Diversity Workshop 2016 Bios and Pictures

Speakers for the 2016 Diversity Workshop, July 31, 2016


Bob Bell

Statistician, Research and Machine Intelligence, Google

Robert Bell is a statistician in Research and Machine Intelligence at Google. He previously worked at RAND and AT&T Labs-Research. His current research interests include machine learning methods, analysis of data from complex samples, and record linkage methods. He was a member of the team that won the Netflix Prize competition. He has served on the Fellows Committee of the American Statistical Association, the board of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, the Committee on National Statistics, the advisory committee of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and several National Research Council advisory committees studying statistical issues from conduct of the decennial census to airline safety.

Scarlett Bellamy

Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bellamy received her BA in mathematics from Hampton University in 1995 and her ScD in biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2001. She joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor shortly after completing her doctoral degree, where she has been ever since. She is an active member in the American Statistical Association having served as the Council of Sections Representative for the Biometrics Section, a member of the ASA Strategic Initiatives Committee, and most recently is serving as Program Chair for ASA's Statistics and Epidemiology Section. In addition, Dr. Bellamy is the current President-Elect of ENAR.

Kevin Billingslea

Director, Pharma & Nutrition, Quality Systems & Business Support, Abbott Quality & Regulatory

Kevin has a B.S. in Medical Technology from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He worked in a variety of clinical laboratory disciplines before joining Abbott including microbiology, hematology, electron microscopy, and parasitology. Kevin began his Abbott career in 1986 and worked in Abbott Diagnostics Division for 23 years prior to joining Abbott Nutrition for 4 years beginning in 2010. Kevin has held a variety of technical and quality positions including Technical Product Manager for the HIV & HTLV blood screening assays, Director of ADD Quality Systems, Director of ADD Product Quality, Director of ADD R&D QA and Director of AN Quality Systems. Kevin joined Abbott Quality & Regulatory (corporate Quality Assurance) in 2014. In his current role, Kevin has quality system and support responsibilities for Pharma and Nutrition businesses, CAPA, Complaint Management and Materials Management processes. Kevin is an Abbott and PDP mentor, and co-chair for the Abbott Black Business Network.

DuBois Bowman

Chairman and Professor of the Biostatistics at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

Dr. Bowman is a renowned expert in the development and applications of biostatistical methods for brain imaging data. Dr. Bowman joined the faculty at Columbia in 2014, bringing an exciting vision to lead the Department in a new era characterized by the acquisition and analysis of large complex biomedical data sets. Dr. Bowman is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and past-president of the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society. He has served as associate editor of both Biometrics and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. Dr. Bowman obtained his BS in Mathematics from Morehouse College, his MS in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan, and his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before coming to Columbia, Dr. Bowman was director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging Statistics at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, a center which he founded, and a tenured professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

Alicia Carriquiry

Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Iowa State University

Alicia Carriquiry is Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Director of the NIST Center of Excellence CSAFE (Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence). During her 25 years on the faculty at Iowa State University, Prof. Carriquiry has published over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts and edited or co-authored multiple books and reports. She has held leadership positions in the ASA, the IMS, ISBA and the ISI and has participated as Chair or member of over 10 committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. She is a Fellow of ASA, IMS and ISBA and an Elected Member of ISI. Her research interests are in Bayesian methods, measurement error and survey sampling, and in applications of statistics in human nutrition, bioinformatics, transportation engineering and forensic sciences. AT ISU and while visiting other institutions, she has taught statistics at every level and to a broad audience, both in English and in Spanish. She is a native of Uruguay and has cultivated and maintained strong professional ties with researchers, government workers and students throughout Latin America.

Jesse Chittams

Managing Director, Biostatistics Consulting Unit, Office of Nursing Research, University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Jesse Chittams, who currently serves as Chair of the ASA Committee on Minorities in Statistics, joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 after graduating with a degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Maryland. With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Chittams has acquired considerable expertise in data management and statistical analysis through his managerial roles at several data coordinating centers. Currently, Mr. Chittams is the Managing Director of the Biostatistics Consulting Unit (BECCA Lab) within the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Mr. Chittams also has significant experience in mentoring high school students, undergraduate, and graduate students one-on-one through the Diversity Initiative in Research for Underrepresented Minorities (DRUM) program that he initiated in 2001. Throughout his career, he has helped to train over 100 interns in statistics.

Rudy Guerra

Professor of Statistics

Dr Rudy Guerra is a professor of statistics at Rice University. His research interests include biostatistics, bioinformatics, statistical genetics and sociology as it pertains to education and health disparities. Dr Guerra is also interested in attracting and helping to succeed more underrepresented minorities to graduate programs in STEM fields.

