About Us

Mailing Address         

Office of Institutional Research
2420 Lincoln Way, Suite 203
Ames, IA 50014-8340




Institutional Research Staff

Sandra W. Gahn - Interim Director            

(sgahn@iastate.edu)     515-294-8539

Sandy joined the Office of Institutional Research in 2004 and serves as the Associate Director. Sandy coordinates the ISU Fact Book, administers department codes for the campus, and leads the data warehouse efforts for the Office of Institutional Research. Other responsibilities include faculty and staff reporting, salary analysis, faculty activity and tenure reporting, and diversity studies.

Sandy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, both from Iowa State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Kansas with an emphasis in statistics and research methods. She has worked at various institutions including the Iowa Department of Education, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Maryland.


Amanda DeGraff - Assistant Director

(adegraff@iastate.edu)     515-294-8546

Amanda joined the Institutional Research group in August of 2013. She serves as a Senior Research Analyst responsible for student information including enrollments, retention and graduation rates, and the administration and analysis of student surveys such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey. She will also be working with Academic Analytics data on faculty scholarly productivity.

Amanda earned a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Florida State University in 2005. She was previously a Research Associate at the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Institute of Education Sciences and the Senior Evaluator for the Office of the Provost at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Julie LaBianca - Research Analyst

(labianca@iastate.edu)     515-294-9490

Julie joined the office of Institutional Research in January 2015 as a Research Analyst. Julie completes several surveys on university activities that originate from the federal government, professional associations and private data collectors; compiles data and performs analyses needed for decision making; participates in the preparation of the Fact Book and other IR publications; and assists in faculty scholarly productivity data analyses from Academic Analytics and other data sources. 

Julie earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University in 2009 and a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2013. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology, also from UTEP, in 2016. She previously worked in UTEP's Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, Center for Law and Human Behavior, and Investigative Interviewing Laboratory.


Nadine Dobbe - Research Analyst

(nkdobbe@iastate.edu)     515-294-2369


Sarah Bickelhaupt - Research Analyst

(sbickel@iastate.edu)     515-294-8872

Sarah Bickelhaupt joined the Office of Institutional Research (IR) in February of 2017 and serves as a Research Analyst for the department. Her primary responsibilities include: completing surveys regarding university-wide statistics; synthesizing data and reports at the department, college, and university levels; assisting in the preparation of the Fact Book and other IR publications; and providing data analyses to the AAU and ISU university community.

Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services and her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University. In previous work, her research experience centered on both qualitative and quantitative methods which also included survey construction and measure development.


Janet Johnson - Secretary

(janetjm@iastate.edu)     515-294-1181

Janet is the secretary and front desk receptionist for the Office of Institutional Research. She helps produce IR's fiscal and budget summaries, assists the staff in the preparation of reports and publications, responsible for setting up travel arrangements for staff, including travel authorizations and reimbursements, and maintains the IR website. Janet joined IR in 2008. Previously, she worked for 14 years at the Iowa High School Athletic Association and for four years on the ISU Campus in the WOI-TV Newsroom.


Jessica Ji - Systems Analyst


Jessica Ji is a Systems Analyst III who is the liaison between the Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Office of Institutional Research. She works in ITS on IR projects such as populating and maintaining the IR data marts and providing system support for IR reporting and eData warehouse issues.  Jessica has a Bachelor of Science degree from Jiangsu University in China and has been employed at Iowa State since 2004.