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IBS Researchers Honored with 2017 SPAIG Award

At the recently concluded Joint Statistical Meeting of the American Statistical Association, IBS researchers Seth Spielman and David Folch were recipients of the 2017 Statistical Partnership Among Academe, Industry, and Government Committee (SPAIG) Award for their work wiht the National Science Foundation – Census Reserach Network (NCRN). IBS Director Myron Gutmann was also honored for his role in the creation of the NCRN. Established in 2011, NCRN has been a highly successful collaboration between multiple universities and the U.S. Census Bureau. It aimed to provide support for conducting interdisciplinary research and educational activities on methodological questions of significance to the broader research community and to the federal statistical system. 

This collaboration has won the SPAIG Award due to its broad impacts based on many NCRN research activities over the past six years. The SPAIG Committee was impressed by the diverse achievements including, the novel method that significantly improves the accuracy of the tabulations from the Economic Census, the production of synthetic business micro-datasets, and the effective training of the next generation of statisticians. 

The SPAIG Award, established in 2002, is sponsored by the SPAIG committee of the ASA to recognize outstanding partnerships between academe, industry, and government organizations, as well as to promote new partnerships among these organizations. The award is distinct from other ASA awards in that it recognizes outstanding collaborations between organizations, while recognizing key individual contributors.

More information on SPAIG can be found here. 

IBS Group Receives SFPRF Large Research Grant

A group of IBS Researchers, led by Amanda Stevenson with co-investigators Jane Menken, Stephanie Mollborn, Sara Yeatman, and Katie Genadek, were recently awarded funding on a large research proposal from the Society of Family Planning Research Fund (SFPRF). The project, entitled Assessing life course impacts of expanded access to LARCs in Colorado, asks the question "Does access to high quality family planning positively affect the life course of women and their families?". Stevenson's group plans to address this question, an area of research that is cruicial to policy arguments worldwide yet has rarely been studied with adequate data on the life course outcomes of the women family planning programs are intended to assist. 

The study will assess the medium-term multi-dimensional life course consequences of improved access to contraception, focusing initially on exposure to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) during adolescence and the transition to adulthood (ages 15-24).  Beginning in November 2009, CFPI provided provider training and free or dramatically reduced-cost LARC devices to all Title X clinics in Colorado (but not surrounding states), presenting a unique opportunity to assess the impacts of expanded access to these highly-effective methods. The project will take advantage of recent Federal decisions permitting the US Bureau of the Census to link many years of individual administrative records across a variety of sources and provide restricted access to these records for approved research. The data developed in partnership with the Census Bureau will provide a unique opportunity to assess how and to what extent women’s life courses were affected by expanded access to LARC during a critical period of life.

Former IBS Research Assistant receives APSA’s Leonard D.White Award

Former IBS Reserach Associate in the Environment & Society Program, Alan Zarychta, is the recipient of the American Political Science Association's 2017 Leonard D. White Award which is awarded annually for the best dissertation successfully defended during the previous two years in the field of public administration. The award committee included Zachary Oberfield (Haverford College), chair, Mary Feeney (Arizona State University) and Holly Goerdel (University of Kansas). Alan produced and defended his dissertation at CU Boulder and he continues to work with IBS researchers in both the Environment & Society and the Population programs. 

Hazards Center Research Associate Receives Research Scholar Fulbright Award

Courtney Welton-Mitchell, Ph.D., a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, CU-Boulder, has been selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as a recipient of a Research Scholar Fulbright Award in Malaysia August 2017-June 2018.

This award is co-sponsored by the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange ( and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State ( Courtney will be based in Penang at the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), University of Science, Malaysia (USM):

As a Fulbright recipient and a representative of the United States, Courtney will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty and students at KANITA USM on various gender-based violence, mental health, natural hazards and forced migration related research projects and initiatives. This includes involving USM colleagues in her current U.S. State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) -funded gender-based violence intervention research with stateless Rohingya communities in Malaysia. This research initiative is implemented in partnership with Tenaganita, a Malaysian human rights organization: A companion project with Syrian refugees is coordinated by co-Principal Investigator on the BPRM grant, Lebanon-based Leah James, working in partnership with ABAAD:

Fulbright grants are made possible through funds appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress and, in many cases, by contributions from partner countries and the private sector. The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. As a grantee, Courtney will join the ranks of distinguished participants in the Program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They include 58 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 31 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which oversees Fulbright Program operations throughout the world, joins the Board in congratulating Courtney Welton-Mitchell on this award.

