News Briefs


Castleton Polling Institute earns national contract
CASTLETON – The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) recently awarded the Castleton University Polling Institute a $400,000 contract to develop and pilot test an interactive health-related survey and journal system, according to a Castleton University news release, Monday, Aug. 22.. Director of the Polling Institute Dr. Rich Clark and Associate Director Amanda Richardson will lead a team of experts from major research universities. The international team of researchers was assembled by YMG survey group, owned and managed by Yasamin Miller, former director of Cornell University’s Survey Research Center.
“We are thrilled to have been chosen to work with CSTE and a talented team of epidemiologists, public health experts, communications specialists, and developers on this important project,” said Dr. Clark. “This project has the potential to mitigate several challenges that traditional survey research is facing while helping organizations gather broader data in a timely manner from a selection of the population.”
With the rapid adoption and acceptance of new technologies and applications for personal devices there have been significant changes in the way people communicate. Traditional survey research has been challenged with declining response rates, declining landline telephone coverage, controlled access to households, and increasing expenses and decreasing budgets.  Assessing the feasibility of this survey methodology is an important step.
“CSTE is looking forward to this project with Castleton University,” noted CSTE Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel. “Applied public health epidemiology needs new and alternative methods to collect data on the populations they serve; methods that provide more timely, accurate and actionable data.”
The national project scheduled to be completed in February 2017, will be coordinated by Clark and Miller. Amanda Richardson will oversee the pilot panel recruitment efforts, while OneTree, a leading development firm, will lead the development with support from Microsoft Principal Data Scientist Juan Lavista, and Stanford Professor of Communication Jeff Hancock will advise the project team on social media recruitment. The team of epidemiologists and public health experts from Stanford University includes Dr. Lorene Nelson, Dr. Ingrid Oakley-Girvan, Dr. Cheryl Gore-Felton, and Dr. Oxana Palesh.
“To have been chosen to lead this collaborative effort with international experts in their fields is a testament to the abilities and vision of Amanda Richardson and Rich Clark,” said Castleton University President Dave Wolk. “We are proud to work on such an important and impactful project that will help modernize the way society collects data and information about such an important issue.”

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