Liz joined the Smarty Pants squad as an Insights Whiz in early 2022 and was quickly promoted to Insights Brainiac. In this role, she leverages her innate curiosity, academic training and market research experience to support qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies from inception to completion. She most frequently applies her passions and talents to work with Smarty Pants clients in the retail and toy industries.
On her way to Smarty Pants, Liz spent four years deepening her research and client management skills at Chicago-based C+R Research. Her position as a senior analyst focused on custom youth and family market research projects and the firm’s syndicated YouthBeat product. During her tenure, she also gained greater exposure to market research techniques—from segmentation to concept tests to qualitative online communities.
Liz is a summa cum laude graduate with honors college distinction from Valparaiso University in Indiana, where she double majored in Psychology and Sociology (with a concentration in Criminology) and minored in Studio Art. She contributed to research on addictions and spirituality and was introduced to structural equation modeling. It was at “Valpo” where she caught the “research bug.”
Liz went on to earn a master’s degree in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, where she studied theories of human development and expanded her research acumen. She also obtained graduate certificates in Positive Youth Development and Data Analytics while at BC.
During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Liz tapped her criminology background while researching juvenile risk assessment tools, psychology and law pedagogy, caregiver disruption in juvenile risk and recidivism, and youth exposure to violence. Additionally, she acted as a research assistant for the publication of a textbook on juvenile delinquency and an article on trauma assessment in juvenile justice. Producing academic writing and presenting her work at conferences was a great way to hone the science and art of communicating complicated findings in writing and verbally.
As she completed her degrees, Liz also held positions as a systems coordinator for Boston College’s nonprofit City Connects program, a research contractor for Teenlife Media, and a kindergarten readiness teacher in Indiana. She is a hands-on smarty pants through and through.
Liz now lives in Chicago, not far from where she grew up in Indiana. She enjoys running along the Lake Michigan shore, visiting local breweries and reading for her two book clubs.