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John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship

The JOHN TARNAI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP will be awarded annually to selected staff members of academic survey organizations to cover expenses associated with attending the annual meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) or the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) or both.

Nominations for the award will be made by directors of academic survey organizations. The nominee should be early in their career, be pursuing a long-term career in survey work, and demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:

  • commitment to producing quality survey data and related work products;
  • commitment to learning and implementing best research practices;
  • commitment to advancing knowledge about best research practices;
  • commitment to sharing and disseminating knowledge within and/or outside the survey organization; or
  • commitment to advancing the goals, mission, stability, and longevity of the survey organization.

Each year, the AASRO Awards Committee will solicit nominations for the JOHN TARNAI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP in writing. Members of the committee will not be eligible for nomination or receipt of the scholarship while serving on the committee. Once nominations are received the Awards Committee will determine the winner or winner(s) considering the above criteria. The number and amount of scholarships to be awarded in a given year will be determined by the Awards Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee based on the availability of funds.

The recipient(s) of the scholarship will be informed in late winter or early spring to allow time for the winner to plan for attendance at AAPOR or the IFD&TC accordingly. An announcement of the winners will also be placed on the AASRO website.

The nomination form for the AASRO John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship can be found here:
AASRO John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Nomination Form 2014-2015

John M. Kennedy Achievement Award

The JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be awarded not more than once each year to academic survey researchers (individuals, groups, or organizations) that have demonstrated one or more of the following criteria:

  • meritorious service or help to AASRO or to its member organizations;
  • accomplished leadership in public opinion research that promotes the value of survey research, enhances public understanding of survey research, fosters advances in survey research methods as a science, improves delivery of survey services, or otherwise promotes quality in survey and public opinion data collection;
  • advancement or innovation in developing or improving the capabilities of an academic survey research organization (for example, improving client interactions, respondent experience, project management, staff training, quality of survey data collection, fiscal or personnel management); or
  • promoting or improving the understanding, within their own institutions, of survey research conducted by academic survey research organizations.

To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the educational attainment, profession, specific discipline, or tenure status of individuals who are or have been affiliated with an academic survey research organization. The JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD may honor AASRO member directors, leaders, field leaders, AASRO advocates, academic survey organization professionals, innovators, translational social behavioral scientists, or any other individuals, groups or organizations with distinguished accomplishments that meet the award criteria.

Each year, a five-person selection committee appointed by the AASRO President, with advice of the Executive Committee, considers the above criteria when determining the winner of the JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The committee will solicit nominations and self-nominations in writing. Members of the nominating committee will not be eligible for nomination or receipt of the award while serving on the committee. The committee may decide in any given year not to make an award. As a recipient of the award, the winner or one person from the winning organization will serve on the selection committee as a voting member the subsequent year. Committee members (other than the prior-year recipient) will serve staggered two-year terms.

The official presentation of the award will normally be timed to coincide with the annual AASRO Directors Meeting.

The nomination form for the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award can be found here:
AASRO Achievement Award Nomination Form 2014-2015

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in September 2014

The AASRO Executive Committee hopes that the start of fall finds you well. The Executive Committee held its September meeting by conference call on September 17th at 2 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the September meeting were:

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, is finalizing membership renewal and recruitment materials for the approaching membership renewal season. If you know of anyone who might be interested in AASRO membership, please contact Jolene (jsmyth2@unl.edu) and she would be happy to mail a copy of the recruitment materials. Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, finalized the AASRO brochure (first-ever!) that will be included with the recruitment materials. AASRO members can access an electronic copy of it under the View Files option on the website in the AASRO_Promotional_Materials folder. 

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. The Executive Committee voted to raise annual membership dues to $145 (from the current rate of $140) for those who are not paying online and to $150 for those who are paying online in order to cover the 3.1% processing fee that Stripe charges for registration payments made through AASRO’s online registration site. AASRO remains in sound financial shape.

- Susan Willis, President, reported that Tom Guterbock (University of Virginia) will chair the History and Archives Committee for the remainder of this year. Thank you, Tom! The list of committee chairs and members has been updated on the AASRO website to reflect the most current information that has been provided to the Executive Committee. If you notice information that is incorrect or out-of-date, please email Ashley Bowers (afbowers@indiana.edu).

