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Midwest ACE Research Opportunities:
John Steele Grant

Past Recipients:



Julia Panke-Makela

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Julia is currently the Associate Director for Assessment and Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The John Steele Grant will allow Julia and her colleagues; Albert Kim, BS, Graduate Research Assistant, The Career Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sarah K. Barks, PhD, Director of STEM Career Community, Center for Careers, Life, and Service, Grinnell College, Jason Eckert, PhD, Director, Career Services, University of Dayton, Jim McAtee, MBA, Director, The Career Center, Ball State University and Noah Pollock, MS, Assistant Director of Assessment, Oakland University, to conduct their study, “The Salary Puzzle: A Multi-Institutional Study of Salary Data Collection on First Destination Surveys.”

Julia and her colleagues have planned a multi-institutional study of salary responses on first destination surveys that examines data from 2015-2016 bachelor’s degree graduates, across all academic majors. De-identified datasets on all graduates who reported full-time employment will be collected from Midwest institutions. (We have 5 participating to date, and are currently reaching out to a few more this month. We’re open to including as many as 10.) Variables will include demographics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, citizenship, age), academic background (e.g., major CIP Code, GPA), and salary. Carnegie classification characteristics of each institution will also be considered. Statistical analyses will be conducted to examine relationships among variables.

The findings from their study will inform their understanding of the quality and depth of data gathered about salary on first destination surveys. Julia and her colleagues will gain insights into which graduate populations are both well-represented and poorly-represented, which informs them about how the current analysis may be skewed or biased. This may also suggest future research directions for engaging populations that are poorly-represented, in order to better understand reasons they do not respond to salary questions. These investigations could enhance future first destination survey data collection.



Julia Panke-Makela

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Career Competency & Self-efficacy Development for Paraprofessional Student Employees in Career Services


Gaeun Seo

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Understanding the Experience of International Students in Job Search Groups


Whirlpool University Relations Team
Jeff Beavers, Reagan Craven, Heidi Groulx, Brandon Stephens
Career Fair “Flock Mob”


University of Cincinnati Career Development Center
Jim Novak (accepted Award on behalf of Linda Bates Parker)
The Viability & Efficacy of Transforming Credit-Bearing Career Courses to Distance Learning Formats



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Scott V. Weston: Seek & Explore



Baker College Online
Non-traditional Student Retention and the Influence of College Career Services



St. Louis University
Employer Preferences and Expectations of Students during the Job Search Process



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