Who We Are
April 21, 2016 admin


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Our Purpose

We partner with funders to provide high quality, rigorous evaluation to non-profit organizations that otherwise could not afford these services.

Our Vision

At PIE Org, we envision a future where all nonprofits have the capacity to fulfill their own outcome-focused missions.

Our Mission

PIE partners with organizations to serve communities through outcomes-focused strategic planning and evaluation.

Our Statement on Social Justice

PIE partners with organizations doing critical social justice work within the most vulnerable communities. PIE’s approach engages a range of stakeholders throughout the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes with a unique approach to achieving the partner organization’s intended outcomes. By helping organizations identify, define, measure, and report their outcomes, PIE builds organizations’ capacity to do important social justice work.

Our Core Values

At PIE Org, we hold true to our core values by helping organizations:

  • Work smarter and improve services by tracking measurable outcomes.
  • Grow and effectively serve the public interest.
  • Practice responsive evaluation that intentionally promotes social justice and the dignity of every person.
  • Leverage our expertise and our reputation for integrity and excellence in all that we do.

Our Team

Rafiqah Mustafaa, Ph.D.

Rafiqah Mustafaa, Ph.D.
Evaluation Coach

As an Evaluation Coach, Dr. Mustafaa enthusiastically helps urban nonprofits improve their use of data for informed decision making by facilitating large groups and working with individuals one-on-one. She uses her skills in evaluation and passion for equity to help organizations learn and improve their educational and social service programs. Dr. Mustafaa has honed her qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research skills over nine years of consulting, teaching, presenting, and writing in education and social program spaces.

Throughout this time, Dr. Mustafaa has worked with organizations in various sectors who are striving to improve social and educational programming. She knows that society benefits when professionals work with organizations in neighborhoods most harmed by social inequity, to strengthen their capacity as learning organizations. Specifically, her training in education policy, sociology, and political science, has equipped her with in-depth knowledge of various education and social program topics such as antipoverty policy, early childhood school readiness, and STEM education reform. These experiences have equipped her to support organizations dealing with the historical and contemporary causes of social and educational inequity, and who are designing approaches for addressing these problems. By designing and conducting evaluation and research projects, Dr. Mustafaa has learned the importance of being contextually and culturally responsive in project design, data collection, and data analysis.

Dr. Mustafaa received a B.A. as a double major in Sociology and Political Science from Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College. She earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies with an Evaluation specialization from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Emely Medina-Rodriguez

Emely Medina-Rodriguez
Research Associate

Emely views herself as an activist evaluator. As such, she believes that research professionals from underrepresented backgrounds bring themselves as their own best tools to work toward efficacious and fair evaluation. She uses evaluation as her professional approach to create empirical and systematic social accountability in the systems in which she works.

Emely has long pursued social justice in her professional career. While working at the University of Puerto Rico, she coordinated a College Access Challenge Grant Program. Her passion for college accessibility pushed her to pursue a Ph.D. at Loyola University Chicago to seek better ways to integrate her personal mission for social justice with her career in evaluation.

Emely comes to PIE after her Graduate Education Diversity Internship with the MacArthur Foundation Evaluation Office. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Research from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. She is currently finishing her dissertation at Loyola University Chicago.

Tania Rempert, Ph.D.

Tania Rempert, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Tania Rempert, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Org. Recognized as a dynamic facilitator and leader in evaluation coaching, Dr. Rempert is at the forefront of helping organizations gather, understand and use their own research data to build organizational capacity. With Dr. Rempert’s expert guidance, government agencies, universities, school districts, non-profits and museums of all sizes have become better equipped to fulfil their missions, using their own in-house resources.

In addition to her role as Principal Investigator of all projects, Dr. Rempert frequently teaches doctoral level courses at Loyola University, Chicago; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and National Louis University, Chicago. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations. In fact, Dr. Rempert was invited to the White House by the Office of Social Innovation to present her approach to federal workers in charge of HUD, DOE, and DOL, as well as others in the social sector, as an example of a high impact, efficient approach to outcomes based technical assistance.

A member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), Dr. Rempert has twice served as the National Convention Program Coordinator of the Human Services and K-12 interest groups. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the University of Chicago Crime Lab’s “Becoming a Man” program through Youth Guidance. She is a founding member and past professional development chairperson of the Chicagoland Evaluators’ Association and a current board member of the Time, Talent and Treasure Foundation.

Dr. Rempert received a B.S. in Community Health Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and completed her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Laura Watzke

Laura Watzke
Management Director

As the Management Director, Laura Watzke is the operational powerhouse of PIE Org. Her disciplined, organized approach ensures that PIE clients receive excellent service. Her responsibilities include managing day-to-day business functions and using her expertise in communications to assure that all PIE products are accessible and meaningful. She also manages relationships with clients, foundations, and our board of directors.

Watzke began her career as a credit portfolio manager at The Northern Trust Company. In that role, she researched, analyzed and evaluated the financial outlook of corporations and nonprofits. Additionally, she monitored loan performance and covenant compliance.  This experience has been invaluable in assuring our organization’s success.

Watzke holds multiple volunteer roles outside her work with PIE. She offers her talent as a reading tutor, a soccer coach, and serves as the PTO Board Secretary at the local middle school. She also teaches religious education and facilitates marriage preparation classes at her parish.

Watzke earned her B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

James Wade

James “Jay” Wade, Ph.D.
Evaluation Director

Jay Wade began his career with PIE as a research assistant and then a data analyst. Now in his role as Evaluation Director, Wade uses his formidable skills in advanced quantitative and qualitative data analysis to help PIE clients achieve greater internal capacity for evaluation. Wade’s specialities include the creation of data collection methods, logic models, surveys, observation protocols, literature analysis and psychometric analysis, as well as standards alignment and technical report writing.  His background in organizational psychology brings even greater depth to his evaluation coaching when working with organizations to change strategies and protocols.

Before joining PIE, Wade served in several positions at Loyola University Chicago, most recently leading a mixed methods case study of philanthropic evaluation capacity building.

Wade is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, and presentations, and his work has been shared at conferences held by the American Evaluation Association, the American Psychological Association and Loyola University Chicago’s Research Symposium.

Wade received his B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He earned his Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago and completed his Ph.D. in Research Methodology at Loyola University Chicago.