Washington Statistical Society
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March 2007


Herriot Award Seminar

Nathaniel Schenker of NCHS, winner of the 2006 Roger Herriot Award for innovations in Federal Statistics, will present a seminar at a special session of WSS to be held on Monday, April 16, 2007 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM in the BLS Conference Center. A presentation ceremony will precede the talk, and a reception will be held following the session. Additional information about the session will be forthcoming in the April WSS newsletter.

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New Nominations Sought For
2007 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship

April 15, 2007 Deadline

Nominations are now being sought for the 2007 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship. The award is intended to reward promising young statisticians for their diligence and encourage them to consider a future in government statistics. The 2006 recipient of the scholarship will be chosen by a committee of representatives of GSS and SSS. Applicants are not required to be members of GSS, SSS or ASA. Dr. Smith was strongly supportive of these organizations during his career and actively mentored younger statisticians. The scholarship of $1,000.00 can be used for activities like the following:

  • Attendance at a conference, short course, or long course
  • Travel to a conference
  • Purchase of government data
  • Costs associated with research

Please note the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Participation in the advancement of government statistics, whether as a government employee, researcher under government contract or using government statistics, or student involved with government statistics

To apply, you will need to complete and submit the following:

For more information, contact Juanita Tamayo Lott, 2007 Chair of the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Committee, 301.763.3127 or juanita.t.lott@census.gov. The other committee members are Michael P. Cohen and Bob Kominski. All necessary materials must be submitted by April 15, 2007 . Electronic submissions are permissible.

All materials should be mailed before April 15, 2007, to:

Juanita Tamayo Lott
Human Resources Division
U.s. Census Bureau
Washington, D.C. 20233-1400

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2007 Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM)
Research Conference, November 5-7, 2007

Call For Papers

The 2007 FCSM Research Conference will be held at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, on November 5-7, 2007. The conference provides a forum for experts from around the world to discuss and exchange current research and methodological topics relevant to Federal government statistical programs. Each day of the conference will offer papers on a wide range of topics. The conference will feature mostly contributed papers with formal discussion and software demonstrations on topics related to a variety of statistical research issues. Papers and demonstrations should address methodology, empirical studies, relevant issues, or needs for statistical research. Papers must be original and not previously published or disseminated.

Overall Topic Areas Include:

  • Survey Design and Data Collection
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Cross-Cutting Topics

To submit a paper or demonstration for consideration, submit the abstract online by March 8, 2007.

Conference information including a full list of possible topics can be found at the FCSM site:

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The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

On receiving the Roger Herriot Award in June 2001, Jeanne E. Griffith said:

One of the most rewarding aspects (of Federal statistics) for me was the opportunity to promote creative activities and energies among my staff When I have had the blessing to mentor young people in their careers, I have tried to emphasize (that) only they, themselves, can make the most of (the) .chances that life presents.

Dr. Griffith died in August 2001 after working for more than 25 years in the Federal statistical system. Throughout her career, and especially in her latter senior management positions at the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Science Foundation, one of Jeanne's highest priorities was to mentor and encourage younger staff at all levels to learn, to grow, and to recognize and seize career opportunities as they came along.

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award has been established to encourage mentoring of younger staff in the Federal statistical system. It is presented annually, beginning in 2003, to a supervisor who is nominated by co-workers and supervisors, and chosen by the Award Selection Committee.

The award is co-sponsored by the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, the Council for Excellence in Government, the Washington Statistical Society, the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, and the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

Nominations for 2007 will be accepted beginning in February 2007. The last date for submission of nominations is March 30, 2007, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 4, 2007. The award will consist of a $1000 honorarium and a citation, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2007.

The winning mentor will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of younger staff. Examples of typical mentoring activities include:

  • Advising junior staff to help them create career opportunities, networking skills, and contacts for growth and development;

  • Counseling junior staff and providing resources to help develop their technical writing, analysis, presentation and organizational skills and knowledge;

  • Encouraging junior staff growth and career development through attendance and oral presentations at meetings with higher level officials, staffs of other agencies, professional associations, training courses, and conferences;

  • Motivating junior staff and building self confidence through feedback on their efforts, being a listener when that is needed, and creating a caring and supportive environment;

  • Serving as a role model for junior staff through professional expertise, information and insights, balancing collegial and personal roles, and including everyone across rank, race, ethnicity, and seniority.

