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About the Center

Cornell social scientists research and help solve the world’s most pressing social and behavioral challenges.

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Center’s Mission

The Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS) accelerates, enhances, and amplifies social science research at Cornell. The CCSS accomplishes these goals by uniting programmatic and infrastructure resources within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI). Programmatic resources include programs run by the former Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) from 2004–2019 and new programs designed to foster systematic, evidence-based, and collaborative research studies addressing important disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and public policy concerns. Infrastructure resources support all aspects of social science research at Cornell. The CCSS either provides this research support directly or directs Cornell social scientists to the available services and support provided by other centers and units at Cornell.

At the Cornell Center for Social Sciences, we are actively working to combat systemic racism. Read a statement from our Directors and learn about our activities here.

University Research Leadership

The CCSS is housed under the Research Division. The Research Division, headed by the Vice President for Research, enables and advances the university’s research priorities as well as research activities of Cornell colleges, schools, research centers, institutes, and laboratories.

Accessibility info here.

  • Mike Kotlikoff

    Provost

    Mike Kotlikoff
  • Emmanuel Gianellis

    Vice President for Research

    Emmanuel Gianellis
  • Maria Fitzpatrick

    Associate Vice Provost for Social Sciences

    Fitzpatrick

CCSS Leadership and Staff

Sahara Byrne

Co-Director

Sahara Byrne
Co-Director, Cornell Center for Social Sciences
Professor, Communication

482 Mann Library Building
607-255-8058
seb272@cornell.edu

Headshot of Sahara Byrne

Peter K. Enns

Co-Director

Peter K. Enns
Co-Director, Cornell Center for Social Sciences
Executive Director, the Roper Center
Professor, Government                                                                                        
Research Focus: Public opinion and political representation, mass incarceration and the legal system, time series analysis.

Contact me for: Questions about the CCSS and any suggestions or ideas for how we can support your research.

What the CCSS has done for me: I am extremely fortunate to have been part of two past theme projects (Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior 2009–12 and The Cause, Consequences, and Future of Mass Incarceration in the United States 2015–18), which created lasting connections and collaborations with social scientists across Cornell, catalyzed several external grants, and supported multiple research projects including my book, Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World.

205 White Hall
607-255-3574
peterenns@cornell.edu

Peter Enns

Claudia von Vacano

Executive Director, Cornell Federal Statistical Research Data Center Director

Claudia von Vacano
Executive Director, Cornell Federal Statistical Research Data Center Director 
 
Contact me for: Information about core research support services within CCSS, including CCSS’s secure data infrastructure, data replication and reproducibility services, data science/computational social science, qualitative research support, and social media research, and Census data. Let me know how we can support your research as a social science faculty member or scholar at Cornell.
 
Bio: I am at Cornell because the founding principles of the university place "any person" at the center. To me, this means a special emphasis on working class and marginalized communities, such as immigrants, and people from the LGBTQ+ community. Similarly, "any study" for me means academic freedom, rigor, and innovation in the pursuit of solving real-world problems. Finally, Cornell's commitment to public service and its public mission make this the perfect place for me to build a better world. Not to mention, Ithaca is gorges.

As CCSS Executive Director, I lead the CCSS Data Science Fellows Program and oversee core research support services within CCSS. My own research focuses on computational social media research, hate speech, and diversity in data science, and in education policy more generally. I join the CCSS in spring 2021 with 22 years of experience working for educational institutions, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, managing staff, and implementing large-scale programs. 
 
747 Rhodes Hall
607-255-7647
cnv7@cornell.edu

Headshot of Claudia von Vacano

Katie Anderson

Executive Assistant 

Katie Anderson
Executive Assistant    
 
Contact me for: Scheduling meetings with the Co-Directors, grant writing support resources, the CCSS annual lecture, and general inquiries.
 
Bio: I am passionate about bringing to campus the most dynamic speakers who are experts in their fields, to present their work on timely and important social issues with both the Cornell and greater Ithaca communities. 

I am an Ithaca native, and have been at Cornell for almost six years. Before joining the CCSS, I spent two and a half years at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, and prior to that, I worked at the Statler Hotel. I have a varied background in early childhood education and hospitality, with a passion for the social sciences. I hold an Associates Degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College, and am working on completing an additional Associates Degree in Social Sciences.  
 
734 Rhodes Hall
607-255-3408
ka384@cornell.edu

Katie Anderson

Florio Arguillas

Research Associate

Florio Arguillas
Research Associate

Contact me for assistance with:

  • Verifying and certifying the reproducibility of your study prior to submission for publication;
  •  packaging your replication files so that the package is portable, independently understandable, easy to re-use, and ready for deposit in any journal-designated repository;
  •  best practices in managing and reviewing data and code, and in making transparent and reproducible research;
  •  trainings customized for you, your project team, or your class on tools for qualitative and quantitative data analysis, as well as on qualitative and quantitative data management, processing, and analysis;
  •  writing, understanding, and debugging codes/scripts;
  •  getting your data ready for analysis;
  •  crafting or reviewing data management plans for your proposals;
  •  assessing and mitigating disclosure risks, and anonymizing data prior to use or sharing.

