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Gary Zhang

Gary Zhang is a Research Associate in WestEd’s Health & Justice Program. He helps project directors with research and evaluation activities, study design, data analysis, and report writing.

Zhang contributes to a project evaluating the Capturing Kids’ Hearts Program on student safety and related school outcomes. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, this study uses a randomized experimental design to examine the impact of a school-level intervention to improve school climate on students in middle schools in South Carolina.

Zhang has training and experience in experimental and quasi-experimental design, analysis of secondary data including administrative and survey data, and geographic information systems.

Prior to joining WestEd, Zhang served as a research specialist at the West Virginia Statistical Analysis Center, where he conducted quantitative research and evaluation studies in the areas of policing, school safety, juvenile justice, and corrections to inform the development of justice policy at state and local levels.

He has authored government research reports and his research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Criminal Justice and Journal of School Violence.

In 2018, Zhang’s research study evaluating a school resource officer program in West Virginia received the Douglas Yearwood National Publication Award for Excellence in Research/Policy Analysis from the Justice Research and Statistics Association.

Zhang received a BA in criminology from North Carolina State University, an MS in law enforcement intelligence analysis from Michigan State University, and a PhD in criminology and criminal justice from the University of South Carolina.