About ICF
Thomas Brassell
Portfolio Director, Survey Research
Thomas Brassell is a survey research expert with more than 10 years of experience designing and executing complex survey research studies on behalf of federal, state, and local government agencies. 

Thomas leads our Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) portfolio, working with State and local health departments to collect representative health behavior data. He also directed our COVID-19 Monitor Survey of U.S. Adults and co-authored multiple blogs and articles publishing our research results. Thomas has a strong background in survey methodology with a focus on innovative study designs. He has designed multiple research studies that explored methods to improve telephone and mail study designs, examined the utility of non-probability samples in post-disaster and health research, and assessed the effectiveness of text messaging to improve response rates.

Prior to joining the BRFSS team, Thomas collaborated with the Alcohol Research Group to design multiple pilot tests to enhance data collection for the 14th iteration of the National Alcohol Survey. In addition, from 2018 through 2020, he directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance System Pilot, a national study designed to examine the frequency and degree of traumatic brain injuries in the country. This study consisted of collecting over 10,000 household interviews of adults, children via adult proxy, and adolescents.

Thomas is an active member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

Education
  • M.A., Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Xavier University
  • B.A., Psychology and History, Indiana University - Bloomington
Publications
  • Brassell, T., Dayton, J., & Kinder, R. (2019). Pre/Post Hurricane Surveys: Measuring Hurricane Preparation and Post Storm Impacts Using Geofencing Methods. In JSM Proceedings, Survey Methodology Section. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. 580-594.
  • Jans, M., ZuWallack, R., Martin, K., Brassell, T., Dayton, J., Immerwahr, S., Levanon Seligson, A., & Lim, S. (2019). How hard is it to remove mode effects in multimode surveys? Basic weighting vs. three model-based methods. Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association (JSM).
  • What we can learn from U.S. sentiment about the coronavirus to help stop a second wave (2020), Brassell, Thomas; Boyle, John; Dayton, James. https://www.fastcompany.com/90515903/what-we-can-learn-from-u-s-sentiment-about-the-coronavirus-to-help-stop-a-second-wave
  • Bailly, K., Brassell, T., Jans, M., ZuWallack, R., Chartier, K., Martinez, P., Patterson, D., Greenfield, T., & Karriker-Jaffe, K. (2020, May). Is there anybody out there? Evaluation of methods to increase minority group response in ABS design. Poster presented at the annual national conference by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, 2020 Virtual Conference.
  • Brassell, T., Dyer, A., Dayton, J., Vincent, S., ZuWallack, R., & Duell, J. (2019, May). Do you have my reservation? Leveraging Technology to Keep Callback Appointments. Paper presented at the annual national conference by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • Brassell, T., Duell, J., ZuWallack, R., & Jans, M. (2019, May). Hey you just texted us – this is crazy – here’s why we’re calling – please take our survey! An evaluation of text interactions on an RDD study using an SMS-enabled outbound number. Paper presented at the annual national conference by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Insights

Article
COVID-19 Survey: Drop in optimism and vaccine willingness among American frequent travelers
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COVID-19 Survey: Shoppers report more visits to stores and increased comfort in the safety of the retail experience.
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COVID-19 Survey: Shoppers express increasing comfort in the safety of retail stores as retail sales improve.
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COVID-19 Survey: American frequent traveler attitudes dip further amid embrace of masks
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Could requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for school or work convince more Americans to get vaccinated?
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Rural Americans feel less threatened by COVID-19 than urban and suburban Americans do, but still view mitigation as important
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As cases increase, American trust in COVID-19 information from federal, state, and local governments continues to decline
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COVID-19 Survey: Optimism about pandemic declines among American frequent travelers
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Many Americans remain hesitant about getting a COVID-19 immunization as soon as an FDA-approved vaccine is available
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LGBTQ community faces greater health and economic challenges due to COVID-19
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COVID-19 Survey: American frequent travelers cautiously eye future travel
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Unemployed Americans are struggling financially, yet they think it is too soon to reopen nonessential businesses.
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Mental health update: Economic challenges caused by COVID-19 linked to greater psychological distress.
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To get Americans to embrace the COVID-19 vaccine, scientists will need to be the messengers.
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As states relaxed restrictions in May, how did Americans feel about the threat of COVID-19 to their health?
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American trust in COVID-19 information from federal and state/local government is trending downward
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Even as stay-at-home orders were extended in April, Americans continued to favor public health over the economy.
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How did the pandemic impact American mental health in April?
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Americans still see COVID-19 as a threat–but increasingly feel that the worst is behind us
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Survey reveals the need for stronger mental health recovery infrastructure
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Who do Americans trust for COVID-19 news and information?
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Americans pick public health over the economy—even with near-record unemployment.
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Do Americans see COVID-19 as a personal threat?
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