Key Dates

  • January 27, 2014
    Deadline for special requests for abstract submission/registration for U.S. government agencies
  • July 2 - July 17, 2014
    Late Registration (increased fees apply)

Professional Development > Personal Skills Development

Effective communication, collaboration, leadership, and influence are vital to the impact of individual contributions and the visibility of our profession. Career planning can add valuable insights on how to improve, change or advance in our careers.

Currently Scheduled Offerings

Preparing Statisticians for Leadership: How to See the Big Picture and Have More Influence
Facilitators: Gary Sullivan, Eli Lilly & Company, Marilyn M. Seastrom, NCES/U.S. Department of Education, Bonnie Lafleur, Ventana Medical Systems
Leadership Presentations: Robert Rodriguez (SAS Institute), Sally Morton (University of Pittsburgh), and Lisa LaVange (FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research)

Course spans two days: Saturday, August 2, 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

What is leadership? Much has been written and discussed within the statistics profession in the last few years on the topic and its importance in advancing our profession. This course will provide an understanding of leadership as well as how statisticians can improve and demonstrate leadership to impact their organizations. It will feature leaders from all sectors of statistics speaking on their personal journeys as well as providing guidance on personal leadership development with a focus on the larger organizational/business view and influence. You will work with your colleagues to discuss and resolve leadership situations that statisticians face. Finally, you will come away with a plan for developing your own leadership and connect with a network of other statisticians who can help you move forward on your leadership journey.

What You Will Gain by Attending

  • A better understanding of leadership, including:
    • How established leaders in our profession have developed their leadership skills;
    • Insights and perspectives on leadership from other professional statisticians gained through interactions, discussions and group work that will improve each attendees ability to lead
    • Inspiration to become a leader
  • Improved Big Picture organizational/business view, including:
    • A better understanding of how organizations & businesses function, including how important decisions and plans are made
    • Ideas on how to acquire greater knowledge in organizational/business acumen
    • How you can leverage big picture understanding to impact key processes, metrics, decisions, and customers
  • Improved influence, including:
    • A better understanding of how the use of relationship building together with organizational/business acumen can improve influence.
    • Ideas on how to acquire influence skills in your organization/business
    • Strategies on how to convincingly assert your ideas and effectively challenge the ideas of others.
  • A path for your own leadership development, including:
    • A draft of your own leadership principles, identification of personal barriers that may be slowing the realization of your full leadership potential, and a plan for continuing your leadership journey;
    • Membership in a small peer leadership group that will continue to share learning, perspectives, experiences and ideas on leadership after completing the workshop;

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for ...

  • Statisticians who have a desire to take a significant step in their leadership development
  • Statisticians with an open mind, an eagerness to learn & improve, and a willingness to share their thoughts, insights & experiences with others
  • Statisticians who have at least 5 years of work experience outside of their academic training

Course Logistics

  • This course will be held on Saturday, August 2 (Noon-5:30 pm), and Sunday, August 3 (8:00 am - Noon).
  • Each attendee is expected to attend both sessions as this is a full day course.
  • The attendees will spend the last 90 minutes of the first day (4:00-5:30 pm) working in groups on a leadership case study.
  • The course will be facilitated by three experienced statisticians and will feature three leadership presentations by established leaders in our profession.
  • Reflection and class discussions will also be used to gain leadership insights from speakers, fellow attendees and facilitators
  • The class size will be limited to 30 attendees

Registration fee required. Persons can register for PSD offerings when JSM registration opens.


Learning and Improving Skills to Become a More Effective Statistical Collaborator
Instructors: Eric Vance, LISA-Virginia Tech, Heather Smith, California Polytechnic State University, Doug Zahn, Florida State University, Professor Emeritus
Course spans two days: Sunday, August 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 5, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

This fast-paced workshop will get you up to speed on how to effectively collaborate with other professionals to solve real-world problems and implement solutions. It will introduce you to the POWER process for structuring effective, efficient meetings in all your professional roles, lead you through role plays to practice what you have learned, and show you how to systematically improve your statistical collaboration skills through the recording and analysis of video. The methods you will learn about and practice are based on Vance's, Smith's, and Zahn's methodologies which have been developed over many decades of both international consulting experience as well as training of over one thousand undergraduate and graduate students and working professionals in how to be a more effective statistical collaborator. Workshop participants will have read about the POWER process before arriving at the conference and will work in groups at the beginning of the workshop to apply their understanding of the readings by answering questions and solving problems in the context of statistical consultations and collaborations. Vance, Smith, and Zahn will explain any concepts of the POWER process participants have trouble understanding or applying and they will also provide the opportunity to see the POWER process in action so that participants can better understand how it helps one achieve improved collaborations. By the end of this section, participants will solidly understand the steps in this process. The second section of the workshop will consist of role plays in which the participants practice the key concepts of the POWER process. Alternating between the roles of client, statistical collaborator, and observer - while giving feedback to their peers - the participants will practice the skills they will use to unlock their collaborative potential. The last section of the workshop will show participants how to video record themselves during meetings with clients and, more importantly, how to analyze that video to systematically improve their statistical collaboration skills upon their return to their organizations. Prerequisite: At least one professional meeting scheduled in the week (or two) after you return to work after JSM.

