PSI 2012 Instructional Faculty & Staff Profiles
Sunny Bak has worked as a computer analyst for over 10 years in the fields of statistical computing, data management, and web application development. She currently works as a consultant providing statistical and computer solutions to clients. Her most recent project dealt with conducting evaluations of fishery data collection programs implemented in the Western Pacific region.
Dr. Annelies Blom is the founder of Survex - Survey Methods Consulting in Mannheim, Germany. Prior to founding Survex, Dr. Blom worked as a survey methodologist and researcher at GESIS on the European Social Survey (ESS) and headed the research unit at the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). She started her career at the National Centre for Social Research in London, where she developed and analyzed education studies. Dr. Blom studied social sciences at University College Utrecht and European politics at the University of Oxford and completed her Ph.D. on nonresponse in international surveys at the University of Essex.
Dr. Woody Carter designed NORC’s first centralized telephone facility and managed university calling centers at both Northern Arizona University and the University of Oregon. During his 20 years at NORC, he planned and executed a variety of studies, from local projects to million-dollar national projects. As a full-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, Woody teaches statistics and research methods. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Carter’s international experience includes Peace Corps in India and studying relations between Pakistani immigrants and Anglos in the north of England.
Dr. Asaph Young Chun, the Program Chair of ASA Statistics without Borders, directs PSI programs. Dr. Chun is a survey methodologist and sociologist with about 25 years of experience in large-scale survey and census research conducted for U.S. federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, Department of Health and Human Service, and National Science Foundation. His research focuses on theory-driven nonresponse and measurement errors with current research devoted to survey costs and errors modeling, and the use of administrative records and big data with a theory of "pandata." He earned his A.B. and M.A. in Communication Studies with emphasis on survey methods at the University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Sociology at University of Maryland.
Michael Costello (M.S.) is a survey researcher in RTI’s Social Sciences Division and has been a statistics teacher and lecturer for the past ten years. He has taught courses on introductory and advanced statistics, survey sample selection, weighting, and variance estimation. He has also taught short courses in statistics to groups working on international education surveys, including Ministry of Education officials in The Gambia. He has worked on multi-mode surveys, led a research team for a $60 million lawsuit, and worked on national surveys on police drug seizures.
Justin Fisher, Chair of Statistics without Borders of American Statistical Association, works on evaluations of a wide variety of government programs and focuses methodologically on sampling and variance estimation. He is a lecturer in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where he teaches a graduate-level statistics course. Prior to his current work, he held positions at various United Nations agencies including UNCTAD, UNESCO and UNESCAP. As a SWB member, he traveled to Haiti two months after the 2010 earthquake to assist with a survey designed to estimate the economic impact of the earthquake. He has also been responsible for finding a number of new projects for SWB as the Chair of the New Projects Committee .
Dr. Mark Griffen is the founding director of the Australian Development Agenc for Statistics and Information Systems. He has spent the last 15 years working in medical statistics. He currently serves as the Chair of the Biostatistics Section (Statistical Society of Australia), Chair of the Section for International Engagement (Statistical Society of Australia), Chair of the Statistics and Information Systems Asia-Pacific Network (Pan-Asian Clinical Research Association), and Chair of the Friends of Australia (American Statistical Association). In 2012-2014 he will serve on the Committee for Outreach Education for the American Statistical Association.
Dr. Patricia Gwartney is Professor of sociology and former sociology Department Head at the University of Oregon. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan and her B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been involved with survey research for nearly 40 years. Between 1992 to 2003, Dr. Gwartney founded and directed the University of Oregon Survey Research Laboratory (OSRL) and was responsible for overseeing and coordinating all research projects, training staff, and mentoring Faculty Fellows. She also conducted basic methodological research and raised approximately $8 million in cumulative grants and contract revenues.
Stephanie Kang is a Program Associate for the Pyongyang Summer Institute and interns at the ISR Foundation. She works for PSI grants development and writing, and supports the Da Vinci Grant Program. She is currently in the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) at Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Irvine.
Yena Lee is Associate Director of ISR Foundation and Associate Director of PSI, overseeing PSI program management and grant developments. She also serves as Director of the da Vinci Grant Program, supporting innovative interdisciplinary survey research. She received her B.A. in philosophy from Yale University. She has worked with the International Strategy and Reconciliation Foundation (ISR) since 2006, and in 2007 was the first American high school student to enter the DPRK in recorded history for humanitarian and education service.
Adam Molnar has his primary research area in statistics education, focusing on concepts related to numeracy and statistical literacy. He also investigates figures and models in social statistics. Earlier in his career, he was a statistical consultant, working on large-scale collections models for banks and related groups. He was an assistant professor at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Chicago with an M.S. in statistics and received a B.A. in applied mathematics at Harvard University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics education at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Rene Paulson is currently a statistician at Texas Woman’s University and is both the founder and senior statistician for Elite Research, LLC. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degree in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University after obtaining her B.A. from Ohio University. Dr. Paulson consults with faculty and graduate students on research design, statistics, software training, and manuscript preparation for their grant and personal research. She has conducted numerous national and international program evaluations for grant funded programs in areas such as education and health sciences.
Dr. Jacquelyn Pennings is a biostatistician for Elite Research, LLC. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University (TCU) after obtaining her B.A. from Belmont University. She is a statistical consultant for several institutions, including Denton Regional Hospital and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at TCU. Through her extensive training in statistics and research, as well as being personally involved as a researcher, Dr. Pennings has advised others on their various research issues and needs
Brett Pogostin is currently a Junior in Scarsdale High School and an intern at PSI. In his High School, he helps leads school-wide fundraising programs that send educational supplies to PSI and medical supplies to children in DPRK. Brett has also assisted in PSI related briefings at the US State Department and at Georgetown University. In addition to his work at PSI and with the ISR, he has honed his research skills by participating in group cohesion research under the guidance of the University of New Haven. He has also conducted two independent studies the first of which on oncolytic viruses and the second on childhood cognition and free will under the guidance of Cornell University.
Pinar Ucar is a statistical specialist at the Qatar Statistics Authority. She has a Msc. and Bsc. degree in statistics and has experience in teaching courses on statistics, SPSS, and research at Stenden University - Qatar. Ms. Ucar currently focuses her research on economic statistics, foreign direct investment in Qatar, the social impacts of rapid economic development in Qatari society, and developing programs to increase statistical literacy in Qatar.
Nathan Yoon is a research intern with the International Strategy and Reconciliation Foundation and the Pyongyang Summer Institute (PSI). He has been involved in volunteer service trips to the Honduras where he taught English to primary school students. Nathan is a sophomore at Scarsdale High School in New York where he leads school-wide fundraising programs that send educational supplies to PSI and medical supplies to children in DPRK.
Elena Zafarana is a statistician at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office where she plans and manages population census related surveys and program assessment for international students. She graduated in Economics from the University of Milan and has a Master's in Social Statistics from University of Southampton, UK. Additionally, she has completed coursework at Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.