ICPSR Announces its 5 Undergraduate Interns for Summer 2015

ICPSR announces the five participants in this year's Summer Internship Program for undergraduates (REU Site: The Quantitative Social Science Research at the University of Michigan). This year, ICPSR celebrates the 11th year of this highly competitive program. The interns will be placed in the following topical archives at ICPSR: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections (CCEERC), National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP), Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD), National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) and the General Archive.

During their 10 weeks in Ann Arbor, from June 1 to August 7, the interns will:

  • Gain experience with processing data and learn popular statistical software packages, including SAS, SPSS, STATA, and R
  • Attend graduate-level courses in the ICPSR Summer Program
  • Participate in the Lunch and Lecture professional development series
  • Complete a research project resulting in conference-ready posters

The Summer Internship Program's objective is to support ICPSR's strategic focus on inclusion and diversity by expanding to undergraduates valuable educational opportunities involving social science research data. As with prior internship cohorts, we will encourage the interns to pursue graduate studies or a career in the social or behavioral sciences. Perhaps in the future they will be data depositors, Summer Program instructors, Official Representatives, or even Council members.

The Internship Program is proud to number 56 alumni. Many currently attend graduate school or have successfully completed their schooling and have started a career in the social or behavioral sciences.

The Internship Program is managed by Abayomi Israel (Intern Alumni class of 2005), with John Garcia of the RCMD, and Lynette Hoelter of the Instructional Resources unit serving as Co-Principal Investigators and providing support and guidance as Research Program Mentors. Each intern also will be assigned an experienced data processor as his/her Process Mentor. In addition, the interns will have the opportunity receive support on their summer research projects and advice on graduate school from the ICPSR faculty and staff.

The following are the 2015 interns:

Kimberly Gannon
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (ICPSR Member Institution)
Archive: NACJD

Gannon is a triple major in economics, mathematics, and statistics graduating in 2017. She is the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship and a member of the Michigan State Economics Scholars program. During the current academic year, she was an undergraduate teaching assistant in the MSU Department of Mathematics and Economics, where she provided additional tutoring for almost 1,000 students. Since 2013, she has served as a professorial assistant at the Honors College where she utilized the programming language Python and statistical program Stata on numerous datasets. She also introduced computer-automated methods to streamline and expedite tasks on her work with the 2015 State of the State Survey. In the summer of 2014, Gannon worked as a Regulatory Strategies and Solutions Intern at the Commonwealth Edison in Chicago. She conducted independent research on the 2014 polar vortex's effect on electricity prices and state regulations, researched and compared net metering policies across states and electric utilities, and provided statistical advice and reporting on various projects. In 2014, Gannon served as a researcher and presenter on the MSU Federal Reserve Challenge team. She currently serves as Assistant Chair of the National Education Commission of MSU’s Model United Nations. In addition to her knowledge of Python and Stata, Gannon also has experience with C++, R, and Linux. Outside of the classroom, she is a devoted triathlete and is a 2015 qualifier for the USA Triathlon National Championship. After graduation, Gannon would like to continue to develop her skills in quantitative methods and her trajectory of economic research – specifically on how Americans in the midwest respond to economic change, often in the form of human capital outflows.

Cristian Nuno
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL  (ICPSR Member Institution)
Archive: RCMD

Nuno is a double major in economics and urban & public affairs graduating in 2016. Before UIC, he attended the College of DuPage, a two-year community college in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Nuno is a first-generation college student and a recipient of the President’s Award Program Honors Scholarship. His self-described commitment to public service is apparent through his extensive extracurricular activities including being an intern at the Future Leaders in Planning program, a member of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and an AmeriCorps Volunteer, among others. These contributions to public service were recognized in 2014 by the Chancellor's Student Service Award. Additionally, Nuno has been named a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation scholar for 2015 – the highly competitive nationwide scholarship is awarded to exceptional college students planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service. He currently serves as the President of UIC’s Pre-Law Society and Associate Chair of the Honors College Student Leadership Council. During the summer of 2014, he participated in the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) where he presented his research entitled “Municipal Mayhem: How Cash-Strapped Cities are Funding Urban Infrastructure.” Nuno is an aspiring urban economist who would like to develop his skills in data management and quantitative analysis. After graduation he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy in preparation for a career focused on municipal finance and urban policy.

