CCQDER Profiles

CCQDER staff with Assistant Secretary for HHS Admiral Rachel Levine

Leadership team

Kristen Miller, PhD

CCQDER Director

Dr. Miller, Senior Methodologist, directs the Collaborative Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research (CCQDER) within the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC.  Her writings have focused on question comparability, including question design and equivalence for lower SES respondents and the improvement of evaluation methods for cross-cultural and cross-national testing studies.  She is a co-editor of two survey methodology books: Cognitive Interviewing Methodology (2014) and Question Evaluation Methods (2011).  Throughout her tenure at NCHS, she has led collaborative international testing projects with statistical agencies and organizations including the European Social Survey, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the United Nations.  Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware.

Meredith Massey, PhD

Senior Survey Methodologist / Operations Team Lead

Dr. Massey joined CCQDER in 2012. She is the Team Lead for the CCQDER Operations Team which oversees all aspects of CCQDER operations such as recruiting, data storage and ERB/OMB clearances. Additionally, she facilitates the full planning and execution of question design and survey evaluation studies to test, develop, and improve survey questions. While at CCQDER Dr. Massey’s work has covered a wide range of topics including child disability, record keeping in long-term care facilities and provider opioid prescribing practices. Dr. Massey has a particular interest in working with teenagers and has worked with this population testing questions on alcohol and marijuana use as well as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

Prior to coming to CCQDER, Dr. Massey was a professor at Prince George’s Community College for 12 years. She received her Ph.D. in Public Health, from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Paul Scanlon, PhD

Senior Survey Methodologist / Team Lead

Dr. Scanlon joined CCQDER in 2012. He is responsible for leading survey and questionnaire evaluation projects. Additionally, he directs NCHS’ Research and Development Survey (RANDS), an NCHS survey system that uses commercial survey panels to conduct methodological research and fast-response surveys. Dr. Scanlon’s research interests include mixed method survey evaluation, the development of web probing methodology, and using novel methods to uncover cross-cultural response patterns and sources of error. Prior to coming to NCHS, Dr. Scanlon was a Presidential Management Fellow and worked at both the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Office and the Office of Management and Budget’s office of Statistical and Science Policy. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia, where his dissertation research focused on cognitive anthropology and food studies.

Stephanie Willson, PhD

Senior Survey Methodologist / Team Lead

After teaching for several years at Tri-County Technical College in South Carolina, Dr. Willson joined NCHS in 2001 as a Survey Statistician on the National Survey of Family Growth. In 2004 she joined CCQDER and is currently a Senior Survey Methodologist. Her research interests include advancing cognitive interviewing methodology, especially in the areas of construct validity and question design principles. Dr. Willson is co-editor of Cognitive Interviewing Methodology (2014). She received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Delaware.

Research staff

Kristen Cibelli Hibben, PhD

Behavioral Scientist

Dr. Cibelli Hibben joined CCQDER in 2020 and contributes to question evaluation and measurement projects through cognitive interviewing, data analysis, report writing, and scholarly publication. Her research interests include the use of mixed method approaches to survey question design and evaluation, the assessment of and techniques to improve survey response quality, and the improvement of evaluation methods and best practices for achieving cross-cultural and cross-national comparability. Since joining CCQDER, she has worked on projects covering a range of critical public health topics including self-rated health and satisfaction with life measures, cannabis, gender and other demographic measures, and intimate partner violence. Her work has also included examining time references in COVID-19 questions, the application of advanced statistical methods such as item response theory to examine the performance of survey measures and natural language processing, machine learning, and other computational techniques to detect item nonresponse in open-text response data to improve data quality and efficiency.

Previously, Dr. Cibelli Hibben worked in the International Unit within the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan throughout her Ph.D. studies, and as a Senior Research Associate upon completing her Ph.D. Her dissertation research examined the effectiveness of asking respondents to commit to providing complete and accurate answers and automatic feedback in improving data quality in online surveys. Dr. Cibelli Hibben received her M.S. in Survey Methodology from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at that University of Maryland and her Ph.D. in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan.

Annie MacFadyen, PhD

Behavioral Scientist

Dr. MacFadyen joined CCQDER as a public health analyst in 2019. She contributes to question evaluation projects through cognitive interviewing, data analysis, and report writing. Her research interests include cross-cultural perceptions and patterns of behavior and how question sensitivity affects survey response. Some of Dr. MacFadyen’s work at CCQDER has included authoring findings from cognitive evaluations projects on International Labour Organization’s Labor Force Module for Persons with Disabilities and the National Survey of Children’s Health’s section on School Readiness.

