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Candace Turitto, Ph.D.

Program Director // Student Advisor

Email: turitto [at] umd.edu

In her time in the political field, Candace managed dozens of legislative races in several states and served on staff for a presidential campaign in Iowa. She has also held a number of consulting positions, advising hundreds of political clients in their commission of polling and production of television/radio advertising, and was the lead data scientist at a startup political data and modeling firm in the DC area.

Candace came to academia to better understand and remedy what separates political science research from application in actual political operations in the United States. In 2018, Candace received her MA and Ph.D. in American Politics and Political Methodology from the University of Maryland, College Park. In her dissertation research, she studied the political consequences of high volumes of political information on persuasion, finding that areas more saturated with political advertisements significantly limit down-ballot candidates' ability to persuade voters. Recently, she has also been studying the fallout of flip-flopping on political issues and the nature of outcomes for elected officials who publicly lie. Candace has articles published in Electoral Studies and the Journal of Politics.

See Candace's CV


Other than political data and spreadsheets, what’s something (activity/hobby/etc.) that makes you really happy? 

TAP DANCE!!! Been at it since I was 4, and these days I teach, choreograph, judge dance competitions, you name it! I’m also on the Board of Directors for a fantastic percussion-only studio in DC called Knock On Wood Tap Studio.




Richard Engstrom, Ph.D.

APAN Instructor // Student Advisor

Email: rengstro [at] umd.edu

Rich Engstrom grew up in New Orleans, where he developed an early interest in politics and local government.  He finished his political science education with a Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston and served on political science faculties at universities in Wyoming and Georgia.  While at Kennesaw State University, he became Director of the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research, where he led a team of researchers who engaged in applied policy projects for local government, nonprofit, state agencies, and foundation clients.  While at the Burruss Institute, Rich oversaw projects covering topics such as drug use prevention, teen driver safety, election administration, sexual violence, and regional economic development.  Rich then left the U.S. to spend two years helping a start-up university get off the ground, Nazarbayev University in the Republic of Kazakhstan, serving as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  He then moved to Maryland and has been at the University of Maryland since 2016. He has conducted applied analyses for various government and nonprofit clients in Maryland and teaches state and local government classes.  Recent projects in Maryland include work on gun violence prevention programs, auto insurance affordability, and the impact of arts and recreation programming by state agencies. 

See Rich's CV

Other than political data and spreadsheets, what’s something (activity/hobby/etc.) that makes you really happy?

Rich lives in the Annapolis area and enjoys being near and on the water.  He can often be found boating on the Chesapeake Bay or kayaking on the Patuxent River.  He does not, however, understand the appeal of fishing.




Conny Sidi Kazungu, Ph.D.

APAN Instructor // Student Advisor

Email: ckazungu [at] umd.edu

Conny Kazungu grew up in Kenya, developing interests in International Relations and Politics due to personal experiences with terrorist attacks in her hometown.  She has a diverse academic background, including a Master's Degree in Environmental Sciences from Miami University, Ohio. While at Miami, Conny focused on Environmental Policy, including the role of interest groups. She also worked closely with various projects, including educating local communities on the importance of wetland restoration projects.

Conny completed her education with a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While at Tennessee, in the global Security Program, Conny engaged in various research and policy projects for different government agencies, including conflict stabilization, which aims to train mediation practices in international war zones.

She has researched conflict and territorial disputes --where governments make claims about other governments about territory in East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In her policy-relevant dissertation, Conny researched the causes of rising terrorism in Africa, including the role of the United States in establishing effective Counterterrorism policies in that region.  

Conny teaches classes in International Relations, National Security, Public Policy, Environmental Policy, and Politics.

Other than political data and spreadsheets, what’s something (activity/hobby/etc.) that makes you really happy?

Conny enjoys the color ‘green.’ She lives in Northern Virginia and loves to explore the vast green spaces, hills, and mountains prevalent in the area.  She likes hiking and has explored trails, including the Pipiwaii Trails in Hawaii and the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. She also enjoys different foods and cultures.


