Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo is an internationally renowned and respected academic, educator, psychologist, workforce development specialist, and evaluator. Her long-standing collaborations with Ginn Group Collaborative (GGC) and Melanie Ginn, its President and CEO, commenced immediately after her introduction to Ginn in 2014 at the Inaugural CVS Health and Hispanic Heritage Foundation Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Symposium, which was hosted by CVS Workforce Initiatives in Providence, Rhode Island, and included colleagues from Brown University. Upon learning of Ginn’s work to reimagine and integrate health care as a purposeful driver of educational attainment for vulnerable populations, Dr. Cariaga-Lo generously offered her expertise, resources, analysis, and heartfelt support to this innovative and valuable work.
In her new role within GGC, Dr. Cariaga-Lo will advise GGC’s CEO and co-lead the company’s talented education division, comprised of former school principals, administrators, teachers, and school health professionals, on SMART’s multi-year expansion and scaling plans. As inquiries are coming in from districts across the country seeking to bring SMART’s track record of impacts and benefits to their schools and students, SMART’s integrated education and clinical divisions, mirroring the Model, will work to reimagine school health as a normative, proactive, sustainable school asset. Dr. Cariaga-Lo will also advise on strategic planning and sustainability for SMART national and regional infrastructure to support institutionalizing the Model. She will represent GGC to multi-sector stakeholders and at key national and regional meetings, conferences, and events as well as work with internal teams to advance communication, strategic planning, and engagement at all five phases of SMART Implementation, from the Inquiry Phase to the Legacy Phase. She will also work with GGC’s information management team and SMART Foundation Board Advisor Dean Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh on data collection, analysis, and research to support objectives. Her expertise and leadership will extend into the development of the newly established SMART Foundation to support its certification, professional development, and grantee application processes.
Dr. Cariaga-Lo has an exceptionally rich and accomplished background in academia and leadership, making her the ideal candidate to serve as GGC’s chief liaison with institutes of higher education and large school districts to engage support, research and evaluation, and financial partnerships to scale and sustain the SMART Model. She most recently served as Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion, and as a faculty member in the education department at Brown University. Prior to that, Dr. Cariaga-Lo was Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University. She was also previously the Assistant Dean at the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Director of Yale’s Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, as well as a faculty member at Yale Medical School. She has also been an Assistant Professor of Medical Education at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She received her doctoral training in Developmental Psychology from Harvard University.
In addition to her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Dr. Cariaga-Lo is a member of the SMART Model Advisory Council and was therefore well-qualified to conduct and author two formative evaluation white papers on the SMART Model. The SMART Student Health and Wellness Approach: A Holistic Model for Achieving Health and Education Outcomes in Support of Diverse Communities and SMART Leadership: Transformative Change Agents and the Essential Culture and Climate for Achieving Health and Education Outcomes were presented at the annual SMART Symposium and Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C., in 2017 and 2018. At the 2019 SMART Congressional Briefing, Dr. Cariaga-Lo served on the SMART Congressional and Industry Leaders’ Breakfast Panel on Capitol Hill, co-hosted by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-7), the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and GGC, highlighting six years of SMART Model impact, data, and outcomes.
Dr. Cariaga-Lo is also the CEO and Founder of The LCLO Group, a social entrepreneurial venture to facilitate talent cultivation, workforce development, and educational capacity building, and to provide strategic consultation to educational and corporate entities to develop public-private partnerships aimed at addressing educational, health, and economic development access and equity issues.