Center for Research Evaluation

University of Mississippi

Our team

 Sarah Mason, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Research Evaluation

Sarah Mason is the Director of the Center for Research Evaluation. She is an evaluator whose primary goal is to advance the practice of evaluation through: (1) innovative evaluation practice, (2) high quality training for evaluators, (3) public advocacy in support of evaluation, and (4) the development of practical tools that allow individuals to embed evaluation into everyday decisions.

Over the past 15 years Sarah has conducted research and evaluation projects across a wide range of contexts, including in Australia, the United States, Afghanistan, East Timor, Myanmar and Cambodia. Her research and evaluation expertise lie in the areas of contextually-responsive evaluation design, survey methodology, educational evaluation, and evaluation influence.

Sarah has a Ph.D. in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University, Masters Degrees in Psychology and Development Studies and a Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Years).

Contact info: 662-915-3094 or

Joey Rutherford, M.A.

Assistant Director 

Joey Rutherford is the Assistant Director of the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation. He began his career at CERE in 2006 as a research associate before becoming project coordinator. In September of 2013, he was named Project Manager.

In 2006, he received his B.A. in History and Philosophy from the University of Mississippi. He is also a graduate of the university’s Management and Administrative Seminars for Human Resources Program (MASH) and the Research Administration and Management Program (RAMP). He recently received his Master’s of Higher Education/Student Personnel degree from the University of Mississippi in Spring of 2015 and is currently working on his doctorate.

Contact info: 662-915-7021 or

Shannon Sharp, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Shannon Sharp is a Research Associate at CERE. She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Sharp practiced as a School Psychologist for eight years in Georgia before moving to Oxford. She also consults as a Supervising Psychologist for the Psychological Services Center at the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Sharp’s areas of expertise include psychoeducational assessment and evaluation, educational intervention, and special education eligibility.

 Contact info: 662-915-7021 or

Hope Gilbert, Ph.D

Research Associate

Hope Gilbert is a Research Associate at CERE. She received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Mississippi, Masters at the University of Tennessee and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Prior to joining CERE, she worked with the Department of Defense to evaluate clinical and educational programs related to traumatic brain injury and psychological health.

Her areas of expertise include public health/epidemiology, program evaluation and research methodology.

Contact info: 662-915-7021 or

 Graduate Assistants:

Carl Nichols