Friday, November 17, 2023

Dr. Kate Ralston, director of enrollment data analytics, has been recognized once again for her industry-leading abilities to apply research to practical enrollment management strategies.

Dr. Ralston led a session at the 2023 AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference  held Nov. 5-8 in Seattle, WA – that earned a National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Award, marking it as one of the conference's most insightful presentations.

Kate Ralston
Ralston, who started at the University of Iowa in 2019, has earned NSC Research Awards each of the past three years.

Her session, “Up Your Competition (Analysis): Understanding student mobility and college choice with data at your fingertips,” focused on maximizing the utility of institutional data to improve understanding of their students and where their institution ranks among competition in the college marketplace.

Hundreds of professionals submit their research to the AACRAO SEM Conference annually. Dr. Ralston’s session is one of four to receive a NSC Research Award in 2023.

This recognition at the AACRAO conference is not a first for Dr. Ralston. It is the third consecutive year and the fifth time overall that she has been honored by the NSC. Her previous awards include a collaborative study with Dr. Brent Gage, associate vice president for enrollment management and strategy, on student personas in 2021 and a project with Dr. Gage and Justin Bowker, an undergraduate student statistician, on high school GPA inflation in 2022. Her efforts to share these impactful findings and strategies exemplify the University of Iowa's commitment to innovative, data-driven approaches in higher education.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa, Dr. Ralston held roles at Iowa State University and ACT. In her current role, she spearheads various research activities that shape our university’s strategic enrollment initiatives. She is an integral part of the predictive modeling team and leads analytical efforts to adapt to evolving educational landscapes while upholding our university's mission and goals. Her work has been crucial in navigating challenges like the transition to test-optional admissions and early identification of at-risk students without standardized test scores.