College of Education

Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment

About Conferences Partners People Media

CREA-UIUC Staff and Graduate Student Researchers


Denice Ward Hood picture

Denice Ward Hood is the Director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois. Dr. Hood is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). She is also the interim Director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois. From 2016-2019, she served as the Director of Online Programs in the College of Education. Dr. Hood was also the Director of Graduate Studies in the EPOL department, 2016-2018. From 2016 – 2019, she was the faculty coordinator for the Diversity and Equity in Education degree program. Dr. Hood has over 30 years of experience in program evaluation, and learning outcomes assessment, and social science research, particularly within higher education.

Dr. Hood’s courses include College Student Development, The College Student, Introduction to Diversity and Equity, Testing & Measurement, Student Affairs Administration, Program Evaluation, Race, Gender and Sexuality Issues, and several doctoral research seminars.

Her engagement in the professional community includes serving as the president of the Arizona Educational Research Association and the program chair for the Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG) of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). The breadth of Dr. Hood’s evaluation projects includes program evaluation at the local and state level as well as serving as developing the evaluation plan and serving as the external evaluator for numerous NSF grants.

Dr. Hood completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University.


Leyhe - Headshot
Tim Leyhe was raised between St. Louis and Champaign-Urbana areas. He proudly served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. Upon completion, of his duties and traveling the world, he earned his BS in business management and his MS in Family and Consumer Sciences. He was seasoned in the private sector in operations and logistics, then came to the University of Illinois. He has been the CREA administrative aide for CREA since 2018.
Anthony B. Sullers Jr., Ph.D. serves as a Program Evaluator for the center and as a Lecturer in the Department of African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously, he served as a Research Assistant for the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). He received his Ph.D. from the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign with major concentrations in higher education policy and culturally responsive program evaluation and assessment.
Santiago Ospina Tabares is a first-year Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a Master’s degree in the same program in 2023. Previously, he gained professional experience in the implementation of learning technologies among underserved populations in Colombia. Recently, he has been involved in evaluation work related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in computer science education. His research interests are centered around culturally responsive evaluation, the design and implementation of learning technologies, computer science education, and multicultural education.
Vaughn-Guy, Cecilia_2127 (1)
Cecilia Vaughn-Guy is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership with dual concentrations in Human Resource Development and Diversity and Equity in Education. Prior to matriculation into this program, she worked as an occupational therapist in clinical, hospital-based and academic settings. Her research interest centers on amplifying the voices of frontline healthcare workers, reimagining equitable and sustainable organizational hierarchy, culturally responsive evaluation, and creating and sustaining organizational change through culture.