EduDream is a Latina owned education research and consulting firm that partners with non-profits, foundations, and education agencies working to ensure educational equity for racially and economically diverse students.
Our mission is to rewrite the educational opportunities, experiences and outcomes of all students, especially students of color. We advance our mission by engaging in research, evaluation, and strategic planning that helps education leaders and partners uncover systemic issues, explain program impact, and leverage evidence to drive strategy and decision-making.
In many ways, the impetus for launching both EduDream emerged from the founders’ professional experiences collaborating on evaluation projects that lacked cultural responsiveness, dismissed equitable evaluation practices, or included people of color on evaluation teams to convey diversity but without deep and deliberate engagement for these perspectives. Read more about our history.
Our core values reflect our beliefs and guide our daily work.
Possibility. We believe access to educational opportunities can create lifelong impact and lead to endless possibilities. We are living proof.
Respect. We believe in mutual respect and trust.
Diversity. We value diversity in informing our views and work.
Results. We deliver useful data, innovative solutions and practical tools that impact teaching and learning so that every student is supported, engaged and prepared to learn to his or her full potential.
Monica Martinez, Co-Founder
Michelle Oliva, Co-Founder
Monica Martinez oversees EduDream’s quantitative research portfolio, leading analyses of quantitative datasets and working with partners to examining program and policy impact. Recently, she conducted a landscape analysis and research report for a non-profit focused on postsecondary attainment and pathways to college and careers for first generation and low-income students in the Chicagoland region.
Monica has over twelve years of experience working in a variety of organizations helping strengthen analytical capacity and the use of data to inform decision-making. Her cross-cutting professional experience includes working for non-profits, the City of New York, and as a district administrator. She is well-versed in research methodologies from applied research experience that includes developing evaluation designs, establishing impact metrics, developing data collection tools, and reporting for various audiences.
A daughter of immigrants, Monica experienced the power of education in transforming her future. Her high school to college transition had a profound impact and has influenced her career to date. She is passionate about improving access to educational opportunities so all children learn, grow, and achieve their dreams.
Monica earned a master's degree in public administration
from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and undergraduate degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. She is fluent in written and conversational Spanish.
Michelle Oliva oversees EduDream’s qualitative research work, helping partners and clients understand perception data and unpack the contextual factors that may explain a program or policy’s impact, strengths and challenges. She leads analysis of perception data and policy implementation, and supports data analytics.
Michelle has over a decade of experience conducting collaborative research, program evaluation, policy analysis and technical assistance at the federal, state and local levels. Her experience includes leading high-profile research and evaluation, engaging in researcher-practitioner partnerships, and providing technical assistance in research and data use. She has evaluated programs addressing teacher quality, school leadership, school turnaround, and equitable access and funding for early childhood education. Michelle has worked at some of the nation's most renowned think tanks and research institutions including the National Opinion Research Center, Learning Point Associates (REL Midwest) and the American Institutes for Research.
Michelle's passion for more equitable education experiences for all students stems from her personal experiences as a product of the Chicago Public Schools, daughter of immigrants, and first-generation college student.
Michelle earned a master’s degree in social sciences and undergraduate degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. She is fluent in written and conversational Spanish.
Briana Jarnagin supports EduDream’s internal operations and business development as Operations Associate.
Briana holds four years of experience supporting program operations; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and student outreach across non-profit and higher education environments. Prior to EduDream, she held roles focused on member engagement, scholarship program management, and graduate admissions at the American Library Association and Northwestern University. As a former first-generation college student and Chicago Public Schools graduate, she is driven to work towards strategic, sustainable change to foster students' personal and academic growth, with a particular focus on creating equitable post-secondary spaces.
Briana earned an MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, where her research focused on first-generation college students’ perspectives on academic library services and spaces. She also holds a BA in geography from Northeastern Illinois University, and is a 2019 alumna of the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps.
Taylor Thomas (she/hers) supports EduDream's research, evaluation and strategic planmning projects as an Education Research Associate.