Raymond Williams

APAN Instructor

Raymond Williams is the Director of Research at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. He received his Ph.D. in American Politics and Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on elections, the presidency, and American political institutions. 




Christopher Antoun

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: antoun [at] umd.edu 

Christopher Antoun is an Assistant Research Professor with a joint appointment at the College of Information Studies (iSchool) and Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM). His research focuses on using smartphones to collect population data through text messaging, mobile questionnaires, or apps and sensors. Before coming to UMD, he obtained his Ph.D. in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Census Bureau. 



Ting Yan

APAN /JPSM Instructor

Email: tingyan [at] westat.com 

Ting Yan is a Research Assistant Professor in the Survey Methodology Program. She received her Ph.D. from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology in 2005. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. She had worked at NORC at the University of Chicago as a Senior Survey Methodologist before joining the Survey Methodology Program.



Partha Lahiri

APAN /JPSM Instructor

Email: plahiri [at] umd.edu 

Partha Lahiri is a Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) and in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an Adjunct Research Professor at the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2002, he held an appointment as the Milton Mohr Distinguished Professor of Statistics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has served on a number of advisory committees and panels, including the U.S. Census Advisory Committee and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel. Over the years, he advised various local and international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, World Bank, and the Gallup Organization. He has been an associate editor of Survey Methodology and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.


James Wagner

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: jameswag [at] umich.edu 

James Wagner is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Survey Methodology Program. He received his Ph.D. from the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology in 2008. He has worked on surveys for over 20 years and has extensive experience with sample design. He currently serves as the Chief Mathematical Statistician on the National Survey of Family Growth Continuous 2011-2019.



Frederick Conrad

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: fconrad [at] umich.edu 

Frederick Conrad is a Research Professor in the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) at the University of Maryland. He is the director of the Michigan (MPSM) graduate programs and Maryland (JPSM). He received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago. His current research includes adaptive user interfaces in web surveys, interviewer-respondent interaction, and data collection with mobile, multimodal devices.


brian kim

Brian Kim

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: kimbrian [at] umd.edu 

Brian Kim is an Assistant Research Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology and a Co-director for the Social Data Science Major at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on social network analysis, network sampling methods (particularly respondent-driven sampling), and population size estimation. 


Sunghee Lee

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: slee1223 [at] umd.edu 



Ruben Bach

APAN / JPSM Instructor

Email: bachr [at] umd.edu 




Michael Dunphy 2023

Michael Dunphy is a Master's student in the Applied Political Analytics program at the University of Maryland. He is from Calvert, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2021 with a dual degree in Government & Politics and Computer Science with a specialization in Data Science. He is currently a Data Visualization Consultant at the National Democratic Training Committee and does freelance work as a Data Analyst through his company, VizKid Analytics, with past clients, including Greenpeace International and DataKind. His research interests include studying the effects of campaign activity on elections and how social media and media segmentation affects political discourse. His favorite part of APAN is learning from political professionals through workshops and connecting with individuals passionate about data and politics. He plans to continue his career as a data analyst to help elect candidates and cultivate data-driven decision-making in political organizations.

Riley Shatz 2023

Riley Shatz is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying in the Government and Politics Honors Program. Riley worked under Congressman Jerrold Nadler as a legislative intern where she briefed senior staffers on upcoming policies and initiatives, as well as writing constitute response letters and proposals. At UMD, Riley has served as a teaching assistant for the Department of Government and Politics and taught her own coding sections. She is currently writing her honors thesis on voter psychology and political communication on social media.

Riley loves to listen to music, read, and is so happy to be apart of APAN; She hopes to work as a data analytics consultant for political campaigns after graduating!

Alexander Burt 2023

Alexander (Alex) Burt has a bachelors degree in Political Science from Rowan University and an associates degree in Intelligence Operations Studies from Cochise College. Alex served in the United States Army as an Intelligence Sergeant for U.S. Army Pacific where he led a team which analyzed and produced intelligence products for the Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific and lead intelligence organizations. Alex also briefed and worked with high ranking officials from foreign nations in bilateral intelligence exchanges.

