ABOUT

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.  

Mission  

Our mission is to disrupt systemic inequities in education by leading equity-centered research and strategy. We advance our mission by partnering with nonprofits, foundations, and education institutions on collaborative research that elevates the voices of racially and economically diverse students, families and communities, informs decision-making, and leads to systemic change. 

Vision

Our vision is to rewrite the educational opportunities and learning experiences of racially and economically diverse students to realize a more just and equitable education system. 

 
 

Core Values

Our core values reflect our beliefs and guide our daily work. 

Equity + Justice. We are committed to furthering equity and justice for all students through CREE-informed phases of work and partnerships, centering the assets and voices of those most impacted by structures of oppression.

 

Results + Impact. We deliver actionable data, innovative solutions and practical tools that impact policies, teaching, and learning so that every student is supported, actively engaged, and prepared to learn to their full potential.

Hope + Opportunity. We believe in leveraging hope in our work against inequity, focusing our efforts on imagining possibilities and creating opportunities for long-term, systemic change that benefit all students.

 

Human-Centered Intentionality. We respect our shared and individual lived experiences, resisting dominant and oppressive ways of working by prioritizing emotional intelligence, reflective collaboration with partners, intentional relationships across communities, and mindful timelines that disrupt notions of urgency.

Collaborative Leadership. We value thought-partnership and collaboration with advocates, community members, students, and families as a leading organization in equity-centered research and strategy. 

 
Leadership
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Monica Martinez, Co-Founder 

monica@edudream.org 

Michelle Oliva, Co-Founder

michelle@edudream.org

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.

 
Managers
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Sophia Velez
Project Manager

Sophia Velez supports EduDream’s internal operations and client-driven research initiatives as a Project Manager.
 

Sophia has over 9 years of experience in human-centered organizational capacity building. As a first-generation college graduate and inspired by the world of opportunity education afforded her, Sophia is dedicated to advancing educational equity and championing justice-focused
systems and policy change. Her experience spans supporting organizations within the higher education and nonprofit sectors, both at a national and international level.

 

Sophia earned an MA in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration from the University of Chicago, where her scholarship focused on nonprofit management and understanding global social welfare challenges from a comparative cross-national perspective. She also holds a BA in political science with minors in ethnics studies, environmental politics, and global environmental sustainability, from Colorado State University.

Associates
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Briana Jarnagin
Operations Associate

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.

Consultants
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Shaun Bhatia
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Glenance Green

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!

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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
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Brenna O'Brien

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.

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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.

Ready to work together on educational equity?

We are here to assist. Contact us by phone, email or via our social media channels.