Albuquerque Chapter of the ASA

Affiliation with Mu Sigma Rho

Mu Sigma Rho is the national honorary society for statistics. Its purpose is to promote and encourage scholarly activity in statistics, and the recognition of outstanding achievement among the students in eligible academic institutions.

Historical Background

In February, 2005, the National Mu Sigma Rho approved a proposal that Chapters of the American Statistical Association to become an affiliate chapter of Mu Sigma Rho.  This decision allows students from New Mexico who do not attend schools with Mu Sigma Rho chapters to become members through a process coordinated by the Albuquerque Chapter of the ASA (ACASA). This would provide an opportunity for the ACASA to pursue further outreach with more isolated campuses and boost awareness of the ASA and the local chapter (by encouraging students to become members of the ASA when they join Mu Sigma Rho).

Procedures for Nominating Students (nomination form)

Students may be nominated by faculty members (including Professors at all levels, Lecturers, and Research Scientists) located at an educational institution in New Mexico. The nominator is responsible for forwarding a copy of the student's academic transcript along with evidence that the nominee has satisfied the requirements (at UNM top 1/3 of class is overall GPA of 3.25), and providing full contact information for the student to the Chair of the Mu Sigma Rho Subcommittee by March 15th of each year for induction in that year.

Once nominations are received, and all information is verified and the student is deemed eligible, the Subcommittee will forward recommendations to the ACASA Planning Committee. Ordinarily the Planning Committee will approve nominations based upon the recommendations of the Subcommittee. Once the Planning Committee has approved these names, letters will be sent to the students inviting them to join Mu Sigma Rho. The nominator will also be sent a copy. All students who accept this nomination will be invited to an induction ceremony at the regularly scheduled ACASA annual meeting. Then the Mu Sigma Rho Subcommittee Chair will send the list of students who accept membership along with the dues to the the Secretary/Treasurer of the National Mu Sigma Rho organization. A certificate will then be sent to each inductee. A copy of the nomination materials for all successful nominees is provided annually to the secretary of the ACASA chapter.

The ACASA Mu Sigma Rho Subcommittee seeks to create and maintain a list of liaisons at colleges and universities to seek statistics students with these qualifications for nomination. The Subcommittee submits a brief annual report for the ACASA website regarding chapter activities during that year.

For more information, contact Erik Erhardt (erikerhardt at
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
MSC01 1115
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Timeline of Yearly Cycle

March 15th:
Deadline for nominations (including academic transcript, contact information, and verification of membership requirements) to the Subcommittee Chair.
March 30th: Subcommittee meets to review nominations.
April 15th: ACASA Planning Committee acts on Nominations, letters sent to nominees.
Late September: Induction ceremony at the regularly scheduled ACASA annual meeting.

Student Inductees
  • 2012
    • Katherine E. Freeland (University of New Mexico)
    • Lane T. Drew (University of New Mexico)
    • Mary M. Colberg (University of New Mexico)
    • Xueqin Wang (University of New Mexico)
  • 2008
    • Bevin Moon (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Alvaro Nosedal-Sanchez (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Rich Warr (Grad, University of New Mexico)
  • 2006
    • Cynthia Bothwell (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Erik Barry Erhardt (Grad, University of New Mexico), Subcommittee Chair 2006-8
    • Nina Greenberg (Grad, University of New Mexico), Secretary/Treasurer 2007
    • Chen Meng (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Valerie Peters (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Kristina Strandberg (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Zibonele A Valdez-Jasso (Grad, University of New Mexico), Secretary/Treasurer 2006
    • Alejandro Villagran-Hernandez (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Wenxia Ying (Grad, University of New Mexico)
    • Victoria Cruz (UGrad, University of New Mexico)
    • Kayla Foulke (UGrad, University of New Mexico)
    • Casey Richardson (UGrad, University of New Mexico)
    • Daena Richter (UGrad, University of New Mexico)
    • Adam Treibel (UGrad, University of New Mexico)

Regular Members (former or current ACASA Mu Sigma Rho subcommittee members)
  • Erik Barry Erhardt, Founder 2006-8 (University of New Mexico), Subcommittee Chair, 2008 ACASA President
  • Cedric Sallaberry, Founder 2006-7 (Sandia National Laboratories), 2006 ACASA President
  • Laura Salter Kubatko, Founder 2006 (University of New Mexico)
  • Gabriel Huerta, Founder 2006-7 (University of New Mexico)
  • Zibonele A Valdez-Jasso, Founder 2006 (University of New Mexico), Secretary/Treasurer
  • Scott Vander Wiel 2007 (Los Alamos National Laboratory), 2007 ACASA President
  • Nina Greenberg 2007 (University of New Mexico), Secretary/Treasurer

