Institutional Research Staff

Name Title Email Phone
Karen Zunkel Executive Director 515-294-8539
Amanda DeGraff Associate Director 515-294-8546
Julie LaBianca Senior Research Analyst 515-294-9490
Nadine Dobbe Data Analyst II 515-294-2369
Sarah Bickelhaupt Data Analyst II 515-294-8872
Susan RayData Visualization Analystsusanray@iastate.edu515-294-1182
Chris AndringaAdministrative Assistant IIcja3@iastate.edu515-294-1181

Below you can find staff biographies.

Lake Laverne

Dr. Karen Zunkel - Executive Director            

(     515-294-8539

Karen joined the Office of Institutional Research in 2019 as the Executive Director. She has served Iowa State in a range of functional roles since 1991, including serving as an instructor in the College of Engineering before moving into administration. She served as manager of undergraduate student services for the College of Engineering (1997-2002) before leading the Program for Women in Science and Engineering (2002-13). In 2004, she added a part-time appointment as director of undergraduate programs to her duties. Karen served as the director of undergraduate education and academic quality, leading efforts in student outcomes assessment and accreditation in the provost's office (2013-2019).

As the Executive Director, Karen provides leadership, management, and expertise related to institutional research, analysis, data infrastructure, data governance, compliance, and reporting.

Karen earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering from Iowa State and the University of Oklahoma, respectively, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Iowa State.


Dr. Amanda DeGraff - Associate Director

(     515-294-8546

Amanda joined the Office of Institutional Research in August of 2013 as a Senior Research Analyst. She is responsible for large scale surveys (NSSE and Campus Climate), IPEDS, and student data. Amanda works closely with our IT partners to ensure that campus data reporting needs can be met through our various data platforms (Workday and EData).

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.


Dr. Julie LaBianca - Senior Research Analyst

(     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 - Data Analyst II

(     515-294-2369

Nadine Dobbe joined the Office of Institutional Research in 1995 and has served as a Research Analyst for the department since 2004. Nadine specializes in course data, including student credit hour and instruction by faculty reporting. She also produces tuition and fee reports for the Board of Regents. Nadine coordinates ISU Fact Book production and publication on the IR web site, maintains the University’s Consumer Information Disclosure web site, and works with College Portrait/Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) and Student Achievement Measure (SAM). Nadine serves on the AAU Data Exchange (AAUDE) Analytics Reporting Team, prepares data submissions for AAUDE and is caretaker for the AAUDE “IPEDS Fall Enrollment” data exchange item.

Nadine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from William Penn University in 2001 and has worked in various positions at ISU since 1986. Prior to her work at ISU she taught continuing education courses in microcomputer basics, word processing, database management, and spreadsheets.


Dr. Sarah Bickelhaupt - Data Analyst

(     515-294-8872

Sarah 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 for entities such as U.S. News & World Report and Times Higher Education; synthesizing data and reports at the department, college, and university level; assisting in the preparation of the ISU’s Fact Book and other IR publications; and providing data analyses for decision-making purposes to the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the ISU 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.