Meet Our Students

The Master of Arts in Social Research and Analysis and Graduate Certificate in Data Collection and Management are thriving because of the quality of their students.

  • Their most common undergraduate majors are sociology, business, psychology and anthropology
  • Half of them came from colleges other than Montclair State
  • Over 30% of them completed their undergraduate degree more than 5 years ago
  • Their career interests are in Social Policy Research, Data Analytics, Higher Education, Government and Market Research

Read their bios or email them to learn about their experiences. We also feature their bios on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

Taulant Asani is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. Taulant received his BA in Sociology from Montclair State University. He currently works as a graduate assistant for the Social Research and Analysis program. He applied for the Master’s Degree because of his interest in research and data analysis and because this program is a stepping stone for a PhD in Sociology.

Melissa Boodoo is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Economics with a minor in Sociology from Rutgers University. She currently works as a Business & Data Analyst where she provides insight into complex data to inform business decisions. Melissa applied for the Master’s degree because of her interest in research and to expand her knowledge on data analysis. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading books, watching mystery shows and creating arts and crafts.  

Gita Bhushal Adhikary is a PhD student in Environmental Science and Management Program at MSU. She earned her Masters in Sustainability Science in MSU as well. Her research needs knowledge about surveys and she hopes to enhance her research skills by enrolling in a Survey Research course. She is also a mom of two kids: a nine year old girl and a 3 months old baby boy.

Priscilla Burke is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BS in Justice Systems and Political Science from Montclair State University. Priscilla initially joined the graduate program because she was interested in strategic crime analysis. Her main interest lies in perpetuating the importance of fact-based data to be used in policy for the betterment of our communities. Aside from being a graduate student, Priscilla enjoys hopping on flights on whims, eating new (spicy) foods, and making music playlists on Spotify.

Lauren Calabrese is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BFA in Creative Writing with minors in Marketing and Graphic Design from Roger Williams University. She currently works as an editorial associate for the academic journal, Contemporary Sociology at Montclair State University. Additionally, she is a co-chair on the master program’s Creating Spaces committee, which helps connect students with industry leaders through webinars, panels, and networking events. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to strengthen her research and analytical skills, and ultimately help guide organizations in evidence-based decision making. Outside the classroom, she enjoys reading, upcycling furniture, and spending time with her dog, Yoshi.

Adriana Cruz is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Anthropology with a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies from Monmouth University. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to ultimately work as a market researcher, consumer researcher, or UX researcher.

Nicole Dennis is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Hampton University. She is currently a Data Analyst for the Department of Health. She applied for the Master’s Degree & certificate  program because she wants to continue to expand her knowledge and skills in public health research and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for underserved minority populations. Outside of work & school, Nicole enjoys painting watercolor art, writing poems, and watching documentaries.  She is also an avid reader (yes the Audible App counts).

Crystal Fedeli Crystal is a spring 2021 degree candidate for a Master of Arts in Social Research and Analysis, and a Master of Arts in Child Advocacy and Policy with a Child Public Welfare Concentration. She also holds a Data Collection and Management Graduate Certificate, Paralegal Certificate, and a Bachelor of the Arts in English studies. Crystal sits on the Planning Committee for Creating Spaces 2021 and sat on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Montclair State University. Outside of the University, she sits on the Monarch Housing Homelessness Prevention Advisory Board; holds a County Committeeperson position in her local politics; and is a member of the Anti-Poverty Network, the New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness, and the Garden States Leader Program. Crystal aspires to go on to earn a Master of Social Work, become a Licensed Social Worker, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and then to earn a Ph.D. in Public Policy, continuing to research effective and evidence-based treatments for Substance Use Disorders and to advocate for their implementation at a systemic level. In her free time, Crystal loves to hang out with her husband, 2 young children, and dog. She also loves to take nice long jogs, pushing her two kids in the stroller, with their dog King running alongside.

Scott Frank is a student in the Graduate Certificate in Data Collection and Management program.  Scott earned his BA in Political Science at Tufts University and his MBA from Cornell University. He is currently a chief operating officer for Lanco York, Inc., a packaging company and is taking this program to increase his analytical and statistical skills.  Scott is glad to be back in the classroom after 27 years and is looking forward to continuing his education.

Emma Gepner is a Master’s candidate in the Social Research and Analysis program. She received her BA in Communications (Public Relations and Journalism specialization), with a minor in Graphic Design from Monmouth University in January 2017. She is pursuing her Master’s Degree to gain the necessary skills to have a fulfilling career in social policy research. Her areas of interest include intersectional feminism, public housing, and criminal justice. Outside of class, Emma loves to travel and hang out with her puppy, Clementine.

