top of page

Collaboration Nation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization committed to nothing less than changing the world . . . by helping educational leaders and stakeholders to re-imagine and re-make learning in schools.


The pathway to realizing this vision requires participation from all corners and perspectives on education, and begins with:

  • Leading and sharing transparent education research that brings multiple perspectives and new voices into the conversation on the aspects of Equitable Collaboration

  • Facilitating open public learning at conferences and other community venues to validate and challenge thinking to create alignment between the vision of success, and the learning models and practices within the school ecosystem;

  • Developing an intuitive AI-powered assessment portal -  the Visible Collaboration Platform™ - that provides a live picture of the previously unknown and invisible aspects of Equitable Collaboration within any learning space; and

  • Uncovering ways to support the efforts of other mission-aligned organizations and networks.


Jordan P. Lippman, PhD., Research Director at Collaboration Nation, Founder of The TeamBuilders Group™, Steering Committee of Remake Learning Professional Learning Working Group, @lippmanphd

Trina C. Kershaw, PhD., Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Annie McNamara, MA, Graduate Student at the University of Pittsburgh

Neysha Arcelay

President, PRECIXA,

Systems design for efficiency; Inclusion Advocate, and STEM Ed Champion

Reality Canty, PhD.

Design Researcher and Founder, darkDUX Design Research Studios

Design, Usability, Research, Statistics, Visual Displays of Data

Ms. Michelle King

Learning Instigator. Love Activist. Transformer. @lrninginstigatr.

Equity expert; winner of several national and international awards

Matty Lau, PhD.

Director of Research Strategy and Consulting at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University.

Education research, evaluation, professional learning design.

Paul LeMahieu, PhD.

Senior Vice President, Programs, Carnegie Foundation for Educational Improvement,

Systemic improvement, Evaluation

James W. Pellegrino, PhD.

Co-director of Learning Sciences Research Institute, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

Assessment Expert;  Master as integrating multiple perspectives into a cohesive document.

Ms. Michele Mattoon

Director of the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF), Harmony Education Center

Designer of Systems; Facilitating group learning, culture, and belonging.

Wesley Waldrup, LPC.

Clinician and Owner of Counseling Works, Past CEO at Project Playground

SEL Expert and clinician

(APA-style order)
Report Authors
Steering Committee
(Chronological in Jordan's Development)

James W. Pellegrino, PhD., Co-director of Learning Sciences Research Institute, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and Distinguished Professor of Education, the University of Illinois at Chicago

Reality S. Canty, PhD., Design Researcher and Founder, darkDUX Design Research Studios

Mike Dianovsky, PhD., Director of STEM Education and Social Development, Starfire

Matty Lau, PhD., Director of Research Strategy and Consulting at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University.

Mrs. Mary Claire Arena, MA, Designer, Educator, and Instructional Coach at The TeamBuilders Group.

Ms. Michelle King, Learning Instigator. Love Activist. Transformer. @lrninginstigatr

Mr. Fred W. Brown, Jr., MSW., President and CEO, The Forbes Funds.

Michelle Zuckerman, Ed.D., Learning Professional, Advocate, and Advisor.

Mrs. Nina Barbuto, Executive Director, Assemble.

Lisa Abel-Palmieri, PhD., President and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania,, @Learn21Tech

Mr. Justin Aion, Educator, Learner, and Permanently Under The Yoke of Student Loans, @MrATeachesMath

Jacie Maslyk, EdD,  Assistant Super at Hopewell School District, Educational Consultant, & Author STEAM-Makers, @DrJacieMaslyk.

Mrs. Liz Whitewolf, Fab Lab Manager, Carnegie Science Center.

Jacob Hanchar, PhD., Executive Chairman & CEO, Digital Dream Labs.  

Wesley Waldrup, LPC, SEL Expert, Clinician and Owner of Counseling Works, Past CEO at Project Playground.

Mr. Garrett Hemann, VP of Engineering at AirWorks.

Mr. Aaron Sams, ABD, Education Faculty at Saint Vincent College. @chemicalsams.

Mr. David Ross, Past CEO at the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

Patrick E. Crawford, EdD., Executive Director,

Mrs. Kenda Hammer, M.Ed, Clinical Teaching Faculty, School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, and Head Coach at The TeamBuilders Group.

John K. Price, PhD., Director of Career Pathways Unit, Kamehameha Schools.

Mrs. Janel Vancas, Director of Mass Customized Learning and Curriculum Innovation, Appalachia IU8  

Mr. Mike Ritzius, Associate Director of Professional Development and Instructional Issues at New Jersey Education Association, Co-Founder EdCamp Foundation.

Paul LeMahieu, PhD., Senior Vice President, Programs, Carnegie Foundation for Educational Improvement,

Jonathan Cohen, PhD., Incoming Co-President, International Observatory for School Climate and Violence Prevention; Adjunct

Professor in Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; President Emeritus, National School Climate Center;  

Ms. Michele Mattoon, Director of the National School Reform Faculty, Harmony Education Center, 

Neysha Arcelay, President of PRECIXA.

Kristen Vogt-Kawas, PhD., Knowledge Mgt. Officer, Next Generation Learning Challenges, EDUCAUSE

Kathryn Kennedy, PhD., Education Consultant, Researcher at Evergreen Education Group, Former Director of Research at MVLRI and iNACOL


Note: Any volunteer who is not currently listed here will be added when the Final Report is published in May 2019. Contact Us to have yourself removed from this list. It's also important to note that reviewers, school systems, participants, advisors, and partners do not endorse the findings or recommendations of the study but they acknowledge they have contributed their voice. Some may wish to publicly endorse, but that it up to them.

Ongoing Study Partners

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8

Duquesne City School District

Manchester Academic Charter School

Mid Atlantic Mass Customized Learning Consortium

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21)

Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship

The Pennsylvania Leadership Development Center (PLDC)

Project Playground

The TeamBuilders Group


What is Equitable Collaboration?

Equitable Collaboration is a new way of thinking about the conditions and experiences that are required to create community, clarity, and competence. As opposed to the more traditional notion of “a group of people working together to accomplish a goal,” equitable collaboration occurs when all members of a learning ecosystem (or group) participate and benefit from their participation in the culture. When collaboration is equitable, each person’s social, emotional, and intellectual development set the context for stretching the entire group to grow within a “risky” zone of learning (NSRF, 2018) that engages everyone. One cannot understand equitable collaboration by reading or studying, it must be experienced, and reflected upon to sink in.  Participant's understanding will be deepened when they reflect on visual representations of the level of equitable collaboration within their own experiences in the session.


The foundation of equitable collaboration is conceptual clarity and alignment among critical stakeholders around a shared vision of educational success and the learning models that must be in place to achieve that success. But, it is very challenging to establish alignment when the most subversive tensions between existing learning models are not talked about. Chief among these is a tension between the extrinsic behaviorism of most grading, badging, data-driven personalized learning systems, discipline/positive behavior support and intervention models, and the intrinsically-oriented, community-building, dialogue-based, holistic, and capacity-building strategies we are advocating. Assemblies, pep rallies, multi-cultural nights, and “school-wide behavioral reward celebrations” may appear to add up to a strong and positive climate, but they are really more like sugar pills - instantaneously satisfying and desirable but quickly dissipating and ultimately detrimental to a healthy school climate. Without an open, public dialogue about the assumptions behind these behaviorist models, it will be difficult for many stakeholders even to notice this tension, much less resolve it. Talking about and resolving the above-mentioned tension is a challenging but necessary step toward "aligning the vectors" (to quote Elon Musk) of learning models with a clear and shared vision of student success. This work elevates educators to be the professionals that they are by placing the learner at the center. Once this is done, pressure will no longer fall on teachers to squeeze the square pegs of a student-centered and collaborative learning into the round prison of behaviorism.

Thank you for your continued support and guidance in this exciting adventure.

Collaboration Nation, Inc., Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy


Collaboration Nation has a diverse Board of Directors, Advisors and Team Members and we serve diverse educators, schools, and communities. As part of Collaboration Nation's transparent research process, through our multi-site nontraditional research-to-practice institute, and open-public learning opportunities, we welcome diverse perspectives to help transform learning in schools to make it more equitable.

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

Collaboration Nation strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.

  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.

  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it means to be a learner, educator, advisor, or member of our team.

  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

  • Commit time and resources to expand the diversity of our leadership, board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.

  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect everyone we work with to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

Collaboration Nation abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace: 

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.

  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Once the content is curated it will be added to our website so others can access.

  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Support our hiring team to use equitable practices.

  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.

  • Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

DEI Statement
bottom of page