Who We Are

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Principals

Benjamin G. Edwards

Benjamin G. Edwards

Principal and Managing Partner

phone: 410-377-7880 x41

Mentored in the Duke administration and having since consulted to universities and schools for nearly 25 years, Ben Edwards handles an especially diverse portfolio of Art & Science’s assignments. He has deep experience with institutional branding and positioning; strategic planning; tuition pricing and financial aid studies; fundraising; alumni research; and leadership studies.

Ben’s clients regularly include research universities; undergraduate colleges; independent day and boarding schools; law and business schools; and nonprofit organizations ranging from arts institutions to conservation organizations to foundations.

Ben’s knowledge of independent schools has made him a sought-after expert in that field. He authored a chapter in the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) recent Handbook on Marketing Independent Schools, and has frequently presented or led workshops for NAIS, The Association of Boarding Schools, and regional schools associations.

Ben also serves as managing partner of the firm and as such is responsible for planning and coordinating the measured growth strategy Art & Science Group is pursuing.

Education

BA History, University of Virginia
MA Geography, University of California, Los Angeles and AM History, Harvard University
PhD History of American Civilization, Harvard University

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Craig Goebel

Craig Goebel

Principal

phone: 410-377-7880 x16

Craig Goebel’s consulting experience covers a wide range of assignments including major pricing and positioning studies, comparative admissions and financial aid assessments, financial aid modeling projects, as well as recruitment marketing and communications work.

Over the last 15 years, he has consulted for private and public research universities, liberal arts colleges, law, graduate and professional schools, and international and specialty schools.

At the same time, Craig has played a pivotal role in the expansion of the scope and quality of firm’s research capabilities. He managed all of the firm’s early research in pricing and has continued to advance the strategic value of pricing studies as a roadmap for critical pricing, positioning, and financial aid decisions.

In addition to his consulting responsibilities, Craig oversees the firm’s in-house and fieldhouse research operations. He also has been instrumental in refining the firm’s research methods and practices, particularly in the use of predictive modeling and its application in pricing, branding, financial aid, recruitment, and alumni studies. Craig also oversees all of the firm’s financial aid modeling assignments, working with a broad range of public and private institutions. His expertise on the application of predictive research methods to drive decision-making on pricing and financial aid has made him a regular presenter at national higher education conferences around the country.

Education

BS Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Richard A. Hesel

Richard A. Hesel

Principal

phone: 410-377-7880 x13

Rick Hesel has worked in higher education for nearly all of his professional life. He began his career as part of a new program launched by President William G. Bowen to professionally train administrators at Princeton University where he worked in admissions, financial aid, development, and public affairs. He became a consultant to higher education in 1976.

Rick’s experience covers a broad array of institutional concerns, including: strategic planning, student recruitment and financial aid; capital campaigns, annual giving, and planned giving; curriculum development; student life; media, corporate and government relations; physical plant planning; alumni and parent relations; and communications. He supervised the first large-scale uses of survey research and pioneered the development of a predictive model that ties tuition and aid setting to student choice.

In the international arena, Rick has served the University of London, Open University of the United Kingdom, and under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Commission conducted workshops on marketing for presidents and other leaders of universities in the Czech Republic. He is leading initiatives to establish U.S. university campuses, research centers, and technology incubators in the People’s Republic of China. He also serves on the Council of Senior Advisers of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP).

Rick conducts seminars on branding and pricing for the American Council on Education’s Fellows Program which prepares promising faculty for senior leadership positions and is a frequent guest speaker at higher education national conferences. Publisher of studentPOLL, Rick led the creation of the national survey of student opinions on the college search process.

Education

AB Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

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David W. Strauss

David W. Strauss

Principal

phone: 410-377-7880 x15

David Strauss’s considerable expertise is focused on providing market-informed strategy to help guide the decisions of mission-driven organizations. Today he is regarded as a leading authority in the advancement of rigorous empirical research in higher education to guide the strategic decisions and investments of institutions.

Since he began his consulting career in 1985, David has pioneered the development of econometric modeling techniques to help colleges and universities optimize their use of financial aid. In the mid-1990s, he led the development of predictive survey-research based techniques for analyzing and identifying the tuition pricing level, and brand and strategic initiatives most likely to advance an institution’s enrollment, fundraising, and broader institutional goals.

David has consulted for a broad range of private and public colleges and universities, graduate and professional schools, and non-profit organizations nationwide. One of the most respected authorities on tuition pricing and the market inputs necessary for institutions to set tuition and maximize their net tuition revenue position, David is a frequent guest speaker on this topic at educational conferences including the The College Board National Forum, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the American Council of Education’s annual meeting.

