Eduventures® Research Team

Our Eduventures Research analyst team represents some of the brightest and most experienced research analysts in the industry. As foremost experts in domains specific to higher education, their goal is to create competitive advantage for the institutions we serve.


Cara A. Quackenbush, Executive Vice President, Eduventures Research

As Executive Vice President of Eduventures, Cara is responsible for guiding the depth and breadth of the company’s research coverage and rigorous research methodologies and standards. Prior to joining the Eduventures Research team, Cara was an advancement professional with more than a decade of fundraising, management, marketing, and accounting experience at institutions of higher education. Cara’s experience spans annual giving, major giving, volunteer management, alumni engagement, parent fundraising, and planned giving. She has also conducted research on management practices and strategies in higher education, including higher education accounting practices, presidential leadership techniques, and legal policies affecting planned giving. Cara is a frequent presenter at industry conferences and events, including CASE, and her work has been published in CASE Currents. Cara was the Associate Director of Gift Planning at Boston College, where she helped launch the university’s $1.5 billion capital campaign as well as its first-ever legacy gift campaign. Cara also worked in both the annual fund and the office of planned giving at her alma mater, Santa Clara University, where she earned her B.A. in journalism. Cara holds an MBA and an MS in accounting from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.


Richard Garrett, Eduventures Chief Research Officer

Richard Garrett is Eduventures’ Chief Research Officer at Encoura. Richard has nearly 25 years of experience in higher education research, consulting, and policy. From 2015-2019, Richard was also Director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, a think tank, part of Tribal Group, focused on global developments in online learning, internationalization and commercial activity and partnerships. Prior to Eduventures, Richard was North America Director for i-graduate, working with clients of the International Student Barometer, the world’s largest survey of the international student experience. From 2005-2013, Richard led Eduventures’ online higher education practice. Richard has also worked as a researcher in the School of Education & Continuing Studies at the University of Surrey in the UK and as a policy analyst at the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from King’s College London and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Cambridge.


Catherine Birdwell, Vice President​, Client Services

Catherine leads the Client Research Team in ensuring that our members see tangible results from their interactions with Eduventures Research. Since first joining the company in 2013, Catherine has consistently worked in a client-facing capacity as an advisor, research analyst, and strategic thought partner to presidents, provosts, and deans from colleges and universities nationally. Through her leadership within the Eduventures program innovation practice, Catherine has directly managed, led, and overseen more than 500 reports and deliverables assessing the market opportunity for degree and nondegree programs. Catherine’s research has focused particularly on the graduate education market and how colleges of education can innovate their program offerings to respond to market demand while still aligning to their core missions and values. Prior to joining Eduventures, Catherine was a research fellow at the Harvard Law School, where she supported faculty in developing and planning curriculum and collaborated with the director of the Immigration Law Clinic in researching, drafting, and editing the latest edition of her textbook. Catherine received a BA in International Studies and French from Rhodes College and a JD cum laude from the Catholic University of America.


June Claughton, Quantitative Research Analyst

As a Quantitative Research Analyst, June Claughton works with the Enrollment Management team at Eduventures. She focuses on survey design, programming, data analysis, and preparation using SPSS and Alteryx. Prior to joining Eduventures, June received her M.Ed. in Measurement, Assessment, Evaluation, and Statistics from Boston College. While there, she was a graduate assistant for three professors working on higher education research, evaluation, and education to career pipeline studies.

Before attending graduate school, June worked as a middle school science teacher and as a special needs paraprofessional. She received her B.S. in Middle Level Education: History and Science from the University of Vermont. In addition to her M.Ed. and BS, June received an Institutional Research Certificate.


Chris Gardiner, Senior Research Analyst

As the Senior Analyst for Online and Adult Higher Education, Chris brings nearly 15 years of experience supporting institution’s’ online and adult programs. He started his career in higher education at a fee-for-service OPM as an enrollment advisor for online undergraduate students. He grew into online enrollment management roles and has helped numerous institutions implement best practices for online/adult students. Prior to Eduventures, he was the lead researcher for Keypath Education (OPM) where he developed deep expertise in program market demand and workforce trends, competitive program analysis, and how institutions can meet student’s’ needs.

Chris earned his MS in Higher Education with an Enrollment Management concentration online from Drexel University. While he was supporting institution’s’ adult students, he was living their experience of juggling work and family commitments with schoolwork. As an avid lifelong learner, he has also earned certificates in Principles of Market Research from University of Georgia and Advanced Analytics in Higher Education from Arizona State University to broaden his knowledge of research and higher education.


Ashley Hanson, Client Research Analyst

Since joining the Eduventures team in 2016, Ashley has partnered with institutional leaders as a strategic partner, ensuring they find tangible results and value through their Eduventures engagement. Ashley mainly focuses on online learning and academic program assessment across large, flagship institutions; regional public universities; and smaller, liberal arts colleges.

With a decade of experience working in higher education, Ashley came to Eduventures after working in both the Admissions and Registrar’s Offices at Boston University, where she restructured and streamlined the transfer credit evaluation process. She has also previously worked at Charles River Interactive, where she partnered with colleges and universities in their digital and marketing strategies. Ashley earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Policy Studies at Boston University and received her BA from Emmanuel College with a degree in English and Communication Studies.


