Together we form a diverse team with a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds. Our staff of nearly 30 experts will work closely with you to design a project that meets your unique needs and delivers high quality results.
You can also reach staff members by sending an email using their first initial followed by their last name [@] vitalresearch.com (e.g., Jane Smith: email@example.com)
Christina has been assisting the Vital Research office since 2014. She has provided reliable support with data entry, phone surveys, preparing survey materials, interview materials and administrative support when needed. When she is not assisting the office, Christina is pursuing her undergraduate career at Cal State Long Beach with a major in English Education and a minor in Chicano/Latino Studies.
Julie is committed to accurate qualitative and numeric data entry. She also provides reliable general research study support to all project managers, including phone interviews, data collection in the field, and coding data. Julie has over 10 years of experience in the applied research field.
As HR Manager, Valerie is dedicated to partnering with Vital Research’s business units to maximize the potential of our greatest asset–our employees. She is passionate about people, processes, policies, and systems and aims to deliver top-notch service in her day-to-day administrative role. Valerie is committed to recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining our workforce with the primary goal of aligning efforts with company initiatives, values, strategies and the needs of all stakeholders.
As Project Manager in the Aging and Disabilities division, Olia currently manages statewide data collection efforts across the states of Minnesota and Ohio. She is responsible for overseeing every aspect of project development and implementation. Olia has over six years of experience developing business proposals and managing national and international multi-million dollar research projects for clients such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as various state and federal government agencies.
Olia holds a Master’s of Business Administration degree with focus on Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability from Hult International Business School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland. She is passionate about making a strong contribution in our society and ensuring long-term sustainability and welfare of our communities and our environment.
As Associate Director of Aging Services at Vital Research, Leslie works closely with VR President, Harold Urman, to oversee and steer the division. Leslie also supervises the implementation of various data collection projects that focus on areas such as the quality of life and satisfaction among older adults.
Leslie has over 12 years of experience supervising and managing projects in several states across the country, overseeing every aspect of their administration. She has managed multi-million dollar research projects for clients such as the U.S Department of Education, as well as conducted social science and education policy research activities for clients such as the National Science Foundation and the California Department of Education. She has managed projects with remote field teams of up to 80 interviewers and quality assurance monitors, such as the Ohio Department of Aging’s Resident Satisfaction Survey which gathered over 13,000 interviews across the state in a 16-week period.
Leslie is passionate about using data to serve our most vulnerable populations, including nursing home and residential care facility residents, PACE participants, older adults receiving home and community-based services, Medicaid recipients, and people with physical and developmental/intellectual disabilities. Leslie brings a positive, “can do” attitude wherever her work leads her– conducting trainings, consulting clients, managing in-house staff and remote field interviewer teams, giving professional presentations, analyzing complex datasets, writing narrative reports on key findings, and providing policy recommendations.
Leslie holds a Master’s Degree in the Social Sciences in Education from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree in Social Ethics and Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Humanities from Pepperdine University.
Norma has proven to be essential to the Vital Research team. Her high energy level and outstanding software skills served her well when she supported the entire office as Executive Assistant. Her ability to work quickly while paying careful attention to details helps her in her current position. She is responsible for coordinating dozens of client projects in the Aging Services divisions annually. She plans and oversees all data collection efforts and is the first point of contact for field interviewers. Norma is also known for bringing Bunco to the office as part of her membership of the VR K’nex team, a group of staff members committed to organizing volunteer opportunities and social events. Norma earned a certificate in Computerized Business Systems at the Computer Learning Center in Los Angeles and is currently pursuing her Associates Degree at Pasadena City College.
As Senior Research Associate, Cathy provides support in multiple areas including education, social services, and health. For these projects she participates in evaluation and research design, project management and implementation, data analysis, and reporting. Cathy’s methodological expertise spans qualitative and quantitative methods, with emphasis in advanced quantitative methods related to causal inference. Her content expertise includes young children’s early development, family systems, and early childhood care and development program design, implementation, and evaluation both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Vital Research, Cathy was an Early Childhood Development Advisor with Save the Children Federation, an international non-profit, for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Cathy holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles School of Education and Information Studies, where her research focused on the impact of social policies and programs on young children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development as well as children’s identity development. She also holds a Ed. M. from Harvard University’s School of Education in International Education Policy. Cathy is enthusiastic to be continuing her work dedicated to improving lives of children and families in situations of risk at Vital Research.