Education

BS political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
BS mechanical engineering, MIT
MBA/management and marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

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Consultants and Managing Associates

Kate Cleary

Kate Cleary

Consultant and Director of Marketing

phone: 410-377-7880 x28

Kate Cleary, consultant and director of marketing, is one of the founding members of Art & Science Group and has served as a consultant to higher education for almost 25 years. Having worked on a broad range of projects for the firm before becoming Director of Marketing in 2011, Kate often is included on projects that benefit from her talents and expertise. As a former managing associate, she has coordinated major studies for a wide range of clients that encompass pricing and branding, recruitment communications and marketing, student success and retention, and alumni relations, annual fund, and capital campaign research and strategy development.

Kate is one of the firm’s most experienced senior interviewers and frequently conducts in-depth qualitative interviews with students, alumni leadership, business, and community leaders, presidents, and other important constituents as part of larger client projects conducted by the firm. She also regularly conducts comparative assessments of the admissions and financial aid operations, career service operations, campus and student life initiatives, and other operations to identify best practices for the sponsoring institution compared to their peers.

For the last five years, Kate has served as the editor of studentPOLL, a national research newsletter first launched by Art & Science in 1994 and now jointly published by Art & Science Group and the College Board. As the firm’s Director of Marketing, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the firm’s marketing and promotional efforts.

Education

BA English, Colorado College

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Eric Collum

Eric Collum

Consulting Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x13

As one of the firm’s senior consultants, Eric Collum oversees the day-to-day management of projects for a diverse range of higher education clients including law and professional schools, flagship public universities, private liberal arts colleges, and arts and specialty institutions.

Eric is involved in all phases of a project including: conducting campus interviews with senior administrators, faculty, and staff; developing and refining research questionnaires for major studies; presenting key research findings; and creating and presenting strategic recommendations to clients. In short, Eric manages all aspects of A&S projects to which he is assigned and works closely with all three principals of the firm.

Since joining the firm, Eric has worked on major enrollment, positioning, pricing, alumni relations, retention, and various benchmarking studies for a broad range of clients including: Yale University, Wake Forest University, the College of William and Mary, the University of Chicago, St. Johns, Reed and Claremont McKenna colleges, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Continuing Studies and Lifelong Learning, and Otis College of Art & Design, among others.

Before joining Art & Science Group, Eric was an education writer and researcher at The George Washington Center for Equity and Excellence in Education, a non-profit organization providing support to K-12 educators. There he managed communications as well as research studies and co-authored a number of national research reports.

Education

BA English and Philosophy, University of Miami
MA English Language and Literature, University of Delaware
PhD English Language and Literature, University of Delaware

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Jamie Ealy

Jamie Ealy

Managing Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x26

Over the last 20 years, Jamie Ealy has dedicated his career to collegiate admissions and student recruitment. He has been at the forefront of several successful enrollment campaigns at multiple institutions. He brings a wealth of admissions knowledge to Art & Science Group and the firm’s clients.

Before joining Art & Science Group, Jamie served as the Director of Undergraduate Student Recruitment at West Virginia University. Jamie oversaw all aspects of undergraduate student recruitment, including all branding and communications initiatives, territory enrollment goal setting, recruitment data analysis, and coordination of on-and-off campus events. Under Jamie’s leadership, WVU experienced record enrollments, including the three largest first-year and transfer classes WVU history, with progressive improvement in its student profile.

Ealy progressed into his first leadership role working at Berea College in Kentucky. At Berea, Jamie started as an Admissions Counselor, but was promoted to Director of Admissions after continually exceeding enrollment goals for his assigned territory of West Virginia. As Director of Admissions, Jamie oversaw all aspects of the recruiting and admissions process at the college. During his tenure, Berea met enrollment and student profile goals every year. In addition, Berea maintained minority enrollment, including 18 percent African-American enrollment.

Education

MA/Ed, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Higher Education/Student Affairs, Virginia Tech
BA English, Concord University

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Risa Nystrom McDonell

Risa Nystrom McDonell

Consulting Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x71

Risa Nystrom McDonell served as a Managing Associate for Art & Science Group from 1999 to 2005. In that capacity, Risa managed large branding and pricing studies for a variety of public and private institutions, participated in client board retreats, and provided other strategic consulting to clients ranging from private colleges to national research universities and law schools as well as other professional and specialty schools. Recently she rejoined the firm as a part-time associate.

