News Archives 2012

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

12/27/12

New Angles on Angler Activity Data Collection Provided by Westat

For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Marine Fisheries Service, Westat will provide innovative approaches to estimate saltwater fishing participation, fishing effort, and catch in the United States.

This new project is the latest in a series of efforts to assist NOAA Fisheries in transitioning from a random digit dialing telephone survey of households to a dual-frame approach involving an address-based sample (ABS) of all households in selected states and a list sample of anglers with licenses to saltwater fish in those states.

The sampling design for the new survey differs considerably from the dual-frame designs tested previously. The main sampling innovation is the elimination of the difficult task of matching ABS and angler license samples to determine probabilities of selection that are critical to the development of the weights. Instead, matching is done before data collection, and the ABS frame is stratified into matched and unmatched addresses, with matched addresses sampled at a higher rate.

The benefits of this scheme are that the matching improves sample efficiency and does not risk bias associated with identifying the overlap domain that was an issue in previous dual-frame surveys. The license frame is then used only to sample out-of-state anglers.

The other main innovation in the new design is the move to a single phase rather than a two-phase survey.

Westat will carry out sampling, mail survey data collection, and data processing for the new survey. This study will assess the feasibility of the design in terms of response, coverage, measurement, timeliness, and cost.

The project includes several experiments and options to continue exploring the most efficient and effective method for obtaining survey estimates of saltwater recreational fishing.

For more information: Contact Westat

12/18/12

U.S. Army Taps Westat to Conduct First Survey of Crime Within the Army Community

For the Office of the Provost Marshal General, U.S. Army, Westat will be conducting the 2012 Army Crime Victimization Survey (ACVS) to determine the extent, severity, and types of unreported crime within the Army community. This survey effort, the first of its kind for the Army, will provide data to enhance both preventive and response efforts.

This new survey will be based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) in which Westat has had a design role. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders. The Army will benchmark ACVS results against the NCVS.

A web-based survey, the ACVS will be administered to soldiers (active Army, as well as activated Army Reservists and Army National Guardsmen) and their family members.

Westat will handle sampling frame development and sample selection; survey development, deployment, and tracking; data cleaning and weighting; and data analysis and reporting.

For more information: Contact Westat

12/12/12

Westat to Support CSAP in Meeting Federal Reporting Requirements

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's (CSAP's) Data Collection, Analyses, and Reporting (DCAR) project provides CSAP with a centralized resource for substance abuse prevention data and analyses. Westat will support CSAP in meeting reporting requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010 and the National Outcome Measures (NOMs).

Westat's DCAR will

  • Provide a web-based system for collecting program performance and monitoring data from CSAP grantees and selected contractors, including providing user training and help desk support, in collaboration with KIT Solutions, Inc.
  • Analyze and report performance data from grant programs and selected contracts to assess the extent to which CSAP is meeting its programmatic goals and objectives
  • Complete the national cross-site evaluations of the Minority AIDS Initiative and the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) program

For more information: Contact Westat

12/05/12

FLASHE Moves Forward with Westat for Parent-Teen Study

For the National Cancer Institute, Westat will administer FLASHE, a national study of parent-teen pairs focusing on the psychosocial, intergenerational, and environmental connections of healthy diet and exercise behaviors.

FLASHE stands for Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating Study. It is a one-time administration of a nationally representative sample of 11- to 18-year-olds paired with a parent.

Approximately 4,500 parent/adolescent pairs will be recruited for the study. We will then conduct

  • A dietary patterns screener validation study with 450 pairs (2 mail surveys and 3 telephone interviews)
  • FLASHE surveys with the full sample (each completing 1 or 2 mail surveys)
  • Data collection in which all adolescents are asked to wear motion sensors

Westat will create combined analytic databases and data sets, and conduct analyses.

For more information: Contact Westat

11/29/12

Roger Tourangeau to Serve as an Editor of the New Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology

Roger Tourangeau, Ph.D., a Westat Vice President and internationally renowned survey methodologist, will serve as the editor for methodological papers for a new interdisciplinary journal, the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology(external site) [*]. The journal is jointly sponsored by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Oxford University Press will begin publishing the journal in 2013.

Joseph Sedransk, Ph.D., will serve as the editor for statistical papers. He is professor emeritus of statistics at Case Western Reserve University.

The Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology will publish cutting-edge articles about statistical and methodological issues for sample surveys, censuses, administrative record systems, and other related data. It aims to be the flagship journal for research on survey statistics and methodology. The journal will also publish empirical, theoretical, and applied papers, and will review papers.

According to Dr. Tourangeau, "This journal fills an important gap by providing a high-quality outlet for work on survey methods and survey statistics. It is also represents an important first?a major joint venture between the ASA and AAPOR, two organizations that have not worked together in this way in the past."

For more information: Contact Westat

11/27/12

GIS Mapping Technology for Improved Transportation Safety Meeting Features Westat Research

Westat staff will be participating at the National Transportation Safety Board?s (NTSB?s) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Transportation Safety(external site) [*] conference in Washington, DC, December 4-5, 2012. The conference, held at NTSB?s headquarters, will explore the use of GIS in analyzing and preventing transportation accidents.

GIS is a rapidly expanding group of technologies and analytical techniques that uses geographically referenced data to support complex data integration, advanced statistical analysis, precise investigation and effective visualization of data.

The meeting will bring researchers and practitioners in transportation safety and GIS together to discuss how GIS data, technologies, and techniques are applied to improve safety in all modes of transportation.

Westat staff members Michael Giangrande, Matthew Airola, and Emily Burkhardt will present Using GIS to Design and Manage an Observational Seat Belt Survey, a series of three posters about the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). NOPUS is conducted every year at approximately 2,000 sites and provides reliable national estimates of restraint use in passenger vehicles and helmet use by motorcyclists. Westat has conducted the study since 1999.

For more information: Contact Westat

11/12/12

International Cancer Screening Network Meeting Includes Westat Research

Westat staff participated at the International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) Biennial Meeting in Sydney, Australia, October 23-25, 2012. The meeting was cosponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Sydney International Breast Cancer Congress. The ICSN is dedicated to collaborative research aimed at identifying and fostering efficient and effective approaches to cancer control worldwide through population-based screening.

The ICSN is a voluntary consortium of countries that have active population-based cancer screening programs. The consortium was established in 1988 and has since grown to encompass 33 countries and addresses screening for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers.

The following Westat staff presented at the meeting.

Brenda Brewer and Nancy Payte. (Poster.)
Which U.S. Smokers Will Comply with Recommendations for Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Radiation Dose Helical CT? Best Guesses from Using Data from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST).
Susan Yurgalevitch. (Poster.)
The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening: Trial Biorepository of High-Quality Biospecimens.

For more information: Contact Westat

11/05/12

News Release: Westat Acquires GeoStats

Westat, a leading research organization, and GeoStats, a transportation research and geospatial (GPS, GIS) technology company, have combined their capabilities with Westat's acquisition of GeoStats on November 1, 2012. This brings together their combined skills and experience in providing research services to Federal, state, and local governments and non-government clients.

Westat is an employee-owned professional services company headquartered in Rockville, MD, with total revenues of about $500 million. Since 1963, Westat has performed many national and international statistical research projects in health, education, energy, transportation, human services, and other fields.

GeoStats, founded in 2000, is a research and technology company recognized for its expertise in advanced technologies for the collection, analysis, and presentation of geospatial mobility and physical activity data. GeoStats staff and operations will continue to be located in Atlanta, GA. Jean Wolf, Ph.D., founder of GeoStats, has been appointed to the Westat Management Group.