Baker, Schaffer Win Inaugural Seligson Prize from LAPOP for Paper

A paper entitiled "Clientelism as Persuasion-Buuying: Evidence from Latin America" which was co-authored by Andy Baker and Joby Schaffer has won the Seligson Prize from the Latin American Public Opinion Project. The Seligson Prize was founded to recognize excellence in Latin American scholarship, and was named in honor of Mitchell Seligson, the founder of LAPOP and a pioneer in the study of public opinion in Latin America. 

Here is the paper's abstract: 

In distributing clientelistic payoffs to citizens, the best strategy a party machine can pursue, we argue, is to target citizens who are opinion-leading epicenters in informal conversation networks. This persuasion-buying strategy carries the highest potential yield for the party because the payoff can create a social multiplier: The effect of the clientelistic gift can be magnified via the conversion of multiple voters within a payoff recipient’s personal networks. Using cross-sectional survey data from 22 Latin American countries and a panel survey from Mexico, we confirm that individuals who engage in frequent political persuasion and who are located in large political discussion networks are the most likely recipients of clientelistic payoffs. We also show that a finding that is key to previous theories, namely, that loyal partisans are the most likely targets of clientelism, is driven by omitted-variable and endogeneity bias.

The paper can be found here. 

More on LAPOP and the Seligson Award can be found here. 

Oxford University Press Releases New Book by Stefanie Mollborn

Stefanie Mollborn's book, Mixed Messages: Norms and Social Control around Teen Sex and Pregnancy, has just been released by Oxford University Press. See A writeup of the book recently appeared in CU's Arts and Sciences Magazine:

Here is an exerpt from the A&S Magazine Writeup:

"In the small, rural Ohio town where Stefanie Mollborn grew up, the prevailing message to teenagers about sex was straightforward: Don’t do it, because it’s morally wrong. In wealthier, liberal places like Boulder, the message tends to be different: Don’t do it, because you might jeopardize your bright future. And in conservative, wealthy communities, the message differs yet again: Parents may say one thing in public, then make more pragmatic decisions for their children in private.

“People throughout society are spending a lot of energy communicating message to teens about sexuality which are inherently mixed,” says Mollborn, associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Mollborn conducted in-depth interviews with more than 50 college students from across the United States, as well as 75 teen mothers and fathers in the Denver metro area, in researching her new book “Mixed Messages: Norms and Social Control around Teen Sex and Pregnancy,” due from Oxford University Press in March. 

Although the teen-pregnancy rate in the United States has been declining for the past two decades, it remains higher than for any other developed nation, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The U.S. rate for 2011 was 57 pregnancies per 1,000 girls and women aged 15-19, compared to the next highest, New Zealand, at 51 and England at 47, and the lowest, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Singapore, all at 14.

New Book by Michael Radelet Featured in the Denver Post

The History of the Death Penalty in Colorado, a new book written by Michael Radelet and published by the University Press of Colorado, was featured recently in The Denver Post, in an article entitled "Regional books: The death penalty, terrorism and treason." The author of the piece, Sandra Dallas, praised Radelet's ability to engage his readers, saying "In what could have been a dismal treatise, Radelet turns this fact-filled book into an absorbing history of Colorado’s flirtation with legal killing." You can read the full article here. 

Keith Maskus Named Chief Economist for U.S. Department of State

University of Colorado professor Keith Maskus has been named the chief economist for the the U.S. Department of State.  Keith is a professor of distinction in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Program on International Development at IBS.  He is beginning a two-year appointment in Washington, D.C., this month.

The chief economist is a resource for the State Department and for embassies and consulates overseas. Maskus will report to the undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment to the secretary of state. He will provide advice and analysis on economic issues, according to a CU news release.

His current research focuses on the international economic aspects of protecting intellectual property rights, according to the release.

Read an in-depth Q&A with Keith in CU Boulder Today.

David Pyrooz Wins Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award

Article by Clint Talbott
David Pyrooz, assistant professor of sociology at CU Boulder, has won the 2016 Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of criminology by someone who has received his or her graduate degree within five years. By earning the highest honor a junior scholar can receive in the discipline, Pyrooz joins a distinguished list of researchers who are “among the most accomplished in the field of criminology.”Pyrooz is “honored and humbled” by the award, “especially because the past winners cast an awfully long shadow.” 
Delbert Elliott, director of the Positive Youth Development Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science, as well as founding director of the institute’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and distinguished professor emeritus of sociology, said Pyrooz himself casts a pretty good shadow. Pyrooz is a “very sharp, talented young criminologist,” Elliott stated. “Getting this award was a major deal. This is a very competitive award for young scholars.” Further, Pyrooz is making “very significant contributions” to the study of criminal gang culture, and is “one of the very few who’s looking at what happens when you get out of a gang,” Elliott said.
Read the rest of the article here.