Success of STATCOM Leads to Expanded Pro Bono Network

January,  2008

Writer(s): Andrea Rau, STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator

STATCOM (Statistics in the Community) is a student-run organization that provides pro bono statistical consulting services to local government and nonprofit organizations. Originally established in 2001 by a statistics doctoral student at Purdue University, Nels Grevstad, STATCOM has continually grown each year to meet the demand for statistical consulting on a local level. Since 2005, STATCOM has expanded from a single organization at Purdue University to a network of eight individual STATCOMs at universities both in this country and abroad, and this number continues to grow each year.

In addition to the projects taken on by individual STATCOM organizations within the network, there have been several exciting network-wide developments in the past year. At the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in August of 2007, the STATCOM Network Business Meeting provided a forum for representatives from each STATCOM to meet one another and discuss voting points, including the STATCOM Network mission and vision statements as well as the continued development of the STATCOM Network framework.

In 2007, the continuing expansion of the STATCOM Network led to the creation of the position of STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator. The responsibilities of this coordinator include maintaining communication among STATCOM Network members, generating interest in STATCOM at new universities, and writing the semi-annual STATCOM Network Newsletter. As new STATCOM members within the network become established, this position will rotate from one university to the next, allowing students throughout the network to benefit from taking a leadership role within the STATCOM.


Finally, the first STATCOM Network Newsletter recently became available in January 2008, and can be read here. This newsletter is an excellent means of communication, not only for members within the STATCOM Network, but also for the general public interested in pro bono community work. Updates about current and past projects, challenges faced by developing STATCOMs, advice and suggestions from established STATCOMs, and photos are all featured in the Network Newsletter.

The growth of the STATCOM Network in the past two years has been truly impressive, and as more universities and student volunteers become involved, the enduring benefits of STATCOM involvement in local communities around the world can only become more pronounced. For more information about the STATCOM Network, or to learn about joining the STATCOM Network, please see the STATCOM Network website within the American Statistical Association (ASA) website, or contact the current STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator, Andrea Rau, at statcom-outreach@stat.purdue.edu.


January 2008