The APM Research Lab: Bringing facts into focus
The APM Research Lab is generously supported by an anonymous fund of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation.
OUR MISSION: To foster an engaged democracy by inspiring curiosity, inquiry and discussion through fact-driven, credible research and analysis.
OUR VALUES: Independent, Useful, Informative, Nonpartisan
The APM Research Lab is home to a team of researchers who inform the public with both original and curated research, facts, and analysis. This work helps equip journalists, civic and business leaders, and all others who want to know what the best research has to say about challenges and opportunities facing families, communities, and organizations throughout the nation.
The APM Research Lab conducts research projects of all types—surveys, demographic analyses, literature reviews, and more—and informs the work of partner organizations and the broader public through traditional reports, as well as infographics, blog posts, interactives, presentations, and other platforms.
We are a member of the American Associate for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative and abide by its standards.
The Research Lab augments the work of other members of the American Public Media Group family, including Marketplace, APM Reports, Minnesota Public Radio News, Southern California Public Radio, the Water Main, and Call to Mind.
In addition to philanthropic support and partnership, we are happy to entertain requests for proposals and other contractual inquiries related to research and analysis.
Andi Egbert, Senior Research Associate
Andi Egbert relishes telling stories with data. Her research interests include demography, migration, education over the lifespan, the workforce, and especially data to reveal and remedy inequities. She is an enthusiast of data visualization, elegant writing, and evidence-based public policy.
Previously, Andi was the assistant director of the Minnesota State Demographic Center, where she provided expert data analysis to policymakers, state agencies, and the media about Minnesota’s changing populations. Andi also worked as a research scientist for Minnesota Compass and prepared the annual Minnesota KIDS COUNT data book while research director at the Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota. In addition, she has served as a writer and editor, a literacy instructor, and a caseworker assisting low-income families. Andi holds a master of public policy degree from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota and has done additional graduate work in demographic methods. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in journalism, humanities, and creative writing from Valparaiso University.
Benjamin Clary, Senior Research Analyst
Benjamin Clary joined the Lab through the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program, which competitively awards recent humanities PhDs two-year positions at partnering non-academic organizations. Benjamin earned a doctoral degree in comparative literature from Emory University and also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Kenyon College. Previously Benjamin served as a research specialist with the Nature of Evidence Initiative at Emory, which deepens students’ engagement with research and evidence within and between disciplines. They have also served as a research and editorial assistant for The Letters of Samuel Beckett project, a graduate instructor, a teaching fellow, and a volunteer and financial coordinator with the nonprofit Give Us Wings.
Craig Helmstetter, Managing Partner
Craig Helmstetter leads the Research Lab, directing the overall agenda and developing new projects, as well as providing hands-on analysis. Craig joins APM from Wilder Research, where he helped establish and then lead its Minnesota Compass initiative. In that role, he created and managed research projects, marketed research and data analysis services, developed and oversaw a research team, and frequently gave presentations on major social, economic and demographic trends facing communities throughout the state.
Craig also has experience as an evaluator with Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor’s Office, a project manager with a survey research center, and currently serves on the board of the Community Indicators Consortium and on the Transparency Initiative Coordinating Committee of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He is a graduate of Luther College (1992), and received both a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning (1997) and a PhD in Sociology (2001) from the University of Oregon, where he focused on quantitative methods, survey research, public opinion, political psychology, and social stratification.
Fiona Boler, Digital Communications Assistant
Fiona Boler is the Lab’s Digital Communications Assistant. Fiona possesses a diverse package of skills in research, statistical analysis, blogging, and digital engagement strategies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a history minor from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. While an undergraduate, Fiona conducted a year-long research project on college students’ attitudes toward populism, surveying students in both America and Thailand. Fiona has also worked in marketing, as a campus building manager, and for Students Educating and Embracing Diversity (SEEDs), developing diversity programming and acting as a liaison to staff and students.
Gabriel Cortes, Data Journalist / Digital Specialist
Gabriel Cortes earned his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, with a focus on political and economics reporting. While there, he acquired a wealth of programming, production, and design skills. Most recently, Gabriel contributed to the local broadcasts of Morning Edition and All Things Considered as a general assignment reporter with KPCC in Los Angeles. Gabriel also served as political editor at Annenberg Media, covered the European Union as a reporting fellow in Brussels, and wrote for the Orange County Register. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University.
Laura Daugherty, Marketing Manager
Laura Daugherty is the Marketing Manager for impact initiatives at APM | MPR, which includes the Water Main, Call to Mind, and the APM Research Lab. Before coming to APM | MPR in April 2018, Laura worked for nonprofit agencies in membership and marketing. Laura has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Superior and a BBA in Marketing with a minor in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota - Duluth.