Institutional Effectiveness & Analysis Staff


The FAU Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis is composed of the group of professionals with many years of experience in the field. The IEA offices are located in Behavioral Science BS-12 on the 3rd floor on the Boca Raton campus.

Phone: 561-297-2665|Fax: 561-297-2590|Email: iea@fau.edu


Dr. Ying Liu

Dr. Ying Liu

Assistant Provost
Phone: 561-297-2719
E-mail: yingliu@fau.edu

Ying joined FAU-IEA in March, 2018. Prior to joining FAU, he was the Director of Institutional Research at University of Toledo. He has also worked at University of Pittsburgh, University of Toronto, and McMaster University. Dr. Liu earned his PhD in Psychology from Beijing Normal University and his Master degree in Statistics from University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Liu’s research has been focusing on measuring student outcomes with advanced statistical models, as well as the cognitive processes involved in learning.


Zhiyuan Ma

Zhiyuan Ma (ZMa)

Associate Director
Phone: 561-297-4196
E-mail: zma@fau.edu

Zhiyuan (ZMa) joined FAU-IEA in July, 2014, as a programmer/systems Analyst, and quickly advanced to a ֱ Manager/Technical Lead, she served as the Interim Director for 8 months, before being promoted to Associate Director in April 2018. She is responsible for administering and managing databases, SAS Visual Analytics and other systems used for reporting and analysis by IEA and assists the Institutional Data Administrator to ensure the accuracy of over 50 file submissions to the state. Writes complex programming code and reviews SQL codes done by others. Zhiyuan received her master’s degree in computer and information science from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).


Benjamin Silva

Benjamin Silva

Assistant Director of Analytics
Phone: 561-297-2727
E-mail: silvab@fau.edu

Ben joined the IR department at Florida Atlantic University in 2015 as Coordinator of Statistical Research, and he has since served as Sr. Statistical Analyst before being promoted to Assistant Director of Analytics. His work includes dashboard management and predictive analytics on student enrollment, academic success, retention, and graduation. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Florida International University and his M.S. in Statistics from Florida State University.


John Cahill

John Cahill

Senior Statistical Analyst
Phone: 561-297-0244
E-mail: jcahill@fau.edu

John joined FAU-IEA in 2002, as a Senior Research Analyst. John came to FAU from Barry University where he worked in the Office of Institutional Research. Prior to his involvement in institutional research John worked as a research analyst in the Health Policy Resources Center’s Survey Center of the American Dental Association. John serves as a manager of FAU’s Qualtrics brand license, he designs and administers Qualtrics surveys in support of the Office of the Provost and various academic and administrative units, he is involved with the processing and reporting of the Student Perception of Teaching (SPOT) results, and he coordinates the institutional response to multiple US News surveys and other external surveys on an annual basis. He has led workshops on design & administration of web-based surveys at regional and national institutional research conferences. He received his bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences from Illinois State University and his master’s degree in Sociology from Northern Illinois University.


Howard Hamilton

Howard Hamilton, PhD

Senior ֱmer/Systems Analyst
Phone: 561-297-2718
E-mail: hhamilton@fau.edu

Howard joined FAU-IEA in June, 2016, as a programmer/systems analyst. He works with the Performance Funding Metrics. Prior to FAU, Howard has worked with private and public organizations in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands leading IS/IT initiatives in Manufacturing, Healthcare, Transport, and Statistics. He taught IS and IT courses at the University College of the Caribbean (Kingston, Jamaica), Nova Southeastern University (Davie, Florida), and ECPI University (Newport News, Virginia). Howard has earned his BSc. in Computer Science and Mathematics (double major), an MSc. in Computer-based Management Information Systems, and Ph.D. in Information Systems. He is also Certified in CDPSE, CGEIT, CISA, CISM, & CRISC.


Jeremy Hoyt

Jeremy Hoyt

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 561-297-2665
E-mail: jhoyt8@fau.edu

Jeremy joined FAU-IEA in August 2018. Prior to working at IEA, he worked at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. While at FAU Jeremy has earned a Bachelor of Public Management and a Master of Public Administration.


Shannon Tynan

Shannon Tynan

Senior Business Intelligence Analyst
Phone: 561-297-3156
E-mail: stynan2015@fau.edu

Shannon joined the FAU-IEA team in June of 2019. Shannon earned a Master of Science in Information Technology, the Big Data Analytics Certificate, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analytics at Florida Atlantic University. While completing her masters, Shannon worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Information Technology & Operations Management Office at FAU.


Leila Nasri

Leila Nasri

Data Scientist
Phone: 561-297-4751
E-mail: lnasri2019@fau.edu

Leila joined FAU-IEA in August 2021. Prior to FAU, Leila worked for the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University in Ohio as a research assistant. Leila received her master’s degree in Business Administration with a Business Analytics concentration in 2018 from Virginia Tech University. She also has an M.S. in Social-Economical Systems Engineering from Kharazmi University and a B.S. in Statistics from Allameh Tabatabaei University.


Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson

Data Scientist
Phone: 561-297-2665
E-mail: matthewthomp2021@fau.edu

Matthew joined the FAU-IEA team in 2021. He studied business at American Military University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration before earning a Master of Science in Data Science and Engineering from Florida Atlantic, along with certificates in Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.