Taylor has a passionate interest in education research and policy in order to facilitate greater equity, justice, and belonging in education for students of color, first-generation students, and low-income students. Having served as Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer of the undergraduate student body at Loyola University Chicago in addition to being trained as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Center for Urban Research & Learning, Taylor draws on her experiences in research, leadership and advocacy in DEI to address the needs of students across existing disparities. She prioritizes a critical, intersectional, and anti-racist approach in her applied, mixed-methods research.
Taylor has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global and International Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. Outside of her work and research, you’ll find her deep in her yoga practice to prevent burnout.
Shaun Bhatia supports EduDream projects as a quantitative research consultant, assisting in the collection, organization, and analysis of education-based data.
During the course of his research career, spanning through academia, industry, and NGO sectors, Shaun has developed an appreciation for the complex role education inequity occupies in the social ecology. Obtaining his bachelor’s in statistics and psychology and master’s in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Shaun has used these lenses to quantitatively explore how education disparity can affect health in the community.
After time as a researcher with the Cure Violence and SAFE Children initiatives at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Shaun joined the Center for Community Research at DePaul University in Chicago as a project director. He is concurrently pursuing his doctoral degree at DePaul, where his research interests focus on the intersection between community violence prevention and school-based interventions, with an emphasis in quantitative methodology and statistics.
Glenance Green supports EduDream as an equity consultant, developing frameworks, tools and products for district and school leadership teams to deepen their racial equity work.
With over a decade of experience, Glenance is a racial equity practitioner and community organizer with a strong background in policy-relevant research, having contributed to the development and execution of over 50 mixed-methods research projects, personal and professional.
Glenance brings technical and content-specific knowledge with regard to addressing issues pertaining to equity and racial justice. Most recently, she has added a litany of relevant skills and training to her toolkit as a Racial Equity Fellow (2018-19) through Chicago United for Equity and NLC Fellow (2019-20) through the New Leaders Council. We are excited to have her on the team!
Dr. Dora Elías McAllister supports EduDream as a qualitative research consultant. She brings over 15 years of postsecondary education experience to EduDream.
Dr. Elías McAllister has a deep interest in removing barriers to success for first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color. As such, her expertise includes leading, managing, and supporting qualitative and quantitative research, assessment, and evaluation projects to promote the success of students from underserved populations. She also has extensive experience editing and writing publications focused on topics such as education costs and student borrowing, high school graduation requirements, and diversity in postsecondary education.
Dr. Elías McAllister earned a doctoral degree in education policy from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an undergraduate degree in international business and Spanish from Dominican University (Illinois). She is fluent in Spanish.
Dora Elías McAllister
Dr. Brenna O'Brien supports EduDream projects as a qualitative research consultant, assisting in the organization, coding and analysis of primary data such as interviews and focus groups. Brenna is a Chicago-based researcher, writer, and communications director focused on equity and social justice.
Brenna previously was a Senior Researcher at American Institutes for Research, with over 10 years of experience in program evaluation, designing and conducting interviews and focus groups, qualitative data analysis, and report writing.
She earned her BA in Secondary Education and Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and her MS Ed and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kansas.
Tanisha Tate Woodson
Dr. Tanisha Tate Woodson supports EduDream as a culturally responsive and equitable evaluation consultant, assisting with business development and product.
Dr. Woodson is an evaluator and social scientist with more than 13 years of experience developing, implementing and managing collaborative projects on a wide range of social issues such as early childhood education, child welfare and youth development. She is passionate about helping mission-driven organizations solve problems and make data-driven decisions such as setting or reforming policy, facilitating change, addressing disparities, monitoring program goals and evaluating program performance. Dr. Woodson enjoys collaborating with clients and stakeholders to discern central lines of research inquiry and to design study elements and measurement approaches that balance the scientific rigor with field-based practicality. She also values working in partnership with clients to develop evaluation plans, methods and recommendations for program improvement. Overall, Dr. Woodson aspires to bridge the gap between science and social service by making evaluation research meaningful and accessible to social service systems and organizations.
Dr. Woodson earned her Doctorate at Case Western Reserve University in Social Welfare and her Master in Public Health Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.