2022 Award Winners

2022 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement

Robert Y. Shapiro

For more than four decades, Robert Y. Shapiro has profoundly shaped our understanding of public opinion and the theory and practice of contemporary democracy.

As a scholar of tremendous intellect and breadth, Bob has written groundbreaking, award-winning books. The Rational Public (1992), Politicians Don’t Pander (2000), and Selling Fear (2011), as well as dozens of articles, speak authoritatively about the inextricable ties between public opinion and public policy, politicians, and the media. Bob’s compelling and revisionist work illustrates the richly textured ways in which public opinion is created, shaped, and manipulated. His scholarship has had a global influence and his ideas continue to inspire international students, scholars, and professionals to better understand public opinion and democratic practices in their own countries. In these extraordinarily troubled times, his questions remain most relevant.

As a tireless advocate of our profession, Bob has served on the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research Board of Directors for more than a quarter-century, the last ten years as its chair. Under his leadership, the Center expanded its archival holdings, improved user access, and developed new transparency policies. Bob also served on AAPOR’s Executive Council as Councilor-at-Large (2005-07) and co-chaired AAPOR’s Task Force on Public Opinion and Leadership. He served as president of NYAAPOR (2007-08) and worked in many capacities for Public Opinion Quarterly: as section editor of “The Polls—Trends,” as an editorial board member, and as chair of its advisory committee. He also has served as editor of Political Science Quarterly and sat on or chaired numerous professional committees and editorial boards. Altogether, Bob’s efforts have helped build and strengthen the institutions that support and improve public opinion and survey research.

As a consummate teacher and mentor, Bob has worked continuously, and with quiet generosity, to train the next generation of public opinion researchers. Whether in the classroom at Columbia University, at professional conferences, or through the Summer Research—Early Identification Program, Bob has shown an unwavering commitment to mentoring students, particularly those from underrepresented minority groups. His upholding of the highest standards and his deep concern for equity have inspired scores of students to continue tackling the most pressing issues related to public opinion and democracy.

For all his extraordinary accomplishments, the American Association for Public Opinion Research is proud to honor Robert Y. Shapiro with the 2022 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.

More 2022 Awards

Matthew J. Salganik, Princeton University
Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age​

In the age of smart phones, social media, and an increasingly digitally connected world, Matthew J. Salganik’s Bit by Bit: Social Research for the Digital Age offers a forward-looking roadmap for social scientists looking to harness new data sources for understanding human behavior. In positioning survey research within the emerging field of data science, it reinforces the need to use big data as a complement to rather than a replacement for high quality surveys; offers key ideas from survey research to the data science community; pushes researchers to take advantage of new technology to improve survey sampling, measurement, and respondent engagement; and details the complex ethical issues raised by the use of big data in survey research. At a time when many researchers relying on traditional survey methods are trying to find the best path forward, Salganik provides a solid framework and practical tools for harnessing the digital world for the study of public opinion.

COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS)

The American Association for Public Opinion Research recognizes CTIS for their survey work and data used to address a variety of policies that governments use to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The CTIS tracks trends in COVID-related topics, including symptoms, vaccination, and mask-wearing. CTIS has continuously collected daily data since April 6, 2020 in the United States and since April 23, 2020 globally. The survey is a daily repeated cross-sectional sample of Facebook app users over age 18 who have been active on the app in the last month.  Policy questions included general questions related to social distancing, stay at home orders and lockdowns, international and domestic travel restrictions and cancellation of public event and gatherings. Other policy questions focused on face coverings, vaccine eligibility guidelines and school policies including specifics around mitigation procedures.

The CTIS global sample includes more than 240 countries and territories of which 115 are weighted to better reflect the age and gender of the general adult population. The survey also captures smaller geographic units. This geographic granularity has allowed multiple levels of government to use the data to inform their decisions. Data has been used in the United States by state governors and state departments of health and in India by The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). NCAER uses the data to inform discussions on subnational trends in vaccination uptake and hesitancy in India, as well as potential subnational policy interventions to improve those trends (Chowdhury et al. 2021). The Delphi US CTIS individual-level data are also available at the Zip Code and county level. These data have been used by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in the dashboard of Zip Code-level vaccine hesitancy.

Publicly accessible dashboards and reports using CTIS data have had large audiences across the countries and territories in the sample. The Delphi US CTIS survey dashboard receives over 20,000 page views per month and its API serves over 100,000 requests per day, while US CTIS microdata is shared with over sixty academic and nonprofit institutions.  The UMD Social Data Science Center (SoDa) Global CTIS website has received approximately ~60,000 page views; the dashboard has received ~33,000 page views; the API has been accessed ~4.1 million times; the CSV-formatted aggregate estimates have been downloaded ~415,000 times.

Emilda B. RiversNational Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Emilda Rivers has demonstrated integrity, dedication to transparency and a strong commitment to public service throughout her career. She currently serves as the Director of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF). Emilda has been with NCSES for nearly 20 years, previously serving as Deputy Division Director and leading its largest division, the Human Resources Statistics Program. Prior to this, she worked for the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Energy.