Beimar Iriarte

Senior Statistician, Abbott Laboratories, Diagnostics Division

Beimar Iriarte provides statistical consulting to design and analysis of studies for the development and evaluation of tests for clinical laboratories. Having first obtained his degree in Biochemistry, he began his career as a laboratory scientist developing diagnostic tests in fertility, pregnancy and infectious diseases. He obtained his MS degree in Biochemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology, then a MS in Statistics from De Paul University, Chicago. In the In-Vitro Diagnostic industry, he chairs committees and contributes in working groups of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute and the International Standards Organization, developing guidelines, standards and protocols for the evaluation of clinical laboratory methods. He has presented and chaired sessions at JSM, AdvaMed and FDA / ASA conferences. He leads Science education after-school programs with elementary and high schools students. He enjoys travelling, practicing, teaching, and learning foreign languages.

Neal Jeffries

Mathematical Statistician, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH

Neal Jeffries has worked as a mathematical statistician since 2007 in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - a part of the National Institutes of Health. His research interests include clinical trial methodology, bias correction in multiple testing environments, and statistical genetics. Previously, he worked in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, another part of the NIH, where he focused on observational studies and clinical trials involving stroke, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. Neal received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in College Park.


Jessie Jeng

Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University

Dr. Jeng is an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University. She received her PhD in Statistics at 2009 from Purdue University. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania before joining NCSU at 2012. Dr. Jeng's research interests include Sparse Signal Detection, High-Dimensional Regression, and Statistical Genomics.


Donald Martin

Associate Professor and Co-Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University.

Donald Martin received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics, all from the University of Maryland, College Park. He joined the faculty of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1994, and the faculty of NC State in 2007. His research interests include distributions of patterns in Markovian and hidden state sequences, time series, graphical models, and multiple testing. He has been a Thank-a-Teacher recipient multiple times.

Elvis Martinez

Senior Consultant in Personal Insurance R&D, Travelers Insurance

Elvis' duties consist of building pricing models for home and auto insurance. He has been work at Travelers since January 5, 2015. Prior to that, Elvis moved to Tallahassee, FL in 2005, from the Bronx, New York. Upon arrival, he started attending Tallahassee Community College, where he graduated with honors. After graduating Tallahassee Community College, he went on to double major and receive his Bachelor's degree in Applied Math and Statistics from Florida State University and then earned his Master's degree in Biostatistics from Florida State as well. Elvis then graduated Florida State with a PhD in biostatistics in December 2014. He can be reached via email at emartin5@travelers.com.

Darius McDaniel

Biostatistician, Centers for Disease Control

Darius McDaniel currently works as a Biostatistician at the CDC in Atlanta, GA. Prior to this position, he achieved a BS in Mathematics and Applied Statistics from Alabama A&M University. After graduating in 2012, Mr. McDaniel worked as a data analyst at the School of Nursing Biostatistics Consulting Unit at UPenn. He later attended Emory University, where he had the opportunity to work as a statistical programmer on various infectious disease studies in South Africa. He graduated with his MSPH in Informatics in 2015.

Brian A. Millen

Senior Research Advisor, Eli Lilly

Within the Global Statistical Sciences department, Brian provides statistical leadership for late-phase neuroscience programs. His research interests include multiple testing, methodology development to enable tailored therapies, and decision-theoretic applications to drug development. Committed to increasing diversity in the statistical sciences, Dr. Millen launched the first JSM Diversity Workshop in 2009. He has served as chair of the American Statistical Association's Committee on Minorities in Statistics (2009-2012) and remains an active contributor to ASA CMS initiatives. Dr. Millen is a current member of the Executive Committee of the ASA Biopharmaceutical Section and ENAR's Regional Advisory Board. He holds a B.A. In Mathematics from the University of Georgia and Ph.D. in Statistics from The Ohio State University.

Jacqueline Milton

Clinical Assistant Professor, Boston University, Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health

Jacqueline Milton has a PhD in Biostatistics and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health and Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science in the Metropolitan College. Dr. Milton works as a biostatistician for the Center of Sickle Cell Excellence where she examines genetic modifiers associated with disease severity in sickle cell patients developing and applying methodologies in genome-wide association studies, next generation sequencing, and genetic risk prediction. Dr. Milton is involved in running the Public Health and Biostatistics Lab series for the Upward Bound Math/Science Summer Program, a program whose purpose is to prepare low-income and first-generation college bound students for success in higher education. She is also co-PI Summer Institute for Research in Biostatistics (SIBS) at Boston University, a program to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to Biostatistics.

