CCQDER Profiles

QDRL profiles

Leadership team

Kristen Miller, Ph.D.

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.

Karen Whitaker

Program Specialist

Whitaker joined CCQDER in 1993. She oversees and manages the administrative and logistical aspects of CCQDER operations. These include budget, contracts and reimbursable agreements, study protocols and clearance packages for submission to the Center’s Research Ethics Review Board and OMB, procurement of hardware and software, respondent recruitment, and respondent remuneration.

Stephanie Willson, PhD

Principal Investigator/Data Quality Steward

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 received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Delaware.

Research staff

Lauren Creamer

Behavioral Scientist

Creamer joined CCQDER in 2011 as a video indexer. In 2013, she became CCQDER’s recruiter. In 2015, she became a behavioral scientist. In this role, she oversees participant recruitment for cognitive interview studies. In addition to recruiting, Creamer conducts cognitive interviews and co-authors reports on the interview findings.

Prior to joining CCQDER, Creamer gained valuable management, logistical planning, and professional networking experience while working as an office manager and customer service representative. Creamer has volunteered with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center at PGHC, the DC Rape Crisis Center, and the Sumanahalli Leprosy and HIV Rehabilitation Center. Through her volunteer work, Creamer has over 3 years of experience working with sensitive populations.

Creamer earned a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently pursuing an M.P.H. from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Annie MacFadyen, PhD

Associate Service Fellow

Dr. MacFadyen joined the 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. She holds a B.A in Environmental Biology and Classics from the University of Colorado and received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation research focused on rural livelihoods and development in Vietnam. 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.

Meredith Massey, Ph.D., M.Ed.

Team Lead/Principal Investigator

Dr. Massey joined CCQDER in 2012. She facilitates the full planning and execution of question design and survey evaluation studies to test, develop, and improve survey questions. Prior to joining CCQDER, Dr. Massey worked on several large-scale health communication studies related to long-term care, patient-provider communication and HIV linkage to care outreach. Previously, Dr. Massey was a professor at Prince George’s Community College for 12 years. Dr. Massey received a Ph.D. in Public Health, from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, an M.Ed. from Framingham State College, and a B.A. from Warren Wilson College.

Bridget Reynolds

Senior Service Fellow

Dr. Reynolds joined CCQDER in 2016 as a Senior Service Fellow. In this role, she contributes to question evaluation and measurement projects through cognitive interviewing, data analysis, report writing, and scholarly publication. Dr. Reynolds is particularly interested in integrating quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques to improve survey question design and evaluation.

Prior to joining the CQDER, Dr. Reynolds served as a senior research manager in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she provided methodological, statistical, and project management support for research studies in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. She also held a postdoctoral position in health psychology at UCLA, where she conducted research examining connections between day-to-day stress processes, family life, and health.

Dr. Reynolds earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA, with major areas of focus in developmental and quantitative psychology. She also earned an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Ithaca College.

Paul Scanlon, Ph.D.

Team Lead/Principal Investigator

Dr. Scanlon, a Survey Methodologist, has been with CCQDER since 2012. Dr. Scanlon is one of CCQDER’s Principal Investigators, and leads various survey and questionnaire evaluation projects. Additionally, he directs the Office of Research and Methodology’s Research and Development Survey (RANDS), which will explore new ways for NCHS to capture health data and evaluate survey questions. Dr. Scanlon’s research interests include proxy and cross-cultural response patterns, and how respondents’ privacy and confidentiality concerns effect survey response. He holds a B.S. and a B.Phil. from Pennsylvania State University and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia, where his dissertation research focused on cognitive anthropology and food studies. 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.

J. Brent Vickers, Ph.D.

Associate Service Fellow

Dr. Vickers joined CCQDER as an Associate Service Fellow and Principal Investigator in 2017. His main research interests focus on cross-cultural perceptions and behaviors, particularly in the contexts of environmental change and economic development. He also enjoys mixed-methods approaches to research, integrating both qualitative and quantitative methods and analyses. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Georgia and a B.A. in Biology from U.C. Berkeley. For his Ph.D. dissertation, he analyzed the influence of economic growth on Samoans’ perceptions on their capacities to buffer and respond to natural hazards. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Vickers was a field-research biologist, working mostly on conservation and management projects. He has also participated in several economic development projects and project evaluations in foreign nations.