Registration fee required. Persons can register for PSD offerings when JSM registration opens.


Free Event!

Career Development: Opportunities for Statistical Innovation and Impact
Organizer: Devan Mehrotra, Merck Research Laboratories
Sunday, August 3, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Some students enrolled in MS or PhD programs in statistics may find it relatively easy to decide that they wish to pursue a career outside academia. However, choosing from an ever-widening menu of non-academic career choices can be daunting. This is also true for statisticians who are in various stages of their statistical careers and are contemplating switching jobs and/or application domains. What are the career opportunities and challenges for statisticians out there in this "big data" world? What types of skill sets or innovation are employers looking for to maximize impact within their organizations? The goal of this panel is to help address questions like these, and thereby help attendees with career planning and development. All the speakers are rising or established leaders in their respective organizations, with a strong record of interdisciplinary collaboration and a penchant for innovation and mentoring. The speaker's backgrounds and experiences cover a diverse array of statistical applications, which they will also briefly describe in their presentations.

SPEAKERS: Jim Koehler (Google, Inc.), Kary Myers (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Stephanie Pickle Dehart (Dupont Chemicals), Frank Rockhold (GlaxoSmithKline), Nancy Petersen (Department of Veterans Affairs)


Strategic Career Management
Instructors: Janet Bickel, Leadership and Career Development Coach and Consultant

Maximizing career satisfaction and influence and return on investment in one's education depend on competencies not covered during scientific training. Targeted at the needs of early career statisticians, this course introduces key career skill areas, supplementing what is obtainable from institutional career advising programs and mentors. The course follows a highly interactive format, with brief presentations alternating with opportunities for reflection, work in pairs, small group discussion and skills practice. Continuing learning is facilitated with handouts and suggestions for making the most of the course experiences (including an outline for constructing a self-presentation document from which their accomplishments shine). The course is designed to help participants: *Examine the range of career development competencies upon which continuing professional growth and influence depends *Increase their organizational savvy and manage tensions between their career development needs and organizational realities *Make the most of key relationships, especially with bosses and mentors *Prioritize and develop decision criteria for agreeing to new responsibilities *Speak effectively about their goals and accomplishments *Expand their "comfort zones" in introducing themselves *Network more comfortably and strategically *Expand connections with role models, learning partners and potential mentors *Understand continuing gender-related challenges in developing career potentials *Build resilience and avoid typical career derailers Registration fee required. Persons can register for PSD offerings when JSM registration opens.


Effective Presentations for Statisticians
Instructors: Jen Van Mullekom, Dupont, and Bob Starbuck, Wyeth (retired)
Monday, August 4, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Would you like to polish your presentation skills and better influence your company's decision-makers or your clients? This well-received course, taught at previous ASA meetings by Jeanine Buchanich, Bob Starbuck, and Jennifer van Mullekom, will cover topics such as slide preparation, crafting your argument, oral presentations, and communicating statistical ideas. Attendees will review examples of effective and ineffective presentation techniques, learn how to make effective presentations to different audience types using various platforms, and improve their communication skills to both statisticians and non-statisticians.

Registration fee required. Persons can register for PSD offerings when JSM registration opens.


From Idea to Publication: How to Get that Book Written
Instructors: James Ramsay, McGill University, and Maura Stokes SAS
Tuesday, August 5, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Writing your first book can be an intimidating process, from the first whiff of the idea to outlining the possible contents to making the decision to go for it. And then, of course, there's actually writing it and shepherding it through the publication process. This workshop provides you with a framework for making the decision to write a book and planning the writing and editing process so you will complete your project. The first part of the two-hour workshop discusses book design; it focuses on determining your potential audience, the scope of the topic, and the structure of the book. How long should it be? How much review should it contain? What role will figures and illustrations play? Will it require exercises or problems? The second part of the workshop focuses on managing the writing process. Do you have the knowledge required and can you attain any additional knowledge needed with reasonable effort? Do you have adequate time for this project as well as your usual work? If you have co-authors, can you effectively manage your relationships with them so that work is delivered in a timely manner? Will you need a budget for copy editors, preparation of illustrations, required software? In addition, this section covers effective outlining, managing the bibliography and index, and coordinating a useful review process. The workshop is intended to be interactive, so please bring your past stories as well as your questions. And bring your book ideas as the workshop will include several exercises intended to help you take the next steps in starting your own book publication journey.

Instructor Information
Jim Ramsay is an author of five books on functional data analysis and psychometrics, and a developer of supporting software. He has spent his career at McGill University communicating statistical ideas to psychology students and researchers. His first degree involved a major in the teaching of English, from which skills were acquired that have proved invaluable in his career as a statistician.

Maura Stokes is lead author of Categorical Data Analysis Using SAS, now in its third edition. She has served on the editorial board for the ASA-SIAM series and also serves on the board for the analytical SAS Press books. She oversees the editorial process for the SAS analytical documentation, and regularly performs technical editing as well as writes statistical application papers.

Registration fee required. Persons can register for PSD offerings when JSM registration opens.



Questions about the PSD Program?
Please contact Lynn Palmer palmer@amstat.org
Phone: (703) 684-1221

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