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Members Reveal Why They Have Remained with ASA for Three Decades

1 June 2013 360 views No Comment

Contributing Editor Christy Chuang-Stein
Christy Chuang-Stein is the chair of the 175th Anniversary Steering Committee and head of the Statistical Research and Consulting Center at Pfizer. She served as an ASA vice president from 2009–2011.

In the April issue, the ASA published a list of longtime members of the association. Some of these members have been with the association for more than half a century. Imagine that! Recently, we reached out to a few and asked why they have remained ASA members for all these years. This is what they told us:

I became a member of ASA the year prior to receiving my PhD. The primary reasons for joining were professional development and affiliation. Later, I discovered other reasons for continuing to be a member of the ASA: access to experts (face-to-face and publications), leadership development, current best practices, current issues, ethical behavior, and many life-long friends. It came to me over a period of time that to give is much more preferable and rewarding than receiving. So, I volunteered in several ASA programs and activities. Currently, my joy comes from mentoring graduate students and tutoring K–12 students in mathematics and statistics.— Bob Assenzo, member since 1962

I joined ASA when I was a graduate student in statistics. After finishing my PhD, I returned to Canada to work in Canadian Universities. However, my wife and I enjoyed going to the annual ASA meeting, as we were able to visit with many of our friends from graduate school days. These trips were a vacation for my wife and an outlet for me to present a paper and for me to see how others thought about various statistical issues. I still often take a course to get the latest on a topic that I might use. ASA has been a key professional resource for my career.— Charlie Goldsmith, member since 1963

ASA’s increasing support to pre-university statistics education has made me a loyal member for nearly half a century. Fred Mosteller began it all in 1967 by creating with NCTM (National Council for Teachers of Mathematics) the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for grades K–12. Many wonderful publications (e.g., Statistics by Example, Statistics Teacher Network, Making Sense of Statistical Studies, Bridging the Gap) and projects (e.g., poster and project competitions) have come from the committee. Thank you ASA for helping us try to create a statistically literate citizenry.— Jerry Moreno, member since 1964

As a graduate student, my professors instilled in me that part of being a practicing statistician was to be a member of the ASA. ASA assists us in staying current in our profession via journals, short courses, online courses, and presentations at meetings. What I value the most is the opportunity to meet other statisticians. Some have not only mentored me, but encouraged me to take up leadership roles within the Biopharmaceutical Section. My wish is that I could find avenues to provide this encouragement to the next generation of statisticians.— Anna Nevius, member since 1967

ASA has provided a mechanism for keeping up with what is happening in the statistics profession and renewing old friendships. I think it’s also important for professional statisticians to be a member of ASA (or comparable organizations in other countries, such as RSS) to help provide visibility to statistics as its own field and not merely a subfield of mathematics, business, public health, computer science, operations research, etc.— Alan Agresti, member since 1970

ASA has been key to providing me with exceptional career opportunities. The professional networks, friendships, and learning opportunities have been so tangible that I never for a moment thought of allowing my membership to expire. Even today with a larger-than-ever membership, I always seem to meet new and interesting ASA members besides seeing my old friends and colleagues. I am at a point in my career where it is even more important for me to give back. Contributing as an active member of ASA allows me to feel like I have given as much as I have received.— Rob Santos, member since 1976

I can honestly say that ASA has had a very significant, positive effect on my career. In addition to the obvious things, such as the meetings and publications it offers, ASA has given me numerous opportunities to develop as a leader, in addition to developing as a statistician. ASA has also facilitated meeting and developing relationships with many statisticians in diverse areas of the discipline. I definitely feel that I have gotten out more than I have put into the ASA.— Roger Hoerl, member since 1982

I joined the ASA as I was finishing my master’s degree in statistics. I first joined our local ASA chapter where interactions with other local statisticians allowed me to broaden my understanding of how statistics was being applied to almost every branch of science. Over the years, networking with other statisticians at our annual meetings has allowed me to develop relationships with individuals in other areas of statistics and find statisticians with similar interests as mine. This would not have been possible without my ASA membership and attendance at JSM.— Janet Buckingham, member since 1985

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