Bio: I am passionate about helping Cornell researchers make their research well-managed, transparent, reproducible, and easy to find, access, and re-use. I enjoy conducting customized trainings for classes, individuals, and/or project teams on qualitative and quantitative data management and processing, as well as on tools for qualitative and quantitative data analysis. I find joy in imparting my skills and knowledge during individual and project team consultations and learning new things from these interactions. I apply new knowledge I have gained in order to further improve our services.

I hold a Ph.D. and M.S. in development sociology (Cornell University), an M.A. in demography (University of the Philippines-Diliman), and an A.B. in economics (Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines).

391 Pine Tree Road
foa2@cornell.edu

Headshot of Florio Arguillas

Jonathan Bohan

Data Archive Specialist and Assistant Data Custodian

Jonathan Bohan
Data Archive Specialist and Assistant Data Custodian

Contact me for: Data reference questions, questions about our Data and Reproduction Archive, depositing data in a trusted repository, persistent identifiers, and converting data formats.

Bio: I am passionate about helping researchers find and use data; making older and historical data usable with modern statistical programs; and making our Data and Reproduction Archive more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). I'm excited to be part of the Cornell Center for Social Sciences.

I was born and raised in northern New Jersey and lived in the Boston area for 16 years before moving to Ithaca with my family in 2015. I have been working for Cornell since late 2016. I hold Master's degrees in History and Library and Information Science, and a Bachelor's in Business Administration.

391 Pine Tree Road
jb2287@cornell.edu

Headshot of Jonathan Bohan

Elizabeth Bryson

Program Coordinator 

Elizabeth Bryson
Program Coordinator

Contact me for: Communications, social media, CCSS grant program information, and the CCSS Faculty Fellows professional development series.

Bio: I am new to Cornell and the CCSS team as of January 2021! Social justice has been a guiding principle in my career path, so I was thrilled to learn about the important interdisciplinary research this department fosters and amplifies. I look forward to being involved in the mission and continued growth of the Center, and supporting the work of social scientists at Cornell.

I grew up in Rochester, NY, and have spent the past decade exploring the state, residing in Fredonia, Buffalo, and Syracuse. My experience over the past 7+ years includes coordinating programs in the field of museum education, directing programs for a non-profit refugee support agency, and teaching art history. I hold an M.A. from Syracuse University (2018) and a B.A. from SUNY Fredonia (2012), both in Art History. I am excited to return to higher education and call Ithaca home!

740 Rhodes Hall
607-255-5083
eab289@cornell.edu

Elizabeth Bryson Headshot

Elena Goloborodko

Secure Data Services Manager, Data Custodian

Elena Goloborodko
Secure Data Services Manager, Data Custodian

Contact me for: Research with restricted data, data security requirements, data security plans, and the Cornell Restricted Access Data Center (CRADC) operations.

Bio: I am passionate about everything related to data: data collection business rules, data accuracy and integrity, data analysis, data availability and accessibility, data security, database architecture, and information systems. I believe in data-driven change and consider myself lucky to support research for social sciences and economics.

I was born in USSR – a country that no longer exists. I completed my Master’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Kiev State University, Ukraine.  After immigrating to the United States in 1998, my family settled in Ithaca. A few months after our arrival, I started a job at Cornell's College of Human Ecology.

I have been challenging myself to learn new skills and try new jobs in data management and software design project management. I am excited to bring my 30+ years of experience to the Cornell Center for Social Sciences.

391 Pine Tree Road
607-255-4089
ebg53@cornell.edu

Headshot of Elena Goloborodko

Jacob Grippin

IT Help Desk, Lead Statistical Consultant

Jacob Grippin
IT Help Desk, Lead Statistical Consultant

Contact me for: Assistance with qualitative or quantitative data analysis; data cleaning; reproducing studies or results; and statistical software coding questions. Visit my consulting profile to see my software expertise.

Bio: I began working at Cornell in the summer of 2018. I am an Ithaca native, and I hold a B.S. in statistics with a minor in computer science. 

I am passionate about cleaning data, preparing it for analysis, and analyzing data once cleaned. I am excited to be a part of CCSS.

391 Pine Tree Road
607-255-1986
jrg363@cornell.edu

Headshot of Jacob Grippin

Irene Hawes

Data Archive Support, Website Programmer

Irene Hawes
Data Archive Support, Website Programmer

Bio: I have been working in my current position at Cornell for over 30 years.  Prior to that, I earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from Tompkins County Community College and then spent an additional year of study at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute where I developed a passion for programming.  My career has been primarily developing and maintaining the archive’s database, catalog, and data collection; programming web applications; and building websites.  Currently, I work in website administration and continue to support the Data & Reproduction Archive as needed.

391 Pine Tree Road
ikh1@cornell.edu

Picture of Cornell's Clocktower

Lynda Kellam

Data Librarian

Lynda Kellam
Data Librarian

Contact me for: Assistance finding, accessing, and preparing qualitative and quantitative data for analysis, designing data management workflows and planning, and curating data. Visit my research support page to learn more. 

