Our Team

Jessica Pearson, Ph.D.

Director
Jessica Pearson, Ph.D.
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Dr. Pearson founded CPR in 1981. Her research includes some of the first national studies of mediation in custody and visitation disputes, parent education, and supervised visitation. She has also completed leading evaluations of new initiatives in child support programs including hospital-based paternity, family-centered services, collaborations with workforce agencies, early intervention strategies, methods of avoiding and addressing child support debt, and addressing parenting time orders and access and visitation problems.

Dr. Pearson served as co-principal investigator of a seven-state demonstration project that resulted in the creation of the State Access and Visitation Grant Program that now awards $10 million annually for programs to support parenting time. Pearson provides technical assistance, research, and facilitation services to federal, state and local agencies, and service delivery programs. Her areas of expertise include improving access to public benefit programs, developing effective work programs for low-income parents and mentoring and literacy programs for disadvantaged learners.

Dr. Pearson is currently co-director of the national Fatherhood Research and Practice Network where she oversees grants distributed to projects to rigorously evaluate fatherhood programs, and provides training to improve practice and evaluation in the fatherhood field. She regularly publishes in journals and presents at practitioner conferences. In April 2015, she edited a special issue of the Family Court Review dealing with Parenting Time and Co-Parenting for Unmarried Parents (Volume 53, No.2).

Dr. Pearson received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University.

Lanae Davis, M.P.A
(She/Her)

Senior Research Associate
Lanae Davis, M.P.A
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Lanae Davis has spent her career as a researcher at CPR, joining the team in 1997. Her research focuses broadly on addressing barriers to economic stability among disadvantaged populations.

Ms. Davis has worked with numerous state and local agencies to implement and test evidence-based interventions aimed at improving the lives of at-risk populations. She has conducted numerous evaluations ranging from multi-site randomized controlled trials to single site process and implementation studies. Davis is leading a multi-phase evaluation of Colorado’s Pathways to Success project aimed at building the evidence base for the prevention of homelessness among youth aging out of the foster care system.  Davis is also leading a HUD-funded study designed to build a sustainable and replicable approach to estimating youth homelessness by leveraging administrative data across agencies.  Davis is designing and testing a Two-Gen approach to economic stability for homeless families in Arapahoe County, Colorado called GOALS.  Davis developed a toolkit for state agencies to use in designing workforce programs for low-income child support populations. Ms. Davis worked with the State of Colorado, Division of Child Support on integrating a Two-Generation approach to child support services in Colorado, resulting in the development of a “2Gen Case Management Procedures Guide” and implementation study.  She has co-authored reports, articles and given national presentations on her research related to child welfare, homelessness, Two-Generation approaches to addressing economic security, employment, re-entry and access and visitation programs that serve low-income populations.

Ms. Davis received her M.P.A. from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Jane Venohr, Ph.D.

Economist/Senior Research Associate
Jane Venohr, Ph.D.
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Dr. Jane Venohr joined Center for Policy Research as an economist/research associate in 2007. Venohr has assisted over 30 states with the review or development of their child support guidelines in the past two decades.  This include using economic data on the cost of raising children to develop state child support guidelines formulas and schedules and low-income adjustments, and other assistance.  Venohr’s other areas of research include employment programs for low-income obligated parents, medical child support,  arrears management, child support passthrough and disregard, childcare assistance, and Medicaid.  Venohr has published child support articles in the Family Law Quarterly and the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  Until the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Venohr also taught a business statistics class at the Buena Vista Correctional Center through Colorado Mountain College where she also teaches occasionally.

Dr. Venohr earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder with concentrations in econometrics and economic demography. Prior to joining CPR she worked in the private sector and taught economics. She continues to teach macroeconomics at Colorado Mountain College. Dr. Venohr has published in the Family Law Quarterly and is a frequent contributor to NCSEA Communique.

Anne Byrne, M.S.

Research Associate
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Anne Byrne, M.S., joined CPR as a Research Associate in 2018. Byrne combines expertise in organizational development with research skills to evaluate programs, conduct feasibility studies and recommend policy actions that drive continuous organizational improvement.

In her short tenure with CPR, Byrne has conducted a feasibility study for including home delivered meals as Medicaid benefit, evaluated the Department of Human Service’s Employment Focused Funds grant and New Hampshire’s Access and Visitation Grant. Byrne has conducted a preliminary scan of early literacy programs on behalf of the Colorado Works programs to assess the potential for impact on improving children’s early literacy skills.

As a seasoned nonprofit executive director, Byrne has experience in designing and utilizing evaluation, including both quantitative and qualitative elements, as a key influence in achieving organizational excellence. Byrne is the founder of Denver’s rape crisis center, The Blue Bench, and served as a long-time executive director of Scholars Unlimited, a literacy program for low-income elementary-aged youth with reading difficulties.

Savahanna Matyasic, M.S.W.

Research Analyst
Savahanna-website
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Savahanna Matyasic joined CPR as a research assistant in 2018. She brings to the organization multiple years as a qualitative researcher on community engagement and public policy advocacy. Within state and local governments in Colorado, her work has focused on diversity, inclusivity, and racial and gender justice. Ms. Matyasic specializes in gathering primary data through hands-on methodologies such as interviews and focus groups and has used these aptitudes to evaluate public-nonprofit partnerships within the City and County of Denver.

During her time at the Center for Policy Research, she has worked extensively on supporting projects aimed at addressing homelessness within the state, including Pathways to Success (Pathways), Generational Opportunities for Achieving Long-Term Success (GOALS), and the Rural Collaborative. She also supports economist  Dr. Jane Venohr in analyzing state child support data for guidelines recommendations.

Savahanna received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver with a focus on organizational leadership and public policy.

Hilary Thibodeau, M.S.W.
(She/Her/Hers)

Research Assistant
Hilary Headshot (1)
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Hilary Thibodeau has a background in direct service with children and families and has worked in youth mental health, adult case management, and as an in-home support provider.  Hilary brings additional experience in program development and policy analysis in the nonprofit sector with a history of supporting individuals, families, and communities in systems-level policy change and social justice advocacy.

Since relocating to Colorado, Hilary has joined local efforts to address youth homelessness, collaborating with a variety of organizations in researching and developing policy solutions and best practice standards for young adults exiting the foster care system. At CPR, Hilary works on the Pathways to Success youth homelessness prevention initiative, Estimating the Prevalence of Youth Homelessness using the Linked Information Network of Colorado, and the rigorous evaluation plan of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under Colorado’s Family First Prevention plan.

Hilary received a Master’s in Social Work degree from the University of Maine with a concentration in social policy analysis from the University of Southern Maine.

Dolores Santos

Office Manager
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Dolores joined CPR in 2021 and is responsible for contract management, bookkeeping, payroll, purchasing, audit preparation, vendor management, and producing reports for the board of directors.

Rachel Wildfeuer, M.A.
(She/Her/Hers)

Research Analyst
Head Shot - Rachel Wildfeuer
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Rachel Wildfeuer joined CPR as a research analyst in 2022.  Rachel is a Sociology Ph.D. Candidate at Temple University where she also received her M.A. in Sociology. As a graduate research assistant, she worked on a FRPN-funded study on maltreatment attributed to fathers in the child welfare system as well as on a variety of other quantitative and qualitative projects related to father engagement, child maltreatment, family risk and protective factors, and child health disparities. Rachel has co-authored journal articles, reports, and presented both at academic conferences and in applied research settings. She has also taught numerous undergraduate courses including Social Statistics, Research Methods, and Sociology of Health.