Prior to joining Art & Science Group, Risa managed the research and operations for the Tennessee Governor’s Council for Excellence in Higher Education, a blue-ribbon panel appointed to study public postsecondary education in that state and issue policy recommendations regarding the system’s performance. Prior to that position, she taught English and composition at Vanderbilt University for five years while earning her graduate degree. Earlier experiences include several years in human resources management, where she focused on recruiting management, employee relations, workforce diversity, and training and development.

A talented writer and editor, Risa has published articles for a number of organizations including The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Education

B.A. in English Literature, Duke University
M.A. in English, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. in English, Vanderbilt University

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Shanaysha Sauls

Shanaysha Sauls

Managing Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x11

Shanaysha Sauls understands higher education from several vantage points, having become a consultant to colleges and universities after an academic career that includes teaching at Hood College, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and most recently a position as Assistant Professor in American University’s School of Public Affairs. Since joining the firm, Shanaysha has quickly become a major asset to the firm’s clients, overseeing the day-to-day management of large-scale pricing, competitive positioning, and enrollment studies for a broad range of clients including Hendrix, Reed, and Hamilton colleges, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Tulsa and the University of Dayton School of Law.

As a Managing Associate, Shanaysha is involved in all aspects of her project portfolio including serving as the point of contact for clients; conducting campus interviews; reviewing recruitment communications and other strategic and enrollment reports and data; finalizing research instruments; interpreting research findings; and developing and presenting comprehensive recommendations to guide clients’ strategic decisions and investments.

Over the years, Shanaysha has honed her political acumen and leadership skills as a member of the Baltimore City school board. In this position, Shanaysha and her fellow board members provide direction and guidance to the CEO of Schools on raising the educational achievement of the 83,000 students served by the city’s public schools and providing ongoing financial management and overall strategy. She previously served as the treasurer of the board of directors for one of Maryland’s first public charter schools as well as for a local non-profit board which promotes family-friendly community development in downtown Baltimore.

Education

BA, English Literature & Language and Government & Politics, University of Maryland, College Park
MA, PhD, Political Science, Duke University

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Emily Oliver

Emily Oliver

Consultant

phone: 410-377-7880 x42

Emily Oliver has worked in secondary and higher education for the past 25 years. As a consulting associate for Art & Science Group, Emily oversees the day-to-day management of projects for a wide range of higher education and independent school clients.

Over the last several years, she has directed major positioning, recruitment, and alumni studies for clients including the University of Virginia, Hamilton College, Columbia College, University of Miami Alumni Association, Indian Creek School, and Concord Academy. Emily and her colleague and husband, Ben Edwards, also have developed and advanced the firm’s strategic planning, branding, recruitment, and advancement consulting services for independent schools. She also has considerable experience working with heads of schools, boards, and alumni leadership to help them think more strategically about their institutional goals and priorities.

In addition to her A&S projects, Emily also serves on the Development Committee for Student U, a program designed to help at-risk students in the Durham, North Carolina Public School System develop the academic and personal skills needed to realize their full potential. Emily is the former chair of the Durham Academy Alumni Association and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Before joining A&S, Emily spearheaded successful advancement programs for Durham Academy, The Hill Center, and the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Program.

Education

BA English/Modern Studies, University of Virginia

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Research Associates

Leo Simonetta

Leo Simonetta

Director of Analytics and Chief Methodologist

phone: 410-377-7880 x14

Leo Simonetta has over 25 years of research experience and a distinguished track record of overseeing large-scale survey research studies in fields ranging from education and political science to psychology and travel and tourism. His work has been cited in the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, AP, and numerous other media outlets as well as academic journals. As Director of Analytics & Chief Methodologist at Art & Science Group, Leo is responsible for determining the most rigorous study design and analytical approach for all market research studies conducted by the firm. Leo has played a vital role building the firm’s reputation as the preeminent source for advanced market research and statistical analysis in higher education.

In his 15 years at Art & Science, Leo has applied his innovative research methods to large-scale studies focused on guiding the branding, pricing, strategic planning, and advancement decision-making for a wide range of institutions, from prestigious public universities such as the University of Virginia and The University of Michigan, to smaller liberal arts colleges such as Hendrix, Grinnell, Hamilton, and Reed colleges. He also has been instrumental in developing and refining the firm’s predictive research methods that help institutions understand the consequences of different branding ideas, academic initiatives, and pricing and aid levels on, for example, on students’ actual decisions to apply or enroll at an institution.

Leo’s track record in higher education and other fields has made of him a recognized leader among research experts. He has held the position of Chair of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transition Subcommittee for several years, and his work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals.

