Smyth earns John M. Kennedy Achievement Award

Photo Credit: Jolene Smyth
Wed, 07/01/2020 - 15:22

Jolene Smyth, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Bureau of Sociological Research, has earned the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award from the Association of Academic Survey Research Organization.

Smyth award

From the association's press release:

"Jolene Smyth, one of the top mid-career survey methodologists in the a highly-qualified scholar who has made substantial contributions to the science of survey research, as well as a respected teacher and colleague who has done much to educate both students and fellow researchers about good survey design. Dr. Smyth’s service to the field of survey research includes promoting experimental methods testing in the context of university-based survey work, and also extends to volunteer committee work at both her university and within the various professional organizations that undergird the field.

"Dr. Smyth is a co-author on the 2009 and 2014 editions of The Tailored Design Method books with Don Dillman and Leah Christian, volumes that collectively have over 32,000 citations. In her time since arriving at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) in 2008, Dr. Smyth has also published upwards of 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, in addition to invited papers, book chapters, technical reports, and almost 100 conference presentations on subjects including self-administered surveys, mixed-mode surveys, interviewer effects, and visual design. Dr. Smyth received the 2017 Warren J. Mitofsky Innovator's Award with her colleagues from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) for the development of web-push data collection methodology. Dr. Smyth was recognized by the European Survey Research Association who awarded her (with colleagues) the best paper published in Survey Research Methods in 2013-2014. She was the keynote speaker for the 2018 International Field Directors and Technologies Conference. 

"Dr. Smyth has carried out numerous trainings on questionnaire and interview design. In February 2019, she was a co-organizer of a workshop on interviewer effects, bringing together about 60 top researchers and practitioners for a three-day conversation on this topic. She has given over ten invited talks for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Smyth developed a notable set of short courses on questionnaire design and visual design which she has taught for the Evaluators' Institute, AAPOR, USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the US State Department Foreign Service Institute, and the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM). 

"Dr. Smyth regularly teaches classes on questionnaire design and data collection methods at UNL, including training seminars specifically targeted to those doing survey research at UNL and for the Bureau of Sociological Research's (BOSR) staff. Dr. Smyth has normalized inclusion of methods experiments in ongoing University data collection projects to provide solid data for methodological advances. Over her time at UNL, Dr. Smyth has mentored multiple students through master's degrees and PhDs on survey methods related topics. 

"A stalwart of the larger survey research community, Dr. Smyth has served as a reviewer for journals, grants, conference abstracts, and award committees. Dr. Smyth is an active member of AAPOR, the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR), and Association of Academic Survey Research Organization (AASRO). Dr. Smyth co-chaired the recent AAPOR Task Force on Transitioning Surveys from Telephone to Self-Administered and Mixed Modes of Data Collection. She has served on a many AASRO committees as well as playing host to one of AASRO's annual conferences. Dr. Smyth has served as the BOSR Director since 2011. She also sits on the University's institutional review board, a committee that oversees the protection of human subjects who take part in research studies."