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Get to Know New FIRE Staffers: Kelsey Naughton, Data Analyst

As part of our ongoing series, we’re thrilled to introduce a new face helping our mission to defend freedoms on campus: FIRE’s first-ever Data Analyst, Kelsey Naughton.

Kelsey comes to FIRE with a B.A. in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a M.S. in political science from the University of North Texas. As a graduate assistant at the National Science Foundation’s Research Education for Undergraduates program, she taught methodology and statistics to undergraduates from across the country.

Kelsey first became acquainted with FIRE at a FIRE Student Network summer conference.

“I’ve known about FIRE for about 5 years now, and I really believe that free speech rights are crucial to a functioning democracy,” Kelsey said. “As a student, it became really clear to me that being able to express ideas, however controversial or unpopular, is important for building knowledge and gaining truth.  With my background, FIRE seemed like a really great fit.”

As FIRE’s Data Analyst, Kelsey will review polling and survey data from across the country to help inform how FIRE can best advance rights on campus. She’s excited to use her expertise in this arena.

“I love math and working with numbers,” she said. “Just as free speech is a tool that can be used in debate and conversation to build knowledge, I know that numbers and models are awesome ways to represent what is happening in the social and political world around us. I look forward to looking through survey responses to really understand, for the first time, what college students in America think about their free speech and due process rights.”

Like many at FIRE, Kelsey’s passion for rights in education—particularly free speech rights—is driven by her personal experience.

“I’ve always been a nerdy feminist. When Betty Friedan passed away I was a junior in high school and I wrote a bunch of her quotes all over a pink t-shirt that I wore into school. It sparked so many conversations. I had teachers give me tons of books to read, and was able to talk to others students about a person they hadn’t ever heard about before,” she said. “I think it’s really important that we stand up for what we believe in and are able to share it with others.”

Kelsey's position is a part of FIRE's Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project.

Please join us in extending her a warm welcome!

Keep checking our website this week to learn about the passionate individuals we’ve recently added to our team.

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