Maddy Gurnsey – The Rexburg COVID-19 Student Survey

Comm and Advocacy



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On October 7th of this semester, the New York Times put Rexburg at the top of its “Where the outbreak is worst now” chart with an average of 103.2 daily cases of COVID-19 per 100k people in the population. In a place positioned as one of the most viral areas in the country, I decided to do a research survey on how COVID-19 has been affecting students in this college town.

I built a 33 question, 9-minute survey in Qualtrics, using branching logic to target questions to the user. After approving my survey, the Institutional research office sent me 300 emails of random BYU-Idaho students who would be the pool my research sample would come from.

While I waited for the students to take the survey, I build It’s a WordPress website, hosted by Bluehost, which uses free WP Plugins. I took all the photos and edited them using Adobe Lightroom, except for the featured image of the home page, which came from I created the three graphics in the about page with Adobe Illustrator and wrote the articles. I created the graphs and interactive charts using


When the data came in, I analyzed the responses to each question using pivot tables in Excel and crossed them together to find interesting results. I haven’t had much time with the data yet, as setting up the Blog and website took the majority of my time, followed by building the survey. But now this Blog is in a position to draw attention, inspire informed conversation, and educate people about their community and the resources available to them.






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