Center for Social Research

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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A Fond Farewell to CSR Staff and Students

CSR Family Photo

This summer, CSR had to say goodbye to many staff and student researchers as they move onto exciting and new adventures. We are so sad to see them go, but so excited for them and the new journeys theyíre embarking on. A big thanks to each and every one of you!

Staff Departures

Kristen Napp
Kristen started at CSR as a student Research Assistant. After graduating from Calvin with a double major in Social Work and Spanish, Kristen worked at CSR as a Research Specialist for another two years. She recently accepted a job and is now working in Grand Rapids for Salvation Army Services as the Data and Evaluation Coordinator.

Traci Montgomery
Beginning as a student research assistant, Traci came to CSR in June 2011. After graduating from Calvin, she worked as a Research Specialist for one year and a Research Associate for her last year. A degree in Mathematics and Geography in hand, Traci is now working in Walker, MI as a Consumer Insights Coordinator for Meijer.

Alexander Tyan
Alexander (Sasha) graduated from Calvin with an International Relations major. He worked for one year as a Research Specialist and has moved onto studying the French language at a university in Paris.

Student Departures

Leah Hoogstra
Leah Hoogstra recently graduated from Calvin with a double major in Mathematics and International Development.  She was a Research Assistant for two years at CSR, and she is now working at Basis Policy Research as a Research Associate in Grand Rapids.

Natalie Patterson
After graduating Calvin this past May with a major in Environmental Studies and minor in Geography specializing in GIS, Natalie began working as a summer intern at a Property Management company in North Carolina where she was soon thereafter offered a full time job. 

Lauren MuŮoz
Lauren worked at CSR as a student Research Assistant for two years and graduated in May 2014 with a double major in Sociology and Spanish. She is now working in Ann Arbor as a Data Governance Specialist at TD Ameritrade.

Melissa Lubbers
Melissa first began CSR as the psychology intern and was hired after her tenure as intern as a student Research Assistant. She graduated spring 2014 in Psychology and Social Work. After graduation, she accepted an internship position in Ann Arbor, MI with a non-profit company called Avalon Housing.

Michael Kelly
After graduating Calvin with a double major in English and Psychology, Michael has gone on to pursue his Masterís in Educational Research, Methods, and Evaluation at Boston Collegeís Lynch School of Education. He also accepted a graduate assistantship at the School of Educationís Office of Practicum Experiences and Teacher Induction. He worked at CSR for two years.

Stacia Allen
After working at CSR for a year as a student Research Assistant, Stacia will start her Social Work practicum full time this fall. She will graduate Calvin with a degree in Social Work. 

Posted by Kandin Unger on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 08:26 AM
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Welcome to Dr. Laura Luchies


As of June 2, 2014, CSR is pleased and excited to welcome Laura Luchies, PhD to our team as our new Assistant Director. A 2002 Calvin College graduate in psychology, Dr. Luchies has worked in business, earned a PhD in social psychology from Northwestern University, and taught psychology for three years at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario and at Daemen College in Amherst, New York.

Dr. Luchies has an extensive record of presentations and publications focused on the study of romantic relationships. She is the lead author of the article, “Trust and biased memory of transgressions in romantic relationships” in a 2013 volume of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The project involved just the kind of precise, technically complex research design, data management and analysis that CSR seeks to bring to our clients.

As Assistant Director, Dr. Luchies will plan, organize and lead CSR research projects with on- and off-campus clients and provide the CSR student and recent graduate team with the daily guidance needed to do good work. We look forward to introducing her to you this summer, and we plan to invite our whole network to an open house in her honor at the end of the summer when the whole Calvin community reconvenes. You can reach her by calling (616) 526-6241 or sending email to

Click “READ MORE…” to read a brief interview with Dr. Luchies!


CSR: What is a main take-away point from your research on romantic relationships?

LL: Much of my research has examined forgiveness between romantic partners. I have found that forgiving can lead to negative outcomes, such as eroded self-respect, for the forgiver. But, these negative outcomes only occur when the partner who committed the offense continues to act poorly by not acknowledging what he or she did and refusing to make up for it. Given that we more often take offense than intend to offend, my advice is that each of us should try to be aware of when our actions hurt others. When we realize that we have hurt another person, we can make amends. When we make amends, others can forgive us without experiencing less respect for themselves.

CSR: How does it feel to be back at your alma mater as a research leader?

LL: Itís so much fun to be back! Walking around campus brings back a lot of good memories from my days as a Calvin student. Iím looking forward to working with faculty members whose courses I took, but this time as a colleague and as someone who can both learn from them and help facilitate their learning.

CSR: Now that you’ve been at CSR for a couple weeks, what’s your impression of your new team?

LL: The CSR team knows how to work hard and how to play hard. Iím grateful to be a part of it.

CSR: What kinds of clients and projects are you most interested in working on?

LL: I love to learn and I love to teach. Iím excited to work on projects that allow me both to learn about new ideas and disciplines and to teach others about research methodology.


Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM
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