PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY CENTER
The Loras Public Opinion Survey Center was established in spring 2014 by an anonymous donor as part of the college’s $75 million capital campaign, Inspiring Lives and Leadership: the Loras Legacy. Through the Center, the Loras College Poll will be conducted several times each year with surveys focused on elections, as well as other political and social issues of interest. The Iowa Presidential Caucuses will be a regular focus of the center. As part of the Survey Center, students are involved in all aspects of the research process.
Loras College students work with the survey research team to develop questions, analyze and interpret the data, and assist with sharing the final results with local, regional and national media. The Loras College Poll is overseen by Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, and Matt Rissler, Ph.D., professor of mathematics. In addition, Republican campaign consultant, Steve Grubbs, and Democrat campaign consultant, Dave Heller, provide consulting and feedback on script development and methodology
Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Politics
Director of the Loras College Poll
Budzisz joined the Loras College Politics program in 2000, with teaching emphasis on constitutional law, American government and institutions, political philosophy, as well as elections and political behavior. As a 2007 Fulbright Scholar, Budzisz taught in the International Relations Faculty at Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. He has been published in PS: Political Science and Politics, and in the edited volume Engaging the Public: How Government and the Media Can Reinvigorate American Democracy. Beyond his teaching and research interests, Budzisz is director and coach of the Loras College Moot Court program. He is also a past winner of the Mike and Linda Budde Excellence in Teaching Award.
Matt Rissler, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Dr. Rissler’s mathematical interests lie with modeling systems via agent-based methods; this touches on differential equations and stochastic systems. Of the many applications, he prefers the biological or political ones. He likes to teach useful math, so he teaches Statistics and Calculus often. Dr. Rissler also teaches a fun Math of Politics course in J-term. In his free time, he enjoys Ultimate Frisbee and used to be really good, competing at Club Nationals in 2003 and 2004.
The following Loras College students work with the survey research team to develop questions, analyze and interpret the data, and assist with sharing the final results with local, regional and national media:
Melissa Ekins (’15) | Lisle, IL | Spanish and Sociology
Gabriela Herrera (’15) |Evergreen Park, IL | Psychology and Politics
Gerard Huguelet (’15) | Frankfort, IL | Finance and Management
Megan Horst (’14) | Vinton, IA | English, Politics and International Studies
Riley Kilburg (’15) |Bellevue, IA | Politics, Spanish and International Studies
Patrick Krieger (’15) | St. Paul, MN | Politics and Finance
Mary McClure (’14) | Grayslake, IL | Social Work
Caroline Rainey (’15) | Cedar Rapids, IA | International Studies and Politics