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. Here’s what we know about them:

  • 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 experience.

Gabriela Acosta is a MA student in the Social Research and Analysis program. She earned her BA in Social Sciences from Ramapo College. She currently works for a wealth management firm and is looking for a career change. She is excited to continue to develop her research skills and gain more experience. She is also very interested in becoming an adjunct professor once she completes her MA. 

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 applied for the Master’s Degree because she wants to strengthen her research and analytical skills to ultimately work as a UX researcher. 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 program. 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 because she wants to continue to expand her knowledge and skills in public health research and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for underserved populations. She is an avid reader (yes Audible App counts).

Crystal Fedeli is a student in Master’s in Social Research & Analysis and also the Master’s in Child Advocacy and Policy with a Child Public Welfare Concentration. She eventually intends to earn a law degree. She is beginning a few advocacy and nonprofit endeavors as well as a nonprofit that will provide advocacy and case management for single parents who are experiencing poverty in New Jersey. Her aspirations are to create, modify, and improve laws, policies, and programs that aid those who suffer from a substance abuse disorder and economic instability. Ultimately her goal is to create a few nonprofits that will aid single parents, advocate and provide evidenced-based interventions for those suffering from substance use disorder, and those who suffer from economic instability.

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 student in both the Graduate Certificate Program for Data Collection and Management and the MA in Social Research and Analysis programs. She earned her BA in Psychology from Montclair State University with a minor in Art and Design Studio. She is currently a Research Data Collector for the National Institute of Early Education Research under Rutgers University. Her work within the educational field sparked interest in qualitative research. She applied to the MA program to further develop her research skills and ultimately work in the field of UX Research. When she is not working or studying, Melissa enjoys shopping and spending time with friends and family.

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.

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. 

Christopher Mannion is a student in the MA in Social Research and Analysis program. He earned his BA in Sociology from Montclair State University. He currently works as an editorial associate for the academic journal, Contemporary Sociology at Montclair State University. He applied for the Master’s Degree because he hopes to build on the research skills he learned as an undergraduate. His goal is to work for a marketing agency conducting market research. He lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey with his husband and their golden retriever and collie puppies.

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.

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 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.

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.