He is now a U.S. Army Reservist here in Maryland. Alex loves hockey and is a huge New York Rangers fan. Alex is excited to be apart of APAN and hopes to work as a Foreign Service Officer in the future.

Abigail Audlin 2023

Abigail (Abby) Audlin is a senior at the University of Maryland studying in the Government and Politics department. Over the summers Abby works at Firm Advice, Inc, which consults and contracts out independent contractors to law firms and corporations in the DMV area. There she works directly under the owner, Mary Winter, as an intern where she has had the opportunity to further her interest and knowledge of law while researching and publishing articles.

Abby loves to unwind and hangout with her friends while she’s not working or in school and is so happy to be apart of APAN - A program that has given her an incredible cohort she is proud to call her friends. She hopes to attend law school after graduating from the APAN program, and is confident that the knowledge gained during her two years will help her immensely during her applications as well as in the legal field.

Max R
Max Richards 2023

Hailing from Roswell, GA, Max Richards was a graduate of the University of Georgia before starting his MS in APAN at the University of Maryland. Max worked under various campaigns before coming to UMD, including Students for Ossoff and Warnock, and Congresswoman Bourdeaux, who was the only Democrat to flip a House Seat in 2020. While attending UMD, Max has worked in the House of Representatives for multiple offices, including Rep. Titus of Las Vegas, and Rep. Bourdeaux.

Max loves hiking, soccer, (He holds a USSF D-License and managed soccer team at UGA) and the community of APAN; He hopes to leave politics and government like he leaves hiking trails; better than he found it.

Joseph Hoskisson 2023

Joe Hoskisson is interested in public opinion and conflict resolution research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He currently helps maintain UMD’s Middle East Scholar Barometer website. He has worked in software for several years. He developed a deep interest in the MENA region after teaching coding in Beirut, Lebanon for V School in 2016 and 2017. That experience led him to study Arabic—testing at the advanced-mid speaking level on the ACTFL scale in 2019. Concurrent to the APAN program he works part-time as a software engineer for MX, a financial technology company with a mission to empower the world to be financially strong. The company has venture capital backing from large firms like TPG and CapitalG (Alphabet). He studied chemical engineering at BYU and graduated in 2011.

Joe loves his work, music, volunteering and is also an aspiring writer in his spare time. He speaks fluent Spanish and is experienced in Arabic. He loves his APAN family and is super excited to continue his future helping people is this field.

Niall Johnson 2023

Born in the little town of Stanfordville in Upstate New York, Niall Johnson is a graduate of Plattsburgh State University (SUNY Plattsburgh) with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in History. Before starting his MS in APAN at the University of Maryland, Niall worked on a few political campaigns which sparked his interest in the importance of data in politics. He has worked on various voter outreach campaigns for Biden 2020, Ossoff and Warnock for the Georgia Senate, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, Environment America and the SEIU. He currently serves as the Field and Finance Director for Andrew Friedson for Montgomery County Councilman here in Maryland. He is also the Social Media Manager for APAN!

Niall is a huge theater nerd and has been in 40+ musicals - both on stage and back stage (lighting, sound and costumes are equally as important!) He also takes part in Civil War Reenactments and playing instruments as his side hobbies. He is a strong advocate for philanthropy and the environment. Niall couldn’t be happier with his APAN family, and is sure that coming to APAN was one of the best decisions in his life.

Jay Westreich 2024

Jay Westreich is a data analyst in the Washington Metro Area. Originally from New Jersey, he is currently a Performance Analyst at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, D.C., and working towards a Master of Science in Applied Political Analysis at the University of Maryland, College Park. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics with minors in Survey Methodology and History. He has experience working at private consulting firms, large corporations, research universities, and the federal government on quantitative projects. He is most interested in quantitative political research, survey research, and using data to tell stories.