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2017 Educational Ambassador Hails from Namibia

1 October 2017 8 views No Comment
Geert Molenberghs, committee chair, Abel Tilahun Eshete, and Honoré Mitonga Kabwebwe, the ASA’s educational ambassador for 2017

Geert Molenberghs, committee chair, Abel Tilahun Eshete, and Honoré Mitonga Kabwebwe, the ASA’s educational ambassador for 2017

    The 2017 ASA educational ambassador, Honoré Mitonga Kabwebwe of the University of Namibia, attended the Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland, to participate in continuing education courses.

    The Educational Ambassador Program is an ASA outreach effort launched by the late Martha Aliaga and the Committee on International Relations in Statistics to foster international collaboration and enhance statistics education worldwide. The program subsidizes an ambassador from a developing country to attend JSM and take CE courses. It also provides a one-year ASA membership.

    Candidates are required to have a PhD in statistics and an interest in teaching, as well as be open to study in new areas of research. After attending CE courses in emerging areas of research, the educational ambassador returns to his or her country and teaches the subject matter covered in the CE course(s) within the next year to at least 10 students.

    “The world is developing so rapidly with complexity in phenomena. Hence the development of statistical and quantitative methods and techniques is crucial,” commented Mitonga Kabwebwe. “The ASA Educational Ambassador Program provides the opportunity to spread these statistical methods and techniques to remote areas throughout the world and allow colleagues out there to adapt to the last development in statistical and quantitative methods and techniques.”

    While at JSM, Mitonga Kabwebwe participated in several continuing education courses, including the following:

    • An Introduction to the Joint Modeling of Longitudinal and Survival Data, with Applications in R
    • Preparing Statistician/Statistics Graduates to Be Data Scientists
    • Bayesian Modeling and Inference for High-Dimensional Spatial-Temporal Data
    • Analysis of Clinical Trials: Theory and Applications

    Geert Molenberghs, chair of the Committee on International Relations in Statistics, exclaimed, “Like the RSS, the ASA is a truly international national society, showing brilliantly through its successful Educational Ambassador Program!”

    Since the program launched in 2005, the Committee on International Relations in Statistics has chosen educational ambassadors from Argentina, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Morocco, Armenia, Costa Rica, Botswana, Colombia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Namibia.

    These educational ambassadors have taught the material learned in JSM short courses in numerous academic courses and workshops carried out in their home countries. Juan Carlos Salazar Uribe, 2014 educational ambassador from Colombia, said, “The challenges and possibilities of being an educational ambassador are endless, so I focus my attention on promoting novel methodologies on applied longitudinal data among young researchers and promoting statistical thinking and good statistical practices among high-school teachers from different educational institutes here in my city. I think I have completed successfully these two tasks. It has been an honor to serve as the 2014–2015 ASA educational ambassador; I could not be more proud.”

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