Government Statistics and Social Statistics Sections
American Statistical Association



Welcome to the first monthly publication of the GSS/SSS Newsletter! Beginning March 1, 2005, the GSS/SSS newsletter editor and the GSS and SSS publications officers will monthly publish an electronic newsletter. We hope by doing so that you get more timely information about all things related to our sections and will enjoy a more active involvement with our membership. By that we mean we want to hear from you! Yes, we do!

You may also have noticed that we’re committed to keeping you more regularly informed by publishing articles monthly in the "Section News" portion of AMSTAT News, which we began with the January 2005 issue.

And don’t forget to go to the ASA Website, where this newsletter will be posted at:

But that’s not all! We hope you’ll contribute to our newsletter, too. And you’ll now have plenty of opportunities to do so. So let us hear from you. The April issue is just around the corner. Send your items – announcements, articles, pictures, etc., by no later than March 24, 2005, to:

Patricia Melvin ( ),
Robert Lussier (, or
Beth Kilss (

And be sure to let us know how you like our new format. Send your comments and suggestions to one or all of us as well. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sameena Salvucci, GSS

Nominations are now sought for the 2005 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career:

  • Dedication to the issues of measurement;
  • Improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and
  • Improvements and use of statistical data for policy analysis.

The award is not limited to senior members of an organization, nor is it to be considered as a culmination of a long period of service. Individuals at all levels (from entry to senior), Federal employees, private sector employees, and employees of the academic community, may be nominated on the basis of the significance of the specific contribution.

The recipient of the 2005 Roger Herriot Award will be chosen by a committee of representatives of the Government Statistics Section and the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association and a representative of the Washington Statistical Society. Roger Herriot was associated with and strongly supportive of these organizations during his career. The award consists of an honorarium and a framed citation.

Joseph Waksberg (Westat), Monroe Sirken (National Center for Health Statistics), Constance Citro (National Academy of Sciences), Roderick Harrison (U.S. Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (Bureau of Labor Statistics), Thomas Jabine (SSA, EIA, CNSTAT), Donald Dillman (Washington State University), Jeanne Griffith (OMB, NCES, NSF), Daniel Weinberg (U. S. Census Bureau), David Banks ( FDA, BTS, NIST), and Paula Schneider (U.S. Census Bureau) are previous recipients of the Herriot Award.

For more information, contact Sameena Salvucci, Chair of the Roger Herriot Award Committee, 202-484-4215 or Nominations must be submitted by May 2nd, 2005. Electronic submissions are permissible.

Alternately, nominations may be mailed to

Sameena Salvucci
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Suite 550
Washington, D.C. 20024

Nominations for 2005 Award Sought
Sameena Salvucci, GSS

Wray Jackson Smith, D.Sc, was a trustee and president of the Harris-Smith Institutes of Arlington, Virginia, a nonprofit research foundation and a senior statistical advisor at Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., where he had worked since 1986. Dr. Smith also held a number of technical/scientific senior executive positions in Federal agencies and retired from the Federal Government in 1983 as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration and as Assistant Administrator for Energy Systems and Support. After his sudden death in May 2000 the Section on Government Statistics of the American Statistical Association, together with the Section on Social Statistics, the Washington Statistical Society, the Caucus for Women in Statistics, the Harris-Smith Institutes, Mathematica Policy Research, and Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., established a scholarship in his memory. The scholarship is awarded annually to one outstanding applicant in order to further his or her career in government statistics.


Dr. Jennifer Park (pictured above) was the recipient of the 2004 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship (WJSS). As is the custom, the scholarship recipient was officially announced in August 2004 at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Toronto, Canada. Jana Asher, Chair of the WJSS committee made the presentation. Park completed her Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in child health and demography from Brown University in 2003 under the mentorship of Dennis Hogan and Frances Goldscheider. As the 2003-2004 AERA Post-Doctoral Fellow, Park studied child cognitive and emotional development with the guidance of Kurt Fischer and Kathleen McCartney at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In May 2004, Park accepted a position at the National Center for Education Statistics with Jerry West, where she is currently transitioning to project officer for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort.

