Select Page

Meet the Team

Karen Peterman, PhD

Title: President

Trained as a developmental psychologist

Joined the team when she started conducting independent evaluations in 2007, and then “for reals” when she incorporated in 2010

Professional superpowers include project management, creative solutions for collecting data, writing

Hidden talents include making homemade gift towers of treats for the holidays, surprisingly good at a sack race

Regina Ayala Chavez, MA

Title: Research Associate

Trained as a physicist, engineer, evaluator, and researcher

Joined the team in 2022 to start pursuing her career ambitions to evaluate informal learning projects, while continuing her PhD in learning and teaching in STEM education

Professional superpowers include qualitative and quantitative data analysis, bilingual English/Spanish speaker

Hidden talents include crochet and sudoku lover, was a professional dancer

Allison Black-Maier, PhD

Title: Research Associate

Trained as a cognitive psychologist

Joined the team in 2020 to help lead the NSF INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance and now manages multiple projects, especially those that include fancy databases

Professional superpowers include project management, data wrangling

Hidden talents include playing word games like Scrabble, Boggle, and Spelling Bee

Jen Gathings, PhD

Title: Contributor

Primary gig is Senior Research Associate at ETR Services, LLC

Trained as a sociologist with specialization in class, race, and gender inequalities

Joined the team in 2015 to manage data collection across the statewide NC Science Festival, which then turned into an annual gig and then turned into being a regular contributor across the board

Professional superpowers include data collection and analysis; writing; thought-partnering; problem-solving

Hidden talents include underwater ocean photography, vegan chili chef and connoisseur, can “pssp pssp pssp” a cat from 100 yards away

Maren Harris, Ed. M.

Title: Contributor

Trained as a researcher, evaluator, policymaker, strategic planner, and teacher

Joined the team as a contractor in 2012 to oversee data collection with teachers in her home state of New Jersey, and has since consistently worked with the company on a range of projects based around the country

Professional superpowers include data collection and analysis, co-interpretation, report writing, research

Hidden talents include Broadway aficionado, Francophile, queen of (very homemade-looking) themed birthday cakes

Leanne Jacobson, MA

Title: Contributor

Trained as a developmental psychologist

Joined the team as a consultant in 2008 to collect data from festival-goers in her home state of California, and has worked for the company every year since on a range of projects based around the country

Professional superpowers include project management including data collection, qualitative and quantitative data analysis and report writing

Hidden talent includes making a delicious fruit smoothie from the oranges grown in her backyard

Julie Johnson, PhD

Title: Editor 

Trained as a primatologist

Joined the team in 2015 to edit academic manuscripts, and now edits all proposals, reports, and manuscripts

Professional superpowers include spotting anomalies

Hidden talent includes finding an alto harmony to almost any melody

Keshia Martin, MEd, MS

Title: Research Associate

Trained as an educational program evaluator

Joined the team in 2018 to help manage the company’s growing portfolio and support quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis

Professional superpowers include  data collection and analysis; thought partner

Hidden talents include classical film aficionado, official family baker for holiday treats

Jane Robertson Evia, PhD

Title: Senior Research Associate

Primary gig is Statistics Professor at Virginia Tech

Trained as an educational psychologist and statistician

Joined the team as a graduate student summer assistant in 2011 and has since served as a key thought partner, analyst, and data visualizer

Professional superpowers include data visualization, science communication, data analysis

Hidden talents include making a mean mac-and-cheese, holding a plank pose for more than 2 minutes