K. Aaron Yore-VanOosterhout, Ph.D.

Research Manager

Contact Aaron about research and evaluation projects.

Aaron is available to discuss qualitative research (learning research participants’ views through interviews and focus groups, for example), particularly among vulnerable populations.


Aaron Yore-VanOosterhout joined the Johnson Center as research manager in 2017. In this role, he designs, manages, and carries out a variety of community-based research projects on topics ranging from homelessness to prison-based post-secondary education.

Broadly, Aaron sees his work at the Johnson Center as an opportunity to pursue social justice. By including a broad spectrum of voices in his research — from nonprofit directors to K-12 students, from people without legal immigration status to those under state supervision — the community will better understand all members’ needs and strengths.

Aaron also serves as a research consultant at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, a nonprofit immigration legal office in Holland, Michigan. He serves on the board of Humanity for Prisoners, which assists incarcerated people with a variety of needs. He also serves on the College Advisory Committee for the College of Community and Public Service at GVSU and on the Institutional Review Board for Calvin University.

Aaron has a doctorate in history from Michigan State University, with a focus on race and anti-state rebellion in 19th-century Mexico. Outside academia, Yore-VanOosterhout has worked on issues of criminal justice for more than a decade. From 2017–18, he worked as an independent consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, conducting research on long-term incarceration in Michigan state correctional facilities.

Related Articles
Tue September 14
The year 2020 saw large donors and funders implement a number of policy changes designed to “decolonize” their wealth and hand over more control to the people and organizations receiving that wealth. History, however, presents a caveat: as movements and funding streams formalize, they may experience pressure to tone down or redirect their aims.
Tue April 16
The Grand Rapids Art Museum partnered with the Johnson Center for a research study to help them better understand, engage, and serve the community.