Office Staff

Institutional Research Staff


Jason Nicholas, Assistant Provost and Director of Institutional Research and Analysis

Jason Nicholas

Jason received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Minnesota State University Moorhead and his Master’s in Applied Psychology with a focus on program evaluation and industrial/organizational psychology from UW-Stout.  He formerly worked in Wisconsin for Cooperative Education Services Agency 10 in Chippewa Falls, and also at the Applied Research Center, a branch of the Institutional Research office at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  He is currently the director of the Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment (IRPA) Office at Northern Michigan University overseeing traditional IR duties including state and federal reporting, data analytics, enrollment forecasting, student success analytics support, as well as overseeing university accreditation and assessment support efforts.

Office: 410E Cohodas Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2379



Katie Schoonveld, Director of Institutional Reporting 

Katie schoonveld

Katie received her Bachelor’s in Business Computer Information Systems and her Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Management from NMU.  She formerly worked at Michigan Technological University in the Institutional Analysis office and has been in the IRPA office for 10 years.  Overall, she has sixteen years work experience in Institutional Research.

Office: 410C Cohodas Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2675



Daniel Cullen, Director of Institutional Accreditation and Assessment

Daniel Cullen

Dan has been with Northern Michigan University since June 2018. His duties include managing institutional processes related to maintenance of institutional accreditation and assessment of student learning. He is also a member of the NMU Graduate Faculty, teaching research classes as an adjunct in Public Administration and in Education. 

Previously, Dan served as Deputy Director at the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Duties included developing and implementing academic policies for the state and implementing the legal mandate to regulate postsecondary education for Illinois’ higher education coordinating board.  He has served on the faculty of a variety of institutions, including Ithaca College, Tompkins-Cortland Community College, and University of Colorado-Denver; Moscow, Russia, campus.

Dan completed his bachelor’s in Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his master’s in Communication, with a minor in Education, at Cornell University, and his doctorate in Educational Organization and Leadership at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Office: 410B Cohodas Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2378



Lu Zhang, Educational Analytics Specialist

Lu received her Master's degree in Learning and Developmental Sciences with a focus on Inquiry Methodology from Indian University-Bloomington (IUB). She worked as a data analyst at the P-16 Research and Collaboration Center at IUB for five years where she was involved in projects on analyzing large-scale datasets. She joined the IRPA team as an Analytics Specialist in June of 2020. Her duties include managing and leveraging NMU's analytics platform and tools to maximize analytics capabilities; ensuring the availability of data assets, software, tools, services, and procedures to support data needs across many areas of University operations; and supporting the institution's innovative use of data as a strategic asset.


Office: 410D Cohodas Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2373



Ellen Koski, Institutional Researcher II


Ellen received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish Languages and Literatures from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her Master's of Public Health, with emphasis in Community Health Promotion, from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She is currently the Institutional Researcher II with the Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment Office and her duties include developing, maintaining, and transforming data into information that is critical to University planning, policymaking, and reporting processes, and providing consultation on analysis of University issues. 

Prior to joining NMU, Ellen led a community-based coalition to improve advance care planning and end of life care, and she has also served as a public health educator for county and state public health in Wisconsin. Her passions include community education and engagement, and advancing evidence-based programs and practices.

Office: 410F Cohodas Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2376



Institutional Research Student Staff

Joanne Sved, Graduate Assistant