Melissa Gonzalez is a graduate of the MA in Social Research and Analysis program, class of January 2021. She also earned a graduate certificate in both Data Collection and Management and Business Analytics and completed her BA in Psychology with a minor in Art and Design Studio from Montclair State University. She is currently a Research Assistant for the National Institute of Early Education Research. She applied to the MA program to further develop her quantitative and qualitative research skills and ultimately work in the field of social science research.

Casey Holmes is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. She currently works as a Voting Rights Policy Intern at Future March where she researches voting legislation and creates social media campaigns to increase community involvement and raise awareness about voter suppression. Casey also helps manage the social media pages for the program, and works as a Barista at Starbucks. She hopes to someday work in Social Welfare Policy Research. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, fishing and hiking.

Gabby Gross is a student at Montclair State University earning her MA in Social Research and Analysis and two graduate certificates in Data Collection and Management and Digital Marketing. She is also one of the students responsible for managing the social media accounts for the MA in Social Research and Analysis program, specifically, the Linkedin channel. She earned her BA in Sociology with a minor in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University. After graduating from Montclair State University, she is interested in market research analysis and consumer behavior.

Joe Hendershot is a MA student in the Social Research and Analysis program. He earned his BA in Political Science and History from Rutgers University. He currently works for an environmental non-profit advocating for the Delaware River as well as democracy throughout the state of NJ. He is interested in advancing his data analysis and research skills to ensure the proper amount of resources are directed at the problems we face.

Crystal Inman is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Psychology from Rider University. She is a Program Assistant in the Research and Economic Services division of the New Jersey Education Association. The tools and skills developed from this program will be essential to helping her improve areas of member engagement and member organizing. Outside of her work and school, Crystal enjoys hiking, nature photography, and spending time with her family and pets. 

Sara Johnston is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BS in Finance with a Marketing minor at The College of New Jersey.  She is currently a Customer Insight Manager at Audible.  She applied for the Master’s Degree because she is interested in further developing her research skills and knowledge base to help advance in her career. She’s also a huge NY Mets fan.

Evans Kimani is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. He earned his BA in Philosophy from Catholic University of Eastern Africa, MA in Project Planning and Management from University of Nairobi and PhD in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development. He is interested in policy formulation and projects evaluations in the development field.

Marina Karpovitch-Belov is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program and is interested to pursue graduate Certificate Program in Business Analytics. She earned her BS in Finance from State Belorrussian University of Minsk, Belarus. She has over 20 years of experience in various areas of Higher Education, including Admissions, Registrar and Institutional Research and Assessment. She has a great interest in developing further her skills in research, data analytics and visualization and applying them for educational assessment of learning support programs. She is trilingual, speaking Spanish and Russian. She is a great supporter of arts, especially theater, ballet and opera. She loves poetry and classical literature. She is a mom of two children and tries to maintain balance between work and family.

Aileen Lotito is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Psychology from William Paterson University. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to ultimately work as a researcher, though she hasn’t decided yet which field she wants to go into (possibly something to do with neuropsychology) and is still deciding whether she wants to go into academia or commercial research. Her interests include anime, video games, and writing. Recently she has also started getting into arts and crafts and improving her sewing.

Adelle Lykes is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from Princeton University. She currently works as a System Analyst in the Software Department of Target Health, an eCRO specializing in paperless Clinical Trials.  Her work involves developing, testing, and managing software used by hospitals for clinical trials.  She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to be more actively involved in the research that she comes in contact with everyday.

Crystal Magallon is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. Crystal has an educational background in Sociology, Religious Studies, and Intercultural Studies from Elmhurst University in Illinois. She became interested in the MA program as she believes in the importance of data collection to influence social/public policy. She hopes to achieve the crucial skills needed to develop evidence-based approaches to create a more equitable and just society. After completing the MA program, Crystal plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology. 

Arianna Menendez is a student in both the MA in Social Research and Analysis program and the Graduate Certificate Program for Data Collection and Management. She earned her BA in Sociology with a specialization in Non-Profit and Community Development from The College of New Jersey. Currently she is a co-chair on the Creating Spaces 2021 committee. She is excited to further the research skills that she gained from her undergraduate experiences and to learn more about data analysis. She plans on pursuing a career in social policy focusing on the criminal justice system. When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys cooking/baking, going on road trips and going on walks with her dog, Winnie.

Katie Melz is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Fordham University. She supported a study examining a social-emotional learning intervention integrated with a systematic coaching approach as a research point person, classroom observer, and manager of several study-related data projects. Katie currently works as a research assistant in the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) at Montclair State University. At CREEHS, she supports the education team on the administration, analysis, and reporting of the New Jersey Middle School Risk and Protective Factors Survey. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she hopes to expand her research skill set and explore education, communications, and social policy related topics. Within the program, she helped support the Forward STEP project and presented at the Creating Spaces 2021 Conference. Outside of class, Katie enjoys walking her puppy Korra, trying to cook, and virtual Jackbox nights with friends.

