Why we do this work
We believe in the power of research and evaluation to support growth and change. We are committed to collaborative processes that center community voices, whether they be visitors, program participants, community members, institutional partners, staff, board, or volunteers. We believe that amplifying community voices and utilizing community-centered data are essential practices for creating equitable organizations and a just society.
We aim to decolonize conventional research and evaluation practices and embrace methods and approaches that are collaborative, culturally sustaining, and community-based. We know that we can only create social change by reimagining the tools and processes we use to get there. We embrace processes of unlearning, relearning and questioning our own assumptions in order to support new growth and understanding.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Jill loved going to museums and experienced them as positive places for learning and exploring human diversity, creativity, and ingenuity. As her educational and life pathways progressed, she came to realize that museums were rooted in colonization and were experienced by many communities as unwelcoming, uncomfortable, and even hostile environments. This led her to the field of audience research and evaluation, which she saw as a vehicle for creating change by decolonizing museums and other informal and formal learning organizations.
Decades later, Jill is now a researcher, evaluator, and consultant, as well as the the Founder of Reimagine Research Group. She brings nearly 20 years of experience working with a diverse range of organizations, including museums, cultural centers, libraries, science centers, K-12 schools, and higher education institutions, to help them better understand and engage audiences in relevant and community-centered ways.
Founder and Principal Researcher
Jill Stein is a PhD candidate in Applied Anthropology at Oregon State University, and she earned a Master’s degree in Folklore and cultural anthropology from Indiana University, Bloomington. Jill utilizes multiple research and facilitation methods to support organizations in building authentic relationships with community partners, understanding visitor experiences and community needs, and reflecting on institutional practices through evidence-based studies. The current President-Elect for the Visitor Studies Association, Jill has also served as a board member for 5 years and lead of the Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) Task Force for 3 years.
Victoria Bonebrake is a research associate based in Huntsville, AL and brings seven years of experience in learning research and evaluation. She has supported work across a wide range of learning environments including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, museums, zoos and aquariums, camps, and arts festivals. She is particularly interested in creating accessible and inclusive learning spaces for historically excluded communities. Victoria holds a B.S. in cultural anthropology and an M.A. in museology with a specialization in evaluation.
RoJamie brings 20 years of experience educating and caring for children and families in various settings. Based in Baltimore City she has witnessed the lack of minority voices in programs that are intended to serve their needs. As such, RoJamie realized she could use her lived experiences to relate to and advocate for target populations. RoJamie specializes in bringing a culturally-responsive lens to her work, including through her contribution to the MoZAICS project. She enjoys collaborating with others to create diverse and creative outcomes that serve all.
Keiko Beers, PhD
Dr. Keiko Beers brings 15+ years of community-centered research experience to the evaluation team. As a trained linguist, Keiko has collaborated with Native communities in their efforts to document, revitalize, and reclaim their Indigenous languages. With a strong interest in education, Keiko has also served on projects that aim to support and promote the academic contributions of students from underserved populations, as well as create learning environments that are friendlier and more inclusive of students from a diverse range of backgrounds in both STEM fields and the humanities. Keiko received her MA in Linguistics at San Francisco State University and her PhD at the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Shelly Valdez
Over the last two decades our founder, Jill Stein, has partnered with Dr. Shelly Valdez of Native Pathways in a collaborative evaluation process. This partnership brings together conventional evaluation and Indigenous paradigms in order to strengthen relationships between science educators and Indigenous knowledge holders.
Native Pathways is located in Laguna Pueblo in central New Mexico. Native Pathways focuses on worldviews of science education, primarily indigenous science. President and CEO, Dr. Shelly Valdez, has had a lifelong interest and passion for indigenous science, which has influenced her approaches in the field of education and evaluation, as well as the partners she works with.
Native Pathways is currently working on the following projects with Reimagine Research Group:
- Transforming American Indian and Alaska Native STEM Learning via Indigenous Knowledge Translation, Education, and the Environment [NSF DRL #1516742]
- Collaborative Research on Water in the Four Corners Region: Connecting and Engaging Communities [NSF-DRL #1907024]
- High Desert Museum Creating Together redesign of the Indigenous Plateau exhibit hall (IMLS MA 249352-OMS-21)
About our logo
Our logo design was inspired by the round braided Challah bread, traditionally used to celebrate the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). The symbol is intended to reflect Jill’s cultural background, as we believe it is important to bring our whole selves to our work and that our cultural identities and perspectives are an important part of how we approach research and evaluation.
The unique weaving of the braids in Challah bread reflects the different strands or perspectives that we bring to our work at Reimagine Research Group. The braids, or perspectives, remain individual and separate while also being strengthened by coming together. This is how we envision research and evaluation at its best – honoring and reflecting multiple worldviews while creating strong outcomes and support for transformational change.