We understand the importance of expert statistics in informing discussion, driving decisions, and shaping policy at the national, state, and local levels. Our work serves real people and addresses real issues in health, education, labor/workforce, and social equality.
By employing leading-edge approaches built on methodologically-sound research and established theory, we provide our clients with the most efficient solutions to their research questions.
As part of the largest behavioral and social science research organization in the world, our comprehensive team of experts works with federal statistics and large, complex surveys in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Dr. Sandy Eyster is a Managing Survey Methodologist and the Director of the Center for Survey Methods at AIR. In this role, she provides statistical and methodological advice to internal and external clients regarding all aspects of survey design and development; data collection administration and management; data development; confidentiality and privacy; and data analysis, training, and dissemination for large- and small-scale studies and data collections conducted by AIR. Since 2000, she has led a number of AIR projects in support of the National Center for Education Statistics, overseeing the management of nationally representative studies with a focus on sampling, weighting, imputation, and data confidentiality. Since 2008, Dr. Eyster has also been responsible for ensuring compliance with AIR’s Federal-Wide Assurance statement and all applicable federal regulations regarding the protection of the rights of human participants in research, such as those of FERPA and HIPAA.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Eyster was a Survey Statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Crime Victimization Survey. She also provided statistical consulting to organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and managed staff, projects, and clients at a survey research telephone center.
Dr. Eyster taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in quantitative research methods and statistics at the University of Michigan, where she received her doctoral degree in sociology.
Celeste Stone is a Senior Survey Methodologist and the Deputy Director of the Center for Survey Methods at AIR, where she leads and provides survey methodology expertise in all aspects of the survey process: design, implementation, documentation, training, and analysis, with a focus on large-scale research studies with complex sample designs.
With over 7 years of survey research and methodology experience, Ms. Stone has designed, evaluated, overseen, and implemented questionnaire design, sample design and selection, respondent location and data collection operations, data improvements, administrative record linking, data processing and management, and data analyses and reporting on numerous studies. Since 2007, Ms. Stone has worked on projects ranging from large-scale national surveys, evaluations, randomized field trials, and literature reviews to small-scale pilot and membership studies for the federal government, private foundations, and academic clients. Ms. Stone has directed and overseen work on numerous studies, including the 2011–12 Project Talent Follow-up Pilot Study and the National Center for Education Statistics’ Adult Training and Education Survey. Most recently, Ms. Stone led the operations for collecting classroom instruction videos of over 1,000 teachers in 127 schools in 8 districts across 5 states as part of the Institute of Education Sciences’ study of the Impact Evaluation of Teacher and Leader Evaluation Systems.
Prior to joining AIR, Ms. Stone worked in the Decennial Statistical Studies Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, where she applied survey methodology and statistical expertise in a post-enumeration survey evaluating the completeness of the population coverage of the 2010 Census.
She earned her master’s degree in survey methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Principal Survey Methodologist
Stacey Bielick is a Principal Researcher and Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. Throughout her 15-year career at AIR, Ms. Bielick has worked across all aspects of the survey lifecycle, including survey design, implementation, processing, documentation, training, and analysis.
Since 2008, she has provided survey methods expertise on the methodologically pioneering redesign of the National Household Education Surveys (NHES) from a random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone survey to an address-based sampling (ABS) mail survey. Her work includes questionnaire design, the development of sampling plans and data collection procedures, and consultation on post-survey imputation and weighting. In addition, Ms. Bielick has designed and conducted focus groups, cognitive interview research, and pilot tests. She has also published multiple reports based on survey research.
Ms. Bielick holds a master’s degree in survey methodology from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland and a second master’s degree in sociology from American University.
Principal Sampling Statistician
Dr. Michael P. Cohen is a Principal Sampling Statistician with more than 30 years of experience in complex survey design and estimation. At AIR’s Center for Survey Methods, Dr. Cohen’s responsibilities include sample design, imputation, variances, sample size and power determination, and weighting. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Cohen worked as a Senior Consultant to the National Opinion Research Center at the Office of Historical Trust Accounting of the U.S. Department of the Interior. At the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, he served as the Assistant Director for Survey Programs and Senior Mathematical Statistician. He also worked for the National Center for Education Statistics in the Postsecondary Education Statistics Program and the Statistical Standards Group and for the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Consumer Price Index.
Dr. Cohen is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, the American Statistical Association, and the Washington Academy of Sciences. He is an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute and of Sigma Xi and a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality.
He earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a doctoral degree in mathematics (with a specialty in statistics) from UCLA.
Senior Survey Methodologist
Dr. Clyde Tucker is a Principal Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. Prior to joining AIR in 2013, he was at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 28 years and served as the Senior Survey Methodologist. He was the Director of the BLS Behavioral Science Research Center from 1992 to 1998. He cochaired the interagency research group that revised the methodology for collecting information on race and ethnicity in all federal surveys, including the 2000 Census. He served as a statistical consultant to the bipartisan congressional commission assessing the impact of the Family and Medical Leave Act. He was a member of the committee overseeing the methodology used in the Current Population Survey to measure the unemployment rate. Dr. Tucker was the recipient of the Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics from the American Statistical Association (ASA) in 1998 and the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award in 2004 from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Since 2004 he has headed the election-night decision desk for CNN, which won Emmy Awards in 2007 and 2013 for its 2006 and 2012 election night coverage, respectively, and a 2009 Peabody Award for its coverage of the 2008 presidential primaries.
