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Equity-Focused Evaluation & Research Consultant

Dr. Cate Samuelson's work is fueled by her passion for equity and education, a practical and systemic understanding of issues, and a focus on big picture impact. She has an eye for detail and understands the importance of thorough evaluation and research to maximize and empower social change.


She is dedicated to supporting and maximizing efforts to close opportunity gaps and empower communities.  She brings a passionate focus on equity and community engagement, a commitment to high quality work, and 20 years of experience in the education field to her research and evaluation practice. She is skilled in effective project design, implementation and management, and connecting findings to program, practice, and policy improvement.

Cate has conducted and managed equity-focused evaluation and research for over 10 years. She has evaluated a variety of equity-focused programs and projects, and her research experience ranges from individual case studies to larger, national, multi-site studies. She has collaborated with education and nonprofit organizations to help build their capacity to effectively and efficiently collect and use data for program development and improvement. She earned her Doctorate in Education Leadership & Policy Studies from University of Washington in 2013. Her dissertation, which focused on how a community-based organization served as a cultural broker between recent immigrant families and schools in low-income areas, received an Outstanding Dissertation award from AERA's Family, School, Community Partnerships SIG. Prior to that, she served as a public school teacher for 8 years in the Bay Area.

Her extensive experience as an evaluator, researcher and practitioner give her a broad spectrum of knowledge and first-hand understanding of many aspects and areas of education. She has effectively managed and collaborated on national, mixed methods research projects, such as the Project to Assess Climate in Engineering (PACE) funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Study of Leadership for Learning Improvement funded by the Wallace Foundation.


She has led and collaborated on evaluations of stem diversity and inclusion programs, such as the Pacific Northwest LSAMP Alliance; coaching programs, such as the Program for New Principals; and education reform programs, like National Center for Women & Information Technology Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs.  ​​Additionally, she has successfully led all aspects of evaluation for an organization running grant-funded after school/expanded learning,  prevention, health and wellness, and nonprofit capacity building programs.

Cate has presented findings on evaluating partnerships, researcher-practitioner collaborations, engineering persistence and many other topics at national conferences and meetings, including AEA, AERA and ASEE annual conferences. She has co-facilitated workshops focused on sharing best practices in the education field and has published work in peer-reviewed journals, such as Research in Higher Education and Journal of School Leadership. A recent article published in The Journal of Engineering Education, The Importance of Community Cultural Wealth for Students of Color: An Assets-Based Approach to Understanding Engineering Undergraduate Persistence, received an honorable mention from the editorial board of the American Society of Engineering Education.

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