Our team of museum specialists provides the highest level of professionalism in working with our clients.
Randi Korn, Founding Director, Alexandria, VA
Randi started RK&A in 1989 after working in a variety of museums including art, history, science, and natural history and holding positions such as executive director, exhibit designer, interpretive planner, and evaluator. With a passion for learning and desire to strengthen the relationship between cultural organizations and people, Randi is dedicated to using evaluation as a learning tool to improve personal and organizational practice.
Over the last several years, Randi has focused on creating new services to help museums and other cultural organizations excel so they can achieve impact for the public good. One new service is impact-driven planning designed to help staff align their resources and programs around the impact they would like their organization to achieve. Her extensive experience provides invaluable insight as she works with leadership and staff to pursue impact. Another new service that has grown from the impact planning work is capacity building to support staff in planning and conducting evaluations. The intent of these services is to build an organizational culture of evaluation.
In “The Case for Holistic Intentionality,” Randi underscores the firm’s commitment to helping cultural organizations, and museums in particular, become more intentional and purposeful in their planning and daily work. Ultimately the firm strives to use impact-driven planning and rigorous evaluation to help cultural organizations demonstrate, with evidence, the ways in which they contribute to the public good and make a difference in people’s lives and communities.
Stephanie Downey, Managing Director, New York, NY
Stephanie has nearly two decades of experience managing and designing research and evaluation projects in all types in museums. She joined RK&A in 1999 after several years conducting educational research and program evaluation in public schools. Stephanie’s background as an anthropologist drives her interest and commitment to using evaluation and research to understand and ultimately improve the visitor experience in informal learning environments and museums. During her long tenure at RK&A, Stephanie’s qualitative approach and experience has contributed to the firm’s high-quality reputation. In particular, Stephanie has expanded the firm’s capacity through the development and use of rubrics to assess the complex learning that occurs in informal environments; rubrics combine qualitative and quantitative methods to provide authentic measures of the visitor experience. Stephanie works on the firm’s newest service, capacity building, and has conducted dozens of staff trainings and evaluation workshops. Recently she was an adjunct professor at Bank Street College of Education and guest lecturer at George Washington University, University of the Arts, and Seton Hall University. She presents regularly at museum association conferences and has published peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Journal of Museum Education and Museums and Social Issues. Stephanie is currently managing evaluation projects in museums across the country, including Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum at Eldridge Street, National Museum of Natural History, Desert Botanical Garden, and The Morgan Library & Museum.
Amanda Krantz, Senior Associate, New York, NY
Amanda is an evaluator interested in conducting reliable studies that help museums welcome and support all learners. She holds a Master of Science in Art Education from The Pennsylvania State University; her thesis research explored the effects of security guards on art museum visitors, an interest developed during an internship at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Amanda joined RK&A in 2008 and enjoys working with a range of museum clients and employing various methodologies to answer each client’s unique questions. Amanda particularly enjoys complex, multi-method impact studies. For instance, The Art of Problem Solving research conducted for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum utilized her art education background and evaluation skills to measure an art museum program’s effect on problem solving. Amanda also enjoys conducting exhibition evaluations to help museums create exhibitions and spaces conducive to thought-provoking experiences. Amanda valued conducting the summative evaluation for the San Diego Natural History Museum’s exhibition Coast to Cactus and co-facilitating a reflection workshop to help the museum reflect and act on the results.
Catherine Sigmond, Research Associate, Alexandria, VA
Catherine is interested in studying learning in informal settings to help museums create relevant and meaningful visitor experiences. Her interdisciplinary studies in history, biological anthropology, and French, as well as her M.A. degree in Museum Education from Tufts University offer her a diverse skill set that she draws on to explore the many ways that visitors interact with museums. Catherine is passionate about evaluating museums’ use of technology and new media to help museums increase meaningful engagement with their collections and foster settings that encourage collaborative learning and the development of 21st century skills. As an evaluator, she strives to encourage museum professionals to continually ask questions of themselves and their visitors to explore museums’ ever-changing roles in society.
Katie Chandler, Research Associate, Alexandria, VA
Katie is interested in helping museums create meaningful visitor experiences by using evidence-based decision-making. She has a background in history and anthropology, with a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona and several years of experience conducting cultural research at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. Katie has also worked in market research for the higher education sector, where she used a combination of qualitative analysis and secondary research to answer a variety of high-impact questions for colleges and universities. These experiences have equipped her with a range of skills that she harnesses to help museums explore and evaluate their informal learning experiences and outcomes.
Erin Wilcox, Research Associate, Alexandria, VA
Erin is passionate about studying the connection between people and objects in the museum setting on educational, emotional, and social levels. She has been working in the museum field for more than five years and has experience in evaluation, education, and public programming. Her liberal studies background, a BA in Art History and MA in Museum Studies, grounds her thinking about the opportunities for learning in informal settings. Her thesis, entitled "Trivial Pursuits?: A Summative Evaluation of Trivia Nights”, combined the development and evaluation of two Pub Trivia Public Programs for museums in Seattle, WA. Erin focuses her work on thinking critically and creatively about study design, and finding the story in a data. She works hard to create presentations that are visually stimulating and thought provoking for the reader.
Samantha Theriault, Research Assistant, Alexandria, VA
Samantha is an advocate for holistic, interdisciplinary educational opportunities in museums and our greater learning landscape. Her background is in Museum Education, history and American studies, with several years of experience as a science educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Samantha is an audience-centered practitioner who has engaged a number of different groups in both museum education and evaluation settings, including school children and scouts, incarcerated adults, and teachers. Inspired by thousands of museum interactions, she has conducted independent research on the nuances of museum facilitation and collaborated with several institutions to evaluate learning in museums. As an insatiably curious lifelong learner, Samantha seeks the answers to the evaluation questions that museums use to further illuminate the value of museums as places of learning and meaning-making.
Emily Skidmore, Consulting Analyst, Alexandria, VA
Emily is interested in studying and understanding human behavior and learning experiences in informal learning settings, supported by her undergraduate degree in biological anthropology and anatomy and graduate degree in Museum Education from The George Washington University. As an evaluator, she uses both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods to probe the nuances inherent in the informal learning environment and uses the power of evaluation to help practitioners create the best possible experiences for learning and meaning-making. Emily pursues her deep passion for studying learning in natural environments in her work with the NSF-funded Citizen Science Program with the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.
Gemma Mangione, Consulting Analyst, New York, NY
Gemma is a Lecturer at Columbia University's Arts Administration program and Research Fellow with RK&A. Her academic work is principally concerned with legitimation processes in the cultural sector. Her current research examines programs for visitors with disabilities in art museums and botanical gardens and provides an ethnographic perspective on museums’ “health turn” as it gains traction in cultural policy. She holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and art history and a M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. Previously, she worked in the Education Department of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Gemma has conducted, published, and presented research on museum education, museum accessibility, and exhibition design in the U.S. and abroad. She has a sustained interest in exploring how social scientific theory and evaluation practice can together help people make informed choices about the operations of cultural institutions and the values they contain.
Erin Lindsay, Office Manager, Alexandria, VA
Erin draws on her nine years of experience in office management and administration to complete the behind-the-scenes tasks that contribute to RK&A’s smooth operation. The systems and processes she uses allow RK&A staff to work at maximum efficiency with minimal worry. She created a new look for our reports and proposals using her keen sense of design and color, and is able to answer any human resource question no matter how obscure. With an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a love of museums, Erin fits right in and enjoys learning from the museum planning and evaluation work done at RK&A.