Education

PhD Virginia Commonwealth University, Psychology (Social Psychology). Named Outstanding Social Psychology Graduate Student
MS Virginia Commonwealth University, Psychology (Social Psychology with concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
BS Virginia Commonwealth University, Business (Marketing)

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Courtney Holland

Courtney Holland

Research Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x17

Courtney Holland is an essential member of Art & Science’s growing research department. She provides strong skills and experience in data analysis, research design, survey development, and data interpretation and presentation. Courtney’s primary role in the research department is developing survey questionnaires and overseeing the fielding for all quantitative and qualitative studies conducted for Art & Science’s clients. Since joining A&S, she has helped with the fieldwork on large-scale pricing and positioning studies, including those conducted for the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Richmond Law School, among other institutions.

Prior to joining A&S, Courtney worked at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. In this role, Courtney worked on a comprehensive project with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Childhood Development Division charged with improving early education statewide. Courtney conducted qualitative interviews for the project, and her work helped contribute to the development of a set of strategies to identify at-risk children and improve their retention in pre-school.

Education

MA Organizational Leadership, Gonzaga University
BA, Psychology, Minor History, Georgetown University

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Terry Houser

Terry Houser

Research Associate

phone: 410-377-7880 x19

Terry Houser has become a major asset of Art & Science Group’s research department. Since joining the firm in 2007, Terry has assumed a greater role in all client projects including: finalizing the analysis of the research findings for the firm’s large-scale pricing and positioning studies; overseeing the development of all research presentations; reviewing data from the fieldhouse; and coordinating the firm’s advanced simulated decision modeling (SDM) process and results for all major client studies. Terry plays a key role in interpreting the research data and effectively communicating the findings to clients.

Terry also is extremely adept in the use of secondary research sources and is often brought in on projects that require finding, analyzing, and interpreting secondary higher education, geo-demographic, occupational, and other sources of data appropriate for specific firm projects.

He has worked on major research projects for a variety of clients, including: the University of Virginia, Claremont McKenna College, the University of Richmond, Birmingham Southern College, the University Michigan, Hamilton College, among others.

Before joining the firm, Terry served as a research assistant and interviewer for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where he played a key role in a longitudinal survey of Baltimore third graders focused on analyzing the effectiveness of a classroom-based intervention program implemented in several city first-grade classrooms.

Education

BS Psychology/Sociology, James Madison University

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Rebekah Groft

Rebekah Groft

Research Assistant

phone: 410-377-7880 x17

Rebekah Groft is an integral member of the firm’s growing research department. Her responsibilities include: specifying to clients how research samples should be drawn and reviewing those samples; verifying the accuracy of the data from the fieldhouse; overseeing different types of data analysis; and preparing comprehensive research presentations for client branding and pricing studies. She also plays a vital role in the research design and analysis for studentPOLL, the firm’s national omnibus poll which surveys college-bound high school students about their attitudes and behavior regarding the college search process.

Since joining the firm, Rebekah has worked on large-scale research studies for a variety of institutions that have benefitted from her keen analytical skills and expertise including: the University of Virginia; Hamilton, Grinnell and Reed colleges; and the University of Richmond and its law school among other clients.

Rebekah is an expert in SPSS, a predictive analytical software critical to the firm’s robust analytical research capabilities. She tutored doctoral candidates in the use of SPSS for their dissertations while she was an undergraduate student at York College. Before joining A&S, Rebakah honed her research skills as an undergraduate and as an intern at Polk-Lepson Research Group. At Polk-Lepson, she was involved in research projects ranging from evaluating the success of a performing arts program for children to the development of a database designed to determine variables that contribute to the success of participants in a county drug court program. At York College, she designed and conducted online research with the campus community and local business leaders.

Education

BS Behavioral Science, York College of Pennsylvania

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Administrative Staff

Janeene Norris

Janeene Norris

Director of Finance and Human Resources

phone: 410-377-7880 x10

Janeene Norris manages all aspects of the firm’s financial, human resources, retirement and healthcare benefits program, and interacts with the firm’s clients on all matters related to the financial administration of project budgets, invoices, and related matters.

Since joining the firm a decade ago, Janeene has significantly improved the overall financial and administrative operations of the firm and clients benefit from her efficient and highly organized management of the billings, expenses, and other costs related to all firm projects. She is considered an indispensable member of the firm’s management and project teams as well as a strong advocate for the interests of both employees and clients.

Prior to joining the firm, Janeene held a variety of financial positions for Maryland Chemical for 20 years. Before that, she was an Operations Coordinator at the University of Maryland for a statewide, anti-smoking public health education and awareness campaign.

