Data Accelerator Team

Focused on building relationships, creating community, and improving lives through the use of data

Public and private initiatives have made substantial investments in improving the quality and standardization of administrative data systems over the past decade. These records increasingly offer high quality longitudinal information about developmental, social, and behavioral phenomena. Yet, using administrative data in research has continued to be difficult for researchers. The team at the Administrative Data Accelerator aims to accelerate access to, and the impact of, administrative data records to facilitate evidence-based policymaking. 

Leadership 

D. Max Crowley

D. Max Crowley

Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies; Director, Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative

Dr. Crowley is a prevention scientist investigating how to optimize investments in healthy development and wellbeing. This work sits at the intersection of social policy, prevention science and public finance. His program of research is motivated by a desire to increase the use of cost-effective, evidence-based preventive strategies to improve the lives of children and families. To accomplish this, his work aims to (1) strengthen methods for benefit-cost analyses of preventive interventions, (2) optimize prevention strategies’ impact and (3) develop best practices for how to translate these investments into evidence-based policy. In this manner, he seeks to not only understand the costs and benefits of prevention, but aim to develop better interventions and encourage them to be disseminated widely. Dr. Crowley is accepting graduate students and postdoctoral trainees for the upcoming academic year.

 

Michael Donovan

Michael Donovan

Director of Policy & Outreach

Michael leads the Data Accelerator’s policy operations and facilitates collaborative projects between the research community and external partners, including federal and state-level government agencies and departments, philanthropic organizations and foundations, think tanks, and other academic entities. His efforts aim to build and maintain strategic partnerships that both produce scientific value and contribute to the creation of policy-relevant, practical insights. Michael also serves as the Associate Director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative, a unit of the Social Science Research Institute. He brings nearly a decade of government and political experience to Penn State, having previously served from 2009-2017 at the White House as a Special Assistant to President Obama overseeing the planning and execution of the administration’s strategic agenda. He possesses extensive theoretical and applied policy expertise gained through formal education and professional experience.

 

Ashley Stauffer

Ashley Stauffer

Assistant Director

Ashley is a mental health clinician and research management professional with over half a decade’s experience at the intersection of practice, research, and technology. As Assistant Director of the Administrative Data Accelerator she leads the Data Accelerator’s research activities, operations, and technology. Familiar with the inherent difficulties (and benefits!) of working across systems and disciplines, Ashley has particular interest in creating work culture that promotes creative thinking, collaboration, and adaptability to change. Ashley is passionate about helping teams translate complex ideas into action and developing technological solutions for innovative problems. Her professional goals include developing systems to accelerate the use of administrative data for practice-oriented research in social and prevention sciences, improving the human condition through partnerships among research and information technology professionals, and reducing system barriers and limitations through evidence-informed policy. Ashley received degrees is in clinical mental health counseling and psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

 

Damon Jones

Damon Jones

Scientific / Analytic Advisor

Dr. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Dr. Jones brings extensive experience in the areas of quantitative methodology, program evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis to the Data Accelerator. Dr. Jones has diversified interests in the areas of prevention and intervention methodology, economic evaluation of effective programs for families and youth, social-emotional development in children, and health services research. Dr. Jones has directed benefit-cost evaluation initiatives for large federally funded projects, has coordinated policy & outreach events in Washington D.C. on social-emotional learning in children, authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has served as the Associate Training Director of the Prevention and Methodology Training Program (PAMT). Dr. Jones has taught statistics and data analysis for over a decade in the departments of Health and Family Studies and Health Policy and Administration, and acts as a statistical and economic analysis consultant for external organizations and universities. Dr. Jones is passionate about projects that have the potential for real impact, rather than engaging in research that is shelved and never leaves academia.

Mary McCauley

Mary McCauley

Administrative Coordinator

Mary assists with coordination, and organizational management for the various projects within the Data Accelerator. She also works closely with the Social Science Research Institute, coordinating initiatives such as the Evidence to Impact Collaboration. Mary holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Family, Children, and Youth from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Her primary interests are in the intersecting fields of Criminal Justice and Psychology, particularly as they impact the family unit.

