2024 AAPOR Award Winners

AAPOR is pleased to present a portfolio of awards to recognize distinguished work in the profession, as well as to further the education of students and early career researchers. The 2024 award recipients are as follows:

AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement

The AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement is the Association’s lifetime achievement award and is given for an outstanding contribution to the field of public opinion research, including: advances in theory, empirical research and methods; improvements in ethical standards; and promotion of understanding among the public, media and/or policy makers.

Nancy Jane Belden’s lifetime of leadership, service, and mentorship have shaped AAPOR and the practice of public opinion research for decades.

Throughout her career, Nancy has successfully run a small business, served as a visionary leader within AAPOR and at the Roper Center, mentored survey researchers who soared within the field and launched their own small businesses, and promoted a better understanding of survey research, all while maintaining a commitment to the highest standards.

For nearly 40 years, Nancy’s firm, Belden Russonello Strategists, provided methodologically rigorous research to domestic and international clients, in a segment of the survey research industry where solid methods are not always the first priority. Her work served major foundations, nonprofit organizations, campaigns, news media, and others, and Nancy consistently promoted a better understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research methods and their findings among her clients, members of the media, and policymakers.

Nancy’s service to AAPOR is without compare. Over multiple decades, Nancy is the AAPOR leader who has moved the association to its next phase of growth and professionalism. Her presidency came at a touchstone moment for the field and AAPOR. As president, she set roles and responsibilities for Councilors and catalyzed long-term planning for the organization. Her work ably led the association toward growth, an embrace of innovation, and importantly, professionalization. More recently, her guidance eased AAPOR’s shift to self-management, helping the transition team shape the future of AAPOR and build a strong foundation for the association’s next phase. Her leadership has pushed AAPOR to better serve the field, while maintaining its core identity as a Meeting Place.

Nancy has served as a role model for so many AAPOR members, those who’ve worked for and with her, as well as those who have admired her from afar. Dozens of former staff members that Nancy has mentored – having learned all facets of survey research in her shop – have gone on to successful careers, including several who have formed their own thriving research firms. Many credit her with showing them the value of AAPOR, and of service to AAPOR.

To quote a colleague of Nancy’s, “If only there were more Nancy Beldens at our sides, demanding excellence, encouraging us to do better, insisting that we be at the top of our games. She is the archetype of what a survey researcher should be.”

For all of her extraordinary contributions to public opinion and survey research, the American Association for Public Opinion Research is pleased to present the 2024 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement to Nancy Jane Belden.

The AAPOR Book Award

The AAPOR Book Award seeks to recognize influential books that have stimulated theoretical and scientific research in public opinion and/or influenced our understanding or application of survey research methodology. Eligibility for the award includes any book in the field that is at least three years old (to allow time for books to be read and reviewed), including any published before or during the period covered by the list of the Fifty Books That Have Significantly Shaped Public Opinion Research 1946-1995.” (The books on the “Fifty Books” list have already been recognized by AAPOR and are not eligible for the annual book award.)

Past Award Winners

Incarceration Nation by Peter K. Enns

The Burns “Bud” Roper Fellow Award

The Burns “Bud” Roper Fellow Award is named for the late Burns “Bud” Roper who provided a substantial bequest in his will to endow the Roper Award fund. Roper Fellows are people who work in any sector of survey research or public opinion research, who work in relatively isolated settings, and who are in the early stages of their careers. They receive financial assistance to help them attend the AAPOR Annual Conference and/or participate in conference short courses; most are first-time conference attendees.

Past Award Winners

John Collins, University of Mannheim

Becca Gordon, Mathematica

James McClure, Mathematica

Anna Marston, Mathematica

Macy Miller, Mathematica

The AAPOR Inclusive Voices Award

The AAPOR Inclusive Voices Award recognizes the important data sets, research, and survey methods that have improved the ability to study complex social phenomena related to understudied populations. The award will be presented to the scholars/researchers, organizations, or institutions who have produced the scholarship (including data collection, methodological approaches, or publications).

Past Award Winners

California Health Interview Survey at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

The AAPOR Policy Impact Award

The AAPOR Policy Impact Award was developed to acknowledge that a key purpose of opinion and other survey research is to facilitate better-informed decisions. The award recognizes outstanding research that has had a clear impact on improving policy decisions, practice and discourse, either in the public or private sectors.