For further information about Westat and GeoStats, visit www.Westat.com and www.GeoStats.com(external site) [*].

Contact:








Mark Freedman
Vice President, Westat
Email: MarkFreedman@Westat.com
Phone: 301-294-2857

Jean Wolf, Ph.D.
President, GeoStats
Email: JWolf@GeoStats.com
Phone: 404-588-1004

11/05/12

Texas Transportation Institute Conference on Household Travel Surveys to Feature Westat Staff

Texas A&M University?s Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Household Travel Survey Symposium(external site) [*] will be held in Dallas, Texas, November 8-9, 2012. Westat is a sponsor of the symposium, and our staff will share our expertise in designing and conducting household travel surveys.

The symposium?s theme is Travel Surveys: Moving from Tradition to Practical Innovation. The symposium will gather travel behavior experts and researchers from across the United States to discuss topics such as the use of innovative technology for data collection, survey design, cost-effective means of increasing survey participation, and efficient and effective sampling methodology. There will also be a discussion on drafting effective requests for proposals (RFPs) based on lessons learned in prior surveys. A portion of the symposium will focus on identifying applied research needs to move forward the state-of-the-practice and identifying funding options for such research.

Based on our experience in directing household travel surveys, Westat staff members were invited to moderate discussion groups. Susan Swain will co-moderate the session discussing the topic, What Are Our Research Priorities and How Do We Fund Them? Jesse Casas will co-moderate the session, How Do We Carry Forward This Information into Current RFPs?

Susan Swain will also be presenting the following poster, Comparing Two Similar but Different Address-Based Sampling Methodologies: Recruiting Households into Regional Travel Surveys, which provides an overview of the methodology used in two recent regional household travel studies.

For more information: Contact Westat

11/01/12

Innovations Exchange Site Recognized for Achievement in Web Development

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) Health Care Innovations Exchange was honored with a 2012 Health Care Standard of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development(external site) [*] by the Web Marketing Association. Westat operates and maintains the Innovations Exchange web site in conjunction with Silverchair.

Launched in 2008, the Innovations Exchange(external site) [*] attracts more than 30,000 visitors monthly and reaches more than 45,000 subscribers. The site offers

  • Detailed profiles of more than 725 health care innovations
  • 1,500 QualityTools for promoting health care quality
  • Expert articles and commentaries
  • Variety of learning and networking opportunities

The WebAward Competition recognizes the best web sites in 96 industries.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/29/12

Hard-to-Reach Populations Conference Features Westat Staff Papers and Presentations

Researchers from Westat will be participating as presenters, discussants, and chairs in the first International Conference on Methods for Counting and Surveying Hard-to-Reach Populations (H2R)(external site) [*]. The conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from October 31 to November 4.

The conference will bring together survey methodologists, sociologists, statisticians, demographers, ethnographers, policy analysts, and other professionals from around the world to present new and innovative concepts and techniques for surveying hard-to-reach populations. The conference will address both the statistical and survey design aspects of including hard-to-reach groups.

Westat is a conference sponsor, and Brad Edwards, a Westat Vice President, is Conference Co-Chair. A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the online program(external site) [*].

Brad Edwards. (Session Chair.)
Hidden and Stigmatized Populations: The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System and Other Research.
Brad Edwards. (Session Chair.)
Multi-Method Challenges and Approaches to Studying the Hard-to-Reach.
Sherman Edwards.
Challenges in Completing Interviews with Latinos in the California Health Interview Survey.
Ismael Flores Cervantes and Michael J. Brick.
Oversampling Small Low-Income Communities in California Using Telephone Surveys.
Graham Kalton. (Invited paper.)
Sampling Elusive and Mobile Populations.
Aaron Maitland. (Discussant.)
Those Kids Today: Surveying Children and Young People.
Louis Rizzo.
The "Most Mobile Human Population": Sampling Long-Haul Truckers Through a National Truck Stop Sample.
Roger Tourangeau. (Invited paper.)
Defining and Measuring Hard-to-Survey Populations.
Roger Tourangeau. (Session Chair.)
Strategies for Sampling, Surveying, and Estimating Homeless Populations.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/26/12

Health IT Framework Findings by Westat Presented at AMIA

Westat researchers developed and published a comprehensive health IT organizational framework that builds on current theories and models to organize and capture knowledge on the implementation, use, and optimization of health IT. Westat will present its findings at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, held November 3-7, 2012.

Westat staff members Colene Byrne, Eric Pan, Cynthia Russell, Scott Finley, and Helga Rippen coauthored the paper, Applying an Organizational Framework for Health Information Technology to Alerts.

This framework was applied to clinical decision support alerts such as alerts for drug interactions and clinical care reminders in order to assess how useful and robust the framework is in identifying and categorizing research findings and context about alerts.

The framework provides a strong starting point for identifying the important facets and characteristics associated with the implementation of alerts.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/17/12

AEA Conference Features Westat Staff Papers and Presentations

Researchers from Westat will be participating as presenters, discussants, panel chairs, and topical interest group leaders at the 26th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association (AEA)(external site) [*]. The conference, whose theme is Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, Relevance, will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from October 24-27, 2012.

Westat is a conference sponsor and will be hosting an exhibit booth in the AEA exhibit area at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Westat staff will be available to discuss our experience and qualifications in designing and conducting evaluations.

A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the online program(external site) [*].

Jennifer Berktold and Joseph Sonnefeld.
Use of an Analytic Rubric to Evaluate Dissemination Strategies for Evidence-Based Interventions.
David Bernstein.
Evaluation and Performance Measurement Use in Government: Use This Use.
Joy Frechtling, Atsushi Miyaoka, and Maura Spiegelman.
Results of Program-Wide Surveys of Mentors and Trainees from 46 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Initiatives.
Jennifer Hamilton.
Federal Government Evaluation and Contractor Communication: The Role of Formal and Informal Communication.
Kathryn Henderson.
Comparison Quandaries: The Challenges of Using Retrospective Administrative Data to Create Comparison Groups.
Phuong Hoang.
Effect of Senior Health Center Team Care on Patients' Use of Within-Network Services in a Vertically Integrated Healthcare Network.
Christopher Lysy.
Evaluation and Gamification.
Debra Rog.
Evaluating Systems Change: Use of Adaptive Evaluation Design and Practice.
Debra Rog.
When One Comparison Is Not Enough: An Example of Multiple Comparisons in a Single Evaluation.
Michael Steketee, Molly Hershey-Arista, Gary Silverstein, and Joy Frechtling.
Evaluating National Science Foundation's Math and Science Partnership-Start Program Using Survey Data and 2-Mode Social Network Analysis.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/04/12

Westat to Continue Administering an NSF Management Info System

Westat will continue to administer a management information system (MIS) for the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Learning Network. Westat developed the system and has been using the MIS to collect annual data from individual MSP projects since the 2002-03 school year.

The MIS is used to obtain data from project principal investigators, as well as the following types of participants

  • Institutions of higher education (IHEs)
  • IHE faculty
  • K-12 districts and schools
  • Teacher leaders

In addition to administering the surveys that make up the system, Westat provides annual reports that summarize trends for the overall MSP program and uses the data to conduct special studies that examine specific topics in greater detail.

MIS data are used to

  • Provide NSF and other stakeholders with timely information on the implementation and impact of the overall MSP program
  • Allow program officers to assess the annual progress of their projects
  • Guide the planning and evaluation efforts of individual projects

For more information: Contact Westat

09/21/12

22nd Annual Morris Hansen Lecture on the Role of the "Westats"; October 9, 2012

Kenneth Prewitt, Ph.D., vice president for Global Centers and Carnegie professor of public affairs at Columbia University, will give the 22nd Annual Morris Hansen Lecture on Tuesday, October 9, at 3:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) South Building in Washington, DC.

