Jack Fowler Receives Highest Award for Survey Research

Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies | June 25, 2013
Jack Fowler, Senior Fellow in the UMass Boston Center for Survey Research

Floyd J. "Jack" Fowler, Jr. is a senior fellow in the UMass Boston Center for Survey Research.


Dr. Floyd J. "Jack" Fowler, Jr., a senior fellow in the UMass Boston Center for Survey Research (CSR), is the recipient of the prestigious American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 2013 Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.

"Jack is founding director and a guiding force of the Center for Survey Research," said Mary Ellen Colten, a long-time colleague of Fowler's and current CSR director. "UMass Boston and the CSR have been the beneficiaries of Jack's endeavors and his special gifts. We are fortunate and very proud. There is truly no higher honor in the field than this award."

The award inscription, provided by AAPOR President Paul J. Lavrakas, appears in its entirety directly below. 

Dr. Floyd J. “Jack” Fowler, Jr. belongs to the honorable tradition of scholar-practitioners. He is one of the original and most productive survey methodologists conducting research on survey interviewing. His research into interviewer-respondent interaction has led the profession to a better understanding of the nature and sources of error in interviewer-administered surveys. He has particularly focused his methodological work during the past 30 years on question design and evaluation. He also has focused on the cognitive bases of the survey response process, and contributed to identifying problematic question formats using behavior coding and other techniques.  He also has contributed to the profession's understanding of interviewer effects on the question-asking process, which helps interviewer training and other areas.

Jack has produced seminal works designed to disseminate methodological standards of survey research to practitioners, academics, and students throughout the social science research community. His books include Survey Research Methods, Improving Survey Questions, Standardized Survey Interviewing, and Survey Methodology.

He also has contributed greatly to the improvement of data collection in the area of health outcomes and utilization of health care services. Jack's work here has been groundbreaking, advancing health outcomes research, and reflecting his abiding interest in health related quality of life.

As a founder and long-time director of the Center for Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Jack has shaped an organization devoted to the highest quality academic survey research. His unwavering dedication to "making truth" by utilizing and refining the methodological tools of survey research has been the basis of a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the fields of public opinion and survey research.

Like his mentor, Charlie Cannell, Jack's modesty and unassuming demeanor belie the enormous, positive effect his work and talent have made to our profession. He has passed on his commitment to survey quality and his knack for balancing the art and the science of survey measurement to several grateful generations of social science researchers. 

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