Mughees Khan, Senior Quantitative Analyst

Mughees is responsible for providing quantitative and qualitative analyses that inform data-driven recommendations and tactics for higher education clients. As a member of the quantitative research team, Mughees has contributed to insights on hiring trends and the underserved specialization areas of K-12 schools to benefit our Schools of Education clients. Prior to the Eduventures Research team, Mughees worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Education Policy Research, where he prepared teacher-level data for future analyses. He holds an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and graduated summa cum laude from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in philosophy and psychology.


Dan McCormack, Director of Quantitative Research

As Director of Quantitative Research at Eduventures, Dan is responsible for overseeing the survey and data infrastructure that supports the research team’s work, as well as serving as a thought partner and methodological resource for research projects across Eduventures and Encoura.

Prior to joining Eduventures, Dan worked in both market research and data science positions while servicing a wide range of clients including corporations, institutional investors, and educational institutions. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Texas and has taught at both the university level and in adult education programs.


Jacqueline Miller, Quantitative Specialist, Client Research

In her role as Quantitative Specialist, Client Research, Jacqueline serves as a thought partner to college and university leadership. Jacqueline specializes in academic program assessment and innovation research, advising higher education leaders about the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of their program portfolios.

Prior to joining Encoura, Jacqueline worked as the Associate Director of Research and Product Development at STEMconnector where she led the postsecondary research branch and worked directly with higher education institutions and corporations to help build and diversify the STEM talent pipeline. Jacqueline completed her Ed.M. in higher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). While at HGSE, Jacqueline interned with both the New England Board of Higher Education and the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, a research-practice partnership within HGSE. Jacqueline also holds a BA degree in Communication Studies with minors in Corporate Strategy and English from Vanderbilt University.


Lauren Monz, Quantitative Research Analyst

Lauren works on the Quantitative Research team where she uses quantitative analyses on institutional, survey, and secondary source data to provide clients with insight into the higher education landscape. Prior to the Eduventures Research team, Lauren received her M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College at Columbia University. While there, she worked as a student consultant at the Center for Public Research and Leadership where she researched pandemic practices in schools. She also previously worked as a Product Assistant at Cengage Learning. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University with a degree in Anthropology and Psychology.


Clint Raine, Senior Research Analyst

As a key thought partner for institutional leaders, Clint Raine is responsible for leading strategic and customized engagement for colleges and institutions with varying priorities across the student lifecycle. Clint’s research primarily focuses on academic program assessment and innovation, including the non-credential market, online and hybrid modalities, programming needs and preferences among adult students, and academic program challenges facing institutions in rural communities.

While completing his EdM in higher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Clint supported the Eduventures Research Team as a graduate student intern. Prior to graduate school, Clint was a Professional Staff Member and Congressional Fellow with the U.S. House Committee for Education and the Workforce where he helped conduct oversight initiatives and research across a wide range of education policy issues. He is an alumnus of Teach for America, where he taught English as a Second Language to high school students in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to his master’s degree, Clint holds a BA degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.


Kim Reid, Principal Research Analyst

Kim brings a wealth of advanced analytical capability in market research, assessment, and program evaluation to her work, and combines evidence and expertise to help clients make strategic decisions that shape the future of their institutions. She has over 20 years of experience in research and consulting in education. Most recently, Kim served as Vice President of Research Operations at Maguire Associates, a research-based consulting firm focused on enrollment management, where she created new lines of business in brand analytics specific to higher education, pricing and value, and strategic academic program management.

She graduated with a B.A. in philosophy from Duke University, holds an M.S. from the New House School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and completed Ph. D. coursework in communications at Indiana University, Bloomington.


Johanna Trovato, Principal Research Analyst

As a Principal Research Analyst, Johanna serves as a strategic thought partner for higher education leaders across the student lifecycle. Previously, Johanna was a Consultant at Maguire Associates where she started her career in higher education market research nearly a decade ago. Growing through various roles at the organization, Johanna not only honed her quantitative and qualitative skill set but also became well-versed in the issues her higher education clients were facing across the enrollment lifecycle. During this time, she discovered her passion for client-facing work and connecting research with her clients’ needs. Originally from Germany, she graduated from Justus Liebig University in Giessen with a Diplom degree (equivalent of an M.S.) in Social Sciences before she relocated to the United States.


James Wiley, Eduventures Senior Fellow

James served as Eduventures Principal Analyst for Technology at Encoura between 2016 and 2023 and remains a Senior Fellow on the team. James worked for more than 20 years in education technology and now works for the ListEdTech. Among his many roles in education technology, James was the Executive Vice President of Enterprise Services at the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology (CELT). Prior to CELT, James successfully designed and managed over 15 large-scale education technology engagements, including the New York State Education Portal, the Rhode Island Department of Education Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and the Hawaii Enterprise Application Integration Solution projects.

James is recognized as an authority on privacy and security, data quality, analytics, and cloud services. As an independent consultant for the Public Consulting Group, he advised on the Common Education Data Standards and designed and implemented data integration and quality processes. James holds an MA and a BA in Classics from Cambridge University, a Certificat d’Enseignant in Sociology from L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and a BA in Philosophy, Greek and Latin from Lehman College, The City University of New York.