Message from the president
It has been a pleasure to serve the SSC in the role of president since last July. With the help of countless volunteers, the Society continues to thrive—despite the pandemic. I am providing below a few highlights of our accomplishments and planned activities:
- Formation of the committee on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI): The ad hoc EDI committee (chaired by Jemila Hamid) was established last fall and has developed a list of concrete action plans, including the gathering of information to help characterize diversity among the SSC membership and the raising of awareness of EDI. In addition to the SSC 2021 special panel session (organized by Bouchra Nasri) on EDI, the committee has been actively preparing for an EDI survey and other activities that will commence after its transition to a continuing committee in the coming days.
- Establishment of the SSC Code of Conduct, and the Process and Policy on Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination: Thanks to the efforts of the former respectful committee (chaired by Erica Moodie) and with support from numerous volunteers (including Robert Platt and Shirley Mills), the Society’s first Code of Conduct, and also the Society’s first Process and Policy on Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination were released this winter, and are now part of the SSC Policies and Procedures. SSC 2021 is the first SSC annual meeting requiring all attendees to adhere to an SSC Code of Conduct.
- Completion of the searchable database for accredited members: Through close collaboration between members of the former Accreditation Task Force (chaired by Judy-Anne Chapman), the accreditation services committee (chaired by Alberto Nettel-Aguirre) and the accreditation committee (chaired by Jenna Sykes), a searchable database for accredited members is now available for various purposes such as mentoring and networking. One other important note on accreditation: the federal trademarks for P.Stat. and A.Stat., both first registered in 2006, have recently been renewed for 10 years with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
- Inaugural Virtual Social Mixer: In light of the cancellation of both the SSC 2020 and the SSC reception during JSM 2020, a virtual social mixer (emceed by Jeffrey Rosenthal) was held last summer to connect members through group breakout rooms and various forms of entertainment, including singing (live by Jeff) and dancing.
- Virtual SSC 2021: At the time of writing, the virtual organizing committee (cochaired by Shirley Mills and Asokan M. Variyath) and the scientific program committee (cochaired by Michael Escobar and J. Concepción Loredo-Osti) are working around the clock alongside technical support (including Angelo Canty) and the SSC office (Michelle Benoit and Marie-Pierre Nantel) to finalize the program (including social events and job fair, etc.) for the first-ever SSC Virtual Annual Meeting. This meeting will host a long list of featured speakers with multiple plenary sessions, and the Award Night (co-organized by Bruce Smith and myself) will make up for last year’s cancelled ceremony by honouring the award winners from both 2020 and 2021 together! The Canadian Statistics Student Conference (CSSC) was held virtually last year for the first time, and this year it will take place (led by Daniel Rodriguez and Armando Turchetta) just prior to SSC 2021.
- AMA Series: An Ask Me Anything (AMA) series has been planned to connect SSC members with the public at large on topics of general interest (e.g., census, etc.). The ad hoc AMA committee (chaired by Thérèse Stukel) will announce events on a rolling basis.
- 50th Anniversary Celebration: Next year SSC will celebrate its 50th year since Canadian statisticians first came together in 1972. To help plan a year-long celebration in 2022, an ad hoc committee (chaired by Grace Yi) with members spanning the five Canadian regions has been formed, and more details will be shared through the SSC mailings and the website.
It would not have been possible to achieve the above accomplishments without our many dedicated members, including the board of directors (see photo below, taken in May 2021) and all committee members and chairs. It has been a pleasure to work with so many fantastic individuals, and I am grateful for the advice and support I have received. To all outgoing board and committee members, a big thank-you, and to those who are newly elected and/or appointed, a warm welcome!
Among the executive members, I’d like to extend a special thank-you to Bruce Smith, who is completing his term as past president—he has been guiding me throughout the year. I am deeply indebted to Llwellyn Armstrong, who has served as executive secretary since 2015 and who will be stepping down; Llwellyn has been exceptionally excellent in keeping Society matters (including financials, meeting reports, policies, etc.) on track, and in keeping me informed and organized. Her institutional memory has helped on numerous occasions to uncover important documents from years past.
I’d like to welcome Bruno Remillard as the president-elect and Susie Fortier as the new executive secretary. With Grace Yi as the incoming president, I am very much looking forward to interacting as past president with everyone after July 1.
It’s been a privilege and honour to serve as the SSC president, and I treasure the memories, friendships, and what we have accomplished together. Thank you for making my presidency an inspiring and joyful journey, professionally and personally. Please join me in continuing our enthusiasm for SSC.
My best wishes to you and your loved ones for a healthy and safe summer!