About

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

History


Samantha Schartman-Cycyk is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Connected Insights and an incorporating board member and Research Director for the CYC Institute, a nonprofit devoted to the advocacy of digital equity through research and partnerships with technology advocates in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond. From 2010 to 2013 she was Assistant Director for Connect Your Community, a collaborative that conducted a 19-million-dollar federal stimulus grant project responsible for connecting over 33,000 residents throughout a 5-state region. She is also a former member of the NTIA BTOP research advisory group, and an independent data scientist, researcher, project manager and consultant with over 12 years of experience in the technology, education and digital inclusion sectors.  For over a decade, she has spent most of her time assisting organizations in refining data collection methods and processes, designing research efforts, conducting data analysis, and managing survey efforts.  

In early 2017, Samantha together with  Bill Callahan (Director of the CYC Institute) and Wanda Davis (Director of the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center) formed a plan to bring a long-time vision to life; and thus Connected Insights was born.

Connected Insights was founded to: 

  1. Increase access to and the affordability of research and evaluation services.
  2. Improve organizations ability to communicate their impact.
  3. Spearhead a coalitional effort to share program metrics across the social sector in order to better demonstrate shared impacts, drive social innovation and advocate for resources and support.

 

Get in touch

We at Connected Insights know that defining a research/evaluation strategy is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer free consultations to walk you through your needs, the scope of your goals, and your budget.

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Our Mission:

To catalyze the effectiveness and impact of the social sector through the strategic design, implementation and use of program and organization data and analytics.

Our Vision:

To increase the impact, responsiveness, and adaptability of social programs and to broaden the insight and value of those that support them.

 

Researchers & Board Members

 
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Chief Executive Officer

Samantha Schartman-Cycyk

Samantha Schartman-Cycyk is an incorporating board member and Research Director of the CYC Institute, a nonprofit devoted to the advocacy of digital equity through research and partnerships with technology advocates in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond.  She was also Assistant Director for Connect Your Community, a collaborative that conducted a 19-million-dollar federal stimulus grant project responsible for connecting over 25,000 residents throughout a 5-state region, a former member of the NTIA BTOP research advisory group, and an independent data scientist, researcher, project manager and consultant with over 10 years of experience in the technology, education and digital inclusion sectors.

She spends most of her time assisting organizations in refining data collection methods and processes, designing research efforts, conducting data analysis, and managing survey efforts.  Her research and writing on the topics of digital inclusion, technology use, cognitive science, and linguistics can be found in several peer-reviewed journals as well as publicly shared by organizations and advocacy circles.

 

Education

Case Western Reserve University
M.A, Cognitive Science, 2009

Cleveland Institute of Art
B.F.A., MultiMedia and Critical Theory, 2007

Activities & Affiliations

  • Connect Your Community Institute, Board Member
  • NTIA Research and Evaluation Working Group
  •  NDIA Member Affiliate
 

 
 
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Vice President

Amy Sheon

Amy Sheon joined the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in June, 2011 as the founding Executive Director of the Urban Health Initiative.  Her 25+ years’ experience in government, academia and the non-profit sectors are being used to leverage the assets of CWRU in making an impact on the health of people living in Cleveland. Dr. Sheon recently completed the Childhood Obesity Prevention Mission Project, which she co-directed at the non-profit Altarum Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to returning to Ohio, Sheon was instrumental in the establishment of three different centers at the University of Michigan, focused on clinical research, ethical issues in the life sciences, and on improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth. Dr. Sheon also worked at the National Institutes of Health on maternal-infant HIV transmission, HIV prevention studies, and cancer genetics. She earned an MPH at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

Activities & Affiliations

  • Executive Director, Case Western Reserve Urban Health Initiative
  • Vice President, Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County
  • Advisory Board Member, Oberlin Community Music School
  • Board Secretary, Connect Your Community Institute

Education

Cornell University
B.A. Sociology & Demography

University Of Michigan
MPH, Public Health

Johns Hopkins University
PhD, Public Health

 
 
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Treasurer

Bill Callahan

Bill has been active in local and national efforts to promote digital empowerment for low income people and communities since 1996, when he organized Cleveland’s first neighborhood technology center and home computer ownership program. More recently Bill directed one of the largest sustainable broadband adoption initiatives funded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. He now directs the Connect Your Community Institute a collaborative of digital inclusion advocates in Cleveland Ohio and beyond.

 

Education

Brandeis University
B.A. Sociology

Activities & Affiliations

  • Director, Connect Your Community Institute
  • Research and Policy Coordinator,National Digital Inclusion Alliance
 

 
 
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Secretary

Valdis Krebs

is an American-Latvian researcher, author, and consultant in the field of social and organizational network analysis. He is the founder and chief scientist of OrgNet, LLC, and the creator of InFlow software, which Wired Magazine called one of the most advanced tools for analyzing and visualizing networks.  Popular Science has described Krebs as a "leading expert" and a "pioneer" of network analysis,while Military.com's DefenseTech blog has called him a leading authority in the field.

