Our Team
Amanda Valenta – Spark Insight Partners

Researcher

Amanda Valenta

Amanda supports much of Spark’s systems change and collective impact work, but she has experience in a vast array of project work and focus areas, including education, policy systems, and early childhood development.

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Biography

Interest Areas

  • Utilizing mixed methods research to creatively address difficult social problems.
  • Building organizational capacity to understand and intervene in policy systems.
  • Supporting data-driven decision-making through building data collection and analysis capacity.
  • Infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion into research methods, organizational practices, and systems.

Amanda Valenta is a researcher at Spark, where she partners with community stakeholders, nonprofits, foundations, and universities to measure and make meaning within complex systems. She has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research and has lent her research expertise to projects with methods ranging from in-depth interviews, to large-scale surveys, to implementation evaluation.

Amanda brings a background in social science theory and research, and in public policy analysis, to her work at Spark. Before joining Spark, she completed at PhD in Sociology at Rice University, where she conducted research with the Houston Education Research Consortium. While at Rice, she studied racial inequities in public education, conducted research on education policy, and taught courses on bridging sociological theory and social and policy systems. She holds a BA in English from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, and an MA and a PhD in Sociology from Rice.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys developing her baking skills, running on Denver’s beautiful urban trails, spending quality time with her husband and two doodles, and reading (mostly fiction and history, but anything will do!).

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