Amanda Wilmot

Associate Service Fellow
Wilmot has over 30 years of professional experience in survey research. During her career she has managed large-scale government surveys covering a range of social policy issues and specialized in the development and evaluation of survey instruments. 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 2020 Wiley publication of the same name. 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.

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 in the Division of Research Methodology (DRM) for CCQDER and the Research Data Center (RDC) . In his role as Project Manager, he has overseen the design, development, testing, and documentation and implementation of the Q-Suite of software applications. He and his staff have provided all Certification and Authorization (C&A), CDC Enterprise Life Cycle (EPLC), and Section 508 compliance processes as well as IT support services, video support services, video data base, respondent recruitment services, and supplemental staffing for CCQDER. Burch and his staff also provide IT support, C&A services, and project coordination for the Online Analytic Real-time System (OARS) and support services for RDC.

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 security and access control systems for the White House and IT data center construction and operations for the Secret Service.

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.

Denisse Garcia

Video Indexer

Garcia joined CCQDER in 2015 as a video indexer. Her duties include indexing videos for further analyses, assisting in Spanish projects, managing the CCQDER video database, and assisting analysts in organizing and creating projects on Q-Notes.

Garcia is currently working towards a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her field of interest includes Minority Literatures and Pre-Law.

Kirit Joshi, M.B.A.

IT Process Consultant

Joshi joined NCHS in October 2010 as an IT Process Consultant for CCQDER and RDC IT Applications including Q-Suite and OARS. In this capacity, he provides managing of all C&A, EPLC, and 508 Compliance processes as well as application testing and user documentation for various applications developed by Swan Solutions.

During his 30-year career, Joshi has provided IT services 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). He also owned and operated his own businesses in medical billing and video and film production and post-production. Joshi also trained and mentored over 300 IT consultants and over 1,500 project managers as well as developed and delivered a proprietary project management methodology.

Joshi received an M.B.A. in Finance and IT from Rutgers University, and a B.S. in Physics and Math from Bombay University.

Kristian Gregory-Lee


Gregory-Lee joined the CCQDER team in 2017 as a recruiter. In this role, she cultivates and implements creative strategies to recruit potential respondents for NCHS cognitive interview studies and surveys. Prior to joining CCQDER, Gregory-Lee gained knowledge in customer’ services and business administration as a retail store manager for a big box company. She currently is a member of a Maryland food pantry organization in her local community.

Gregory-Lee earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Salisbury 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 C&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 the Q-Suite to support the CCQDER mission.

Mezetin earned a B.S. in Computer Science and an A.S. in Engineering from Washington Adventist University.

Sean Murphy

IT Support

Murphy is CCQDER’s IT support and system administrator. Murphy began working for CCQDER in a desktop support position in 2008 and later took on the responsibility of system administration. 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. After graduating from Coleman University he began an internship at AT&T and worked there for a year and a half. After his internship, he worked as IT support at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Florencia Ramirez

Video Indexer

Ramirez joined CCQDER in 2012 as a video indexer and tagger. Her duties include: assisting analysts with the organization and dissemination of qualitative data, managing the CCQDER video database, and translating instruments from English to Spanish. She also has co-authored reports on the findings of interviews.

Ramirez is currently working towards a B.S. in Marketing and Business Management with a minor in Portuguese from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Amanda Titus


Titus joined CCQDER team in 2015 as a recruiter. In this role, Titus cultivates and implements creative strategies to recruit potential respondents for NCHS cognitive interview studies and surveys. In addition to recruiting, she oversees remuneration distribution for NCHS cognitive interviews and collaborates in developing software and programs to facilitate and optimize recruitment. Prior to joining CCQDER, Titus gained knowledge in respondent data collection as a field and respondent canvasser for an environmentally conscious and community-issues based non-profit organization in Baltimore.

Titus earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy Management with a minor in Geology from Towson University.


Page last reviewed: March 10, 2015