Meet the Founders
Ology is usually an ending. For us, it's just the beginning. We're dedicated to research, analysis, and solution development for the betterment of the communities we serve.
Carl Letamendi, PhD | Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Carl Letamendi was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York, and has over 10 years of combined experience working in the university setting as an educator and researcher. As a researcher at the federal level (NIH & USDA), and in the corporate setting. Dr. Letamendi earned a PhD in the Social Sciences with an emphasis in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and also holds an MBA in Finance and a B.Sc. in Business. Dr. Letamendi is part of Ology Research Group because he is most interested in aggregation of social sentiment for the betterment of society, and application of statistics to identify social patterns. Some of Dr. Letamendi’s passions and research interests include: mentoring, health disparities research, higher education, social inequities, assessment and sentiment aggregation & interpretation.
Kacey Shap, PhD | President
Dr. Kacey Shap was born in Vietnam, raised in an orphanage, and was adopted at the age of 7. He grew up near Washington DC, studied psychology and sociology in undergrad, and earned a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 2015. His dissertation focused on how the role and relationship impacted the ways in which various stakeholders externalize the gang problem. As someone who experienced the psychological impact of living in absolute poverty, Dr. Shap can relate to the feeling of being neglected, ignored, and being overlooked. As such, his research has focused on studying the underrepresented members of society such as violent street gangs, prison inmates, and the impact of genocidal intent. Dr. Shap has worked for an international consulting company that assisted organizations to create a purpose driven workforce and developed inspirational leaders. He views Ology as an opportunity to grow as a social researcher and to make positive and impactful changes.
Courtney Hirose | Chief Marketing Officer
Courtney Hirose was born and raised in the lesser known valley of California, the San Gabriel Valley. She bleeds UCLA blue and gold. She started her education with an emphasis in Business Economics only to realize it didn’t satisfy her appetite for math and programming. She finished her education with a Major in Math Economics, a Minor in Statistics, and a Specialization in Computing, needless to say she was satisfied by her last term. Courtney has taken her talents to not only tutor College athletes the practicality of math for a year, but moved into the analytical media mix of the world, Digital Marketing. She analyzes data day to day to ensure that everything the users see when searching is the most relevant to their current experience. Courtney views Ology Research Group as an outlet to improve society with the excess amount of data we have available to us and make math a little more sexy.
Jazmin Letamendi, PhD |Vice President of Higher Education Research
Dr. Jazmin Letamendi was born in Latin America and raised in both Morris County, New Jersey and in Florida’s Treasure Coast. Dr. Letamendi earned her PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a research focus in college campus dynamics. She also holds an MS in College Student Affairs and a BA in Anthropology. In her research, she developed a theoretical framework called HAFSE (Hypothetical Algebraic Formula for Student Engagement) and the ISEI (Index of Student Engagement and Involvement). She is a scholar - practitioner in the field of higher education and is a trained conflict resolution and student affairs professional. Dr. Letamendi has over ten years of experience working in functional areas such as residential life and housing, student activities, student clubs and organizations, Greek life, judicial affairs, new student programs, Title V student support services, peer mentoring programs, new student orientation and has contributed her skills and expertise to a Hispanic Serving Institution's (HSI) externally sponsored grant from the U.S. Department of Education.Being part of Ology allows her to contribute her theoretical approach to an array of research areas, as well as the one area she is most passionate about – student development.
Our Honorary Advisory Board
Amit has a Master of Public Health degree from Georgia Southern University with a concentration in Environmental Health. While in graduate school, Amit’s primary research aims centered on comparatively analyzing emissions of various biofuel to diesel and correlating their respiratory health effects. Currently, Amit is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow with the Office of Research & Development at the USDA Forest Service in addition to a Global Environmental Outlook Fellow for the United Nations Environment Program. Amit’s current professional interests include bridging the gap between natural resources and public health as they relate to atmospheric deposition, climatic variability, and ecosystem services. Amit’s past experience includes working with the National Institutes of Health by means of their Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training program. Amit is a native of London, England and enjoys archery, racquetball, and fishing in his spare time.
Kafele J. Khalfani currently serves as the Dean of Student Affairs for Warren College at the University of California, San Diego. In this role, he has oversight for residence life, student organizations and leadership opportunities, orientation, student government, judicial affairs and community development for 4,100 undergraduate students. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts in Advertising from Michigan State University, Kafele worked as an Account Executive at Ogilvy & Mather in New York. His clients included Cotton Incorporated and Hershey’s Chocolate USA. In 2001, Kafele relocated to California and served in a similar role at Suissa Miller Advertising where his brands included Rice-A-Roni and Dole Fresh Salads.
Kafele soon transitioned back into higher education and has worked at many institutions including Loyola Marymount University (MFA ’07), Marymount College (now Marymount California University), University of California, Riverside and the College of Staten Island.
Kafele is completing a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Southern California.
Meet Our Research Assistants
Nicole Rodriguez was born and raised in Florida. She attended Florida Atlantic University’s Wilkes Honors College for her undergraduate studies, where she majored in Women’s Studies. While attending FAU, she worked with Easterseals Florida, where she discovered an interest in social justice and nonprofit management. Upon graduating, she worked in the field of early childhood education. Nicole is currently seeking a Master’s degree in Public Health, with a specialization in child and maternal health.
Desiree Van Campen was born in New Jersey and raised in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and now resides in Louisiana. She completed her Undergraduate studies at Palm Beach State College in Florida with a BA in Healthcare Administration. She then attended Nova Southeastern University for her graduate studies, and earned her Master’s Degree in Health Science with a concentrations in Higher Education. She is interested in the way that interpersonal dialogue amongst healthcare providers and staff affects patient outcomes. Desiree is a current PhD student at Nova Southeastern University studying Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Xiang Li was born and raised in a small city in China. He went to a university 40 minutes away from home, studying English Teachers’ Education. Right after graduating from college, he traveled to the United States pursuing a Master’s degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at Louisiana College. For the next several years, Xiang Li put his passion in English teaching and overseas education. He has experience working with immigrant students in Queens, New York; and had worked as a TOEFL/IELTS instructor and teaching consultant for a few years in China, helping Chinese students planning to further their education overseas. Currently, Xiang Li is an MPA student in NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service studying Nonprofit Management.
Staphany Lu was born and raised in New Jersey before moving out to Manhattan in 2009 to attend New York University for her undergraduate years. She majored in Politics with a minor in Business Studies. After graduating, she began to work as a paralegal at the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she worked with various attorneys to prosecute criminal offenders. It was there that she began to feel strongly about criminal justice issues and wanted to do more to address mental health and its effect on recidivism. Staphany decided that the next step was to pursue her MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, with a specialization in management at NYU Wagner. She is interested with the use of performance metrics and data to devise effective management tools for organizations to excel.