Hello there. Welcome to my site! I'm David.
I've had something of an unusual career. With an undergraduate degree in Spanish and a minor in Economics at Denison University, I thought, uh, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. Maybe some grad school is in order. So I did that. I went to the University of Illinois-Chicago to complete a PhD in Political Science. I thought I was going to be your new favorite prof. Tweed jacket. Elbow patches. Dad jeans. I intended live in a perpetual state of crisp autumn days drinking too much coffee and discussing BIG IDEAS with the minds of the future. Unfortunately, it turned out writing inscrutable research papers was a far larger part of the deal than teaching, so I grabbed my MA and bounced.
Entering the "oh-my-God-please-find-a-job" phase of post-graduate life, I landed at Walden University as a Research Analyst working in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. It turned out learning statistics in grad school had given me a marketable skill. Six years of higher education and I finally had one! I designed and executed research projects to do things like evaluate whether a remedial writing course improved retention rates or figure out whether we could extrapolate historical data on how many students entered the research phase of their programs each term to predict how many would do the same in future years based on enrollment projections. I also wrote or revised major survey instruments and used the data to build regression models predicting student satisfaction. This was fun! I got to present some of my work at esteemed conferences like the Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum.
I was pretty good at the research and statistics stuff, but what I was really good at was bringing data to leaders, helping them understand it and use it, and building processes around how we collected and reported that data so we could do it more efficiently and consistently as a team. That's how I ended