AASRO Establishes Scholarship in Memory of John Tarnai

Jun 21 2012

The Association of Academic Survey Research Organization (AASRO) has been greatly saddened by the passing of its president and founding member, Dr. John Tarnai of Washington State University. To honor John and his dedication to the field, AASRO is establishing a scholarship in his name.

Throughout his career, John was a committed member and contributor to meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&FTC). He recognized these gatherings as far more than just opportunities to share one’s latest research accomplishments. They were training grounds through which survey professionals – some experienced and some taking their first steps in the field – could engage in a conversation about the work and the profession. In the course of these conversations, those new to the field could better understand what survey research is all about – the methodological and operational challenges, the career opportunities, the professional community, and the importance of collective problem solving in a rapidly changing technological, cultural and political environment.

Many  years  prior to becoming its Director, John persuaded the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University to provide funding support for various staff besides faculty to attend either AAPOR or Field Directors conferences because he believed that when they returned they would better understand and contribute to the survey work in which they were engaged. For many who attended through John’s efforts, the experience was life changing. Finding ways to extend the training and mentoring of the next generation of survey researchers became one of his passions.

AASRO is concerned with strengthening academic survey research organizations and preparing our members for the future so that the academic disciplines that depend upon survey data will thrive and bear fruit for us all. That requires preparing the next generation of survey research professionals.

It is to that purpose and to honor our colleague that AASRO is pleased to establish the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund. Scholarships will be awarded annually to selected staff members of academic survey organizations for expenses associated with attending the annual meetings of AAPOR and/or the IFD&FTC.

We can think of no better way to honor and remember John than to continue to raise up future survey researchers in the manner he so wisely modeled.

AASRO is currently going through the process of becoming a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Once this certification is obtained (anticipated date is late Summer 2012), all contributions to the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund will be tax deductible.  Persons wishing to make tax deductible contributions are invited to make pledges at this time, with the promise that we will contact you once our tax exempt status has been obtained to request the pledged amount.  All contributions or pledges to the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund can be sent to AASRO c/o:

Stephanie Kane, AASRO Treasurer
Social Science Research Unit
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 444290
Moscow, ID 83844-4290.

For additional information about making donations, Stephanie can be reached at (208) 885-5849 or skane@uidaho.edu .

Thank you in advance for your support of the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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