Nicole Marie-Gerardi Maccalla

Nicole Marie-Gerardi Maccalla, MA, PhD

Director of Evaluation & Improvement


Nicky or Dr. M will help support the evaluation needs of SC CTSI and its core groups. This includes evaluation planning, design, implementation, data analysis, and reporting. EI works collaboratively with SC CTSI directors, teams, and partners to document success and identify evaluative needs for continuous improvement. Further developing evaluation capacity will help SC CTSI achieve its goals and the goals of the national CTSA program.

Contact Information

Professional Background

Nicky Maccalla lives in the Los Angeles area of California with their children and pets. They hold a Ph.D. (2014) and M.A. (2006) in Education from UCLA, and a B.A. (2002) in Economics & Liberal Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California. Dr. M. is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer for the University of Southern California (USC) and as a Lead Investigator for the Coordination and Evaluation Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – Enhance Diversity Study. They are also a consultant for private industry. They specialize in Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) and the evaluation of K-16 programs, initiatives, and consortia.

They are committed to the use of Context Sensitive Evaluation, Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE), Participatory Evaluation, Theory-Based Evaluation, Culturally Response Evaluation (CRE), and collaborative group facilitation in the evaluation of programs and initiatives. The best part of their job is using inquiry to support remarkable organizations in achieving their mission and vision. They find the organizational capacity building that takes place during the inquiry process equally meaningful to the actual findings of an evaluation. Quality and timely data prove to be powerful drivers of decision-making for improvement and expansion. Their research interests include underrepresentation in higher education; diversification of biomedical sciences; achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations; evaluation for organizational development; meaningful measures of teaching effectiveness, and scale development (e.g. mentor competency, resistant identity, self-efficacy as faculty change agent for diversity). Dr. M. actively engages in dissemination efforts and making their work accessible.

As a multi-racial, first-generation college student and professional, born and raised in Southern California, Nicky understands the importance of opportunity and the excitement and challenges that come along with navigating various cultural, educational, and professional spaces. Their life’s mission is to give back. Whether it be in the classroom, with a mentee, or engaging with an organization, they are fulfilled when helping others reach their mission/vision. They are committed to supporting organizations aimed at social betterment and social justice. They are grateful to all the friends, family, colleagues, and mentors that have helped them become the person they are today.


Dr. M spends a lot of time with their kids (ages 16 and 10) and pets (2 dogs and 2 cats). They like to go hiking and camping. They love visiting the beach, desert, and forest. They love hanging out with family and friends. They lead a Juniors Girl Scout Troop which they've been with for 5 years. They are an intermediate-level referee in soccer. Most weekends, you can find them on the pool deck watching a swim meet or water polo match.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.