Dr. Prewitt will discuss the role of the "Westats" (Westat, NORC, RTI International, Abt Associates, Mathematica Policy Research, etc.) in partnering the expansion of government support for (and influence over) policy and research-relevant survey databases and in facilitating the arrival of "big social science" in the 1960s. How have and why is it important that these contractors avoided the partisanship now prevalent among think tanks? He notes that the answer instructs us in whether social science can engage sites where power roams and yet not compromise the praised principle to speak truth to power.

Discussants include Margo Anderson, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who specializes in the social history of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, and Dan Gaylin, executive vice president for Research Programs at NORC at the University of Chicago.

The Morris Hansen Lecture series(external site) [*] is sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS), Westat, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The lecture will be held at the USDA's South Building is between 12th and 14th Streets at the Smithsonian Metro Stop (Blue/Orange Lines). Enter through Wing 5 or Wing 7 from Independence Avenue. (The special assistance entrance is at 12th Street and Independence Avenue.) A photo ID is required. Please preregister online(external site) [*] for this event to help facilitate access to the building.

The Morris Hansen Lecture series was established by WSS in 1990 with a financial grant from Westat. The series seeks to achieve balance between theory, applications, and policy and to highlight the diversity of disciplines that inform survey practice.

This lecture series was created to honor Morris Hansen, a former Westat Chairman of the Board. His pioneering contributions to survey sampling and related statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the Census Bureau and at Westat established many standards and methods, mostly still in use, for the conduct of surveys. In 1996 and 2006, Westat made additional financial contributions to WSS so that the Hansen Lecture series could continue.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/19/12

Clinical Data Management Conference to Be Attended by Westat Staff

Westat staff will attend this year's Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM) Annual Conference(external site) [*]. The conference will be held in Los Angeles, California, September 22-25, 2012.

The focus of this year's conference is on today's challenges in the clinical data management field such as

  • How advanced technologies are changing the data management landscape
  • How clinical data managers can work together with other teams to achieve success

The SCDM Annual Conference is the world's largest education event for clinical data managers and related professionals, attracting more than 600 attendees from across North America and around the world.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/14/12

Med 2.0'12 to Feature Westat Expertise

Westat will be presenting at the 5th World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health in Medicine (Medicine 2.0'12)(external site) [*] on September 15-16, 2012, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Westat's Senior Director of Digital Media, Amelia Burke-Garcia, will present The Ryan Gosling Effect: Tapping into Viral Memes to Change Health Behavior (external site) [*] and is co-author of another presentation, Use of Social Media for Engaging Communities of Color in Child Health Dialogue (external site) [*]. Ms. Burke-Garcia will also chair two sessions at the conference.

Medicine 2.0'12, an annual open, international conference on Web 2.0 applications in health and medicine, will bring together more than 500 researchers, health care practitioners, and digital/social media experts from around the world to identify evidence for effective health 2.0 practices.

The conference is sponsored by the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, the International Medical Informatics Association, and the Centre for Health Informatics Research and Development (CHIRAD).

For more information: Contact Westat

09/14/12

Clinical Research Society Conference Includes Westat Research

Westat staff will be participating in the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) 21st Annual Conference (external site) [*] in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 21-23, 2012. Nearly 1,000 clinical research professionals will attend the meeting, which focuses on continuing education and professional development.

Westat staff (names in bold) will be presenting the following poster.

Martha Hering, Karen Martier, Anita Nelson, Ravi Rajaram, and Megan Rossmann.
Utilizing an Existing Clinical Trials Infrastructure to Support Novel Collaborations: The NCI-Sponsored Cancer Trials Support Unit's "Flex" Program.

This poster describes the 2007 expansion of the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) portfolio to coordination of services for a broader range of trials and collaborators across three different National Cancer Institute programs: the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, Division of Cancer Prevention, and the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials. This expansion, named CTSU "Flex" to emphasize the flexible nature of the program, leverages the technical services and coordinating experience of the CTSU to support new trial types (e.g., cancer prevention; phase I/II endpoints) and promote partnerships with new collaborators (e.g., Phase 2 Consortia; NCI Center for Cancer Research; Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network).

For more information: Contact Westat

09/11/12

HIV Pediatrics Workshop Includes Westat Research

Westat staff participated in the 4th International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics, July 20-21, 2012, in Washington, DC. This workshop, an affiliated independent event to the International AIDS 2012 Conference, brought together experts from a variety of disciplines, including pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, pharmacology, virology, and epidemiology, to present and discuss current developments in pediatric HIV.

Westat staff (names in bold) co-authored several materials presented at the workshop. This work was done under the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) project.

R. Hazra, K. Megazzini, M. Krauss, W. Queiroz, R. Succi, J. Toibaro, M. Cruz, J. Pinto, J. Pace, and G. Siberry. (Poster.)
Bone Fractures Among HIV-Infected and HIV-Exposed, Uninfected (HEU) Children in Latin America.
C.B. Hofer, D.R. Harris, M.C. Saavedra, J.E. Haberer, J.Romeiro, M.M. Mussi-Pinhata, E. Stankievich, I. Gomes, R. Kreitchmann, J.S. Read, for the NISDI LILAC Study Team. (Abstract Book.)
Adherence to Antiretroviral Prophylaxis During Early Infancy: The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Longitudinal Study in Latin American Countries (LILAC) Study.
E. Joao, L. Freimanis Hance, R. Cohen, J.S. Read, V. Melo, G. Duarte, S. Ivalo, D. Machado, J. Pilotto, and G.K. Siberry. (Abstract Book.)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS): Institutional Policies for Prevention and Rates of Infection in HIV-Infected Women and Their Infants in Latin America.
J.A. Pinto, B. Rutledge, D.R. Harris, C.B. Hofer, M.F. Peixoto, G.K. Siberry, and R. Hazra, for the NISDI Pediatric Study Group 2012. (Poster.)
Long-Term Response to Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in a Latin American Population of Previously Untreated Perinatally HIV-Infected Children.
M.L. Santos Cruz, M. Mussi-Pinhata, J. Monteiro, L. Freimanis Hance, J. Read, J.H. Pilotto, R.A. Cohen, S.K. Stoszek, and G. Siberry. (Poster.)
Nutritional Characteristics of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Their Infants—An NICHD NISDI LILAC Substudy.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/06/12

Westat Expands Portfolio of Digital Media Projects

Westat has been tapped to provide digital media strategy and support for two new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects.

For the Division of Violence Prevention in CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Westat will develop, implement, and evaluate digital media strategies in support of CDC's VetoViolence (external site) [*] campaign. For the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Westat will develop and implement a digital media campaign for CDC's National Influenza Vaccination Campaign, a project that Westat also supports.

These projects join Westat's growing digital media portfolio, which includes digital media strategy, implementation, and evaluation for

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • National Eye Institute
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

For more information: Contact Westat

08/30/12

Educational Effectiveness Research Conference Draws Westat Participation

Westat researchers will be participating at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Fall 2012 Conference (external site) [*], in Washington, DC, September 6-8. The theme for the conference is Effective Partnerships: Linking Practice and Research.

The conference is designed to identify challenges in communication, coordination, and collaboration among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. It also provides an opportunity to share strategies for the creation and evolution of alliances between these constituent groups.

Westat's Jennifer Hamilton, Ph.D., will be chairing a session titled Shining Light into the Black Box of Evaluation, and Westat will be sponsoring a career forum.

