Prosper Waco Welcomes New Director of Research and Community Impact

Press release – Prosper Waco is pleased to announce the hiring of Emily Hunt-Hinojosa as director of research and community impact. In this position, Hunt-Hinojosa will develop and expand a framework for assessing progress toward community goals and will benchmark progress in the Prosper Waco focus areas of education, health and financial security. Her duties will also include linking theory to practice across the community helping to create an overall culture of continuous quality improvement around the larger vision of flourishing that Prosper Waco seeks to promote.

“The story of Waco is increasingly complex. On one hand, there are so many wonderful things happening throughout our city. Strong institutions, increasing diversity, economic growth, development, and collective efforts to do good work are all indicators of progress and prospering,” said Hunt-Hinojosa. “However, too many community members continue to experience insurmountable obstacles to enjoying many of the good things Waco has to offer. I am thrilled to join the Prosper Waco team and look forward to telling Greater Waco’s story in a way that is honest about current social realities and hopeful about our progress toward being a community where all members can thrive.”

Hunt-Hinojosa was most recently employed as a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture where she pursued academic research regarding the cultural conflicts arising from different perspectives on the purpose of civic education. During her Ph.D. program, she served as a research analyst at Baylor University’s Center for Community Research and Development. In this role, Hunt-Hinojosa conducted a variety of qualitative and quantitative research projects for Waco organizations helping institutions across McLennan County use data to do good better. Prior to graduate studies at Baylor, Hunt-Hinojosa directed a service learning program at Creighton University where she connected college student volunteers with non-profits around the metro Omaha region. Hunt-Hinojosa’s sociological perspective and her previous experience related to assessment and evaluation make her uniquely qualified for her new role at Prosper Waco.

Hunt-Hinojosa has a Ph.D. in sociology from Baylor University specializing in community analytics. She earned a M.A. in sociology from Baylor University and a M.A. in higher education and student development from Taylor University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Taylor University.

“A vital precursor to collective impact is collective understanding,” Hunt-Hinojosa explained. “As a sociologist, I see much of my new role as using data to highlight the pathways and connections between problems and solutions that are not always obvious. Beyond reporting numbers and statistics, I am excited to collaborate with Waco’s leaders to discern our context, celebrate our assets, and imagine our possibilities.”


Prosper Waco is a collective impact initiative focused on addressing issues facing the Greater Waco community in the areas of education, health and financial security. As a facilitator and convener, Prosper Waco encourages collaboration amongst existing nonprofits, city and county governments, business, foundations and churches to build on and increase the effectiveness of current efforts and develop new strategies to bring about measurable and sustainable positive change within the focus areas for the members of our community. For more information, please contact Allison@prosperwaco.org.

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