- Danna Moore, Past President and Chair of the Nominations Committee, will be moving forward soon with preparations for AASRO nominations for Executive Council positions. Please consider serving AASRO in this important capacity!

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, submitted program ideas for the 2015 AASRO Annual Meeting to be hosted by Rutgers University’s Bloustein Center for Survey Research. Once input from the Executive Committee has been reviewed and incorporated, Marc will solicit the membership for feedback and current intentions to attend the meeting. For budgeting purposes, we'll need to know, as early as possible, your center's intention to attend, and how many participants from your center will either definitely or likely attend. We realize it's early, but to keep costs down, it would be really helpful to know the likely attendance count.

- The Executive Committee voted on and approved two initiatives. One was to continue AASRO’s relationship with the Survey Research Newsletter published by the University of Illinois at Chicago. All AASRO members will continue to receive a free copy of the newsletter. The second was an initiative led by Cindy Bennett (University of Arkansas-Little Rock) to obtain a price reduction for a VOXCO (an online and CATI software) license for AASRO members. Please find more information about VOXCO here: http://www.voxco.com/en/market/social-research.php. The Executive Committee reviewed the pricing agreement and agreed to the terms that VOXCO laid out which were for AASRO to provide a list of AASRO members (this is already publicly available on the website), to announce the license to membership, and to include information about VOXCO on the AASRO website (which will be included in the vendor discount section shortly). Thank you to Cindy for making this discount for AASRO members possible!

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in August 2014

The Executive Committee held its August meeting by conference call on August 20th at 2 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the August meeting were:

- AASRO is pleased to welcome two new members: the Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) at Rutgers University, and the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College. We are excited to have them as part of our organization!

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, reported on preparations for the 2015 AASRO Annual Meeting to be hosted by Rutgers University’s Bloustein Center for Survey Research. Marc will submit a draft program to the Executive Committee for review in its September meeting and will then send the draft to the AASRO listserv for feedback in October. Marc will also query members about their plans to attend the conference so that additional hotel rooms can be secured as needed. Marc invites all AASRO members to attend Bloustein’s 10th Anniversary Thursday afternoon session and wine and cheese reception prior to the AASRO Annual Meeting which will begin on Thursday evening (March 5th) and end on Saturday (March 7th).

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, reported by email that she will be working with AASRO’s contract programmer and treasurer to add a feature to accept Canadian credit cards for AASRO membership renewal this upcoming year.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey Committee, reported that AASRO will not be conducting a member survey this year as was decided following the Annual Meeting.

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO added two membership renewals. AASRO remains in sound financial shape.

- The Executive Committee (EC) is working with a few AASRO committees to fill leader and member positions. We ask committee chairs to please keep the EC informed of any committee members who are no longer active in AASRO or are unable to serve due to other commitments. Thank you to our members for volunteering their time and energy to serve AASRO!
 

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in July 2014

The Executive Committee held its July meeting by conference call on July 31st at 1 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the July meeting were:

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, discussed the AASRO brochure that his committee developed and submitted to the Executive Committee for review. This brochure will be sent to top-level university administrators at AASRO member and non-member institutions to convey the value of academic survey research centers and AASRO. The Executive Committee liked the brochure and approved a print run of 1,000. Thank you to Ed and his committee for this great work!

- Tim MacKinnon (representing Marc Weiner, Program Chair) reported on preparations for the 2015 AASRO Annual Meeting to be hosted by Rutgers University’s Bloustein Center for Survey Research. The conference team has secured a group of 30 hotel rooms for $79/night with no tax and no parking fees. They will work on overflow accommodations. They are currently working on plans to have Cliff Zukin and Joe Lenski as part of the conference program.

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report by email. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape.

- The EC is working with a few AASRO committees to fill leader and member positions for the year. Thank you to our members for serving the organization in these important committee roles!