Dr. Park used the scholarship to attend a December 2004 course in sampling design taught by Colm O'Muircheartaigh and James Lepkowski through the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM). She also enhanced her collection of statistical reference books, particularly those regarding estimation of effect size. She is now pursuing the JPSM citation in Introductory Survey Methodology and looks forward to attending the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2005.

Past Recipients

Yun Li was the recipient of the WJSS in 2003. She was a student in the Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research, where she completed her Master’s degree. Ms. Li used the WJSS scholarship to fund continued public policy research at the Bowling Green State University Center for Policy Analysis and Public Service. Her work was presented at the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

Amelia Haviland was the recipient of the WJSS in 2002. She was a student at Carnegie Mellon University and used the scholarship to attend a short course on nonsampling error and the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2002.

New Nominations Sought

Nominations are now sought for the 2005 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship. The 2005 recipient of the scholarship will be chosen by a committee of representatives of the Government Statistics Section and the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association. Dr. Smith was associated with and strongly supportive of these organizations during his career. The scholarship of $1,000 can be used for activities like the following:

  • Attend at a conference, short course, or long course.
  • Travel to a conference.
  • Purchase government data.
  • Pay for 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, which can be found at

  • The original copy of an application.
  • Original transcripts, performance reviews, or alternate proof of superior job.
  • Project proposal.
  • Two reference letters.

For more information, contact Sameena Salvucci, Chair of the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Committee, 202-484-4215 or All necessary materials must be submitted by April 1, 2005. Electronic submissions are permissible.

All materials should be mailed before April 1, 2005, to:

Sameena Salvucci
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Suite 550
Washington, D.C. 20024

Juanita Tamayo Lott, 2006 Program Chair, SSS

If you’ve never attended a JSM Roundtable Luncheon before, then JSM 2005 is the year and place to begin. The Social Statistics Section (SSS) has organized three luncheons around this year’s theme: Using Our Discipline To Enhance Human Welfare.

This article is to invite everyone interested in the reciprocal impacts of human welfare and statistics to the SSS Roundtable Luncheons planned for Minneapolis in August and to tell you a little bit about each one. The roundtable presenters are experts in front-line collection, analysis, and use of data as they affect human populations, all timely topics in which interest is growing.

The main objectives of these topics are first of all to connect with and share knowledge among colleagues working in these areas, and, second, to suggest papers for follow-up invited sessions for JSM 2006 in Seattle. We hope the rest of this article, which provides summary descriptions of the theme of each roundtable, will whet your appetite!

Human Welfare and Population Trends
Kelvin M. Pollard, Senior Demographer, Population Reference Bureau

At first glance, many of us do not notice the relationship between population trends and human welfare. Yet, such dynamics as population size, growth, and composition have an impact that ultimately affects the overall well-being of persons. As such, it is important to understand population trends—whether local, national, or global. This roundtable will illustrate this point through examples of some important demographic trends in the United States and worldwide.

Frontline View: The Increasing Challenges of Data Collection
Kathleen Ludgate, Regional Director, Boston Regional Office, U.S. Census Bureau

For decades, primary data have been a routine source of statistics. An ongoing challenge for staff in the field is to integrate quality, completeness, and accuracy during field data collection. Using examples from collecting Current Population Survey (CPS) data, this session will examine the increasing difficulty faced by data collection managers and interviewers. A challenge to survey designers is to offer ways to assist data collectors up front in the survey design stage.

A Multi-generational Conversation Among Statisticians
Gladys Reynolds, Senior Mathematical Statistician, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The purpose of this Roundtable is to begin the dialogue among statisticians from different career levels. Up-and-coming statisticians can describe their experiences/concerns and offer suggestions for programs or projects that would help and support them in their careers. Senior and mid-level statisticians could discuss the changes that have taken place in recent years and how these changes have affected our profession. The principal aim of this discussion will be to plan programs that would: 1) stimulate and facilitate greater communication among multi-generational statisticians; 2) devise ways to encourage greater multi-generational input in addressing statistical issues, policy issues, ethical and moral issues and recommending actions that would be supportive to younger statisticians; and 3) help and support statisticians to understand their role and impact in science, medicine, economics, and the health and well being of all.

For more information contact Social Statistics’ 2006 Program Chair Juanita Tamayo Lott ( See you at the Roundtable!

