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January/February 2013


WSS Membership Voting Results

On October 2012 the WSS membership voted and passed the following two amendments.

Amendment 1
Due to recent changes to the ASA representation districts, the WSS is no longer responsible for electing the position of the District Vice Chair to represent District 2, in which the WSS is located. That makes the position of District 2 Vice Chair no longer a WSS position. While there may be occasional District 2 Vice Chairs who are WSS members, this will not change the fact that the Vice Chair position is no longer chosen by WSS to represent the WSS on the Council of Chapters governing board. Therefore, the Board of Directors recommends the removal of the position from the Board.

Amendment 2
There are several volunteer positions within the WSS that revolve around electronic communication, website updates, membership list maintenance, and e-mail lists. Many of the responsibilities of these positions overlap with one or more other positions. The Board of Directors feels the need to add a board level position, with voting rights, to coordinate these roles and ensure continuity in maintaining membership rolls for the Society, communicating events of interest in a timely fashion, and upkeep of the WSS website. The new position, called Communications Officer, would coordinate the duties of membership chair, website maintenance, newsletter, and e-mail notifications to ensure that members have access to relevant and timely information about events of importance in the DC area. The term of the Communications Officer will be two years, and cycle opposite the Secretary's term. Therefore if this amendment passes, the position will come up for a vote in the election cycle of 2014. Until that time the Board of Directors would appoint an acting Communications Officer.

If there are any questions, please let the WSS past President, Jonaki Bose know at jonaki.bose@samhsa.hhs.gov.

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A Message From WSS President, Keith Rust

Two New Voting Members Join WSS Board

As a result of a constitutional referendum conducted last fall, WSS has created a new position on the Board — Communications Officer. The Communications Officer will be elected every two years, beginning with the 2014 elections. As it is some time until an election will be held for this position, the Board has voted to appoint Phil Kalina to fill this position for the interim period. I am pleased that Phil will be working to get this important position off the ground.

The responsibilities of the Communications Officer will include the coordination of the duties of the membership chair newsletter editor, webmaster, listserve manager and other volunteers involved in the improvement of e-mail and other electronic notifications and e-mail lists, to ensure that members have access to relevant and timely information about events of importance in the DC area. The position involves working to coordinate the current activities of various WSS volunteers as well as moving WSS forward in how it provides information about its services to members.

The WSS Representative to the ASA Council of Chapters serves a three-year term. Eileen O'Brien has agreed to serve in this position for the 2013-2015 term, beginning January 1. The Council of Chapters Representative is an appointed position on the WSS Board. I am grateful to Eileen for her willingness to serve WSS in this capacity.

The Chapter Representative is the communication link between the WSS and the ASA Council of Chapters. The Chapter Representative disseminates communications from the Council to WSS members and presents to the Council the needs and concerns of the WSS. The Chapter Representative is a member of the ASA Council of Chapters and votes in elections for the Council of Chapters Chair-Elect and for the Vice-Chair of the Chapter's District.

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Seeking Award Nominations
Nominations for 2013 Gertrude M. Cox Award

  • In memory of Dr. Cox (1900-1978), one of the founders of modern statistics, President of the American Statistical Association (1956)
  • In recognition of early- to mid-career statisticians who have made significant contributions to areas of statistics in which Dr. Cox worked
  • Sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society and RTI International

The award was established in 2003 through a joint agreement between the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and RTI International. The award annually recognizes a statistician in early to mid-career (less than 15 years after his/her terminal degree) who has made significant contributions to one or more of the areas of applied statistics in which Gertrude Cox worked: survey methodology, experimental design, biostatistics, and statistical computing.

The award is in memory of Gertrude M. Cox (1900-1978). In 1945, Dr.Cox became director of the Institute of Statistics of the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In the 1950's, as Head of the Department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State College, she played a key role in establishing Mathematical Statistics and Biostatistics Departments at the University of North Carolina. Upon her retirement from North Carolina State University in 1960, Dr. Cox became the first head of Statistical Research Division at the newly founded RTI. She was a founding member of the International Biometric Society (IBS) and in 1949 became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute. She served as president of both The American Statistical Association (1956) and the IBS (1968-69). In 1975 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The award is presented at the WSS Annual Dinner, usually held in June, with the recipient delivering a talk on a topic of general interest to the WSS membership before the dinner. This award is made possible by funding from RTI International, and the recipient is chosen by a six-person committee — three each from WSS and RTI. This year's committee consists of Keith Rust (co-chair), Jonaki Bose, and Nancy Bates from WSS; Marcus Berzofsky, Phil Kott, and Karol Krotki (co-chair) from RTI. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, travel expenses to attend the WSS Annual Dinner, and a commemorative WSS plaque. Past recipients have been Sharon Lohr, Alan Zaslavsky, Tom Belin, Vance Berger, Francesca Domenici, Thomas Lumley, Jean Opsomer, Michael Elliott, Nilanjan Chatterjee, and Amy Herring.

Please email your nominations to Karol Krotki (kkrotki@rti.org) by February 28, 2013 with a supporting statement and cv (or link).

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Seeking Award Nominations
Nominations for 2013 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 can be in development of new statistical measures, statistical research, use of economic statistics to analyze and interpret economic activity, development of statistical tools, management of statistical programs, or application of data production techniques. 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 2012 award recipient was William D. Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, for his contributions to the measurement of environmental-economic accounts and economic welfare and his active participation with the U.S. statistical system.