Prior to joining the CCQDER, Dr. MacFadyen worked as a qualitative analyst, researcher, and interviewer with a USAID development project evaluation company. She contributed to the evaluation of projects which focused on a wide range of subjects including improving education and safety in El Salvador and increasing energy access in Ghana. Dr. MacFadyen received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation research focused on rural livelihoods and development in Vietnam.

Amanda Wilmot BSc (Hons), PGCE

Associate Service Fellow

Wilmot joined CCQDER in 2019. She is responsible for the design and implementation of qualitative research projects, including cognitive interview evaluation studies of survey questions. Her interest is in survey methodology and in particular survey pretesting methods. During her time in CCQDER she has particularly enjoyed working on projects evaluating questions of people with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability, as well as questions on Occupational Safety and Health aimed at youth. In previous work, she was a Principal Methodologist and head of Data Collection Methodology for Social Surveys branch at the U.K. Office for National Statistics. Here she specialized in combining qualitative and quantitative pretesting methods to evaluate survey questions. As a Principal Researcher at the University of Leicester, she worked on the development of the European Health and Social Integration Survey questionnaire. This survey measured disability from the perspective of the barriers to social integration as reported by the respondent. Wilmot chaired the 2016 international conference on Questionnaire Design, Development, Evaluation and Testing (QDET2), and is co-editor of the 2019 Wiley publication, Advances in Questionnaire Design, Development, Evaluation and Testing. Wilmot holds an honors degree in Geography from King’s College, University of London, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London.

Valerie Ryan, PhD

Behavioral Scientist

Dr. Ryan joined CCQDER in 2020. Her research interests include sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) measurement and applying mixed method approaches to survey question evaluation. She has co-authored a report on evaluating a gender identity measure and has presented results from a mixed-method study of gender identity measures using data from NCHS’ Research and Development Survey (RANDS). She is also interested in creating effective and accessible data visualizations, an interest stemming from graduate school work in feminist data visualization and universal design principles. Additionally, she is interested in coding standards for statistical computing and examining bias in artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and statistical models.

Dr. Ryan received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Behavioral Science, as well as an M.S. in Statistics, from the University of Rhode Island. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and European History at Suffolk University, where she completed an honors thesis on the history of modern intelligence testing. Her doctoral dissertation was a mixed-method study of men who are involved in primary prevention of intimate partner violence.

Zachary Smith, PhD

Behavioral Scientist

Dr. Smith joined CCQDER in 2020. He conducts cognitive interviews, analyzes cognitive interview findings, authors reports based on cognitive interviewing data, and conducts analysis of open-ended web-probing data from the Division of Research and Methodology’s Research and Development Survey (RANDS). His research interests include qualitative methodology and the incorporation of interpretivist perspectives into mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative question evaluation work. At the CCQDER, Smith has led projects evaluating screening questions relating to COVID-19 symptomology, questions on cannabis use and experiences, health care provision for the National Ambulatory and Medical Care Survey, and complementary and alternative health approaches for the National Health Interview Survey and the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, Dr. Smith closely collaborates with NCHS’s data scientists to develop and evaluate new artificial intelligence/machine learning tools that can aid in qualitative and quantitative approaches to question evaluation. Dr. Smith developed and publicly released the Semi-Automated Nonresponse Detection for Surveys (SANDS) model that can be used to identify non-codable responses to open-ended construct and error follow-up questions, or “web probes.”

Dr. Smith received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research on political institutional development used interviewing, archival, and other qualitative methods. Previously, he received an M.A. in Israeli Studies and an M.Sc. In Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he held a Marshall Scholarship.

Operations Team

Amanda Titus, BS

Behavioral Scientist

Titus joined CCQDER in 2015. She is a member of the CCQDER Operations Team and specializes in recruiting hard-to-reach populations for qualitative question evaluation projects. Such projects have included recruiting adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and women who used controlled substances while pregnant. In addition, Titus aides in the development of study protocols and is the CCQDER coordinator for clearance submissions to the Center’s Research Ethics Review Board and OMB. She also oversees the CCQDER respondent database and collaborates internally and externally in developing programs to facilitate and optimize the recruitment process. Titus earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy Management with a minor in Geology from Towson University.

Kristian Billings, BA, MPH

Behavioral Science Technician

Billings joined the CCQDER Operations Team in 2020. In her role, she screens and schedules qualified respondents to participate in the testing of various question evaluation projects. She also performs duties as a Q-Bank administrator including publishing reports onto the Q-Bank website and ensuring 508 compliance. Prior to joining CCQDER, Billings received on-the-job training in public health at the state health department in West Virginia as part of CDC PHAP program where her focus was in HIV/STD prevention. Billings earned her M.P.H. from National University, and a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University.

