Our Team

Leadership - Administration & Award Management - Research Development - Research & Data Support

IPSR Leadership

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Donna Ginther
Interim Director, IPSR, Director, Center for Science Technology & Economic Policy, and Professor, Economics

As Interim Director, Donna is responsible for developing the IPSR multi-disciplinary research program by engaging faculty from across the university and overseeing the management and direction of the Institute. Under her leadership, IPSR continues to be an international center for research on some of today’s most pressing topics, including the human dimensions of climate change, race and gender questions in the scientific workforce, urban sustainability, indigenous communities, environmental policy, and human trafficking.

As Professor, her major fields of study are scientific labor markets, gender differences in employment outcomes, wage inequality, scientific entrepreneurship, and children's educational attainments. Read more

Jena Gunter
Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Jena has administrative responsibility for all Institute operations including sponsored project development and administration, human resources and payroll, fiscal operations, computing services, and conferences for IPSR. Read more
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Administration & Award Management

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Carrie Caine
Research Development and Administrative Specialist

In her role as Research Development and Administrative Specialist, Carrie coordinates staff travel, assists with purchasing, maintains grant files, and provides support to IPSR research centers. Read more

Mandy Frank
Education Program Specialist

As Education Program Specialist, provides administrative support for research team(s), IPSR Center Directors and research staff. This includes organization of workshops, conferences, and other events. Mandy processes travel, initiates purchases, and processes invoices for sponsored research. Read more
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Christie Holland
Research Project Specialist

As Research Project Specialist, Christie provides administrative support for research team(s), IPSR Center Directors and research staff. This includes organization of workshops, conferences, and other events. Christie processes travel, initiates purchases, and processes invoices for sponsored research. Read more

Abby Byrd
Student Administrative Assistant

Abby is currently working on degrees in Economics, History, and French. She plans to pursue a PhD in Economics upon graduation, with a focus on economic history and data analytics.
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Mel Saldaña Fuentes
Student Administrative Assistant

Mel is pursuing degrees in psychology and WGSS (women, gender, and sexuality studies), and exploring options post-graduation between pursuing counseling psychology or social psychology.

Research Development

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Carrie Caine
Research Development and Administrative Specialist

Carrie provides direct support for proposal preparation to investigators, research teams, faculty affiliates, and graduate students. She provides guidance to investigators on strategic approaches to funding calls and agency priorities. Read more

Nancy Cayton Myers
Research Development Officer

As Research Development Officer, Nancy leads the IPSR research development team; provides direct support for research proposal preparation to investigators and teams; facilitates research planning, strategy, and networking; assists with grant management and reporting; and conducts outreach activities and research development-related presentations to faculty, staff, and students. Read more
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Whitney Onasch
Research Development Specialist

As a Research Development Specialist for the Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR), Whitney facilitates and administers research proposal development and submission on behalf of faculty affiliates and graduate students. She provides guidance to investigators on strategic approaches to funding calls based on the guidelines and agency priorities, and serves as the primary liaison between faculty and the KU Office of Research during the development and award/contract negotiation stages. Read more

Research & Data Support

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Jennifer Boden
Researcher Project Manager

Jennifer Boden is a Researcher Project Manager at KC-AERC. She is a lecturer and doctoral candidate in Economics at the University of Kansas. Her current work at KC-AERC focuses on utilizing her quantitative skills. Jen has extensive experience in working with large, complex datasets using SAS, STATA, and SQL. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Northern Iowa and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Kansas.

Karin Chang
Executive Director, Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC)

As the Executive Director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC), Dr. Chang has managed local, state and national evaluations, including 30 multi-site evaluations in the area of early childhood, K–12 education, and post-secondary attainment. Most of her research work utilizes experimental or quasi-experimental research designs. Dr. Chang is a member of the American Evaluation Association and presents nationally on such topics as systems evaluation, college readiness, afterschool evaluation, instrument development, and statistical modeling techniques. She earned her Ph.D. in Education Research and Psychology from the University of Kansas. She holds a B.A. in History from Amherst College and a M.A. in Education Policy and Administration from Stanford University.
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Larry Hoyle
Senior Scientist

Larry has overall responsibility for planning the Institute’s computing infrastructure. He has more than a few years’ experience in the data management phase of the research lifecycle and teaches a graduate course focusing on those skills. In recent years, he has been actively involved in the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) – helping advance an international standard for machine actionable description of data and its lifecycle. He has done a number of invited and contributed presentations at SAS and DDI related international conferences and has chaired or co-chaired the North American DDI Conference and the IASSIST conference. Read more

Genna M. Hurd
Associate Researcher

Genna provides research assistance to several vital IPSR projects and programs, including its Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy. Research assistance includes research project management, program evaluation, focus group facilitation, interviews, survey development and analysis, data collection, management, and analysis, and report writing. Genna is Co-I for the KU EDA University Center, a partnership between the KU Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and IPSR. She also is Editor of the Kansas Statistical Abstract, an online compendium of socio-economic and demographic data on Kansas. Read more
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Lindsay Jorgenson
Research Associate

Lindsay is a Research Associate with KC-AERC and primarily focuses on a project that supports English Learners, their families, and their educators within the Kansas City Kansas Public School District. Lindsay’s expertise includes social research evaluation, data visualization, project management and community organizing. She has worked in rural and urban communities to support greater equity within systems, policies and the built environment – namely those involving housing, education, and food systems. Lindsay holds an M.S.W. and M.P.H. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. from the University of Kansas.

Renee Pualani Louis
Associate Researcher

I am a Hawaiian woman and an Indigenous cartographer passionate about Hawaiian storied place names, cross cultural ethical research standards, and advocating the integration of Indigenous spatial knowledge systems with Western geosciences. I believe Indigenous wisdom has long held steadfast in the margins of society. Our elders have watched in silence or were silenced as consumer driven economics ravaged our lands, waters, and skies. Academia and science has played an active role in ensuring the knowledge of our ancestors remained ghostly whispers. It is time to bring Indigenous voices front and center. It is time to move beyond the politics of science where recognizing those realities that lie beyond the realm of our senses is not a debate about belief systems, so much as an examination of alternative methodologies. It is time to acknowledge the multiplicity of experiences that contribute to our understanding of the world in which we live. Read more
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Pat Oslund
Associate Researcher

Visit staff page for information.

Aurora Sanchez
Emerging Scholar

Aurora Sanchez is a second year emerging scholar and peer mentor for the program. She is currently working with Xan Wedel, her research mentor, providing research assistance for a variety of IPSR projects. She is a current student at the School of Business working towards a B.S. in Accounting with a concentration in International Business.
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Xan Wedel
Senior Research Data Engineer

Xan is the primary liaison for data requests received by the Institute from the public or members of the university community. Xan leads the Kansas State Data Center (SDC), a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. She also serves as web application developer and GIS analyst for the Institute. In addition to these duties, Xan advises students and researchers on data visualization techniques including GIS and coordinates the data compilation and visualization, programming, and production of the Kansas Statistical Abstract. Read more

Links on this page:

  1. ipsr@ku.edu