Robert M. Keene

Graduate Certificate in Survey Research

Director of Information Technology, University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR), University of Pittsburgh


Rob Keene is the Director of Information Technology for the University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). In addition to his management duties, Rob provides database programming support to various grant funded and institutional projects for the Center’s Survey Research Program. The majority of his work involves developing secure ecological momentary assessment (IVR), field interviewing (CAPI, CASI), web (CAWI), and telephone (CATI) participant tracking and data collection systems. Rob also contributes to various institutional data collection and analytics projects such as the yearly Pitt student satisfaction survey and the bi-annual College Learning Assessment (CLA+) project.

Rob has worked at UCSUR for 11 enjoyable years. He received his BS in Information Science from Pitt in 1995. Previously, Rob has served Pitt in various other technology roles. He has worked for the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, the Deitrick School of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Anesthesiology. He has, also, been employed by Carnegie Mellon University and the U.S. Department of the Interior (contractor).

Even though he felt his contributions at work were important and impactful he lacked a thorough understanding of the science behind the work, unlike his colleagues. This type of academic training is difficult to receive during day-to-day project work in a busy academic center. An efficient search of nationwide university survey research programs and subsequent faculty research led Rob to the Graduate Program in Survey Research (GPSR) at the University of Connecticut (UCONN). The program was attractive to Rob because it is completely on-line, its high quality faculty, and overall institutional reputation.

Rob received a Certificate in Survey Research from UCONN in May of 2014. The certificate program successfully filled in gaps of survey research science that Rob was lacking. Ultimately, the knowledge and skills learned via the GPSR allowed Rob to develop complete data collection systems that combine effective use of technology along with personally improved survey research science. Rob says, “The Graduate Program in Survey Research at UCONN is a perfect complement to those possessing technical degrees and who are working in the basic and applied social and behavioral sciences.”

Rob is a life-long resident of Pittsburgh, PA where he lives with his beautiful wife Michelle. Rob and Michelle are die-hard fans of the local sports teams. In Pittsburgh everyone is a fan of the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. It is simply a law of nature. No survey is necessary as this is an elemental and self-evident fact. Rob is, also, a fan of Pitt Panther athletics and misses the days of Big East basketball.

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