Kristian Gregory-Lee, BS

Behavioral Science Technician

Gregory-Lee joined CCQDER in 2017. She is a member of the CCQDER Operation’s Team where she cultivates and implements creative strategies to recruit respondents for NCHS qualitative studies. She has a particular interest in the recruitment of children and young people. For example, she led a successful recruitment of youth and young adults who used illegal substances. In addition, Gregory-Lee is data storage and retention steward for the Operation’s team, as well as the supporting Contracting Officer Representative for the center. Gregory-Lee earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Salisbury University.

Kelley Smith

Behavioral Science Technician

Smith joined the CCQDER Operations Team in 2022. In her role, she recruits, screens and schedules respondents to participate in the testing of various question evaluation projects. Prior to joining CCQDER, Smith worked at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, screening participates for clinical trials.

Support staff (contractors)

Lee Burch

Project Manager

Burch started working at NCHS in 2002. He is the President of Swan Solutions and serves as a Project Manager and Security Steward in the Division of Research Methodology (DRM) for CCQDER. In his role as Project Manager, he has overseen the design, development, testing, implementation, and documentation of Q-Bank, Q-Video, Q-Notes, and Q-Notes Plus software applications. He and his staff have provided all system Certification (SS&A), CDC Enterprise Life Cycle (EPLC), Enterprise Systems Catalog (ESC), and Section 508 compliance processes as well as IT support services, video support services, video data base, and supplemental staffing for CCQDER.

Burch has worked throughout his career in health care and health-related industries, including hospitals, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization, the World Food Organization, and the World Bank and IMF. Additionally, he has been responsible for various non-health related projects such as managing the development and providing support for the security and access control systems for the White House including the design and construction of redundant secure IT data centers for the Secret Service. Also oversaw the data centers operation, support, and maintenance.

Previously, Burch has held positions including VP of international operations, vice president, group general manager, and director of professional services for major consulting and technology firms. Burch holds a B.S. in Business and Finance from the University of Baltimore.

Kirit Joshi, MBA.

IT Process Consultant

Joshi joined NCHS in 2010 as an IT Process Consultant for CCQDER and RDC IT Applications. In this capacity, he manages System Assessment and Authorization (SA&A), Enterprise Project Life Cycle (EPLC), and 508 Compliance processes, as well as conducting application testing and providing user documentation for systems developed by Swan Solutions. Over his 30-year career Joshi has gained extensive experience providing IT services and trainings to various industries (health care, financial services, entertainment, telecom, and pharmaceuticals) as well as to the public sector (federal, state, and local governments and universities). Joshi received an M.B.A. in Finance and IT from Rutgers University, and a B.S. in Physics and Math from Bombay University.

Justin Mezetin

Lead Systems Developer

Mezetin joined CCQDER in 2007 as a software developer. He was responsible for the completion of the initial Q-Bank and Q-Bank Admin development and now at work on its continuing enhancement. He is also the original developer of Q-Notes and Q-Notes Plus web-based analysis software. Mezetin is experienced in developing systems that conform to CDC’s System Assessment and Authorization (SA&A) and 508 requirements. He also serves as a technical liaison with CCQDER, reviewing new and emerging technologies, analyzing CDC constraints and policies, assessing other data systems and programs for collaboration opportunities, and determining alternative methods for enhancements to Q-Bank and Q-Notes to support the CCQDER mission. Mezetin earned a B.S. in Computer Science and an A.S. in Engineering from Washington Adventist University.

Sri Maheedhara, BE

Junior Programmer

Maheedhara joined CCQDER in 2021 and provides support for Q-Bank and Q-Notes development. She has previous work experiences as a software developer and Peoplesoft consultant involving maintenance and support of HR systems. Maheedhara earned a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University, India and holds an Associates Degree in Mobile and Web apps programming from Anne Arundel Community College, Maryland.

Sean Murphy

IT Support and System Administrator

Murphy began working for CCQDER in 2008. His responsibilities include maintaining, installing, and backing up software and hardware for the CCQDER video system and resolving any PC user issues for the CCQDER team. Murphy’s is also responsible for researching new IT and audio/video solutions to support future projects. He recently supervised the hardware and software overhaul for Q-Video, which included new Digital Content Management software and new Windows servers. Murphy attended Coleman University for their Computer Information Systems Program.