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Matt Grossmann

Matt Grossmann

Matt Grossmann is Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and Associate Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University.

His next book, Red State Blues: How the Conservative Revolution Stalled in the States, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in October 2019. Grossmann is also co-author of Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats, published by Oxford University Press in 2016 and winner of the Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award from the American Political Science Association. His previous books include Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945, published by Oxford University Press in 2014 and The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation and American Governance, published by Stanford University Press in 2012. He is co-author of Campaigns & Elections, the leading elections textbook from W.W. Norton. Grossmann serves as a Senior Fellow at the Niskanen Center in Washington, DC, host of The Science of Politics Podcast and a regular contributor at FiveThirtyEight. He has published op-eds in The New York Times and The Washington Post and academic articles in nineteen social science journals. Under Grossmann's leadership since January 2016, IPPSR added more than 60 affiliated faculty members, built a student Policy Fellows Program while expanding Public Policy Forums, public outreach and leadership training. He also created a policy-relevant research search engine, the Correlates of State Policy online database, and an online survey panel of political insiders. He is available by phone at 517 355-6672, by email at, on Twitter @mattgrossmann and at
Arnold Weinfeld - Associate Director IPPSR

Arnold Weinfeld

Arnold is Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at Michigan State University...

Arnold is Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at Michigan State University as well as Director for Workforce and Economic Development Partnerships for the Office of Public Engagement and Scholarship within University Outreach and Engagement. Prior to joining MSU, Arnold served as CEO of the Prima Civitas Foundation, a community and economic development non-profit organization. He also has worked for the Michigan Municipal League where he served in a number of roles and co-founded the Michigan Sense of Place Council. Arnold began his career with the Michigan House of Representatives where he worked as a legislative aide, policy analyst and policy director. He has served his own community as an elected member of the Waverly Community Schools Board of Education and is currently on his local planning commission. He is also on the boards of local and statewide organizations such as the Michigan Sense of Place Council, Rural Partners of Michigan, Capital Area College Access Network. He is a graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Social Science Multi-Disciplinary Program.

Steve Tobocman

Steve Tobocman is managing partner at New Solutions Group, LLC and currently serves as the Director of Global Detroit, a regional economic development initiative focusing on Metro Detroit’s immigrant, international, and global connections to create jobs and raise incomes.

In 1998, Steve conceived of, created, and served as the executive director of Community Legal Resources, a business law pro bono program to provide free legal services to nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities across Michigan. Community Legal Resources was selected as one of the five leading nonprofit legal services programs in the nation by Power of Attorney in 2001 and Steve was honored with the American Bar Association’s Business Law Public Service Award in 2002. In 2002, Steve became the first person to unseat an incumbent member of the House of Representatives in Michigan since term limits were adopted in the mid-1990s. He served in the Michigan House for three consecutive, two-year terms (the maximum allowed under Michigan’s term limits laws.) He was elected Majority Floor Leader, the second-highest position in the Michigan House, during his third term. He is author of 24 public acts and an important contributor to such initiatives as legislation authorizing Michigan land banks and a statewide housing and community development fund. He played key roles in one of the nation’s toughest immigrant consumer protection laws, rewrote blight laws and helped strengthen protections for low-income tenants against eminent domain. Prior to his election to office, he served a year of service in Americorps and was a founding board member of Community Development Advocates of Detroit and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. He earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School and a Masters in Public Policy from U of M’s Ford School of Public Policy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics earned at the University of Virginia. He is available at
Susy Avery

Susy Heintz Avery

Susy Heintz Avery is a veteran of political campaigns and public administration.

She was an elected trustee, clerk and supervisor of Northville Charter Township before elected a Wayne County Commissioner representing the communities of Livonia, Plymouth and Northville.  She also served on the Michigan Commission of Intergovernmental Relations, the Detroit Water Board, the Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors, the Southeastern Council of Governments’ Executive Committee, Chair of the Rouge River Watershed Council and the first executive Director of the Conference of Western Wayne. She’s been a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, on the Board of Directors for the Automobile National Heritage Area and on the Board of Directors for Achieve 121. She was an Advisory Board Member of the Great Lakes Education Project. In the 1990s, she was tapped by Gov. John Engler to serve as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party. She left that post in 1996 to run a hotly contested congressional race against long-time Democratic incumbent David Bonior. She lost that race, but gave Bonior one of his closest elections ever. Engler named her state Director of Travel and Tourism and Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her executive director of the Michigan Women’s Commission, a post from which she recently retired. She’s hosted two cable television programs, been a frequent panelist on CBS television and radio programs, managed political campaigns, worked for the Wayne County Airport Authority and as advancement director at The Henry Ford – Greenfield Village. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and was named “Alumni of the Year.” She’s been listed in “Who’s Who in American Women” and “Who’s Who in Executives and Business,” and is winner of numerous civic and humanitarian awards. Among her awards are the Award of Excellence from the Michigan Aeronautics Commission and the President’s Award from the Michigan Association of Airport Executives.  
Linda Cleary

Linda Cleary

Linda Cleary is Administrator of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, joining IPPSR in 2009.

Prior to joining the MPLP staff, Linda's career focused on the hospitality industry, financial management and securities and marketing and sales. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Delhi, worked for the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and in securities for a financial investment firm. In addition to her other positions, she has been administrator for the Michigan Political History Society. She can be reached at 517-353-0891 or at

Katherine Cusick

Katherine Cusick is Research Assistant for IPPSR, assisting Michigan Political Leadership Program with programming and logistics. Ms. Cusick has been with IPPSR since 1994.

