2016 Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program

Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program at JSM 2016 in Chicago, Illinois

Workshop: Sunday July 31, 2016 

Mentoring Program: July 31, 2016 - August 3, 2016 

The 2016 JSM Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program brings historically-underrepresented minority (African/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American) graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and junior professionals together with senior-level statisticians and faculty in academia, government, and the private sector in a structured program at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings. This year in Chicago, we host both a Workshop and a Mentoring Program as separate but related activities. All activities will be held at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 Michigan Ave. 

The Diversity Workshop will be conducted on Sunday, July 31 2016. The objective of the workshop is to provide interactive sessions focused on career enhancement skills for statisticians at early- to mid-career levels. Statistics professionals, including (1) faculty from minority-serving institutions who advise and mentor undergraduates in math and related disciplines, (2) faculty influential in the faculty and/or student recruitment processes at their home institutions, and (3) statisticians currently working in government or industry interested in establishing relationships with talented statisticians who may be candidates for future employment or research/service collaborations, are also invited to attend. 

In addition, a small group of workshop applicants will be selected to participate in the mentoring component of the program, which features small group discussions and one-on-one meeting of mentor-protégé pairs during the conference. The program will include the Sunday workshop and morning activities for Monday August 1 2016 through Wednesday August 3 2016. A pdf that details the participants and activities is available for download here.

Participant Bios and Photos

2016 Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program Agenda

Saturday, July 30

3:00 - 5:00                            Mentor Orientation (Mentors only - Stevens Salon C4)

Brian Millen - Eli Lilly and Company
Kevin Billingslea - Abbott
Beimar Iriarte - Abbott

Sunday, July 31                  H-Stevens Salon A4 except where noted

8:15 - 9:00                            Check in and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:05                            Welcome             

Brian Millen - Eli Lilly and Company
Sydeaka Watson - University of Chicago

9:05 - 9:50                            Keynote Address DuBois Bowman - Columbia Univeristy                              

9:50 - 10:00                          Break 

10:00 - 11:15                        Success Parallel Session 1a:  Career Success: Tips/Traps (Stevens Salon A4)       

This panel session focuses on an interactive sharing of experiences and advice to equip statistics professionals who are new in their careers with tools for success.

Robert Bell - Google
Rudy Guerra - Rice University
Sally Morton - Virginia Tech
Darrell Philpot - IMS Health
Dionne Price - Food and Drug Administration
Moderator: Neal Jeffries - National Institutes of Health

                                             Success Parallel Session 1b:  Graduate School Success (Stevens Salon A3)        

This panel discussion will provide tips for success in graduate school from the perspective of faculty members at top graduate programs, current graduate students in statistics or biostatistics, and other select facilitators.

Scarlett Bellamy - University of Pennsylvania
Alicia Carriquiry - Iowa State University
Donald Martin - North Carolina State University

Students/Recent Graduates:
Elvis Martinez - Recent graduate from Florida State University
Darius McDaniel - Recent graduate from Emory University
Dominique Williams - Current student at Purdue University

Moderator: Jacqui Milton


11:15 - 11:30                        Group Photo 

11:30 - 12:30                        Lunch 

12:35 - 2:00                          Parallel Session 2a:  Dynamics of Trust (Stevens Salon A3)                  

Our willingness and ability to trust others has an impact on career relationships, whether with peers, mentors, supervisors, or other colleagues. This session reveals the impact of cultural differences on trust. Participants will explore the impact of trust on work/career relationships and gain tools for evaluating and proactively building trust in workplace/school relationships.

Brian Millen - Eli Lilly and Company


                                             Parallel Session 2b:  Interview and Career Search Tips (Stevens Salon A4) 

This session discusses job search strategies for both academic and non-academic environments with an emphasis on early career positions.

Jessie Jeng - North Carolina State University 
Moderator: Dionne Swift - Procter and Gamble


2:00 - 2:10                            Sponsor Recognition

2:10 - 2:20                            Break                 

2:20 - 2:50                            ASA: More than Just JSM   

This session will include information from ASA leaders. It will provide an overview of the opportunities available through ASA, including information on various sections and committees and opportunities for volunteerism and leadership.