For more information: Contact Westat

08/22/12

Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Trust Fund Awardee Announced for 2012

The Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Trust Fund Award for 2012 was awarded to Mark Dahlke for excellent graduate study in survey statistics. The scholarship fund was endowed by Westat to honor our co-founder and long-time leader, the late Edward C. Bryant, Ph.D.

Mark Dahlke is a Ph.D. candidate, instructor, and undergraduate advisor in the Statistics Department of the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University. From 1992-94, Mr. Dahlke attended Oklahoma State University where he received his M.S. degree in applied statistics.

The award was announced at the American Statistical Association (ASA) 2012 Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego, California, held July 28 to August 2, 2012.

The ASA is the world's largest community of statisticians. For 170 years, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy.

For more information: American Statistical Association (external site) [*]

08/15/12

PISA 2015 Taps Westat for Sampling and Weighting, Survey Procedures and Operations

For the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, Westat will be responsible for selecting school and student samples for all participating countries, as well as managing survey procedures and operations. Westat will also carry out sample weighting activities for the final data.

PISA is an international assessment of mathematics, science, and reading literacy among 15-year-olds. PISA is coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries. Westat has been a member of the project's international consortium since the project's inception, and has conducted most of the U.S. administrations of PISA.

Sampling activities will involve working with representatives of each country to finalize the sample design for the country, and Westat and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) will then select the school sample. Working with ACER, we will develop and test student sampling software that each country will use to select the student samples.

For the survey procedures and operations of the study, Westat will also be responsible for

  • Developing and documenting survey operations and quality control procedures
  • Staffing a data quality management system to monitor compliance with PISA technical standards
  • Conducting training programs and convening meetings
  • Preparing technical reports for more than 70 countries

For more information: Contact Westat

08/09/12

NIH Director's Award Goes to Westat Research Team

Four Westat researchers received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Award in July for leading various aspects of deploying a common clinical data management system (CDMS). The researchers were nominated for the prestigious award by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI sponsors the CDMS as part of the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU), which Westat manages.

Westat's Ravi Rajaram, Martha Hering, Karen Martier, and Whitney Smith were named awardees.

In his letter to award recipients, NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., wrote, "your outstanding accomplishments . . . have brought special credit and distinction to you and the NIH."

The CDMS involves coordination across multiple organizations, mostly Cancer Cooperative Groups, located across the country. Implementation of the common CDMS started in 2010, with the CTSU serving as the CDMS Support Center responsible for coordinating and supporting all deployment activities across a large stakeholder community with diverse needs.

For more information: Contact Westat

08/03/12

National Health Communication Conference Features Contributors from Westat

Westat health communications marketing professionals and researchers will participate as session moderators and presenters at the Sixth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media (external site) [*] in Atlanta, Georgia, August 7-9, 2012. Westat is also an exhibitor and conference sponsor.

The conference is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the following co-sponsors: National Public Health Information Coalition and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This year's conference will bring together researchers and practitioners from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, and provides a forum for dialogue within and across the disciplines of health communication, marketing, and media research.

A list of sessions to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows.

TaWanna Berry and Sally Heldrich. (Poster.)
Success in Storytelling: How to Find the "Sticky Factor" In Your Success Stories.
Teresa Brady, Simani Price, and Erin Loomis. (Presentation.)
Marketing Community-Based Programs to Primary Care Practices: Results of a Pilot Test of the 1-2-3 Approach to Provider Outreach.
Amelia Burke-Garcia and Christine Cotter. (Poster.)
The Ryan Gosling Effect: Tapping into Viral Memes to Change Health Behavior.
Kym Collins-Lee, Terry Savage, and Mariana Serrani. (Poster.)
Vision for the Future: The National Eye Institute Health Information Clearinghouse.
Kay Gallagher, Tom Fields, Amelia Burke-Garcia, and Nicole Soufi. (Poster.)
Establishing a Successful Listening Campaign.
Elliot Grant and Stephanie Fears. (Presentation.)
Extending Traditional Clearinghouse Services: Leveraging the Web and Social Media to Disseminate Information.
Ivor Horn, Amelia Burke-Garcia, and Denene Millner. (Presentation.)
Use of Social Media for Engaging Communities of Color in Child Health Dialogue.
Terry Savage. (Moderator.)
Clearing the Air: New Strategies for Smoking Cessation.
Terry Savage. (Moderator.)
The Importance of Audiences.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/31/12

Westat to Continue to Enhance, Support Automated Dietary Recall System

For the National Cancer Institute, Westat will continue to enhance and support the ASA24 (Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recall System). Westat developed the ASA24 system architecture and followed a user-centered design approach to develop a multimedia, web-based user interface for study respondents.

The ASA24 is the most comprehensive self-administered dietary recall system currently available to the research community. It is freely available, codes itself, and incorporates the current versions of several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient databases.

Under a new 7-year contract, Westat will continue to maintain the ASA24 system by applying new releases of USDA databases, and enhancing the user interfaces and usability of the three web sites that make up the system for respondents, researchers, and administrators.

Westat is supporting a version for children as well as a French Canadian version. Two option tasks call for a version of the ASA24 for mobile devices. A demo version is available in English or Spanish.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/24/12

Westat Researchers Participate in Joint Statistical Meetings

Researchers from Westat will be participating as authors, panelists, session chairs, and organizers in this year's Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), to be held in San Diego, California, July 28-August 2, 2012. This year's theme is Statistics: Growing to Serve a Data-Dependent Society. The conference is expected to attract more than 6,000 statisticians from around the world.

JSM is jointly sponsored by the following organizations:

  • American Statistical Association (ASA)
  • International Biometric Society (Eastern and Western North American Regions)
  • Institute of Mathematical Statistics
  • Statistical Society of Canada
  • International Chinese Statistical Association
  • International Indian Statistical Association

Westat has a strong tradition as an active presence at JSM. David Morganstein, ASA Vice President and Westat Vice President and Director of the Statistical Staff, will be attending the ASA Board Meetings. Westat staff will be on hand for presentations and discussions that will cover a wide range of topics, including address-based sampling, small area estimation, and cell phone sampling.

A list of papers, presentations, and sessions to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows. For details on the time and location of each session, refer to the JSM online program.(external site) [*]

J. Michael Brick. (Organizer and Chair).
Statistics and the 2012 Elections.
J. Michael Brick, Jill Montaquila, Daifeng Han, and Douglas Williams.
Mail Surveys Including the Spanish-Speaking Population.
Shelley Brock-Roth, Daifeng Han, and Jill Montaquila.
The ABS Frame: Quality and Considerations.
Mamadou Diallo, and Bob Fay.
Small Area Estimation Alternatives for the National Crime Victimization Survey.
Sylvia Dohrmann, Cindy Good, Jill Montaquila, and Martha Berlin.
Using Address-Based Sampling Frames in Lieu of Traditional Listing: A New Approach
Morgan Earp, Jaki McCarthy, Frauke Kreuter, and Roger Tourangeau.
Analyzing and Adjusting for Nonresponse.
Daifeng Han, J. Michael Brick, and Jill Montaquila.
An Evaluation of Incentive Experiments in a Two-Phase Address-Based Sample Mail Survey.
David Hubble and Ruth A. Brenner.
Sample Design Issues in the National Children's Study.
David Judkins, Andrea Piesse, and Wen-Chau Haung.
Semi-Parametric Imputation of a Large Set of Short Time Series.
Jennifer Kali, Mike Brick, Ismael Flores Cervantes, Greg Norman, and David Grant.
A Review of the Cell Phone Sample Component of the California Health Interview Survey.
Graham Kalton. (Chair).
Poverty Mapping with Complex Survey Data.
Graham Kalton. (Panelist).
Small Population, Big Impact: Improving the Measurement of the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey.
Kwang Kim, Jill Montaquila, and J. Michael Brick.
Transitioning from RDD to ABS in the National Household Education Surveys.
Thanh Le. (Chair).
Cell Phone-Landline Dual Frame (RDD) Surveys: Weighting Issues.
Hyunshik James Lee, Benmei Liu, Irene Prabhu Das, and Mary Fenner.
Variance Estimation for the Multidisciplinary Treatment Planning (MTP) Survey.
Hyunshik James Lee, Tiandong Li, Gwyn R. Ferguson, Chester H. Ponikowski, and Bradley Rhein.
Sample Allocation for the Redesigned National Compensation Survey.
Sharon Lohr.
The Rescaling Bootstrap and Extensions.
David Marker, John W. Rogers, and Maria Smith.
State-Level Estimates of Phosphorus and Nitrogen Levels in Wadeable Streams.
Jill Montaquila. (Organizer and Chair).
Evaluating Two-Phase Mail Survey Methods.
Jill Montaquila and J. Michael Brick.
Transitioning from RDD to ABS with Mail as the Primary Mode.
Lou Rizzo, Jane Li, Yong Lee, Babette Gutmann, Patty Troppe, Marsha Silverberg, and Meredith Bachman.
A New Approach for Multiway Stratification: School Sampling in Charting the Progress of Education Reform: An Evaluation of the Recovery Act's Role.
Cong Ye and Roger Tourangeau.
Assessing Effectiveness of Nonresponse Adjustment Methods: Response Propensity Weighting and Generalized Regression Calibration Estimation.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/16/12

