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Greetings Readers, Viewers, Data Curious, Data Seasoned, Friends, Colleagues, Soon-to-be Friends & Colleagues, and everyone in between! We are so pleased to welcome you to our online doorstep!

We are digital weavers. We bring together threads in data and braid ideas into patterns. We are storytellers. We work with communities to listen authentically and reflect the narratives of people we work with

for the purpose of improving lives.

As a QBIWOC firm, RISE Research & Evaluation’s approach alchemizes the wisdom of lived experiences with scholarly work. We employ a research paradigm with roots in constructivism, critical analysis, and Indigenous-based positionality.

In other language, we are a full-service research and evaluation firm that collects, analyzes and synthesizes data, and we provide insights on your work’s effect. We are called RISE because we seek to elevate your practice and grow awareness of your impact. Through the power of inquiry and data-driven results, we provide a grounding for you and your staff to know where to grow.


We hold technical expertise in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. We work with our clients and their stakeholders to create a foundation of open dialogue and curiosity, in order to receive the results without judgement and dream of new paths forward. We operate from an authentic, supportive space and promote a growth mindset.

We are also highly adaptive. We design tailored assessments, and we employ a range of methodologies to match the unique needs of our clients and the people they serve. We conduct academic literature searches and recommend previously validated tools for survey-type projects. For a richer, more nuanced comprehension of your impact, we use qualitative tools such as observation rubrics and interview protocols.


JULIE KENDIG (she/her)
Director of Inquiry

Julie has been a culture worker since 2001 and has
served in a multitude of positions ranging from
educator, administrator, grant writer,
professional development trainer and researcher. In
her current role as the Business Steward and
Director of Inquiry at RISE Research & Evaluation,
Julie’s work is rooted in equity and guided by love.

She has 14 years’ experience in
mixed-methods research and evaluation, has
been an invited speaker at national and international conferences, and is an author on eight peer reviewed
studies as well as several government reports. Julie is an Indigenous descendant of the Western Band of Cherokee who uses critical theory, relational axiology and decolonizing methods in her research work. Julie is deeply involved as a godmother/auntie figure with two beautiful goddaughters, has a loving partner who works in math equity in higher education, and she remains active as a performing artist in community theatre.

SHAYLA JAMES (she/her)

Research Associate

Shayla James balances her time as an arts
administrator, researcher, and teaching artist in the arts
and culture sector. Her work is rooted in community and
collaboration with others across disciplines. She is
currently the San Diego Creative Youth Development
Network Director, overseeing network operations,
programming and strategic planning. Ms. James is also
a Research Associate at RISE Research & Evaluation,
where she provides support in evaluation design, data
analysis and communication. Her research focuses on arts assessment and evaluation, racial and cultural equity in the arts, cultural policy, and social emotional learning. She is also a multi-instrumentalist with over 15 years of experience in the performing arts as a performer and educator. She is the owner of Sempre Music Studio, a creativity focused studio that offers a flexible, responsive and trauma informed music curriculum.