Center Staff

Ann Cotten is the Director of the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore and an affiliated faculty member in the College of Public Affairs. She has been working with government and nonprofit organizations for the past 25 years in the areas of strategic planning, program evaluation, survey research, policy analysis, management consulting, and performance measurement.

Dr. Cotten directs the Maryland Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program. The Maryland CPM Program teaches applied public management skills to supervisors and managers in Maryland’s government and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to starting the Maryland CPM Program, Dr. Cotten directed the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program from 2007-2011 on behalf of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The Weinberg Fellows program is a leadership development program for executive directors of nonprofit organizations that serve the financially disadvantaged in the Baltimore area.

A main focus of Dr. Cotten’s work is to help public and nonprofit organizations address strategic challenges. Dr. Cotten has led numerous research projects during her career. Recent projects include an assessment of the civil legal needs of low income Marylanders for Maryland Legal Aid; a study about health insurance access and use among Marylanders in low-income, rural, and medically underserved areas of the state; an evaluation of Maryland’s Tobacco Control Program; a financial projection and staffing model for a large non-profit organization in Maryland; and a comprehensive review of Baltimore City Community College;.

Dr. Cotten has extensive experience training public sector managers in Managing for Results, performance measurement, and strategic planning. She has facilitated the development of strategic plans for a number of Maryland agencies and the Midtown Special Benefit District.

She recently completed two terms on the executive council of the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium where she also served as treasurer. Previously she served as President of the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, Member of the American Society for Public Administration’s National Council, and President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

She has also served as a member of the finance committee of the American Society for Public Administration. She chaired the University of Baltimore’s Institutional Review Board and Council on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

In 2008, Dr. Cotten was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by the Maryland Daily Record. She is a member of Leadership Maryland Class of 2012 and the GBC Leadership Class of 2015.

She has taught strategic management for government and nonprofit organizations and survey research in the University of Baltimore’s School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Cotten is a professionally trained focus group moderator and is an experienced trainer of mid and upper level managers. She hold a Master’s Degree in Economics and Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Michelle A. Cantave  has over 20 years of experience with applied social science and survey research in a variety of fields including health, education, and labor.  Ms. Cantave has worked in State and Federal contracting organizations as well as private companies and educational institutions.  Ms. Cantave has over ten years of experience with managing surveys and survey centers.  Ms. Cantave is experienced in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, conducting school visits to collect data, conducting cognitive interviews, and call center management.   She also has extensive experience with programming surveys for CATI systems, collecting, cleaning and weighting data, managing experiments and analyzing data.

Prior to joining The Schaefer Center at the University of Baltimore, Ms. Cantave worked at REDA International, Inc. for six years as a Research Analyst and Programmer. Ms. Cantave also worked for Arbitron, Inc. as a Project Leader, at the American Institutes for Research as a Survey Methodologist, and at IMPAQ International as a Senior Research Analyst. Ms. Cantave earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Sarah Ficenec is a research associate with the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore. In this position, she helps manage research projects at the Center. Her work includes serving as a contact point for clients, conducting quantitative and qualitative research, and writing proposals and reports and presentations of the Schaefer Center’s research findings.

Dr. Ficenec has over 15 years of experience in policy research, analysis, and evaluation on issues including urban policy, economic development, regional collaboration, interpersonal and interorganizational networks, workforce development, international relations, advocacy for girls’ and women’s issues, and early childhood education.

Most recently, Dr. Ficenec was the Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. For four years, she conducted research projects concerning economic development in Connecticut for clients including the state legislature and executive agencies, town governments, regional organizations, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Her work included economic impact reports, statistical analyses, literature reviews, survey design and analysis, and interviews of policy makers. She also presented demographic, economic, and fiscal data on Connecticut towns at municipal economic development workshops for local elected officials and other community members.

Prior to her work in Connecticut, Dr. Ficenec served as a Budget Management Analyst for the City of Baltimore, a Research Assistant at the George Washington University, and Associate Director for Policy and Communications at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, among other positions.

 

Dr. Ficenec holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from the George Washington University. Her dissertation was on Economic Development Policy Making in Rust Belt Regions: Three Essays Using Social Network Analysis to Study Cooperation and Collaboration. She also has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from Creighton University. Dr. Ficenec has presented at several academic and professional conferences and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha Public Policy and Administration Honors Society at the George Washington University.

Don Haynes (Ph.D.). Dr. Haynes received his PH.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Haynes has been on the faculty of the School of Public Affairs and International Studies at UB for over thrity years. In the Masters of Public Administration Program, he has taught courses in Applied Statistics, Policy Analysis, Program Evaluation, Survey Research Methodology and Environmental Policy. He has also taught Policy Analysis, Research Methods and Survey Methodology at the Undergraduate Level. He is currently the Director of the International Studies Program in the school.

