The Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee (REAC) has the charge to "advise and support the research function of the Association as it serves to develop and enhance knowledge generation and dissemination within ACA." 

Chairperson, Ann Gillard, Ph.D., will be working with Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Dr. Laurie Browne, Mary Rogers, Dr. Tom Akiva, and Dr. Tracey Gaslin to design studies, write scholarly articles, advise on grants, distribute results, and otherwise advance ACA's systematic program of research and evaluation.

And now, we'd like you to meet your REAC members:

Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D.
After twenty years as a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, lifelong camper Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D., is on the ACA national staff as Director of Research. She has been an active member of ACA for over thirty years and served on the National Board of Directors, chaired the Standards Commission, and served in various research roles.

Tom Akiva, Ph.D.
Volunteer (through spring 2019, first term)

Tom is an assistant professor in Psychology in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He studies out-of-school programs from a youth development perspective, with a focus on adult-youth relationships. His interest in learning began with a love of camps and the powerful experiences youth can have there. He has served as a camp director and counselor.

Laurie Browne, Ph.D.
Volunteer (through Spring 2016, first term)

Laurie is an Assistant Professor of Recreation Management at California State University, Chico where she teaches general recreation courses  and researches issues related to youth development, evaluation, and social justice.  Laurie is also involved with many aspects of the American Camp Association, including speaking at national and regional conferences and working one-on-one with camps who are engaged in assessment.  Laurie is a former Marge Scanlin Award winner and former day camp director.  Her newest (and sometimes most challenging!) camp role is a camp parent- she now has 2 children who attend resident camp each summer. 

Tracey Gaslin, PhD, CRNI, CPNP, FNP-BC
Volunteer (through spring 2018, first term)

Tracey is a professor and dual certified nurse practitioner in pediatrics and adults.  She specializes in camp nursing, pediatrics, and children with bleeding disorders.  Her doctoral degree is in educational and organizational leadership and is passionate about participating in service-learning opportunities. Dr. Gaslin periodically works as a camp consultant and legal consultant.  She publishes the majority of her work in the areas of camp nursing, service leadership, and pediatric development. Dr. Gaslin previously served as the Medical Director at The Center for Courageous Kids where she worked with children with chronic disease, disability and life-threatening illness.  She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Association of Camp Nurses.

Ann Gillard, Ph.D.
Volunteer (through spring 2017; second term)

Ann Gillard, Ph.D. is the Director of Research and Evaluation at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (based in Connecticut) and conducts satisfaction, outcomes, and impact studies. Besides camp, her interest and research areas include youth development, youth with chronic illnesses, and social justice. Ann was a camp director for the Girl Scouts, and has worked and volunteered with youth programs for over 19 years.

Mary Rogers, MA
Volunteer (through spring 2018, first term)

Mary first came to Sherwood Forest as a 13 year old camper in 1967 and has been there every year since.  She is a 1970 graduate of the camp’s Leadership Training Program. Mary worked in a variety of seasonal positions before becoming camp director, a role she held for 20 years.  In 2002 Mary was appointed as the organization’s fifth Executive Director.  She holds a Master’s Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she first acquired her passion for research.  Her current research interests include the effects of a camp based reading program on children’s reading attitudes.