For over 20 years, Dr. Elek has worked as an analyst, methodologist, project director, and co-investigator of multiple community-based evaluations and research studies related to substance use prevention interventions: evaluating of the “keepin’ it REAL” culturally targeted and school-based substance use prevention intervention, looking at intervention adaption to rural settings, longitudinally examining peer intervention in substance use, conducting process and outcomes assessments of community-based alcohol prevention initiatives in Georgia, conducting formative research on preventing alcohol use during pregnancy, and developing and evaluating a media literacy alcohol prevention intervention based on media literacy and active planning of messages. She has also worked with multiple states and led cross-site national evaluations to assess Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) community-based programs focused on reducing alcohol use, prescription drug misuse, other substance use, and related consequences.
Dr. Elek has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and frequently presents at national conferences. She has experience with all aspects of the evaluation process from project leadership, study design, survey design, and literature review through data analysis, report writing, and dissemination. Dr. Elek enjoys leading and collaborating with multidisciplinary teams with researchers and practitioners in medicine, communications, health behavior, statistics, social work, psychology, sociology, and education.