2020 News Stories

Associate Professor receives ‘Best Paper Award’ from Association for Institutional Research

Amber Dumford, PhD

Amber Dumford, PhD

TAMPA, Fla. (March 19, 2020) — College of Education Associate Professor Amber Dumford, PhD, was awarded the Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

AIR is a global association that empowers higher education professionals at all levels to utilize data, analytics, information and evidence to make decisions and take actions that benefit students and institutions and that improve higher education. The Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award celebrates scholarly papers presented at the AIR annual conference that best exemplify the standards of excellence established by the award's namesake and that make significant contributions to the field of institutional research. 

The award-winning paper, “Examining the Meaning of Vague Quantifiers in Higher Education: How Often is ‘Often’?,” explores the use of vague quantifiers in surveys conducted by higher education institutions and the students’ intended meanings behind selecting these responses. The article was co-authored by Louis Rocconi, PhD, and Brenna Butler and was published earlier this year in the research journal “Research in Higher Education.”

Dr. Dumford is an associate professor of higher education administration in the USF College of Education. Her research interests include factors that influence college student engagement and success, data use on campus, and data quality issues.