 
 

Education

Cleveland State University
Mathematics & Computer Science

Michigan State University
M.A., Human Resources & Organizational Behavior

Activities & Affiliations

  • Founder and Chief Scientist of OrgNet, LLC
  • UCLA Certificate in Artificial Intelligence
  • INSNA International Network for Social Network Analysis

 
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Board Member

Wanda Davis

Wanda Davis has served the University Circle / Ashbury / Glenville communities in various capacities for several decades.  She volunteered and worked for many organizations in management and administration, including: Ashbury Community Services, Inc., Northeastern Neighborhood Development Corporation, Glenville Development Corporation, Glenville Business Association, Ashbury Street Club, and the Neighbor to Neighbor Organization.  In 2002, Davis realized one of the greatest needs in the community – a lack of technology services.  She grew dedicated to generating access to technology and providing high-quality technology education and training for seniors.

Davis embarked on this tech-journey with only a vision – a vision of a computer facility which would grant community residents access to technology (computers) and age-appropriate technology training, in an atmosphere in which they could thrive.  She turned her vision into reality with the successful implementation of the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center (ASC³), now in its 15th year.

Wanda and her team of relentless individuals, have worked tirelessly to help bridge the gap in the Digital Divide throughout greater Cleveland.  Even on a shoe-string budget, ASC³ has achieved monumental milestones since its inception in October 2002, some include: trained 6,500+ community residents, provided Internet connectivity to 1,400+ individuals, assisted 1500+ families in owing their own computers, and expanded training services to ten satellite locations around Cleveland.  ASC3 has also received national attention when national political leaders from President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, held a press conference to announce a major federal technology initiative. 

Taking a holistic approach to E-POWERment, ASC3 has an intergenerational component involving youth, offers basic job skills training, health and wellness education, online financial literacy, volunteer opportunities and much more.  Davis realizes that these successes could not be possible without the Board of Directors, many volunteers, and dozens of partnerships formed over the years.

Wanda also enjoys spending time with her husband, Percel Davis, daughters Shaletha and Carmen, their dog Keitu.  Additionally, strong  faith in God, support networks, social bonding, and family connectedness are vital components of a balanced life for Wanda and as a result, their home is often the site of family and social gatherings.

Executive Director & Founder, Mrs. Davis feels Blessed to have been able to empower thousands of greater Cleveland residents via education, skills, and access to technology.

 

Education

Almeda College and University
B.S. Business Administration

Tri-C                                                                               A.A.Business Administration and Early Childhood Administration

Activities & Affiliations

  • Executive Director, Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center
  • Board member, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
  • Certificate in Real Estate Development from Tri-C.
  • Certificate in Small Business Administration from Cleveland State.                                                                        

 
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Board Member

Casey Sorensen

Casey Sorensen is the CEO of PCs for People. He graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a degree in Computer Information Systems. While he attended MSU, Casey volunteered for a county-run program giving computers to families in the local community. After college Casey began his career working in technology automation with Deloitte Consulting, however, his true passion was to help others join the digital world. In 2008, Casey left consulting and went on to incorporate and establish PCs for People. Under his management the organization has grown to become a leader in digital inclusion for low-income families and individuals, serving thousands in need across the nation.

 

Activities & Affiliations

  • Board Member: Alliance for Technology Refurbishing & Reuse (AFTRR)
  • NAID (National Association for Information Destruction)
  • MHTA (Minnesota High Tech Association)
  • Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
  • National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Education

Minnesota State University
B.S. Computer Information Systems

 


 
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Board Member

Rebecca Ranallo

Rebecca Ranallo is the Information & Technology Literacy Manager for the Cuyahoga County Public Library where she oversees innovation, implementation and training. Technology in libraries is a constantly changing environment and Rebecca works to help staff embrace the challenges and recognize the value of integrating technology to our community. Rebecca has a Masters in Library and Information Science and a background in adult technology instruction. Before joining the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Rebecca worked for Cuyahoga Community College where she managed their Technology & Information Literacy learning program and designed, evaluated and implemented distance learning instruction.

 

Education

Kent State University
MLIS, Library & Information Science

Xavier University
B.A. English


 
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Board Member

Juleian Curtis

Juleian Curtiscurrently serves as a Planning Coordinator for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), where he assists in the planning and implementation of low income housing redevelopment and new construction projects. In addition to those duties, he co-leads the White House & Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome Initiative in Cleveland, OH where he is working alongside many local and national partners to connect the residents CMHA serves to high speed internet, internet-enabled devices, and digital literacy training. Juleian has been with CMHA for nearly 5 years, beginning his service with the organization in 2013 as a GIS Intern.

 

Education

Kent State University
B.A. Architecture & Environmental Design

Cleveland State University                                  M.A. Urban Planning, Development and Design

 


 
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Board Member

April Urban

April Urban, MSSA from Case Western Reserve University, is a research associate with a passion for building Cleveland's capacity to use data to solve civic problems. April oversees the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development's NEOCANDO data tools, aids in research and community consultation on projects related to the built environment, and often works with community groups seeking the Poverty Center's help in using community indicators in their work. She is the Poverty Center's liaison to the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership at the Urban Institute and served on the Executive Committee from 2016-2018. She is the co-creator and co-lead organizer of Data Days CLE, and is a part of the Cleveland Civic Tech and Open Data Collaborative. 

 

Education

Case Western Reserve Universit
M.S. Social Administration

State University of New York at Geneseo                   B.A. English and Sociology

 

 

Activities & Affiliations

  • National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership
  •  Cleveland Civic Tech and Open Data Collaborative
  • University Heights Planning Commission