Dionne Price - FDA
Bob Rodriguez - SAS
Sydeaka Watson - University of Chicago
Moderator: Jesse Chittams - University of Pennsylvania


2:50 - 3:00                            Sponsor Recognition

3:00 - 3:50                            Strategic Networking     

This interactive presentation emphasizes networking as a critical element for success and provides practical tips for creating and growing a professional network.

Ric Weibl -  Retired, Association for Women in Science


3:50 - 4:00                            Wrap-up/ Adjourn workshop    

Sydeaka Watson - University of Chicago
Brian Millen - Eli Lilly and Company

4:15 - 5:15                            Mentoring Overview (mentors/mentees only - Stevens Salon A2)

Bill Vélez - University of Arizona
Sydeaka Watson - University of Chicago


Monday, August 1

8:30 - 10:20                          Parallel Session 1a (faculty/professionals): Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Students
                                             (Stevens Salon A1 - coffee and juice provided)

In this session leaders in academia, government/nonprofit, and industry will share different approaches for attracting and keeping students and employees from historically underrepresented groups.

DuBois Bowman - Columbia University
Sastry Pantula - Oregon State University
Louise Ryan - University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Bill Vélez - University of Arizona
Moderator: Renee' Moore - Emory University


Parallel Session 1b (mentees): "I Can Do This!" (Salon A2 - coffee and juice provided)

This facilitated, interactive session addresses potential barriers of success for minorities (e.g., stereotype threat, feelings of isolation, etc.) and methods to overcome the challenges. A review of the little-known history and contributions of women and minority statisticians and mathematicians is included.

Sonia Ruíz - Director of Southern California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Consortium


Tuesday, August 2

9:00 - 10:20                          Principles of Making a Good Argument (Stevens Salon C1 - coffee and juice at 8:30)

Whether interacting with a teacher, colleague, or potential employer the ability to provide a persuasive rationale for one’s point of view is important. The principles for making a strong case are explored here.

Sastry Pantula - Oregon State University
Aarti Shah - Eli Lilly and Company
Moderator: Beimar Iriarte - Abbott

5:30 - 7:00pm                       ASA CMS Business Meeting and Networking Reception (Stevens Salon C7)

Jesse Chittams - University of Pennsylvania
Renee' Moore - Emory University


Wednesday, Aug 3

9:00 - 10:20                          Roundtable Discussion on Mentee Suggested Topics (coffee and juice - PDR3)


There is a joint application for those interested in the workshop and/or mentoring program. All interested student or early-career professional participant and statistics professionals (faculty/staff) are encouraged to apply by July 1. Limited travel funding is available for student or early-career professional participants.

  • Workshop + Mentoring Program applicants: The priority deadline for travel funding consideration and mentor matching has passed.
  • Workshop only applicants: The priority deadline for travel funding consideration has passed.

Applications received after these dates may be considered if additional space is available. 

For more information, contact Sydeaka Watson at sydeaka@uchicago.edu.  




The 2016 JSM Diversity Mentoring Program is made possible due to the generous support of the following sponsors:

The American Statistical Association, The National Science Foundation, The National Security Agency, IMS Health, Eli Lilly, SAS, Procter and Gamble, Eli Lilly and Company, Abbott, and Emory University



In addition, we are indebted to the following Sections of the American Statistical Association for their generous and enthusiastic support.

Statistics in Epidemiology

Government Statistics

Statistics Education

Mental Health Statistics

Statistics in Imaging

Statistics and the Environment

Health Policy Statistics

ASA Committee on Minorities in Statistics


Organizing Committee for Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program:

Paulete Ceesay
Janelle Charles
Jesse Chittams
Marcia Gumpertz
Beimar Iriarte
Neal Jeffries
Brian Millen (co-chair)
Dionne Swift
Sydeaka Watson (co-chair)