Center for Social Research

Research Assistant Experiences: Carolyn Vos

Research Assistant from Feb 2014 - July 2015
Degree: BA Psychology, Linguistics (May 2015)
Current Location: DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
Program: MA Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse

We just finished a weekly summer tradition of Music Friday, where each person in the office submits two songs for a playlist that we play on Friday afternoons. Not only did this tradition help us survive the last few hours of the day, but it gave us a chance to get know each other a little better. I have loved my work, but Iíve also been extremely blessed by our moments of play in the office. When I was thinking about how I would write this reflection of sorts, I realized that I wanted to frame it differently than those in the past, and take advantage of my English degree.

Iíll be the first to admit that I have an odd relationship with water. I am entirely fascinated by the distinctive and divine properties that God gave to water. He created something that is less dense in its solid form than in its liquid form. But what is common sense to us is actually a remarkable chemical property: no other molecule behaves in this way. Every other molecule sinks in its solid form; ice floats. This means that we have access to ice rinks, ice fishing, and fresh water in the winter. Its uniqueness is enough for me to adore water.

However, I also love to watch nature documentaries. Have you ever seen Blue Planet? Or Planet Earth? Their specials on oceans will be enough for you to never want to go in the water again. The number of things that can kill you in the ocean is terrifying. Yet I identify with this dissonance. I am simultaneously enamored and terrified of water. When I think about framing my experience at the CSR, I am drawn to liken my time to that of being in water.


Posted by Kathryn A. Bardolph on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 at 04:03 PM
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My - People Come and Go Around Here So Quickly!

It’s already time to bid a fond farewell to the students and staff of CSR. We wish you well as you take on new endeavors, and we will miss you.

Departing Staff:

Greg Kim: After working at CSR as both a research assistant and a Research Specialist, Greg returns to South Korea, where he will serve in the Korean Military for the next few years.

Owen Selles: One of our Research Specialists, Owen, begins his departure from CSR with a month-long trip to Turkey. After that, heíll begin studying Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Our Stellar Students:

Michael Bloom (B.A., Economics)
Alden Hartopo (B.A., Economics and International Relations)
Steven Lewis (B.A., Psychology)
Tavi Stewart (B.A. Sociology)
Josh Vander Leest (B.A. Psychology)
Cari Vos (B.A. Linguistics and Psychology)

Thanks for all you contributed to CSR!

Posted by Kathryn A. Bardolph on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 02:06 PM
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Residents’ access to waterfront parks in Kent County

CSR has just released a first draft of a new interactive map of the relationship between Census blocks and parks in Kent County. We’ve already learned that we missed a couple small waterfront parks in Plainfield Charter Township. We’d love to get your feedback! Take a look below, and read some light analysis on the Kent County Speaks blog.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, June 01, 2015 at 02:57 PM
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Community conversations about racial equity and college affordability

CSR is hosting two peer organizations as they facilitate open community conversations about racial equity and college affordability at Calvin. Please visit our public engagement site for more details!

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 02:33 PM
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Women in Leadership National Study (Gender Parity Project)

UPDATE: Christianity Today has a front-page article today (September 22) covering this study, also called the Gender Parity Project. The research team has also issued a press release.

Together with partner scholars Dr. Janel Curry of Gordon College and Dr. Amy Reynolds of Wheaton College, Calvin College is conducting the Women in Leadership National Study through the Center for Social Research. Dr. Reynolds has previewed the results on the “Black, White and Gray” blog at, which triggered later coverage by Christianity Today.

As part of the study, CSR student research assistants have collected data on over 1,400 evangelical organizations selected from the membership of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Accord Network of antipoverty organizations (formerly AERDO). Data sources are public records such as IRS forms 990 and ECFA public profiles, along with research assistants’ best estimates of the gender and race of each employee and board member listed on each organization’s 2010 form 990.

The interactive Tableau visualizations below present the results as of spring 2014.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:29 AM
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