For further information on the award, contact Ed Spar, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) by phone: 703-836-0404; fax: 703-836-0406; or by e-mail at copafs@aol.com. The nomination cover sheet and guidelines form-or a photocopy of it-should be attached to a nomination memorandum or letter. Forms can be obtained by contacting Ed Spar, or by downloading from the COPAFS website at http://www.copafs.org. All nominations should be returned to the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee, c/o COPAFS, 2121 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 no later than March 30, 2007.

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Nominations Sought for 2007 Julius Shiskin Award

Nominations are invited for the annual Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. The Award is given in recognition of unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy. Contributions are recognized for statistical research, development of statistical tools, application of information technology techniques, use of economic statistical programs, management of statistical programs, or developing public understanding of measurement issues. The Award was established in 1980 by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and is now cosponsored by the WSS, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The 2006 award recipient was J. Steven (Steve) Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, for his leadership in improving the U.S. economic accounts and related statistics through effective management, collaboration with domestic and international users, and scholarly research.

Because the program was initiated many years ago, it is little wonder that statisticians and economists often ask, "Who was Julius Shiskin?" At the time of his death in 1978, "Julie" was the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and earlier served as the Chief Statistician at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Chief Economic Statistician and Assistant Director of the Census Bureau. Throughout his career, he was known as an innovator. At Census he was instrumental in developing an electronic computer method for seasonal adjustment. In 1961, he published Signals of Recession and Recovery, which laid the groundwork for the calculation of monthly economic indicators, and he developed the monthly Census report Business Conditions Digest to disseminate them to the public. In 1969, he was appointed Chief Statistician at OMB where he developed the policies and procedures that govern the release of key economic indicators (Statistical Policy Directive Number 3), and originated a Social Indicators report. In 1973, he was selected to head BLS where he was instrumental in preserving the integrity and independence of the BLS labor force data and directed the most comprehensive revision in the history of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which included a new CPI for all urban consumers.

Nominations for the 2007 award are now being accepted. Individuals or groups in the public or private sector from any country can be nominated. The award will be presented with an honorarium of $750 plus additional recognition from the sponsors. A nomination form and a list of all previous recipients are available on the ASA Website at (www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/shiskin.html) or by writing to the Julius Shiskin Award Committee, Attn: Monica Clark, American Statistical Association, 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1943.

Completed nominations must be received by April 1, 2007. For further information contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, at paben.steven@bls.gov.

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2007 CDC & ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods

Analyzing and Mapping Health Inequities to Impact Policies for Eliminating Disparities

Eleventh Biennial CDC & ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods

April 17-18, 2007


Go to: http://www.cdc.gov/od/ads/sag/index.htm

Statisticians, social and behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, economists, policy analysts, and others are invited to participate in the Eleventh Biennial Symposium on Statistical Methods, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC & ATSDR), the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Biostatistics Department at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. The Symposium will be held in Atlanta, GA. The theme for the 2007 Symposium is "Analyzing and Mapping Health Inequities to Impact Policies for Eliminating Disparities." Two short courses (Bayesian Small Area Estimation and Statistical Analysis Using GIS Data Measuring Disparities) will be offered on April 16, 2007 in conjunction with the Symposium.

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New BTS Director

Dr. Steven D. Dillingham is the new Director for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). BTS is a part of the Research and Technology Administration (RITA) in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Dr. Dillingham is also a RITA Associate Administrator. Dr. Dillingham has an extensive background in research and statistics. His previous government service includes serving as the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and directing research and planning for the Department of Justice's U.S. Trustee Program. He also served as Chief Administrator of the American Prosecutors Research Institute. Recently, he has been Chief Counsel for the Vice Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board. He holds graduate degrees in government (PhD, MPA), law (JD, LLM), and business (MBA).

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the May issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than March 27, 2007. E-mail items to Michael Feil at michael.feil@usda.gov.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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