Westat to Participate at International AIDS 2012 Conference

Westat will be participating at the International AIDS 2012 Conference, July 22-27 in Washington, DC. The conference is the premier meeting for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policymakers, persons living with HIV, and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is an opportunity to be informed of recent scientific developments and lessons learned, and for HIV-interested persons to plan the future direction of HIV research.

Attendees are encouraged to stop by Westat's exhibit, Booth #36 in Exhibit Hall C, to meet Westat staff and learn about our capabilities, projects, and career opportunities.

Westat's Moussa Sarr, M.D., will presenting a paper at the conference: The Community PROMISE and Enhanced Community PROMISE Interventions Among Female Sex Workers in the Dakar Region, Senegal.

Be sure to check the full program of events (external site) [*] for specific information on the various presentations and sessions that will be held during the conference.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/12/12

Sharon Lohr, Ph.D., Joins Westat

Sharon Lohr, Ph.D., has joined Westat as a Vice President. Dr. Lohr is an internationally renowned survey statistician with an extensive academic background in statistics and survey sampling methods. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and author of the widely used advanced textbook Sampling: Design and Analysis, as well as other books, book chapters, and articles in leading journals.

Dr. Lohr comes to us from a distinguished academic career of 25 years, most recently as Dean's Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Arizona State University and previously as a member of the statistics faculty at the University of Minnesota.

We look forward to working with Dr. Lohr as she joins our organization.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/09/12

FEEDBACK on Feed the Future; Westat to Support USAID Evaluation Efforts

Westat will be providing technical services to the U.S. Agency for International Development and its Country Missions to support monitoring and evaluating efforts for the Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative. The Westat-led effort, known as the FEEDBACK Program, is to provide the best available empirical evidence on results from the FTF Initiative to inform policy, investment, and intervention decisions aimed at improving food security in vulnerable countries.

This effort will be accomplished by

  • Conducting and effectively disseminating the evidence from 27 impact evaluations conducted in 20 countries and two regions (one evaluation each in 15 countries, two each in 5 countries, and two regional evaluations)
  • Enhancing performance monitoring across all FTF countries (including collecting primary performance monitoring data in 9 countries)
  • Managing knowledge of best practices and lessons learned
  • Building in-country capacity to use performance monitoring and impact evaluation to improve results

The 20 focus countries are in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, and Tajikistan), Central America (Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras), eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda), southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia), and western Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Mali, and Senegal).

Westat is leading the effort and partnering with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Technical Assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO) International, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Carolina Population Center.

For more information: Contact Westat

06/27/12

Health Web Sites Recognized with Merit Awards

Two Federal Government agency web sites were recognized with Merit Awards from the 14th Annual Web Health AwardsSM program. Westat developed the sites. This competition, which is held in winter/spring and summer/fall, recognizes the nation's best digital health resources.

These winning entries were chosen from nearly 600 entries judged by a panel of distinguished experts in digital health media.

For more information: Contact Westat

06/21/12

National Dental Practice-Based Research Network Supported by Westat

Westat serves as the Coordinating Center for the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (National Dental PBRN). The network will conduct research on topics important to both dental providers and patients, guiding dental practice improvement and speeding those advances to the patient care arena.

The network's research is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Westat will be providing both scientific and administrative functions and supported by an information technology (IT) component. Westat will provide scientific functions such as

  • Study design and analysis, including protocol development and manuscript preparation
  • Implementation and operations activities, including deploying an innovative data capture, processing, and database management system for a wide range of practitioners
  • Information dissemination through presentations at academic and clinical venues and via other media

Our administrative functions include establishing

  • A central institutional review board
  • A quality assurance program, including database audits and site performance evaluations
  • Independent study oversight and monitoring through scientific and safety review meetings
  • A practitioner and patient management system
  • Communication activities associated with National Dental PBRN functions

The IT component (ITC) will support the scientific and administrative functions of the National Dental PBRN studies and provide innovative methods to maximize the use of electronic dental records. The ITC will include the infrastructure needed to collect, process, manage, store, and analyze information collected from National Dental PBRN protocols. It will also include an enterprise system for managing administrative functions related to protocol management, practitioner and patient enrollment and payment, additional financial tasks, regulatory issues, and the security environment.

For more information: Contact Westat

06/11/12

Westat Sponsors the Screening of Sweet Dreams at 2012 SILVERDOCS Festival

Westat is proud to sponsor the screening of the documentary Sweet Dreams at the American Film Institute (AFI)-Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland, during the week-long documentary festival June 18-24, 2012. The SILVERDOCS sponsorship is part of Westat's ongoing support for local arts and other nonprofit organizations.

Sweet Dreams will have the following two screening:

The film by Lisa and Rob Fruchtman features the collaboration between Brooklyn's Blue Marble Ice Cream and the remarkable Rwanda women who created Inzozi Nziza, or Sweet Dreams, from the ashes of the Rwandan genocide. Rwanda's first and only ice cream shop is now the source of sustainable jobs and a reason to celebrate in a country emerging from tragedy.

SILVERDOCS (external site) [*], the premier documentary film festival in the United States, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The festival in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, features the best documentaries from around the world and attracts almost 30,000 attendees annually.

For more information: Contact Westat

06/07/12

Westat-Managed AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Wins Interactive Media Award

The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange (external site) [*], an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) web site designed to speed the implementation of new and better ways of delivering health care, has received an Outstanding Achievement Award in the Interactive Media Awards competition. Westat operates the Innovations Exchange for AHRQ.

The Innovations Exchange was 1 of 16 sites honored among a field of 168 submissions in the health care category for the 2012 awards. The Innovations Exchange won an Outstanding Achievement Award with an overall score of 463 out of a possible 500 points, indicating that the site excelled in all areas considered in the judging process.

The award represents a very high standard of planning, execution, and overall professionalism, according to the Interactive Media Awards (external site) [*], a competition created by the Interactive Media Council, a nonprofit organization of web professionals.

Launched by AHRQ in 2008, the Innovations Exchange attracts more than 30,000 visitors monthly and reaches more than 43,000 subscribers. The site offers detailed profiles of more than 700 health care innovations, 1,500 QualityTools for promoting health care quality, expert articles and commentaries, and a variety of learning and networking opportunities.

