Affiliated Scholars

April Allen

April Allen, PhD, MPA is the founder and principal consultant of Spark Learning for Organizations. Allen has more than a decade of experience using data to drive policy and practice improvements in human service systems, including work as a data driven practice advisor at Casey Family Programs and director of policy and planning for the Vermont Department for Children and Families. She has developed and delivered trainings that help leaders use data to improve outcomes in some of the largest human service systems in the United States, and currently serves as an Instructor at UC Davis' Center for Human Services. In addition, she has broad expertise as a mixed-methods researcher, developed while managing complex quantitative and qualitative studies at Boston Children’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, and holds a Visiting Research Scholar appointment at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  
Allen's research and policy expertise has been recognized with prestigious national awards, including the Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from the Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (as a member of the I-PASS Study Group) and a Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She holds a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in public administration from Queen’s University.

Morgan Crossman

Morgan Crossman is the executive director of Building Bright Futures, Vermont’s foundational early childhood public-private partnership mandated to serve as the state advisory council on early childhood, the mechanism used to advise the governor and legislature on the status of children birth to age 8.

Crossman’s primary areas of expertise are in child development, maternal and child health and wellbeing, and care transitions over the life course for children with disabilities and special health care needs and their families. Prior to joining Building Bright Futures, Crossman held the pediatric health services research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In that role she led research studies focused on service integration and improving care transitions for children with special health care needs and their families as they navigate multiple complex service systems over the life course. She previously served as the clinical research program manager for the laboratories of cognitive neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital. In this role, she submitted multi-million dollar, federally funded grants and coordinated the implementation of multi-site, national research projects focused on families of children, youth and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.

Crossman has a doctorate in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and a master’s degree in applied developmental and educational psychology from the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College.