The Right Question Institute values the perspectives and experiences of people from varying backgrounds. That value is reflected in our leadership and their stories. The Right Question Institute is led by Co-Directors Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, who are part of the founding core of the organization. For speaking engagements, contact us.
Luz Santana, M.A., is the co-director of the Right Question Institute and the co-author of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions (Harvard Education Press: 2011). In the late 1980s, as a parent of children in the Lawrence, MA, public school system, she began to work with other parents as part of a drop-out prevention program. At the time, she was also traveling a path that led from her own personal experiences coming from Puerto Rico and then navigating the welfare and other public systems and continuing on to getting an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Springfield College School of Human Services. One of the founders of the Right Question Institute, she is now a nationally recognized educational innovator, facilitator, and keynote speaker in English and Spanish who has designed a wide range of participatory learning curricula in many fields, including parent involvement, adult education, social services, health care, immigrant advocacy, neighborhood organizing, and voter engagement. Her work is frequently referenced and is featured in national and international press, and various National Public Radio programs. (email: Luz at rightquestion dot org)
Dan Rothstein, Ed.D., is co-author, with Luz Santana, of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions (Harvard Education Press: 2011) which first introduced the Question Formulation Technique and led to its enthusiastic adoption by over 100,000 teachers in the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Dan’s work focuses on honoring and supporting the work of educators who are driving a movement in urban, suburban, and rural communities to help students learn to ask better questions and take more ownership of their own learning. His active learning keynotes and seminars have engaged many audiences, including statewide rural education organizations, large urban districts, the Library of Congress, Harvard Medical School, and others. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications and has been featured on National Public Radio. He is the Co-Author of a new book on the Right Question School-Family Partnership Strategy (forthcoming ASCD: September 2016). (email: Dan at rightquestion dot org)
Andrew P. Minigan is RQI’s Education Project and Research Coordinator. As a part of his work with RQI, he is leading the Sir John Templeton Foundation funded Million Classrooms Campaign. The campaign aims to ensure that the Question Formulation Technique is used to nurture student curiosity and to develop students’ critical thinking skills in a million classrooms by the year 2020. Andrew has designed empirical studies and has published in the field of developmental psychology and education. In addition to his work on how children learn to ask and use their own questions, he has studied theory of mind and autobiographical memory. He conferred an Ed.M. in Human Development & Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. While attending UNH, Andrew was a Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and received the Herbert A. Carroll Award for most outstanding senior in psychology. (email: Andrew dot Minigan at rightquestion dot org)
Sarah Westbrook is RQI’s Education Program Associate. A major part of Sarah’s work at RQI is advancing the Million Classroom’s Campaign, which aims to expand the use of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) to one million classrooms by 2020 by leveraging the outstanding work of educators who are using the QFT to drive student curiosity and learning. As a high school teacher, Sarah saw firsthand the tremendous positive impact on student engagement, empowerment, and agency when students feel comfortable generating their own questions. During her six years of teaching in the Newton and Brookline Public Schools, Sarah developed a passion for advancing equity and success for all students and a deep appreciation for the innovative, dedicated work fellow educators do every day that often goes unseen. She’s excited to learn from, support, share resources, and highlight the work of the more than 200,000 educators around the world who are teaching students how to ask and use their own questions. She holds a M.A.T. in English Education from Tufts University and a B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College. (email: Sarah dot Westbrook at rightquestion dot org)
Dominique Rivera is RQI’s Program Associate. She is assisting in RQI’s school-family partnership work, and is supporting the work of educators who are using a simple but powerful strategy to help families build their own capacity to ask better questions and participate more effectively in their children’s education. She holds a dual B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she also served as a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow and a Communications and Outreach Coordinator. Dominique is passionate about supporting equal access to high quality education for marginalized communities and is active in Latinx community development. She has served as an ESL instructor at Centro Presente Inc., coordinated enrollment of Spanish and Portuguese speakers in affordable healthcare at the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, and completed a year of service as a preschool teacher for AmeriCorps’s Jumpstart program. (email: Dominique dot Rivera at rightquestion dot org)
The Right Question Institute Board provides strong support for the work of RQI staff to develop a new model for building capacity in low-income communities, for identifying ways for systemic integration of RQI methods and for the development of the concept of Microdemocracy. The Board includes a former Head Start parent, professionals in various fields, and all bring with them a wide range of civic expertise.
Mary Wendell, President: Mary Wendell is a volunteer for various non-profit organizations. She currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the Forbes House Museum in Milton, MA and serves on the Board of Overseers for the Epiphany School in Boston. She is a former trustee of Middlebury College of which she is an alumna.
Diane Englander, Vice-President: Diane Englander is an artist whose previous work was as a management consultant to non-profits, both independently and on the staff of Community Resource Exchange in NYC. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
- Agnes S. Bain, Treasurer: Professor of Government, Suffolk University
- Macky Buck, Clerk: Family day care provider and early childhood educator
- Gail Fuller: Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Rebuilding Together
- David Guberman: Chief Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development
- Dan Rothstein: Co-Director, The Right Question Institute
- Stephen Quatrano: Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Enid Shapiro: Social Work Consultant, Simmons College Incorporator
- Shonak Patel: Growth & Operations, Testive
- Carol Robey: Artist and retired pediatrician
Financial support for RQI comes from three sources: Individual donors, Service-related revenue and Foundation grants.
We are deeply grateful to the many individual donors who provide essential support for the work of The Right Question Institute (RQI). Donors support the:
- development of RQI’s innovative educational strategy that helps people learn to become more self-sufficient
- dissemination of the strategy to organizations and programs all around the country
- development of new methods and new ideas for building the capacity of all people, no matter their educational or literacy level, to participate in democracy on all levels and to make democracy work better.
We also support our work with income from providing consulting and training services as well as through sales of materials and curricula.
Current funders include:
The Sir John Templeton Foundation and the Hummingbird Fund for our work in education, including the Million Classrooms Campaign.
Jane’s Trust for our work on school-family partnership in the state of New Hampshire.
The Whitman Institute and the Hummingbird Fund for our work on Microdemocracy.
The following are some of the funders who have supported our past work in various fields:
- The Boston Foundation
- Bushrod H. Campbell and Adah F. Hall Charity Fund
- The Cabot Family Charitable Trust
- Carnegie Corporation
- The Germanacos Foundation
- Germeshausen Foundation
- Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation
- The Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust
- The Joyce Foundation
- The Nellie Mae Education Foundation
- The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- Partners HealthCare Community Benefits
- The Proteus Fund
- The Rhode Island Foundation
- Rita Allen Foundation
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- The Wallace Foundation
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