Kansas State University


Department of Statistics

Alumni News

Wendy (Boberg) Archer (MS ’04) was promoted from Statistician III to Lead Data Analyst last fall at her company Buccaneer.  The company has changed owners twice in the last three years and Wendy finds that people are  still repositioning and adjusting to new policies.  Family life with three- and thirteen-year-old daughters is always interesting to her.

Duane Brown (PhD ’99) and wife Yihfen Chen (PhD ’99) continue to rack up awards.  Yihfen won another Teacher of the Year award at Cerro Coso Community College, where she teaches statistics and mathematics courses, although this award was won for her work with the college’s Special Services Program.  Duane works at the China Lake Naval Weapons Station just outside of their hometown of Ridgecrest, CA and has been announced as this year’s winner of the Michelson Laboratory Award.  The award seeks to recognize individuals for technical excellence based on outstanding performance of individual duties.  Only civilian employees from the NAVAIR Weapons Division are eligible. Recipients are selected by senior management from a list of nominated candidates.

Anna (Bruce) Nevius (MS ’67) was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association at last summer’s Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego.  Anna received her Master’s Degree from Kansas State University in 1967 and passed Ph.D. preliminary examinations in 1968.  In 1968 she married Edward Nevius, who in 1969 also received a Master’s Degree in statistics from KSU.   They moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where Ed served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1968 – 1970.  From 1975 through 1978 she and her husband were on the faculty at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Ed was a professor in the Math & Stat Department and Anna was an instructor in that department as well as a consultant at the Biometrics Center.  In 1979 they moved to Washington, DC where Ed began his career with the Food and Drug Administration.  Anna returned to school at the University of Maryland where she received her Ph.D. in statistics in 1984.  After a brief timeat the Internal Revenue Service, she also joined the Food and Drug Administration at the Center for Veterinary Medicine.  She became a team leader there in 1990 and continues to work in that capacity.  Anna has been quite active in the American Statistical Association including service as the Council of Sections Rep, Chair and Program Chair of the Biopharmaceutical Section, ASA General Methodology Representative to the JSM Program Committee, a member of the Outreach and Women in Statistics Committees and is currently a member of the Accreditation Committee.  Congratulations, Anna!!

Mike Butine (PhD ’97) continues to telecommute (and periodically actually travel) between his workplace in Marin County and his home in the Seattle area.  He has been working on therapies for rare diseases and has just finished helping his company through an important FDA submission.  He is planning to retire yet this summer.

Kevin Chartier (PhD ’97) and wife Lori are soon-to-be empty nesters.  Their youngest, Joshua, is graduating from high school this spring, and heading off to college at Michigan State this fall.  Since three of their four offspring are Spartans and the fourth went to Western Michigan, Kevin and Lori are looking at the possibility of landing in Michigan when Kevin decides to leave the work routine in the pharmaceutical industry.

The biggest news for Dennis Clason (PhD ‘87) is that he was recently elected Chair of the Faculty Senate at his home institution, New Mexico State University, for the coming academic year.   It will be a large and time-consuming obligation.  Dennis’ wife Susanna continues on a tenure-track appointment at the University of Cincinnati – Blue Ash (talk about a long distance relationship!).  Son Brian and his wife are expecting the Clasons’ first grandchild in September.

Chun-Yen Cochrane (MS ’01) is now a little closer to her family in Manhattan.  She has left Atlanta and Coca-Cola to work for Givaudian Flavors Corporation in Cincinnati as a research statistician.  She reports an additional benefit is that she gets to work one week per month from her home in Kansas.

Good news for Rajarshi Dey (Ph.D. ‘12).  He has received a tenure-track appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.   Raj and wife Ayota will be moving to Alabama this coming summer.

Bill Eisele (MS ‘92) tells us that his company, Hallmark, now has three K-State statistics grads working for them, with Mark Sorell (MS ‘88) and Travis Grunewald (MS ‘95) both having recently joined the company.

More trips to Manhattan are on the agenda for Carla Goad (PhD ‘94) these days, as son Andrew has enrolled at K-State as a freshman.  Andrew is the second of Carla and Dave’s children.  The oldest is Michael, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major at Oklahoma State (where Carla is a faculty member in the Department of Statistics) and the baby is Elizabeth who has just finished fifth grade.

Celedon (Don) Gonzales (MS ’92) tells of having interacted on a professional basis with Chengjie Xiong (PhD ’97) who is at Washington University in St. Louis.  Don continues to work on problems related to Alzheimer ’s disease for his employer, Eli Lilly.  He has written a number of papers on the development of biomarkers on cerebral spinal fluid protein concentration.

Kim Howell (MS ’94) has had a good year this year with trips to Alaska, Mexico, and the Bahamas.  The downside has included having her daughter Jaden (9 this summer) diagnosed with Henoch-Shonlein Purpora (an ailment characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels).  It was expected to last 4-6 weeks, but after 7 months and 5 hospital visits, Jaden is still dealing gamely with it.

Ron Iman (PhD ‘73) and wife Rae are spending a good bit of time following the doings of their grandchildren.  Jonathan and Michael White, 14 year-old twins, were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in Highland Village, TX on Dec 31, 2012.  The Imans’ granddaughter, Georgia Schaefer, has enrolled at K-State for the fall semester and will major in Family Studies and Human Services with a secondary major in gerontology.  She will also be a member of the K-State Marching Band and the KSU Wind Ensemble.


G.B. (Brent) Johnson (MS ‘08) loves the work he does at Fidelity National Information Services in the Twin Cities.  He recently received his second promotion to Senior Statistical Analyst before reaching his 5-year anniversary in April.  He has been requested to go on several large client visits to seal sales opportunities in the last year.  He still produces a semi-annual business intelligence report that he built to aid senior management.   Daughters Mellissa (finishing her freshman year in high school) and Amaya (4) keep life interesting and exciting.