Dr. Tucker earned a master’s degree in statistics and a doctoral degree in political science, both from the University of Georgia, and he is an elected Fellow of the ASA.
Susan Lapham is a vice president in the Health and Social Development Program at AIR and a senior advisor to AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. To this role, she brings her extensive experience leading large-scale research projects for the federal government and private research firms. For more than 30 years, she has applied her expertise in study design, large-scale data collections, sampling, weighting, and survey management to national and international survey research projects in the federal statistics system.
Over her 10 years at AIR, Ms. Lapham has served as the Deputy Director of the Federal Statistics Program, the Managing Director of Project Talent, the Executive Director of the Education Statistics Services Institute, and the Director of AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. Prior to joining AIR, she was a member of the Senior Executive Service and Associate Director for Statistical Programs for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. She oversaw the American Travel Survey, the National Household Transportation Survey, and the Commodity Flow Survey. Ms. Lapham spent 10 years at the US Census Bureau and served as the Decennial Census District Manager for Lexington, KY. She also spent a one-year sabbatical at the Committee on National Statistics at the National Academy of Sciences working with the Committee on Census 2010.
Ms. Lapham holds a master’s degree in survey methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Senior Statistician and Survey Methodologist
Cameron McPhee is a Senior Statistician and Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods, with a focus in educational research. Her expertise includes data analysis, survey methodology, research design, data file construction, and statistical software programming. She leads the National Household Education Surveys (NHES) studies and serves as a lead psychometrician for the early childhood longitudinal studies (ECLS-B, ECLS-K, and ECLS-K:2011), where she oversees data collections, consults on sampling and operational plans, and provides expertise in the psychometric development of the direct cognitive assessments and employs the use of item response theory in the review of item-level data. Ms. McPhee also provides expertise in the modeling and creation of the final child assessment scores; construction of the data file; and development of an analytic weighting scheme.
Prior to joining AIR, Ms. McPhee worked as a Research Analyst at Child Trends in Washington, DC, and at the California Institute of Technology.
She is currently enrolled as a master’s degree student in the University of Maryland’s Joint Program for Survey Methodology and has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Swarthmore College.
Danielle Battle is a Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. She has survey methods training, along with expertise in the management, construction, and analysis of large datasets. While at the University of Michigan, she conducted nonresponse bias analyses and multiple imputation procedures for the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study.
Since joining AIR, Ms. Battle has worked on the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and the National Household Education Surveys (NHES), both sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics, and Project Talent, a national longitudinal study supported through grants provided by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging and AIR. She has also been involved with data processing for SASS and Project Talent, creating data quality control specifications that include data cleaning and editing procedures. She is experienced in the development of weights to compensate for unequal probability, poststratification, and nonresponse over multiple data collection waves. Through her work with Project Talent, she has experience in executing nonresponse unit and item bias analyses and in developing and implementing procedures to link administrative data to sample records; she has also overseen tracking efforts for the Project Talent data collection and located about 94 percent of sample members after little to no communication with the participants for over 50 years. She has also managed questionnaire development through cognitive interviews and instrument testing, managed and organized expert content panel meetings, and cowrote a data report on national estimates of homeschooled children in the United States with the NHES data. Her experience at AIR includes reviewing national survey data and assisting in the writing and publication of documentation and data summary reports.
Ms. Battle earned her master’s degree in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan’s Program in Survey Methodology.
Michelle Cantave is a Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. Prior to joining AIR in 2014, Ms. Cantave was a Project Leader at Nielsen Audio from 2009 to 2014. As a Project Leader, Ms. Cantave was responsible for the management of research tests designed to improve the quality of the Nielsen Audio Radio Diary Service. Several of the research tests she managed at Nielsen Audio resulted in significant improvements that led to cost savings, improved response rates, and improved key demographic representativeness. Before moving to Nielsen Audio, Ms. Cantave worked at REDA International for over 6 years as a Research Analyst and CATI Programmer. At REDA, she worked on several health- and education-related studies for local, state, and federal agencies in addition to working with private organizations. Ms. Cantave brings to the Center for Survey Methods over 16 years of experience in survey research and operations, including CATI programming, questionnaire design, survey management, data analysis, and report writing.
Ms. Cantave earned her master’s degree in survey methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Ashley Kaiser is a Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. In this role, Ms. Kaiser provides expertise in survey design, methodology, and data analysis. Her skills include survey development, data programming, code and methodological review, data analysis, data documentation, and quality control of data files. During her 8 years at AIR, Ms. Kaiser has supported several large-scale surveys, including the Schools and Staffing Survey, the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study, and Project Talent. Her work on these projects has included paper and web instrument development, the review of national survey data prior to restricted-use release, addressing and reviewing methodological decisions for the surveys, and assisting in the writing and publication of accompanying documentation and data summary reports.
