NERA 2017 GSIC In-Conference Sessions

The Graduate Student Issues Committee (GSIC) is preparing two in-conference sessions for the Annual NERA Conference in 2017. The sessions will feature two topics closely relevant to graduate students:
Getting Ready to Publish: In this session, participants will have an opportunity to discuss the preparation of manuscripts for publishing.  An experienced professional will join us as a guest speaker to present their own lessons learned along the way and to provide participants an opportunity to ask questions. 
The Art of the Interview: Helpful Tips from Experienced Professionals: In this session, a panel of professionals from different fields will share their thoughts and experiences about interviewing candidates for various positions. They will discuss tips for interviewees, including what to do and what to avoid, and attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists


GSIC Best Paper by a Graduate Student Award
Congratulations to Kelly Foelber of James Madison University for winning this year’s Best Paper by a Graduate Student Award! This competitive award is for papers presented by graduate students at last year’s (2016) conference. A series of blind reviewers rated all submitted papers across several criteria, and the highest rated paper is selected for the award. If you are a graduate student, consider submitting your 2017 conference paper for consideration for next year.
Paper Title: Comparing missing data methods in the context of propensity score matching: A simulation
Authors: Kelly Foelber, Heather Harris, & Elisabeth Pyburn
Abstract: Propensity score matching (PSM) techniques allow researchers to control for baseline differences related to self-selection by comparing intervention participants to a comparison group of nonparticipants that is qualitatively similar. Although several approaches for handling missing data on the PSM covariates are suggested in the literature, there is virtually no research regarding which techniques should be used when data are missing on the outcomes. This simulation study compared the performance of three techniques for handling missing data on an outcome variable (Y) in the context of PSM. We addressed two research questions. First, how accurately can we estimate outcome scores using listwise deletion, stochastic regression imputation, and multiple imputation with two levels of missing-at-random (MAR) data on Y (20% and 50%)? Second, how do propensity-score-matched group differences compare across the three missing data techniques and two levels of MAR data on Y? The results consistently indicated little difference between stochastic regression imputation and multiple imputation, whereas listwise deletion was significantly different from the other two methods in nearly every condition. Both imputation methods suggested a larger impact of treatment on the outcome as compared to the listwise conditions; listwise resulted in much lower t-values. Although all conditions suggested that there were statistically significant differences between the treatment and control groups on the outcome, the magnitude of this impact differed by condition. The results of this study indicated that there was little difference between stochastic regression and multiple imputation methods when conducting PSM and subsequently comparing matched groups.
The NERA GSIC would also like to thank this year’s paper raters: April Zenisky, Felice Billups, Kurt Eisele, Steven Holtzman, JoAnne Cascia, Sudha Swaminathan, and Ross Markle.

Call for Proposals for the 2017 NERA Conference 

GSIC would like to encourage all graduate students to submit both completed and in-progress research to the 2017 NERA Conference, which will take place from October 18-20, 2017 at the Trumbull Marriott Merritt Parkway Hotel in Trumbull, CT.

NERA is an especially supportive environment for graduate students, which helps to reduce the stress of presenting at conferences. When presenting at NERA you will receive positive feedback and constructive criticism on your papers from respected professionals in the field. Presenting takes practice and because of NERA’s supportive attitude towards graduate students, it is a great place to present your papers!

Benefits of Being a NERA Member as a Graduate Student
Besides the three-day annual conference, NERA offers professional development opportunities for graduate students throughout the year:
  • Free Webinars on research methodology and special topics in educational research. Graduate students have the opportunity to learn from experts and leading researchers about the current development and future directions of a research topic.
  • Mentorship program where graduate students and young professionals can network with a NERA mentor concerning research projects, professional advice, and career development. During the annual NERA conference, mentees can meet their mentors in person during the happy-hour social.

Making a Difference within NERA
  • Make use of NERA message board. You can find information about internship opportunities, job openings, and other conferences on the NERA message board. If you have any questions or suggestions for NERA GSIC, feel free to use the NERA GSIC forum to let us know your opinions!
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