We are also happy to provide the link (please see sanityandsocialjustice.net/audio/AlbertSchorschIII_GrowingasaResearchCenterLeaderManager_AASROtalk_030714.mp3) to one of the excellent talks at our 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago. The talk was entitled “Growing as a University Research Center Leader and Manager” and was given by Albert Schorsch, Associate Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in June 2014

The Executive Committee held its June meeting by conference call on June 18, 2014 at 2 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the June meeting were:

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, reported that AASRO membership is at 62. The Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has joined as a new member. Welcome!

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, will summarize ideas for the Annual Meeting program that he has received thus far and circulate those to the Executive Committee shortly. Later this summer, he will formally solicit ideas from the broader membership.

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that she has completed disbursement of $5 from each annual membership fee to the Kennedy Award Fund and $5 to the Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund.

- The Executive Committee approved the appointment of Christy Storey (Kennesaw State University) to the Awards Committee. Danna Moore, Past President, will chair the Nominations Committee this year. We thank them for their willingness to provide this valuable service to AASRO! 

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in May 2014

The Executive Committee held its May meeting by conference call on May 28, 2014 from 2:30-3:45 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the May meeting were:

- The Executive Committee thanked Marc Weiner (Program Chair) for his work in organizing an excellent AASRO lunch at AAPOR. There was a request from an attendee to have more time for informal conversation at the lunch and the AASRO annual meeting. There is little time available at the lunch due to the AAPOR schedule but a morning meeting of academic survey research organizations at the AAPOR conference could be revived. Two possible ideas for the annual meeting were to have small group discussions around common themes/issues that would be suggested by members just prior to the meeting and taking some time at the Thursday dinner for folks to introduce themselves and identify what they would like to get out of the meetings/current challenges. If any of our members have feedback on these ideas or additional suggestions for the upcoming annual meeting, please contact Marc (mdw@ejb.rutgers.edu).   

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that she has completed annual filing of federal tax documents for AASRO.

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, is following up with two academic research centers who expressed interest in becoming new AASRO members at the AAPOR conference.

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, received approval from the Executive Committee to move forward with a next draft of an AASRO brochure. This brochure would be sent to potential members and presidents/provosts at member and nonmember centers’ institutions as well as posted on the AASRO website.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Member Survey and Data Sharing Committee, will be working with Ed and Ashley Bowers (Communications Coordinator) on a plan for disseminating the AASRO member survey results. Kurt will also prepare an executive summary of the findings for posting on the AASRO website.

- The Executive Committee has been working with John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, to determine how best to ensure continuity in maintaining the website and to share documents with members. For now, we will continue to use the website for sharing documents with members.

- We are excited to report that the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research will host the 2017 AASRO Annual Meeting to coincide with celebration of their 50th Anniversary.

- Please be sure to check out the AASRO website (aasro.org/meetings) for the final agenda and great photographs (Thank you, Tom Guterbock and Tim Johnson for the photos!) from our 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago as well as information and photographs from earlier meetings.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in April 2014

The Executive Committee held its April meeting by conference call on April 16, 2014 from 2-3:15 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the April meeting were:

- Tim MacKinnon who was representing Marc Weiner, Program Chair, informed the Committee that a reminder will be sent to the AASRO listserv with the date, time, and location of the AASRO lunch once Marc has confirmed all of the details on-site in Anaheim. Members will use their regularly provided AAPOR lunch ticket for this event. Tim and Marc have also recently solicited AASRO members to identify centers who might be interested in hosting the 2016 AASRO Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee will review potential sites for 2016 at its May meeting.

- President Susan Willis reported that Ron Langley (University of Kentucky) will be taking over chair responsibilities for the Human Subjects Committee from Mary Ellen Colten (University of Massachusetts Boston). On behalf of the AASRO membership, we thank Mary Ellen Colten for her wonderful service in this role. The Human Subjects Committee will meet on an as needed basis to address specific questions or issues.

- President Susan Willis is also continuing to work with other committees to finalize chair and member appointments for this year.

- John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, will be working with the History and Archives Committee and the University of Michigan on a plan for archiving of AASRO documents.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey and Data Reporting Committee, will be working with the Education and Advocacy Committee and Communications Coordinator to disseminate 2013 Survey Results to members.  

