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The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

1 September 2016 No Comment

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award was established in 2002 as a tribute to Jeanne Griffith’s work of more than 25 years in the federal statistical system. The award is meant to encourage mentoring of junior statisticians in federal, state, or local government. In 2009, the Government Statistics Section began managing the award. In line with its mission, eligibility for the award was expanded to include the mentoring of all government statisticians (federal, state, and local). The award includes a plaque and $1,000 honorarium.

Griffith was a well-known statistician having served in many positions in the federal government, including director of the Division of Science Resources Studies at the National Science Foundation and acting commissioner and associate commissioner for data development and longitudinal studies at the National Center for Education Statistics. In June 2001, she received the Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. She died of cancer in August of 2001. At the Roger Herriot Award ceremony, Griffith demonstrated her dedication to mentoring the growth of her staff with the following remarks:

But one of the most rewarding aspects for me, I believe, was the opportunity to promote the creative activities and energies among my staff. It is very special to get an award for innovation, because this is, in my mind, essentially an award for management excellence. Innovation is something that your staff creates when you allow them. I know it happens all the time in the federal government, because I have seen all of you here today innovate in countless ways for many years. I have marveled at how when you get to know people, to trust them, to learn to trust their judgment and to support them, you can see the results clearly, quickly, and with great personal reward. I have benefited in my career because of the actions of the people who worked with and for me; without them, I know with complete certainty that I would not be standing before you here today.

We will never know how many statisticians Griffith mentored or how many more statisticians have been mentored in turn by the ones she mentored. The recipients of the award are contemporary examples of the work Griffith demonstrated during her life.

If you think your career has been advanced by a mentor, consider nominating that person for the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award. Preparing the nomination package provides you the opportunity to think about the mentoring you have received and an opportunity to thank the person who has helped you develop your professional skills and advance in your career.

Recent Award Honorees
Richard D. Allen
Beth A. Kilss
Renee Miller
Martin O’Connell
Stephanie Shipp
Rosemary D. Marcuss
Kevin Cecco
Lillian Lin
Deborah H. Griffin
Jenise Swall
William Mockovak
Brian Harris-Kojetin
J. Gregory Robinson
Kenneth C. Schoendorf
Aldo “Skip” Vecchia
Diane Willimack

Nominations should be prepared in the form of a letter or memorandum, which should summarize the nominee’s actions that support and encourage the professional development of junior staff in the federal, state, or local statistical community. The package should include up to six supporting letters. The deadline for submitting the package is in early April. The exact date can be found on the ASA website early in the year.

The nomination package should be mailed to the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee, c/o The American Statistical Association, 732 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1943 or emailed to rick@amstat.org.

Award arrangements are coordinated by the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Selection Committee. New members of this committee are selected by the chair of the Government Statistics Section (GSS), and the GSS Executive Board provides oversight of the committee.

The selection committee is responsible for the logistics of the award and the selection of the awardees. Committee members are Kevin Cecco (co-chair), Anna Nevius (co-chair), Skip Vecchia, William Mockovak, Brian Harris-Kojetin, Joy Sharp, and Andy Orlin.

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