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NCAA Research Staff

Directors:

Tom Paskus
Tom Paskus
Principal Research Scientist

Tom Paskus is the Principal Research Scientist for the NCAA. In this role, Tom directs the NCAA’s national portfolio of studies on the academic trajectories of college student-athletes and oversees the NCAA’s data collections and research initiatives pertaining to the academic, athletic, social, and personal well-being of current and former student-athletes. Tom has worked extensively on the development of the Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR), the Division I and II initial eligibility and progress toward degree standards, the GOALS and SCORE studies of the college student-athlete experience and the NCAA sports wagering study. Prior to joining the NCAA, Tom was a faculty member in the Quantitative Research Methods Program in the College of Education at the University of Denver. Tom received his Ph.D. and M.A. in quantitative psychology from the University of Virginia, and an A.B. in psychology from Dartmouth College.

Associate Directors:

Lydia Bell
Associate Director: Division I Academics, Student-Athlete Well-Being, Grant programs

Lydia F. Bell is the Associate Director of Research for Academic Performance at the NCAA. In this role, Lydia assists in all aspects of development and analysis of research on current and former student-athlete academic performance and well-being. She also oversees the Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program, the Graduate Student Research Grant Program, and frequently collaborates with the NCAA Sport Science Institute on their student-athlete well-being and mental health initiatives. Prior to joining the NCAA, Lydia was an assistant professor of practice and director of Project SOAR in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. Lydia received her Ph.D. in Language, Reading and Culture and M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona, and an A.B. in Government & Legal Studies and Sociology from Bowdoin College.

Keke Liu
Associate Director: Data Management, Data Sharing Program

Keke Liu is the Associate Director of Research for Data Management. She oversees the NCAA Financial Information System and the Institutional Performance Program. She conducts academic-data analyses as directed by the Principal Research Scientist and uses data-visualization tools to create informative and engaging infographics. Keke received her Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership from the Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Originally from China, Keke also holds a Master’s Degree in Economics of Education and a B.A. in Economics from Beijing Normal University. Prior to joining the NCAA, Keke worked as a research consultant, conducting quantitative analysis on K-12 education policy issues, with a focus on school and educator evaluation.

Assistant Directors

Markie Cook
Assistant Director: Substance Use Study, Survey Management Team, DII Degree Completion Program

Markie Cook is an assistant director of research and oversees some of the non-academic projects in the department. She is the lead investigator for the quadrennial Substance Use Study. Markie serves as a member of our Survey Management Team, which provides survey research assistance to numerous national office departments. She also provides research support for Division II governance. She received a B.S. in Sport Management from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2009 and an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from IUPUI in 2012. She was previously a research analyst at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.

Kelsey Gurganus
Assistant Director of Research

Kelsey Gurganus is an assistant director of research and assists in the development and analysis of research on student-athlete academic performance and well-being. Her primary responsibilities include quantitative analysis of student-athlete academic data, assisting with the design, administration, and analyses of large-scale student-athlete surveys such as GOALS and Social Environments, and supporting the NCAA broadly on research initiatives examining student-athlete well-being. Prior to joining the NCAA, Kelsey served as an epidemiologist and evaluator for the Domestic Violence Network and the Indiana State Department of Health. She received her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2011 and her B.S. in Biology from Youngstown State University in 2009. Kelsey is also a former NCAA Division I women’s basketball student-athlete for Youngstown State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Paige Kadish
Assistant Director of Library and Research: NCAA Library and Archives, NCAA History, Championships History Requests

Paige is the Assistant Director of Library and Research for the NCAA. She provides support for the research department, the national office staff, membership, media and the public. She manages various digitization projects as well as assists with the circulation of library materials, collection development, and overall management and operations of the NCAA library and archives. Paige received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University in 2013 and her Master’s degree in Library Science from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2016.

Coordinators:

Sara Clark
Coordinator of Research Communications: NCAA.org Research Website, Social Media

Sara Clark is the Coordinator of Research Communications for the NCAA. In this role, she coordinates the NCAA research group’s delivery of public and membership-directed research products and provides presence on the web, social media and other outlets. Prior to joining the NCAA, Sara attended Purdue University, graduating with a degree in psychology and statistics. She has been with the NCAA since August 2011.

Assistants:

Lynn Dickey
Assistant Coordinator of Research: Assistant for Tom Paskus

Lynn provides assistance for Tom Paskus and the research team. She also monitors the research budget. Lynn formerly worked in academic and membership affairs assisting the vice president and managing director working primarily with academic committees (NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance, NCAA Division I Academic Cabinet and NCAA Division I Committee on Academics). During that time she served as chair for the NCAA Writing Style Team. Also, Lynn is the go-to person to coordinate large projects or help with Microsoft Office applications. She has been with the NCAA since July 2005.

Betty Reagan
Administrative Assistant: Assistant to Paige Kadish

Betty provides administrative support for Paige Kadish in the library. She also provides library research for the NCAA staff, the NCAA membership and the public. She provides support to others in the research department whenever a need is presented. She previously served on the ACT committee for several years, as well as the Green Team and the Social Committee.

Sadie Martinez
Administrative Assistant for Research

Sadie joined the research staff in March 2020 and is the newest member. She provides assistance for Lydia Bell, Keke Liu and Sara Clark. She works with the NCAA Graduate Student Grant Program, NCAA Innovations Grant Program and assists with graduation success rate reporting. Sadie earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Ball State University where she was also a former NCAA Division I softball student-athlete

Nan Thomas
Research Assistant: Internal/External Surveys, Online Survey Systems, Survey Management Team

Nan Thomas provides research assistance to various constituencies primarily, championships including post-championship surveys, championships rules surveys, program and experience surveys in the area of leadership development, and other surveys as requested. As a member of the Survey Management Team, Nan also provides research assistance to departments throughout the national office on both internal and external issues.  Nan previously worked for the IU School of Medicine in the Adolescent Medicine division as part of their research development team. She received her Applied Associates Degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in database management from Ivy Tech Community College in 2013.

 

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