The award is in memory of Julius Shiskin, who had a varied and remarkable public service career. At the time of his death in 1978, "Julie" was the Commissioner for 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 2013 award are now being accepted. Individuals and groups in the public or private sector from any country can be nominated. The award will be presented with an honorarium of $1000 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.

For questions or more information, please contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, via e-mail at paben.steven@bls.gov or call 202-691-6147. Completed nominations must be received by March 15, 2013.

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Seeking Award Nominations
The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award was established to honor Dr. Griffith who 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 winning mentor(s) will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of junior 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.

The previous recipients of the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award are: Rich Allen (National Agriculture Statistical Service), 2003; Beth Kilss (Internal Revenue Service), 2004; Renee Miller (Energy Information Administration), 2005; Martin O'Connell (U.S. Census Bureau), 2006; Stephanie Shipp (National Institute of Standards and Technology — at the time of the award), 2007; Rosemary D. Marcuss (Bureau of Economic Analysis), 2008; Kevin Cecco (Internal Revenue Service), Lillian S. Lin (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 2009; Deborah H. Griffin (U.S. Bureau of the Census), 2010; Jenise L. Swall (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 2011, and William Mockovac (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 2012.

Nominations should be prepared in the form of a letter or memorandum for the Award Selection Committee:

  • The letter or memorandum should summarize the nominee's actions that support and encourage junior staff in the Federal, State, or Local statistical community in developing their careers.
  • Nominations may be accompanied by up to six supporting letters. These should be attached to, and submitted with, the nomination.
  • The Award Selection Committee finds that descriptions of what nominees actually do are the strongest demonstration of candidate mentoring. Here are some examples: the mentor is a source of advice...counsels with long-term goals in mind...thought I was well qualified even though I had some doubts...encourages staff to seek out positions that will increase their visibility and stretch their professional capabilities. These are more explicit and unique to the mentor than generic statements such as: the mentor is a coach...a teacher.
  • Photo copies and email copies of support letters are acceptable.

Sponsors of the Award: The Government Statistics Section (GSS) of the American Statistical Association manages the award. GSS would like to thank our co-sponsors:

  • National Opinion Research Center (NORC),
  • Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS),
  • American Institutes for Research (AIR),
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA),
  • STATA,
  • Social Statistics Section, American Statistical Association,
  • Washington Statistical Society,
  • Westat, and
  • Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP).

Please contact Stephanie Shipp (sshipp@ida.org), if you would like to contribute to the award.

Nominations for 2013 will be accepted beginning in January 2013. The last date for submission of nominations is April 5, 2013 and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by April 30, 2013. The award will consist of a $1,000 honorarium (to be split if there is more than one awardee), a citation, and a plaque, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2013.

The nomination package must be mailed or emailed no later than April 5, 2013, to:

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee
c/o The American Statistical Association
732 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1943

Information about the nomination process and nomination form for the 2013 award are available at http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform13.doc and http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform13.pdf.

Questions about the award may be directed to Rick Peterson at rick@amstat.org (703-684- 1221) or Kevin Cecco at kevin.cecco@irs.gov (202-874-0464).

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Seeking Award Nominations
Washington Statistical Society's Spotlight on Members Program

The WSS Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new program to highlight members who have made or are making notable contributions to the work of their organization or their professional field of expertise. We know that WSS members are doing interesting work in the fields of statistics, survey methodology, and the social sciences. Through this program, we hope to spotlight the accomplishments of our fellow WSS members.

This is our first request for nominations, to be featured in an upcoming issue of WSS News. We are interested in featuring members at all levels of the employment spectrum including recent graduates, mid-career employees, and those seasoned veterans. Please feel free to nominate more than one person or a team working together. You may also nominate yourself as well. The nominees must be members of the WSS and not currently affiliated with the Board.

Please provide us with the following information about your nominee or nominees.

  1. Your name, email address, and telephone number
  2. Name or names of nominee(s)
  3. Organizational affiliation
  4. Job title
  5. Their contact information including email address and telephone number
  6. A brief narrative describing the reasons for your nomination
  7. A photo of the nominee, although not required, would be great be greatly appreciated

Please send this information to Mel Kollander, member of the WSS Board. His email address is mellk@erols.com. If you have any questions please contact Mel.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Keeping Up With WSS
Join the WSS Meetup

The Washington Statistical Society has begun to use Meetup to help spread the word about WSS events. Members are invited to join at http://meetup.com/WashStat/ for benefits such as:

  • Notices and reminders of WSS events
  • Ability to indicate whether you will attend
  • Opportunity to offer suggestions and other feedback.

Users can specify their preferences for email and other features.

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Keeping Up With WSS
Be Informed about the International Year of Statistics

The latest International Year of Statistics newsletter is available at http://www.statistics2013.org/files/2013/01/January-28-2013.pdf

Past newsletters can be reviewed at http://www.statistics2013.org/participant-newsletter- archive/

— Donsig Jang, WSS Liaison for the International Year of Statistics

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the March 2013 issue of the WSS NEWS will be accepted until the 15th day of the preceding month.

Email items to wss.editor@gmail.com.

Please submit all materials in MS WORD or plain text.

Please do not submit your items in pdf or include them in the body of an email.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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