For more information: Health Care Innovations Exchange (external site) [*]

06/04/12

Westat to Develop Innovative Crash Data Collection Strategies for NHTSA

Westat will develop and test new concepts for collecting crash data to support crash-worthiness and crash-avoidance programs for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The final research design, data elements, and field protocol will form the basis of NHTSA's crash research program for the next 25 years. The modernized survey will also address the data needs of automakers, auto parts manufacturers, research organizations, and other stakeholders.

This award follows a history of crash investigation work in which Westat has played a key role. Westat began its integral role in crash research 35 years ago in designing the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). This nationally representative crash investigation survey continues to provide annual estimates of crash and injury occurrence in the United States.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/15/12

Society for Clinical Trials Meeting Includes Westat Staff

Westat staff will be participating in this year's Society for Clinical Trials (SCT) (external site) [*]. The meeting will be held in Miami, Florida, May 20-23, 2012.

The SCT engages dialogue on important issues of the day facing clinical trialists. The theme for this year's meeting is Clinical Trials in Vulnerable Populations.

Westat staff members will be available following the presentations/poster sessions to provide meeting attendees an opportunity to learn about our projects and capabilities.

The following Westat staff will be presenting at the meeting.

Brenda Brewer. (Presentation.)
Is an Evolving Chart Audit Plan Necessary in a Long-Term Multi-Center Trial?
Nancy Payte. (Poster.)
The Quality of Medical Record Abstraction in a Multi-Center Study: The Importance of Training.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/10/12

67th Annual Conference on Public Opinion Research Features Westat Expertise

A contingent of Westat staff will be participating at the 2012 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) (external site) [*] in Orlando, Florida, May 17-20, 2012. The theme of this year's conference is Evaluating New Frontiers in Public Opinion and Social Research. Westat staff will be presenting papers, briefs, and posters, as well as serving as session chairs and panelists.

Presentations by Westat staff cover a variety of topics: questionnaire design, mode effects, interviewer training, respondent recruitment and selection mechanisms, multilingual survey design, address-based sampling, and multiphase and multistage survey methods.

A list of papers and presentations contributed by Westat staff (names in bold) follows. Presenters are listed first. For information on Westat's presentation times and locations, poster presentations, or other Westat contributions to the conference, please see the conference program. (external site) [*]

Pat Dean Brick, J. Michael Brick, Rob Andrews, Nancy Mathiowetz, and Lynne Stokes.
Addressing Topic Salience Bias by Questionnaire Design.
Andrew Caporaso, David Cantor, Wendy Hicks, Sean Hu, Carol Pierannunzi, and Lina Balluz.
A Pilot Study to Validate Health Measures on the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System.
Sarah Dipko, Catherine Billington, and Pat Dean Brick.
The Effect of Mode on Participant Responses to Qualitative Research in Virtual Worlds.
Brad Edwards and Laura Branden.
Training Data Collectors for Panel Surveys.
Sherman Edwards, Sarah Dipko, Royce Park, and David Grant.
Using a Hispanic Surname List to Tailor Contacts in an RDD Telephone Survey.
Wendy Hicks and David Cantor.
Evaluating Methods to Select a Respondent for a General Population Mail Survey.
Aaron Maitland, Heather Ridolfo, and James Dahlhamer.
Exploring the Associations of Question, Respondent, and Interviewer Characteristics With Survey Data Quality.
Brett McBride and David Cantor.
Questionnaire Instructions and Respondent Behavior: A Cross-Survey Comparison.
Jill M. Montaquila, J. Michael Brick, and Kwang Kim.
Methodological Findings From a Two-Phase Address-Based Sample Fielded by Mail.
Jocelyn Newsome, Kerry Levin, Pat Dean Brick, Brenda Schafer, and Melissa Vigil.
Best Approaches to Mode Order and Nonresponse Prompting in a Multimode Survey.
Douglas Williams, J. Michael Brick, Jill Montaquila, and Daifeng Han.
Alternative Questionnaire Effects on Response in Mail Surveys.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/04/12

International Blaise Users Conference Featured Westat Research

Westat staff presented papers at the 14th International Blaise Users Conference (IBUC) in London, England, April 23-26, 2012. Westat is the licensor and distributor of Blaise software in North and South America. Jane Shepherd, a Westat Vice President, manages Blaise Services at Westat, providing licensing support and product training to licensees.

Jim O'Reilly, Richard Frey, and Jane Shepherd also represented Westat at the Blaise Corporate License User Board (BCLUB) meetings on Friday April 27, 2012. These meetings are attended by large government statistical agencies in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia, as well as other research organizations.

IBUC is hosted this year by the National Centre for Social Research. It provides an opportunity for collaboration among users of Blaise software for computer-assisted interviewing and web data collection.

The following Westat papers were presented at the conference:

G.J. Boris Allan, Richard Frey, and Jim O'Reilly.
Using Metadata in Manipula and Maniplus.
Richard Frey, Kathleen O'Reagan, and Nona Brown.
Servicing Blaise Instrument Needs in a Multi-Mode Environment: Some Technical Examples.
Jim O'Reilly.
Updating Blaise Accessibility.
Paul Segel and Kathleen O'Reagan.
Extending Blaise Capabilities in Complex Data Collections.
Jane Shepherd and Ray Snowden.
Use of Blaise in Today's Survey Research Environment.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/02/12

SAS Global Forum Featured Westat Staff in Key Roles

Westat staff participated in the SAS Global Forum 2012 conference in Orlando, Florida, April 22-25, 2012. The forum is considered the premier event for SAS professionals worldwide, offering unequaled educational and networking opportunities.

Rick Mitchell, Conference Executive Board member, served an organizational role at the conference. He will be the conference chair for next year's SAS Global Forum 2013, which will be held in San Francisco, California.

Mike Rhoads' paper received the Best Contributed Paper Award for the Applications Development Section. Mr. Rhoads also served as a mentor in the new SAS Global Forum Presenter Mentoring Program.

The list of papers that Westat staff presented follows:

Sig Hermansen.
Superfast SAS SYSTEM® Searches and Fuzzy Linkage of Large Datasets. (external site) [*]
Varma Nadimpalli and Katie Hubbell.
Simplifying the Analysis of Complex Survey Data Using the SAS® Survey Analysis Procedures. (external site) [*]
Michael Raithel.
Managing SAS® Technical Support in a Research Organization. (external site) [*]
Mike Rhoads.
Use the Full Power of SAS® in Your Function-Style Macros. (external site) [*]

For more information: Contact Westat

04/18/12

2012 Federal Survey Information Collection Workshops Include Westat Expertise

Westat staff participated in the 2012 Federal CASIC (Computer-Assisted Survey Information Collection) Workshops in Washington, DC, March 27-29, 2012. Westat Vice Presidents Jane Shepherd and Brad Edwards are the Westat coordinators for this annual workshop series. The series is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.

Westat staff (names in bold) chaired workshops, served on panels, and gave presentations on a variety of current issues.