Renee’ Moore

Associate Professor, Biostatistics, Emory University

Reneé H. Moore, PhD, is from Voorhees, NJ, a small town 20 miles outside of Philadelphia. Dr. Moore earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and completed the secondary mathematics education program at Bennett College. In 2006, Dr. Moore earned her PhD in Biostatistics from Emory University. After completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Moore spent six years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, with a primary appointment in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Moore taught physicians, was the lead statistician in the data coordinating center for a multi-site randomized clinical trial investigating surgery as treatment for childhood sleep apnea (NEJM 2013), and was the biostatistician in the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. In 2012, Dr. Moore became an Associate Professor at North Carolina State University where she taught and continued her collaborations in obesity. Dr. Moore returned to Emory in 2015 as a Research Associate Professor and Director of the Biostatistics Consulting Center. She continues teaching and collaborating with investigators from Penn, UNC, Emory, and beyond.

Sally Morton

Dean of the College of Science, Virginia Tech

Dr. Morton's previous positions include Chair of Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President for Statistics and Epidemiology at RTI International, and Head of the Statistics Group at the RAND Corporation. Her methodological work focuses on patient-centered comparative effectiveness and research synthesis. She was the 2009 president of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and received a PhD in statistics from Stanford University.


Sastry Pantula

Dean of the College of Science, Oregon State University

Prior to moving to OSU in 2013, Dr Pantula spent more than 30 years as a statistics professor at North Carolina State University where he began his academic career in 1982. While there he served as the Director of Graduate Programs and the Head of the Department of Statistics. In his administrative roles, he focused on enhancing the quality, quantity and diversity within the department, and always continues to promote the core values- excellence, diversity and harmony. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Statistical Association (ASA). He served as ASA president in 2010 and received the ASA Founders Award in 2014. Pantula received bachelor's and master's degrees in statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, India, and a Ph.D. in statistics from Iowa State University.

Darrell Philpot

SVP, Analytics/Chief Methodologist

Darrell has 24 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His experience includes market research, forecasting, survey sampling, promotion modeling, Sales Force and Managed Care analysis, as well as, evaluating alternate data sources for use in research and consulting projects, creating estimation methodologies, and collaborating on new product developments. Prior to joining AlphaImpactRx (now IMSHealth), Darrell worked for Adheris Health. His responsibilities included developing predictive models on adherence and acquisition, and analytics on program results. He previously held positions at IMSHealth, where he headed the Americas Statistical Services team and NDC Health (now Wolters Kluwer) earlier in his career. He holds an M.S. and B.S. in statistics, both earned at the University of Georgia.

Dionne Price

Director of the Division of Biometrics IV, Food and Drug Administration

Dionne Price obtained a M.S. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Emory University. During her career at the Food and Drug Administration, she has served as a statistical reviewer and a team leader in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. As the Director of the Division of Biometrics IV, Dr. Price provides leadership to statisticians involved in the application and development of methodology applied to anti-infective, anti-viral, ophthalmology, and transplant drug products. Dr. Price is an active member of the International Biometric Society, the American Statistical Association, and the Food and Drug Administration Statistical Association. She has held numerous elected positions within several professional organizations.

Bob Rodriguez

Senior Director, SAS Research and Development

Robert N. Rodriguez joined SAS Institute in 1983 and is a senior director in SAS Research & Development with responsibility for the development of statistical software. He received his PhD in statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a research statistician at General Motors Research Laboratories prior to joining SAS. Bob is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and served as the 2012 president of the ASA.


Sonia Y. Ruiz

Director, Southern California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Consortium and Director, Clinical Training R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility Clinical Psychology Internship and Mental Health Practicum Program

Dr. Ruiz is a licensed clinical psychologist in San Diego, California. Her clinical and research interests are in the areas of ethnic minority mental health, social justice issues, and cultural competency. She has taught for community colleges and universities, has been invited to present nationally and internationally. Currently she is the Director of the Southern California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Consortium of Clinical Psychology Internships (which is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) that includes California Institution for Men, California Institution for Women, and at R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility. In her role as Director she oversees clinical training for interns who are completing their last requirement before graduating with their doctoral degree and going on to teach or practice in the field of psychology.

Louise Ryan

Distinguished Professor of Statistics, University of Technology Sydney (UTS); Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS)

Louise Ryan grew up Australia, completing her undergraduate training in statistics and mathematics at Macquarie University in 1979. After completing her PhD in the Harvard Statistics Department, she stayed on in the Harvard Biostatistics Department, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then a faculty member and finally as the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor and Chair of the Department. Louise returned home in 2009 as Chief of CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics. She joined University of Technology Sydney in 2012. Louise is well known for her contributions to statistical methods for cancer and environmental health research. She has been involved in a number of high profile studies, including assessing the environmental risks associated with exposure to arsenic in drinking water and assessing the health effects of methylmercury. Some of her recent methodological work relates to the development of computationally and cost-efficient approaches to the design and analysis of complex spatial and longitudinal surveys. Over the course of her career, Louise has been a passionate advocate for diversity. In the early 90s she started an innovative summer program designed to expose talented undergraduate minority students to biostatistics and public health. Still running today, the program has been highly successful and has served as a model for other such programs that are now running throughout the US.