Ms. Kaiser is an author of several NCES First Look reports, documentation reports, and a recent article on the creation of a Project Talent twin and sibling data file that appeared in the Twin Research and Human Genetics journal.
She earned her master’s degree in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Dr. Rebecca Medway is a Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods, to which she brings her training and experience in survey design and operations, questionnaire development, and analysis of complex survey data. She recently oversaw the development and administration of the multi-state Gates Foundation Integration Evaluation online teacher surveys. She has also contributed to the development of new survey instruments for multiple National Center for Education Statistics studies – such as the Adult Training and Education Survey and the School Climate Surveys – including such tasks as synthesizing extant items into a single cohesive instrument and coordination and analysis of the results of focus groups and cognitive interviews.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Medway worked at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland and at Fors Marsh Group, where she was involved in the design, administration, and analysis of numerous surveys.
She holds a doctorate in survey methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Dr. HarmoniJoie Noel is a Survey Methodologist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods and Health and Social Development program. Dr. Noel has extensive experience in survey design, including writing and pretesting survey questions, designing sampling strategies and data collection procedures, and conducting psychometric and complex statistical analyses. Dr. Noel has experience analyzing survey data, including data from complex survey designs, using a variety of software tools such as SAS, Stata, and Mplus. She has performed psychometric analyses to develop measures using factor analysis in Mplus and item response theory models using Winsteps.
She is involved in questionnaire development, sampling and data collection design, and data analysis for projects related to health care reform, electronic health records, and patient-centered outcome research. For example, she collaboratively designed the sampling methodology and developed the questionnaire for a survey of health care providers’ experience with services provided by Regional Extension Centers related to adopting electronic health records funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. She was also the primary data manager for several paper and web surveys fielded in four geographical locations over a 5-month data collection period for the Community Forum project with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In addition, she worked on developing and psychometrically validating a measure of health insurance literacy. Currently, she is leading the survey development and field testing of two surveys to measure experiences with the recently created Health Insurance Marketplaces and Qualified Health Plans under the Affordable Care Act for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Dr. Noel earned her doctorate in sociology with a minor in survey methodology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Anna Sandoval Girón is a sociologist specializing in survey development and implementation. At the Center for Survey Methods she designs web-based surveys and written questionnaires and provides expertise in qualitative research methods. Dr. Sandoval has developed protocols and interviews for multiple studies, engaged in participant observation, and developed federal reports and peer-reviewed articles. Her Spanish language skills have supported studies both in the U.S. and abroad. She is an active member of the American Sociological Association Section: Peace, War, and Social Conflict; the American Association for Public Opinion Research; and the American Evaluation Association.
Dr. Sandoval holds a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Cong Ye is a Survey Methodologist in the Education program at AIR and a member of the Center for Survey Methods. He has experience in survey development, survey management, complex survey design, and data analysis and has worked on international, national, and state surveys. Since joining AIR in 2013, he has worked on the design of the School Climate Surveys, evaluation of the implementation of Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, evaluation of the Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants programs, weighting adjustments for the study of California’s transitional kindergarten program, cognitive interviews for Health Insurance Marketplace Consumer Experience Surveys, and the Regional Education Laboratory Southwest data inventory. Prior to his current position, he worked as a Faculty Research Assistant in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Ye earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree, both in survey methodology, from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Daniel Harwell is a Research Associate in AIR’s Health and Social Development program and AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. He specializes in survey methodology with experience in questionnaire development and design, survey question evaluation, mode effect research, nonresponse bias evaluations, and analysis of data collected from complex sample surveys. Prior to joining AIR, Mr. Harwell worked in the Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory at the National Center for Health Statistics, where his responsibilities included designing, conducting, and leading cognitive interviewing projects, both domestically and internationally, to evaluate and revise survey questions used on a number of surveys conducted by the federal government.
Mr. Harwell earned a master’s degree in survey methodology from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Mark Shelton is a Research Associate at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. He has training and experience in survey design and management and in questionnaire development. He is currently working on the Conditions for Teaching (CFT) survey at AIR. Prior to joining AIR, he worked as a Research Analyst at Armed Forces Services Corporation and as a Research Analyst for J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, where he was involved in the design, administration, and analysis of numerous surveys.
Mr. Shelton earned his master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology.
Web Development Specialist
Steven Hummel is a Research Associate in AIR’s Education program and a Web Development Specialist at AIR’s Center for Survey Methods. In this role, Mr. Hummel encodes survey-related instruments and questionnaires for application on the internet using programs such as Vovici and Illume. Using best practices in survey design and proficiency with advanced survey software and tools, he has programmed numerous student, teacher, and school staff surveys such as The National Network of State Teachers of the Year and The Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Prior to joining AIR, Mr. Hummel worked at Westat on the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, where his responsibilities included examining and cataloging quantitative data concerning longitudinal studies for medical care costs while performing quality control on case records.
Mr. Hummel is currently enrolled as a master’s degree student in the University of Maryland’s Joint Program for Survey Methodology and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland as well.
Founded in 1946, The American Institutes for Research (AIR), is driven by the mission "to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving peoples' lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged."
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