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Greetings from the Chair

1 January 2012 No Comment
John L. Czajka

    Let me begin by offering my best wishes for the new year to fellow members of the Survey Research Methods Section (SRMS) and any others who may be reading this out of interest in the section or in survey research methods more generally—or just to see what’s going on with another section. As we begin the New Year, I would like to share with you some of the section’s plans for 2012.

    Most of our activity is centered on the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), where SRMS traditionally presents a strong program, with multiple sessions in every time slot. The San Diego venue is an added inducement to attend JSM this year. I heartily encourage readers to consider submitting contributed papers to our program; we welcome a wide range of topics and provide receptive audiences. And if you join us in San Diego, don’t miss our business meeting/mixer on Wednesday evening. The event always generates a good turn-out. Come to meet your colleagues, enjoy great refreshments, and perhaps become inspired to help the section by volunteering your time or ideas.

    This year, a number of our section members will participate in the Fourth International Conference on Establishment Surveys (ICES-IV), which will be held in Montréal, Québec, Canada, from June 11–14. SRMS members have played significant roles in organizing the conference and planning the program, as they did with ICES I through III. The Montréal location proved popular for ICES III in 2007, and June is a particularly good time to visit the city.

    In addition to its participation in JSM and other more specialized conferences such as ICES, the SRMS sponsors a number of webinars during the year. There is a strong line-up planned for 2012, which Marilyn Seastrom, the section’s education officer, will discuss in an upcoming issue of Amstat News. Announcements go out to section members, but you also can check the section website for information about upcoming webinars. There is a fee for participation, but multiple persons can join a webinar from the same room for a single fee.

    Fostering the development of the next generation of survey researchers remains an important goal of the section. Toward this end, SRMS has sponsored a student travel award competition in cooperation with the Social Statistics and Government Statistics sections. These awards provide travel funds for attending JSM, and the papers are featured in a special session. The deadline has passed for this year, but students and professors should keep this opportunity in mind as the end of 2012 approaches.

    To complement the student travel awards, the section launched a mentoring program that focuses on young statisticians who have already begun their professional careers. This new program engages the mentor and protégé in an ongoing relationship that the two can redefine over time. The mentoring program is off to a good start, and we are excited about its prospects.

    Last, members of the section have been working with the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) to develop a new journal for statistically oriented survey methods papers. The journal, which would be sponsored by AAPOR and the ASA, would provide an outlet for survey methods papers that do not fall within the editorial scope of existing journals. A joint task force has issued a call for editors. We will keep our members posted on the progress of these efforts.

    I hope to see you at one of our activities this year!

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