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that soon the number of membership payments that will have been processed for this year will reach 60.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in March 2014

The Executive Committee held its March meeting by conference call on March 31, 2014 from 2-3:15 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the March meeting were:

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that 57 membership payments had been processed for this year as of the date of the call. AASRO uses $10 of each organization’s membership dues to support the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship and John Kennedy Achievement Award. The Executive Committee voted to change the current allocation of $8 to the Tarnai Scholarship and $2 to the Kennedy Fund to $5 to the Tarnai Scholarship and $5 to the Kennedy Fund in order to provide sufficient ongoing funding for the Kennedy Award.  

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth reported (via email) that she has updated the current members list on the website so that it reflects the most up-to-date information. She is also making sure that all new members (voting delegate and non-voting delegates) have access to the members-only area of the website and are on the listserv.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey and Data Reporting Committee, has sent the 2013 Member Survey Report to the Executive Committee for review. President Susan Willis will review the report. Based on a discussion about low participation in the annual member survey that occurred at the Annual Meeting and a subsequent discussion among Executive Committee members in our monthly conference call, the Executive Committee unanimously voted to conduct the survey every two years rather than every year. The cost savings, burden, potential compromise of the data due to low response rates, and limited need for annual data given how the information is used were all drivers in this decision.

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, provided an update on planning for the AASRO Lunch to be held on Saturday, May 17th, at the AAPOR Conference. The speaker will be Mario Callegaro from Google who will be speaking on the exciting topic of "The Challenges of Surveying in a Multi-Device World”. If you have not RSVP’d for the lunch or need to make a change to a current RSVP, please let Marc know (mdw@ejb.rutgers.edu) as soon as possible. Marc is also continuing preparations for next year’s annual meeting (please plan to join us in New Brunswick, NJ from March 5-7, 2015!) and will be soliciting ideas for sessions after the AAPOR Conference. Please start thinking about sessions you’d like to see at next year’s meeting.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in February 2014

The Executive Committee held its February meeting by conference call on February 19th from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the February meeting were:

- Tim Johnson, Chair of the Program Committee, is making final preparations and finalizing the agenda for the Annual Meeting. There are a number of participants signed up for the Second City and Chicago Bus Tour events, and if members have not signed up for those but would like to, they should contact Tim (timj@uic.edu) to see if there are remaining spots available. The Greeting Committee suggested that an overview of the AASRO website be added to the Annual Meeting program and Tim will add this to the program. This year, we will be trying something new at the Thursday dinner. A table will be set up for each AASRO committee and members will be able to express interest and talk with Committee chairs about possible participation for the upcoming year. We think this will be a great way to kick start strong participation in our committees for the coming year.

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth reported that we have 43 member organizations who have paid dues for 2014 (UPDATE: As of 3/4/2014, this number is 51). Jolene is reaching out to past members who have not renewed and will make a membership recruitment push for known academic survey centers that are not yet members following the Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee also discussed whether to develop full international capability in accepting credit card dues payments or to limit credit card payments to the US and Canada. Since we have no indication of international interest in AASRO beyond the US and Canada at this time, it was decided to limit credit card payments to the US and Canada. Jolene will work with Jake Gaylor, our programming consultant, to develop the capacity to accept Canadian credit card payments for 2015.

- Incoming Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra is making final changes to the 2014 budget and will present it at the Annual Meeting. As noted in our last update, Stripe (the vendor used for online processing of credit cards for membership renewal) takes 3.1% out of each transaction for a processing fee. The Executive Committee decided that in 2015 the transaction fee will be added to the dues amount for those who pay online by credit card, so that AASRO can recover the full dues payment amount. This will not affect membership renewals for 2014.

- Shirley Huck, Chair of the Awards Committee, reported that the Committee expects to have the press releases for the Kennedy Award and Tarnai Scholarship ready shortly. These will be released this week in conjunction with presentation of the awards at the Annual Meeting.

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, reported by email that his Committee is pulling together the last of the member survey data and is preparing a report to be presented at the Annual Meeting.

- Susan Willis, Chair of the Mentoring and Peer Review Committee, briefed the Committee on the status of various upcoming requests for Center peer reviews. Susan highlighted the great value of this Committee in being able to quickly mobilize a team to meet an urgent need for a review from one of our centers.

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