Nathaniel D. PorterNathaniel D. Porter is a Social Science Data Consultant & Data Education Coordinator in the Virginia Tech Libraries. He works with the Data Services team to support faculty and students across the research cycle from data collection to presentation and visualization, supporting both qualitative and quantitative research, statistical software, and data management options.

He also serves as the coordinator and contact point for a variety of data education efforts across campus, ranging from first year undergraduate Data Literacy education to workshops for faculty.

He has nearly completed his PhD in sociology at Penn State University and also holds a Master’s degree in theology from Luther Seminary. His research explores new methods and data sources in the sociology of religion, with a focus on social network analysis, big data, analysis of causal processes, and data pedagogy.

His dissertation uses book co-purchasing on Amazon.com to find otherwise invisible bodies of shared ideas between religious groups and to understand the differences between official and informal religious beliefs and practices. His other projects include a study of the role of parent and friend religiosity in the development of adolescent religiosity and a comparison of ministry outcomes for ELCA pastors holding the traditional Master of Divinity degree and those who complete alternate, less academic, programs of preparation. For more information, please visit his Bio page or download his CV.


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Data in the Real World