Action Research provides research, evaluation, and strategic analysis to improve human services with a focus on children, youth, and families.


Founded in 2010, Action Research has conducted projects with:

Action Research is:

Timothy Ross, PhD., Managing Partner

TAR HEADSHOT_cropTim Ross is an applied researcher with over 20 years of experience.  He has expertise in system reform and analysis in the areas of child welfare, juvenile justice, and youth services.  He serves as the data expert to the monitoring team of two child welfare class action litigation settlements, developed data-driven initiatives to expand permanency and to improve the recruitment and retention of foster homes, and is a thought partner with several foundations and nonprofit organizations.  He has taught research methods at the New York University Silver School of Social Work and served on the boards of foundations and service providers, and advisory boards. Prior to founding Action Research in 2010, Tim led the child welfare program at Child Trends, served as Director of Research at the Vera Institute of Justice, and was named the first Vera Affiliated Scholar.  He has authored several publications, including Child Welfare: The Challenges of Collaboration, The Experiences of New York City Foster Children in HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials, and Analyzing Crime Patterns.  He is a graduate of Williams College and received his master’s and doctorate in government from the University of Maryland.


Luke Gerber, M.A., Director of Data Analytics

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Luke Gerber partners with public, private, and non-profit agencies to support services for children and families. After receiving his master’s degree, Luke joined Action Research in 2014. His experience comprises research consulting and program evaluations, specializing in child welfare and family homelessness. At Action Research, Luke leads innovative analytic strategies on several initiatives in collaboration with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services to support efforts to recruit and retain foster parents, expand the use of relative placements, and improve permanency for children in foster care. He also heads a study exploring the effects of multidisciplinary approaches to legal representation for parents involved in child abuse and neglect cases, and directs data analyses in support of child welfare class action litigation settlements in Oklahoma and Michigan. He received his B.A. and M.A. from New York University in Sociology.


Yuk (Erica) Pang, PhD., Research Analyst

Erica is a human development and family studies scholar interested in the role of race, class, and gender in families of color, as well as adolescent and young adulthood development.  Prior to joining Action Research, Erica served as a graduate research assistant at the Iowa State University Child Welfare Research and Training Project while obtaining her doctorate.  Among many projects, Erica conducted research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), coping strategies, work stress, and self-care in the child welfare profession.  She also conducted research on child welfare staff learning needs in using and interpreting data, contributed to a study of the AmeriCorps Partnering to Protect Children (APPC) program in Iowa, and to a training evaluation for the Race: Power of an Illusion facilitation. Erica received a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. and PhD. in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University.


Mia Steinberg, PhD., Research Analyst

Mia Steinberg is trained as a social psychologist, with a focus on quantitative methods. Her research interests include motivation, gender roles, stereotyping, and prejudice. She also studies the motivational and social cognitive processes underlying interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As a postdoctoral researcher at California State University Long Beach, she developed an intervention aimed at increasing student retention, especially among first generation college students. While at CSULB, she also served as an evaluator for a program aimed at increasing diversity in biomedical fields, funded by the National Institutes of Health. She received her PhD in psychology at Miami University and a BA in history from Brandeis University. Prior to studying psychology, Mia worked as a developer in the technology industry.


Oliver Ponce, B.A., Research Assistant

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Oliver Ponce is a sociologist interested in the intersection of race, income inequality, and public health outcomes.  Oliver plays a critical role in analyzing administrative data on several projects, including efforts to expand access to victims services for young boys and men of color, to support the monitors of federal class action litigation settlements, and to facilitate learning between child welfare agencies and family courts.  Prior to joining Action Research, Oliver served as a public health intern for the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he researched health disparities among the Latino population of Washtenaw County.  Oliver is both a Posse Scholar and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Undergraduate Public Health Scholar (CUPS). He received his B.A. in Sociology from Colby College in 2015.

Hester Lyons, S.P.H.R, Human Resources Consultant

Hester Lyons, Vice President of Lonschein Accounting Services (LAS), provides human resources and benefits consulting services to Action Research Partners. Hester joined LAS after 20 years at the Vera Institute of Justice where she was the Director of Human Resources. She is a current member of the selection committee for the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Award.  Early in her career she was a New York City Juvenile Probation Officer, Director of the Wiltwyck Alternative School and a Peace Corps Volunteer. She received a Master’s Degree in Social Relations from CUNY and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).


Tita Nasol, Administrative Specialist

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Tita Nasol is an Administrative Specialist at Action Research supporting office operations and communications. Tita has significant experience working in private sector administration and with small businesses. Her years of experience as a project manager, art director and creative director in book publishing, direct marketing and promotion for Time Warner affiliations has enabled her to work with varied clientele in the financial, energy provider and marketing research sectors. One of Tita’s passions is working as a floral designer and a store manager in recent years, which has allowed her to express her creativity and produce beautiful, high quality products while working with the public to provide excellent customer service in a very demanding field. Tita has a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Edward Smallman, Sr., I.T. Support

ETS Bio PicEdward Smallman, Sr. is the owner of Park Slope Computers, Inc., a technology consulting firm focused on providing concierge-level support to small and medium-sized businesses. With over 25 years of experience in Windows and Mac based computing, Park Slope PC specializes in senior-tech level remote support, planning and systems maintenance in networking, security and software based accounting.