Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

Site   Datasets    Advanced Search
University of Connecticut

Meet the Roper Staff


Meet the Roper Staff
Paul Herrnson

Executive Director and Professor of Political Science -
Paul Herrnson
| 860.486.4440

Paul, an expert in  American politics, is Executive Director of the Roper Center and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. He has published numerous books, including Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot, Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington, The Financiers of Congressional Elections, and Interest Groups Unleashed. He has written many journal articles and book chapters. and is the editor of the Real Politics in America book series with Pearson Longman.

Herrnson has directed several  projects on political parties and elections, money and politics, and voting technology and election administration. The founding director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland, he has received numerous teaching awards and fellowships and advised the U.S. Congress, the Maryland General Assembly, and numerous governmental and nongovernmental agencies on matters pertaining to campaign finance, party politics, and political reform.

Lois Timms-Ferrara

Associate Director - Lois Timms-Ferrara
860.486.0656

Lois began her career as a public opinion analyst for the Roper Center, preparing reports for media and academic researchers. Today, she is associate director of the Center and has lead responsibility for data acquisition, and member/user development. Her formal education is in Economics and her graduate studies have been in Organizational Relations. Lois' current interests lie in developing educational tools for instruction in the use of polling data in the undergraduate classroom.  She is a participating member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the International Association for Social Science, Information, Service and Technology (IASSIST).

Marc Maynard

Director of Technical Services - Marc Maynard
860.486.4599

Marc is Director of Technical Services at the Roper Center. With experience in user services and archives management, he has most recently directed efforts to further develop the Roper Center's data access services.  He has been primarily responsible for the development of iPOLL, the Center's question retrieval system and RoperExpress, its data download service.   Marc serves on the Operations Committee of the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS), a partnership in the Library of Congress' National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). He received a BS in business from the University of Connecticut and an MS in information technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Carl Brown

iPOLL Acquisitions Manager - Carl Brown
860.486.4440

Carl has been with the Roper Center since 1999, and currently collects and prepares new polls for entry into the iPOLL system and selects poll questions for our daily Twitter and Facebook feeds. He previously worked on the now-retired JPoll system of Japanese poll questions and prepared Elmo Roper's papers at the Dodd Center.  He has a BA in Modern European history and an MA in American history from UConn, also works in retail, and spends much of his free time creating digital art.

Elise Dunham

Metadata Production Specialist - Elise Dunham
860.486.3833

Elise is the Center's Metadata Production Specialist involved in the continued growth of the iPOLL Databank, in addition to playing a key role in the development and implementation of new metadata and preservation workflow processes. Elise holds an MSLS from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she focused her studies on archives, metadata, and database management. She is an active member of the archives field, serving in various capacities with the New England Archivists (NEA) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

Terry Emmons

Financial Assistant - Terry Emmons
860.486.5258

Terry has been with the Roper Center since 1989 handling a broad array of administrative responsibilities including monitoring financials.  She enjoys solving problems and associating with the many clients, data providers, friends, and associates of the Center.

Darlene Hart

Web Manager - Darlene Hart
860.486.0652

Darlene has been the Center's Web Manager since 2000.  She is responsible for site design, day-to-day maintenance, managing redesigns of the site and working with staff to develop content.  Prior to web management she worked for fifteen years in a career that began with work management analysis, expanded into project management and eventually led to corporate education and training. She has a Bachelor's of General Studies degree (majoring in Industrial Engineering) from UConn.

Stephen King

Digital Archives Systems Administrator - Stephen King
860.486.5501

Stephen has been with the Roper Center since April of 2012 in the role of Digital Archives System Administrator. Stephen brings to the center, 18 years of experience in technical systems engineering and management along with analysis, design and programming skills. Stephen is a former manufacturing engineer who earned a BS in Management Information Systems from CCSU in 1996. On weekends you can find Stephen behind the keyboards of the popular, Connecticut based funk band, Avenue Groove.

Meena Lee

Graphic Designer - Meena Lee
860.486.4440

Meena started at the Roper Center in 1999 as a student working on the now retired Public Perspective magazine. In her current role as Art Director she oversees the look of the Center for the web site and marketing materials. Her varied skill sets are use in the annual fundraising dinner for the Warren J Mitofsky Award.  Meena has a Bachelor's degree in Communication Design with a minor in Child Psychology from UConn.

