News Releases

2015 AAPOR Awards Honor the Best in Industry


On Saturday, May 16, attendees of AAPOR’s 70th Annual Conference honored colleagues for their accomplishments in the industry as well as their involvement in AAPOR activities. A sincere thank you to Steve and Lori Everett for documenting this event again in 2015.

Among the many honorees were the Burns “Bud” Roper Fellows, including:

Student Travel Scholarship Awardees received the next acknowledgment. They included:

Retiring chairs of AAPOR committees were acknowledged.

Lori and Steve Everett, long-time photographers and more recently, videographers, for AAPOR’s events, were presented with a plaque and recognition for their contributions to AAPOR.


Peter Miller and Tim Johnson were commended for their efforts conceptualizing and spearheading the Transparency Initiative. The program launched in late 2014 and has welcomed nearly 50 charter members in the first nine months.


The Mitofsky Innovators Award recognizes accomplishments in the field 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.

The Mitofsky Innovators Award was presented to Nate Silver, ESPN, founder of the website

Cliff Zukin, who presented this year’s Mitofsky Innovators Award, said, “Through his work as Founding Director and Editor in Chief of, Nate Silver has made significant, innovative contributions to how journalists report, and the general public understands, presidential and congressional elections in the United States, and how public opinion polling is used in that framework.”

Nate Silver award

The AAPOR Book Award was established 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. The award went to Peter V. Marsden, author of Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972 (Princeton University Press, 2012).

The Policy Impact Award recognizes outstanding research that has had a clear impact on improving policy decisions practice or discourse, either in the public or private sectors.

The Policy Impact Award was presented to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation for the Kaiser Health Tracking Polls. Team representatives (pictured l to r) Sarah Cho (former KFF team member), Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Symone Jackson, Mira Norton, Bianca DiJulio, and Mollyann Brodie (AAPOR’s 2015-16 President). Past President Rob Santos announced the award.

KFF team

The evening’s highlight was the announcement of the 2015 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement (known simply as the AAPOR Award). This year, the award was bestowed on Dr. Nancy Mathiowetz, whose volunteer service to the American Association for Public Opinion Research and enhancement of AAPOR’s communication with the public, combined with her diverse career, reflects our unique organization.


“Few have left a legacy on AAPOR and the profession like Dr. Nancy Mathiowetz. Her unwavering dedication, tireless volunteer spirit, influential scholarship, and commitment to students and peers alike are a model for us all,” said AAPOR President Michael Link, during the presentation.

Mathiowetz’s volunteer service to AAPOR is second to none, having served as Membership Chair (1989-1991), Secretary-Treasurer (1994-1996), chair of the Education Committee (1995-2001), Standards Chair (2004-2006) and a three-year Presidential term (2006-2009).

During her presidency, Mathiowetz’s efforts were critical to the enhancement of AAPOR’s communication with the public, including the development of the Poynter Institute collaboration for the education of journalists. She also served as Associate Editor of Public Opinion Quarterly, AAPOR’s flagship journal, from 2004-2007 and as the journal’s co-editor from 2008-2012.

Over her career, Nancy worked at many prominent organizations in the field, including Westat, the National Center for Health Services Research, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In many ways, Mathiowetz’s career reflects AAPOR’s professional diversity — the diversity that makes it the unique organization that it is.

Mathiowetz has also been at the forefront of many critical issues facing public opinion and survey research. An early pioneer in the Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methods (CASM) movement, she helped to integrate cognitive psychology into survey methodology. She has also contributed to our understanding of attitudes and opinions related to disability and poverty.

Perhaps her strongest legacy is in her commitment to grooming the next generation of survey methodologists and opinion experts. As a professor and a colleague, Mathiowetz has always been accessible, available and supportive. She is also an excellent peer mentor, colleague and friend to many in our profession.