Kymn M. Kochanek is the Vice President of the Economics, Labor, and Population Studies department at NORC. She collaborates in establishing the department's research agenda, business development, partnerships, and strategic outreach and planning, while managing large-scale projects. She also fulfills leadership responsibilities on various corporate committees focused on business development.
Kochanek has worked in social science research for more than 20 years -- all but seven of them at NORC -- managing all aspects of survey research for data collection projects including sample selection, listing, screening, questionnaire development, focus groups, pilot testing, system development and testing, remote and in-person training, data collection, records abstraction, reporting, data preparation, delivery and documentation.
For the last decade, she has managed both cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, successfully increasing response rates using technological innovations and improving efficiency. Her expertise is in national large-scale, multimode longitudinal field data collection efforts and life course studies which include web, computer-assisted personal interviewing, audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing, computer audio-recorded interviewing, interactive voice response, and pencil-and-paper data collection for minor children, prisoners and other at-risk and hard-to-locate populations. The fieldings have included the use of scanners, GIS data, GPS technology, handhelds, and biomeasure collection from adults and children. She has worked extensively on confidentiality and data security issues.
From 1990 to 1997, Kochanek worked as Director of Operations for Abt Associates Inc. in Chicago where she was a leader of the origination of the National Immunization Survey and the development and expansion of Abt's telephone data collection capabilities from 20 booths to more than 100. She specialized in and presented on real-time translation efforts for the random-digit-dial study. She worked extensively on optimizing calling patterns and staffing levels to improve screening and response rates. During her seven years at Abt, Kochanek also managed several field projects evaluating welfare programs and program recipiency and she was a survey director on the National Post Secondary Student Aid Study.
Kochanek has presented nationally and internationally on tracing and locating longitudinal respondents, gaining cooperation and maintaining a longitudinal study, and on data quality.