Kaylee Sawyer

Marketing Communications Associate - Kaylee Sawyer   860.486.4440

Kaylee joined the Roper Center team as a UConn student in June of 2008, where she completed two Bachelor's degrees in Communication Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology. As Marketing Communications Associate her primary responsibilities include creating promotional materials and maintaining social media pages, as well as various membership activities ranging from facilitating new trials to assisting membership representatives with workshops and webinars. In her free time, she enjoys visiting her local dog park with her two rescues, Charlie and Reign, and planning her next scuba diving vacation.

Cindy Teixeira

Manager of Archival Operations - Cindy Teixeira
860.486.0655

Cindy currently serves as Manager of Archival Development and has been at the Roper Center since 1996.  She participates in the development and adoption of archival standards for the Center's collections.  She manages the Archive Team in processing datasets through our multi-track approach: 1) new acquisitions, 2) collection reprocessing, and 3) client orders.  Cindy also enjoys advising and training members on the use of data files for secondary analysis.

Kathleen Weldon

Research Coordinator - Kathleen Weldon
860.486.9347

Kathleen is Research Coordinator for the Roper Center. She leads a new research unit that uses the rich data resources of the Center to illuminate questions about the publicís views on important issues. A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in English, she started her career in public opinion at Harvard designing surveys with media and foundation partners. Kathleen is a member of AAPOR and currently serves as the program planning chair for NEAPOR.


Maria Avitia

Maria Avitia

Maria received her master's in Educational Psychology at Indiana University and is now working on her PhD. in School Psychology here at UConn. Her interests are in learning disabilities with an emphasis in reading. Maria works in the archive department at the Roper Center recoding older surveys to newer current formats.

Nellie Binder

Nellie Binder

Nellie is a junior majoring in International Relations with a minor in Art History in the Honors Program. She has been working at the Roper Center for over two years, and she also works at the UConn Writing Center as a tutor. Nellie is part of UConn Model United Nations, is a UNESCO Student Ambassador, and this summer she traveled to Cusco, Peru to volunteer at a clinic for disabled children.

Tara Butricks

Tara Butricks

Tara is an undergraduate student with a double major in History and Political Science. She works with the iPOLL team on datasets, data entry, and proofing. When not at the Roper Center, Tara can be found doing homework or watching Parks and Rec.

Kim Card

Kimberly Card

Kim has just recently joined the Roper Center. She is pursuing a degree in Nursing and minoring in Food Science. Working with the financial assistant, her responsibilities at the Roper Center will be assisting in invoicing, financial recording, mailings, and providing support to the front office with phones. Kim is involved in Greek Life.  In her free time she enjoys dancing and spending time with friends and family.

Katie Cavanaugh

Katie Cavanaugh

Katie joined the Roper Center in January 2014.  Katie is currently pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Management (with an International Business focus), with plans to graduate in 2017. She is also a member of UConn's Honors Program and Special Program in Law.  At the Roper Center, Katie works as a Research Assistant, focusing on congressional elections and women in politics.  In her free time, Katie enjoys playing volleyball and reading.

Alexa De Rosa

Alexa De Rosa

Alexa joined the Roper Center in May 2014 as a data entry and quality control assistant and is currently working on proofreading for iPOLL. As an undergraduate at UConn, she is pursuing a bachelorís degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Development and Education. In her free time, Alexa enjoys spending time outdoors, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Ian Fignon

Ian Fignon

Ian is a sophomore majoring in political science in the Honors Program. At the Roper Center, Ian works as a Research Assistant looking at congressional elections data. Additionally he works as a tutor at UConnís Writing Center and serves as both the vice president and legislative committee head for the universityís local chapter of the activist group Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In his free time Ian enjoys running, videogames, keeping updated on current events, and writing creatively.

Sarah Lynn

Sarah Lynn

Sarah is an undergraduate student at UConn pursuing a dual-degree focused on mathematics generally as well as math-education. She is part of the iPOLL staff at the Roper Center focusing on the flow of the system. Sarah enters new questions into the computer system and also proofs those already entered in the system. She also checks trend and datasets to ensure the detail and accuracy of iPOLL.

