Karen Peterman

Hi there – I’m Karen. I’m an evaluator and researcher who studies education programs and science communication. My favorite projects usually involve places like science museums or events that feature science. Lately, I’ve also had the chance to partner with leaders who are thinking about relationship building between scientists and community members. One thing that all of these projects have in common is that they can be particularly tricky to study in authentic ways that provide meaningful data. I love the challenge of working with clients and partners to clear this hurdle and to learn together along the way.

I wasn’t originally trained to do this work, and that has helped me stay curious and open to the idea of creative evaluation solutions. That said, I am an academic at heart and so learning from and trying to contribute to an academic literature often informs the ways I do my work. I received fantastic Ph.D. training in the psych department at Duke. I’ve applied those skills to the field of education and evaluation since 2002. Strong client relationships allowed me to start doing some independent consulting work in 2007 (with permission from my boss at the time) and eventually to hang my own shingle. I founded Karen Peterman Consulting, Co. (KPC) in 2010 and we rebranded to become Catalyst Consulting Group in 2022. Here’s that full story, if you’re interested.

What I’m Working On

  • Taking a vacation!! This is serious business.
  • Building evaluation frameworks for philanthropic organizations
  • Supporting a manuscript that describes women who watch PBS online, and the communiation strategies they prefer

Coming Soon

  • Cooking up an idea for a new AISL grant that would include NC science musuems
  • Winding down our role a the backbone organization for the SEAS Islands Alliance – it’s been five fascinating years!
  • Leading in-person strategy sessions and meetings to map the ripple effects of programs

Skill I’m Honing This Year

  • How to lead like a multiplier