The Staff Team: Meet the most wonderful people of the Calvin Center for Social Research!

Neil Carlson
After finishing his doctorate in Political Science at Duke University in 2004, Neil joined CSR as Assistant Director for contract research, becoming Director in 2011. Neil delights in solving problems and boosting performance by linking team culture to technology and automation. His research areas include civic engagement, organizational culture, religion and politics, and science and technology policy. Favorite projects often result in interactive data visualizations posted to CSR's Tableau Public profile. He enjoys sci-fi books and movies and family travel with his wife and two sons
☎ 616-526-6420
Laura Luchies
Associate Director
Laura, CSR's Associate Director, earned her Bachelor's degree from Calvin College and her Master's and PhD in Social Psychology from Northwestern University. Laura's academic research focuses on close relationships, especially conflict and forgiveness. After spending three years as a psychology professor, Laura joined CSR in 2014. Laura leads many of CSR's projects, especially projects that involve quantitative statistical analyses. Laura enjoys jumping on the trampoline, playing board games, and taking trips with her husband and two daughters.
☎ 616-526-6241
Kathy Bardolph
Office Manager
Kathy graduated from Calvin College with a double major in English and German. She joined CSR full time in 2008, first as Administrative Assistant, then as Office Manager in summer 2018. Besides bookkeeping, administrative work, and proofing/editing at CSR, Kathy works independently as a proofreader. Vacations and extra time fill up with following husband Pete’s band, reading, fair-weather gardening, and travel to San Diego to see her new granddaughter.
☎ 616-526-7799
Adriene Pendery
Research & Development Manager
Adriene first joined CSR's team as a Research Assistant in June 2016. After earning her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Calvin, she then took on the role of Research Associate and now serves as the Research and Development Manager. Adriene loves a new challenge and delights in implementing web-based systems-integration solutions for clients. In her spare time, Adriene enjoys baking and spending time with her dog, Bee.
☎ 616-526-6738
Taylor Hartson
Research Specialist
Taylor graduated in May 2019 with honors in sociology. She first joined CSR's team in June 2017 as a research assistant and now works as a research specialist, where she's putting her skills in data, design, and storytelling to good use. Her research interests include food systems, social networks, and urban design. In her free time, Taylor enjoys drinking black coffee, cooking dinner with her partner, reading her way through her (and others') bookshelves, and petting her dog, Teddy.
☎ 616-526-8942
Nicole Sweda
Research Associate
Nicole graduated in May 2020 with a BSW. Nicole joined the CSR team as a research assistant in February 2019, and now serves as the Research Associate, supervising research assistants and providing project support. Nicole enjoys drumming, crime documentaries, going to coffee shops, and cooking new recipes.
☎ 616-526-8930
Jax Heil
Research Assistant
Jax is a senior at Calvin University studying Social Work. He is passionate about investigating higher education access & inclusion and social justice issues. In his spare time, you will find him constantly with other people, hoping to hear and learn from their stories and experiences.
Marcus Kamau
Research Assistant
Marcus is a junior double majoring in Economics and International Relations. Born in Kenya, Marcus has a passion to change policies that negatively affect people who are overlooked in society today. His passions include entertaining friends, art and music. Marcus is also a Resident Assistant at the NVW dorm and is the Chief Development Officer at Calvin Startups, an entrepreneurship student organization at Calvin University.
Yena Kim
Research Assistant
Yena Kim is a senior studying Public Health with minors in Data Science and Economics. She calls Bogota, Colombia and Busan, South Korea home. She is passionate about equitable healthcare access, social determinants of health, the color grey, and fried food. In her free time, she likes to cook/bake, read, skip through shows, look at restaurant menus, and very occasionally exercise.
Lucia Skuldt
Research Assistant
Lucia is a sophomore studying Data Science, Linguistics, and Studio Art. She is especially passionate about social justice and sustainability, and is very enthusiastic about using the skills we have in every realm to combat these issues. She loves learning, and she spends her free time making art or listening to music, going down Wikipedia rabbit holes on language, or on adventures with friends.
Emmajean Spoelman
Research Assistant
Emmajean is a senior studying Psychology and Neuroscience at Calvin. She is hoping to pursue a graduate degree in clinical neuroscience. She is passionate about restorative justice and improving inner-city education. In her free time, Emmajean likes to try new breweries with her friends, listen to true crime podcasts, and sing.