Ilse Paniagua
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (ICPSR Member Institution)
Archive: CCEERC

Paniagua is a public policy major with a minor in applied economics graduating in 2016. Before transferring to Cornell she spent two years at the University of Florida in Gainesville where she participated in the Student Science Training Program (SSTP) winning both “Best Research Poster” and “Best Oral Presentation” awards. She received Presidential Service Scholar award and the Association of Hispanic Alumni Scholarship in 2013. From 2012 to 2013, she served as the Executive Director of Project Progress where she trained a team of 20 teachers in best practices for teaching English to immigrants. Paniagua is trilingual, fluent in English, Spanish, and French and spent one year as an economics exchange student at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in Paris, France in 2013. She has a passion for education and in 2013 she served as a teaching fellow at Breakthrough Collaborative. In 2014, she worked as an ambassador at the Engaged Learning+ Research Program at Cornell. During this time she co-created the Fellowship For Undergraduate Engaged Leadership (FUEL), a new cohort program that empowers student changemakers to contribute to the greater good. Her research experience is quite broad, ranging from the impact of migration and remittances in children’s education in Africa to children’s health insurance in Florida and paid family leave in California, and she has experience using Stata. After graduation she would like to work for a social science research institution where she can combine her background in teaching, her knowledge about education policy, and the data management skills that she will gain at ICPSR.

Rebeca Willis-Conger
Reed College, Portland, OR (ICPSR Member Institution)
Archive: NAHDAP

Willis-Conger is a sociology major graduating in 2017. Before transferring to Reed, she attended Portland Community College (PCC) where she developed her passion for research. Her honors thesis at PCC, entitled “As Yet Untitled: Negotiating Identity in Education” allowed her to learn about the IRB process, methods of disseminating her survey, managing and analyzing results, and presenting her findings to the college’s leadership. During this time, she became interested in identity, specifically how health care affects patient identity and the impact of hospitalization on recovery. Apart from health care, she is also interested in how substance abuse treatment systems (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) may impact participant identity and outcomes. She has experience with R and Stata statistical packages and is also fluent in Spanish (which she utilized for two years as a tutor at Beaverton Libraries where she explained abstract concepts like geometry and grammar to non-native English speaking students and their families). Outside of the classroom, she obtained a rank of 2nd kyu in Aikido and has traveled to Japan to train as an Aikido apprentice to Yoko Okamoto Sensei. Willis-Conger is also an active member of her community. In 2014, she worked for the Boys and Girls Club, providing free programming and lunch for low-income children in city parks. Additionally, through her participation through Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Portland, she has helped nurture the social skills of a teen with Asperger’s syndrome since 2011. Willis-Conger is a passionate undergraduate sociology student who is considering pursuing a PhD after graduation with the goal of improving the health care system to be more sensitive to the needs of children and minorities.

Polina Zvavitch
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (ICPSR Member Institution)
Archive: General Archive

Zvavitch is majoring in sociology, with a minor in mathematics, graduating in 2016. She is the recipient of the OSU Undergraduate Research Office Summer Research Fellowship, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Grant, the Polish Studies Initiative Grant from the Slavic Department, and the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship. Zvavitch is a fluent Russian speaker and in the Summer of 2014 she attended The Ohio State Summer School in Social Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. While in Poland she found her passion for quantitative research in her project entitled “The Psychological Determinants of Women’s Labor Market Success,” using the Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN), which she presented at the Ohio Slavic conference in March 2015. Zvavitch is skilled in the Stata statistical package and her research interests revolve around stratification, particularly the intersection of sex, gender, and race. She currently works for the Undergraduate Research Journal at Ohio State as a manuscript editor and has served as a research assistant to a sociology graduate student on a project entitled “Hiring Discrimination on the Basis of Gender in Engineering Jobs.” Her work experience also includes two years at the Ohio State Student Wellness Center as a Sexual Wellness Ambassador. After graduation, Zvavitch plans to attend graduate school and complete a PhD in sociology to one day achieve her goal of becoming a professor.

The work of interns from prior years is linked from the Summer Internship Program web page.



May 21, 2015

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