Karen Brenner. (Presentation.)
Accessibility Testing: The Role of Tools, Screen Readers, and Manual Methods.
Bryan Davis. (Presentation.)
Role of Survey Management Systems in Web-Based Data Collection.
Rick Dulaney, Chris de los Santos, Greg Binzer, and Rick Rogers. (Presentation.)
Innovations: Video Data Collection, Processing, and Coding.
Brad Edwards. (Session Chair.)
Blending CASIC Designs with Administrative Records.
Wendy Hicks, Aaron Maitland, and Brad Edwards. (Presentation.)
Examining Interviewer Behavior in Handling Difficult Cases.
Abie Reifer. (Presentation.)
Recent Innovations.
Abie Reifer, Rick Huey, Rick Mitchell, and Mark Friedman. (Presentation.)
Use of Mobile Technology in Support of Study Recruitment and Field Data Collection.
Sid Schneider, David Cantor, Brad Edwards, and Abie Reifer. (Presentation.)
Administrative Records as a Potential Source of Data for Expenditure Surveys.
Jane Shepherd. (Panel.)
Challenges Related to Stimulating Innovation and Enhancing and Developing Staff Engagement.
Jane Shepherd. (Session Co-Chair.)
Data Management.
Jane Shepherd. (Session Co-Chair.)
Management Challenges in CAI Survey Organizations.
Roger Tourangeau. (Panel.)
Use of Paradata to Improve Survey Quality.

For more information: Contact Westat

04/16/12

Child Abuse and Neglect Conference Includes Westat Research

Westat staff will be participating at the 18th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (external site) [*] in Washington, DC, April 16-20. This year's theme is Celebrating the Past, Imagining the Future in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Children's Bureau.

The conference provides opportunities to forge new partnerships, exchange cutting-edge information on research and practice, review model programs, and learn innovative techniques and strategies.

Westat staff will be available at booth 14 in the Exhibit Hall to showcase our Children, Youth, and Families research.

Papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows.

Theresa Costello, Pamela Bennett, Kim Wieczorek, and Janet Ciarico.
Are We Counting the Things That Count?
Raquel Ellis, Tiffany Allen, and David DeStefano.
Engaging Foster Youth and Their Biological Families: Lessons Learned from the Family Finding Model Evaluation.

For more information: Contact Westat

04/12/12

Educational Research Meeting Features Westat Staff

Several Westat researchers will give presentations at this year's American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting (external site) [*]. The meeting will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 13-17, 2012. The theme for this year's meeting is Non Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough. The aim is to emphasize the use of education research to improve education and serve the public good.

AERA is the most prominent international professional organization advancing the dual goals of education research and its practical application. The annual meeting convenes more than 13,000 education researchers from the United States and abroad.

The following is a list of papers to be presented by Westat staff and coauthors (Westat staff listed in bold).

Frank Jenkins and Elaine Carlson.
The Interactions of Vocabulary, Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, and Reading Comprehension.
Jill Lammert, Karen Sanders, and Linda McDonald.
Research to Practice: Experience from the Ohio School Improvement Diagnostic Review.
Allison Meisch
The Impact of Adding Paid Internships to a Summer Literacy Program for Disconnected Youth.
Stephen E. Roey, Judy H. Tang, Robert Colby Perkins, Janis D. Brown, and Philip H. Morse.
Academic Achievement and Advanced Courses in High School: Do Schools Provide Access and Are Students Taking Advantage of It?
Robert Colby Perkins, Stephen E. Roey, and Philip H. Morse.
Not Being All They Can Be: A Comparison of Four-Year-College-Bound and Military-Bound High School Graduates.
Judy H. Tang, Stephen E. Roey, Robert Colby Perkins, and Philip H. Morse.
The Quality of High School Curriculum and Academic Success: Does Coursework Rigor Translate into Higher Achievement?

For more information: Contact Westat

04/04/12

Tracking Adolescent Risk Behaviors to Be Discussed at Seminar

Researchers will discuss tracking adolescent risk behaviors on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., as part of the 2012 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series.

Many of the risks that youth face are created by their behaviors (unprotected sex, alcohol and substance abuse). Programs to help prevent youth from engaging in risky behavior are well established in Maryland, especially those that address smoking prevention. Presenters will discuss initiatives to reduce unhealthy youth behaviors related to smoking.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850. The seminars are sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

Speakers include Joseph Hawkins and James Ross, both from Westat, as well as Robert Fiedler, Center for Health Promotion, Education, and Tobacco Use Prevention, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The 2012 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series presents the opportunity for social scientists and researchers at the forefront of their study areas to present fact-driven, research-based findings on topics affecting the public.

03/27/12

Autism Spectrum Disorders to Be Discussed at Seminar

Westat staff, researchers, and providers of community-based services will discuss Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., as part of the 2012 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series. ASD is a lifelong disorder. Learn about what information is currently known about adults with ASD, challenges they often face in seeking employment, and effective ways to integrate adults with ASD in the workforce. Presentations will include perspectives at the individual, family, and agency levels.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850. The seminars are sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

Speakers include Tamara Daley, Ph.D., Senior Study Director, and Graham Tubbs, both of Westat, as well as Lennie Gladstone, Admissions Associate, Ivymount School, and Karen Lee, Executive Director, SEEC, Montgomery County.

The 2012 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series presents the opportunity for social scientists and researchers at the forefront of their study areas to present fact-driven, research-based findings on topics affecting the public.

Tracking Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Promoting Healthier Teens in Maryland
(Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.)

Many of the risks that youth face are created by their behaviors (unprotected sex, alcohol and substance abuse). Programs to help prevent youth from engaging in risky behavior are well established in Maryland, especially those that address smoking prevention. Presenters will discuss initiatives to reduce unhealthy youth behaviors related to smoking.

Speakers:
Joseph Hawkins, Senior Study Director, Westat
James Ross, Senior Study Director, Westat
Robert Fiedler, Center for Health Promotion, Maryland Dept. Health & Mental Hygiene

03/13/12

Bryant Scholarship Committee Now Accepting Applications for 2012 Award

Applications for the annual Edward C. Bryant Scholarship for an outstanding graduate student in survey statistics are now being accepted. The American Statistical Association (ASA) has announced April 1 as deadline for the scholarship.

Each year, one eligible student is selected by ASA's Bryant Scholarship Award Committee to receive the $2,500 award. The award will be presented at the 2012 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, July 31.

The committee chooses the recipient based on the following criteria:

  • Potential to contribute to survey statistics,
  • Applied experience in survey statistics, and
  • Performance in graduate school.

Westat established the Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Trust Fund in 1995 to honor its cofounder and chair emeritus. Under Dr. Bryant's leadership, Westat has grown into one of the world's leading statistical research corporations serving Federal, state, and local governments, as well as businesses and foundations.

Applicants must submit an application form and three letters of recommendation by April 1. To apply for the scholarship:

Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Page (external site) [*]

Recommendation letters may be emailed to awards@amstat.org or mailed to:

American Statistical Association (ASA)
732 N. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
ATTN: ASA Awards Liaison

For more information:
Contact Westat
American Statistical Association (external site) [*]

03/09/12

Seminar Series on Contemporary Social Issues Announced for 2012

Integrating individuals with autism into the workplace. Tracking adolescent risk behaviors. These are the issues the Contemporary Social Issues series will review the state of in its spring 2012 seminars.

The 2012 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series presents the opportunity for social scientists and researchers at the forefront of their study areas to present fact-driven, research-based findings on topics affecting the public.

Practitioners in the field bring the findings to life, with examples from real-world local settings. The seminars are sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

Each seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*] , Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

Seminar dates, topics, and speakers include the following:

Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Workforce
(Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disorder. Learn about the current state of ASD, challenges often faced in living with it, and effective ways to integrate adults with ASD in the workforce. Presentations will include perspectives at the individual, family, and agency levels.

Speakers:
Tamara Daley, PhD, Senior Study Director, Westat
Graham Tubbs, Office Assistant, Westat
Lennie Gladstone, Admissions Associate, Ivymount School
Karen Lee, Executive Director, SEEC, Montgomery County

Tracking Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Promoting Healthier Teens in Maryland
(Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.)

