Headshot of Christen Pentek
Associate Consultant
Christen brings more than 10 years of expertise about participatory evaluation, research justice, and youth work to IG projects. They contribute knowledge about pipelines to community well-being with marginalized populations, focusing on local, state, national, and international policy implications for sustainable systems change. Christen’s experience in an alternative high school setting and working through long-term health issues as a teenager fuels their passions, which include school pushout, health disparities, social justice, and systems navigation with youth.

Brings to the team

  • Knowledge about participatory and decolonization approaches for research justice
  • Activist inquiry for policy advocacy
  • Praxis
  • Capabilities, rights, and justice based framework for community transformation
  • Excellent competency in German

Work experience

  • The Improve Group, Associate Consultant (2017-present)
  • Minnesota Civic Youth, Evaluation Consultant (2017)
  • University of Minnesota – Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Leadership in Education and Adolescent Health Fellow (2016-2017)
  • Search Institute, Graduate Research Assistant (2016-2017)
  • ComMuSICation, Evaluation Consultant (2016)


  • Master of Social Work in Community Practice (minor in Program Evaluation); University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development – Twin Cities
  • Bachelor of Science in Youth Studies, University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development – Twin Cities

Brings to the Community

  • Volunteer, Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition

Beyond the bio

When Christen is not working and exploring the world of justice data, they can be found training for marathons, baking bread, devouring books, and knitting. Christen also received the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development Rising Star Alumni Award, 2017.