In addition to her work at NCSES, Emilda is serving as the Chair for the Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building (ACDEB). In taking on this role in the absence of a permanent U.S. Chief Statistician at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), she leads a group of diverse stakeholders on developing evidence-based recommendations to the OMB for the implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-435). Emilda’s work highlights the need to link administrative records and survey data for evidence-based policymaking, and to develop best practices and tools to document and enhance data quality, transparency, and reproducibility. Emilda also co-chairs the Executive Committee for the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers and has been a strong proponent of America’s DataHub Consortium, an enduring national effort of collaborative research and decision-making to modernize data infrastructure and repositories, develop innovative technologies and processes, and expand government-nongovernment partnerships.

Critical to the Evidence Act, she also chairs the Standard Application Process (SAP) working group within the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, an entity that includes the agency heads from more than one hundred federal statistical agencies and units. This committee is charged with developing a single portal for requesting access to restricted-use microdata and a standard process to apply for access to such data across all federal statistical agencies. Overseeing the SAP and portal, Emilda addressed significant challenges to ultimately make substantial progress toward implementation.

Emilda has consistently championed the diversity of perspectives needed to ensure that U.S. federal statistics are as useful and accessible as possible to the American public and decision-makers. For example, her efforts on the Early Career Doctorates Survey (ECDS) have been instrumental in introducing a new federal survey to broaden the scope and depth of national statistics on a population that is critical to the success of the U.S. scientific enterprise. Her commitment to diversity is further demonstrated by her participation in NSF’s internal Equity team and her contributions to discussions around the National Science Board’s Missing Millions initiative which aims to further engage women and underrepresented groups in STEM.

The 2022 AAPOR Public Service award is presented to Emilda Rivers to honor her distinguished accomplishments across many public service roles both within her agency and across agencies. Her direction and vision when leading these high-profile interagency efforts demonstrate a commitment to public service and a dedication to maintaining the high quality of AAPOR standards and government-wide evidence-building research activities. All are clear examples of exceptional service beyond assigned duties and have had a profound impact on NCSES, the federal statistical system, and the U.S. public.

The National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS)

Survey science and related applied methods are well-positioned to provide information critical to the understanding of complex phenomena and the heterogeneous experiences of an increasingly diverse and connected global population.  Rigorous data is necessary to uncover inequalities, evaluate their impact over time, and  inform policies to mitigate them.  AAPOR is proud to honor the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) as the winner of the 2022 Inclusive Voices Award. This pioneering study provided unprecedented high-quality national data on mental health and service use among Latino/a and Asian Americans in the US at a time when such data did not otherwise exist.  Using innovative sampling and questionnaire design strategies and collecting data in five different languages, the NLAAS was the first national epidemiological study providing national information on the similarities and differences in mental illness and service use among Latino/a and Asian Americans.  Findings from the study have been disseminated in both public and scientific forums illuminating our understanding of sociocultural factors influencing mental health and service use patterns in these groups.  As part of the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiological Studes (CPES), the NLAAS highlights the power of collaboration and coordination in service to discovery and advancement of knowledge about understudied groups.  For its role in forging foundational understanding in understudied groups, we applaud these efforts and are proud to honor this initiative.

COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS)

Innovation in today’s world of multiple methods means identifying ways of leveraging available data, making use of new technologies, and continuing to expand our array of new methodologies, all within the framework of transparency and fit-for-purpose rigor. With the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for innovative approaches to collecting, evaluating and disseminating public health data became critical. Responding to requests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health researchers globally, The Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Maryland Social Data Science Center created the COVID-19 Trends and Impact Surveys (CTIS), in partnership with Meta (formerly Facebook). Utilizing Facebook as a sampling frame to reach tens of thousands of individuals daily initially in the US and later globally, data from randomly selected users of the platform were used to forecast cases and healthcare needs to allow improved and rapid planning response.  Data were subsequently also used to monitor health behaviors, vaccination hesitancy, mental health, and the like. Numerous methodological, legal, and technical challenges were successfully navigated to develop this approach and share such detailed data, providing unprecedented access to partners outside the social media organization. Data are currently collected in over 240 countries, and multiple publications and public reports have already detailed this work. We are proud to honor this initiative with the 2022 Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award to this group of researchers and survey practitioners for the novel use of social media and best survey practices at a global scale and enterprise speed to collect timely, critical data through a public-private partnership with transparent methodology, and immediate and broad API access to the public as well as microdata access for researchers worldwide.

Winner: Shiyu Zhang, University of Michigan
“The Additional Effects of Adaptive Survey Design Beyond Post-survey Adjustment: An Experimental Evaluation”

Honorable Mention: Victoria Asbury, Harvard University
“Truly American: A Multidimensional Experimental Approach to Unpacking the Symbolic Boundaries Around American Identity”

  • Jing-Jing Shen, Harvard College
  • João Areal, University of Mannheim
  • Dominic Skinnion, Harvard College
  • Jacob Beck, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Adam Stefkovics, ELTE University
  • Angela Pashayan, Howard University
  • Anna-Carolina Haensch, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Alexander Hollister, Mathematica
  • Melike Sarac,  Hacettepe University Institue of Population Studies
  • Mariel Leonard,  German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM)

Danielle Ayon and Heather Kitada Smalley, Willamette University