About Us

The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use is an example of what can be accomplished by integrating public policy objectives with academic research. The survey is sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and has been facilitated by the staff of the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Texas A&M University since its inception in 1988.

The Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) is an academic research organization conducting public policy research on a variety of social, economic, and civil issues. PPRI staff conduct grant and contract research at the international, national, state, and local levels. The following PPRI staff members are responsible for The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use:

Shannon Peairson is one of the survey coordinators for the Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use, and is responsible for recruitment, marketing and district relations. Shannon earned a M.S. in Family, Consumer and Human Development from Utah State University in 2006 with an emphasis in early child development. She joined PPRI in 2009 and has worked on projects covering areas such as education, school discipline, and disability.

Emily Naiser is a Project Supervisor at PPRI with a M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. She has worked at PPRI since 2007 and is the production coordinator for the Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use. She is responsible for organizing and directing the various tasks necessary to produce the district-level and state-level data reports and the analyses required for the production of the executive summary component. In addition, she manages the day-to-day activities of the support staff.

Kash Krinhop is an Assistant Director at PPRI with an MA in Anthropology from Texas A&M University. He has worked at PPRI since 1999 and is the production coordinator for the Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use. He is responsible for managing the data processing operations for this project and overseeing the day-to-day activities of the support staff.

M.P. “Trey” Marchbanks III, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at PPRI, and is the Principal Investigator for The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use. Dr. Marchbanks has significant methodological expertise and specializes in using advanced statistical techniques to answer public policy questions. He has been involved in many surveys involving students, teachers and school staff. His work on education policy has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post and Austin American-Statesman and on NPR and CNN. He has also presented his work at the United Nations.

James Dyer, Ph.D., is the director of the Survey Research Program at PPRI, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, and is the Co-Principal Investigator for The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use. Dr. Dyer has significant methodological expertise and years of experience conducting survey research. He has supervised survey research projects at the local, state and national levels. In addition to numerous published research articles, he is the co-author of a book on research methods. Dr. Dyer has been responsible for the Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use since its inception in 1988, and has directed other substance use research among the general population and among special populations such as prison inmates and youth offenders.


Support Staff consists of Texas A&M University student workers who handle shipping and receiving of survey materials, as well as coding and scanning of completed surveys.

Public Policy Research Institute http://ppri.tamu.edu