Maryfrances Porter, Ph.D., is the President and Founder of Partnerships for Strategic Impact™. She completed her B.A at Emory University in 1996, and received her Master’s in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) in 2001. In 2005, Dr. Porter completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at U.Va. with an emphasis on community psychology. She is a licensed, clinical psychologist.

Maryfrances brings over 20 years of experience in research and using data in leading local change initiatives across a wide range of service providers. She has expertise in evaluating public service systems across sectors (including working with courts, school districts and local governments), as well as in assessing system and individual opportunities for growth and change, developing strategic vision and action, and facilitating collaborative, strengths-based problem solving across diverse groups.

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Alison Nagel West, M.A. completed her B.A. at the University of Virginia in 2010, and is currently finishing her Ph.D. and licensure in clinical psychology with an emphasis in community psychology.

Alison has eight years of advanced training and experience in data collection and statistical analysis, survey design and administration, large-scale project management, and synthesizing results into interpretable reports for diverse audiences. She has expertise in integrating survey and public health data with information from interviews and focus groups to draw deeper conclusions and identify ways forward. Alison will complete her Ph.D. in May of 2019, and join Partnerships for Strategic Impact™ full-time.

As a life-long resident of Central Virginia, Alison also brings a personal commitment to her role in enhancing the impact of agencies working to promote their community members’ health and welfare.

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We have strong relationships with professional subcontractors expert in data collection, data analysis and specialized software, as well as in a broad variety of content areas. We have collaborative relationships across many academic disciplines and public service sectors (including social services, public schools, public mental health, court services unit, juvenile courts, and non-profits). We regularly call on colleagues to provide support ranging from one-time consultation to staff roles on projects.

Want to talk to us about collaborating? Please reach out, and follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn!


We have worked with research assistants at the University of Virginia since 1998. We have a strong, consistent track record of attracting a culturally diverse group of the most competent and experienced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as in providing support, training, and mentorship to students working under our supervision.

Learn about becoming a research assistant.

In the past, we have worked with University of Virginia students from the following departments and schools:

  • Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Global Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of International Affairs, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of African American Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Gender Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Engineering School
  • Curry School of Education
  • Frank Batton School of Public Policy