Center for Social Research

Meet the CSR


The Calvin College Center for Social Research (CSR) was created by the Calvin Department of Sociology in 1970 in response to increasing numbers of faculty requests for research assistance. Since then, the CSR has grown into an independent center, supporting all of the social science departments of Calvin College as well as the broader community. Throughout its history, CSR's top priorities have been to promote excellence in research, both on campus and in the community.


The Center for Social Research aims to serve as a catalyst for scholarly research in the social sciences. Through research we seek to be agents of renewal in the academy, church, and society.


  • Research: promote basic and applied research of the highest quality by encouragement, example, and engagement with the college’s social science community.
  • Partnership: undertake collaborative and community-based research with scholars, organizations, and institutions at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
  • Faculty Development: enhance the scholarly community in social sciences at Calvin College.
  • Student Involvement: provide opportunities for students to develop their research skills in a mentoring environment.
  Neil Carlson, Ph.D., Director, received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University in 2004 and served as Assistant Director of the CSR from 2004 to 2011. He supports design of social research projects from the big questions to the technological nuts and bolts, including project management and budgeting, instrument design, database design, data visualization, statistical analysis, report writing and interactive presentation of study data. Curriculum Vitae (PDF).
  Laura Luchies, Ph.D., Assistant Director, earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Northwestern University. Laura joined the CSR in the spring of 2014. She plans, organizes, and leads CSR research projects with on- and off-campus clients and provides the CSR student and recent graduate team with the daily guidance needed to do good work. Curriculum Vitae (PDF).
  Allison Rudi, B.A., Project Coordinator, graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, majoring in International Policy Studies of Ethics and Conflict. She will soon complete her Masters in Public Policy and Administration with Northwestern University in Chicago. Allison is coordinating the launch of “When the People Speak, Kent County,” the first-ever Kent County Deliberative Poll, a collaborative community research and civic engagement project, spearheaded by CSR which employs Stanford Professor James Fishkin’s theory of the Deliberative Poll.
  Kandin Unger, B.A., Research Associate, graduated from Calvin College with majors in Linguistics and Spanish. Kandin serves as supervisor to the research assistants, in addition to providing project support for CSR clients.
  Kathy Bardolph, B.A., Administrative Assistant, a Calvin English and German graduate, offers administrative, clerical, and project support to the Center.
  Brianna Marshall, B.S., Research Specialist, graduated cum laude from Calvin with a Geology major. Brianna comes to CSR from Fairfield, California. Besides her expertise in GIS, Brianna's many interests include singing, cooking, and travel.
  Soeyeon Shin, B.S., Research Specialist, is a 2015 graduate in Biology. Since her arrival in July, Soeyeon's been working with CSR's Qualtrics survey system technology.

Student Staff Team: The Student Research Assistants are comprised of a team of Calvin students who are constantly being trained in new research tools and practices. Currently, we have the following students on our team:
  India Daniels, a junior, is majoring in History and English Literature, with a minor in Spanish. New to CSR this summer, India's working on getting her feet wet in HTML and CSS, as well as supporting CSR's research for our upcoming Deliberative Poll.
  John Gordon is a senior majoring in Sociology. John's interests include Civics, Social Welfare, and Restorative Justice. And he was the cutest baby ever born.
  Jung Min Hong joined CSR summer of 2015. Jung Min, a senior, is majoring in International Relations and Economics. He assists CSR in Tableau and Access software.
  Nikole Karl is a junior majoring in Psychology and Business. Nicole worked as a Psychology intern before joining CSR as a Research Assistant. When she's not at CSR, Nicole enjoys astronomy, mythology, reading all kinds of books, bike rides, and spending time with family and friends.
  Eun Sung Kim is a senior, studying Computer Science and Mathematics. In addition to creating data visualizations for CSR, Eun Sung also writes Code. Other interests? Sports, kids, and performing.
  SeungYong Lee is a senior studying International Relations and Religion. He assists with CSR Spanish-related documentation, data management, and reporting. SeungYong's interest in pondering about and finding purpose in life also contribute to his work and time with us.
  Jack Van Allsburg joined CSR summer of 2014. A senior majoring in Psychology and Writing, Jack is now our official CSR photographer, and he works with both CSR and Designvox in Grand Rapids with database and graphic design, technical writing, and editing. Jack will eat Fricano's pizza with you.
  Ari Van Geest joined CSR in August of 2015. A Sociology major and a senior this fall, Ari comes to us from Canada. Ari is a most enthusiastic Toronto Blue Jays fan. And, you should hear him sing.
Posted by Neil Carlson on 07/29 at 09:44 AM
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