Lexy Martino is currently enrolled in the MA program in Social Research and Analysis, and is also obtaining a certificate in Data Collection and Management. She graduated from Drew University in 2017 with a BA in Sociology and Spanish Language. Her interests are teasingly diverse, and she hopes to use her degree to incite social change as a practitioner of Public Sociology. Her personal heroes to date are Jane Addams, Kalle Lasn, Kurt Vonnegut, and Xena: Warrior Princess.

Kahiya McDaniels is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Sociology with a minor in Economics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She currently works at Success Academy Charter Schools as a Sprint Associate, to help create specialized education plans for elementary students. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to strengthen her data analysis and research skills. 

Jennifer Moncada is a student in the Graduate Certificate in Data Collection and Management program. Jennifer earned a BS in Nutrition Science at Montclair University and a MPA from Walden University. She is currently a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the Nielsen Corporation. Jennifer applied for a graduate certificate to further develop her research skills. When Jennifer is not picking people’s brain, she enjoys spending time with Sammy, her 4 legged son, and family.  

Katherine Morillo is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis, the Data Collection and Management Certificate, and the Business Analytics Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Advertising with a minor in Marketing from the Sacred Heart University, Puerto Rico. Katherine moved to NYC in 2017 and fell in love with the city. She applied for the Master’s degree program to gain more experience in research and analytics as she is looking to work in market research, data analysis, or consumer behavior. 

Melanie Mulhern is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Family Studies and Human Development with a minor in Public Health from Montclair State University. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to further her research skills in sociology and public health to ultimately create a better tomorrow for the disadvantaged in our society. 

Mary Kate Murray is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in English at Montclair State University. She is currently a Digital Producer at Pearson Education. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to make a career change and work in market research.

Tamara Ogle is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Sociology at Montclair State University. She is currently a Graduate Assistant at Montclair State University for Dean Tamara Lucas of the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS). She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to work in Title IX and make higher education institutions safer for all. Ultimately, her goal is to use the knowledge gained in this program to earn a PhD.

Noushig Ohanian is a MA student in Social Research and Data Analysis. She earned her BA in General Sociology from William Paterson University. One of her goals is to gain experience in the analytical field and improve her research skills. Her concentrations will focus on market/consumer research. In her free time she runs a small side business of chocolate making which she enjoys. 

Richard Park is a student in the Social Research and Analysis M.A. program. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Business at Montclair State University. He is currently working as a Marketing Intern at Sony Professional Solutions of America. He applied for the Master’s degree to gain a stronger understanding in business analytics and social policy research. 

Karen Ramsden is a Research and Projects Specialist in Sprague Library at Montclair State University. She also manages two research platforms at the University. Her current position plays a crucial role in managing projects, collecting data and interpreting results by providing actionable, value-added intelligence and recommendations for various library and University driven projects. She completed the Data Collection and Management Graduate Certificate in Spring 2018 and when the new M.A. in Social Research and Analysis was approved she wanted to enroll so she could expand upon her knowledge of theory, research, and analysis.

Elise Ruder is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Education at the University of Florida and is currently a Management Information Systems Coordinator at the West Orange Public School District. She applied for the MA Degree in Social Research and Analysis because she believes it will allow her to gain the necessary skills to fulfill her career goals of helping develop effective educational programs for students in need.

Dina Rezk is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis. She earned her BA in Linguistics from Montclair State University in 2019. Since then, Dina has been working full-time at MSU as a Freshman Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She hopes her professional experience in combination with her interests in communications and marketing will prepare her for a career in higher education market research. 

Elizabeth Rivera is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She earned her BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Montclair State University. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to work with data and research as a market researcher or as a data analyst. She is currently learning R and Python during her spare time. She hopes it’ll be a step closer to becoming a data scientist in the long run. 

Heather Ruy is a student in the Data Collection and Management Certificate Program.  Heather earned her BS in Music Business at the University of Colorado, Denver.  She currently works in advocacy for The State of New Jersey and is interested in developing skills in research and data analysis to improve social policy and advance socio-economic equality.  In her spare time, Heather enjoys taking spontaneous road trips, hiking with her dogs, and freelancing in music production.

