Kate directs school-, community-, and organizational-based public health surveillance studies for federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and private foundations. Her work includes the implementation of multiple methodological studies that tested the reliability and validity of the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data. She also has extended this work to 16 states and two large cities—New York City and Washington, D.C.—developing innovative strategies and protocols to gather accurate and timely data to protect the health and well-being of youth.
Kate partners with her clients to address areas of concern such as declining school participation rates. She has contributed to innovative strategies to reverse this trend and maximize participation without compromising quality. She also has participated in the evolution of survey methods, transitioning data collection approaches from paper-and-pencil to mobile-optimized cell-, tablet- and web-based modes. Kate has tested new alternatives to in-school data collection including at-home implementation to decrease burden on instructional time. She has worked with her team to increase the speed with which data collected can be disseminated to the public for use in enhancing programs and policies to help protect youth.
Kate also conducts research related to education among youth and young adults. She led the first National Study of Learning Mindsets, which examined the effects of a short, online growth mindset intervention in a nationally representative sample of high schools in the United States. Partnering with researchers from Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin, the study evaluated the impact students’ mindsets—their beliefs about themselves and school—can have on student learning and growth. This landmark study set the stage for future growth mindset interventions and examination of beliefs that affect how students make sense of ongoing challenges.
Kate began her career piloting a national survey of youth health risk behaviors. She has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a specialized project team to create, maintain, and enhance the YRBS and the National Youth Tobacco Survey NYTS methodologies since their respective inceptions in 1990 and 1999.