President & Co-Founder – Click for Bio
Maritza Concha, PHD
Maritza Concha holds a PhD in Public Affairs with a Concentration in Public Administration from University of Central Florida, a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Miami and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Florida International University. For the past 13 years, Dr. Concha has been working as an evaluator for local non-profits, serving Latino/a immigrants. Her other areas of interest are service partnerships and evaluating projects that serve at risk populations such as victims of human trafficking, refugees, and low income monitories. Dr. Concha is also an Adjunct Professor at University of Central Florida and an Adjunct Professor at University of Notre Dame where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on nonprofit administration, program evaluation and research methods. Lastly, Dr. Concha has published her research and evaluation studies in peer review journals such as the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Journal of Community Practice and International Journal of Public Administration.
Maria Elena Villar
Co-Founder – Click for Bio
Maria Villar, PhD, MPH
Maria Elena Villar holds a Ph.D. in Communication and a Master in Public Health from University of Miami, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Columbia University. Her experience includes program evaluation at the national and international level as well as strategic communication for social change. Prior to co-founding Covian Consulting, Inc., she was the Director of Research at the Partnership for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Miami and a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Child Health Policy at Nova Southeastern University. A published researcher, Dr. Villar is an associate professor at Florida International University.
Junior Program Evaluator & Research Assistant
Amani Alkowni received a Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences from Arizona State University, graduating with honors (Cum Laude / Order of the Coif). She is currently furthering her formal education at the University of Missouri pursuing a master in Public Affairs. Ms. Alkowni works as a research assistant at Covian Consulting and has worked on projects including Planned Parenthood, Mujer, and EnFamilia. Ms. Alkowni’s research and evaluation experience allow her to work on projects with such notable organizations as the International Rescue Committee. Ms. Alkowni also has experience working with the public sector where she interned with the Department of Children and Families working with the Refugee Services Department. Her responsibilities included collaborating with service agencies, developing a community toolkit for the refugee crises, and facilitating task force meetings. Ms. Alkowni is fluent in Arabic and Pashtu and assists with data collection for the refugee population as a Research Assistant Customer in the Survey Evaluation of Comprehensive Refugee Services funded by the Department of Children and Family (DCF), focusing on her target population of the Near East and South Asia refugees.
Social Marketing Specialist
Lorene specializes in stigmatized conditions among diverse audiences. She has extensive experience working on multicultural and multilingual non-profits. Throughout her career, she has successfully developed project implementation strategies, culturally competent communications for social and behavioral change, and key communication plans.
She currently works as a community engagement consultant for a non-profit organization in Miami Gardens, and serves as a seasoned social marketer in a federally funded research grant in Broward County, an initiative to improve behavioral health services for transition-age youth. Since 2014, she has been a part of College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University as an adjunct faculty member.