Michele E. Walsh, Ph.D.

Specialist, Evaluation, FCS Cooperative Extension
Associate Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences
Associate Professor, Human Development & Family Science
Michele Walsh

McClelland Park Room 315G
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078

Areas of Expertise
  • Social and cultural factors that impact health and well-being
  • Rural health and wellness
  • Community-based research and evaluation
  • Applied social measurement
Research Focus

I lead the Norton School's  Community Research Evaluation & Development (CRED) Team,which conducts high quality, culturally responsive, community-based research and evaluation that promotes the health and well-being of children, youth, adults and families throughout Arizona and the Southwest.

Our goal is to be a resource and partner to the diverse communities and organizations of Arizona and beyond. For years, we have been committed to working on the ground with partners across the state, including tribes, state and local governments, justice systems, schools, and non-profits.

Our team carries out both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation, drawing on expertise in survey, interview, and focus group methodology as well as sophisticated quantitative and geospatial analysis techniques. Our primary focus is to generate accessible, actionable information that our partners use to support their program and policy decision-making. 

As the Evaluation Specialist for Arizona Cooperative Extension, I support evaluation and evaluation capacity building across the state signature program areas (Child and Family Development; Youth Development; Leadership Development; Healthy Living; Water, Plants, and Natural Resources; Food and Fiber Production Systems;  & Animal Production Systems).

I am Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Psychology and with the Institute for LGBT Studies.

Current Projects
  • Principal Investigator, First Things First Regional Needs and Asset Reports (9 tribal regions; 10 county-based regions). Funded by First Things First, The Arizona Early Childhood.  Co-PI:  Violeta Dominguez (University of Arizona).
  • Principal Investigator, Evaluation of the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program
    Funded by Pima County Attorney’s Office (via SAMSHA Behavioral Health Treatment Court Collaborative grant).
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Pilot Study of a Family-Focused Intervention to Support Transgender and Gender Creative Youth and Their Families, Funded by the University of Arizona Transgender Studies Initiative Faculty Research Grant, PI: Dr. Russell Toomey (University of Arizona).
  • Principal Investigator, The Construct of Kindness:  Measuring Kindness in Youth.  Initially funded by UA Foundation & the UA Office of the Vice-President for Research
Select Publications

Select peer-reviewed

  • Kaplan, D., deBlois, M., Dominguez, V., & Walsh, M. (2016).  Studying the teaching of kindness:  A conceptual model for evaluating kindness education programs in schools. Evaluation and Program Planning, 58, 160-170.
  • Duncan, B., Shen, K. Zou, L., Han, T. Lu, Z. Zheng, H., Walsh, M., Venker, C., Su, Y., Schnyer, R., Caspi, O. (2012). Evaluating intense rehabilitative therapies with and without acupuncture for children with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(5), 808-815.
  • Herman, P., Rissi, J., & Walsh, M. (2011). Health insurance status, medical debt, and the impact of each on access to care.  American Journal of Public Health.  Published online ahead of print, American Journal of Public Health, 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300080
  • Herman, P. & Walsh M. (2011). Declines in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction, angina, stroke, and asthma after implementation of Arizona’s comprehensive statewide smoking ban.  American Journal of Public Health, 101(3), 491-496.
  • Beck, C. J. A., Walsh, M., & Weston, R. (2009). The difficult balance of safety versus access: Mediation agreements of families with intimate partner abuse. Invited paper. Special Issue of Family Court Review, 47(3), 401-415.
  • Primack, B., Walsh, M., Bryce, C., &  Eissenberg, T. (2009).  Waterpipe tobacco smoking among middle and high school students. Pediatrics, 123, e282-e288.
  • Herman, P., Avery, D., Schemp, C. & Walsh, M. (2008).  Are cost-inclusive evaluations worth the effort?  Evaluation and Program Planning, 32, 55-61.
  • Walsh, M., Katz, M., Sechrest, L. (2002). Unpacking cultural factors in adaptation to Type II diabetes mellitus. Medical Care, 40(1 Supp), 129-139.
  • Walsh, M., Smith, R., Morales, A. & Sechrest, L. (2000). Ecocultural Research: A Mental Health Researcher’s Guide to the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. Human Services Research Institute: Cambridge, MA.


Select evaluation reports:

  • Walsh, M., Dominguez, E.V., Avery, D., Daws, J., Tanoue, K. & deBlois, M. (2015).  First Things First 2016 Community Needs and Assets Reports.  Prepared for the following First Things First Regional Partnership Councils: Tribal: Cocopah Indian Tribe; Colorado River Indian Tribes; Gila River Indian Community; Hualapai Tribe; Navajo Nation; Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community; San Carlos Apache Tribe; Tohono O’odham Nation; White Mountain Apache Tribe; County-based: Cochise; Coconino; East Maricopa; Gila; Graham/Greenlee; La Paz/Mohave; Navajo/Apache; Northwest Maricopa; Phoenix North; Phoenix South; Pima North; Pima South; Pinal; Santa Cruz; Southeast Maricopa; Southwest Maricopa; Yavapai; Yuma.
  • Avery, D., Tanoue, K., and Walsh, M. (2016, 2014, 2015).  Annual evaluation of the Pima County Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program. Prepared for the Pima County Attorney’s Office.
  • Gonzalez, J-M., Pettman, A., & Walsh, M. (2015). Evaluation Summary for Camp Born This Way: Summer Camp for Transgender, Gender-Creative and Gender Non-Conforming Youth. Prepared for Camp Born This Way, Tucson, AZ.
  • Daws, J., Avery, D., deBlois, M., & Walsh, M. (2015). Statewide Early Childhood Needs and Assets Report. Prepared for First Things First.
  • Dominguez, V., deBlois, M., & Walsh, M. (2015).  Tribal Diabetes Project. Prepared for the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease.
  • Dominguez, V. & Walsh, M. (2015).  Dental Prevention and Clinical Support Center Evaluation Project.  Prepared for the Inter-tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
  • Kaplan, D., Tanoue, K., Dixon, A., Daws, J., Walsh, M. (2014).  Evaluation of the Care1st Avondale Resource and Housing Center.  Prepared for the City of Avondale.
  • Daws, J., Walsh, M., Kaplan, D., & Dominguez, E.V. (2013). Approaches to Public-Private Partnerships for Tobacco Cessation in Arizona:  Employer Coverage Study.  Prepared for the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease.