Denis Jarvinen, Ph.D.
Better Learning Through Better Testing
In developing custom assessment solutions, one of SME's primary goals is to incorporate local educators into the assessment development process. It has been our experience that when teachers, principals, and administrators are trained to create their own high-quality assessment materials, these educators take meaningful control of local assessments and are better prepared to use the resulting data to effect positive changes in student learning.
SME delivers a full range of assessment, scoring, evaluation, and professional development services to support these outcomes. Our growth over the past decade is a testament to the passion and expertise we bring to each project and to the satisfaction of our clients.
Contact us to learn more about our methods and to join our journey.
What Makes Us Unique
What makes SME different from other assessment companies is that SME does not begin with a set of one-size-fits-all assessment products. Rather, SME works closely with its clients to develop customized assessment solutions that meet local needs. In doing this work, SME seeks to highlight the connections between assessment and instruction and the role assessment data can play in improving student achievement.
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About Our Services
- Develop valid, reliable, and fair assessments and rubrics.
- Use data to improve classroom instruction and learning.
- Empower educators with increased assessment literacy.
- Create and validate measures to inform policy decisions.
- Have access to high-speed, secure scanning for testing materials.
Our Core Team
Denis founded Strategic Measurement and Evaluation, Inc in 2006 with the goal of providing customized assessment solutions and enhancing the assessment literacy of clients.
Denis oversees the strategic vision for the company by identifying project priorities and supporting the growth of SME’s highly-skilled project managers.
Denis began his professional career in 1994 with MetriTech, Inc., a company specializing in large-scale assessment projects. In that position, he led a variety of successful projects involved with the development, scoring, and analysis of educational and psychological assessments.
Denis received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Purdue University in 1994 with a dual specialization in Measurement and Evaluation and Personality/Motivation Psychology.
Denis and SME regularly support local charities and educational organizations. He especially appreciates the chance to travel with his family and to work on his photography hobby.
Denis is a member of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Mona joined SME in 2007, shortly after the founding of the company.
In addition to offering general support and corporate continuity to fellow staff, Mona leads the development and scoring efforts for a number of programs and ensures quality customer service for all projects.
Before joining SME, Mona was a senior manager with MetriTech, Inc. (Champaign, Illinois) for more than 20 years. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing both development and scoring teams assigned to large-scale programs.
Mona received a BS in Organizational Leadership from Greenville College.
Mona travels extensively and enjoys all genres of music, history, gardening, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
In addition to memberships in professional organizations, Mona volunteers with her local food pantry and the Red Cross.
Melissa joined SME in 2009 to help build the Lafayette, Indiana scoring center and support development activities.
Since becoming part of the SME team, Melissa’s roles and responsibilities have expanded to include psychometric analysis and reporting, program management, and new business development.
Prior to joining SME, Melissa was a graduate teaching and research assistant at Purdue University.
Melissa earned a BA in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MS in Developmental Psychology from Purdue University.
Melissa is particularly interested in fitness. In her spare time, she rides her bike hundreds of miles and teaches a variety of Les Mills fitness classes. She is also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher.
Melissa’s current and past affiliations include the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Educational Research Association.
Charles joined SME in 2010 and is involved in the management of large-scale scoring projects, particularly in New York state.
Charles provides the logistics required for establishing and maintaining mobile scoring centers from the setup of workstations to providing client status reports and the recovery of SME materials and equipment.
Prior to joining SME, Charles worked in the college textbook industry and managed a large territory for John Wiley publishing. Following that experience, he was the academic and trade book national sales director for Human Kinetics.
Charles received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Illinois and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeant’s Major Academy with specialization in organization leadership and large organization logistics.
Charles is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family. He also volunteers at church fundraising events that support the less fortunate.
Charles is an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves as his local Boy Scout Council’s Advancement Chairman and is also a member of an outdoor committee.
Edward began working for SME in 2018 and provides extensive support for scoring and development projects.
Edward’s primary position is to ensure the smooth operation of the SME Scan Center including the management of equipment, staff, and schedules.
Before joining SME, Edward worked in a variety of fields including physics laboratories and the state government.
Edward received a BS in Applied Physics in 2014 and a BS in Public Policy in 2015, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree from the University of Chicago.
In addition to being an avid runner, Edward enjoys origami and board games.
Edward volunteers with the Crisis Text Line.
Jessica joined SME in 2015 and continues to grow with the organization by supporting a variety of projects.
Jessica is responsible for recruiting and scheduling qualified staff for development and scoring projects and is also involved with daily activities within the Champaign, Illinois office. In addition, she provides editing support for development efforts.
Prior to joining the SME team, Jessica served as Site Director for the Champaign Unit 4 School District’s before/afterschool program (Kids Plus) and was also a sales consultant for Sam’s Club.
Jessica received her BS in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University.
Jessica enjoys cooking, the outdoors, and her dogs.
Jessica enjoys tying fleece blankets for her family’s non-profit organization, “Snuggies for the Soul,” and volunteering for an organization that supports her local homeless community.
Jeff joined SME in 2019 and supports development staff by providing graphics to illustrate core concepts presented in test items.
Jeff’s previous work experience includes working as a media designer for CG Visions (Lafayette, IN) and as a graphic designer for EZAdsPro, which manages software for high volume residential and automotive ads across the United Kingdom and United States.
Jeff received his B.S. in Computer Graphics Technology from Purdue University. Upon graduation, he also obtained a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.
Jeff is an avid Boilermaker football fan and also enjoys camping, fishing, skateboarding, painting, and online games.
Jeff enjoys volunteering with the local humane society.