Beth Kilss, SSS

Last November, the Census Bureau Human Capital Management Council and the Statistical Research Division Seminar Series launched the first in a series of storytelling by wise elders on government statistical leadership. This program is part of knowledge sharing, including the institutional memory of the why, who, where, and when—not just what and how--of Federal surveys and censuses. The inaugural program in the Census Bureau’s Morris Hansen Auditorium featured stories from Daniel Levine and Joseph Waksberg, retired Census Bureau officials, following introductory remarks by Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.

Mr. Levine talked about the evolution and importance of the Current Population Survey, and Mr. Waksberg spoke on the evolution and importance of the mailout/mailback questionnaire for the Decennial Census of Population and Housing. The session was very well received by its enthusiastic audience and is just a taste of what’s to come in the future.

More recently, Margaret E. Martin spoke for the Wise Elders Program on February 9, 2005. Ms. Martin worked for 30 years at the U.S. Bureau of the Budget (now the OMB) in the Division of Statistical Standards (now the Office of Statistical Policy), retired in 1973, then went on to a second career as the first staff officer for the newly-established Committee on National Statistics at the National Research Council, from which she is now retired. The title of her speech was "At the Interface Between Statistics and Policy: Encountering the Unexpected."

Ms. Martin described several occasions when the unexpected occurred, affecting the Current Population Survey (CPS) and also employment statistics gathered from establishments, during the first 25 years of the CPS. Following her stories, she showed a video prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Satistics to celebrate the first 50 years of the CPS which consists of interviews with several persons who helped develop the Monthly Report on the Labor Force.

The next program will feature Jacob S. Siegel, former Census Bureau employee and retired Georgetown University professor. Mr. Siegel will speak on the Population Undercount in either May or June. We will provide more information on this, the third Wise Elders Program, in our next newsletter. We will also provide more information as it becomes available on how to obtain copies of the speeches. So stay tuned!

With the series off to a great start, the Human Capital Management Council is on the constant lookout for a diversity of wise elders and data stewards of the Federal statistical system for this series. Thus, your ideas and suggestions for future speakers are most welcome. The Social Statistics Section’s Program Chair 2006, Juanita Tamayo Lott, is a member of the Human Capital Management Council and is looking forward to hearing from you. You may contact Juanita by e-mail at

Thinking about joining a Section?

If your work involves the statistical analysis of social and socioeconomic issues in the United States or abroad, or if you are concerned about measurement issues and models in the field of social statistics, you will find people with similar interest in this Section. We hope you will join so that we may incorporate your ideas and your concerns in the Section’s programs. Joining is easy. Just go to ASA’s web site:

Did you know…?

That the Social Statistics Section (SSS) publishes a newsletter jointly with the Government Statistics Section (GSS) to keep our members informed. The latest issue (December 2004) may be accessed through the SSS web site at:

There’s lots of information in the latest issue about the coming year, including some of our section’s plans for SSS Invited Sessions at the upcoming 2005 Joint Statistical Meetings in Minneapolis; announcements about awards cosponsored by SSS and GSS; and contact information for our section’s officers. Be sure to check it out!


Statistics Canada's twenty-second International Symposium on Methodological Issues, "Methodological Challenges for Future Information Needs", is planned for October 25 to 28, 2005 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa.

The theme of the symposium will focus on the information gathering and dissemination in the context of official statistical programs. We envision two streams of parallel sessions. The first will be concerned more with issues related to gathering of information such as respondent burden, administrative data and registers, respondent relations, standardized concepts and questionnaires, etc. The second stream will focus on issues related to dissemination such as confidentiality, data access, data quality, metadata, analysis, data integration, etc.

We are soliciting contributed papers related to the proposed themes. Proposals should be in the form of a 250-word abstract and submitted by May 13, 2005. The papers will be presented and discussed during the last three days of the symposium, preceded by a day of workshops. Proceedings will be published and distributed to participants.

Abstracts must be submitted by email to:

Visit our internet site regularly to get upcoming details:

Government Statistics Section pages prepared by:     Bill Wong.
Last updated:     March 4, 2005.

(c) 2005 American Statistical Association. All Rights Reserved.