Bio: I have over 15 years of experience helping researchers and students discover, access, and use social science data. Before Cornell, I was the Research Data Services Coordinator and the part-time Assistant Director of the International and Global Studies program at UNC Greensboro. I received my MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; MA in Library and Information Science from UNCG; and I am a doctoral candidate in American history. 

391 Pine Tree Rd
lmk277@cornell.edu 

Headshot of Lynda Kellam

Brandon Kowalski

Software Engineer

Brandon Kowalski
Software Engineer

Contact me for: Relational database design, backends, APIs, frontend development, custom tooling, automation, cloud infrastructure and security, assistance with grant writing, and developing software for funded research projects.

 

Bio: Geek, programmer, ambivert, jack of all trades technical, passionate about the latest and greatest. Before coming to Cornell, I worked in the industry writing software for the retirement sector. This experience allows me to bring both creative and pragmatic solutions to your technical needs.

A product of the cold and snow, I moved to Ithaca from the south-towns of Buffalo shortly after graduation in 2014. After two years in the industry, I joined Cornell in 2016 and haven’t looked back. I am a graduate of St. Bonaventure University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

391 Pine Tree Rd
kowalski@cornell.edu 

Photograph of Cornell clocktower

Amy O'Donnell

Administrative Assistant

Amy O'Donnell
Administrative Assistant

Contact me for: Scheduling meetings with members of the CCSS Research Support team; general questions and inquiries; and facilities questions for the 391 Pine Tree Road office.

Bio: I am happy to support those that I work for and driven to assist where and when I am needed. I never send anyone away without help or a direction to find it.   

I am a native of Ithaca, a third-generation Cornell staff member, and have worked at Cornell for 31 years. Before joining CCSS, I worked for the Office of the Assemblies, Baker Institute for Animal Health, Campus Life, and Alumni Affairs and Development. I have a varied background in events planning, academic support, and supporting the university's fundraising efforts. I am excited to bring my years of Cornell knowledge to CCSS and look forward to contributing.

391 Pine Tree Road
607-255-4801
aro2@cornell.edu

Headshot of Amy O'Donnell

Megan Pillar

Program & Communications Coordinator 

Megan Pillar
Program & Communications Coordinator

Contact me for: Communications, social media, CCSS grant program information, and the CCSS Faculty Fellows professional development series.

Bio: I am passionate about the shiny, new CCSS website!

A western New York native, I spent ten years in sunny southwest Florida where I received an A.S. degree in Graphic Design before starting a career in academia at Florida Gulf Coast University. Wanting to continue working in higher education but be closer to my hometown, I moved to Ithaca, sight unseen, in the summer of 2012 to work as the Chair’s assistant in the Computer Science Department at Cornell before joining the CCSS (back when it was the ISS) in December of 2017. 

738 Rhodes Hall
607-254-6771
pillar@cornell.edu

Megan Pillar

Nichole Szembrot

RDC Administrator

Nichole Szembrot
RDC Administrator

Contact me for: Assistance with proposal development and other facets of FSRDC data access. Visit my research support page to learn more.

Bio: I have a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University. I joined the Census Bureau in January 2018 and was assigned as the Administrator for the Cornell RDC. Prior to the Census Bureau, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Trinity College.

391 Pine Tree Road
607-255-8603
nichole.e.szembrot@census.gov

Headshot of Nichole Szembrot

Anneliese Truame

Administrative Manager

Anneliese Truame
Administrative Manager

Contact me for: Assistance with CCSS finance, human resources, facility issues, and organizational history.

Bio: I have worked at the ISS/CCSS since it was founded in 2004 and am very excited to participate in the renewed momentum to provide a wide range of programs and resources to social scientists across campus to meet their current needs. I see the value of qualitative, quantitative, computational, and interdisciplinary studies, so I am happy that the CCSS supports all kinds of research.

I have long held an interest in the social sciences and cultural studies, having received a dual A.B. degree in Feminist Studies and Anthropology from Stanford University (1990) and an M.A. in American Literature with an emphasis on gender, race, and sexuality studies from the University of Washington (1994). Raised on the midwestern plains, I am a big fan of Ithaca (and its gorges), where I have lived since 2004.

736 Rhodes Hall
607-255-3304
amt58@cornell.edu

Anneliese Truame

Unsure of who to contact? Follow this link to our Contact Us page.

Accessibility & Web Accessibility

The CCSS is committed to providing universal access to all of our events and facilities. Please contact socialsciences@cornell.edu to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.


Cornell University is committed to making our websites accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. To report a problem or to request an accommodation to access online materials, information, resources, and/or services, please contact web-accessibility@cornell.edu. In your message, include the website address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered. You will receive a reply as soon as possible.

 

Past Directors of the Institute for the Social Sciences

(the CCSS houses activities operated by the former Institute for the Social Sciences)

Annual Reports 

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