Beth Larrabee (MS ’11) reports that her employer the Mayo Clinic sent her to both the National Cancer Institute and a meeting in Tennessee this past year.  Her talented daughter Maya had a piece of art displayed in an art show at Mayo last week.  The two of them love having a place of their own and are jumping into home gardening.

Martin (Marty) Levy (PhD ’82) reports big events in his life.  He has retired after 31 years in academia, the last 28 at the University of Cincinnati.  He just recently received word of the acceptance of his 60th published paper.  In addition this year he became a grandfather to beautiful twin girls, Caroline and Courtney.  They were born to his son Paul (who was born in Manhattan 32 years ago) and wife Kristen.

Sarah (Loyer) Baxter (MS ’01) applied a year ago to the Ed. D. program at University of Delaware.   She was accepted in July and took her first course in the fall.  She’s now completed 3 courses, and is scheduled to take one this summer as well.  Adding in some transfer courses, she’s about halfway through the coursework.  The official program is called Educational Leadership and her concentration is Curriculum, Technology, and Higher Education and within that, she is in the math education specialization.  In other news, she recently received a promotion to Assistant Professor at Gloucester County College.

Chris Malone (PhD ’02) is a candidate for promotion to (full) Professor at Winona State University.  He also helped his department host the second Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition at the university in April 6-7.   20 teams participated, and 110 people (students, advisors, judges from a variety of companies) were involved for a jam-packed weekend full of data analytics with more than $1,000 in prize money given out.  Chris invites volunteers who might like to judge or assist in the event next year to contact him.

Karen McGaughey (PhD ’03) was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure in the Department of Statistics at California Poly in San Luis Obispo this past year.

Wijith Munasinghe (PhD ‘10) was promoted at his company AbbVie, Inc. to the manager level.   He’s now a key contributor in the Oncology therapeutic area.  He reports being intrigued by adaptive designs that use a lot of Bayesian approaches.  He also celebrates that he recently received his green card (permanent residency status).

Jamis (Jamie) Perrett (PhD ’05) has taken a position with Monsanto in St. Louis, MO, where he now works with several K-Staters as a leader in the Product Analysis area.  He has also recently become the bishop of his local LDS congregation of 400 members, and reports that that leadership  task occupies his evenings and weekends.

The government sequestration has reached Elizabeth Schreiber (MS ‘94) at her desk in the IRS.  She’ll be takings some days of unpaid vacation and enjoying the time off.  She’s very active in the DC area SAS Users Group and anticipates being an ‘empty nester’ as her youngest son heads off to college this fall.

Robert Soria (BS ‘96) graduated in May with a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration.  Due to his high GPA in the program, he was initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, an honor society for public affairs and administration.  The degree obviously helped at work, too, as he was recently promoted to manager of the technology and statistics unit of the Division of Workers Compensation within the Kansas Department of Labor where he has worked for the last seven years.

Danelle Schuster Staebler (MS ’03) left PRACS before it filed for bankruptcy and went to work as a senior statistical analyst of Noridian in Fargo, ND.   Noridian is a Medicare contractor, so they look for aberrancies in data, potential fraud and the like.  Son Sam just turned two and is the apple of his mother’s eye.  Danelle also has a brother and sister and their families in the Fargo area and parents only an hour away; she is really enjoying having all that family close by.

Matt Strand (PhD ’98) continues his joint work for the National Jewish Health and the Colorado School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics.  He indicates that he has really come to enjoy teaching Longitudinal Data Analysis.  Matt and wife Linda have a very busy but fulfilling family life with offspring Evan (12), Emily (10), and Eddie (8) and all their activities.

Zhongwen Tang (PhD ‘08) and his family have recently purchased a house near his employment at Novartis; it has given them a great deal of pleasure.  Zhongwen anticipates traveling to Basel for his work next month and is looking forward to the opportunity.

Lucas Taylor (MS ‘02) and wife Lauren announce the birth of their first child.  Son Griffin Lucas Taylor was born April 11th, weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces.  His father reports that he is eating and sleeping like a champ.

George von Borries (PhD ‘08) is now the head of the Department of Statistics at the University of Brasília.  In his department, the head is elected by professors (mainly), students and staff of the department. The position is for two years but can be renewed with another election.  George has hopes and intentions of visiting Manhattan in the not-too-distant future to show his daughter where she was born and renew visits with the people who were around him when he studied here.

Yuhua Wang (PhD ‘99) has been working for a dermatology group at Johnson & Johnson  in the Philadelphia area since she moved from Kansas City in 2003.  Her husband, Bohong Xiao, another K-state graduate of the Statistics Department, passed away in 2008.  Yuhua has been doing well as a single mom, telling us that her older son is in medical school and the two younger children are in middle school.  The family just moved into a new house in Berwyn (western suburb of Philadelphia) a year ago.

Ron Wasserstein (PhD ’87) continues to serve as the Executive Director of the American Statistical Association (the largest organization of statisticians in the world, by the way).  But his most recent claim to fame came this this past year when he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He suggests that this is a credit to the hard work of some colleagues who have been trying to increase the presence and visibility of statistics within AAAS, and one of their strategies is to nominate more Fellows.

Qifeng Yu (PhD ’99) works as director of Biostatistics at Genzyme, a company researching transformative therapies for patients with rare and special unmet medical needs.  It is headquartered in Boston.  He relates that his daughter Jennifer, who was born in Boston, has graduated from high school and entered college at the University of Pennsylvania, pursing her passion in English literature.

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