As a Project Coordinator, Steven provides support for large-scale, statewide data collection projects related to Aging and Disabilities. His responsibilities include data collection, data management, recruitment, coordination, and reporting.
Steven is passionate about empowering underserved and marginalized communities and is committed to using data-driven research to address health disparities. Prior to joining Vital Research, Steven worked with non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Lung Association in community engagement, empowerment, education, and advocacy roles.
Steven holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in Health Education and Promotion. He also has attained a B.S. degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Health Promotion and a Minor in Ethnic and Women’s Studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Adrienne joined Vital Research in 2012 and is responsible for evaluation project management, project design, grant writing, quantitative and qualitative instrument development, data collection, and reporting. In her work, Adrienne’s aim is to ensure all clients receive actionable results that can be used to improve their programs. Adrienne has worked in research and evaluation capacities for over 10 years in universities and the private sector, including work at the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCSE) at UT Austin, the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health, and the National Opinion Research Center. Adrienne is currently a Ph.D. student in Social Research Methodology at the University of California Los Angeles. In addition, she holds a Master’s of Public Health in Community Health Sciences with a focus on women’s health from UIC and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University.
As a Project Coordinator, Erin provides support and coordination for large-scale, statewide data collection projects. She is passionate about healthy aging and is committed to using data to help clients improve the lives of the populations they serve. Erin has experience in program coordination and data analysis for working with the aging. Prior to joining Vital Research, she worked for the UCLA Longevity Center.
Erin holds a B.A. in Sociology and History from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Social Work degree with a Certificate in Gerontological Social Work from Boston University.
Diana takes pride in providing the Vital Research staff with superior administrative support. Her positive attitude makes it easy for staff to rely on her support. On any given day, Diana will format a client report, create charts for a presentation, or prepare training materials for 50 field interviewers. She is also an integral member of the VR K’nex team, creating opportunities for staff members to volunteer at local community-based organizations, to celebrate milestones, and to connect with each other across divisions.
Michael is responsible for coordination of statewide projects in the Aging and Disabilities division. In this role, he has provided general support and oversight to field staff for various consumer survey programs. Before joining Vital Research in 2016, Michael worked with marginalized and under-resourced populations at various public defenders’ offices throughout California, where he conducted fact investigation, researched legal issues, and drafted motions to be filed in court. Michael holds a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Vanessa manages administrative functions critical to Vital Research, including payroll, timekeeping, billing, and human resources administration. She has worked for Vital Research since 1994, and received her Bachelor of Science at the Cebu Doctors College in the Philippines.
Emily is a vital member of the Administration Team, providing excellent administrative support. Emily is involved with day to day administrative tasks and support of project managers as needed. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting/finance.
Jacob works within the Data Processing Unit, providing accurate entry and coding of qualitative and quantitative data. He also takes part in data collection, particularly in the form of phone interviews. He also provides support in other departments, offering aid to our project manager and administrative team as needed. Jacob holds a B.A. in Modern Languages and an MA in History.
As a Project Manager for statewide projects, Gloria manages and supports various aspects of large-scale consumer survey campaigns in aging and disabilities. She believes every email sent and revision made is meaningful because it is part of giving a voice to vulnerable populations. Prior to joining Vital Research, she worked in a variety of industries, including consulting, advertising, and project management. She has over ten years corporate and non-profit experience managing multifaceted projects, which demanded meticulous attention-to-detail, communication, and organizational skills as she led and/or collaborated with colleagues, vendors, and clients. Gloria holds a B.A. in Government and International Relations from Wesleyan University and has completed coursework for a M.Ed. at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education.
As a Senior Research Associate, Janet has a hand in all aspects of the evaluation process – from evaluation design and implementation to the reporting and dissemination of findings. More specifically, Janet has expertise in the design of both formative and summative evaluations, instrument development, data collection and analysis, report writing, and project management. Her experience includes work with a diverse set of clients, as well as encompasses a wide range of research methods (quantitative and qualitative) as well as up-to-date evaluation theories and processes. In particular, Janet is a proponent of applying evaluative thinking and utilizing the evaluation process and findings to encourage clients to change the way they think about evaluation and consequently make a difference in their work internally and externally. Prior to joining the Vital Research team, most recently Janet worked on evaluation projects for the University of California, Los Angeles’s (UCLA) Graduate School of Education’s SRM Evaluation group. In the past, Janet also developed and conducted workshops on evaluation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pomona College, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and has completed all but her dissertation for her doctoral degree from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education.
