John M. Kennedy Achievement Award

John Kennedy served as Director of the Center for Survey Research at Indiana University from 1987 to 2011. He organized meetings of the academic survey center directors at AAPOR meetings for many years before AASRO was formally organized, and was appointed the first Past President of AASRO when the Association was formed. In 2010, he hosted the annual AASRO meeting at Indiana University. AASRO’s annual award for service and leadership to academic survey research is named in John’s honor, and has been given annually to an academic survey research professional since 2012. The criteria for this award include the following:

  • 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.

Past recipients of this award include the following colleagues:

2017 – Thomas Guterbock, Center for Survey Research, University of Virginia

2016 – Ronald Langley, Survey Research Center, University of Kentucky

2015 – Robert Oldendick, Survey Research Laboratory, University of South Carolina

2014 – Martha Van Haitsma, University of Chicago Survey Lab

2013 – John Tarnai, Social & Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University

2012 – John Kennedy, Center for Survey Research, Indiana University

Contributing to the Kennedy Achievement Award

Contributions to the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award can be made at www.aasro.org/donations/, or by contacting AASRO’s Treasurer, Christy Storey, at the Kennesaw State University A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service & Research: cstorey@kennesaw.edu.

All donations are tax deductible.


John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship

Throughout his career, John Tarnai was a committed member and contributor to meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the International Field Directors and Field Technologies Conference (IFD&FTC). He recognized these gatherings as far more than just opportunities to share one’s latest research accomplishments. They were training grounds through which survey professionals – some experienced and some taking their first steps in the field – could engage in a conversation about the work and the profession. In the course of these conversations, those new to the field could better understand what survey research is all about – the methodological and operational challenges, the career opportunities, the professional community, and the importance of collective problem solving in a rapidly changing technological, cultural and political environment.

Many  years  prior to becoming its Director, John persuaded the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University to provide funding support for various staff besides faculty to attend either AAPOR or Field Directors conferences because he believed that when they returned they would better understand and contribute to the survey work in which they were engaged. For many who attended through John’s efforts, the experience was life changing. Finding ways to extend the training and mentoring of the next generation of survey researchers became one of his passions.

AASRO remains concerned with strengthening academic survey research organizations and preparing our members for the future so that the academic disciplines that depend upon survey data will thrive and bear fruit for us all. That requires continually preparing the next generation of survey research professionals.

It is to that purpose and to honor our colleague that AASRO established the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund. Since 2012, scholarships have been awarded annually to selected staff members of academic survey organizations for expenses associated with attending the annual meetings of AAPOR and/or the IFD&TC.

Past recipients of this award have included the following colleagues:

2017 – Matthew Strawn, Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University

2016 – Ashley Koning, Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, Rutgers University

2015 – Nathan Palmer, Social & Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University

2014 – Kyle Davis, Office for Survey Research, Michigan State University

2013 – Alycia Cameron, Center for Survey Research, Indiana University

Contributing to the Tarnai Memorial Scholarship

Contributions to the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made at www.aasro.org/donations/, or by contacting AASRO’s Treasurer, Christy Storey, at the Kennesaw State University A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service & Research: cstorey@kennesaw.edu.

All donations are tax deductible.