Committee on Career Development Announces Initiative Lineup

Claire McKay Bowen is lead data scientist of privacy and data security at the Urban Institute and chair of the ASA Committee on Career Development. Follow her on Twitter: @ClaireMKBowen.
Elizabeth MannshardtElizabeth Mannshardt is an adjunct associate professor in the department of statistics at North Carolina State University, associate director of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Information Access and Analytic Services Division, chair-elect of the ASA Section on Statistics and the Environment, and vice chair of the ASA Committee on Career Development.

The ASA Committee on Career Development (ASA CCD) provides support for and information about careers in statistics. ASA CCD hosts events at the Joint Statistical Meetings and offers webinars and office hours. Additionally, the committee’s website includes resources for professional development and mentoring.

ASA CCD has planned the following virtual initiatives for 2021 with the goal of encouraging interaction and connection among participants and the statistical community. All ASA CCD events are free.

JSM Virtual Guided Networking Session

The ASA CCD will again host the JSM Virtual Guided Networking Session with the goal of helping students and early-career statisticians prepare for virtual JSM 2021. This networking social aims to provide a friendly environment for students and early-career statisticians to practice meeting and greeting volunteer mid- to late-career professionals from academia, industry, and government.

Jeri Mulrow and Patricia Hu will be the featured speakers for this networking event. Mulrow is the vice president and director of statistical and evaluation sciences at Westat. She recently served as the principal deputy director for the Bureau of Justice Statistics and was previously the deputy division director for the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation.

Hu is the director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Previously, she was the director of the Center for Transportation Analysis at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ASA CCD is looking for mid- to late-career professionals from academia, industry, and government to attend the session and provide students and early-career statisticians with the opportunity to practice virtual networking. The more volunteers, the better. Students and early-career professionals will “rotate” through the crowd.

Left: Jeri Mulrow, vice president and director of statistical and evaluation sciences at Westat; Right: Patricia (Pat) Hu, director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Registration for both young professionals and volunteer mentors is open for the session, which will take place August 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT. JSM registration is not required.

The 2020 JSM Virtual Guided Networking Session featured ASA President Rob Santos, Emma Benn of Mount Sinai, and Karen Price of Eli Lilly and focused on networking using social media, interviewing virtually, and working remotely. Santos offered advice about staging your virtual interview space, Benn discussed the benefits of having a professional virtual presence and networking via social media, and Price revealed tricks for maximizing your remote working skills.

Career Path Webinar Series

ASA CCD launched its first webinar series, Along Your Career Path in Statistics and Data Science, with “Early Data Science Careers and the Job Search Process” in April. More than 60 people attended. A panel of representatives from industry, academia, and the government spoke about possible career paths in statistics and data science and provided tips for the job search and application process. Panelists included Nancy Murray, a statistician at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and biostatistics PhD candidate at Emory University; Won Chang, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati; and Diane (Di) Michelson of JMP. The panel was moderated by Ruth Hummel and hosted by ASA Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach Donna LaLonde.

Left: Nancy Murray, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Center: Won Chang, University of Cincinnati; Right: Diane Michelson, JMP

Each panelist expressed what they appreciate about their type of work and why they chose the path they did. Michelson enjoys variety and wanted to be in industry so she could do something different every day. Murray enjoys a mix of coding and communication in her day-to-day work and appreciates the work-life balance working for a government agency gives her. Chang appreciates a flexible schedule and being able to figure out one’s own best direction, which she gets working in academia. Each commented that there are many types of careers in data science and statisticians and data scientists learn methods that can be applied to numerous areas. A common theme among all three was the importance of communication in their work.

Get details and further takeaways from the first webinar on the ASA CCD website.

Register for the next webinar in the series, “Career Next-Steps and Promotions,” which will take place June 11 at 1 p.m. EDT and feature Bo Li, professor and chair of the department of statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Adrian Coles, senior research scientist at Eli Lilly; and Elizabeth Mannshardt, associate director of the Information Access and Analytic Services Division at the US Environmental Protection Agency. LaLonde will moderate. A recording of the webinar will be available on the ASA CCD website.

Technology Adoptions: Online Portfolio

Another ASA CCD initiative is to provide resources in technology adoptions for expanding your online portfolio via resources such as Netlify for blog hosting, Hugo for blog site generation, R blogdown for blog content, and RStudio and GitHub for pulling it all together. Look for an introduction to Git and ideas for how to use a blog to communicate technical ability.

If you are interested in contributing to the CCD’s portfolio initiative, contact CCD Chair Claire McKay Bowen.

If you have ideas for career development opportunities or are interested in serving on the ASA CCD in 2022, contact Bowen or the CCD vice chair Elizabeth Mannshardt.

View all 2021 offerings from the Committee on Career Development.