Description of the Webinar:

In this webinar, speakers from Iowa State University (ISU) will introduce their local Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) Program and exemplify how they leveraged the Community Learning through Data-Driven Discovery Process (CLD3) to support local communities tackle real problems. This webinar will introduce three DSPG projects and discuss the impact they made in Iowa communities.

Date and Recording:

Thursday, October 27, 2022
3:00–4:00 p.m. CT


Cassandra Dorius

Dr. Cassandra “Cass” Dorius is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. Dr. Dorius’ research focuses on translating scholarship into practice through a broad range of state and national collaborations centered on data quality, community outreach, and evidence-based policy-making. Dorius is a founding co-director of the Public Science Collaborative, Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making, and Iowa State’s Data Science for the Public Good Program. Across these efforts, she works with leaders from local, state, and federal agencies to advance policies that improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families.

Shawn Dorius

Dr. Shawn Dorius is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University and co-directs the Public Science Collaborative, focused on providing science consulting to public good problems. Dr. Dorius earned his PhD in Sociology and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and completed a postdoctoral scholar position with the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. His research interests include social demography, community well-being, and computational social science methods. Dr. Dorius has directed research studies concerning substance use in Iowa in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), and Iowa’s Department of Public Health.

Christopher J. Seeger

Christopher J. Seeger, PLA, GISP is a Professor and Extension Specialist in Landscape Architecture and Geospatial Technology at Iowa State University. He leads the ISU Extension and Outreach Indicators Program and is the director of the 2022 and 2023 Data Science for the Public Good Young Scholars Program. Professor Seeger specializes in the integration of geospatial technologies, collaborative design technologies, crowd-sourcing (Public Participation GIS and Volunteered Geographic Information) and data visualization to develop local current datasets and indicators that can be used in the community planning and design process.

Kelsey Van Selous

Kelsey Van Selous, MSW, LCSW is a Project Manager and Data Analyst for the Public Science Collaborative. Her background is in social work, with her Master’s in Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She maintains her clinical license in her home state of Pennsylvania and is currently working towards her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies with Iowa State University. Her area of research focuses on the relationship between alcohol outlet densities and their impact on families, with specific emphasis on supporting communities to translate data insights into community action.

Matthew Voss

Matthew Voss is a Rural Policy Data Analyst at Iowa State University’s Public Science Collaborative (PSC). His work focuses on using data to inform policy and decision-making in government agencies, communities, and nonprofits. Prior to working at PSC, Matthew earned a BS degree in statistics at Iowa State University and a Master of Public Affairs degree at University of Wisconsin–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs. After multiple internships in data science in the federal government, he found a passion for working on local policy and projects by participating in Iowa State’s Data Science for the Public Good Program. He brought that passion to his graduate studies by focusing on rural policy and community development, which is also an emphasis in his role at PSC. Matthew prides himself on the unique perspective that his small-town Iowa upbringing gives him in his data science work. He believes that combining data science with local knowledge makes both more valuable and tries to do so at PSC.

Harun Celik

Harun Çelik is a graduate student in the Department of History at Iowa State University. His interest lies at the intersection of using digital methodologies and data science to answer questions of sociocultural and historical importance. Specifically, Harun is working to expand and contribute to the growing discipline of digital humanities and to pursue projects in interdisciplinary research with regard to data. His current research interests revolve around the application of digitization on historical maps and spatial surveys to answer questions of urban and infrastructural development.