Gabriela (Acosta) Salomon is a student in the MA Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Social Sciences from Ramapo College. She has an extensive and diverse range of experience, including positions as an Insurance and Retirement Plan Specialist with RMR Wealth Builders, Inc., where, among other things, she monitored clients’ insurance coverages to ensure that changing needs were met; Office Manager at the same firm; and Childcare Site Team Member at the Meadowlands Area YMCA. Most recently, she has joined the team at Cyan Health as an Account Coordinator. She is excited to continue to develop her research skills and gain more experience.

Genesis Sandoval is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Anthropology and Sociology with a minor in Africana Studies at Stockton University. She is currently a graduate assistant for the Social Research and Analysis program. Her areas of interest include race and ethnicity, migration studies, food insecurity and community engagement. Outside of the classroom Genesis is an aspiring photojournalist with a focus on portrait and street photography. 

Julie Santner is a student in the MA for Social Research and Analysis Program. She earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Marketing at Kean University. She applied for the Master’s degree because she wants to work as a Market Research Analyst before earning her PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Her ultimate goal in life is to gain knowledge and a better understanding of people. 

kevin shaw is a student in the Social Research and Analysis MA program. They received their MA in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 2017, where they worked in community engaged research and evaluation on health disparities and resilience. Kevin continues to work as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) at Montclair State University and serves as an independent consultant on ethnographic research and qualitative evaluation projects. By enrolling in this program, they hope to build a comprehensive methodological vocabulary in order to help tell the stories that matter most to communities affected by health policies and programs.

Ashley Steimle is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. They earned their Bachelor’s in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Montclair State University in December 2017. They are currently working as a Graduate Assistant for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Some of their research interests include media, popular culture, and gender and sexuality studies. In their ample free time, Ashley enjoys playing Animal Crossing, walking their dog, and watching the Sharknado movies.

Aisha Tarannun is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis. She earned her BS in Marketing from Stockton University in 2020. In her free time, Aisha does freelance writing for various companies to promote their services and products. She is excited to begin the program and looks forward to doing research on social policy and becoming immersed in the world of market research as well. 

Melanie Tolomeo is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her B.S. in Marketing at Montclair State University and has recently completed the certificate in Business Analytics. She currently works as Senior Manager of Business Systems at Little Kids Rock, a national music education nonprofit based in NJ. She would like to dive into the rich program data that is available in order to better serve music teachers across the country. In her free time she loves to play guitar, read, and write. She is also learning how to play tennis.

Matthew Treadwell Matthew Treadwell is a student currently enrolled in the MA program for Social Research and Analysis. He is also enrolled within the business analytics and data management and collection certificate programs. Matthew earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stockton University. He applied for the Master’s degree in Social Research & Analysis to increase his abilities in gathering and analyzing data, in hopes to gain a position within the market research realm of the private sector. In his free time, Matthew loves to play basketball and considers himself a foodie, as he constantly seeks out new food to try, rate and review.is a student currently enrolled in the MA program for Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. He earned a BA in Economics from Stockton University. Matthew applied for the Master’s degree because he aspires to further develop his data analysis abilities, along with learning how to create research to effect social change with social policies. 

James Vicari is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. He earned his BA in Economics with a minor in Political Science at Stockton University. He applied for the Master’s Degree because he’s interested in writing about social policy research for a Think Tank or a Political Campaign. In his spare-time, he watches his beloved New York Mets.

Kimberley Woodin is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis and the Data Collection and Management Certificate programs. She received her BA in Justice Studies and Sociology (concentrations in International Justice and Justice Systems) with a minor in Psychology. She is currently one of the graduate assistants for the Social Research and Analysis program. She applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to work for open space policy and creating more public space in urban neighborhoods. When Kim isn’t in class or working, she enjoys anything to do with the outdoors and traveling.

Zack Weland is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. He received his BA in Sociology with a minor in Biology from Duquesne University. He is currently working as research assistant for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State and as a nonprofit intern for the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Additionally, he has served as an assistant for the Forward STEP survey at Montclair State, which explored student experience with online teaching modalities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He applied to the program to sharpen his analytical skills in social science research.

Bouangern Xayalath is a Fubrigter from Laos and an MA student in the Social Research and Analysis program. He earned his BA in Business Administration from the Lao-American College and the International Master Advanced Studies Certificate from the International Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland. He worked for the United Nations World Food Program and Australia-Asia to Combat Trafficking in Persons Program in South East Asian countries and regions. His studies will improve his knowledge and skills in social research and survey that will apply in his career in particular monitoring, evaluation, and development studies and programs in his country and regions. 

Jonathan Zipf is currently a student in the Social Research and Analysis program. Jonathan earned his BA at Montclair State in 2017 studying sociology and history, and in 2018 he completed the certificate in Data Collection and Management. He plays the bass, cello, guitar, and he enjoys hiking. His research interests include social history, data, media analysis, archiving, and preservation.