Many of the risks that youth face are created by their behaviors (unprotected sex, alcohol and substance abuse). Programs to help prevent youth from engaging in risky behavior are well established in Maryland, especially those that address smoking prevention. Presenters will discuss initiatives to reduce unhealthy youth behaviors related to smoking.

Speakers:
Joseph Hawkins, Senior Study Director, Westat
James Ross, Senior Study Director, Westat
Robert Fiedler, Center for Health Promotion, Maryland Dept. Health & Mental Hygiene

02/21/12

Expanded Requirements of Higher Education Act (HEA) Title II Accountability to Be Supported by Westat

Westat will support the expanded requirements of the Higher Education Act (HEA) Title II Accountability provisions. Westat has provided support to the U.S. Department of Education on the Title II data collection since its inception in 1998.

The 2008 reauthorization of HEA Title II greatly expanded data collection requirements, including far more detailed teacher preparation program (TPP) information.

All TPPs must report separately, effectively increasing the number of respondents to include 59 entities and outlying areas as well as nearly 1,500 traditional and alternative TPPs.

Westat is supporting both state and TPP reporting. General responsibilities include

  • Customer service
  • Outreach and training
  • Enhancing and maintaining a data collection system and public web site
  • Preparing the Secretary's annual report on teacher preparation and certification/licensure

For more information: Contact Westat

02/14/12

Digital Health Communication Conference Features Westat Expert

Amelia Burke, senior director of digital media in Westat's Health Communications Group, is a featured speaker at the Digital Health Communication Extravaganza (external site) [*] (DHCX) in Orlando, Florida, from February 15-17, 2012. Her presentation, Connecting the Dots: Using Social Media to Measure Behavior Change in Public Health Campaigns, uses examples from CDC's influenza vaccination campaign to demonstrate how social media can promote and measure campaign success.

DHCX brings together researchers and practitioners from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to take a deep dive into the digital age as it relates to health communication, education, information, monitoring, marketing, and new media. Participants will discover, discuss, and develop new methods to effectively and efficiently apply digital resources in community and health care settings to obtain optimal behavior changes and health outcomes.

Check the Health Communication Group's Facebook(external site) page and Twitter(external site) feed for live updates from the conference.

For more information: Contact Westat

02/10/12

Westat Staff to Participate at Statistical Practice Conference

Westat staff will be participating at the inaugural American Statistical Association Conference on Statistical Practice (external site) [*] on February 16-18 in Orlando, Florida.

The conference will provide opportunities for attendees to learn new statistical methodologies and best practices in statistical analysis, consulting, and statistical programming.

The program consists of sessions focusing on three main topics: research and development, engineering and operations; business analytics; and communications, impact and career development.

Westat staff participating at the conference are as follows:

  • David Morganstein will give a presentation, Statistical Consulting: Best Practices, and then participate in a panel discussion on consulting.
  • Barnali Das will present a poster, Novel Use of Predictive Marginals in Interpretation of Complex Models.
  • Sylvia Dohrmann is on the organizing committee for the conference.

For more information: Contact Westat

01/17/12

Westat Staff to Participate in Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

Westat staff will be participating in the 91st annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to be held January 22-26, 2012. The theme for the meeting is Transportation: Putting Innovation and People to Work.

The meeting is held in Washington, DC, each year and attracts about 11,000 participants from the Federal and state governments, private industry, and academia worldwide. The TRB conference has 650 sessions covering all modes of transportation, including aviation, marine, rail, and highway, and also hosts workshops and committee meetings.

TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council—a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities.

Westat transportation experts serve as members and friends of numerous committees and are also active participants in conference sessions. Here is a brief rundown of staff activity at the conference. For more details on the time and location of each session, refer to the conference's (external site)interactive program. [*]

  • Mark Freedman has worked with the Travel Survey Methods Committee (ABJ40) for more than 10 years. He is also a friend of the Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Transportation Committee (ANB50), the Occupant Restraint Committee (ANB45), and the Vehicle User Characteristics/Young Drivers Subcommittee (ANB30(1)). Mr. Freedman is also a member of the TRB Task Force on Understanding New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey (ABJ45T).
  • Neil Lerner, Ph.D., will be making an informal presentation on Westat's, Evaluation of a Prototype Safe Teen Car to the Young Driver Subcommittee (ANB30(1)). He also is active in the Vehicle User Characteristics Committee and regularly attends the Human Factors Workshop that immediately precedes the conference.
  • Fran Bents is a friend of the Motorcycle Safety Committee (AND30) and the Truck and Bus Safety Subcommittee (ANB70). Ms. Bents also serves as a friend of the EMS Safety Subcommittee (ANB(10)5).
  • James Jenness, Ph.D., is a member of the Vehicle User Characteristics Committee (AND10) and has served as the paper review coordinator for that committee for the past 2 years.
  • Adele Polson is a member of the Occupant Protection Committee (ANB45) and will provide an update on Westat's restraint use observation projects to the committee.
  • Susan Swain is a member of the TRB Travel Survey Methods Committee (ABJ40).

For more information: Contact Westat

01/01/12

Bob Fay, Ph.D., Elected AAAS Fellow

Westat Senior Scientist Bob Fay has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS cited Dr. Fay for his "major innovative contributions to Federal statistics, and survey sampling theory and practice, particularly in the areas of small area estimation, variance estimation, and imputation."

The election by the AAAS represents recognition by one of the nation's most prestigious science and mathematics bodies. AAAS has selected Fellows since 1874. It is the world's largest general scientific society and includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science.

Dr. Fay came to Westat in 2008 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Census Bureau, where he served as senior mathematical statistician from 1990 to 2007. Since 2009, he's been a research professor at the University of Maryland and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan (through the Joint Program in Survey Methodology).

A member of AAAS since 1987, Dr. Fay currently chairs the American Statistical Association Committee of Representatives to AAAS. He has served on the Board of Reviewing Editors of the AAAS journal, Science, as well as been a frequent peer reviewer of submissions to the journal. He has published in Science as well.

For more information: Contact Westat

01/06/12

Roger Tourangeau, Ph.D., Joins Westat

Roger Tourangeau, Ph.D., has joined Westat as a Vice President. Dr. Tourangeau is an internationally renowned survey methodologist with an extensive research background in statistics and survey research methods. He has authored several books and book chapters, and has published many articles in a wide variety of leading journals.

For the last decade, Dr. Tourangeau was a professor at the University of Michigan and served as the director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. Prior to that time he worked at various organizations, including NORC and Gallup.

Dr. Tourangeau will join J. Michael Brick, Ph.D., in directing Westat survey methods in the Statistical Group.

We look forward to working with Dr. Tourangeau as he joins our organization.

For more information: Contact Westat

01/04/12

Implementation of Title I/II Program Initiatives to Be Evaluated by Westat

For the U.S. Department of Education, Westat is leading the study design, data collection via web-based surveys, and analysis for an evaluation of the implementation of Titles I and II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is undergoing reauthorization. The uncertain timing of reauthorization and its final reforms as well as ESEA flexibility provisions are key challenges for the evaluation. The Westat team's overall design strategy is to trace the potential effects of ESEA's reauthorization and flexibility provisions on

  • State, district, and school policies and programs
  • Intermediate outcomes related to requirements and resources the reauthorization provides
  • Student outcomes, particularly improved college and career-ready graduates

The proposed analyses will compare these potential effects across states, between high-poverty and other districts, and between Title I and non-Title I schools. The proposed data collection approach includes web-based surveys of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 364 districts, 1,456 schools (principals), and 6 to 7 teachers per school (approximately 10,000 teachers) during the 2012-13, 2014-15, and 2016-17 school years.

For more information: Contact Westat

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