Our People

Established in January 2012, InsideOut Policy Research comprises owner and Director, Tracy Byrne (PhD) and her network of smart and dynamic associates, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in research, policy analysis, education, and/or program evaluation. In addition to our core team, InsideOut is connected to and collaborates with a network of experienced consultants and researchers from a variety of professional backgrounds.

Tracy Byrne (PhD),

Tracy Byrne is an accomplished research consultant with exceptional communication skills and a strong background in social and health policy and practice. She has over 15 years of professional experience as a researcher, writer and teacher/facilitator and a proven track record of delivering projects on schedule, within budget and to exacting standards of quality. Tracy has successfully guided a variety of research and evaluation projects on a broad range of policy and programmatic issues. With a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, she brings finely honed research, analytical and writing skills to bear on all her projects. Tracy approaches her role as Director of InsideOut Policy Research with passion and intelligence, and a commitment to exceeding the expectations of her clients. Tracy is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Dawn Nickel (PhD),
Senior Associate

Dawn is an accomplished and resilient leader with over 20 years of private and public sector experience, primarily developing and directing complex research programs. Prior to joining InsideOut Dawn ran a high functioning unit that sought to increase cross-governmental capacity for evidence-informed policy and decision-making. Dawn brings a wealth of business knowledge and management experience to the InsideOut team, but her current role draws more specifically upon her academic background. With a PhD in social and health care policy, Dawn has expertise in qualitative and mixed-method research design and deployment, as well as outstanding analytical, writing and editing abilities.

Sarah Cunningham (BA),
Senior Associate

Above all, a generalist, Sarah brings a depth of knowledge and range of experience to her work in program evaluation, community-based research, and organization and community development. With a BA in Psychology and post-graduate education in Evaluation, Sarah has supported organizations and communities (primarily in the urban and rural communities of northern BC) for over 34 years. Sarah has extensive experience working within and across economic, business, political, and social systems. She is a strong communicator who brings excellent organizational skills and a customer-service focus that is practical, results-based, and impact-oriented. Sarah strongly favours approaches to evaluation and community work that support individual, program, and agency development. With a consistently high level of energy and enthusiasm, Sarah recognizes the vital role and key value of relationships and is a true collaborator. The lens of diversity and inclusion consistently informs her practice.

Marcia Anderson (BA, BEd),

Marcia is a highly skilled and creative educator with 25 years of experience working in educational centres in British Columbia and Alberta. Marcia has developed numerous curricula, year plans and educational resources. Her approach to curriculum development is evidence-informed and student-centred. She prioritizes the creation of active, real-world learning opportunities that meet the needs of visual, aural and tactile learners and that support students’ ability to reflect upon and apply their learning. Marcia holds a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Child & Youth Care, and a Certificate in Early Childhood Administration. She brings a robust understanding of pedagogy and a passion for education to InsideOut’s curriculum development and education outreach projects.

Samantha Morris (MA),

Samantha has worked in academia and the public service as a researcher, writer, editor, and facilitator, and is passionate about supporting evidence-informed policy and practice. Prior to joining the InsideOut team as a consultant, Samantha was a Research Coordinator with the B.C. Government.  She has an MA in history and a background in social research, and is currently completing her BSc in nursing at the University of British Columbia.  Samantha is passionate about public health, obstetrics, and women’s health and is committed to health promotion and evidence-based practice across the health care system.

Nicholas Palaj (MSc),

Nicholas is skilled social researcher with over ten years of work experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Nicholas’ skills range from strategic planning and program development in the health and sustainable transportation sectors to preparing precise litigation research projects with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. He has developed curricula, facilitated workshops and organized winning advocacy and promotional campaigns. Nicholas has always had a passion for the social sciences and holds an MSc in Sociology with a specialization in social policy and social problems, and a BA in Political Science.

“We are passionate about supporting excellence in policy and program development for the education, health and social service sectors.”

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