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Robin Lasota

Director of Translational Research

headshot of Robin Lasota


(312) 350-3208

Office of Well-Being


Dr. LaSota supports DCFS leaders to use evidence, research, and data analyses in planning for effective service delivery in support of children, youth, and families involved with or at risk of involvement in Illinois child welfare. She supports researchers to connect with relevant stakeholders in the child welfare system to translate findings into actionable strategies for the field. Translational research products and services are created through conversation, planning, mutual agreement, and DCFS approval. To her role, Dr. LaSota contributes over 25 years of experience in program development and evaluation, research and evidence review in P-20 education, as well as substantive research experience using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Her leadership has contributed to numerous successful projects, many with grant funding, with a consistent focus on race and social equity, and translation of research to policy/practice as well as incorporating stakeholder voice for system improvements.

To this role, Dr. LaSota offers extensive knowledge of educational research and practice, research assessment work with federal evidence-based registries, and expertise in conducting mixed-methods research and multi-level modeling of federal education datasets. She has several years of experience in the conduct of systematic literature reviews, research synthesis and meta-analysis, and study reviews for evidence-based repositories including the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) (Institute of Education Sciences), (National Institute of Justice), and the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

She has summarized a breadth of research on effective interventions to support vulnerable student populations, including youth in foster care, youth in low-performing schools, under-represented minorities in postsecondary education, youth with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment needs, and more. Her experience includes work as a Research Associate for the Center on Innovation and Improvement at the Academic Development Institute and at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, for several years prior to obtaining her doctorate. Throughout various projects, she manages multi-component evaluation and research projects to maximize the contributions and talents of subject matter experts, methodologists, and research assistants to produce necessary project deliverables.

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