concerning underrepresented minority students and communities of color. Among the health programs she has evaluated, one was a community-based program called the Livin’ Life on Purpose designed to improve diabetes management and reduce tobacco use among African Americans living in Riverside County, California. She also received funding from National Cancer Institute (NIH) to evaluate a Tongan cancer prevention program. This was a community-based participatory collaboration between three Pacific Islander (PI) community organizations (i.e., Tongan, Samoan, and Chamorro) and one university (i.e. California State University, Fullerton) that aimed to increase cancer screenings among PI women.
Among the educational-based programs Ciara has evaluated was an $4.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant that supported the Center for the Promotion of Health Disparities Research and Training located at California State University (CSU), San Benardino. It was designed to increase CSU San Bernardino’s institutional research capacity on health-related topics. Ciara conducted an evaluation for a biomedical education program at Oakwood University, which was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This program has continued with funding from NIH, and she became the lead evaluator. Yet two other programs Ciara has evaluated were a chancellor’s program for students at University of California (UC), Irvine, and a faculty programming for the Center for Teaching and Learning at the Claremont Colleges. In addition to her independent evaluations, she has also trained and managed an evaluation team for an undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program at UC, Riverside. In all, Ciara has a dearth of experience with programs with underlying goals of either increasing the pool of qualified undergraduate minority candidates in research-based graduate programs or training faculty to change their pedagogy to better educate a diverse student body or community based programs designed to empower individuals to improve their health outcomes.