Who We Are

The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, home of the Marist Poll, is a survey research center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The Marist Poll regularly measures public opinion at the local, state, and national level. Founded in 1978, the Institute was the first college-based research center to include undergraduates in conducting survey research. Today, the Marist Poll is proud to have more than 400 students on its team each semester.

The academic mission of the Marist Poll remains the central tenet of its endeavors. What began as a classroom project with one hundred students conducting an Election Day exit poll of Dutchess County, New York has blossomed into a widely known, state-of-the-art survey research center and a one-of-a- kind educational opportunity for students. Over its more than nearly 40-year history, thousands of Marist College students have participated in polling, workshops, courses and seminars, field trips, and internships.

The success of the Marist Poll is recognized worldwide by journalists and academics. For its work during the 2016 presidential election, the Marist Poll was rated number one for accuracy by Bloomberg Politics, and along with its battleground state polling partner, NBC News, it received an “A+” rating from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.

Dedicated to adhering to the highest standards, and advancing the understanding of public opinion polls, the Marist Poll was accepted as a Charter Member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative in 2014.

Stephanie Calvano

Stephanie Calvano
Director of Data Science & Technology

Stephanie received her B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from Marist College and her M.S. in Management/Sports Industries from the University of New Haven. With nearly twenty years of experience in survey research, Stephanie manages Marist Poll research projects including questionnaire development and programming, sample design and implementation, data processing, and analysis of results. Additionally, she oversees all of MIPO’s polling technology and supervises interns in the Poll’s College to Career internship program. A Marist and Marist Poll alum, Stephanie spent a decade as an adjunct professor in Marist’s Communications Department and continues to serve as a guest lecturer for classes in multiple disciplines.

Barbara L. Carvalho

Barbara L. Carvalho
Director of the Marist Poll

Barbara oversees the design, analysis, and communication of Marist Poll research projects and results. Barbara received her Ph.D. in political science from Fordham University. She is a trustee of the National Council of Public Polls. She has developed and directed studies at the national, state, and community levels — for government, private, and non-profit organizations.

Daniela Charter

Daniela Charter
Director of the Survey Center & Education Services

Daniela received both her B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Public Administration from Marist College. Daniela heads the survey center at the Marist Poll. She oversees the training and supervision of nearly 300 student interviewers and supervisors and leads the development of the Marist Poll Academy. She is also an adjunct professor for the Political Science Department at Marist College.

Mike Conte

Mike Conte
Director of Client Services

Mike received both his B.A. in Business Marketing and his M.B.A. from Marist College. Mike leads the poll’s client services team and works closely with the survey center and data science directors on data collection and analysis operations. He helps individuals and organizations identify the best methodologies for their research needs and oversees client projects from questionnaire development to delivery. A Marist Poll alum, Mike has previously held a number of different positions within the Institute, including Survey Interviewer, Polling Assistant, and Graduate Assistant. A love of politics and admiration for the Marist Poll’s national reputation for accuracy made Mike jump at the chance to continue working for the Institute when the opportunity arose.

Jay DeDapper

Jay DeDapper
Director of Innovation & Strategy

Jay earned his M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University and his B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. At the Poll, he leads initiatives to introduce new technologies, build strategic plans, and implement innovative programs. Jay is a 3x tech/media startup founder, media entrepreneur, and investor. Prior to his startup career, Jay worked for 22 years in television news reporting from around the world for WABC and WNBC in New York. Jay’s storytelling skills and innovative production led to dozens of awards including the national Cronkite Award, a dozen Emmys, and scores of local citations.

Mary Elena Azzoli Griffith

Mary Elena Azzoli Griffith
Director of Media Initiatives and Polling News

Mary received her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University. She is a former producer at WNBC-TV where she worked on such shows as Weekend Today in New York, News4You, and TrendBreakers. Mary’s contributions to WNBC earned her three New York Emmy Award nominations. She currently oversees the Marist Poll’s multimedia platforms, including the Poll’s press outreach, broadcast operations, video production, website, and social media endeavors. As media director, Mary also serves as Executive Producer of the Poll’s podcast, Poll Hub, and oversees the Newsfeed program, a team of Marist College student workers who assist with the Poll’s media projects. In addition to Mary’s work in the media unit, Mary directs the Poll’s College to Career internship program and serves as program director for the Poll’s Summer Pre-College course. Mary co-teaches multiple courses with MIPO’s director, Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, including Political Communication and Politics, Public Opinion and Politics, and special topics courses yearly.

Hannah Kirk

Hannah Kirk
Survey Operations Manager

Hannah received her B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from Marist College. Following her graduation in 2020, she joined the team full time to manage the Survey Center and its over 300 student interviewers and supervisors. Hannah began her time at the Poll as a student interviewer in 2016 and went on to hold nearly every position available to students. She was also the 2020 recipient of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion Excellence Award.

Lee M. Miringoff

Lee M. Miringoff
Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion

Lee received his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the former President of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP) and a current member of the Board of Trustees. He is also a trustee of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. Lee is a frequent commentator on politics and elections and is often quoted in print and digital media. Lee has appeared regularly on television and radio as an expert on public opinion, politics, and polling. He frequently blogs and tweets on these topics as well. Polling and politics? Sure, but Lee reports his major passion as pigskins… NY Giants, of course.

Cassie Schaaf

Cassie Schaaf
Administrative Coordinator

Cassie received a B.A. in English Literature and another in Fine Arts from Marist College, and her M.S.T. in Teaching from SUNY New Paltz. Cassie currently oversees office operations, event coordination, and finance. She also supervises editing of the Poll’s podcast, Poll Hub.