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Data Night Podcast

The mission of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC-Chapel Hill is to foster groundbreaking social research that improves the lives of people in North Carolina and around the world. Now we're taking time to celebrate the incredible people we work with across the university, state and world. Join us to hear researchers discuss the projects they are most passionate about!   Available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, Pocketcast, Overcast, Castro, and as an RSS feed.



Episode 4: Sara Algoe

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In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Sara Algoe, associate professor and Kenan Scholar in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Algoe has devoted her career to studying positive social connections, specifically the moments that characterize our very best relationships. We discuss her recent project, The LOVE Consortium, a global network of researchers striving to facilitate the collaborative use of archived data to advance the study of social connections.

Due to the in-depth nature of studies in her field, collecting data tends to require huge amounts of time and funding — which can be prohibitive, particularly for early-career researchers. Meanwhile, often only a small portion of the data collected by these large-scale projects winds up being used in the short term, while the rest is left untouched until researchers are able to circle back to it in future projects.

By building The LOVE Consortium Dataverse with the help of Odum archivists, Dr. Algoe and her team have created a digital space where researchers can share and find data to analyze that might have otherwise gone unused and undiscovered, expanding scientific discovery while encouraging new collaborations.

We also chat about what drew her to the field of social psychology in the first place, what challenges she has faced in her own career, and what she loves most about her work.

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Episode 4: Pegah Kamrani

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In this episode, recorded over the summer break, we chat with Pegah Kamrani. Kamrani is a fourth-year doctoral student at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry and the most recent recipient of the International Association for Dental Research’s (IADR) Craniofacial Biology Group Award for her work studying Class III malocclusions in an ongoing project at Adams. She believes this award represents the appealing translational dimension of her research.

This project has a rich 15-year history and began with Dr. Frazier-Bowers and other orthodontists identifying Class III subtypes in the early 2000s. This later paved way to a research project done by Gustavo Zanardi in 2011, a graduate of the orthodontics residency program at UNC-CH. Pegah’s project is similar to Zanardi’s but with a deeper focus on each patient’s surgical risk. Both projects used the help of our mathematician, Xingye Qiao.

Kamrani acknowledges that this award was a team effort and would not have been possible without Dr. Frazier-Bowers, for her mentorship, Dr. Wiesen from the Odum Institute, for his collaboration, as well as Dr. Wright and Dr. Slade for their feedback on her presentation.


Episode 3: Amanda BenDor

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In this episode, special guest Amanda BenDor, MPH, compares her experiences working with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, providing insight into how global health systems and management strategies have changed between the two in the time that has elapsed, and how those changes have shaped the world’s COVID-19 response.

Listen as BenDor, an alumna of the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, discusses her work in global and digital health spaces in her role as the Partnerships and Community Manager at PATH. PATH is a “global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges.”

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Episode 2: Kyle Chan

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A headshot of Kyle Chan.PhD Candidate and Odum Institute statistics consultant Kyle Chan joins us to chat about his work using computational social science, including textual analysis, to examine multilevel governance in Europe and develop measures to study phenomena in that space more efficiently.
Images of plots from his research results:

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Episode 1: Tyler Steelman

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A headshot of Tyler Steelman.PhD candidate and longtime Odum Institute Qualtrics consultant Tyler Steelman joins us to chat about his work examining gerrymandering and its effects on political participation.

Find out more about the work he and his collaborator John Curiel have done so far in this article from the Washington Post: Here’s one way to end partisan gerrymandering: Don’t break up Zip codes.

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