Dr. Haynes as been affiliated with the Schaefer Center for over 20 years as well. He has served and the Director of Survey Research in which capacity he as acquired very extensive experience in the design, implementation, and reporting of survey research projects among a variety of populations. He has worked closely with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Environment, Health and Mental Hygiene, Human Resources, Agriculture and Transportation. He has also conducted survey research with State Highway Administration, Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore Community College, City of Baltimore, among many others. In addition to survey projects, Dr. Haynes has worked on a number of evaluation projects both as lead researcher and provider of survey support.

Mary Lovegrove was named assistant director of the Schaefer Center in September 2003 after working as a center consultant and accountant for several years. She co-authored the Health Care Credentialing Study, a project requested by the Maryland General Assembly, and participated in strategic planning for the Public Service Commission as well as in other management consulting projects.

Prior to joining the Schaefer Center, Lovegrove served as general counsel and consultant for an international banking consultancy headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia, where she provided expertise in the areas of international banking law, bank rehabilitation and bank reorganization. She also served as a senior enforcement attorney at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C., for eight years and gained significant management experience working as a human resources manager for the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Manpower Resources.

Dennis McGrath was trained in research methods and advanced statistics at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan.  He teaches these subjects and applies his knowledge in solving a wide variety of research problems faced by state and local government officials.

Dr. McGrath has 30+ years of experience in program evaluation, statistical analysis, performance measurement, and focus group facilitation.   He has led a wide variety of  applied research projects including  studies on charter schools in Maryland, Maryland Voter Wait Times; the feasibility and advisability of state vaccine purchasing options; issues regarding the timeliness of determinations of Medicaid and Disability Services applications at the state and local level. Dr. McGrath coordinated the data analysis for a multi-year evaluation Maryland’s statewide welfare reform, the Primary Prevention Initiative. 

Dr. McGrath has extensive experience gathering information from people in sensitive situations.  He has conducted focus groups with indigent adults in need of medical care for a study of the state of Maryland’s Primary Care for the Medically Indigent (PCMI) program.  He has conducted focus groups and interviews with interested stakeholders (including residents and families of residents) for a study of the long-term capital needs of Maryland’s residential program for the severely disabled.  He has supervised the collection of data from mothers and other caregivers of children whose mothers face termination of parental rights because of substance abuse.  He has interviewed parents of children facing severe medical difficulties for an assessment of the work of the Maryland Infant and Toddler Program (MITP).

Dr. McGrath is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore where he teaches graduate courses in Research Methods and in Quantitative Analysis, as well as undergraduate courses in Research Methods, Constitutional Law, American Political Thought, Ethical Issues: Business, and Society, American Political Institutions and Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights.

Faculty Fellows

2020-21 Faculty Fellows

Thomas A. Darling
School of Public and International Affairs

Tina DiFranco
School of Health and Human Services

Ed Gibson
School of Public and International Affairs

Margaret Gillingham
School of Health and Human Services

Al Gourrier
School of Public and International Affairs

Don Haynes
School of Public and International Affairs

Lenneal J. Henderson
School of Public and International Affairs

George D. Julnes
School of Public and International Affairs

Sunny Kang
School of Health and Human Services

C. Alan Lyles
School of Health and Human Services
School of Public and International Affairs

Thomas E. Mitchell
Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Carol A. Molinari
School of Health and Human Services

Lorenda A. Naylor
School of Public and International Affairs

Jeffrey Ian Ross
School of Criminal Justice

Renita Seabrook
School of Criminal Justice

Ivan Sascha Sheehan
School of Public and International Affairs

Debra L. Stanley
School of Criminal Justice

Larry W. Thomas
School of Public and International Affairs

Frank van Vliet
Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Aaron Wachhaus
School of Public and International Affairs

John T. Willis
School of Public and International Affairs

Heather Wyatt-Nichol
School of Public and International Affairs

Tina Zhang
Merrick School of Business

Graduate Fellows

The Schaefer Center awards fellowships to a select group of graduate students at the University of Baltimore. Fellows receive full tuition remission and a stipend while attending graduate school on a full-time basis. Fellows also work half time at the center, where they are provided with the opportunity to hone their skills in real-world settings under the guidance of experienced researchers.

Fellows have a rewarding experience at the center; as active participants in the center’s applied research mission, they work side by side with faculty members in a dynamic setting that challenges and expands their academic, interpersonal and technological skills and abilities. The breadth of research projects ensures that fellows will be exposed to a variety of public sector leaders and the challenges they face.

Upon leaving the center, fellows are prepared to assume challenging positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Among our graduate fellow alumni are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Management Internship and the Maryland Governor’s Policy Fellowship. Many of our alumni have moved on to positions of responsibility in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institute of Justice, the Maryland Department of Fiscal Services, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Office of the Governor. Several fellows have gone on to Ph.D. programs and are now teaching in the public administration field.

Learn more about becoming a Schaefer Center Graduate Fellow.

2020-21 Graduate Fellows

Gaines Brown

Kelly Norton

Courtney Prestwich