Rhonda A. Penelton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Illinois State University (1979) and her Master of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1987). Since 1988, Ms. Penelton has been employed by SIUE engaged in the field of research planning, management, and analysis. She is currently serving as a Research Associate with the University Institute of Urban Research. Prior to joining the staff of the university, she worked as an investigator in the Equal Employment Opportunity Office of the City of Peoria, Illinois, and in the probation office of Peoria County.
Ms. Penelton's areas of expertise include survey research, demographic profiling, and program evaluation. Within the twenty years of experience in the field of research, she has served on various teams responsible for evaluating such projects. Several of these projects include the Police and Children Together (PACT) program funded by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, the Quality Educational Systems of Alabama's (QUEST), a school reform model as part of a comprehensive school reform initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, and a mental health service delivery demonstration project funded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
Ms. Penelton's current research projects include third party evaluations of the federal government's Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) funded by Nurse Managed Rural Clinic grant in association with Lewis and Clark Community College in Godrey, Illinois. The Department of Education funded 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program grant in association with the Cahokia Area YMCA of Southwest Illinois. Ms. Penelton is also currently evaluating the State of Illinois Department of Public Heath funded by Healthy Living (Get Up and Go), and providing support staff for a "Vision 2020" strategic planning and social network analysis project designed to facilitate the creation of a collaborative regional economic and workforce development strategy for Southwestern Illinois. Major project partners for this initiative include the Madison-Bond Workforce Investment Board, the Mid-America Workforce Investment Board, and the Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois.