Envisioning my business: Consulting for educational change

by Stephanie Chasteen on May 13, 2016

I’m in the process of re-visioning my business, and would love some help from my community.  My business, sciencegeekgirl enterprises, has been really successful and brought me great joy — and I’m wanting to thrust my energies for fully into it.  However, my vision has morphed and crystallized over the years, and it’s time to put some energy into its’ mission.

For one, I think I need a new name that more fully expresses what I do.

And what exactly do I do?  I provide a variety of services that are all in the name of improving STEM education based on what we know about teaching and learning, primarily from discipline-based education research (DBER).

  •  I do a lot of external evaluation — helping programs to identify their goals, giving them formative feedback on achieving those goals, and taking data to inform and measure the success of the program.  I’m told I’m pretty good at this, and I expend a lot of energy to synthesize multiple data sources to help inform programs.  I see my role as external evaluator as a different sort of “change agent”.
  • I also do some writing and editing, including multimedia production, to communicate and disseminate various ways to improve STEM education (such as video or writing on teaching strategies, or working on national reports about education).
  • I also sometimes offer workshops, and can also facilitate working groups and learning communities, to help faculty build capacity in teaching and learning.

So, my mission is something like this:  I help faculty and programs to build capacity, using evidence-based teaching practices, and using data to inform programs and interventions, to improve STEM education.  And by “improve,” I mean to use what we know about effective teaching to increase retention, diversity, learning, attitudes, and other student outcomes, and to use what we know about effective professional development and institutional change to improve teacher capacity, confidence, and motivation to use such methods.

So, what should my name be?  While “sciencegeekgirl” has wonderful name recognition, as I’m hired by more departments and programs, I think I need a name that more clearly encapsulates what I do, and that I’m serious about this work.  Here are some ideas — more ideas welcome from the comments:

  • Education and Evaluation Consulting
  • STEM Education Consulting
  • Evidence and Action
  • Education, Evidence and Action
  • Evidence Driving Action
  • Education Research Enterprises
  • EduChange
  • SciEnterprises
  • Evident

UPDATE:

Now I’m thinking of something using my name instead, since that’s really the recognition, but having it be more than my name so it’s clear what I do:

  • Chasteen Academic Consulting
  • Chasteen Science Advancement Consulting (I like the “advancement” but not sure how to work it in)
  • Chasteen Educational Consulting (though that could be taken as K12, so “academic” is kind of nice)
  • Chasteen Innovation Enterprises

Thoughts?

{ 5 comments }

Edward Shane May 13, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Hello Stephanie,

I think something short and catchy. My wife and I were trying to come up with a name for our business for months and one evening she said Hoot of Loot could be the tag line. I replied, no that’s the name of our business now! I was thrilled and relieved that we finally had a name.

How about something like
STEMercise (you know, like exercise for the brain)

Anybody else have some ideas?

Dallas Raby May 14, 2016 at 1:39 am

Planned Teaching Outcomes (PTO). I had some better ones but I Googled them and they were taken.

Chris Stoker May 17, 2016 at 3:38 am

How about something like:
Action STEM Consulting
with a tagline of:
clarifying vision, informing practice, and measuring the success of educational change

Stephanie Chasteen May 26, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Thanks to everyone who’s shared thoughts and ideas, including some by email, it’s been really helpful. I’ve been chewing them all over, especially the idea of having something short and catchy.
I found someone else who’s doing similar work, he uses the name DePass Academic Consulting: http://www.depassconsulting.com
I’m wondering if I should lean towards something like that, since it combines my name (which is what my business is built on — it’s people who know my expertise, they’re hiring me rather than a company typically) but something about the type of business is built in. Something like “Chasteen Academic Consulting” or “Chasteen STEM Consulting” or “Chasteen Change Consulting” or “Chasteen Education Consulting”?

Stephanie Chasteen June 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Now I’m leaning towards the following: Chasteen Educational Enterprises. It has a nice ring. Thoughts?

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