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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Chapter Spotlight: MAPOR

by Ned English, 2019-20 MAPOR President; Ipek Bilgen, 2019-20 MAPOR Past President; and Dana Garbarski, 2019-20 MAPOR Vice President
​MAPOR recently convened its 44th annual conference, our largest ever at 256 attendees! The conference featured a keynote address on "Politics, Privacy and Data for Policy in U.S. Censuses" by Barbara Anderson of the University of Michigan. We also had a pedagogy hour presented by Justine Bulgar-Medina of NORC at the University of Chicago on "The Measurement of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Survey Research," as well as a short course on "Survey Weighting" by Brady West of the University of Michigan.  The conference also featured four different panels, a working group, and papers and posters presented from almost 50 different institutions based on first authorship alone. We were very pleased to introduce Tom W. Smith of NORC at the University of Chicago as our newest MAPOR fellow this year, in addition to new and continued student-focused activities.
In addition to the annual conference MAPOR hosted two well-attended webinars during 2019. First, Trent Buskirk and Antje Kirchner presented a webinar in the spring on Machine Learning Methods and their uses for Survey and Social Science Researchers during design, collection, and analysis of social science data. In the fall, Nola du Toit and Edward Mulrow presented a webinar about data visualization best practices and provided several great examples and tips on the topic.  We also held a mixer in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the spring to support MAPOR’s mission of bringing our members together to learn about each other’s work and to network in cities other than our annual conference location (Chicago),
We are also delighted to report that MAPOR was active at different Chapter Events during the 2019 AAPOR Annual Conference. The first event was AAPOR’s official New Member/All Chapter Welcome Mixer and Chef Tasting Party. It was great seeing and catching up with so many MAPOR and other chapter members at this event. The second AAPOR event was the unofficial All Chapter Event organized by MAPOR, PAPOR, and SAPOR and sponsored by all AAPOR Chapters. This was also a very successful networking opportunity for our members with approximately 300 AAPOR attendees participating.
MAPOR has also made significant progress from an organizational standpoint during 2019. We’ve achieved financial stability through support from our generous sponsors, webinars, the conference short course, and conference attendance. The MAPOR Executive Council is currently exploring ideas of how to best to utilize MAPORs funds in 2020. In the past year, we have learned from our members that MAPOR membership strongly values opening up more sponsorship opportunities and/or further subsidized rates for students, and we continue to examine how we can be even more inclusive to students.
Looking ahead to 2020, MAPOR is seeking new ways to add value to our members with a focus on supporting students and early-career researchers.  MAPOR Executive Council is currently exploring new grants focused on student travel and attendance at the annual conference.  We will also be introducing “speed networking” at our fall 2020 conference as a formal way for students, early-career members, and anyone else to meet potential employers or have informational interview.  Thinking beyond the annual conference, we are planning on increasing the number of networking opportunities outside of Chicago with multiple events in the early planning stage.  As always, MAPOR is committed to further diversify its membership and Executive Council and is seeking ways to accomplish that goal. We will continue to reach out to organizations, corporations, departments, and scholars who may not be aware of MAPOR or have not been a part of MAPOR for a while in order to provide the best and most-inclusive experience for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about MAPOR and our upcoming activities, please visit our website at http://www.mapor.org/