Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu


Shari Ellertson, Institutional Research, Faculty/Staff, Studio Portrait, Priscilla Grover photo

Shari Ellertson, Ph.D.


  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1614
  • Shari Ellertson has been Director of Institutional Research at Boise State University since January 2013. I have spent over 25 years serving in roles as an administrator, teacher, and researcher. My commitment to public higher education is fueled by my own experiences as a first-generation college student.

    My education includes a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University, an Counseling and Student Affairs from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and a B.S. in Psychology from North Dakota State University. My dissertation focused on mid-career faculty development and outcomes from learning community participation. I completed a postdoctoral appointment at the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University where I served as project evaluator and assessment consultant for three major external clients.

    I am currently active in the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the Statewide Data Management Council in Idaho. I also have been serving as a Teagle Assessment Scholar through the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College since 2010.

    • Data-informed decision making, organizational planning, and institutional effectiveness
    • Learning outcomes assessment
    • Assessment in administrative programs and services
    • Official university data
    • Enrollment management research
    • Institutional Research projects and initiatives
    • Careers in IR

Leslie Odom

Leslie Odom, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Reporting and Data Quality

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1519
  • Leslie Odom is the Associate Director for Reporting in the Institutional Research Office. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Research (with a minor in Higher Education Administration) from the University of North Texas. She has a BS in Microbiology from Texas A&M University and an MA in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her professional experiences include employment at the University of Dallas, the University of North Texas, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Leslie has also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching applied statistics and educational research courses.

    Leslie has presented at national, state, and local educational conferences and is a current member of the Association for Institutional Researcher, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. She has over 15 years of experience working with institutional data and reporting and seeks out opportunities to expand her professional development.

    On a more personal note, Leslie is a native Texan (originally from the Houston
    Area). She has a variety of hobbies and interests including gardening, traveling, rock and shell collecting, working unusual jigsaw puzzles, and attempting to master some of the easier PlayStation video games.

    • Federal and State reporting (IPEDS, etc.)
    • Institutional reporting and analysis for external studies (e.g., Delaware Study) and publishers (e.g., VSA, U.S. News)
    • University facts and figures
    • Campus data requests
    • Data warehouse data dictionary
    • Data governance

Nick Warcholak

Nick Warcholak, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Research

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1117
  • Nick Warcholak is the Associate Director for Research in the Institutional Research Office and has been working in higher education since 2007. Prior to his current appointment, he worked at Penn State as a senior research analyst providing strategic planning and process improvement support.

    Nick’s research interests include student success and teaching and learning. He also has experience developing large-scale assessment projects for government agencies such as Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare and the National Center for Education Statistics.

    Nick has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Penn State and is originally from Pennsylvania.

    • Student retention and success
    • Research methodology
    • Survey development and delivery

Jessica Lillegaard

Jessica Lillegaard, M.A.

Systems and Research Analyst

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1620
  • Jessica Lillegaard is a Systems and Research Analyst in the Institutional Research Office. She completed her MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She began her professional Institutional Research career as a Research Analyst at the University of Arizona.

    Jessica has presented at national and regional conferences and was part of the winning team at the regional Society for Human Resource Management case competition. She is a current member of the Rocky Mountain Association for Institutional Research, the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology as well as the American Psychological Association.

    On a more personal note, Jessica is a native Minnesotan so she appreciates the mild Boise winters. She has a variety of hobbies and interests including reading, traveling, gaming, yoga, and taking care of her animals.

    • Data Requests
    • Dashboard/ Report Development
    • University facts and figures
    • Data Cookbook
    • Federal and State reporting (IPEDS, etc.)
    • Institutional reporting and analysis
    • Qualitative/ Quantitative Data Analysis

Moriah O'Kelley

Moriah O’Kelley, B.S.

Institutional Research Analyst

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1572
  • Moriah O’Kelley is a Research Analyst in the Institutional Research Office. She completed her BS in Technology Management at George Fox University. She began her professional Institutional Research career as the Data and Operations Manager for Concordia University School of Law.

    On a more personal note, Moriah is a native Oregonian, born and raised in rural Eastern Oregon. She is the mother of five very active children. In addition to spending time with her family, Moriah enjoys staying active and being outdoors, whether it is running, mountain biking, hiking or camping.

    • Pyramid Training
    • Dashboard/Report Development
    • Data Cookbook

Gabriel Stephens

Gabriel Stephens, M.P.A.

Institutional Research Analyst

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1613
  • Gabriel Stephens is a Research Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research. He completed his BA in Literature at Boise State in 2013 and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration. Gabriel has worked at Boise State in various positions since 2011 (excluding a brief stint in the private sector).

    On a more personal note, Gabriel is a native Idahoan. He enjoys spending time with his wife (Lindsey), playing with his cat (IG-88), and reading books (all books).

    • Pyramid Training
    • Dashboard/Report Development
    • Data Cookbook

Martha Plascencia, B.A.

Administrative Assistant II

  • Email:
    Phone: (208) 426-1575
  • Martha Plascencia is the Administrative Assistant 2 in the Institutional Research Office. She is a graduate of Boise State having completed her BA in Spanish in 2011, and currently pursuing a Master’s degree Public Administration. Martha’s has worked for Boise State for fifteen years, previously in Housing and Residence Life and in the College of Arts and Sciences prior to IR. She also has served as the adviser to the O.E.L.A., an organization for Latino American students.

    On a more personal note, Martha is a native of Mexico. She enjoys spending time with her four very active nephews and niece. In the summer, you’ll find Martha planning her next international excursion or making plans with her friends to go glamping. She also enjoys all things Seinfeld.

    • Administrative and Business Operations
    • Customer Support
    • Data Requests (link to Data Request Form)
    • Institutional Research Website

David Weaver

David A. Weaver, Ph.D.

Research Analyst

    Phone: (208) 426-2683
  • David is currently a Research Analyst at Boise State, where he assists faculty and staff with Faculty 180 training as well as other research initiatives in Institutional Research.

    He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His published academic research has focused on media framing of protest movements across the political spectrum and how Americans selectively expose themselves to different news media sources.

    In the three years since arriving in Boise, he has taught as an adjunct faculty member for the Departments of Communication and Political Science, as well as the University Foundations program. He served as a fellow in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UC Santa Barbara from 2005-8, where he researched media discussion of emerging nanotechnologies.

    On a more personal note, David is a native Californian from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the parent of three active children who keep him busy. His wife, Jennifer, is a faculty member in the Psychological Science Department at Boise State. When he’s not parenting, he enjoys reading, gardening, playing tennis and watching science fiction.

    • Faculty 180


  • Steve Schmidt, Director
  • Marcia Belcheir, Ph.D. Associate Director
  • Debi Reininger, Program Information Coordinator