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April 2013


Spotlight on WSS Members
Ismael Flores Cervantes

Ismael Flores Cervantes

My name is Ismael Flores Cervantes. I am a Senior Statistician at Westat. I have been with Westat for 20 years. I am originally from Mexico, and I came to the Unites States to attend Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin. Although I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Engineering in Mexico, I knew it was not my calling. After a semester of English classes, I enrolled in the Master's Degree program in Statistics, with the goal of working on Statistical Process Control and Quality Control. This was a very popular filed at that time.

While working as a research assistant for Dr. Lynne Stokes, she encouraged me to explore the field of Survey Sampling. Upon finishing my master's degree, I received an associateship from the American Statistical Association to work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The purpose of that program was to pair young statisticians with researchers in survey sampling at government agencies. It was the opportunity of a lifetime because I met distinguished sampling statisticians such as Dr. Brenda Cox and Dr. Phil Kott.

After my associateship, I began work at Westat where I met and worked with Mr. Joe Wakesberg; Dr. Graham Kalton; Dr. Richard Valliant; and Dr. Edward Bryant, one of Westat founders. Currently I have the good fortune of working with well-known statisticians such as Dr. Roger Tourangeau and Dr. Michael Brick. This field has also allowed me to develop professionally since I have participated in national and international conferences, been a member of a review panel, a referee of papers in well-known journals, taught seminars in weighting and estimation, and have published several articles in journals and proceedings. I have had the opportunity to interact with a variety of clients such as the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, CDC, UNESCO, and the DoD Defense Manpower Data Center.

One of my interests is improving current methods to produce more timely estimates. Although these activities are not as visible as published articles indicate, they make sure that day-to-day activities at the office are completed. This field has also given me the opportunity to do research on topics that interest me such as alternative methods for the creation of weights, variance estimation, estimation, and imputation. I am glad I made the change to this field of survey sampling since, otherwise I do not think I would have had the opportunity to work with such great people. The best part is that this ride is not over yet.

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Spotlight on WSS Members
Who's Next To Be Spotlighted?

Washington Statistical Society's Spotlight on Members Program

The WSS Board of Directors has established a 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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Get Involved!
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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Get Involved!
WSS Webmaster Needed

The Washington Statistical Society asks your help locating a volunteer to take on the job of webmaster.

Webmaster has long been a key role at WSS. The WSS website (http://washstat.org/) is updated much more frequently than this newsletter--whenever news of interest to our members becomes available. The webmaster also developed, maintains, and runs the scripts that implement our annual and special elections.

The WSS webmaster should have knowledge of current web technologies and pay careful attention to detail. Ideally, he or she will be familiar with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or other content management systems so he or she can help decentralize website maintenance. The webmaster should also know php so she or he can implement, maintain, and improve the scripts we use for elections and other special purposes.

Please ask within your organizations and elsewhere for someone to take on these important tasks. We also are looking for someone to help maintain and coordinate our various calendar listings. Contact Phil Kalina, Communications Officer, for more information.

Thank you for helping WSS better serve our members.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the May 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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