Aarti Shah

Chief Information Officer, Eli Lilly

Aarti Shah became senior vice president and chief information officer for Eli Lilly and Company July 1, 2016 after being the global brand development leader for immunology since 2013. Shah joined Lilly in 1994 as a senior statistician after completing her doctorate in applied statistics from the University of California, Riverside. During her career at Lilly, she has held many technical and administrative leadership positions, both in the United States and abroad, including serving as vice president for biometrics and advanced analytics and as executive director of global information sciences. In her new role, she will lead the efforts of a worldwide IT organization with more than 1,300 employees, in addition to many contractors and external business partners, to deliver innovative IT solutions to the business. Shah serves on the board of directors for the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and Center for Interfaith Cooperation and on the Executive Advisory Council for the Healthcare Businesswoman's Association (HBA) Indiana Chapter. She received the 2011 Rising Star Award from HBA.

Dionne Swift

Principal Statistician, Procter and Gamble

Dionne Swift joined Procter and Gamble as a Statistician shortly after receiving her Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from The Ohio State University in 2000. Dionne has worked in conjunctions with engineers and scientists in the Corporate Research and Fabric &Home Care business units. Currently, Dr. Swift is a Principal Statistician providing essential statistical support and consultation on issues of study design, analysis strategy, and interpretation of analysis results for Global Biotechnology Capability organization and Life Sciences Technology Platform. Dr. Swift has extensive background and experience with statistical design, test method development and validations (i.e., GR&R's), statistical modeling and simulation in variety of areas - products development research, consumer research, image analysis and genomics. Her current research interests include experimental design, multivariate analyses, prediction and classification methods, and statistical methods in genomics, proteomics, and metabonomics.

William Yslas Vélez

Professor of Mathematics and University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona

William Yslas Vélez earned all of his degrees from The University of Arizona, completing his doctoral degree in mathematics in 1975. He currently holds the rank of Professor of Mathematics and University Distinguished Professor. Vélez decided that increasing diversity in the mathematical sciences and increasing the number of mathematics majors was to be his concentration for the last years of his academic life.

Sydeaka Watson

Research Associate. Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago

Sydeaka Watson received her doctorate in statistics from Baylor University in 2011 and is currently a Research Associate (Assistant Professor) in The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC). She serves as collaborator on many clinical studies in the UCMC, assisting with experimental design, power/sample size calculations, statistical plan development, data analysis, grant-writing, and manuscript preparation. As a member of the Internal Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) at the UCMC, she evaluates study designs and statistical methods in clinical and translational research protocols for which internal funding is requested. She currently serves as chairperson of the American Statistical Association (ASA) Committee on Minorities in Statistics. Dr. Watson's primary research interests include Bayesian Poisson regression models for interval censored counts and missing data imputation methods for immune response counts in vaccine studies.

Ric Weibl

Retired, Chief Learning Officer, Assn for Women in Science

Ric Weibl has served as the chief learning officer for the Association for Women in Science, director of the Center for Careers in Science and Technology and director of the Project on Science, Technology, and Disability at AAAS. His work at AWIS and AAAS focused on the education, training and career development of the science and engineering workforce of the future. His priority in these roles has been to broaden the participation of women, minorities, and people with disabilities. His life journey has also included service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, U.S. editor for Science's Next Wave (now Science Careers), editor of Next Wave's Postdoc Network (now the National Postdoctoral Association), and as program manager for the national Preparing Future Faculty program. He has served in research and administrative positions at Antioch College, The Ohio State University, Marquette University, Longwood University, and the University of Georgia. Ric has recently embarked on a new life journey. After more than 30 years as a higher education professional, he has created a family-based partnership to build and operate an organic specialty fruit and vegetable farm using sustainable practices in an urban setting.

Dominique Williams

PhD Student and Purdue Doctoral Fellow, Purdue University

Dominique Williams is a Ph.D. student in Statistics and Purdue Doctoral Fellow at Purdue University. Dominique completed her undergraduate studies in Mathematics at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master of Science degree from West Chester University. Prior to starting her graduate studies, Dominique worked in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, IN. Dominique's research interests include Bayesian and Spatial Statistics, Clinical- Trial Development, and Causal Inference.