Smarty Pants was thrilled to add Alina to its roster in the summer of 2021. A seasoned research manager and qualitative expert, Alina is the company’s newest Insights Know-It-All – a role that entails leading custom research initiatives from design through fieldwork and reporting.

While she is adept across methods, Alina is an exceptional steward of qualitative research. She utilizes keen observation and moderation skills to uncover rich, actionable insights for cross-category end-clients. Her tool chest includes traditional and innovative methods ranging from digital dairies, in-depth interviews, ethnographies, focus groups, user experience and in-home usage tests. And her analytic skills include “superpowers” like the ability to weed through hundreds of open-ended data points with a laser focus to answer clients’ most pressing questions.

Prior to joining Smarty Pants, Alina served as Research Consultant for Qualitative Methods at Hanover Research. Her research led her from Alaska (school districts) to the Caribbean (cruise lines) and everywhere in between. As Alina progressed from a research associate to a team-leading consultant, her stellar management earned her the company’s Excellence in Leadership award.  

Alina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & International Leadership from Marietta College in Marietta, OH. She graduated cum laude with Research Honors, spending each summer travelling internationally to conduct primary research on leadership, worker welfare and climate change. Her ethnographic work in Tuvalu – a small island in the South Pacific – led to her ultimate pursuit of a career in market research.

A curious, lifelong learner, Alina is dedicated to continuing her education and skill development. She has taken courses at the University of the South Pacific (in Fiji) and holds certificates in Protecting Human Research Participants (through the National Institute of Health) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She has also served as an EXCEL Workshop Leader at the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business.  

Born and raised near the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Alina lives in Newton Falls, Ohio, with her husband and pup, Leroy. They spend most weekends together on their newest endeavor – renovating a 1930’s farmhouse – and enjoying the great outdoors.

Fun Facts

  • Maiden name is Kielbasa – yes, like the sausage
  • Finds comfort in chicken tenders with a side of mac and cheese
  • Rearranges furniture when she gets antsy
  • Spends “perfect” Sundays sipping coffee, arranging flowers into bouquets and delivering to friends and family
  • Loves to create – from personalized stationery to island designs in Animal Crossing