New leadership at ISR’s Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science

September 28, 2023

Contact: Jon Meerdink ([email protected])

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) at the Institute for Social Research is now under new leadership. Sunghee Lee, Ph.D., now serves as director of MPSDS after taking over for Frederick Conrad, Ph.D., who had occupied the role since 2012.

Lee, a research associate professor at the University of Michigan, has held a variety of roles at U-M and ISR since 2015. She completed her Ph.D. in the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology in 2004.

Having served as the associate director of MPSDS since 2021, she hopes to continue to nurture the program’s biggest asset: its graduate students.

“My main goal as stepping in as director of MPSDS is to foster MPSDS to become a premier pipeline for the field of survey and data science,” she said. “I envision furthering our current reputation in survey methodology into data science by educating the next generation of methodologists on the data quality principles SRC/ISR has championed and by tailoring our educational scope to fast evolving quantitative social science research.”

Conrad says MPSDS’s success and growth under his leadership is one of his proudest accomplishments. 

“I am proud of how the curriculum has evolved — and how we have shaped its evolution — into a hybrid of survey methodology and data science.  I am similarly proud of how our application pool for both MS and Ph.D. programs has grown over the last several years, the result of lots of hard work by faculty and staff. Alumni have supported this effort as well. The entering MS cohorts have grown to the level we have hoped for, and we have held the size of incoming Ph.D. cohorts steady.”

Under Conrad’s leadership, the annual Likert workshop put on by MPSDS has been successful and well-attended; it was held for the fifth year in February. Similarly, the Inclusive Research seminar series, developed in conjunction with the ISR DEI educational programs working group , has also been successful. MPSDS graduates have continued to find employment after graduation where they’ve been able to exercise and build on the skills acquired during their time in the program.

As MPSDS enters a new era of leadership, Conrad remains confident of the program’s continued growth and impact under Lee.

“In addition to being a talented scholar and pedagogue, Sunghee is inclusive and is a team player. Her interdisciplinary interests and knowledge fit the program perfectly,” he said. “Her creative ideas for building the MPSDS community have been really successful, especially as we emerge from the pandemic, and I am confident we will see more of this from Sunghee in her new role.”

For her part, Lee hopes to continue to build on the foundation laid at MPSDS over the past few years.

“I have known Dr. Conrad since my graduate student days. Besides his scholarly achievements, I certainly can say that he is one of the most respectful, kind and humble people I have ever met. This demeanor is extremely powerful when you direct an educational program and interact with students, staff as well as fellow faculty members. I hope to be able to emulate this in the director role. I look forward to growing with MPSDS and building MPSDS into a healthy, strong and safe community that we are proud to call home.”

Scroll to Top