Past Award Winners

American National Election Studies

The AAPOR Public Service Award

The AAPOR Public Service Award award is intended to recognize and honor outstanding public service and dedication to maintaining AAPOR standards. It recognizes persons who work on behalf of the public sector and have contributed to the quality of government surveys, data systems, research, leadership, and/or policy.

Past Award Winners

Brian Harris-Kojetin, Committee on National Statistics

Monroe G. Sirken Award

The Monroe G. Sirken Award is given annually to a distinguished survey researcher for contributions to interdisciplinary survey research that improves the theory and methods of collecting, verifying, processing, presenting or analyzing survey data.

Past Award Winners

Michael R. Elliott, University of Michigan

The Seymour Sudman Student Paper Competition

The Seymour Sudman Student Paper Competition award is in memory of Seymour Sudman. It recognizes his many important contributions to AAPOR as well as his teaching and mentoring students in the survey research profession.

Past Award Winners

Optimal Allocation Under Anticipated Nonresponse

Jonathan Mendelson, US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Honorable Mention

Perceived Economic Contributions Increase Support for Immigration Reform

Marco M. Aviña, Harvard University

The Student Conference Award

The Student Conference Award was established to fund students to attend the AAPOR Annual Conference. Student Conference Awards are offered to students who are in need of financial support so that they may attend the conference and experience this important educational and networking event for survey methodology and public opinion researchers.

Past Award Winners

Joshua Claassen, Leibniz University Hannover

Carlos Dario Cristiano Botia, University of Michigan

Alexandros Christos Gkotinakos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Jing Ling Tan, University of Wisconsin

Jeannine Pearce, University of California

The Student-Faculty Diversity Pipeline Awards

The Student-Faculty Diversity Pipeline Awards are intended to recruit faculty-student “pairs” interested in becoming AAPOR colleagues. The award targets members of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups, interested in the study of public opinion and survey research methodology.

Past Award Winners

Nana Amma Asamoah, University of Arkansas

Joanna Carter, Rutgers University

Hakim Hines, Rutgers University

Francy Luna Diaz, University of Michigan

Zoe Walker, University of Michigan

The Student Poster Award

The Student Poster Award winner is announced each year at the annual conference. To be eligible for the award, students must have their poster abstracts accepted for presentation at the conference. The award committee will consider all posters that relate to the study of public opinion, whether they focus on theory, substantive findings, research methods, and/or statistical techniques used in such research.

Evaluating AI & Structured Topic Modeling for Coding Open-Ended Responses

George Quinn
Rutgers University

The Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award

The Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award is designed to recognize accomplishments in the fields of public opinion and survey research that occurred in the past ten years, or that had their primary impact on the field during the past decade. These innovations could consist of new theories, ideas, applications, methodologies or technologies. To be considered for the award, they must be publicly documented. The award can be given to individuals, groups or institutions.

Past Award Winners

Designing and Implementing Gridded Population Surveys

Dana Thomson, University of Twente

AAPOR citation for Mandy Sha, Kristen Olson, Janice Ballou, and Dawn Nelson, Representatives of the 2020 AAPOR Conference Committee

AAPOR citation for Mandy Sha, Kristen Olson, Janice Ballou, and Dawn Nelson, Representatives of the 2020 AAPOR Conference Committee

This citation recognizes the extraordinary work of these four individuals who innovated to transform AAPOR’s signature in-person event – our beloved annual conference – into a successful virtual event at a time when meeting in-person was impossible. In the face of overwhelming technological and organizational challenges, these individuals – with the assistance of many others – re-imagined AAPOR’s 75th anniversary conference and re-launched it in a virtual format within just 70 business days of the WHO declaring COVID-19 as a global pandemic. This reinterpretation of a 75-year tradition required creative thinking on a range dimensions, including technology, programming, participant engagement, branding, and sponsorship. These efforts resulted in a conference with record attendance featuring a diverse set of high-quality sessions that engaged participants in ways that many AAPOR members previously thought would not be possible in a virtual format. The success of the 2020 conference reaffirmed AAPOR’s reputation as a beacon of innovation by demonstrating continuity, ingenuity, and unity at a time of unprecedented uncertainty for the profession and globally.

Four years later, as we gather in Atlanta, the intended location of the 2020 conference, AAPOR Executive Council would like to recognize Mandy, Kristen, Janice, and Dawn for their contributions that allowed one of AAPOR’s most important traditions – our gathering as a “meeting place” to continue uninterrupted, building a foundation that helped ensure this year’s conference and future conferences will continue to thrive.