SAIRO is the research and assessment office within UCLA’s Student Affairs organization. The purpose of our office is to keep Student Affairs staff and other UCLA constituents up to date about the backgrounds, experiences, and needs of students; assist Student Affairs departments in assessing their services; and contribute to campus- and UC system-wide research and assessment efforts.


SAIRO aims to foster a culture of critical, equity oriented assessment, wherein departments utilize student-centered data to drive transformative change on individual, organizational, and institutional levels. We work to empower and educate institutional leadership and staff to transform student voices into practice in order to meet the evolving needs of students.

Kristen McKinney, DirectorKristen McKinney, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristen McKinney has served as the Director for UCLA’s Student Affairs Information and Research Office since 2011. Kristen holds both a master’s and a doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her deep interest in “figuring things out” has led to an extensive background in institutional research and assessment including work in both academic and student affairs arenas.  She believes that exploring data is one of the best ways to understand the student experience. Kristen also serves the student affairs profession nationally as the Chair of ACPA’s Commission for Assessment and Evaluation.  Kristen is particularly interested in data visualization, and how the presentation of information can help “close the loop,” often the most difficult step in assessment. She enjoys exploring how data representation leads to actionable change as a result of the information gathered.  When she’s not geeking out over data, Kristen enjoys reading, baking, knitting, and spending time with her boys.

Danielle Acheampong, M.A.Danielle Acheampong, M.A.
Coordinator for Assessment,
Research & Special Projects

Danielle has worked in SAIRO since 2015, and as the Coordinator for Assessment, Research & Special Projects since 2017. In this role, she consults with the Registrar’s Office and other Student Affairs departments to guide assessment efforts and support strategic planning. She also facilitates professional development through SAIRO events and skills training courses. Information can be a powerful tool for decision making and through her work, Danielle seeks to empower people to capture and use data in their work.  Danielle is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound with a B.A. in History, and the University of Washington with an M.A. in Museology. During graduate school, she also completed a certificate program focusing on measuring visitor experience outcomes through evaluation. As an audience researcher, she conducted several studies for museum clients including the Woodland Park Zoo, the Burke Museum and Pacific Science Center. She enjoys bringing in unusual perspectives and methods to assessment in higher education.

Esthela Chavez, C.PhilEsthela Chavez, M. Ed. 
Research Analyst

Esthela Chavez has been a member of the Student Affairs Information and Research Office since July 2014. She came to SAIRO with experience in institutional research having worked at the California State University and California Community College levels.  Esthela serves on the Student Research and Surveys team helping administer, analyze, and create reports from the various surveys administered by team.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies-Higher Education from the University of Washington.  Esthela is currently a doctoral candidate in the Social Science and Comparative Education program at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. 

Amy Woodbridge, M.A.
Research Analyst

More About our Work

Assessment Support and Capacity Building

Activities within this area of our work are designed to better improve the experience of UCLA students by providing consultation and support to Student Affairs departments as they examine their practices and strive to improve them.  Assessment support and capacity building activities include assessment training (e.g. annual Assessment Curriculum, quarterly Assessment Forum trainings, ad-hoc training) departmental presentations and consultation regarding departmental assessment projects, divisional assessment coordination for Student Affairs,  providing departmental access to data collected and/or stored by the SAIRO office, and oversight and coordination of the Student Affairs Program Review Process.  This support and consultation is provided with the understanding the Student Affairs offices are using the data to improve the services and experiences offered to students. 

Student Research and Surveys 

Activities in this area of work include administering and reporting results from student surveys – which survey direct-entry and transfer undergraduate students as well as graduate students and other specific populations. Further, we collect qualitative data from a number of sources, utilizing both staff and student researchers. For example, we created the Undergraduate Research Partnership Initiative (URPI) to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to gain assessment and research skills while participating as researchers on a project studying experiences of different students on campus. The results from these efforts are communicated to UCLA students, staff, and other stakeholders through our website, research briefs and topical reports, and presentations.