Optimal Names 2005 Employee of the Year
For Immediate Release: January 2006
Monica Leal, a research analyst in the Education Research Center, was awarded the 2005 Employee of the Year Award. Ms. Leal has been an Optimal employee for 3 years. She is involved in many research projects, including the National Charter School Evaluation with Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education and the Supporting Healthy Marriages Evaluation with MDRC for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"I was honored to receive the employee of the year award. Optimal has provided me an opportunity to do timely and rigorous research and develop my project management skills. Optimal's growth and success are a tribute to the dedication of the entire team, of which I am fortunate to be a member," Ms. Leal said.
Ms. Monica Leal is a Research Analyst at Optimal. She has served as the Project Director for several major contracts -- Supporting Healthy Marriage Study, the National Charter School Evaluation, and two projects funded by the Maryland State Department of Education. She has also managed return-on-investment analyses for the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation and the Safe and Sound Campaign, and was the co-author on the Study of Baltimore’s Youth Opportunities Return on Investment report.
As a graduate student, Ms. Leal conducted research on HOPE VI housing projects, focusing on economic development and community revitalization on welfare policy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As an undergraduate she interned for the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Ms. Leal received her Masters in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University's Institute of Policy Studies and earned her Bachelor of Sciences in Journalism and Political Science from Loyola College in Maryland.
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