Our Mission & Values


Collaboratory will provide data that develops the story of an institution’s meaningful contributions to the health and vibrancy of communities, and builds acceptance of community engagement and public service as integral to higher education mission and culture.


Collaboratory empowers higher education institutions to document and understand the full scope of their community engagement and public service activities to improve practice.


Higher education community engagement and public service contribute to addressing the root causes of complex social issues. By collecting descriptive data on community engagement and public service activities, we can empower higher education administrators and leaders to understand and utilize data to influence change.

We build understanding of community engagement and public service and foster a network of community-engaged scholars and practitioners, valuing and providing:

  • Clarity of terms within and across engaged institutions
  • Consistent, comprehensive, centralized data that is publicly shared
  • Connections between internal and external stakeholders in common mission
  • Reports that contribute to key institutional and community strategic decisions
  • Reciprocal learning amongst Collaboratory member institutions

The Collaboratory Team

Kristin Medlin, MPA, MS

Research & Development

Kristin oversees Collaboratory’s research and development efforts that support, promote, and enhance the field of study related to community engagement and socially effective impact across all sectors. She works to raise awareness about the value of community engagement data, the imperative to develop a data culture, and helps to build systems and structures for data access, analysis, and use. Prior to jumping into the corporate sector, Kristin served as the communications and partnerships manager in the Institute for Community & Economic Engagement at UNC Greensboro. Kristin’s scholarly work explores technology-assisted engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and tracking and assessment of community engagement. Kristin holds masters degrees from UNC Greensboro both in Public Affairs and in Educational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation.

Lauren Wendling, Ph.D.

Institutional Success

Lauren works to ensure that all institutions successfully implement and utilize Collaboratory software to tell their story of community engagement. Prior to joining Collaboratory, Lauren worked as a Graduate Assistant within the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Office of Community Engagement where she built capacity for and implemented Collaboratory software to gather information from across campus and the community to inform assessment, institutional decision-making, and to tell the story of IUPUI’s collective impact. Lauren earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University Bloomington, with a focus on urban education.  Lauren’s scholarship focuses on the recognition and evaluation of engaged scholarship within promotion and tenure and the institutionalization of community engagement.

Katie Evans, MPA

Institutional Success

Katie assists institutions successfully implement and leverage Collaboratory on their campuses. Previously, Katie worked in Civic Engagement and Residence Life at Marietta College and Bowling Green State University, encouraging students to recognize and utilize their voices in community and activism work. Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa, where she served the campus as Student Body President. Katie is a certified by the Practical CSM Academy as a Customer Success Management Professional. She volunteers with the American Model United Nations Conference to facilitate their annual conference. Katie graduated with her Masters in Public Administration in December 2022 from Bowling Green State University. Her current research interest centers around university administrations’ commitment to/implementation of priorities relating to HECE and DEI work. She also serves on the board of the Yew Mountain Center

Katie Sadler, MBA


Katie helps institutions identify the right solution for their needs and navigate the purchasing process. Before coming to Collaboratory, Katie worked in software and outdoor apparel in Portland, Oregon. She also consults with small companies, providing clarity and strategic direction as they move into a new stage of growth. Katie worked in study abroad at DIS in Copenhagen before moving to Portland. Katie received her Master of Science in Business and Economics from Copenhagen Business school, with a specialization in International Marketing and Management. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business Administration. 

The People Behind Collaboratory

In 2020, Collaboratory joined HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions. Our team of talented and dedicated software developers, higher education experts, designers, marketers, and extraordinary business associates are passionate about transformational change.

HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions was founded in 2006 by the merging to two technology companies and focuses mainly on technology solutions for nonprofits and government agencies. We have been developing solutions in the area of volunteerism and service since before its founding, going back to 2003. Clients include Points of Light, Corporation for National and Community Service, Aetna Foundation, USAID, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, New York Cares, and United Service Organizations.

Our Commitments

Collaboratory’s parent company, HandsOn Connect, is a proud to be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a private third-party that certifies minority-owned businesses on behalf of U.S. corporations or MBE certifications through city, county, or state programs.

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We are a member of the Pledge 1% Campaign. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges companies to incorporate philanthropy into their business model by pledging 1% of equity, product and employee time for their communities – because pledging a small portion of future success can have a huge impact on tomorrow.

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We are a member of the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of more than 1,000 businesses working together to encourage every American to participate in shaping our country’s future.  Civic Alliance strengthens our democracy by encouraging civic participation, supporting safe, accessible and trusted elections and building an engaged civic culture.

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