As Project Manager in Aging and Disabilities, Van oversees all project phases of statewide data collection. Van serves as a primary point of contact for stakeholders, facilitates trainings, and manages data collection and quality assurance activities. Van’s experience in the social service sector has focused on the disability community, managing non-profit programs, overseeing federal and state contracts, and building relationships within diverse communities and outside agencies.
Van holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Tufts University, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work at New York University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New York. Van is passionate about working in programs that impact the disability and aging communities, and enjoys being involved in projects that lead to better access to services for these communities.
With more than 10 years of experience, Karilyn provides quantitative and qualitative data entry and processing support that is highly accurate and timely. She has special expertise in the analysis of open-ended survey comments and provides general research study support including qualitative data collection in the field, survey administration, telephone interviewing, and project coordination. Karilyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Business Management. Her strong foundation in research was established in part by her uniquely diverse business experience, which included studying demographic variables while working in the commercial real estate industry.
Chris began working at Vital Research in 2015. His responsibilities include design and development of databases and related tools to enable accurate storage and analysis of survey data. Chris brings 20 years of programming experience with organizations across a range of disciplines, including medical diagnostics, electronic publishing, township government lobbying and congressional staffing. He specializes in combining the capabilities of SQL and Microsoft Office Automation/VBA to create simple-to-use applications, which allow users to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Indiana University-Bloomington.
Matthew provides research support with a sharp eye for detail for Vital Research. He plans and coordinates all data entry activities, supervises research assistants, and implements and maintains quality control systems. A graduate of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, he has a B.A. in Anthropology. Before coming to Vital Research, he worked for the 2010 United States Census.
Technical support from Eliot for the Vital Research office in Los Angeles often provides new insight into the real or potential IT issues we face in striving to serve our clients. He provides expertise in all areas from desktop troubleshooting and local network solutions to mobile devices and telecommunications, web application development and cloud computing.
As one of the founding partners and a senior researcher, Gwen directs and designs study components and evaluations to help clients enact change. She provides expertise in outcomes research and studies on the quality of life, health care, aging, education, and training. With over 35 years of experience in research and its methods, Gwen assists clients in selecting appropriate designs, sample sizes and sampling plans, and instruments. She oversees all aspects of projects, analyzes data, and ensures that clients fully understand how to interpret and apply their findings. Vital Research, built on its four core values more than 30 years ago, continues to inspire Gwen to collaborate with clients to take actions based on their findings so that they can make positive changes for individuals, families, and communities. She earned both Bachelors and Master’s degrees in primary care and gerontological nursing at UCLA and her Ph.D. in education focusing on research methods, measurement, and statistics from the Rossier School of Education, USC. She has served on faculty at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and UCLA, on the NIH NINR Study Section to review federal grant proposals, the American Nurses’ Association Certification Board for geriatric nurse practitioners, and reviews manuscripts for several professional journals.
Harold co-founded Vital Research in 1982 because he wanted his research to make a difference in the lives of others. You will appreciate the commitment, dedication, and collaboration that go into each of his research, evaluation, and survey projects. Harold is a specialist in study design, survey development, psychometrics and statistical analysis, and large-scale data tracking and management. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California with an emphasis in research methods and statistics; he has expertise in numerous statistical programming and business analytics software tools. He strives to take complex data and translate them into actionable findings that his clients can use to transform the lives of the people they serve.
Jennifer provides research support in the areas of data management, data collection, and project coordination. She tracks electronic data collection and scripts mobile survey programming. Prior to joining Vital Research, she worked for the United States Census and the University of Minnesota Health Studies office. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
As Director of Operations, Muriel has the opportunity to facilitate change for both internal and external clients. Most of her time is spent on directing and supporting large-scale consumer surveys in aging and disabilities. Giving a voice to vulnerable individuals drives Muriel to give it her all. She enjoys traveling to Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado, Mississippi and other states to consult with clients on project design and implementation. Muriel has directed more than 15 statewide nursing facility Quality of Life surveys and Home and Community Based Services consumer surveys, resulting in over 300,000 in-person interviews using the most up-to-date technology solutions.
In the office, Muriel works closely with the project management, data, and administrative support team to identify and implement the most efficient and effective ways to deliver the best possible service. She engages the team in sharing new ideas and different perspectives for continuous strengthening of the deliverables to both internal and external stakeholders.
Muriel’s geriatric research experience includes managing National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical grants at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Her work with nursing home residents and their caregivers at University of California, Los Angeles’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center resulted in the validation of an internationally recognized neuropsychiatric inventory tool. Muriel holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.