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Our Team

Meet Our Team

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Sam Workman

Sam Workman is a professor of political science and Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs in the John D. "Jay" Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics at West Virginia University. As a political scientist and statistician by training, his previous work has addressed public policy, regulation, and how governments use information. Workman's area of expertise is constructing large data infrastructures to answer fundamental questions about public policy across time and space. He is a member of the West Virginia Economic Development Council and the Consortium for University Public Service Organizations.

In the past,  Workman provided statistical consulting in the private sector. His work focuses on data-driven decision-making and management, custom reporting, and data-informed programming. He is a contributor at  Towards Data Science , writing on practical applications of data science and statistics. He is also one of the founding Editors of  3Streams .

In addition to editorial duty, Workman writes on rural politics and policy, including public policy in Appalachia. His bylines include West Virginia politics at  The Charleston GazetteThe Intercept, and  The Conversation. Workman is originally from Fayette County, West Virginia - the land between  New River Gorge National Park and the  Gauley River National Recreation Area - and is proud to come home and serve the state and its communities.  Download or share Director Workman's CV.

Phone: 304-293-9306 

Oreoluwa Runsewe
Research and Program Specialist

Orelouwa Runsewe is a researcher and policy analyst for the Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs. He leads and coordinates research on issues affecting state, local, and community leaders in West Virginia and the Appalachian region. Runsewe leads the Institute's community engagement and public outreach initiatives, liaising with state, local, and community leaders to co-develop the Institute's research program and priorities.

Runsewe is also the Institute's point of contact for translational science activities, with extensive experience in data journalism. He previously worked for Data in Action, LLC, researching strategies for promoting data use in global policy systems. Runsewe was also formerly a policy analyst and staff writer for Ventures Africa, where he worked on issues surrounding economic development, the business environment, and technology policy.

Runsewe joined the Institute after attaining his M.A. in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma, where he worked on issues of financial flows, social movements, and Middle Eastern politics. He is excited to come to the Mountain State and work with West Virginia communities and leaders in meeting the state's challenges.

Phone: 304-293-4911 

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Marion Emerson
Administrative Assistant

Marion Emerson, a Clarksburg native, joins us at West Virginia University after serving as a Caseworker under United States Senator, Joe Manchin. Marion served the state of West Virginia by assisting Veterans in need of service-connected benefits, constituents securing Social Security Disability benefits, families needing housing assistance, aiding international students with acquiring their student visas, and more.

Marion obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Saint Vincent College of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, as well as her Master’s in Public Administration, with a focus in Social Policy from American University in Washington, D.C. In addition, Marion has interned with the United States Department of State and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Marion's passion for the state was fostered through the West Virginia University Extension Service, where she acted as an Extension Camping Instructor and facilitated 4H Camp programming.