Elizabeth Christiansen, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Program Evaluation
Elizabeth Christiansen headshot

Summary

Elizabeth Christiansen is the Director of the Program Evaluation Lab of the Nevada Center for Surveys, Evaluation, and Statistics (CSES). Christiansen has over 18 years of experience in program evaluation, working with numerous local, state and national evaluation projects in the areas of education and youth development, health and wellness, and community and family services. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2002. She has been a University of Nevada, Reno faculty member since 2003 and director of the Program Evaluation Lab (formerly the Center for Program Evaluation) since 2009. Through her work PEL, she has worked on many evaluation projects with a variety of agencies and organizations, including the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the Washoe County Family Resource Centers, the Washoe County School District, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Nevada Training Partnership, Turning Point, Inc., Great Basin Institute, Family TIES of Nevada, and the Nevada Division of Children and Family Services.

As a faculty member with the School of Community Health Sciences in the Division of Health Sciences, she advises Master of Public Health (MPH) students and serves on MPH committees. She also coordinates the assessment for the School's MPH program. Occasionally, she guest lectures for courses in various departments across campus when requested. Christiansen is fluent Spanish and often uses this skill in her program evaluation projects.

Professional Experience

  • Director, Center for Program Evaluation, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Assistant Editor, CYFERnet Teen Editorial Board
  • Member, American Evaluation Association (AEA)

Personal Interests

Scrapbooking, reading, gardening, photography

Research Interests

Program evaluation, needs assessment

Selected Grants

Christiansen, E. (PI). Family TIES Family-to-Family Health Information Centers Evaluation. CPE partners with the Family TIES project management team to track progress on the work plan as well as programming outputs (i.e., families provided information, education and/or training) and outcomes (i.e., access to care, partnering in decision-making, advocacy) throughout the programming period. Family TIES of Nevada. September 2007-May 2018.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need and Comprehensive Care and Prevention Plans for HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this project is to write the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need and the Comprehensive Care and Prevention Plans for HIV/AIDS for the state of Nevada and monitor the plan. Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. April 2015-March 2017.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Washoe County School District Title II Evaluation Technical Assistance. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of the districts Title II professional development programs. July 2013-December 2016.

Christiansen, E. (PI). WIC Loving Support Peer Counseling Program Evaluation. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Loving Support Peer Counseling Program. Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. February 2014-September 2016.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Community Health Worker Project Evaluation. The purpose of the project is to conduct an evaluation of the Community Health Worker (CHW) program. In addition, CPE has worked with the CHW team to design the Latino Health Needs Assessment (LHNA) instrument and oversee the collection of those data. Currently, a Return on Investment study is being conducted for the CHW program. Bureau of Child Family and Community Wellness, Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. April 2013-September 2016

Christiansen, E. (PI). Parent Teacher Home Visit Project Evaluation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of the district's Title II professional development programs. Department of Family School Partnerships, Washoe County School District, March 2015-June 2016.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Family Resource Centers Evaluation: Washoe County School District. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the satisfaction and outcomes for Washoe County FRC clients. July 2007-June 2016.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Victim Assistance Academy of Nevada (VAAN) Evaluation, Nevada Division of Child and Family Services and the VAAN Steering Committee, February 2014-January 2016.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Minority HIV Needs Assessment and Statewide Mental Health, SAPTA, Suicide Prevention and HIV Needs Assessments. The purpose of these projects are to conduct a needs assessment related to HIV in minority populations and needs assessments related to mental health, substance abuse, suicide prevention and HIV. Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. February 2015-June 2015.

Christiansen, E. (PI). NV FSNE 14 Needs Assessment. The purpose of this project was to conduct a needs assessment related to nutrition programming for the UNCE SNAP Ed project. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. October 2013-September 2014.

Christiansen, E. (PI). Great Basin Institute Evaluation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness, satisfaction, and outcomes of the Great Basin Institutes AmeriCorps and Volunteer Program. Great Basin Institute, Nevada Conservation Corps, Reno, NV. December 2011-September 2014.

Selected publications

2008

  • Woodson, J.M., Christiansen, E., Rye A., Black, J., Constantino, N., & Marinelli, R. 2008. A comparison of findings from community health surveys: 2001 and 2006. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, SP-08-03.
  • Sigman-Grant, M.J., Christiansen, E., Branen, L.J., Fletcher, J., & Johnson, S.L. 2008. About Feeding Children: mealtimes in childcare centers in four Western states. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108, 340-346.
  • Sigman-Grant, M.J., Christiansen, E., Fernandez, G., Fletcher, J., Johnson, S.L., Branen, L.J., & Price, B. 2008. Hungry Mondays: Low-income children in childcare. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2(4), 19-38.

2005

  • Christiansen, E.J., & Evans, W.P. 2005. Adolescent victimization: testing models of resiliency by gender. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(3), 298-316.

2003