Nominations Sought for ASA Fellow
Committee offers advice for solid nominations
Katherine Monti (chair)
J. Jack Lee
The ASA Committee on Fellows invites you to nominate colleagues for the award of “Fellow of the ASA.” Nomination packages must be submitted online by 3 p.m. March 1, 2014.
There are many statisticians who are worthy of nomination based on their contributions to the profession, association, and society at large. As impressive as the nominees are, not all can be honored in a given year. Successful nominations are those that are sufficiently impressive to the committee, which is limited to selecting a maximum of about 60 (one-third of 1% of the membership) of roughly 100 nominations per year. Nominees’ reputations do not necessarily speak for themselves. The nomination packet and supporting letters play a critical role in selection.
Following are a few suggestions to increase the chance of success for your nominee:
1. Become familiar with the information posted on the Fellows website.
2. Submit early to avoid snags due to heavy last-minute traffic on the submission site.
3. Describe only those activities that can be supported by contributions.
- Present accomplishments, innovations, and evidence of leadership; documentation of presence or of a name on a roster is not enough.
- Explain the impact of the contribution. What has this nominee done that is new, outstanding, or creative? Has the nominee made the world a better place? Why has their teaching been noteworthy? How have their papers changed the theory or practice of statistics? What has been the importance and impact of the application of their work? What did they achieve that was noteworthy in an influential administrative position?
4. Make it easy on committee members to find the strength in the nomination. Section IX is the heart of the nomination, used to describe the nominee’s contributions to the profession in six broad areas; see the nomination form for details.
- In Section IX, reference the supporting letters by synthesizing or expanding upon the comments in the letters.
- Add ASA contributions (if any) in Section IX.F of the form.
- It is not necessary to complete all parts of Section IX. If some part is not applicable, skip it. If some part deserves mention but not elaboration, make the point briefly.
5. Present your nominee to good advantage.
- Line up your supporting letter writers early. An individual can only nominate or support a maximum of two nominees a year, so the nominator should obtain the commitment of the strongest supporters before they have made other obligations.
- Use the space. Besides the discussion in Section IX by the nominator, the packet may include letters from up to four other persons.
- Show the nominee’s breadth. The nominator should try to elicit supporting letters from persons who have varying perspective on the nominee to avoid presenting the committee with multiple letters emphasizing the same few points.
- Make sure letters are written for the ASA Fellow award.
- Tighten up the CV, if appropriate.
6. Read the nomination form carefully to note changes from previous years (i.e., the description of Section IX, Parts A and B).
If you plan to nominate someone, the committee recommends you start early and take the time to compile an impressive and convincing package.
Nomination Form Changes: Section IX, Parts A and B
A. Statistical Applications, Data Collection, and Statistical Consultation: Effectiveness and Results
Parts A and B (below) are designed for contributions in areas such as business, industry, regulatory agencies, major federal statistical agencies health services, non-federal government, legal matters, and public and private research organizations. Section A addresses the effectiveness of the candidate’s consulting experiences and the results of those consultations.
Excellence need not be related to the complexity of the statistical techniques employed, but should be in the insights provided and the impact of the work. Examples of contributions appropriate for this section include, but are not limited to, addressing the following questions:
- Have the clients’ needs been met routinely and exceeded often?
- Has the consultant been routinely effective in persuading a client to adopt appropriate statistical designs, methods, or reporting?
- Has the candidate provided the solutions to successfully address the project objectives?
- Is the candidate a strong and respected leader on the project team?
- What impact has work had on the organization or broader society?
Also, contributions may be important even if the “results” of the effort were not those desired (e.g., a statistician who saves a corporation money by helping to stop the development of an ineffective or unsafe product may be providing highly effective consulting advice, even if the “results” of the experiment or trial are negative). As appropriate, reference relevant publications (not necessarily in statistical journals) and document acclaim within the candidate’s organization or beyond. If confidentiality issues are a concern, indicate this, but be as specific as possible under the circumstances.
B. Statistical Applications, Data Collection, and Statistical Consultation: Processes and Methods
Parts A (above) and B are designed for contributions in areas such as business, industry, regulatory agencies, major federal statistical agencies health services, non-federal government, legal matters, and public and private research organizations. Section B addresses the contributions of the nominee to processes and methods relating to the practice of statistics, including the introduction of statistical methods into new problem areas.
Excellence in activities in this category is evidenced by responsibility for development and design of studies, by innovations of procedures, and by efficiency improvements. Examples of contributions appropriate for this section include, but are not limited to, design of improved sampling schema for large governmental surveys, improved data collection processes with important impact on an organization, effective championship on the use of statistical methods in a “statistically naïve” corporation, development of a measure that has been widely adopted as an assessment tool in an applied field (e.g., medicine, psychology, chemistry, education, forestry, meteorology, law, marketing, finance), development and/or successful implementation of innovative experimental designs, documented establishment of efficiency improvement, and identification and contributions to a new statistical problem. As appropriate, reference relevant publications (not necessarily in statistical journals) and document acclaim within the candidate’s organization or beyond. If confidentiality issues are a concern, indicate this, but be as specific as possible under the circumstances.