INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Ms. Maria DiFuccia

Maria DiFuccia is a Research Associate at IMPAQ International with eight years of hands-on experience providing technical assistance and conducting both qualitative and quantitative research. She works on both domestic and international research, working with multi-disciplinary teams on impact and process evaluations. She has published research articles in peer-review journals, newspapers, and school district publications, presented at research conferences, as well as provided technical assistance and led workshops for policy makers and practitioners.

Expertise

Ms. DiFuccia’s primary focus is qualitative analysis, including instrument development, interviews, focus groups, and program observations. She has been the task lead on several diverse projects, most recently for the REACT project, which aims to eliminate hazardous child labor in tobacco-growing areas in Mozambique. She has participated in a social return on investment (SROI) evaluation for the Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement. Ms. DiFuccia’s research has also focused on evaluating education interventions such as college readiness programs and afterschool programs/summer camps focused on underrepresented groups in STEM.

Clients

Ms. DiFuccia has worked with a variety of clients, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Education. Most recently, Ms. DiFuccia has led the qualitative component for the rigorous baseline evaluations of two McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Programs, in Mali and in Laos. In addition, she has worked with several nonprofits, including the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT).

Prior Experience

Prior to joining IMPAQ in 2013, Ms. DiFuccia led a school turnaround alliance as part of REL Appalachia at CNA. Previously, she worked at Communities in Schools, where she led the data collection efforts for affiliates around the country. Ms. DiFuccia also served as an AmeriCorps member with the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps, where she worked at a family resource center at an elementary school. 

Education

Ms. DiFuccia earned her M.A. (Sociology) in 2007 from the Pennsylvania State University. 

IMPAQ Papers and Presentations

DiFuccia, M., Gulemetova, M., & Beesly, A. (2016, October). The Transformative Potential of the Relationships of Evaluators to the Programs They Serve. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Gulemetova, M. & DiFuccia, M. (2016, April). Noncognitive Skill Development in Higher Education: A Landscape Analysis. Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Beesley, A., Gulemetova, M. & DiFuccia, M. (April, 2016). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Evaluation of a Race to the Top Grant Fund. Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Beesley, A.D. (2015, November). Social return on investment (SROI) approaches to program evaluation: Uses, benefits, and limitations. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Previous Papers & Presentations

Jacobson, L. & DiFuccia, M. (2014, April). Teachers’ Perspectives of the Florida College and Career Readiness Initiative. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Mokher, C., Jacobson, L., Rosenbaum, J., LaLonde, R., Hughes, J., Atkin, J., DiFuccia, M., Alexander, J., Sun, C., & Lansing, J. (2013). Assessment of the Florida College and Career Readiness Initiative. Paper prepared under grant to US Department of Education, Alexandria, VA. 

DiFuccia, M., Pelton, J., & Sica, A. (2007). If and When Sociology Becomes a Female Preserve. The American Sociologist, 38: 3-22.

DiFuccia, M. (2008, July). Beyond Economics: Cultural and Political Predictors of Human Trafficking in Europe. Presentation at the 10th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, Mundos de Mujeres/Women’s Worlds, Madrid, Spain.