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Rachel Popham

Rachel Popham

Project Coordinator

phone: 410-377-7880 x20

Rachel Popham brings considerable technical, organizational, and communications expertise and skills to the firm’s teams and clients. As project coordinator, Rachel is responsible for working closely with the firm’s consulting teams to coordinate project work and serve as a liaison to the research and finance departments. She also helps develop project calendars and schedules, maintains contract information and billing schedules, and assists with all internal aspects of client project management.

Before joining A&S, Rachel worked as a Program Coordinator for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). In this position, she provided project management, coordination, and support for programs of varying size; organized and conducted online webinars for association members; coordinated special events; served as liaison for two standing committees; developed and maintained the membership database; and provided other critical communications, technical, and membership support.

Prior to this, Rachel also served as the Membership Associate for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, overseeing membership development, billing and dues collection, and the development of marketing materials and campaigns.

Education

BA International Studies, Millersville University (degree anticipated May 2013)

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Janet Yancey

Janet Yancey

Administrative Assistant

phone: 410-377-7880 x30

Janet Yancey works closely with the Director of Finance and Human Resources, assisting with project billings, expense reports, travel arrangements and other firm and client administrative responsibilities.

Before joining the firm, Janet worked as an accounting contractor for various firms and organizations in the greater Baltimore region. For the past 10 years, she also has provided pro bono accounting assistance to her church.

Education

BA Accounting/Business, North Carolina State University

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Affiliates

Paula Bogert

Paula Bogert

Principal, P J Bogert Graphic Design, Inc.

With nearly twenty years experience in the field of graphic design, Paula Bogert formed her own company in 1998 after working in marketing and publication design at the Baltimore firms of Barton-Gillet, North Charles Street Design Organization and David Ashton and Associates. She has worked extensively in publication design and marketing for educational and non-profit organizations. Her work includes publications for Harvard University, Washington & Lee University School of Law, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and identity programs for the University of Maryland, the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation, and the Maryland Historical Society.

Her three-dimensional work while at David Ashton and Associates includes signage and identity programs for the Ravens Stadium in Baltimore, ballparks in Houston and San Diego, and a proposed venue for the New York Mets. She has collaborated in recent years with the Maryland Historical Society in the design of exhibition graphics and publications for shows about Maryland photography, quilts, and African-American history. Her work at MdHS also includes exhibition graphics for the newly opened Carey Center for Maryland Life-permanent installations of the Society's furniture and painting collections-as well as materials and exhibition design for recent shows about the Great Baltimore Fire and "American Fancy."

She is the recipient of design awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), University and College Designers Association and the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington, and holds a bachelor of arts in art education from Douglass College/Rutgers University and a master's of publication design from the University of Baltimore.

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Georgann Eubanks

Georgann Eubanks

Associate

Georgann Eubanks has over 25 years' experience as a communications consultant and adult educator. She has presented seminars nationwide on effective writing, print marketing, and nonprofit leadership, and has conducted staff development workshops for organizations ranging from the National Association of Realtors to the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Program. Eubanks is a faculty member in both the nonprofit management and documentary studies certificate programs at Duke University and served as assistant director of Duke Continuing Studies from 1995 until 2000. She is now involved in the production of independent, public affairs documentaries for public television. Eubanks is a North Carolina Arts Council Literary Fellowship winner, recipient of a regional Emmy, and has been honored by the Printing Industry of the Carolinas, the International Association of Business Communicators, CASE, and the Education Writers Association.

Education

B.A., Duke University

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Silverpoint, Inc.

Silverpoint, Inc.

 

Silverpoint provides superior web design and development for schools. Experienced consultants, creative designs, and powerful Silverpoint SchoolSuite® software combine to deliver lasting custom website solutions.

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WB&A Market Research

WB&A Market Research

 

WB&A Market Research conducts studies for Art & Science Group’s research arm, The Center for Student Opinion Research. WB&A works closely with Art & Science to design and field opinion research studies with prospective and current undergraduate, graduate and professional school students on behalf of educational institutions nationwide.

Over the last decade, WB&A Market Research, in partnership with Art & Science Group, has fielded hundreds of studies for institutions of higher education to help them better understand the attitudes and behaviors of students in order to strengthen communications, academic programs, and other resources and services.

WB&A Market Research adheres strictly to the code of professional ethics of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). The full-service firm operates a telephone center from their Crofton, MD headquarters (located between Baltimore and Washington, DC). A second telephone center is located in Ithaca, NY. WB&A serves clients in a wide range of industries. Established in 1987, WB&A has a full-time staff of over 30 professionals with more than 150 part-time telephone and field interviewers.

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