• Producing Research for the Greater Charlottesville Community















    A collaboration between the

    Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy and the

    University of Virginia Library's StatLab


    Through courses and research projects, the CommPAS Lab works in partnership with local agencies, nonprofits, and citizen groups to produce actionable research and resources. The CommPAS Lab brings students into community-engaged research where they learn about local challenges while developing and applying their policy and data science skills in the service of our community partners.
























  • Projects

    We work in partnership with cities, nonprofits, and citizen groups to produce actionable research and resources

    Upcoming classes

      Spring 2020: LPPP5540 "Public Interest Data Lab"
      • Instructor: Michele Claibourn
      • Client: Charlottesville Department of Social Services
      • Project goal: in progress

      Fall 2020: LPPP4725 "NGOs & The Public Arena"

      • Instructor: Paul Martin & Sarah McLean
      • Client: Adiuvans Foundation
      • Project goal: Strategic Advice on $100,000 investment in affordable housing

      work in progress


      Analysis of Client Racial Identity in the Provision of Homelessness Services in the Charlottesville Continuum of Care (2019)


      Report to Charlottesville's Department of Social Services on Referrals and Recidivism in Child Welfare (2020)


      Virginia Court Data Project, in collaboration with UVA's Legal Data Lab and the Spring 2020 Innovations in Public Interest class


      Batten MPP Local Policy Projects


      Regional Foundation Grantees/Granters

    • What we do

      community Research

      We answer questions that community partners want answered.

      We work closely with community partners to address the questions they care about and orient our work toward deliverables organizations can use.

      LEARN through service

      Students learn and apply skills in the service of community clients.

      Our work is accountable to one another and our clients through the structure of courses and labs at the University of Virginia.


      Students choose these courses and labs because they want to give back.

      Our collective work has resulted in $750,000 in grants to local nonprofits and actionable research adopted by community agencies.

    • Principal Staff

      Michele Claibourn


      Michele is Director of Research Data Services and the Social, Natural, Engineering Sciences at the University of Virginia Library. She is the lead author of two collaborative studies of racial disparity in the Charlottesville child welfare system created in partnership with the Department of Social Services. She is also a co-principle investigator of the Collaborative Regional Equity Grant, working with community partners to build information resources for promoting equity and justices in our region. Within the library, she directs StatLab, a statistical consulting service to the UVA research community. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she specialized in the quantitative study of social and political behavior.

      Paul Martin



      Paul is an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy. He has worked directly with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and many nonprofits. He previously served as a Board Member for the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) and as Board Chair for Madison House. He chaired the Community Development Block Grant Taskforce and served on the Agency Budget Review Team. Most recently he was appointed to the Taskforce on Equity for the City of Charlottesville. His NGO Action Lab has partnered with the Philanthropy Lab and the Adiuvans Foundation to make $850,000 in grants to 45 nonprofits in the Greater Charlottesville community. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he specialized in the quantitative study of social and political behavior.

    • CommPAS Fellows &


      Charlotte McClintock

      Research Associate

      Key projects: CDSS Foster Care Study; TJACH Study; Equity Dashboard


      Charlotte McClintock is a Master’s student in Research Methods in Psychology, interested in using data to shape social and political systems around the science of human behavior. Charlotte works with the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless investigating racial equity in the provision of homelessness services and with the Department of Social Services using administrative data to understand the role of race in the foster care system. In her free time, she loves climbing, reading long-form journalism (especially from Aeon), watching documentaries, sharing ideas, and solving problems

      hannah Lewis

      Research Associate

      Key projects: Equity Indicators

      Gus Truslow

      Research Associate

      Gus Truslow is a recent college graduate, currently working as a care provider for an individual with intellectual disabilities and as a research associate for the CommPas Lab. Having grown up in Charlottesville, He is passionate about supporting the city’s efforts toward greater equity and inclusion. He is particularly interested in housing policy and the provision of affordable housing, and volunteers his time to the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents as a grant writer. He has degrees in public policy and art history from the University of Virginia. Key projects: Batten Community APP Library; Greater Charlottesville Nonprofit Landscape

      Clay Ford

      Senior Research Data Scientist

      Key projects: Regional Dashboard


      Clay managers the UVA Library's StatLab.

      Sarah McLean

      Lab Instructor

      Key projects: Food Insecurity (2018); Health & Mental Health Assessments (2019)


      Sarah Co-Directs the Adiuvans Foundation.

      Saphira Baker

      Lab Instructor (Past Contributor)

      Key projects: ABRT Review


      Saphira is Principal Consultant, Communitas Consulting

      Holly Hatcher

      Lab Instructor (Past Contributor)

      Key projects: Early Childhood Mapping Project


      Holly is Principal Consultant, Hatcher Consulting.

      Grey McLean

      Lab Instructor (Past Contributor)

      Key projects: Affordable Housing (2017);

      Health & Mental Health Assessments (2016)


      Grey Co-Directs the Adiuvans Foundation.