Senior Associate

Somers is a senior research associate who specializes in quantitative impact evaluation in the field of education. She has experience and expertise using randomized experiments (student-level and school-level) and comparative interrupted time-series designs to evaluate the effect of educational interventions on student and teacher outcomes. She is currently overseeing the quantitative analysis for an evaluation of the Communities In Schools intervention, funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Social Innovation Fund (EMCF-SIF), and she is the lead impact researcher for a U.S. Department of Education-funded evaluation of Teach for America’s redesigned summer training institute. Somers is also part of a project team that is developing and applying methods for exploring variation in program effects across sites and participants. That effort is funded by the Spencer Foundation. While at MDRC, Somers has led the impact analysis for evaluations of several different types of programs, including supplemental reading interventions for ninth-grade students, academic after-school programs for elementary school students, a school-wide content literacy intervention, and a college advising program in Chicago and New York City. She also served as the co-primary investigator for an EMCF-SIF-funded evaluation of the BELL summer program and as the primary investigator for an Institute of Education Sciences-funded evaluation of Ninth-Grade Academies in Florida. Somers has also worked on several projects focused on methodological topics in education research, such as using regression discontinuity and comparative time-series designs to evaluate education programs, using state assessments to measure student achievement, and using factorial designs to shed light on the effects of individual components of complex interventions. She holds a doctorate in education with a concentration in research methods from Harvard University and graduate degrees in economics and applied statistics from Oxford University.