Office of Research Services Staff
Shawn D. Whiteman, PhD
Interim Associate Dean for Research
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Location: EDUC 453A and FCHD West 106
Office Phone: 435-797-9184
Shawn joined the Office of Research Services in 2019 and serves as the Interim Associate Dean for Research for the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. He is a member of the faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies since 2016. Broadly, Shawn’s research investigates the connections between family socialization processes and youth’s health and socioemotional adjustment. He is specifically interested in how siblings directly and indirectly act as sources of social influence and social comparison within families and how their family experiences foster similarities and differences in their relationship qualities, attributes, and health-related behaviors. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, as well as private foundations.
Shawn earned his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies with a Graduate Minor in Statistics from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004. He spent the first 11 years of his career in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University.
Nancy Sassano, PhD
Location: EDUC 452
Office Phone: 435-797-0904
Nancy Sassano joined the Office of Research Services in April 2009 as a proposal development specialist after 12 years as project manager of the USU Center for Epidemiologic Studies where she worked on NIH-funded projects including the Cache County Study on Memory, Health and Aging; Cache County Dementia Progression Study; Utah Child and Family Health Study; and Utah Hip Fracture Study. In addition to project management and grant proposal experience, she brings to the College experience in development and management of campus wellness programs, secondary health education, and university teaching. Nancy received her Ph.D. in health education from The Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and B.S.E. from SUNY Cortland. Since joining the College of Education and Human Services, she has been involved in the preparation and submission of over 120 grant proposals to a wide range of funding agencies. From 2009-2015 she also served as a staff member for the Institutional Review Board office and voting member of the Board.
Sarah Schwartz, PhD
Statistical Consulting Studio
Location: EDUC 455
Office Phone: 435-797-0169
Sarah is a statistician with over twelve years of statistical consulting/analysis experience on a wide range of applied projects (e.g., dementia/Alzheimer’s, hearing loss, education, eating disorders, ect.). She completed her doctoral degree in Statistics at Utah State University where she is focused on exact methods for bias detection and avoidance in small, sparse, or correlated data. Prior to her current position, Sarah worked as a statistician for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies at USU, with collaborators from the University of Utah, Johns Hopkins, and Duke. In addition to expertise in traditional experimental designs and statistical techniques, Sarah specializes in cutting-edge longitudinal modeling, survival analysis, graphical methods, data programming, computer-adaptive designs, and RCTs. She also has experience in scientific writing, including journal articles and grant applications.
Sarah earned her undergraduate degree from USU in Math Education with a minor in Chemistry Teaching. She taught math and chemistry for five years at both public and private high schools. Sarah has also taught courses at USU, including college algebra (Math 1010, 1050) and introductory statistics (Stat 1040, 2000). Sarah currently teaches graduate-level statistics courses in our college (Educ 6600, Psy 6600, Psy 7650). In her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding and skiing in the winter and wakeboarding in the summer.
Tyson Barrett, PhD
Data Science and Discovery Unit
Location: EDUC 456
Tyson is a data scientist and statistician with experience collaborating in and consulting on a wide range of projects in the social and health sciences. His consultations span health behaviors, communication and other disorders, health services, educational interventions, and social networks. His own research seeks to make statistical and analytical approaches more accessible and reproducible. Tyson has experience with data tools across the collection/analysis spectrum, including R, Jamovi, REDCap, MTurk, and Qualtrics. He specializes in data organization (formatting, cleaning, reshaping, merging) and analysis (visualization, reporting, resampling techniques, and Bayesian approaches).
Tyson received his PhD in Quantitative Psychology at Utah State University wherein his training focused on applied data analysis. He also has a dual bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Psychology. He teaches graduate-level data analysis and statistical methodology courses for the College of Education and Human Services, including EDUC/PSY 6050, 6600, and 7610. He also teaches workshops and continuing education courses on R, data analysis, and statistics.
Location: EDUC 453
Office Phone: 435-797-5724
Janet joined the Office of Research Services as a Business Assistant on July 1, 2015, after 10 years of working with USU’s Institutional Review Board for the ethical review of research involving human subjects. Her background in federal regulations and review criteria as well as a BS degree in business make her uniquely qualified to assist the ORS in research-related, grant writing and business activities.