During her tenure, Katherine served 11 years as Director of the Office for Survey Research's telephone interviewing facility. Prior to her work at IPPSR, she was a Court Investigator with the State of Michigan for eight years and a Director of Residential Life at Barry University and the University of Detroit Mercy. Katherine's volunteer activities include serving on the Alumni Board of Directors at Siena Heights University and as a Commissioner with the East Lansing Housing Commission. Katherine has a master's in guidance and counseling from Sienna Heights University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the State of Michigan. Katherine is available at 517-353-1357 or at

Charles L. Ballard

Dr. Ballard is Director of the State of the State Survey (SOSS) and Professor of Economics at Michigan State University. He is a distinguished economist, widely published and well-known for his ability to communicate the complexities of economics in everyday language.

His research has focused on such topics as tax policy, healthcare financing and Michigan's financial future. Charles Ballard has been on the Economics faculty at Michigan State University since 1983, when he received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. In 2007, he became Director of the State of the State Survey, in MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Also in 2007, he won the Outstanding Teacher Award in MSU’s College of Social Science. In 2011, he joined the Board of Directors of the Michigan League for Public Policy. He has served as a consultant with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health & Human Services, and Treasury, and with research institutes in Australia, Denmark, and Finland. His books include Michigan at the Millennium and Michigan’s Economic Future. He co-edited "Michigan at the Millennium," a portrait of the state's fiscal and economic structure and is winner of the 2007 College of Social Science Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award. His most recent book is "Michigan's Economic Future: Challenges and Opportunities." He is also the author of "Real Economics for Real People" and "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation." He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Treasury. He can be reached at or 517-353-2961.
Picture of Del Solis

Delicia Solis

Delicia Solis is Assistant Director of Survey Operations at OSR. Del started working in the IPPSR/OSR Survey Research Lab as an interviewer in 2006 while pursuing her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Community Relations at MSU.

Del also worked as a Lab Supervisor and a Lab Manager; she has supervised up to 150 interviewers. She is a graduate of the IPPSR/OSR Survey Operations Skills Program (SOSP). In 2014, Del joined the Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an Interviewer Supervisor for the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Study (BRFSS). While at BOSR, she focused on English-Spanish translations, interviewer training, and quality assurance. In 2015, Del returned to MSU as a Survey Research Lab Manager. Del assists the OSR Director with the day-to-day operations of the Survey Research lab, conducts General Interviewer Trainings (GIT), CATI Training, project trainings, and Spanish trainings. Del can be reached at 517-353-9583 or
Picture of Karen Clark

Karen Clark

Karen Clark has been with OSR since 1989, and currently serves as a Senior Project Manager and Web Survey Coordinator.  

Karen has programmed and managed hundreds of web surveys administered to tens of thousands of respondents, including projects overseas and in a variety of other languages.  Karen has managed research projects in all modes including mixed mode studies. Her degree is in political science.   Karen can be reached at (517) 353-1764 or
Picture of Debra Rusz

Debra Rusz

She holds degrees in environmental sociology and wildlife management. She joined OSR in 1990 and has worked on a variety of telephone, mail and data entry projects.

Since 1997, her primary assignment has been the data and project manager for the annual Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) and other BRFS-type surveys, such as the Asthma Follow-Up Survey, and the Cancer surveys. She has also been involved in statistical analysis and report writing for clients. Debra is available at (517) 353-1766 and
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Paul J. Lavrakas

Paul J. Lavrakas, PH.D. is OSR's Senior Research Fellow. Paul is a research psychologist, currently serving as a senior methodological research advisor for several public- and private-sector organizations in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Japan.

He served as Vice President and chief methodologist for Nielsen Media Research from 2000-2007. He was tenured Full Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at Northwestern University (1978-1996) and at Ohio State University (1996-2000), and the founding faculty director of the Northwestern University Survey Lab (1982-1996) and the OSU Center for Survey Research (1996-2000). Among his many publications, he has written a widely read book (Sage; 1987, 1993) and many handbook chapters (e.g., Elsevier, 2010; Cambridge U. Press, 2013) on telephone survey research methods; and is the editor/author of the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods (Sage; 2008), co-editor/author of Advances in Telephone Survey Methods (Wiley; 2008), co-editor/author of Online Panel Research: A Data Quality Perspective (Wiley; 2014), co-author of Qualitative Research Design: A Quality Framework Approach (Guilford; 2015), and lead editor and author for Experimental Methods in Survey Research: Techniques that Combine Random Sampling with Random Assignment (Wiley, forthcoming).
Cindy Kyle

Cindy Kyle

Ms. Kyle is an award-winning journalist with a professional background in teaching, training, consulting and internet communications.

At IPPSR she supports all the Institute's communications, internal, external and program-related for the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the annual Forum Series, the Office for Survey Research and the State of the State Survey. Operationally, she helps to craft marketing communications, assists with brand management, strategic planning and visual communications, oversees media relations and implements the Institute's web, internet and social network educational strategies in traditional and digital formats. She takes part in the MSU_Web_Dev_CAFE and MSU’s Training Design Café, and is a member of the MSU Communicators Network. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ball State University and was a Kiplinger Fellow at The Ohio State University where she earned a Master of Arts degree. She's completed business management coursework through Aquinas College's Master of Management program and computer applications training through Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. Prior to her position at MSU, she worked with the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Newsweek on Campus, U.S. News & World Report and the Lansing State Journal, where she was automotive and regional editor. Moving from print to virtual media, Cindy was a specialist at CoreComm Internet Services, Inc. She has also been a journalism instructor at The Ohio State University, Wayne State University and Michigan State University. She is a founding member of the revitalized Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and past president of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Cindy can be reached at 517-353-1731 and at

James Sprague

Information Technologist