 

Research Operations & Management 

Andrew Zeveney

Andrew Zeveney

Research Project Manager

Andrew works with researchers to on-board new projects, ensure that all requirements to access data have been met, and create and maintain documentation of project processes. Andrew received his B.S. and M.S. in Psychology from Lehigh University. Andrew joins the Data Accelerator from Duke University where he worked as a Data Manager on the Student Resilience and Well-Being Project, a multi-site longitudinal project focusing on student’s experiences across their time at college. Andrew is interested in making efficient use of existing data, as well as in how to best translate research findings to the general public and policy makers.

Christina Brasavage

Christina Brasavage

Research Technologist

Christina works with the Leadership and Data & Analytics teams to address project and operational needs. As part of the Operations & Management team, she assists in the acquisition of administrative data and in maintaining documentation on data holdings. Christina holds a B.A. in Epidemiology from the University of Rochester and a Masters of Public Health from George Washington University. Christina is passionate about using health data to inform evidence-based healthcare programming.

 

Data & Analytics 

Xueyi (Steven) Xing

Xueyi (Steven) Xing

Assistant Research Professor

Xueyi (Steven) Xing is the lead healthcare data analyst for the Administrative Data Accelerator. In this role he analyzes health provider and insurance data for a number of projects. Prior to coming to Penn State University, Xueyi was a researcher and instructor for the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. His research interests are quantitative research methodology, GIS application, health data management and Bayesian spatio-temporal analysis. Xueyi is interested in identifying the effects that health policies have on specific populations. Xueyi received his Ph.D in Criminology and MSPH in Biostatistics at the University of South Carolina. 

Hyun Woo Kim

Hyun Woo Kim

Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Hyun Woo Kim is the lead child welfare data analyst for the Administrative Data Accelerator. He has expertise working with high volume longitudinal data and multilevel data analysis–with particular interest in causal inference with observational data. He is also passionate about employing innovative data science methods to gain new insights in social science research. Dr. Kim received his PhD in Sociology from Penn State University.

 

Yoon Sun Hur

Yoon Sun Hur

Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Hur is an Assistant Research Professor at the Administrative Data Accelerator. She received her PhD in Applied economics from the University of Minnesota with expertise in applied microeconomics and development economics. Dr. Hur’s research interest pertains to the impact of policy intervention on the human capital accumulation and labor market outcome. Her research involves identifying the mechanism of influence from policy intervention on the household behavior such as investment to human capital and participation to labor market combining a rigorous applied microeconomics methodology.

 

Alex Winters

Alex Winters

Data Management Specialist

Alex Winters manages the various forms of data that are acquired, stored, and maintained by the Administrative Data Accelerator. The focus of Alex’s work is to transform administrative datasets into useable research products for analysts, researchers, policymakers, and administrators. Alex has dual Bachelors of Science degrees in Business Administration and Speech Communication, and has worked in the fields of information technology, data analytics, and market research. Alex is currently working towards his Masters of Applied Statistics at Penn State University. Alex’s interests include data science, system integration, process automation, and helping researches leverage big data systems for research goals.

Graduate Students

Lawrie Green

Lawrie Green

Doctoral Candidate

​Lawrie Green is a Distinguished Graduate Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. After graduating from MIT with a degree in computer science, she spent almost a decade working as a software engineer. This included R&D at the MITRE Corporation, developing technological solutions for building better government. Prior to her graduate work at Penn State, Lawrie worked on the Georgetown Early Learning Project. Her research interests include family-based interventions, family systems, and the role of technology in conducting social science research.

Christa Mahlobo

Christa Mahlobo

Doctoral Student

Christa Mahlobo is a Bunton Waller Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. After her undergraduate studies at LSU, she worked for two years at an educational non-profit dedicated to improving minority representation in STEM disciplines. She is an RYT-200 certified yoga instructor and is interested in the health benefits of mindfulness interventions. Her research interests also include health disparities in communities of color and the role of health policy in prevention science.