Chapter Committee Meeting Minutes


Committee Members of ACASA Mu Sigma Rho 

Five members of the ACASA agreed to serve as members to oversee the process of nominating, vetting, and recommending new members for Mu Sigma Rho:
  1. Erik Barry Erhardt email (University of New Mexico), Subcommittee Chair
  2. Scott Vander Wiel (Los Alamos National Laboratory), ACASA President
  3. Cedric Sallaberry email (Sandia National Laboratories),
  4. Gabriel Huerta email (University of New Mexico)
  5. Nina Greenberg email (University of New Mexico), Secretary/Treasurer
This group acts as a Subcommittee of the ACASA Planning Committee, and is charged with disseminating information regarding Mu Sigma Rho in the region covered by the chapter (New Mexico), soliciting nominations for new members, bringing recommendations for new Mu Sigma Rho members to the Planning Committee for final decision, and forwarding dues and names to the Mu Sigma Rho national secretary/treasurer.
The first chapter committee meeting took place Wed, 8 Feb 2006 at 1pm MST.  A conference call was initiated from UNM to Sandia between Founding Committee Members:
  • Erik Barry Erhardt (University of New Mexico), Subcommittee Chair
  • Cedric Sallaberry (Sandia National Laboratories)
  • Laura Salter Kubatko (University of New Mexico)
  • Gabriel Huerta (University of New Mexico)
  • Zibonele A. Valdez-Jasso (University of New Mexico)
  1. Appointment/election of committee members: when and how.
    1. Two-year appointments as part of annual ACASA chapter meetings. The committee will consist of the Albuquerque Chapter president, two students, and two faculty/industry members, with at least one faculty on the committee.  Each year two committee member positions will come up for election, one student and one faculty/industry member, with the possibility for reelection of incumbants.
    2. The first election will take place Fall 07.
  2. Contact person for nominations (see nomination form on website).
    1. Laura Kubatko volunteered to be the contact person.
    2. pdf form is good and is likely to be widely used this year.
    3. We will see if Sterling Coke at UNM can provide an electronic version of the nomination form, which would automatically forward the results to the contact person (and anyone else interested in seeing the nominees).  The contact person could compile a single file with all of the nominee information.  This would then be distributed to the other committee members for the meeting for reviewing nominations.
    4. With an electronic form, we need to BOLDLY indicate that they are responsible for forwarding a transcript to the contact person, and it can be an unoffical copy.
  3. Timeline of yearly cycle.
    1. To account for spring break, we will move the timeline back 15 days.
      1. 3/15 - nomination deadline
      2. 3/30 - meeting to review nominations
      3. 4/15 - send letters to nominees
      4. chapter meeting - induction ceremony
    2. These dates are firm for our first year.  I (Erik) will send out a notice to the stat department at UNM by early next week to advertise MSR.  I can postpone this a little in order to use the electronic form if Sterling would be able to get an electronic form up quickly.
  4. When/where/how inductions should happen.
    1. Upon sending letters to nominees, those students are in MSR.  The official inducation ceremony will take place as part of the annual ACASA chapter meeting.
  5. Activities for our chapter.
    1. Meetings every month or two to be held either on open seminar dates (Friday 12-1pm, Humanities 428) or using math graduate colloquium time (Tuesday 3:30-4:30pm, Humanities 428).  The objective is to provide an opportunity to have graduates give talks where other graduate and undergraduate students are the audience (instead of faculty members). Another goal is to give undergraduates an opportunity to have positive interactions with their graduate peers, with the hopeful benefit of recruiting more future statisticians into the graduate program.
    2. Zibonele related an encouraging story of a student who is considering graduate studies in statistics because of the student's positive experiences in his Stat 145 class.  Good work, Zibo!
    3. Have a nice selection of cookies, or food, to attract folks.
  6. Which schools are within our chapter's reach?
    1. NM Tech has some ACASA members.  Cedric will send an e-mail promoting MSR.
      1. Extension to other universities: I've sent this afternoon an e-mail to Oleg Makhnin at NM-Tech (one of our chapter member) to inform him about our initiative (referencing Erik's webpage on Mu-sigma-rho). Hopefully, there will be some students interested at NM-Tech.
    2. NM State.  Laura or Gabriel will e-mail promoting MSR.
    3. (Cedric followup e-mail) Advertisement: I plan to send an e-mail to our chapter members (probably next week) - I will indicate our affiliation - we have so far 13 students in the ACASA mailing list, so it may have a certain impact.
  7. Changes for website/nomination form.
    1. I will update the website and nomination form to reflect the decisions we made in today's meeting.
    2. An Upcoming Events section will be added to the webpage.  This will also serve as a location to record events that have taken place.
    3. (Laura followup e-mail) Sterling is s happy to get the web form up for us, but he's not sure that he can do it by March 1.  He asked that I check back with him next Thursday to see if he will have time to do it by then. My suggestion is to give a link to the Mu Sigma Rho website in information we send out.  From there we can link to the pdf nomination form, and also to the web form when it's ready.  I will also be e-mailing you all at some point to have you try out the web form and see what you think.
  8. Other business.
    1. Gail Mercer, admin assistant, helped us by setting up a speakerphone in Humanities 422 in order to call Cedric at Sandia.  The meeting
    2. Meeting lasted under one hour.
    3. Certificates can be signed by ACASA president Cedric Sallaberry, by passing them to Laura, who sees Cedric's wife frequently.
    4. Have national office send another certificate for Gabriel Huerta, since his name was spelt incorrectly on the one he received.
    5. Fees
      1. The national organization has a $5 lifetime membership fee.  However, we will be having ongoing meetings, and be incurring expenses for food, etc.  Do we ask ACASA to cover these fees? To we have a small fee ($2/yr) for our local society?
      2. (Laura)  I'm not sure what to do about fees.  It's probably reasonable to ask a small yearly fee along the order of what Erik suggested.
      3. (Cedric) If we ask a small fee, we may need to have a treasurer (secretary) to keep track of the budget of our Mu-sigma-Rho chapter.