Meet the Staff

Our team of experts conducts applied research, evaluates programs and new initiatives, and provides technical assistance, consultation and organizational development services.

julia bergeron-smith

Julia Bergeron-Smith, MPPM, MSW, is a Policy Associate at the Catherine Cutler Institute’s Justice Policy Program and serves as the Director of the Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), which is housed at the Muskie School of Public Service.  Ms. Bergeron-Smith’s research and policy focus areas include justice policy, child welfare, social policy, and community well-being.  She considers herself a generalist who leverages her big-picture thinking, passion for project management, and deep commitment to collaboration to support partners in making strategic and informed decisions. She manages local, state, and nation-wide research, technical assistance, and stakeholder engagement efforts while also providing data analysis and interpretation. She has been with the Cutler Institute since 2013 and, prior to joining Cutler, worked for non-profits that serve historically underserved youth and young adults.

tara wheeler

Tara Wheeler, MPPM, is a Research Associate at Catherine Cutler Institute’s Justice Policy Program and serves as the Lead Data Analyst of the Maine SAC.  Ms. Wheeler has extensive experience in the application of statistical methods and techniques and uses her thorough understanding to analyze and interpret large datasets and develop findings.  Her research focus areas include criminal justice, health policy, and economics. Her most recent data analysis work has centered on sex offender recidivism, jail pre-trial populations, and prosecutorial practices and outcomes. Ms. Wheeler is proficient in graphic design and uses this knowledge to create accessible and informative data visualizations for the Maine SAC reports and interactive data dashboards. 


Robyn Dumont, MPPM, is a Research Associate at Cutler Institute’s Justice Policy Program and serves as the Managing Director of the Survey Research Center.  Her primary interest is the juvenile justice population and she provides guidance and analytical oversight on a handful of projects related to justice policy.  She has authored and co-authored a number of recidivism reports, worked on projects related to youth detention rates as part of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI), and co-authored the 2015 Disproportionate Contact Report.  She also contributed to the 2014 Maine Crime & Justice Data Book and co‑authored the 2015 and 2022 Maine Crime Victimization Reports. 

hannah brintlinger
RESEARCH Associate

Hannah Brintlinger, MPH, is a Research Associate at the Catherine Cutler Institute’s Justice Policy Program. Ms. Brintlinger’s prior experiences led her to discover her interest in detail-oriented evaluation of real-world problems and her passion for using data to improve communities. She brings this enthusiasm to her work at the Maine SAC, where she applies a variety of statistical analysis methods, qualitative analysis, and literature research to projects. Most recently, she co-authored Bias and Hate Crimes in Maine: Reconciling Reported and Investigated Crimes. In addition to working with the Maine SAC, she also works with the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative (VAWA MEI) where she manages data collection and analysis for the more than 4,000 grantees statutorily required to report on their VAWA-funded work.

SHERI Foster

Sheri Foster is a Project Assistant at the Justice Policy Program. Ms. Foster has several years of experience as a meeting planner and logistical coordinator for several projects in the Muskie School including the Maine Victim Assistance Academy and the Tri-State Advanced Victim Assistance Academy for 15 years. Ms. Foster’s design expertise serves a key role in substantially enhancing the quality of SAC reports and presentations.

senior Research Consultant

George Shaler, MPH, is the former Maine SAC Director and now serves as a Senior Research Consultant to the Maine SAC and other justice policy projects of the Catherine Cutler Institute at the University of Southern Maine. His primary research and evaluation interests are justice and public health issues and how these topics are intertwined. He provides program evaluation and consultation services to state and local government agencies as well as community-based organizations and offers technical assistance in evaluation capacity building to Maine non-profits. Mr. Shaler has been on the SAC staff since 2003 and served as the Director from 2013-2023. He has examined county jail trends, disproportionate minority contact, prison/jail health care issues, and juvenile and adult recidivism analysis, and conducted a community policing program evaluation. Mr. Shaler has co-authored and/or edited numerous SAC reports during his 20+ year tenure, several of which have received Douglas Yearwood National Publication Awards.