Campus News in Brief

Gingrich appoints Skinner to co-chair women’s board

Kiron Skinner has been named by Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Newt 2012, as the National Co-Chair for the Women with Newt Coalition.

Skinner is an associate professor of social and decision sciences as well as director of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for International Relations and Politics. This appointment is in addition to her position as foreign policy adviser to the campaign, which she has held since November of last year.

She will be joined on the board by Gingrich’s wife, Callista Gingrich; his daughters, Jackie Gingrich Cushman and Kathy Gingrich Lubbers; former president of the National Federation of Republican Women, Sue Lynch; political commentator Jeri Thompson; prominent Republican Gay Hart Gaines; and Iowa State Representative Linda Upmeyer.

Skinner is joining the coalition just in time to be part of Newt 2012’s buildup to Super Tuesday on March 6, when many states will be having their primary elections. A candidate can gain more votes on this day than any other, making it a critical part of a bid for the chance to run for the presidency.

Skinner said in a university press release that she is a longtime supporter of Gingrich and is impressed by his understanding of issues of particular importance to women, including national security, the economy, and education.

CMU professor wins NSF grant for census research

Statistics and social science professor Stephen Fienberg has been awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Census Bureau Research Network. The NSF awarded Fienberg the grant to fund his project, “Data Integration, Online Data Collection and Privacy Protection for the 2020 Census.”

Fienberg will research the costs and response rates of census investigation, as well as citizen privacy. He and his research team will conduct these experiments in an effort to increase response rates.

In addition, the team’s research will attempt to find methods that will ensure citizens’ confidentiality while still producing useful census information for the public and private sectors.

“This grant program gives the Census Bureau and the entire federal statistical system the opportunity to leverage the expertise of academia to solve problems we face every day in delivering cost-efficient statistics and information to the public,” said Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, in a university press release. “This research is an investment that will lead to cost savings, and we are excited about the possibilities for learning from our colleagues and for collaboration over the next five years.”