John Bartko Provides Scholarship to Promising Students

The mission of the American Statistical Association is to support excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science. When you consider the activities that contribute to this goal, it is likely the list includes meetings, education, accreditation, and publications. Not captured in this list is the willingness of the community to support students and early-career statisticians. John Bartko acted on this commitment to ensuring excellence by providing a scholarship so students and early-career statisticians will be able to actively participate in the professional community.

John Bartko

The deadline to submit an application for this scholarship has passed, but it will be awarded annually to help promising young statisticians attend the ASA Conference on Statistical Practice. The award will provide up to $1,000 for registration and travel support. To be eligible for the award, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen who is in at least the second year of a master’s degree program in statistics or biostatistics or who has completed such a program within the two years prior to the award date.

Bartko joined the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and was stationed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where he served for 33 years until his retirement in 1995. His professional accomplishments include being an ASA fellow, PSTAT-accredited statistician, and past statistical editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. His contributions to the corps continued after retirement. In 2000, he became a founder of the Commissioned Corps Music Ensemble, the first time the corps formalized a volunteer musical group, becoming the “Surgeon General’s Own.”

Bartko shared this reflection on his motivation for endowing this award. “Statistics has provided me with a wonderfully fulfilling professional life. My career spans 33 years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, followed by 20 years as a consultant. I count attendance at the annual ASA meetings important adjuncts to my professional development. The former smaller ASA winter meetings were special in that they allowed for more focused statistical topics and networking. The current CSP meetings offer these same advantages and additionally provide invaluable statistical practice educational tools and promote career development for younger statisticians. These meetings are so important that it is my desire to provide support to others, allowing them to experience their professional richness.”