The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award
Stephanie Shipp and Clyde Tucker, Jeanne E. Griffith Committee
William P. Mockovak was recently announced winner of this year’s Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for being a champion role model and mentor.
The American Statistical Association’s Government Statistics Section organizes the award, supported financially by the following sponsors:
National Opinion Research Center (NORC)
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS)
American Institutes for Research
American Educational Research Association
Government Statistics Section, American Statistical Association
Social Statistics Section, American Statistical Association
Washington Statistical Society
Interagency Council on Statistical Policy
Mockovak is chief of the Behavioral Science Research Center in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). His professional experience covers a wide range of areas, including program evaluation, interviewer training, computer-assisted information collection (CASIC), questionnaire design, usability testing, and cognitive interviewing.
After service in the U.S. Air Force, Mockovak joined the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Social Science Research in September 1978. Over the next 20 years, he held a number of positions of ever-increasing responsibility at the Census Bureau. In 1998, he moved to his current position at BLS. In this role, he supervises behavioral scientists whose primary responsibilities are to identify, investigate, and reduce measurement error in BLS surveys. His responsibilities include cognitive testing of survey questions, questionnaire design, usability testing, nonresponse bias analyses, program evaluation, and basic research.
Mockovak has degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy (BS, psychology), The Ohio State University (MA, human performance psychology), and The Pennsylvania State University (PhD, educational psychology). He received a Bronze Medal award from the Census Bureau for significant contributions to the development of major new approaches in training, managing, and supporting field personnel. He also received BLS awards for outstanding management performance and team awards covering work on the redesign of the Mass Layoff Statistics Program and use of the Internet for data collection.
As head of the Behavioral Science Research Center, Mockovak has successfully mentored a generation of younger staff members over almost 15 years. John Eltinge, associate commissioner of the Office of Survey Methods Research, nominated Mockovak for this award. He said he has “developed very deep respect for Bill’s extraordinary style of quiet leadership of the Behavioral Science Research Laboratory and his mentoring of junior and mid-level colleagues. For example, he has a remarkable talent for carefully calibrated integration of relatively junior colleagues into very complex research projects. He does this in a way that leads to individual work assignments that are challenging (but not overwhelming) and that lead to increasing levels of professional growth and career recognition for his colleagues.”
Those who have worked for Mockovak over the years echoed Elting’s words in their supporting letters, describing him as a wonderful mentor who has helped staff transition from junior to mid-level, teaching them how to work with program staff in presenting new ideas and critiquing existing approaches, and acting as a role model by his modesty and generosity and his dedication to his staff and work.
Nominations for 2013 Award
The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award is intended to encourage mentoring of junior staff in the federal, state, or local government statistical community. It is presented annually to a supervisor, technical director, team coordinator, or staff member who is nominated by coworkers and/or supervisors and selected by members of the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Selection Committee.
Jeanne E. Griffith worked for more than 25 years in the federal statistical system. Throughout her career, and especially in her senior management positions at the National Center for Education Statistics and National Science Foundation, one of Griffith’s highest priorities was to mentor and encourage junior staff to learn, grow, and recognize and seize career opportunities as they came along. After her death from breast cancer in 2000, the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award was set up in her honor.
To help sponsor the award and increase the amount of the honorarium, contact Stephanie Shipp at firstname.lastname@example.org.