Cynthia Blitz, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Research Professor
732-564-9100 ext. 21

Dr. Blitz is the Executive Director of the Center for Effective School Practices (CESP) and a Research Professor at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education (RU-GSE), where she works to facilitate the translation of scientific knowledge into educational practice in multiple domains of K–12 education. Dr. Blitz is committed to promoting the ability of educational stakeholders to effectively meet the needs of communities both in New Jersey and on a national level.

At CESP, Dr. Blitz conducts critical evaluation research to identify best instructional practices and effective interventions to advance student learning and achievement, as well as to provide technical and administrative support to RU-GSE researchers. Some of her most recent research projects include the evaluation of the impact of new instructional technology on quality of classroom instruction and student learning, and the external assessment of the New Jersey Teacher Evaluation Pilot. In addition, CESP is a partner in the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (REL MA). Dr. Blitz is the REL MA Research Alliance Task Lead, in which role she works closely with stakeholders such as state education associations, K–12 school districts, community partners, institutes of higher education, and government officials to build sustainable partnerships and alliances that identify and address community needs. She is also the REL MA Coordinator for the Professional Learning Research Alliance (PLRA), in which role she facilitates collaborations among educational stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region with a strong interest in improving professional development and professional development outcomes for teachers and school district administrators. The range of topics considered and addressed by PLRA includes systems, processes, and procedures for creating sustainable professional learning communities, models and measures for assessing the return on investment from professional development, and strategies for tailoring professional learning for teachers and schools. 

Dr. Blitz has 15 years of experience working as a social scientist and program evaluator in the health and education fields. She is the author or co-author of publications and research presentations, and her scholarship centers prominently on closing educational gaps and health disparities among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Her work has appeared in journals such as International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Health Communication. Trained as an interdisciplinary researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, she holds a Ph.D. from that institution and an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from American University.