Josef (Kuo-Hsun) Ma

Josef (Kuo-Hsun) Ma

Josef is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UConn. His research interests include student internet use and educational outcomes in cross-national comparative perspective, religious participation, and altruism. Currently, he is working on his dissertation concerning the role of national context and educational policy in determining students' digital use across rich and poor countries. He has published articles in Social Forces, International Sociology, Sociological Forum, and Journal of Taiwan Studies. At the Roper Center, Josef works for the data archive department to help process survey datasets.

Lindsey Pellino

Lindsey Pellino

Lindsey has been working at the archive of the Roper Center since 2010.  She writes abstracts, checks and enters data, translates studies, and helps with other archival processes.  She is a double major in History and English, with a concentration in Creative Writing.  In her free time, Lindsey volunteers at animal shelters and works on short films.

Marissa Piccolo

Marissa Piccolo

Marissa is a sophomore Political Science and Economics major in the UConn Honors Program. She is a 2014 SHARE Awardee, and studied school-based mental health services as a member of the Holster Scholars program. She is interested in a variety of issues-based research areas, as well as how public opinion affects the American political system and governmental decision-making. She is also the President of the UConn College Democrats, and plans on attending law school.

Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline recently began working at the Roper Center and is mainly working with iPOLL data. She is a freshman at UConn, currently in the School of Business.  Aside from working at the Roper Center, Caroline is involved in many organizations on campus including the Woman in Business organization and a sorority.

Yaira Rivera

Yaira Rivera

Yaira is a graduate student in the Computer Science & Engineering department at the University of Connecticut.  Yaira's Roper Center responsibilities include work on iPOLL web page, by adding elements to it and modifying existing ones.

Selma Sahin

Selma Sahin

Selma has joined the Roper Center community fairly new as an undergraduate student at UConn. She is a member of the iPOLL team, responsible for data entry and quality control. She is working towards her degree in Psychology along with Human Development and Family Studies in order to build her platform to work with children and their families in the future.

Emma Sifre

Emma Sifre

Emma is a research assistant. She will be assisting faculty fellow Thomas Hayes with research on the intersection of ideology and public opinion on wealth and income disparities. Emma is a junior studying economics with a specific interest in economic inequality. She hopes to one day turn her interest in economic inequality into a job with a non-profit organization in order to help to address poverty in the United States.

Rachel Silvia

Rachel Silvia

Rachel joined the Roper Center in May 2014 as an iPOLL proofreader and data entry assistant. She is a PhD student in the English department at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include contemporary American womenís literature and multiethnic studies. In her free time, Rachel enjoys music, hiking, spending time with friends, and traveling.

Malaena Taylor

Malaena Taylor

Malaena is a Ph.D. candidate from the Sociology Department at UConn. Her dissertation focuses on mass media and public opinion as mediating factors in the complex relationship between the state and social movements.

Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas

Joshua is an undergraduate Research Assistant who is studying congressional elections.  At UConn, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and is minoring in public policy.  After graduation, Joshua wants to work in Washington D.C. and help formulate public policy.  Aside from doing research, Joshua enjoys playing the acoustic guitar and listening to salsa music.

Brian Tiedt

Brian Tiedt

Brian joined the Roper Center in September 2013. Brian is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science. At the Roper Center, Brian works as a Research Associate gathering and analyzing opinion data. In his spare time, Brian enjoys playing soccer.

Cassidy Olio

Emma Wager

Emma is an economics and political science major with a minor in healthcare management. She has interned with the Connecticut General Assembly and plans to obtain a Master's degree and work in government health care policy. She is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. In her free time, Emma enjoys running, dancing, music, and hanging out with friends.

Fouad Zeineddine

Fouad Bou Zeineddine

Fouad is a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Connecticut. His research is concerned with collective moral-political aspirations and entitlements, and their relationship to perceptions of and responses to moral-political infractions and shortfalls. From within this framework, his work studies the perspectives of subordinated groups on dominance relationships rooted in intergroup power dynamics and structures. Publications