From the CHRR Director’s Desk Issue #14

June 21, 2023

From the CHRR Director’s Desk Issue #14

Ohio State campus in the summer

By Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

The Latest News, Views, and Announcements

Publishing Note

Availability of this issue has been delayed from the normal 3rd Monday of the month for 2 reasons. First, in honor of the Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday, our university offices were closed on Monday, June 19th. Second, as the second of our two Strategic Doing town halls took place on Tuesday, June 20th, I wanted to make certain that a report on the contents of both meetings were representedfully in the report below.

What’s New at CHRR

We welcomed a new employee into the CHRR family this month. Tianyun Zhang, who joined us as an Applications Developer, graduated in June of 2014 with a Master's degree in Computer Engineering from Drexel University. He has been working as a full-stack Java developer in both academic and industry environments. Tianyun worked at the University of Michigan for 6 years and later at a software company called ICF (which focuses on healthcare web application development). He is excited about being back in an academic environment with CHRR because he really appreciates the freedom and flexibility to explore different technologies in a wide variety of projects.

We also welcome Evelyn Arrey Gonzalez, who is serving as a summer associate for the Ohio Education Research Center. Evelyn is a Fulbright student from Chile who came to Ohio State with her husband and cat to pursue a Ph.D. in Industrial and System Engineering. Previously, she completed her degree in Industrial Engineering at Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN), Chile, where she maintains a faculty position in the Industrial Department. Evelyn’s research focus is related to large-scale Integer programming models, optimization, and data analytics.

Kathryn Haley's retirement party

On a bittersweet note, we said goodbye to longtime CHRR employee Kathryn Haley during a dessert event held on May 31st. We wish her the best of luck in her retirement activities!

CHRR's Leadership Team

On Thursday, June 15th and yesterday (June 20th) we hosted two CHRR Town Hall meetings dedicated to a discussion of Strategic Doing/Strategic Planning Issues. The agenda was threefold: 1) to solicit the participation of additional CHRR team members in work on our current four strategic opportunities; 2) to invite suggestions for additional strategic opportunities (and the posing of additional framing questions where needed); and 3) to brainstorm options for additional CHRR team member participation in upcoming Strategic Doing sessions.

Most of the focus of the twin town hall meetings centered on generating additional strategic opportunities. In order of their appearance, suggestions included:

  • The use of AI in survey work
  • Coordinated marketing/communication activities
  • Comparisons/benchmarking with other survey shops
  • Creating a systemic business plan
  • Providing accessibility expertise
  • Monitoring the Ohio Procurement site for survey/evaluation work
  • Examining our current staffing structure with eye on growth potential
  • Serving political clients throughout the 2024 election cycle
  • Providing documentation expertise (potentially through a maker space)

Some of these potential opportunities created a great deal of “buzz” both during and following the town halls, a level of enthusiasm that seems destined to provide additional CHRR team members the chance to participate in this innovative work (agenda item #1). Options for additional CHRR team member participation in upcoming Strategic Doing sessions (agenda item #3) at the very least will include a virtual town hall that will allow hybrid and fully remote employees to chime in on these issues as well.

The CHRR Leadership Team will be meeting with Jeff Agnoli on July 10th to plan out the next phase of our Strategic Doing work. At least a portion of this work will include a focus on the value system that drives our decision-making processes regarding present and new directions taken in the work that we do.

Things You Might Want to Know

Marvin B. Sussman Award from the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family

Recently, I found out that I had been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Marvin B. Sussman Award from the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family. This award recognizes a scholarly publication related to the conference theme of the year it is awarded. The conference theme focused on the Lakota culture on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and the specific article mentioned in the award was as follows:

Gavazzi, S. M. (2022). Emerging Ideas: The Near Invisibility of Native Americans and their Families Within the Flagship Journals of Family Science. Family Relations.

As a result, I was invited to give a talk on June 5th to a Groves Conference audience entitled “Remaining Land-Grant Fierce While Accepting the Land-Grab Truth of Our Foundation.”

 Groves Conference on Marriage and Family

Newest Article on College Student Persistence Using the NLS Database

Before I was the CHRR director, I was a longtime user of the NLS database for some of my scholarship. Most recently, I became involved in a project that was co-led by Alessandra Bryant, a former doctoral student in Human Sciences (Dr. Bryant is now a marriage and family therapist at Thriveworks here in Central Ohio), and my longtime Ohio State colleague Suzanne Bartle-Haring (we also were fellow graduate students at UConn back in the day). The first article generated by this research effort was just published in the journal Family Issues. Here is the full citation and link to the article:

NLS sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bartle-Haring, S. E., Bryant, A., & Gavazzi, S. M. (2022). College Student Persistence: A Focus on Relationships with Parents. Journal of Family Issues, 44(8) 2076–2095.