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Mission & Purpose


The Minority-Serving Institutions Data Project is a research and resource initiative with the mission to advance greater understanding of Minority-Serving Institutions and their unique contributions to postsecondary education.

The MSI Data Project aims to provide historical and current data on MSIs, in order to serve as a resource for research, institutional practice, advocacy, and policymaking by the greater MSI community. Our data is open and accessible to the general public at large, and datasets are free for viewing and download. We encourage those who are interested and invested in the success of MSIs to utilize our data to support and inform their work.

Our Team

Dr. Mike Hoa Nguyen is an assistant professor at New York University.  His research examines the benefits and consequences of public policy instruments in expanding or constraining the operations of colleges and universities, with a specific focus on federal diversity initiatives. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Nguyen served as a senior staff member in the United States Congress.  Dr. Nguyen earned his PhD and MA from UCLA, and his BA from UC Berkeley.
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Mike Hoa Nguyen, PhD

Director & Principal Investigator

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Dr. Sophia Laderman is the Associate Vice President at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO).  Her research focuses on the development and implications of state and federal higher education policies and the public benefits of higher education. She earned her PhD from the University of Denver and was an NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow.

Sophia Laderman, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

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Dr. Joseph Ramirez is the Institutional Research and Assessment Associate at the California Institute of Technology. He also served as the Interim Director for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Fullerton College. In these roles, he analyses and visualizes data, collaborates on program assessments, and advances data literacy and training in support of the College’s operations, decision-making, and equity efforts. Prior to his graduate school experiences, Dr. Ramirez worked at Princeton University, serving in different departments as an admission officer, capital giving officer, and program coordinator. Dr. Ramirez earned his PhD and MA from UCLA and his AB Princeton University.

Joseph Ramirez, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

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Kelsey Heckert currently serves as a Data Manager at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association since June 2019 where she contributes to various data-heavy projects to optimize for quality and efficiency. Previously, she worked for the State of Michigan's Center for Educational Performance and Information where she led on secondary, postsecondary, and workforce outcomes reporting.

Kelsey Heckert


The MSI Data Project is made possible through the generous support and collaboration with the following organizations.

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