Research and Engagement

Social Work Research Center


Marc Winokur is the Director of the Social Work Research Center in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University. He holds a Ph.D. from CSU in Education and Human Resource Studies. His research interests include child welfare practice, evidence-based interventions, and meta-analysis. Marc also has over 11 years of applied experience with program evaluation in diverse educational settings. In addition, he has published several articles and presented numerous papers on studies of social work and educational programs.

Helen Holmquist-Johnson currently holds the position of Research Associate and Assistant Director at the Social Work Research Center in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University. Dr. Holmquist-Johnson’s educational background includes a Master’s of Social Work and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies, with specialization in Social Work. She has coordinated evaluation and research studies for large federal and state funded projects including integrated services for mental health and substance abuse and evaluation of trauma-focused interventions for children and adults. She is well versed in standardized instruments used in mental health settings, specifically trauma assessment in diverse populations. Her expertise includes training clinicians to administer and use data gathered from family and individual assessments and using federal data reporting systems. Dr. Holmquist-Johnson has partnered with many federal agencies, private evaluation firms and county and state child welfare departments to conduct program evaluations and performance measurements activities including cross-site evaluations.

Kristy Beachy-Quick is a senior level Research Associate with the Social Work Research Center. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago where she was an Irving B. Harris Fellow. She has 10 years of experience managing evaluation and applied research studies at the Social Work Research Center, the Erikson Institute in Chicago, and Omni Institute in Denver. Her work includes the evaluation of a statewide in-home parent education program for the Colorado Department of Human Services; a study of infant and toddler assessment in Head Start classrooms in Chicago; designing/implementing an evaluation training series for Boulder County nonprofits; heading a statewide evaluation capacity building project for Colorado Family Resource Centers. Kristy volunteers on the United Way of Larimer County’s Community Impact Committee and is an active board member for the Family Center/La Familia in Fort Collins.

Luke McConnell is a Research Associate at the Social Work Research Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland-College Park. Prior to CSU, he worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C. where he managed data and assisted economists in conducting macroprudential analysis.

Rebecca Orsi is a Research Scientist and Statistician with the Social Work Research Center. Her educational background includes a Master of Science in Statistics and a PhD in Research Methodology, both from Colorado State University. At the Research Center, Becky has conducted data analyses for multiple large-scale evaluation projects in child welfare. She has also conducted and published a number of secondary data analyses. Her research interests include child welfare outcomes for special populations, such as adopted children or children with special health needs. As a methodologist, Becky actively collaborates on research projects with faculty members in the College of Health and Human Sciences and at other universities. Prior to her career in academia, Becky managed large scale implementation projects for a Fortune 500 company.

Chris Lee is a Research Scientist at the Social Work Research Center. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a MSW from SUNY Albany. Her research interests include child welfare policy and practice, vulnerable youth transitions to adulthood, translating research to policy and practice, and measurement in social research. Prior to joining CSU, Chris was an assistant professor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She also has several years’ experience working directly with young people involved in the foster care system, including as a childcare worker, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and mentor to college students with foster care experience. Chris has published several articles and reports, and presented numerous papers related to child welfare practice, training and education.

Zach Timpe is a Graduate Research Assistant at the center. He holds a bachelor’s of science in Finance from the University of Kansas, a master of arts in applied economics, a master’s of science in economics from the University of Wyoming, and is currently completing his doctorate in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at CSU. Before coming to the center, Zach was a Head Start preschool teacher in Laramie, WY. Finally, Zach is also an internationally-renowned bee keeping guru, and has established bee colonies in northern Fort Collins.