Heather Lynne Kane teaches Sociology of Health and Mental Illness at SoPA, and is a senior public health analyst and director of the Child and Adolescent Research and Evaluation program, specializing in qualitative research methodologies, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), and evaluation at Research Triangle Institute International.
Dr. Kane has more than 15 years of experience in planning evaluations, implementing evaluation plans, developing interview and focus group protocols, conducting and analyzing in-depth interviews and focus groups, conducting case studies and site visits, and performing content analysis. Through a variety of projects, she has contributed to knowledge to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, such as children and adults experiencing food insecurity, persons living with multiple sclerosis (MS), and low-income persons lacking access to health care. She has providing project oversight; planning, coordinating, and conducting qualitative data collection; developing analytic strategies; analyzing data within and across cases; and writing and contributing to reports. She provides methodological consultation and input on many projects and colleagues’ research activities and has a forthcoming text (January 2019) in the SAGE Publishing Mixed Methods Research Series on using QCA in mixed methods research and evaluation.
Dr. Kane was an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) National Research Service Award postdoctoral research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC–Chapel Hill) and recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education.
What are your favorite activities when you are not working?
I do a dog sport with my three Basset hounds, Tippy, Kali, and Dottie. The sport is called nosework, and we search settings like professional detection dogs do (except we search for birch, anise, and clove, rather than drugs or anything dangerous).
What advice would you give to someone who's considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Be willing to try and not succeed. You learn from the process. Treat experiences like you are trying on new clothes at the store. You give them a try; if they don't work, you put them back and try something new or pair it with different accessories. The success or lack of it doesn't mean you are bad or wrong, rather you are testing new things and getting new ideas.
What is your favorite thing about SoPA?
I appreciate the flexibility SoPA provides. Many people have competing family, work, and other life demands that make it hard for them to do the traditional four-year college route. SoPA gives folks the chance to pursue their educational goals while also meeting the needs of their families and work.