Cara Karter

Coordinator of Research Support

Cara Karter is Chapin Hall’s Coordinator of Research Support. Her responsibilities include proposal and product development and supporting research policies, procedures, and data governance. With Chapin Hall’s Director of Research, Karter works across the organization to improve research capacity, output, and dissemination. She is passionate about using translational, community-driven research to amplify participant voices and drive better decision-making that enriches child and youth development.

Previously, Karter held positions as a Research & Evaluation Specialist at After School Matters and as a research Project Assistant at Chapin Hall. She has a wide range of evaluation experience in adolescent youth development, early childhood, housing/homelessness, and juvenile justice/community policing. Karter is skilled in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods; research communication; and project management. She is a certified assessor using the Dimensions of Success and Youth Program Quality Assessment tools. Karter also serves as the Communications Chair for the Chicagoland Evaluation Association.

Karter received a Bachelor of Science in Social and Economic Development Policy and a certificate in Leadership Studies from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Certificate in Leadership Studies, Illinois Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Science in Social and Economic Development, Illinois Institute of Technology

Karter, C., & Brown, J. (2018, October). An internal implementation evaluation of police involvement in youth programs: Summer 2018 After School Matters-Chicago Police Department Initiative. Presentation at the Midwest Ecological Community Psychology Conference, Chicago, IL.

Axelrod, J., & Karter, C. (2016). The power of context: Understanding adolescent brain development. Invited presentation to the 5 by 25 Steering Committee convened by Children’s Home and Aid, Chicago, IL.

Karter, C. M., & Washington, L. A. (2015, October). Stimulants for enhancement purposes: Perceptions, attitudes, and usage among university students. Poster session presented at the International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

(2014, November). Global Dialogue Session: How do we develop and maintain communication with community partners? Panel presentation at the Engineers Without Borders USA National Conference, Reston, VA.


Most Influential in Research & Evaluation — After School Matters, awarded by National Afterschool Association, 2018.

Daro, D., & Karter, C. (2019). Universal services: The foundation for effective prevention. In J. E. Korbin & R. D. Krugman (Eds.), Re-visioning public health approaches for protecting children (pp. 113–126). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Karter, C., Lambie, A., & Lopez, M. (2018, August 14). Valuing youth voices in evaluation [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Glade, S., Karter, C., & Pagilla, K. (2014). Case studies from a community-focused engineering program with projects in Haiti and Nicaragua. International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Fall, 551–562.