Berwood Yost, Director, has substantial applied experience designing and implementing public opinion research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. He has been the director of the Center for Opinion Research since 2003, when the Center moved to Franklin & Marshall College from Millersville University. Over the last 20 years, Mr. Yost has conducted funded research on behalf of government, business, nonprofit organizations, higher education, and the media. His clients have included major private and public organizations and institutions in the fields of health, education, public policy, and business. He has published nearly two dozen articles in refereed scholarly journals and has also made numerous conference presentations based on the results and analysis of survey research he has designed and administered. His scholarly research has appeared in Addictive Behaviors, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Commonwealth, Criminology and Public Policy, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Tobacco Control, and Women’s Health Issues. His work has also appeared in The Polling Report, Public Opinion Pros, and Survey Research, which are published for the professional survey research community. The results of Mr. Yost’s research have also appeared in major newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Daily News, to name a few.
Mr. Yost is the head methodologist for the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, which tracks public attitudes toward public policy issues and political campaigns. It has become the state’s most respected pre-election survey because of its accuracy in forecasting election outcomes. He also regularly teaches courses on research methods at F&M; recently, he was a member of the team that created and taught a highly praised multidisciplinary course called Public Health Research: Pregnancy Outcomes in American Women, which was based on his groundbreaking research into reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes among Amish women in Lancaster County. Prior to assuming his present post, Mr. Yost was the Director of the Center for Opinion Research at Millersville University, where he also taught courses in public policy and research methods.
Kelly Frey, Senior Project Manager, joined the Center's project management team in 2006, and currently oversees all of the Center's program evaluation and survey research projects for local public school districts. She has particular expertise in the evaluation of grant-funded programs, and has designed and conducted research for many other organizations with educational programs. Prior to 2006, she worked as a program coordinator and counselor providing behavioral health and psycho-educational services to teens and families. Ms. Frey earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Millersville University. During her undergraduate studies, she completed an internship at the Center for Opinion Research at Millersville, and during her graduate studies she served as Graduate Assistant at the Center.
Stacy Gillespie, Data Collection Manager, came to the Center in August 2010. With Jacqueline Good, she is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of the Center's call center, including scheduling, staffing, and data quality control. She develops and delivers training, monitors interviewer performance, and designs best practices for the call center staff to ensure efficient project completion. She has previous experience as a work force analyst, specializing in trending analysis to improve the functionality and productivity of a contact center. Ms. Gillespie holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Millersville University.
Michelle Zhang, Database Developer and Programmer, began working at the Center in August 2011. She has an extensive background in software engineering, and has created applications that support information systems, survey research projects, and manufacturing activities. She has also developed and maintained complex databases and provided IT support for businesses. At the Center, Ms. Zhang assists the management team by building databases for research projects, as well as web- and windows-based internal applications that support those projects. She also develops and maintains the SQL report generators for all research, including CATI-based surveys. In addition, she provides support to Franklin & Marshall’s GIS Lab. Ms. Zhang holds a B.S. in Business Information Systems and an M.S. in Management of Information Systems, both from Utah State University. She also earned a B.S.in Accounting while at Utah State.
Julia Haigh, Office Administrator, came to the Center as an interviewer in 2003, and quickly became one of the team of senior interviewers. She has also served as a member of our research support staff, managing data entry, interviewing, and special assignments. As office administrator, Ms. Haigh supervises the part-time interviewing staff and is responsible for the day-to-day human resources and business needs of the Center. She holds a B.A. from Millersville University, and has also worked in publishing as both an editor and copy editor.
Emily Wise, Call Center Shift Leader, began working at the Center in July 2007 as a Telephone Interviewer and was promoted to the Shift Leader position in April 2008. During telephone surveys, she manages the call center, working closely with interviewers to ensure all protocols and procedures are followed. Prior to coming to the Center, Ms. Wise taught third grade for four years in College Park, Maryland and first and second grade for three years for the Solanco School District here in Lancaster County. Currently, in addition to her work at the Center, she is a teacher at Apostles Community Preschool. Ms. Wise graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a degree in Elementary Education in 1999.
Kathy Whitaker, Call Center Shift Leader, joined the Center as a Telephone Interviewer in April 2008, and has been a member of our supervisory team since July 2009. During telephone surveys, she manages the call center, working closely with interviewers to ensure all protocols and procedures are followed. Before coming to the center, Ms. Whitaker worked for 9 years in a consulting engineering firm, and for 15 years in the banking industry. She has significant experience in network, PC, and IT support, and has taught software classes and carried out Research and Development for specialty computer applications. Ms. Whitaker also has experience in administration and accounting. In addition to working at the Center, she is an Executive Assistant for a local dental product manufacturing firm.