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Giving Back: Virtually Modernizing a Global Volunteer Management System
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact both domestically and internationally on the way research is conducted, moving towards remote and away from in-person. Because of this, building a robust digital toolkit is vital to the success of Qualitative Research Professionals in the modern era. Attendees should walk away from this case study equipped with the practical knowledge to streamline their own remote qualitative research by building the right digital toolkit as well as inspiration for mixing methods effectively during long-term research initiatives.

Sam Place, Lead Qualitative UX Researcher, Project Management Institute

Sam is a mental health therapist turned UX Researcher, who brings an empathic and person-centered approach to her work investigating user needs in digital experiences. Sam’s training in Gestalt Therapy uniquely enables her to conceptualize user behaviors and motivations, as well as quickly build rapport and connect with users on a human level.

Sam holds an MS in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University in Oregon, and an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University. She has also earned a certificate in User Experience Design, issued by General Assembly in New York City.

While completing her graduate studies Sam fell in love with qualitative research and the richness of individual’s stories that can be uncovered through this kind of work. Abandoning academia with a newfound passion, Sam pivoted towards a career in technology where she could apply her love of qualitative research to inform the design and development of digital products. In her UX career Sam has always conducted research with a wide international audience. After earning her UX Design certificate, Sam worked for the city of New York’s tourism board where she was a UX Researcher for the digital face of NYC to the world - NYCgo.com. Because any person in the world with a passport is a potential user of NYCgo.com, it was in this role that Sam became familiar conducting research with people from all over the world. Now, in her work at Project Management Institute (PMI.org), Sam also works with an extremely wide audience as PMI is a global organization with 300 local chapters dispersed internationally.


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