Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship

Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship

The Government Statistics Section (GSS) and the Social Statistics Section (SSS) of the American Statistical Association (ASA) are pleased to announce the availability of a scholarship in memory of Wray Jackson Smith, a founding member of the Government Statistics Section and long-time contributor to Federal statistics. The Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship (WJSS), co-sponsored with the Washington Statistical Society, the Caucus for Women in Statistics, Harris-Smith Institutes, Mathematica Policy Research, and Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., is intended to reward promising young statisticians for their diligence, thereby encouraging them to consider a future in government statistics.

The WJSS Award provides funding of $1,000 for use in exploring any of a broad number of opportunities for furthering the development of a career related to government statistics. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in seeking support for a wide variety of uses, including:

  • Tuition, board, and books for courses or short courses
  • Conference attendance
  • Purchase of books, software, data sets, or other supporting materials for research projects related to government statistics.

Activities may relate to any level of government, including Federal, state, and local governmental units. They must be statistical in nature, focusing on data, methodology, analysis, or data presentation. Recent award winners have used the WJSS to fund attendance at the Joint Statistical Meetings, support continued public policy research, and to take short courses to better understand and analyze data for current research.

History of the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship

Past Award Recipients:

  • 2002 - Amelia Haviland (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • 2003 - Yun Li (Bowling Green State University)
  • 2004 - Jennifer Park (NCES, Joint Program in Survey Methodology)
  • 2005 - Layla Parast (The University of Texas at Austin)
  • 2006 - Maria Ciarleglio (Yale University)
  • 2007 - Romesh Silva (University of California Berkeley)
  • 2008 - Kirsten Lum (American University)
  • 2009 - Jenna Fulton (Joint Program in Survey Methodology)
  • 2011 - Rebecca Medway (Joint Program in Survey Methodology)
  • 2012 - Julia Shin-Jung Lee (Program in Survey Methodology, University of Michigan)
  • 2012 - John Tipton (Colorado State University)
  • 2013 - Yuning (Jess) Chen (American University)
  • 2014 - Mauricio Sadinle (Carnegie Melon University)
  • 2015 - Jonathan Auerbach (Columbia University)

To apply for a WJSS Award, the following information must be sent to the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Committee by April 1, 2017:

  • A completed WJSS Application Form (MS Word)
  • A proposal of activity to be funded
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Materials should be emailed to Jenny Guarino: jenny.guarino@dot.gov 

Alternatively, applications can be mailed to:

Jenny Guarino

US Department of Transportation

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave S.E.

Washington, DC 20590


Selection Process:

The WJSS Committee, consisting of a total of three GSS and SSS members, will review each proposal, based on an established rating scheme, and select an awardee. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the proposed activity to government statistics,
  • Quality of the proposed activity,
  • Innovation/ingenuity of the proposed project,
  • Feasibility of completion of the activity,
  • The applicant’s career stage,
  • and past performance as reflected in the letters of recommendation.

 The award winner will be announced in May of 2017. All applicants will be notified by e-mail.


Members of the 2017 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Committee are:

Jenny Guarino (Chair), US Department of Transportation

Dudley Poston, Texas A&M University

Kevin Konty, NYC Department of Health



The WJSS is targeted at students and persons early in their career in government statistics. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent level of education. Membership in the Government Statistics Section, Social Statistics Section, or in the ASA is not required.